1. Ragdoll
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    Ragdoll Member

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    Conclusions?

    Discussion in 'General Writing' started by Ragdoll, Nov 14, 2010.

    So, I'm writing an essay, and I'm like almost done, but I'm really stuck at the conclusion. I've never been good at writing non-fiction :( I don't get what I'm supposed to write in the last paragraph. Am I supposed to sum up the content? If that's the case, to what extent do I do it?
     
  2. Elgaisma
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    Elgaisma Contributing Member Contributor

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    You sum up your thoughts on the content. What decisions have you made as a result of the essay - you answer the question in short.
     
  3. Ragdoll
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    Ragdoll Member

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    Oh, thanks x)
     
  4. arron89
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    arron89 Banned

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    It's also a good opportunity to briefly expand the scope of your essay and talk about ow whatever your essay was specifically about fits into the broader context of whatever subject it happens to be. Link it to other texts, consider other angles that may be taken, extend briefly from the specific to the general.
     
  5. Mallory
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    Mallory Mallegory. Contributor

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    Recap the thesis statement you made in the beginning; remind readers of how everything they've read is relevant to the main point.

    Depends on the type of essay, though; sometimes you want to just end with a nice, impactful "bang."
     
  6. Nilfiry
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    Nilfiry Contributing Member

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    As someone once said, "first, you are going to tell 'em what you are about to tell 'em. Then, you are going to tell 'em. Finally, you are going to tell 'em what you told 'em." A simple way to do this is to just summarize each of your body paragraphs in a sentence, make up a final sentence, and you are good to go.
     
  7. erik martin
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    erik martin Contributing Member

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    Sum it up and if it is research it might be appropriate to speculate on future research needs. (I wrote all my stuff, HS and too many years of college using the 'tell them what you are going to tell them, tell them, tell them what you told them' method and it never steered me wrong.)
     
  8. EdFromNY
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    EdFromNY Hope to improve with age Supporter Contributor

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    "...And for the support of this declaration, and with a firm reliance on the protection of Divine Providence, we mutually pledge to each other our lives, our fortunes and our sacred honor."

    There's a pretty good ending.
     
  9. madhoca
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    madhoca Contributing Member Contributor

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    There are two ways you can end an essay:
    you can summarise the main ideas (which often means paraphrasing the opening paragraph, which should contain your thesis statement)
    or
    you can draw the relevant conclusions from the facts presented in the essay. This could include any musings about future developments, etc.

    I have to say that this is the basic formula which we teach at the uni where I work. Students here follow the US models for essays and theses writing, and it works well for them as English is their second language.

    However, when I was at school and university, my essays were rarely less than 6 pages long. I'd never heard of a 5 paragraph (!) essay. In all my years of formal education in the UK, I was never, ever taught essay writing, as in, a lesson on 'how to write an essay'. I just learnt how to do it from frequent practice and feedback from teachers. Even at the age of 14, we were expected to write several introductory and concluding paragraphs, not just one, and the thesis statement was not usually given at the start.

    So don't worry about essay formulas too much--unless you are trapped in the well-meaning tyranny of 'English 101', in which case you will be expected to show awareness of the tactics your teacher has shown you--which can be useful, particularly if you don't have a lot of experience in essay writing.
     
  10. digitig
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    digitig Contributing Member Contributor

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    The technique I was taught at uni was to explicitly answer the question you were given. So if you were asked "Was Heathcliffe a jerk?" (or "Heathcliffe was a jerk": discuss) your conclusion should essentially be either "In conclusion, Heathcliffe was a jerk" or "In conclusion, Heathcliffe was not a jerk". In reality, the answer is unlikely to be as clear-cut, so you hedge it: "In conclusion, although Eyre makes a strong case for Heathcliffe not being a jerk, I have shown that the overall evidence indicates that he was."
     
  11. Ragdoll
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    Ragdoll Member

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    Thanks a lot, for much good advice! I really think I can do this now :D
     

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