How to End an Informative Paper

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An informative paper should end with a strong conclusion. The conclusion is the final paragraph of a paper, which summarizes the content of the paper and tells the reader why this information is important. A paper's conclusion is its final chance to make a lasting impression on the reader, and it must be constructed carefully.

State the most important idea of your paper. Do not simply restate your thesis, but synthesize the content of your paper and present the overarching theme you want a reader to take away.

Refer to ideas you brought up in your introduction. If your paper comes full circle, it will be more memorable. The reader will come away with a stronger sense of what you were trying to convey if you tie in your initial thoughts with your closing statements.

Answer the question, "so what?" Tell the reader why they should care about the information in your paper. It's one thing to learn about a subject and another to care about it. Explain the significance of the content of your paper and make your reader care about it.

Propose the next step. If your paper is about a societal problem, suggest a solution. If you're writing about an event in history, write about its effects on modern society. Discuss the broader implications of the issue at hand.

Avoid cliched endings, like emotional appeals or simply restating your thesis. Your conclusion should include reflect the key information in your paper -- but in a more definitive, authoritative way.

  • Don't start your conclusion with a transition like "in conclusion" or "in summary."
  • Don't present new information in your conclusion.
  • Ask someone to read over your conclusion for advice.

Camille Beredjick is a recent graduate of the Medill School of Journalism at Northwestern University working in the nonprofit sector. She is the sole writer and manager of GayWrites, an LGBT news blog.