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Writing Conclusions. Finishing Strong. Structure. Conclusions have three parts: Restatement of the thesis Summary of the argument Connection to the general statement It’s like an upside down funnel: It starts narrow and becomes broader. Restatement of the thesis.

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writing conclusions

Writing Conclusions

Finishing Strong

structure
Structure
  • Conclusions have three parts:
    • Restatement of the thesis
    • Summary of the argument
    • Connection to the general statement
  • It’s like an upside down funnel: It starts narrow and becomes broader.
restatement of the thesis
Restatement of the thesis
  • Begin the conclusion with a restatement of your thesis.
  • Do not merely copy and paste the thesis from the introduction! You should reword it.
  • This needs to be the first sentence of the conclusion!
sample thesis restatements
Sample Thesis Restatements
  • Throughout the novel, Harry Potter shows himself to be a Christ-like figure.
  • The events of Harry Potter’s life parallel those of Jesus, making him a Christ-like figure.
  • In the end, Harry Potter proves himself worthy of the title Christ-like figure.

Original Thesis

Restated Theses

summary of the argument
Summary of the Argument
  • Summarize the main points of the essay’s argument.
  • Recap the proofs and main examples from the body paragraphs.
  • Give each paragraph its own sentence of summary at least.
sample argument summary
Sample Argument Summary
  • He undergoes a death and revitalization during the final confrontation with Lord Voldermort, allowing him to defeat the dark wizard and save his community. This accurately mirrors the crucifixion and subsequent resurrection of Jesus Christ, which he underwent not just to save a specific community, but all of humanity. Further underscoring the accuracy of this comparison are the events leading up to both figures’ ultimate triumphs. Harry receives encouragement from the spirit of his father James on the way to meet his fate, just as Jesus receives guidance from God the father in the form of an angel at the Garden of Gethsemane.
connecting to the general statement
Connecting to the General Statement
  • After summarizing the argument, connect back to the idea of the general statement that opened the entire essay.
  • Since the general statement does not name the literary work, here connect the literary work to the idea from the general statement.
  • This helps bring the essay “full circle.”
sample general statement connection
Sample General Statement Connection
  • Clearly, the life of Harry Potter parallels the story of Jesus Christ.
using clinchers
Using “Clinchers”
  • A clincher is an ending sentence of a paragraph (in this case, the conclusion) that provides one final thought about the main idea of the essay.
  • It can go “one step beyond” the initial idea, providing an insight or comment that has not been specifically stated, but could is related to the topic of the essay.
  • The clincher can be its own sentence, or it can be part of the connection to the general statement.
simple connection vs clincher
Simple Connection vs. Clincher
  • Clearly, the life of Harry Potter parallels the story of Jesus Christ.
  • Clearly, the life of Harry Potter parallels the story of Jesus Christ, which may in part explain Harry’s popularity. After all, Rowling’s creation shares much in common with what has often been termed the greatest story ever told.

Simple Connection to the General Statement

Connection with Clincher

the whole conclusion
The Whole Conclusion
  • In the end, Harry Potter proves himself worthy of the title Christ-like figure. He undergoes a death and revitalization during the final confrontation with Lord Voldermort, allowing him to defeat the dark wizard and save his community. This accurately mirrors the crucifixion and subsequent resurrection of Jesus Christ, which he underwent not just to save a specific community, but all of humanity. Further underscoring the accuracy of this comparison are the events leading up to both figures’ ultimate triumphs. Harry receives encouragement from the spirit of his father James on the way to meet his fate, just as Jesus receives guidance from God the father in the form of an angel at the Garden of Gethsemane. Clearly, the life of Harry Potter parallels the story of Jesus Christ, which may in part explain Harry’s popularity. After all, Rowling’s creation shares much in common with what has often been termed the greatest story ever told.