The mystification surrounding writing a conclusion is all too well known. The truth-of-the matter is that this could not be further from the truth! Often times, people forget that the conclusion serves a purpose, much like the previous portions of a paper. When we think of a paper, we think in terms of a logical progression of linearity. A paper consists of a beginning, or the introduction, a middle, or the body, and an ending, or the conclusion. The conclusion does not only sum up the gist of the paper’s entirety, but reaches a decision that validly follows from an argument, or debate previously mentioned in the paper. Essentially, as the writer you are stating a claim using judgment to do so. For this, it is imperative to remember you are trying to persuade the reader into seeing your point-of-view. Naturally, your viewpoint will be formed around the thesis statement, as given in the introductory paragraph. This sentence will “set the course,” of the direction in writing the paper.
There are certain mistakes that, when repeated enough times, become common ones. This is especially true when writing a conclusion. These common mistakes include: inability to reinstate the thesis statement, adding new information not previously discussed or mentioned in the paper, asking too many questions, or leaving the reader with an open-ended, uneasy feeling of confusion, writing one sentence, or doing a sloppy job tying the entire paper together, and not including a conclusion. If you are having difficulty in writing a conclusion it would be suggested to read and reread your paper. When doing so, ask yourself simple questions like: what is the thesis statement? Am I able to locate a thesis in the introduction? What evidence do I have to support the thesis? Can I list them? In general, what is the paper talking about? Is the main idea of the paper clear to understand? As you begin to go down the list of elements needed to be included in your paper, you can commence with changing things here or there that may have been muddled, confusing, and/or missing entirely. Once these changes are clarified, you will have a better understanding of how to write a conclusion.