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Skidmore College
The Skidmore Guide to Writing


When writing an essay, you need to draft a conclusion. Many of us were probably taught that our conclusion is where we restate our argument. But think of this from the reader's point of view. If we're reading information that we've already read, what is our incentive to stay interested? Aren't we likely to get bored and tune out? Keep this possibility in mind as you write your conclusion, and work on coming up with a new twist - something that offers an additional perspective on your topic, but not something that needs to be developed in full.

Your conclusion should answer the question, "so what?" Why is your argument significant? Why should anyone care about what you've just said in your paper?

Any conclusion may

  • help your reader consider your ideas in a larger context (that is, show the reader that your question is really part of a larger question)
  • inspire your reader to think about your question in a new way
  • justify your writing the essay by making a case for the significance of the question
  • help your reader take the next step in thinking about the question.

To read about a conclusion in the context of the writing process, click here.