How can I write a conclusion for my informative essay of the short story "Two Kinds" by Amy Tan? I have difficulty following the format that my teacher gave me: Restate thesis statement, sum up ideas from analysis paragraph #1, 2, and 3. Then finally provide the concluding sentence.

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The short story "Two Kinds" by Amy Tan is taken from her novel The Joy Luck Club. This short story deals with the conflict between June (Jing-mei) and her mother Suyuan Woo, surrounding her mother's idea that in America, you can do or be anything you want. June's mother believes that her daughter can be a famous pianist and has her start taking piano lessons. Not only does June hate the entire experience, but also she does not take it seriously.

Whatever your topic is you do not need to write persuasively or compare and contrast characters, elements of the plot, etc. The informative essay is simply presenting the facts as they appear in the story.

In your essay, I would assume that you have been given a prompt to follow and you have introduced the topic. In the body of the essay that your teacher refers to as "analysis paragraphs 1, 2 and 3," you have presented three different aspects of your topic. In the conclusion, you want to summarize without specifics what your topic is and present the three most important general statements (without supporting specifics) that you included in your three body (analysis) paragraphs. Then you are to add a concluding sentence: something that gives the reader a sense of closure or finality. So in the concluding paragraph you want to do the following:

  • Remind the reader of the main things about the topic that you would like the reader to remember.
  • Bring closure to the [essay].

If you are writing about how June hated playing the piano, you would introduce the topic in your introductory paragraph. In your three analysis paragraphs, you would provide a different statement in each paragraph that supports the topic you presented in your introduction.

For example (these are not actual story details), you might have written in the first analysis paragraph that June hated playing the piano because she did not want to play in public at a piano recital. The second reason in analysis paragraph two might be that her piano lesson takes place during her favorite television program. In the third analysis paragraph you might have said that her legs were too short to reach the pedals. In the analysis paragraphs you would have included details from the story to prove that each of the three statements was accurate. You do NOT need to include any of your supporting details in your conclusion—you already did that work in your analysis paragraphs.

Because you are writing an informative essay, you do not need to draw a conclusion based on your opinion. So the concluding paragraph would look something like this:

June Woo hates playing the piano. She does not like to perform in public. She doesn't want to go to piano lessons because she misses her favorite television show. Finally, June cannot reach the piano pedals because she is too short. June will never become a great piano player because it is not something she enjoys.

The first sentence restates the thesis/topic as it was presented in the introductory paragraph. The next three sentences are the main ideas from each of the three analysis paragraphs, in the order the paragraphs were presented. (There are no details to support these general statements.) The concluding sentence makes a logical statement about the topic that is supported by the information from the analysis paragraphs of the essay. It has a sound of finality, that the essay is completed.

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