The conclusion of an essay is one of the most important aspects, since this is the place where all the preceding arguments and facts are brought to a single, unifying statement or understanding. The conclusion is the opposite number of the introduction; where in the introduction the thesis is stated as a hypothetical (with a promise towards proof in the body), the conclusion brings the essay to a close with a definitive statement about the thesis. This does not mean the thesis is always stated to be correct or incorrect; a statement of further research is fine if that is what the body has proved, because it offers a definitive statement that the answer is not known as of yet. In any case, the conclusion should contain at the very least a repetition of the thesis and the clear statement about the proof offered in the body. In wrapping up the essay, several details can be included:
- Has all available research been offered?
- Are there avenues of discussion not presented here?
- Is the thesis correct, incorrect, or inconclusive?
- Are there other acceptable possibilities?
- Are there other resources for similar information?
The essay conclusion should always be clear and well-stated, to avoid confusion; the conclusion should never contradict the thesis statement in terms of repetition, but should state clearly if the thesis has been disproved. Finally, the conclusion should be clearly defined from the body of the essay, either by paragraph break or subtitle; never place the conclusion inside the body, as this will make it seem as if the essay simply ends without a proper conclusion.