Writing Effective Conclusions
A conclusion provides a thoughtful end to a piece of writing; unfortunately, many conclusions in college-level papers are little more than summaries of what has already been said.
Here are a few tips to make conclusions more interesting. You may wish to check with your professor about specific recommendations in your field of study; many fields have specific formats for conclusions and other parts of essays, research reports, and experiments. The points below are most applicable to papers in the humanities:
Ending with a rephrased thesis statement that contains no substantive changes.
Introducing a new idea or subtopic (although you may end with a provocative question; see below).
Focusing on a minor point in the essay.
Concluding with a sentence tacked on to your final point.
Apologizing for your view by saying such things as “I may not be an expert” or “At least this is my opinion.”
Attempting to make up for an incomplete structure. (If you say you will discuss four books and only attempt a complete discussion of two books, do not try to cover the remaining texts in a concluding paragraph. In such a situation, it’s best to limit your paper to topics you can realistically cover.)