Conclusions can be difficult! You may have heard the advice to “summarize what your essay says.” This can be useful, but generally in a fairly short essay (5 pages or less), the reader remembers what you have written, so simply repeating your main points is unnecessary.
Think about what it means to “draw conclusions.” Drawing conclusions means discussing the implications—the potential meaning or the importance—of what you have presented in your essay.
You may find it particularly useful to reread your introduction as you are drafting or revising your conclusion. What important ideas did you include there? Did you use a metaphor or an analogy (a limited comparison) or a quotation? Is there a way that you can reference the metaphor or analogy or quotation in your conclusion?
Here are some other ways to think about drawing conclusions:
- Does your essay discuss some important aspect of human experience? You may want to end with a generalization about that experience.
- Does your essay suggest a course of action for people to take? If so, you may want to leave your reader with some action to take, or simply with a new way of thinking about the subject.
- Consider asking your reader to think about a question at the end of your essay.
- Is there a useful or particularly significant quotation that you have not yet used? If so, you may be able to use the quotation in focusing on the significance of the ideas you have put forth in your essay.