What are some ideas for a conclusion to an essay on the themes of the novel and film To Kill a Mockingbird?

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billdelaney's profile pic

William Delaney | (Level 3) Distinguished Educator

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The film version of "To Kill a Mockingbird" is excellent, close to being a classic. Gregory Peck is perfect as Atticus, and the girl who plays Scout is perfect for her role. The film, however, focuses on the trial of Tom Robinson and leaves out a great deal of material because of the time restrictions. The novel "To Kill a Mockingbird" is full of descriptions of people and places in this corner of America and provides a much broader and deeper picture of what is essentially the story of a girl growing up a small town in the Deep South during the Great Depression. The film version helps to visualize the setting and some of the characters, while the novel itself helps greatly to appreciate the motion picture version. They are both highly successful and satisfying works in their respective media.

sciftw's profile pic

sciftw | High School Teacher | (Level 1) Educator Emeritus

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Based on the question, it seems to me that you already have your essay written, and you need help with the concluding paragraph. I can offer some suggestions on basic conclusion tactics. I don't know your chosen themes, so I will be unable to tailor my answer toward them.  

Conclusions are hard to write. I absolutely dreaded writing them as a high school and college student. Introductions were tough too, but nothing like a conclusion, so I understand your frustration. The thing about a conclusion is that it needs to summarize previous points and reiterate the thesis. It needs to do both of those things without sounding repetitive. That last part is the part that always frustrated me.

One simple solution is to present your reader with a slightly reworded thesis statement. Don't just copy and paste it. I know that it sounds like a small thing, but it works. Second, don't spend a tremendous amount of time summarizing what your reader has just read. Your reader needs a simple reminder of your main points. That's it.

The "meat" of your conclusion is then convincing your reader of something. You likely spent the majority of the paper or essay convincing your reader why you are correct. Now, in the conclusion, convince your reader to care. Why is what he just read important? That's the direction that your conclusion needs to go.

Last suggestion: eNotes has a section of their website called "Essay Lab." You can turn your essay in there, and it will be gone over by a Golden Pen Educator. You can submit the essay with a brief description that alerts the educator to the fact that you are looking for help with the conclusion.


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