When it comes to writing an essay, the conclusion paragraph's function is to summarize and definitively prove your argument. To explain how to conclude an essay, it's important to understand how to begin and conduct the rest of the essay as well.
Introduction Paragraph: Your introduction should capture the audience's attention with some sort of statement, question, or quotation relating to the major ideas addressed in your essay. This will guide their frame of reference as you introduce the text itself, and then introduce the argument you plan on making about the text. Be sure that your thesis statement is argumentative so that you can spend the rest of the essay proving it, not just summarizing the text.
Supporting Paragraphs: Each supporting paragraph should have its own distinct topic that serves to prove your overall argument. That means that each paragraph could, in theory, be its own tiny essay about its own tiny argument, but in reality, combining them proves the large argument that your thesis claims is true.
Concluding Paragraph: When writing a concluding paragraph, it is best to follow this basic structure.
- Restate your thesis. Do not repeat it, but rephrase it. Remind your reader what your initial claim was.
- Summarize the arguments you proved in your different body paragraphs. Try to stick to something like chronological order, and be sure that you show how each body paragraph's argument related to the others.
- End with a conclusive, resounding statement that leaves no doubt in your reader's mind that your claim is correct. This could be an idiom, a quotation, an observation, a rhetorical question, or any other statement that has the effect of rendering your argument final.