Purpose of a Conclusion

Almost done! Just as the introduction was your audience's first impression of your paper, the conclusion will be their last impression. This section is the one they are most likely to remember, since it is the last thing they will read. So don't stop now. The end may be near, but the conclusion is as crucial to a good paper as any other part. So how do you ensure that your conclusion does its job and does it well?

What is the Purpose of a Conclusion?

The Peer Writing Crew members like to ask the question: So what? While the question seems a bit harsh sometimes, it sums up the purpose of the conclusion. After you have taken your readers through pages of arguments, they need to know why everything you said matters.

The purpose of a conclusion is not a rote reiteration of the thesis and your arguments. A recap may help tie all your arguments together for the audience, especially in a long paper, but it is not enough. Just as you needed to interpret quoted material to ensure that your readers understood it the way you wanted them to, you need to interpret your arguments at the end of a paper to ensure that the audience will understand them in the same broader context that you do.

Ultimately, you want the conclusion to give your readers something extra to think about. And you want your own thoughts to stick with them long after they have finished reading the paper.

The Conclusion

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