Writing tip: Concluding paragraphs

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By: 
Theresa Bell

In "Introductory paragraphs", I used a model of an inverted triangle to explain an approach to writing introductions that moves the reader from a broad opening statement to the specific thesis statement. In an introduction, the goal of the paragraph is to engage the reader’s attention and explain the focus of the discussion. In contrast, a conclusion flips that model in order to revisit the thesis statement and highlight how the author demonstrated the truth of the thesis statement in the text. Conclusions don’t usually introduce new information to readers; instead, they emphasize the significant details from the text.

Based on the introduction presented in “Introductory paragraphs”, please see below for a conclusion to that discussion:

Remind reader of thesis statement: Royal Roads University is different from other post-secondary institutions on Vancouver Island for a variety of reasons, including the site’s rich history that encompasses hundreds of years of people living, working, connecting, and learning on the shared traditional lands of the Kwsepsum (Esquimalt) and Lekwungen (Songhees) families.

Summarize how the evidence supported the thesis statement: It would be challenging to find a campus with a more picturesque setting, where the beauty of Hatley Castle, the surrounding gardens and forests, and the rich biodiversity are all apparent within moments of arriving on campus. Also, the university’s programs offer students the opportunity to study in applied or professional programs that reflect the real-world experiences and expectations of a workplace, including a team-based approach to learning.  

Take-away message: While working professionals who are interested in pursuing post-secondary degrees in Canada have many choices, Royal Roads University offers students the opportunity for truly life-changing personal and professional transformations.

When you’re deciding what information to include in the conclusion, consider what you want your reader to remember about your essay. For example, imagine your reader finishes reading your document, and five minutes later, someone asks about the major points of the essay. What would you want your reader to say? The answer(s) to that question are the points to emphasize in the conclusion. Depending on the expectations for the document, the conclusion may also provide recommendations or indicate future research directions. If you’re not sure if that information is appropriate, please check the assignment directions or confirm your approach with your instructor.

For more information on writing conclusions, please see the links to resources in Paragraphs.

Do you have any questions about this tip or any other writing matter? Please contact the Writing Centre as we’d be pleased to assist you.

Theresa Bell
Writing Centre Manager