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What should a conclusion in a text or film analysis essay involve?

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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.

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There are times when instructors will dictate what needs to be in a conclusion of an essay that analyzes characters in text or film.  In doing so, one recognizes the relative ease of constructing a conclusion.  When this insight is not given, I think that there are some paths that can be followed in order to develop a solid conclusion to any characterization analysis of text or film.  One such element is to ensure that the thesis statement has been effectively addressed. This might also include ensuring that the supports have been restated to affirm to the reader that the thesis statement analysis has been concluded.  At the same time, I don't think that it hurts the cause to discuss why that particular character is seen as so important to understanding the narrative structure of the text or film.  There is a reason why the character has been chosen for analysis.  Bringing that out in the conclusion helps to summarize the paper with a sense of purpose.  The relevance of the character being discussed and explained in a sense that makes it evident that others share this understanding helps to bring credence to what has been discussed.  Concluding with a form of understanding that helps to link the overall artistic purpose of the work with the character helps to enhance meaning to both the art sample and the analysis of the characterization within it.

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