The easiest way to write an essay conclusion is to simply restate your main points, using different words and phrases to avoid sounding repetitive. That said, restatement is not the only conclusion writing technique.
I’m Tutor Phil, and in this tutorial, I’ll teach you six different techniques to write a conclusion paragraph for an expository essay. You can use any one of these to suit your essay, class, or instructor.
Let’s get started.
Sample Essay Thesis for Our Conclusions
To write a conclusion, we need an essay or at least its summary. Here are the thesis statement and structure of the body of the essay for which we’ll write the conclusion paragraph.
“In spite of a couple of minor drawbacks, a vacation in the Dominican Republic can be totally awesome. There may not be much sight-seeing, and the weather may disappoint at the wrong time of the year. However, beautiful sandy beaches, excellent food, and 24-hour entertainment really make it a winner.”
Sample Structure of the Body of the Essay
Without further ado, let’s explore how you can write an essay conclusion. Here are…
Six Essay Conclusion Writing Techniques
Technique 1. Restate your main and supporting points
This conclusion writing technique is foundational. Teachers and graders expect it most commonly, and you’ll use it most often. It is easy to write, and it satisfies most graders, including those who grade tests and exams.
Don’t worry about making this technique your main tool. I’ve taught essay writing since 2004, and I’ve never seen an essay or a paper downgraded for a well-executed restatement.
Let’s write one. What do we have in our sample essay thesis and structure? We have an essay that is divided into two parts – a smaller negative part and a larger positive part.
So, it’s a mostly positive review of a vacation spot.
Rewriting the Thesis Statement
All we really need to do here is rewrite the thesis statement (including the supporting points), using different words.
In case your thesis statement does not include your supporting points, you should read my guide to writing an effective thesis statement.
But in any case, don’t worry. Just look at your essay structure the way I represent it in the diagram and write down your supporting points. And let’s do the restatement.
Sample Restatement Conclusion Paragraph
“To sum up, the Dominican Republic is mostly a winning vacation spot. The scarcity of interesting places to see and a few rainy days could dim the experience. But a vacation in this tropical country is very likely to be a success because of the pristine beaches, excellent dining, and the possibility to party non-stop.”
If you compare this conclusion with the thesis statement, you’ll notice several things:
- They have the same structure. Each has three sentences: the main point, the smaller negative, and the bigger positive.
- We are saying exactly what we stated in the essay, including the thesis and the body. We are not adding or contradicting anything.
- We are using different words and phrases to say the same thing.
This is a solid, safe, and time-proven way to write an essay conclusion.
You see, it’s hard for a grader to argue with it. It is true to the rest of the essay, yet is not an exact copy of anything in it.
When looking for non-repetitive words, you can use an online thesaurus, such as Thesaurus.com. A thesaurus is simply a tool that gives you synonyms, antonyms, and other words that you can use in your writing.
How to Take Your Conclusion Beyond Restatement
Some graders, mostly college professors, want and expect conclusions that are more than just a simple restatement.
And that’s okay. You can simply ask your professor what he or she wants in a conclusion. And then just do what they tell you.
The five other ways to write a conclusion paragraph that I’m about to give you will make your conclusion mostly non-repetitive. I say “mostly” because we’ll have to at least briefly restate the main point, whatever technique we choose.
Remember – you can combine these techniques. You can start out by restating the main and any of the supporting points briefly. And then you can follow up with one or more of the ideas below.
Now, here are the rest of the conclusion writing techniques.
Technique 2. Admit that your point of view is limited
In our sample essay thesis, when we discuss the positives, we choose to talk about the beaches, the food, and the entertainment.
This leaves out many other positive aspects of the Dominican Republic as a vacation destination.
So, in your conclusion, you can simply admit that you chose to focus on some of the aspects but not the others that are also worthy of talking about. But you simply omitted them because of the time or word count constraints.
Let’s write this version of the conclusion.
Sample Limited View Conclusion Paragraph
“In conclusion, many things make the Dominican Republic a really great vacation destination. The beaches, the food, and the entertainment are only a few of them. To discuss all of them, such as the hospitality of the local people, the water sports, and low prices, would take up many pages. Suffice it to say that this country is definitely a winner when it comes to picking a spot to relax and renew.”
In this example, the third sentence is where we throw in a few additional positive elements.
Note that we won’t elaborate on any of these elements. We simply mention them briefly and leave them at that. And the rest of the conclusion is mostly restatement.
Technique 3. Provide a future perspective
This one is very easy. Essentially, talk about what the future holds for your main subject. In our case, the main subject is the Dominican Republic as a vacation destination.
Sample Future Perspective Conclusion Paragraph
“To conclude, the Dominican Republic is a really great vacation destination thanks to its beaches, food, and entertainment. Importantly, it looks like the traveler of the future is bound to have even more fun in this paradise. Many new hotels, clubs, and fishing and scuba diving ventures are being developed today. And that is exciting!”
Technique 4. Provide a historical perspective
This conclusion writing technique is easy, too. It may involve a small bit of research, but you can use it even on a test where it’s okay to just use your imagination.
Here, you simply look back in time and discuss how your subject fared in the past. In our case, let’s pretend that the Dominican Republic was not a popular destination 20 years ago.
Sample Historical Perspective Conclusion Paragraph
“Although the Dominican Republic was not even on a traveler’s map 20 years ago, today it is one of the best vacation spots in the world. In the past couple of decades, its coastal areas have evolved from rural vacant lands to a series of resorts with great beaches, amazing food, and non-stop entertainment.”
Again, I’m making things up here just for the sake of an example. But you can see that in the midst of restated material, we have some history woven in.
Everything pertaining to the past of the Dominican Republic is part of this version. All else is restatement. And it works.
Technique 5. Zoom out
This technique is about providing a bigger picture. It is more of a bird’s eye view because that’s what zooming out on a map does – it allows you to see more than just your subject.
Let’s zoom out and look at the Caribbean as a whole. And we can mention several other destinations in that part of the world.
Sample Zoomed Out Conclusion Paragraph
“The Dominican Republic is mostly a great vacation spot. Though it may not offer spectacular sightseeing or perfect weather, its beaches, food, and entertainment are sure to satisfy vacationers. In today’s world, people have all kinds of choices. Some like Jamaica, others the Bahamas, and still others love the Cayman Islands. But the Dominican Republic should definitely be on the list of serious vacationers.”
We added two sentences about three other vacation spots in the Caribbean into the conclusion paragraph. And again, it is just a brief mention. And then we go back to DR as our subject.
You don’t have to zoom out only geographically. This technique will work in any type of an essay. You can zoom out about a work of literature or a painting just by looking at other works of art in that time period, genre, or theme.
Technique 6. Make suggestions for future research
This technique is commonly accepted in research papers. A good, legitimate way to conclude a study is to suggest future areas of research for this subject.
Like in technique 2, you can admit that you haven’t quite covered something enough or at all, and future researchers would do well to research those things.
Sample Future Research Suggestion Conclusion Paragraph
“To conclude, the literature has revealed that the Dominican Republic has been increasing in popularity as a vacation spot in the past decade. Future studies can explore the role of different aspects of resorts that contributed to this increase the most. It would be interesting to see if people have been attracted more to the beaches, the food, the entertainment, or to other factors more than to others.”
A Few Misconceptions About Essay Conclusions
Here is some advice about writing conclusions that is floating out there yet is not accurate:
“Essay conclusions should captivate the reader.”
No, they should not. The opening paragraph does that. It’s a bit too late to captivate the reader at the end of the essay.
“Conclusions should enforce and deepen the supporting points.”
No, they should not. All the relevant evidence to support your main point should be presented in the body of the essay.
“A conclusion is a sales pitch.”
No, it’s not. You “sell” your essay and your main point in the opening paragraph or even in the title. And if your first paragraph was not enticing enough, then trust me – the reader won’t even get to your conclusion.
Essay Conclusion Writing Tips
Here are a few tips that will help you further:
- Most teachers, professors, and test graders expect a conclusion. This means that you should always write one.
- Ask your teacher or professor what they like in an essay conclusion. This will give you a good idea of what technique you should use. Of course, if you are writing an essay as part of an exam or test, you don’t have that option, so just go for a simple restatement.
- Your conclusion can be as short as one sentence or as long as a big paragraph. It all depends on the length of your essay.
- You can begin your conclusion by stating, “To conclude,” “In conclusion,” or “To sum up,” but you don’t have to.
- Use a thesaurus. The easiest way to do it is to enter your term into google search and type “synonym.” The first result will usually take you to that entry in a thesaurus.
- Use simple restatement unless you know that your instructor wants more from your conclusion.
- Don’t feel bad when you’re stuck trying to write a conclusion paragraph. Just understand that, generally, conclusions either repeat stuff or contain extraneous material. So, it’s not you – it’s the requirement to write the conclusion 🙂
- The real purpose of your conclusion is to make your grader happy enough to give you a good grade. That’s it.
Hope this was helpful.
Now go write that essay conclusion!