What Is a Clincher at the End of Your Essay?

The essay's end revisits, and reinforces, the beginning.
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A clincher at your essay's end is the final statement, summation or impression you give the reader. It's a last chance to make your point again, add a quote or question or brief idea that enhances your essay, or reword your thesis to give a finished feel.

1 Some Examples

Typical clinchers include a summation of the points of an essay, a universal comparison to other situations or a final warning. They might describe a possible result or subsequent problem, or they may add a provocative last question or quotation, one that leaves the reader thinking and wanting to find out more.

2 Go Back to the Beginning

The best clinchers refer back to the essay's introduction: if the essay begins by describing a social problem, the clincher might be a call to action or a recommendation; if it begins with an anecdote, the clincher might refer back to the anecdote's ending to make a further point.

3 Clinchers to Avoid

Avoid the abrupt, clever, cliched or too-colloquial ending: "That's all, folks" or "In conclusion," or "I better wrap up." The clincher is your last word; make it memorable for the reader, since it brings him closure.

Michael Stratford is a National Board-certified and Single Subject Credentialed teacher with a Master of Science in educational rehabilitation (University of Montana, 1995). He has taught English at the 6-12 level for more than 20 years. He has written extensively in literary criticism, student writing syllabi and numerous classroom educational paradigms.