We have all written an essay at some point in life. For those still studying, essays are pretty much a way of life. An integral part of each essay is the conclusion. Like the introduction and body sections, the conclusion plays an important part not only in the structure, but also the flow of the essay.
It would however, not be a surprise if most of us don’t understand the importance of a conclusion. This article will explain why this section is so important and why each essay must feature it. But before that, let us begin by understanding what it really is.
What is a conclusion?
Simply put, a conclusion is the final paragraph of an essay. It finalizes your essay by summing up your arguments or main points as mentioned in the essay. It therefore ties together your essay and reaffirms your stand.
Purpose of a conclusion
A conclusion is literally your last chance to make an impression to your reader. Unlike the introduction and body sections where you have the opportunity to explain your points at length, the conclusion only allows for a summary of your strongest points. As such, no new ideas should be introduced in the conclusion.
This section of an essay is meant to achieve three main objectives:
- Restate your thesis and main ideas: The first sentence of the conclusion usually repeats your thesis. This does not mean copying it word for word, but rewording it in a way that reflects your stand.
- Summarize the main argument or points: Restating the thesis is then followed by a reiteration of the main points and ideas in the essay as a way of reminding the reader what the essay was about. This should bring to alignment all your conflicting arguments and help the reader see the big picture.
- Create an interesting final impression: Finally, the essay should leave your reader interested in what you have to say. It should also provide closure and a sense of possibilities in the covered topic. This positions you as a writer and thinker.
Why is conclusion important
As evidenced in the sections above, a conclusion is important because its purpose in an essay is to hammer your points home.
Its importance can therefore be broken down to three main constituents:
- Gives you an opportunity to leave a lasting impression on the reader: This is after all, the last attempt you have at convincing your reader – or lecturer. You therefore must make them understand your perspective.
- Helps you sum up your thoughts: A conclusion gives you a chance at summing up and organizing your thoughts. This can be especially helpful if you argued on several conflicting points. You can use the conclusion section to explain to your reader which one is your stand and why.
- Makes your essay scannable: Many readers will not read through the essay due to a number of factors. Instead, they’ll quickly scan the important areas so as to get an idea of what the essay is about. The introduction and conclusion are therefore the most read sections: The introduction because it introduces the essay and contains the thesis statement, and the conclusion because it summarizes it.
A conclusion is the final paragraph in your essay and is therefore your last chance or crystalizing your argument and making it transparent to your reader. It helps you ensure your readers do not leave without understanding exactly what you are saying. It should therefore be written in a compelling manner since it can be the difference between a grade A and grade D material.