The conclusion is a very important part of your essay. Although it is sometimes treated as a roundup of all of the bits that didn’t fit into the paper earlier, it deserves better treatment than that! It's the last thing the reader will see, so it tends to stick in the reader's memory. It's also a great place to remind the reader exactly why your topic is important. A conclusion is more than just "the last paragraph"—it's a working part of the paper. This is the place to push your reader to think about the consequences of your topic for the wider world or for the reader's own life!
A good conclusion should do a few things:
- Restate your thesis
- Synthesize or summarize your major points
- Make the context of your argument clear
Restating Your Thesis
You've already spent time and energy crafting a solid thesis statement for your introduction, and if you've done your job right, your whole paper focuses on that thesis statement. That's why it's so important to address the thesis in your conclusion! Many writers choose to begin the conclusion by restating the thesis, but you can put your thesis into the conclusion anywhere—the first sentence of the paragraph, the last sentence, or in between. Here are a few tips for rephrasing your thesis:
- Remind the reader that you've proven this thesis over the course of your paper. For example, if you're arguing that your readers should get their pets from animal shelters rather than pet stores, you might say, "If you were considering that puppy in the pet-shop window, remember that your purchase will support 'puppy mills' instead of rescuing a needy dog, and consider selecting your new friend at your local animal shelter." This example gives the reader not only the thesis of the paper, but a reminder of the most powerful point in the argument!
- Revise the thesis statement so that it reflects the relationship you've developed with the reader during the paper. For example, if you've written a paper that targets parents of young children, you can find a way to phrase your thesis to capitalize on that—maybe by beginning your thesis statement with, "As a parent of a young child…"
- Don’t repeat your thesis word for word—make sure that your new statement is an independent, fresh sentence!
Summary or Synthesis
This section of the conclusion might come before the thesis statement or after it. Your conclusion should remind the reader of what your paper actually says! The best conclusion will include a synthesis, not just a summary—instead of a mere list of your major points, the best conclusion will draw those points together and relate them to one another so that your reader can apply the information given in the essay. Here are a couple of ways to do that:
- Give a list of the major arguments for your thesis (usually, these are the topic sentences of the parts of your essay).
- Explain how these parts are connected. For example, in the animal-shelter essay, you might point out that adopting a shelter dog helps more animals because your adoption fee supports the shelter, which makes your choice more socially responsible.
One of the most important functions of the conclusion is to provide context for your argument. Your reader may finish your essay without a problem and understand your argument without understanding why that argument is important. Your introduction might point out the reason your topic matters, but your conclusion should also tackle this questions. Here are some strategies for making your reader see why the topic is important:
- Tell the reader what you want him or her to do. Is your essay a call to action? If so, remind the reader of what he/she should do. If not, remember that asking the reader to think a certain way is an action in itself. (In the above examples, the essay asks the reader to adopt a shelter dog—a specific action.)
- Explain why this topic is timely or important. For example, the animal-shelter essay might end with a statistic about the number of pets in shelters waiting for adoption.
- Remind the readers of why the topic matters to them personally. For example, it doesn’t matter much if you believe in the mission of animal shelters, if you're not planning to get a dog; however, once you're looking for a dog, it is much more important. The conclusion of this essay might say, "Since you’re in the market for a dog, you have a major decision to make: where to get one." This will remind the reader that the argument is personally important!
Explanatory essay belongs to the family of synthesis essays, therefore, the goal of explanatory essay is to explain a certain topic, phenomenon or a subject in a particular manner. The objective of explanatory essays is to present the descriptive information in an orderly, clear and succinct manner. To achieve the goal and objective the writer has to carry out proper synthesis of the existing sources, opinions, ideas, facts, and findings on the given topic and subsequently present it in a form of an explanatory essay. Since explanatory essay calls for preliminary synthesis of material and information that will be presented in the paper in an understandable and orderly manner, the writer must choose how to break down the subject of the essay into constituent parts, that will be explored, researched, and analyzed, and based on the preliminary synthesis, put in the final version of the explanatory essay.
Explanatory essay requires explanations and supportive materials (facts, findings, data, quotes) so that the audience always understands everything from the beginning to the very end. This type of essay calls for objective explanation, therefore, it should not include unverified information, and should not be based on the writer’s personal opinion. If the writer considers his opinion to be of great importance, it is possible to include that opinion in the paragraph just prior to the conclusion, and note why this opinion matters and why it should be included. Otherwise, explanatory essay has a typical structure that most other essays have.
Introduction of explanatory essay.
The introduction of an explanatory essay sets the stage and explains what the paper (body part) will be about. It introduces the topic, the sub-topics, and the constituent parts that will be subsequently explored in the paper. Although there is no formal restriction, but generally an introduction should be limited to 5-7 sentences only.
Body of explanatory essay.
The body part of the explanatory essay directly addresses the topic and supports all facts and opinions with quotes and references. It is important to rely on the verified, quality, academic sources. The information should be presented in an unequivocal, unbiased and professional manner. There is no need to need to cover different points of view, so unlike, for instance, in argumentative papers, it is possible to focus on only those facts and references that support your position and explain the given topic, phenomenon or subject without having to mention contentious views and different opinions.
Conclusion of explanatory essay.
The conclusion of an explanatory essay summarizes what was said in the body part of the essay. This is where it looks similar to other types of essays. There is no restriction as to the length of a conclusion, but the rule of thumb is that it should not be over 10 sentences. What is more important, no new information should be presented in the conclusion. Conclusion of an explanatory essay only summarizes the findings that are already explained in the body part of the essay.
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