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Writers often rush through a conclusion for an essay or research paper. Some do not include a conclusion at all. However, you want readers to remember your essay's purpose and main points, so conclusions do matter. An effective conclusion leaves a final, memorable impression. Below are a few types of conclusions.

The Frame

This conclusion takes readers back to an issue, viewpoint, story, question, or example from the introduction. The introduction/conclusion frame strategy acts like a bookend since it offers a new perspective on the points made or thoughts presented in the introduction.

The Expansion

This conclusion takes readers beyond the specific ideas within an essay. Several strategies include:

  • Reflection: Offers a thoughtful closing statement reflecting the significance of your thesis.
  • Judgment: Gives your opinion about the topic.
  • Call to action: Suggests readers to take action regarding the topic.
  • Question: Asks a question to make readers think.

The Summary

This conclusion works well for longer, more complex essays, such as argument essays or research papers. Restating the main points reminds readers of the ideas covered in the essay.

Dos and Don'ts of a Conclusion

Do... Don't...
Make the conclusion proportional to paper length (5 to 7 sentences for a 3-page paper) Don't introduce new topics.
Check the assignment sheet or rubric for instructor's requirements. Don't start with overused phrases, such as "In conclusion"
Sum up the main points or reflect on topic. Don't repeat sentences.
Make the last sentence memorable. Don't end with a vague quote.
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