How does one finish off an essay with a personal statement? I'm finding the ending to my essays to be extremely difficult and was hoping that one of you may have an answer.

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sagetrieb's profile pic

sagetrieb | College Teacher | (Level 3) Educator

Posted on

Sometimes teachers encourage students to engage somewhat personally with the text they are analyzing--and I am assuming here your assignment is to analyze something in Othello. If you do want to make a personal statement, and this is something your teacher encourages, you might try "bookending" your analysis with a brief personal anecdote at the beginning that introduces why the play--and the theme you are addressing in it--has meaning for you. An anecdote is a brief account (in strong detail) of a personal experience that has signficance for you. Move from that to your thesis statement, being careful to use strong transition.  After you write your analysis, you can return to your anecdote, showing how the play and your discussion of it gives more meaning to your personal experience.  This strategy of writing is called "bookending" for it begins and ends the essay with something about the writer, which shows why the analysis itself is important to her or him. It is always important to consider the "so what" of what you write about, and including personal experience can help provide this answer. A literary term for this sort of criticism is "reader response criticism."

enotechris's profile pic

enotechris | College Teacher | (Level 2) Senior Educator

Posted on

Did you have extreme difficulty in writing the essays?  Is a "personal" statement necessary?  The reader will know it's your work!  Doesn't the work itself stand as your statement?

Ideally, the last statements in an essay should be something that ties the work together.  After introducing the topic of your essay, then expanding the points of your arguments, then drawing your conclusions, the last paragraph could be merely a summary.

In conclusion, using introductory phrases such as "Finally," or "To summarize," or "To conclude" to begin the last paragraph should provide some structure to your thoughts to finish the essay.


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