How to Write a Conclusion for a Literary Criticism

How to Write a Conclusion for a Literary Criticism

If you are an avid reader, it is likely you've found yourself critiquing a book author in your mind or out loud in a book club setting. While you may love reading books, taking the process to the next level by critiquing and discussing is a way to expand your own imagination and empathy through a literary criticism. A good conclusion gives your literary criticism a sense of closure without boring your reader with a rehash of things you have already written. Restating the thesis and identifying different perspectives are some of the ways to focus and strengthen a literary criticism. By using the concluding strategies below, you can wrap up your literary analysis in a way that is meaningful for both author and reader.

1 Restate the Thesis

Restating the thesis may seem redundant but doing so is actually important to the process of expressing your main idea. The trick is to do it in such a way that you add a new layer of depth to it. Make your thesis restatement more of a final judgment of what you think about the matter; make it emphatic. Restating the thesis too close to the wording of the original thesis statement is a technique to avoid when writing literary criticisms.

2 Summarize Main Points

You should also go back and summarize the main points of the analysis. Just like with the thesis, you want to avoid redundancy. Rather than simply restating your points, you want to combine them to show how they work together to make your point. Show the big picture to your argument that is made of all the little parts you explained in the body of the paper.

3 Explain the Importance

In the conclusion, you must inform your reader why your view on this work is relevant. They must be left with the feeling that your analysis is meaningful and important. You can do this by including a connection to the literary work's time period or modern life. You might explain what the thesis means to you personally and how it will inform your future choices. Give your analysis a meaning that is universal and useful to the reader.

4 Give Your Reader a Mission

Now that you have analyzed the literary text, you need to ask yourself if there is something your readers can do with what they have learned. Is there a logical action you can associate with your analysis? Is there a question they must ask themselves? Is there another line of reasoning they should explore? Once you figure out the action you need to illicit from your reader, express it in the conclusion.

5 Identify Different Perspectives

Because literary analysis is subjective, you may find yourself arguing a point that other analysts may not agree with. If this is the case, you might want to qualify your perspective in the conclusion by including a statement about other known opinions and why your argument disproves the other. This will show that you have done your background research and have an answer for the critics of your own work.

Based in central Florida, J. Jeremy Dean has written for 16 years and has written news and entertainment articles for "The Daily Commercial" in Leesburg, Fla. In 2002, he won the Florida Society of Newspaper Editors award for criticism. Dean holds a professional writing bachelor's degree from Glenville State College and a master's of education degree from National Louis University.