How to Write a Conclusion

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Overview

In this lesson, you will learn how to write a conclusion that follows from your argument.

Writing Conclusions

When you write an argument, you need to make sure your reader walks away knowing exactly what your claim is and why it is correct. You can reinforce your claim one last time by writing a conclusion that supports your argument.​

For example, consider the following claim:

Animal testing is harmful to the animals tested on and is unnecessary.

What Goes into a Conclusion?

Your conclusion is the last thing your audience reads. It should relate back to your argument and leave your reader with something to think about.

Your conclusion may include:

  • A “so what” that explains why your argument is important
  • A call to action related to your claim
  • A restatement of your thesis or claim

So What?

Including a “so what?” in your conclusion helps your readers to see why your claim is important. ​It tells readers why your argument is relevant to their lives. You can add a “so what?” to your conclusion by returning to your original claim and asking, “so what?” “why is this idea important?” Include the answer in your conclusion.

To support the claim that animal testing is wrong, you might say the following:

Animal rights is of concern to many people, but we often fail to consider whether the products we use were tested on animals or were made in a way that harms animals. As such, some animal lovers may not realize they are using products made in a way they fundamentally disagree.

Call to Action

A call to action rallies your readers to do something in response to your claim. If you are writing an argument about how climate change is caused by people, include a call to action at the end, asking your readers to make changes and fight back. A call to action helps readers to not only reflect on your claim, but also to walk away and do something with the information you’ve given them.

Going back to the example of your claim that animal testing is wrong, you might say the following:

Ending animal testing is as simple as purchasing products from companies that refuse to test their products on animals, and boycotting brands that do animal testing. For those hoping to take a larger stance against animal testing, writing letters or calling government representatives to express dissatisfaction with the practice can make a difference, as can participating in protests.

Restate Your Claim

The conclusion is the last thing your audience reads. This is a great place to restate your thesis and remind readers of what you are arguing and why. But remember, you don’t want to restate your thesis exactly, find a new way of saying it that ties in some of the evidence you’ve shared.

Here, you want to restate your claim that animal testing is wrong in different words. For example:

“The evidence above suggests that animal testing, known to be detrimental to animals, is also avoidable”

or

“While animal testing is widely known to harm animals, the myth that it is the best way of testing products has been dispelled through the evidence presented above.

Which do you pick?

Your conclusion can be made up of any or all of these three elements. You may want to restate your claim and tell your readers why it is important. Or, you could give your readers the “so what?” as part of a call to action.

Exactly what you include in your conclusion is up to you, but it should always relate to your claim and leave readers with something to think about.​

What Shouldn’t Go in a Conclusion

And remember, your conclusion should never introduce new information or claims. According to Chris Erat from the Clarkson Writing Center:

An effective conclusion allows the reader to reflect on the thesis statement after reading the supporting evidence.

End Product: A Strong Conclusion

Based on the points we’ve reviewed, a final conclusion about our animal testing claim may look like this:

Animal rights is of concern to many people, but we often fail to consider whether the products we use were tested on animals or were made in a way that harms animals. As such, some animal lovers may not realize they are using products made in a way they fundamentally disagree. Ending animal testing is as simple as purchasing products from companies that refuse to test their products on animals, and boycotting brands that do animal testing. For those hoping to take a larger stance against animal testing, writing letters or calling government representatives to express dissatisfaction with the practice can make a difference, as can participating in protests. While animal testing is widely known to harm animals, the myth that it is the best way of testing products has been dispelled through the evidence presented above.

Lesson Conclusion

In this lesson, you learned how to write a conclusion that leaves your reader with something to think about.


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