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Conclusions can be a real pain. You want to do several things within your conclusion. You want to restate your thesis, synthesize your main points, and leave your reader with an impression that makes them care about your topic.
There are some things to avoid when writing a conclusion.
- Avoid writing a clone of your introduction. You want it to be similar but not exact.
- Do not word for word restate your thesis.
- If the conclusion is the first place that you are writing your thesis, go back and change your introduction
- Do not introduce a new topic in your conclusion. If you didn't mention it the body, don't mention it in the conclusion.
- Do not write "in conclusion." It works for speeches, because an audience can't see that the end is near. In a paper, the reader can see they are on the last page, last paragraph.
- If the paper is an analytical paper, avoid emotional appeals to your reader. It throws off the tone of the paper.
Some things to focus on doing:
- Answer the "so what" question. Your thesis and your paper body are trying to make a point. Your conclusion should answer the "so what, why should I care?" question of the reader.
- Chances are, your paper went from a broad topic and worked toward specific examples. Your conclusion should do the opposite. Move from your specific arguments to the broad overarching point.
- Don't just summarize the entire paper. You want to synthesize it. You want to drive home to your reader how all of your evidence and support ties together. Don't assume that your reader "gets it." Spell it out for them.
Writing essay conclusions is one of the more difficult things for students to do. Try to observe the following guidelines:
- Don’t start with words like “in conclusion.” Your reader already knows that he/she is reading your last paragraph. Unnecessary words never help.
- Do not repeat what you’ve already written previously in the essay. Essays never need the same information stated in the same way.
- Try to leave your reader with a deeper understanding of the topic. Your conclusion can take the general idea of your essay one step further, giving your reader something important to think about at the end.
- Whatever your thesis is for the essay (your main idea), don’t add supporting evidence in the conclusion. You do all of your “proving” and “supporting” in the body of the essay.
- The conclusion can usually be shorter than the other paragraphs in the essay (although it doesn’t have to be).
Make sure to follow your teacher’s instructions carefully. Look to see if your conclusion must meet any specific requirements.
If I were writing the essay I would include in the conclusion the idea that by the end of the story Macbeth and Lady Macbeth have traded places, as he has become the aggressor and she has become remorseful and guilt-stricken.
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