Writing a conclusion can be somewhat of a paradox. The reason for this is that you have done the main work of your essay and are virtually at the end. Surely this should mean a cause for celebration or at the very least relief? For some strange reason, it isn’t. Writing a conclusion can cause all sorts of perplexes. The fear and bewilderment when faced with writing a conclusion results in a manner of ways:
The aforementioned methods of writing a conclusion are to be avoided. They will add nothing to your essay whatsoever. Now that we have dealt with methods that do not work, we can consider how to write a conclusion in ways that do help to improve your essay.
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A conclusion is what brings closure to your essay. It should leave the reader fully comprehending how you leave your argument, feeling satisfied and also thoughtful. A conclusion should:
In your introduction, you will have stated your thesis which is the argument that you will prove. It is difficult in the course of an article to cover all subjects so for the sake of simplicity, this article will choose a sample thesis to demonstrate the most productive way to write a conclusion. In other words, we will use the thesis:
“The work of Shakespeare has become elite. It is no longer part of the identity of the working classes.”
When you write your conclusion, you would not state that word for word. Instead you might offer “Although for centuries, the plays of William Shakespeare were accessible to the working class, it could be suggested that seeing a work of Shakespeare voluntarily in the 21st century is something that only the middle and upper classes do.”
Paraphrasing your thesis demonstrates that you fully understand your argument and that you can see the wider picture of it. It also highlights your use of language which is something that should always happen in any form of writing.
This is probably the most difficult part of writing the conclusion because it is the largest part of your essay and it needs to be reduced to a few sentences. You may find that you get carried away and your conclusion is as long as your main body simply for the fact that you want to throw everything in. Therefore, it is much easier when writing your conclusion if you have a plan.
For instance, if we return to the Shakespeare example “the work of Shakespeare has become elite. It is no longer part of the working class identity” if point one was made up of the evidence that the working class did identify with Shakespeare in the past, you may have used newspaper articles from the archives. These primary sources that were reported as they happened tell of an amateur actor called Shakespeare Hirst that owned a pub in Huddersfield. (Huddersfield Chronicle, 24th April 1879) The man in question was named after William Shakespeare because his father loved the Bard’s plays. Every Sunday night, Shakespeare Hirst would dress up and perform monologues for the people in the working class establishment. Within your essay you will have defined what you mean by identity and have argued your point using various sources such as the aforementioned one. In your conclusion, you would have to summarise. For instance, you might state:
“The use of primary sources demonstrates that the working class people of Huddersfield identified with Shakespeare both by naming their children after him and as a way of entertaining themselves.”
Don’t worry if this seems a difficult step to take. The more you practise summarising the easier it becomes, in most cases. If you find that you cannot review a point because every time you try to get it down to one or two sentences, your thought processes become jumbled or you find yourself writing a full page again, you need to stop. It is highly likely that you have got a problem in the main body of your essay. Don’t see this as catastrophic, it isn’t. it is simply something that needs to be readdressed. The reason that you cannot get your point summarised is because of one of two reasons.
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