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Friday, December 2, 2016 How to End Well

Writing a concluding sentence

Contrary to popular belief, a concluding sentence is not just summing-up the points of your paragraph. It’s actually more fun than that. What you need to do is use this sentence to stay in touch with your audience by showing them how the information in the paragraph answers the question or problem posed in your thesis. Students often have trouble thinking of a way to sum-up their paragraph. Here’s some advice: don’t think of it as summing-up. Instead, think of it as a way to tie in that paragraph to your thesis.

The other way you are helping your audience out with a concluding sentence is by not overloading them with information and not tying it all together until the very end. While that might work well for a movie, you need to take time to tie each main point back to your thesis.

One way I teach students to write a concluding sentence is by reading the paragraph out loud. Then I’ll turn the paper over and ask them what one thought they wanted to leave the reader with from that paragraph. That one thought should explain why it was a significant paragraph for their thesis.

Writing a conclusion paragraph

The conclusion is essentially the “concluding sentence” of the entire paper.
Do not just focus on summarizing your main points. A lot of the time, students end up saying the same things they did in their introductory paragraph. Immediately I know that they do not really know what to say in their conclusion.

The first part should be focused on including each main point in relation to each other and the paper in general.

The second part is the call to action and is arguably the most significant point in your paper. In church, some pastors forget to tag along the application at the end. Later when a member of the congregation is asked what the sermon was about, that person will scratch their head and maybe remember one or two details but not much more. The application informs us of why the sermon was significant enough to hear. It needs to pertain to our everyday life.

It might help you to lead up to your call to action by including a sentence or two explaining why you chose to write on this topic (in the third person of course!). Show your readers that this topic is significant to you, and they will see that and might catch the bug themselves. In your call to action, give the reader something to do. Tell the reader the one thing you want to leave them with. That will make your paper memorable to your readership, especially to your professor! 

Alexander Adams is majoring in history and education while working as a writing coach at Liberty University's Undergraduate Writing Center. 

Posted at 10:14 AM | Comments (0)
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