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Gordon-Conwell Writing Center

Ending with a Strong Conclusion

So What?

Just as we say good-bye to people when ending a conversation, so must a writer conclude his/her written text. A writer should imagine that readers have read the text but have not fully grasped all the ideas. Furthermore, the writer must assume that readers do not necessarily know how to respond to the topic. Therefore, it is a writer’s job to remind readers about his/her main claim and key ideas as well as call readers to action. Failing to do so might mean that readers are left with questions about a text and/or do not respond properly to it.

Summarized Explanation

  • Most multi-paragraph texts require a concluding paragraph. A basic concluding paragraph should include three main parts (restated thesis, summarized key ideas, clincher).


Detailed Explanation

Restated Thesis Summarized Key Ideas Clincher 

Restating a thesis statement reminds readers of the writer’s main claim about the topic. It is important that a writer does not state his/her thesis exactly as it was stated in the introductory paragraph. Instead, it should be rephrased.                      

Summarizing the key ideas from the body section of the written text will reiterate the logic and credibility of the information that a writer has presented. It is also helpful to briefly summarize the counterarguments from the body section. However, it is important that a writer does not state the key ideas and counterarguments as they were stated in other parts of the text. They must be rephrased.                                                                                 

Ending with a clincher reminds readers of the importance of the writer’s topic; it emphasizes the significance of the information that has been presented. And a writer must indicate what readers should do with the information. For example, a clincher might lead readers to consider acting on the topic in some way (in a subtle or obvious way). Sometimes a clincher will echo the hook from the introductory paragraph.

The following examples are the same ones that appears in the writing guide for Writing a Strong Introduction

Color-coding key:

  • Restated Thesis
  • Summarized Key Ideas
  • Clincher

Example #1           

          (Introduction)  Meeting someone for the first time without a proper introduction can be awkward. Likewise, a text without an introductory paragraph leaves a lot to be desired. The introduction is the first thing that readers see in a text. For that reason, it ought to engage and inform readers. To accomplish this, writers should begin texts with an introductory paragraph that includes an effective hook, background information, and thesis statement.

          (Body Paragraphs)

  • Why writers should include a hook in an introductory paragraph.
  • Why writers should include background information in an introductory paragraph.
  • Why writers should include a thesis statement in an introductory paragraph.

          (Concluding Paragraph) In conclusion, a thorough three-part introductory paragraph will ensure a strong start to any text. The first element of an introduction, the hook, works to intrigue readers. Then they will be ready to read more of the background information on a topic. And to top things off, the thesis statement indicates the purpose and focus of a text so that readers know what to expect. Therefore, the importance of an introductory paragraph should not be underestimated, and all writers should seek to create truly engaging introductions.

Example #2

          (Introduction) They say that beauty is in the eye of the beholder. This adage is true, but not everything is relative. For example, in the world of writing, texts can take many forms, and writers have a lot of creative freedom. That said, there are some basic frameworks that should be employed for most writing forms—for example, the tried-and-true template for an introductory paragraph. Considering this, the previous introductory paragraph is quite effective because it includes a strong hook, background information, and thesis statement.

          (Body Paragraphs)

  • Why the previous introductory paragraph includes a strong hook.
  • Why the previous introductory paragraph includes strong background information.
  • Why the previous introductory paragraph includes a strong thesis statement.

          (Concluding Paragraphs) To sum up, the sample text is a great example of a strong introductory paragraph. As noted previously, its hook is creative and compels readers to keep going. Afterward, they are met with relevant background information followed by a thesis statement that effectively forecasts the writer's position and key ideas. All in all, this introductory paragraph should be saved and referenced frequently for any writer who wants to create successful introductions.