The Basics of Writing a Conclusion for an Essay

Students often find writing the body paragraphs of an essay a lot easier than writing the introduction or conclusion. But just as your introduction acts as a sort of bridge between your ideas and your reader, the conclusion helps frame your thoughts and helps you consider broader issues, elaborate the significance of your findings, and make new connections that inspire further study.

Here are the basics to writing a conclusion for an essay:

  • Restating the topic
  • It may seem redundant, but it’s actually a very good idea to remind your audience of the topic they have just read about. You don’t need to spend too much time doing so, however. Just write a sentence or two on the topic and why it is important and why you chose to write about it.

  • Restating the thesis
  • In addition to restating your topic, you should rephrase your central argument or thesis statement. Remember that your thesis should be a clear and focused view on the topic; your rephrasing of the statement should not be too similar to the sentence you used in your introduction.

  • Summarizing your main points
  • It’s essential to remind your audience of what you have just told them in the entirety of your paper. But you have to do so by just summarizing the absolute most important points. Never use the conclusion to introduce new points or go restate pieces of evidence. Look to your topic sentences in your body paragraphs; in a well written paper your topic sentences will likely be the main points that should appear in your summary.

  • Synthesizing your main points
  • Whether or not your paper is easy to understand, you should never assume that your audience will be able to make sense out of all the main points you have included in your body paragraphs. It’s important that you fully explain the significance of your major points and how they work together to prove your thesis or central argument.

  • Making a call to action

Your essay might end in a way that inspires your audience to do more, whether this is further research or a change in beliefs or behavior. Though this isn’t an essential part of the essay it is a great way to get your readers to do more, and to do so with keeping your essay in their minds, thus leaving a great lasting impression.


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