When it comes to mock trials or debates in class, even good arguments can fall flat without a strong closing statement. Closing statements wrap up a trial's or debate's argument by making connections between the evidence and the claim or the verdict the lawyer wants the jury to reach.

How to Write a Good Closing Statement

To write a closing argument, look back at your opening statement. In a trial, an opening statement is a lawyer’s first chance to outline the facts of a case. Good opening statements are limited to just the introductory facts and should not attempt to sway the jury or audience with persuasive language. Instead, good opening statements outline what is to come in the rest of the trial and tell the jury what to expect.

If you have already written good opening statements, odds are, you already have an effective closing argument outline. Review your opening statement and compare it with the facts and evidence introduced during the case. While good closing statements simply outline what is to come in a mock trial, the best closing statements take those ideas a step further by explaining how they support the case. Use succinct language to clearly lay out how each piece of evidence backs up your main point. In planning, it may help to use if-then statements to establish causality in your reasoning. To help you in composing the most effective end to your speech, utilize a closing argument outline like the one below.

Closing Argument Outline

Restate your claim: What is the main idea of your argument?

Remind your audience of the evidence. Explain how each piece of evidence justifies your claim. How does the evidence show that your argument is true?

How does all of the evidence fit together to explain the puzzle of the case?

Finally, address why the jurors, judge or audience members should find the case in your favor. Try to sum up your reasoning in one short, well-formed sentence.

Closing Argument Example

Restate your claim: What is the main idea of your argument?

In conclusion, it is clear that the butler murdered the maid, because he left a trail of evidence from the kitchen into the study.

Remind your audience of the evidence. Explain how each piece of evidence justifies your claim. How does the evidence show that your argument is true?

Investigators found numerous muddy footprints leading into the study. All of these footprints were identical in pattern to the butler’s favorite loafers. These loafers are uncommon because they must be made special in Italy for the butler’s size 16 feet.

How does all of the evidence fit together to explain the puzzle of the case?

Given the muddy trail left by the butler and the argument between the butler and the maid that could be heard throughout the house, it is clear the butler did it.

Finally, address why the jurors, judge or audience members should find the case in your favor. Try to sum up your reasoning in one short, well-formed sentence.

Ladies and gentlemen of the jury, due to the preponderance of evidence, I ask you to find in favor of the butler’s guilt.