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The Essay Conclusion

The conclusion paragraph is one of the most difficult to write in either high school or college essays. Learn how to write a dynamic conclusion that will push your essay to the next level - with a sample example of an effective essay conclusion.

Don't Forget the Conclusion!
Some students do not put much effort into the conclusion because they feel it will not have much of an effect on their final grade. In fact, an excellent conclusion can turn a good essay into a great one by leaving the reader with a positive lasting impression - a "Wow" effect.

In high school, your teachers may tell you that the conclusion is simply restating your thesis in a different way. Unfortunately, many students take this advice for every essay and it hurts them when they go to college.

Structure of an Essay Conclusion
A college essay, especially term papers, should take the thesis and bring it to the next level when you conclude your paper. You should use the conclusion to answer the questions, "Why is this paper relevant?" and "What's the bigger picture?" This requires some extra thinking, but will get you more likely to get the "Wow" effect from your reader.

In general, the conclusion of an argumentative essay should be about 3-5 sentences. Most students don't use quotes in their conclusions, but it might be effective to end with a quote depending on your topic.

Sample of an Effective Essay Conclusion
Here's a sample college essay on Shakespeare's A Midsummer Night's Dream. The essay suggested that the actions of the fairy characters largely determined how the play unfolds:

The actions of the fairies determine the events in A Midsummer Night's Dream. Yet with the exception of Nick Bottom, a lowly weaver, the humans never see the beings who shape their destiny. Perhaps Shakespeare wanted his audience to leave the play thinking that our actions are being influenced by a greater power - and perhaps to this greater power, all our drama is merely comedy.

This conclusion does not just restate the thesis, it suggests that this topic can be expanded to even larger questions - in this case, Shakespeare's motives.


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