11 min read

What's The Best Way to Write a Conclusion for an Essay?

William Ellis
November 20, 2022

What you'll learn

What you'll need

You’ve mostly got your essay written but aren’t sure how to close it out. We will break down how to outline your essay conclusion, along with tips for writing an effective conclusion for your essay that leaves readers wanting more.

When you read an essay, numerous details stick out, some more important than others. If there is one element of an essay that should always stand out, however, it would be the conclusion.

When you read a bad essay conclusion, it can feel as though the writer merely stops writing rather than reaches a satisfying or fulfilling conclusion. A good conclusion makes an essay feel complete, but it is easy to see where creating a good conclusion could be difficult. 

Here are the things you need to know to create a great essay conclusion.

What is the benefit of a good essay conclusion?

When you have a great conclusion for an essay, it feels like you have tied everything together, as though each paragraph and point in the essay was in its proper place. A good conclusion paragraph makes an essay feel complete.

The other benefit of having a good essay conclusion is that it causes the reader to reflect on what made the points in the essay stand out. It gives them each of those points and compels the reader to consider them within context. 

An effective conclusion should leave your readers wanting to hear more or with a desire to go out and learn more on their own. 

If you want to create a great conclusion for your essay, then you need to understand the parts that come into play.

Essay conclusion outline

The outline for an essay conclusion is a seemingly sparse thing because it does not have a lot of elements. However, if you do not play those elements with the proper attention and care, you will end up with a conclusion that doesn't work. 

Here are the three main components of an essay conclusion outline.

Thesis statement

The thesis statement is where you reiterate the main point that the essay was primarily about. It may seem somewhat redundant to this, but the truth is that reiteration can be a strong start, so long as you use the right tone and phrasing.

Think of reiterating the topic as a palette cleanser of sorts. The reader has just read through your numerous other points, so restating the topic differently helps bring them back to the center of the issue.

Supporting statements

As with your topic sentence, you should reiterate your supporting statements succinctly. Think of it as reducing the more nuanced points down to their broad strokes. You may have covered some of these supporting statements with a topic sentence from the body paragraphs of your essay. 

Make sure not to include any new evidence here, or they should be introduced as a new paragraph, with the main idea being another topic sentence.

“Clincher” or closing

This is it. This sentence is where you tie your conclusion and your entire essay together. You can choose to make this sentence a declarative statement that hits home your thesis. You can leave the readers with a question that asks them to search for their conscience and feelings.

Whatever path you take with your conclusion, it must be good enough to have your reader thinking about the issue after they have finished reading. Not only is that the hallmark of good writing, but it shows that your essay just may be able to change some minds as well.

How to write an essay conclusion

Now that you know what parts go into an essay conclusion, you need to set about writing an excellent essay conclusion.

Reiterate your thesis

Echoing your thesis is a simple enough idea on the surface, but when you are writing your conclusion paragraph, you are reiterating that thesis with purpose. You are not merely restating your core thought with the new context provided by the supporting statements in the body of the essay.

This is usually done in the first sentence of your conclusion, which allows for space to summarize your arguments and define your stance. Keep in mind that you should use new language when restating your thesis to keep from seeming redundant and losing the reader's interest.

Restate your main supporting points

Rehashing your key topics allows you to remind the reader of the important parts you brought up in the main body.

Often a reader gets so worn out from reading about so much at one time that it all starts to flow together. Re-glossing over your main points can give them a quick refresher to leave with, as well as key points to learn more from later.

Like with your thesis statement to restate your supporting topics, you'll want to ensure that you're not just copying what you previously said. Use new language and more emphasis to keep from repeating yourself.

Connect opening and closing arguments

Another important part of a strong conclusion is bringing your beginning and your end together into a full circle. You can do this by connecting your opening and closing arguments. 

Most of this conclusion will depend quite a bit on how the tone of your essay is formatted, but none so much as this part. You'll want to keep that in mind when connecting them so as not to come off as too argumentative or too flavorless, depending on what you are going for.

At the start of your essay, you should have some statements you hoped to cover in the main body. Having effectively done that, your concluding sentence is touching on the key pieces of evidence you have supporting those claims. In your conclusion paragraph, you'll want to find a concise way to match the two together and explain how you used the evidence to prove your point.

Include a strong final emphasis of your argument

It would seem like the entirety of the conclusion is just you trying to drive the point home, but in reality, it's merely a refresher of what the reader just read. A lengthy summary, if you will.

That being said, you still need to emphasize your argument in the conclusion. Never forget that you are trying to convince the reader of a point and use your conclusion to clearly state the stance that you have just argued.

Provides closure to the reader

At the very end of your conclusion, you'll want to bow out of the argument gracefully. This allows the reader time to keep thinking about what you said while tying a neat bow around the topic.

You don't want to use this as your chance to be suddenly flippant or nonchalant about the topic. A good way to do this might be to go ahead and admit that your side of this argument is just that: your side. There are two sides to each argument, and this is yours.

What to avoid in your essay conclusion

Now that you know what things should be in your conclusion, here are the things you need to avoid. These things can weaken your conclusion or even derail it entirely.

Don't state your thesis for the first time

One of the worst mistakes you can make when you write an essay is to use the entire essay as a setup for your thesis. Inexperienced essayists constantly use this method in an attempt to either hook the reader's attention as they piecemeal out the point or simply look intelligent. This method almost always backfires.

You want the reader to know the point you are trying to make beforehand so that you can then build a case for that point. Making the point at the end of the essay can be confusing.

Don't create new arguments

A big mistake that a writer can make with their essay is trying to introduce new or different arguments in their conclusion. This is usually done under the impression that the writer is trying to leave the reader with something further to ponder when it only serves to complicate the conclusion and leave the reader confused. Creating new arguments robs the essay of its conclusion.

Don't introduce new evidence

Many writers make the mistake of introducing fresh evidence with the thought that it further reinforces their thesis. Unfortunately, the conclusion is the last place you want new information because there is simply not enough space for additional evidence.

When you introduce new evidence at the conclusion, you do not have enough space to elaborate on what the evidence means and what it does for your thesis. You are unable to do the new evidence justice in this regard, and you ultimately hurt the essay as a result.

Don't undercut your thesis

It is one thing to acknowledge potential flaws or rebuttals to your essay. It is quite another thing to do so at the expense of your thesis' integrity. You do not want to make the mistake of undercutting your thesis by playing devil's advocate.

It's important to not only stay on track with the flow of your overall essay, but to also stay on the side you are arguing. On some issues, the sides can blur in some parts, which is why it is so important to make sure you fully understand the stance you are taking and all of the fallacies that it may have.

Being confident in your argument and then making sure to stick with it by only arguing your evidence is crucial to a good essay conclusion.

Don't summarize your entire essay

It is true that to some extent you need to reiterate the main points of your essay in your conclusion. However, you do not want to make the mistake of turning your entire conclusion into a mere recap. You want to succinctly sum up your essay, for sure, but you need to do it in a unique manner that still allows for you to conclude your essay.

Essay conclusion FAQs

How do you start a conclusion in an essay?

Like with many things, getting started can be the hardest part and many writers want to know just how to start a conclusion in an essay. As stated earlier, restating your thesis is the most common way to start your essay, but you could always choose the time-tested approach of restating one of your stronger points. Doing so leads you into the next portion of your conclusion; restating your main ideas.

How long should a conclusion in an essay be?

Ideally, a conclusion should be as long as it needs to be, but typically a few sentences. That being said, you'll want to focus on keeping it both concise and descriptive while making sure to keep all of the important information in.

Losing the focus of your essay now undermines everything that came before it, so when in doubt, write until the conclusion feels done without any fluff. A good rule of thumb: 10% of your essay should be the conclusion.

Do you restate the thesis in the conclusion?

Not only should you restate your thesis in the conclusion, but you should also write your thesis in the first sentence of your conclusion. Using your thesis in your first sentence makes it easier for you to reiterate your key points and reintroduce the supporting evidence of your stance on the issues at hand.

While restating your thesis is a central part of your conclusion, you'll want to do so in a manner that does not feel redundant. You want to renew your thesis within the context of it having been proven by the evidence in the body of the essay.

What should be included in an essay conclusion?

You'll start with restating your thesis in a new way, gloss over your main topics to remind the reader of your evidence, and then restate your stance. Make sure to close the opening and ending arguments with evidence that shows that you have proven your point.

Final thoughts on writing a conclusion for an essay

When you create a conclusion for your essay, you are not just trying to sway the reader to your side of an argument, or simply bring the essay to an end. You are attempting to educate the reader and get them to truly think about the thesis. If you can do that, get them to continue thinking about your essay even after they have finished reading it, then you have done a good job.

Other essay-related content:

Write an Introduction for an Essay

Write a Synthesis Essay

Write an Informative Essay

Write A Scholarship Essay

Write an Argumentative Essay

Best Books for Essay Writing

Try Chat by Copy.ai free: Whatever you need—just ask.
Start for free

Ready to level-up?

Write 10x faster, engage your audience, & never struggle with the blank page again.

Get Started for Free
No credit card required
2,000 free words per month
90+ content types to explore