The conclusion is a very important part of your essay. Although it is sometimes treated as a roundup of all of the bits that didn’t fit into the paper earlier, it deserves better treatment than that! It's the last thing the reader will see, so it tends to stick in the reader's memory. It's also a great place to remind the reader exactly why your topic is important. A conclusion is more than just "the last paragraph"—it's a working part of the paper. This is the place to push your reader to think about the consequences of your topic for the wider world or for the reader's own life!
A good conclusion should do a few things:
- Restate your thesis
- Synthesize or summarize your major points
- Make the context of your argument clear
Restating Your Thesis
You've already spent time and energy crafting a solid thesis statement for your introduction, and if you've done your job right, your whole paper focuses on that thesis statement. That's why it's so important to address the thesis in your conclusion! Many writers choose to begin the conclusion by restating the thesis, but you can put your thesis into the conclusion anywhere—the first sentence of the paragraph, the last sentence, or in between. Here are a few tips for rephrasing your thesis:
- Remind the reader that you've proven this thesis over the course of your paper. For example, if you're arguing that your readers should get their pets from animal shelters rather than pet stores, you might say, "If you were considering that puppy in the pet-shop window, remember that your purchase will support 'puppy mills' instead of rescuing a needy dog, and consider selecting your new friend at your local animal shelter." This example gives the reader not only the thesis of the paper, but a reminder of the most powerful point in the argument!
- Revise the thesis statement so that it reflects the relationship you've developed with the reader during the paper. For example, if you've written a paper that targets parents of young children, you can find a way to phrase your thesis to capitalize on that—maybe by beginning your thesis statement with, "As a parent of a young child…"
- Don’t repeat your thesis word for word—make sure that your new statement is an independent, fresh sentence!
Summary or Synthesis
This section of the conclusion might come before the thesis statement or after it. Your conclusion should remind the reader of what your paper actually says! The best conclusion will include a synthesis, not just a summary—instead of a mere list of your major points, the best conclusion will draw those points together and relate them to one another so that your reader can apply the information given in the essay. Here are a couple of ways to do that:
- Give a list of the major arguments for your thesis (usually, these are the topic sentences of the parts of your essay).
- Explain how these parts are connected. For example, in the animal-shelter essay, you might point out that adopting a shelter dog helps more animals because your adoption fee supports the shelter, which makes your choice more socially responsible.
One of the most important functions of the conclusion is to provide context for your argument. Your reader may finish your essay without a problem and understand your argument without understanding why that argument is important. Your introduction might point out the reason your topic matters, but your conclusion should also tackle this questions. Here are some strategies for making your reader see why the topic is important:
- Tell the reader what you want him or her to do. Is your essay a call to action? If so, remind the reader of what he/she should do. If not, remember that asking the reader to think a certain way is an action in itself. (In the above examples, the essay asks the reader to adopt a shelter dog—a specific action.)
- Explain why this topic is timely or important. For example, the animal-shelter essay might end with a statistic about the number of pets in shelters waiting for adoption.
- Remind the readers of why the topic matters to them personally. For example, it doesn’t matter much if you believe in the mission of animal shelters, if you're not planning to get a dog; however, once you're looking for a dog, it is much more important. The conclusion of this essay might say, "Since you’re in the market for a dog, you have a major decision to make: where to get one." This will remind the reader that the argument is personally important!
My Personal Identity Essay
948 Words4 Pages
A person’s identity is shaped by many different aspects. Family, culture, friends, personal interests and surrounding environments are all factors that tend to help shape a person’s identity. Some factors may have more of an influence than others and some may not have any influence at all. As a person grows up in a family, they are influenced by many aspects of their life. Family and culture may influence a person’s sense of responsibilities, ethics and morals, tastes in music, humor and sports, and many other aspects of life. Friends and surrounding environments may influence a person’s taste in clothing, music, speech, and social activities. Personal interests are what truly set individuals apart. An individual is not a puppet…show more content…
Society has had a limited impact on my lifestyle, mostly because I despise trends. The largest trends I despise are rap and hip-hop and the clothing, attitudes, and type of speech that that type of ‘music’ is breeding. I chose to steer away from that crowd, but it may also be because I live my life off of adrenaline. My high on life is the energy I have when I get my blood pumping, my heart pounding, and my adrenaline raging. Most aspects of my individuality reflect that very well. I love hard, aggressive music, and also guns, but my passion in life is extreme sports, whether it be on a dirt bike, a bmx bike, a snowmobile, or a snowboard. I have a strong set of morals and ethics that I have partly adopted from my parents, but some are also partly my own. My morals mostly consist of karma (being kind, caring, helpful, truthful, and considerate to others), not littering (especially in nature), respecting nature, keeping a clean and welcoming home, success that is measured with happiness and not possessions, and having strong family ties. I feel that I am very strongly rounded individual who is going to go far in life. Many people would agree with that, although some people just think that I am an absolutely crazy person who has a death wish and will not go anywhere but to the hospital or the morgue.
Educational experiences also tend to influence a person’s identity. I have not had too many educational