So much is at stake in writing a conclusion. This is, after all, your last chance to persuade your readers to your point of view, to impress yourself upon them as a writer and thinker. And the impression you create in your conclusion will shape the impression that stays with your readers after they've finished the essay.

The end of an essay should therefore convey a sense of completeness and closure as well as a sense of the lingering possibilities of the topic, its larger meaning, its implications: the final paragraph should close the discussion without closing it off.

To establish a sense of closure, you might do one or more of the following:

  • Conclude by linking the last paragraph to the first, perhaps by reiterating a word or phrase you used at the beginning.
  • Conclude with a sentence composed mainly of one-syllable words. Simple language can help create an effect of understated drama.
  • Conclude with a sentence that's compound or parallel in structure; such sentences can establish a sense of balance or order that may feel just right at the end of a complex discussion.

To close the discussion without closing it off, you might do one or more of the following:

  • Conclude with a quotation from or reference to a primary or secondary source, one that amplifies your main point or puts it in a different perspective. A quotation from, say, the novel or poem you're writing about can add texture and specificity to your discussion; a critic or scholar can help confirm or complicate your final point. For example, you might conclude an essay on the idea of home in James Joyce's short story collection,  Dubliners , with information about Joyce's own complex feelings towards Dublin, his home. Or you might end with a biographer's statement about Joyce's attitude toward Dublin, which could illuminate his characters' responses to the city. Just be cautious, especially about using secondary material: make sure that you get the last word.
  • Conclude by setting your discussion into a different, perhaps larger, context. For example, you might end an essay on nineteenth-century muckraking journalism by linking it to a current news magazine program like  60 Minutes .
  • Conclude by redefining one of the key terms of your argument. For example, an essay on Marx's treatment of the conflict between wage labor and capital might begin with Marx's claim that the "capitalist economy is . . . a gigantic enterprise of dehumanization "; the essay might end by suggesting that Marxist analysis is itself dehumanizing because it construes everything in economic -- rather than moral or ethical-- terms.
  • Conclude by considering the implications of your argument (or analysis or discussion). What does your argument imply, or involve, or suggest? For example, an essay on the novel  Ambiguous Adventure , by the Senegalese writer Cheikh Hamidou Kane, might open with the idea that the protagonist's development suggests Kane's belief in the need to integrate Western materialism and Sufi spirituality in modern Senegal. The conclusion might make the new but related point that the novel on the whole suggests that such an integration is (or isn't) possible.

Finally, some advice on how not to end an essay:

  • Don't simply summarize your essay. A brief summary of your argument may be useful, especially if your essay is long--more than ten pages or so. But shorter essays tend not to require a restatement of your main ideas.
  • Avoid phrases like "in conclusion," "to conclude," "in summary," and "to sum up." These phrases can be useful--even welcome--in oral presentations. But readers can see, by the tell-tale compression of the pages, when an essay is about to end. You'll irritate your audience if you belabor the obvious.
  • Resist the urge to apologize. If you've immersed yourself in your subject, you now know a good deal more about it than you can possibly include in a five- or ten- or 20-page essay. As a result, by the time you've finished writing, you may be having some doubts about what you've produced. (And if you haven't immersed yourself in your subject, you may be feeling even more doubtful about your essay as you approach the conclusion.) Repress those doubts. Don't undercut your authority by saying things like, "this is just one approach to the subject; there may be other, better approaches. . ."

Copyright 1998, Pat Bellanca, for the Writing Center at Harvard University

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How to Conclude an Essay (with Examples)

Last Updated: April 3, 2023 Fact Checked

Writing a Strong Conclusion

What to avoid, brainstorming tricks.

This article was co-authored by Jake Adams and by wikiHow staff writer, Aly Rusciano . Jake Adams is an academic tutor and the owner of Simplifi EDU, a Santa Monica, California based online tutoring business offering learning resources and online tutors for academic subjects K-College, SAT & ACT prep, and college admissions applications. With over 14 years of professional tutoring experience, Jake is dedicated to providing his clients the very best online tutoring experience and access to a network of excellent undergraduate and graduate-level tutors from top colleges all over the nation. Jake holds a BS in International Business and Marketing from Pepperdine University. There are 8 references cited in this article, which can be found at the bottom of the page. This article has been fact-checked, ensuring the accuracy of any cited facts and confirming the authority of its sources. This article has been viewed 3,203,842 times.

So, you’ve written an outstanding essay and couldn’t be more proud. But now you have to write the final paragraph. The conclusion simply summarizes what you’ve already written, right? Well, not exactly. Your essay’s conclusion should be a bit more finessed than that. Luckily, you’ve come to the perfect place to learn how to write a conclusion. We’ve put together this guide to fill you in on everything you should and shouldn’t do when ending an essay. Follow our advice, and you’ll have a stellar conclusion worthy of an A+ in no time.

Things You Should Know

  • Rephrase your thesis to include in your final paragraph to bring the essay full circle.
  • End your essay with a call to action, warning, or image to make your argument meaningful.
  • Keep your conclusion concise and to the point, so you don’t lose a reader’s attention.
  • Do your best to avoid adding new information to your conclusion and only emphasize points you’ve already made in your essay.

Step 1 Start with a small transition.

  • “All in all”
  • “Ultimately”
  • “Furthermore”
  • “As a consequence”
  • “As a result”

Step 2 Briefly summarize your essay’s main points.

  • Make sure to write your main points in a new and unique way to avoid repetition.

Step 3 Rework your thesis statement into the conclusion.

  • Let’s say this is your original thesis statement: “Allowing students to visit the library during lunch improves campus life and supports academic achievement.”
  • Restating your thesis for your conclusion could look like this: “Evidence shows students who have access to their school’s library during lunch check out more books and are more likely to complete their homework.”
  • The restated thesis has the same sentiment as the original while also summarizing other points of the essay.

Step 4 End with something meaningful.

  • “When you use plastic water bottles, you pollute the ocean. Switch to using a glass or metal water bottle instead. The planet and sea turtles will thank you.”
  • “The average person spends roughly 7 hours on their phone a day, so there’s no wonder cybersickness is plaguing all generations.”
  • “Imagine walking on the beach, except the soft sand is made up of cigarette butts. They burn your feet but keep washing in with the tide. If we don’t clean up the ocean, this will be our reality.”
  • “ Lost is not only a show that changed the course of television, but it’s also a reflection of humanity as a whole.”
  • “If action isn’t taken to end climate change today, the global temperature will dangerously rise from 4.5 to 8 °F (−15.3 to −13.3 °C) by 2100.”

Step 5 Keep it short and sweet.

  • Focus on your essay's most prevalent or important parts. What key points do you want readers to take away or remember about your essay?

Step 1 Popular concluding statements

  • For instance, instead of writing, “That’s why I think that Abraham Lincoln was the best American President,” write, “That’s why Abraham Lincoln was the best American President.”
  • There’s no room for ifs, ands, or buts—your opinion matters and doesn’t need to be apologized for!

Step 6 Quotations

  • For instance, words like “firstly,” “secondly,” and “thirdly” may be great transition statements for body paragraphs but are unnecessary in a conclusion.

Step 1 Ask yourself, “So what?”

  • For instance, say you began your essay with the idea that humanity’s small sense of sense stems from space’s vast size. Try returning to this idea in the conclusion by emphasizing that as human knowledge grows, space becomes smaller.

Step 4 Think about your essay’s argument in a broader “big picture” context.

  • For example, you could extend an essay on the television show Orange is the New Black by bringing up the culture of imprisonment in America.

Community Q&A

wikiHow Staff Editor

  • Always review your essay after writing it for proper grammar, spelling, and punctuation, and don’t be afraid to revise. Thanks Helpful 2 Not Helpful 1
  • Ask a friend, family member, or teacher for help if you’re stuck. Sometimes a second opinion is all you need. Thanks Helpful 2 Not Helpful 1

can you end essay with a question

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Put a Quote in an Essay

  • ↑ https://www.uts.edu.au/current-students/support/helps/self-help-resources/grammar/transition-signals
  • ↑ https://owl.purdue.edu/owl/general_writing/common_writing_assignments/argument_papers/conclusions.html
  • ↑ http://writing2.richmond.edu/writing/wweb/conclude.html
  • ↑ https://writingcenter.fas.harvard.edu/pages/ending-essay-conclusions
  • ↑ https://www.pittsfordschools.org/site/handlers/filedownload.ashx?moduleinstanceid=542&dataid=4677&FileName=conclusions1.pdf
  • ↑ https://www.cuyamaca.edu/student-support/tutoring-center/files/student-resources/how-to-write-a-good-conclusion.pdf
  • ↑ https://library.sacredheart.edu/c.php?g=29803&p=185935

About This Article

Jake Adams

To end an essay, start your conclusion with a phrase that makes it clear your essay is coming to a close, like "In summary," or "All things considered." Then, use a few sentences to briefly summarize the main points of your essay by rephrasing the topic sentences of your body paragraphs. Finally, end your conclusion with a call to action that encourages your readers to do something or learn more about your topic. In general, try to keep your conclusion between 5 and 7 sentences long. For more tips from our English co-author, like how to avoid common pitfalls when writing an essay conclusion, scroll down! Did this summary help you? Yes No

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Apr 5, 2023

How to Conclude an Essay (With Examples)

Don't let a weak conclusion ruin your hard work. Learn how to end your essay with impact. Get inspired to craft a satisfying conclusion for your essay with these examples and tips!

Writing an essay is a complex and challenging task that requires careful planning and execution. While the introduction and body of an essay are essential in conveying information, the conclusion is equally vital in leaving a lasting impression on the reader. The conclusion is the final opportunity for the writer to make a persuasive argument and leave the reader with a sense of closure. 

A well-crafted conclusion should summarize the essay's main points, restate the thesis in a fresh way, and leave the reader with a thought-provoking message. In this essay, we will explore different strategies and examples of writing an effective conclusion that leaves a lasting impact on the reader.

In recent times, AI-powered writing assistants have become increasingly popular among content creators, writers, and students. Jenni.ai stands out for its innovative and user-friendly features among the many AI-powered writing assistants available today.

One of the standout features of Jenni.ai is its user-friendly interface. The platform is designed to be easy to use, even for people with little or no technical knowledge. The software is also compatible with various devices, including desktops, laptops, tablets, and smartphones, making it accessible to users on the go. Below we will see the conclusion examples essay, which you can write using Jenni.ai!

5 Effective Strategies for Crafting an Impactful Conclusion

The conclusion of an essay is a crucial element that can make or break the reader's overall impression of the piece. A poorly written conclusion can leave the reader feeling satisfied and interested, while a well-crafted conclusion can leave a lasting impact and reinforce the central message of the essay. 

In this article, we will explore five practical strategies for crafting a memorable conclusion that will leave a positive impression on the reader. Whether you are writing a persuasive essay or a personal reflection, these strategies will help you create a clear, concise, and compelling conclusion.

Summarizing the Main Points

Summarizing the main points is one of the most effective strategies for crafting a memorable conclusion to an essay. By summarizing the key takeaways from the essay, the writer reinforces the main message and helps the reader to understand better the significance of the information presented.

To effectively summarize the main points, it is essential to identify the key ideas and information that were presented in the essay. This can be done by reviewing the body paragraphs and identifying the main arguments or points made. Once these critical ideas have been identified, the writer can then craft a concise and clear summary of the main points.

Restating the Thesis in a Fresh Way

Restating the thesis in a fresh way is another effective strategy for crafting a memorable conclusion to an essay. The thesis statement is the main point or argument of the essay, and restating it in a fresh way can help to reinforce the main message and leave a lasting impact on the reader.

To effectively restate the thesis in a fresh way, the writer should consider using different words or phrasing to express the same idea. This can help to avoid repetition and keep the reader engaged. The writer may also consider using a different structure or approach to the thesis statement, such as turning it into a question or using a metaphor to convey the main message.

One approach to restating the thesis in a fresh way is to use a parallel structure . This involves using the same grammatical structure for each point in the thesis statement. For example, if the thesis statement is "Technology has revolutionized the way we communicate, learn, and work," the writer could restate it as "Communication, learning, and work have all been revolutionized by technology."

Leaving the Reader with a Thought-Provoking Message

Leaving the reader with a thought-provoking message is a powerful way to conclude an essay. By providing the reader with a new perspective or challenging them to think more deeply about the topic, the writer can leave a lasting impact and inspire further reflection.

To leave the reader with a thought-provoking message, the writer should consider incorporating a quote, statistic, or anecdote that highlights the importance of the topic and encourages the reader to consider their own beliefs and values. The writer may also consider asking a rhetorical question or offering a call to action that encourages the reader to take action or make a change.

One approach to leaving the reader with a thought-provoking message is to use a quote from a notable figure or expert in the field. This can help to lend credibility to the argument and inspire the reader to think more deeply about the topic. For example, if the essay is about climate change, the writer could end with a quote from a scientist or environmental activist that emphasizes the urgency of the issue.

Using Call-to-Action to Encourage Further Reflection

Using a call-to-action to encourage further reflection is a powerful way to conclude an essay. A call-to-action encourages the reader to take a specific action or change their behaviour based on the information presented in the essay. This can help to create a sense of urgency and inspire the reader to take concrete steps towards addressing the issue.

To use a call-to-action effectively, the writer should consider the intended audience and tailor the message accordingly. The call-to-action should be specific, actionable, and relevant to the topic of the essay. It should also be presented in a way that is persuasive and compelling.

Avoiding Common Mistakes in Concluding an Essay

Concluding an essay is an essential part of the writing process, as it gives the writer an opportunity to leave a lasting impression on the reader. However, there are several common mistakes that writers make when crafting their conclusions, which can detract from the overall impact of the essay.

One common mistake is simply summarizing the main points of the essay without adding anything new. While it is important to review the key ideas presented in the essay, a conclusion should offer something more, such as a thought-provoking message or a call-to-action.

Another mistake is introducing new ideas or information that was not previously discussed in the essay. The conclusion should be a logical extension of the ideas presented in the essay, rather than an opportunity to introduce new topics.

Using clichéd phrases or overly formal language can also be a mistake when concluding an essay. The conclusion should be written in a clear and concise style that is consistent with the tone of the essay.

Failing to address any potential counterarguments or opposing viewpoints is another common mistake in concluding an essay. By acknowledging alternative perspectives, the writer can strengthen their own argument and demonstrate their understanding of the topic.

In conclusion, crafting a memorable and effective conclusion for an essay is essential for leaving a lasting impression on the reader. By summarizing the main points, restating the thesis in a fresh way, leaving the reader with a thought-provoking message, using call-to-action, and avoiding common mistakes, a writer can ensure that their conclusion is impactful and adds value to their essay. 

Crafting a Compelling Conclusion: Examples and Techniques

Crafting a compelling conclusion for an essay is a crucial element of effective writing. A well-written conclusion can leave a lasting impression on the reader and make the overall essay more memorable. However, many writers struggle to create a conclusion that is both powerful and concise. 

In this article, we will explore some examples and techniques for crafting a compelling conclusion. We will discuss how to summarize the main points, restate the thesis in a fresh way, leave the reader with a thought-provoking message, use call-to-action to encourage further reflection and avoid common mistakes. By following these techniques, writers can create a conclusion that enhances the overall impact of their essay and leaves a positive impression on their readers.

Summarizing the Main Points: A Brief Recap

Summarizing the main points of an essay is a crucial element of crafting a compelling conclusion. It allows the reader to reflect on the key ideas presented in the essay and reinforces the main argument. In this section, we will explore some tips and techniques for summarizing the main points effectively.

One effective strategy for summarizing the main points is to use transitional phrases that signal the end of one idea and the beginning of another. These phrases can include "in conclusion," "to sum up," or "to wrap things up." Using these transitional phrases can help the reader understand that the conclusion is coming and prepare them to reflect on the main points of the essay.

Restating the Thesis in a Fresh Way: Adding New Insights

Restating the thesis in a fresh way is a powerful technique that can elevate the impact of an essay's conclusion. It allows the writer to add new insights to the thesis statement, demonstrating a deeper understanding of the topic and providing a fresh perspective for the reader. In this section, we will explore some strategies for restating the thesis in a fresh way.

One effective way to restate the thesis is to use a different angle or approach. This means taking the core message of the thesis and presenting it in a new way. For example, if the thesis is "technology is changing the way we work," a new angle could be " the rise of technology is creating new opportunities for the modern workforce. " This restatement provides a fresh perspective that adds new insights to the thesis statement.

Leaving the Reader with a Thought-Provoking Message: Encouraging Reflection

The conclusion of an essay should leave a lasting impression on the reader. One way to achieve this is by leaving the reader with a thought-provoking message that encourages reflection. In this section, we will explore some strategies for leaving the reader with a thought-provoking message.

One effective way to leave the reader with a thought-provoking message is to ask a rhetorical question. A rhetorical question is a question that doesn't require an answer but is meant to stimulate thinking. For example, if the essay is about the impact of social media on mental health , a rhetorical question could be "What would our lives be like without social media?" This question encourages the reader to reflect on the role of social media in their own lives and consider the impact it has on their mental health.

In addition to using rhetorical questions and powerful statements, it is important to connect the message back to the reader's own life. This can be achieved by asking the reader to reflect on their own experiences or encouraging them to take action based on the essay's message. For example, if the essay is about the impact of climate change, the conclusion could encourage the reader to reduce their carbon footprint or get involved in local environmental initiatives.

Using Call-to-Action to Encourage Further Engagement: Inspiring Action

The call-to-action (CTA) is a powerful tool for concluding an essay. It prompts the reader to take a specific action, whether it's to learn more, donate to a cause, or simply think about a topic in a new way. When used effectively, a call-to-action can leave a lasting impression on the reader and inspire them to take action.

One effective way to use a CTA is to tie it to the thesis or main argument of the essay. By doing so, the CTA feels like a natural extension of the essay's content, rather than a jarring or unrelated request. For example, if the essay is about the importance of reducing plastic waste, the CTA could be a suggestion to switch to reusable grocery bags or to sign a petition advocating for plastic bag bans.

In conclusion, crafting a compelling conclusion is an essential aspect of writing an impactful essay. Summarizing the main points, restating the thesis in a fresh way, leaving the reader with a thought-provoking message, and using a call-to-action are all effective techniques to make your conclusion memorable and leave a lasting impression on the reader. By following these strategies, you can ensure that your essay concludes in a strong and memorable way, effectively communicating your message and engaging your audience. 

Avoiding Common Pitfalls: Mistakes to Avoid When Writing Your Conclusion

When it comes to writing a conclusion, many people tend to rush through it, treating it as an afterthought rather than an integral part of their writing. However, a well-written conclusion can be the difference between a good piece of writing and a great one. 

In this article, we will discuss some common pitfalls to avoid when crafting your conclusion. By being mindful of these mistakes, you can ensure that your conclusion leaves a lasting impression on your readers and effectively summarizes your ideas. So, let's dive in and learn how to write a conclusion that truly shines.

Don't introduce new information

When it comes to crafting a conclusion, one of the most common mistakes is introducing new information. Your conclusion should serve as a summary of the ideas and arguments you have presented throughout your essay or article, not as an opportunity to introduce new concepts or evidence. 

Introducing new information in your conclusion can be confusing for readers, as it disrupts the flow of your writing and may raise questions that you do not have time to answer. Consider the following points to help you avoid introducing new information in your conclusion:

Stick to your thesis: Your thesis statement should provide the focus for your essay or article. Make sure your conclusion reiterates your thesis and provides a sense of closure to your argument.

Recapitulate your main points: Identify the key arguments or points you have made in your essay or article, and provide a brief summary of each one. This will help to reinforce the main ideas of your writing and provide a sense of coherence to your conclusion.

Avoid new evidence or arguments: Resist the urge to introduce new evidence or arguments in your conclusion. Instead, focus on synthesizing the evidence and arguments you have already presented, and highlight their significance for your readers.

Use clear and concise language: Your conclusion should be easy to understand and should use clear and concise language. Avoid using technical jargon or complex sentences, and instead, focus on communicating your ideas in a straightforward and accessible manner.

By following these tips, you can ensure that your conclusion effectively summarizes your ideas and arguments, without introducing new information. Your readers will appreciate the clarity and coherence of your writing, and you will be able to end your essay or article on a strong and impactful note.

Avoid summarizing your entire essay

While it may seem counterintuitive, one of the common pitfalls to avoid in writing a conclusion is summarizing your entire essay. Your conclusion should not be a repetition of everything you have already stated in your essay or article. Instead, it should provide a concise overview of your main points and their significance. Summarizing your entire essay in your conclusion can be repetitive and can make your writing feel redundant.

To avoid summarizing your entire essay, focus on synthesizing your main points into a few key takeaways. Consider the following points to help you avoid summarizing your entire essay in your conclusion:

Identify your most important points: Take a moment to reflect on the main arguments and ideas you have presented in your essay or article. Identify the most important points that you want your readers to remember.

Provide a brief summary: Once you have identified your most important points, provide a brief summary of each one. Make sure to highlight their significance and how they support your overall argument.

End with a strong, memorable statement

The conclusion of your essay or article is your final opportunity to leave a lasting impression on your readers. To achieve this, you should aim to end with a strong and memorable statement that summarizes your key ideas and leaves your readers with something to ponder. A strong conclusion can help to reinforce your main argument and make your writing more impactful and memorable.

To end your writing with a strong, memorable statement, consider the following points:

Reiterate your thesis statement: Your thesis statement is the foundation of your argument. Restating it in your conclusion can help to reinforce your main point and provide a sense of closure to your readers.

Use vivid language: To make your conclusion more impactful, use vivid and descriptive language that engages your readers' senses and emotions. This can help to create a lasting impression and leave your readers with a sense of resonance.

Provide a call to action: If your writing relates to a particular issue or problem, consider providing a call to action that encourages your readers to take action or make a change. This can help to create a sense of urgency and motivate your readers to get involved.

End with a question: Ending your writing with a thought-provoking question can leave your readers with something to ponder and encourage them to engage more deeply with your ideas. Make sure the question is relevant and directly relates to the main themes of your writing.

Use a quote: A powerful quote that relates to your topic can help to reinforce your main argument and make your writing more memorable. Choose a quote that is relevant and resonates with your readers.

Consider the tone and purpose of your writing

When writing a conclusion, it's important to consider the tone and purpose of your writing. The tone of your conclusion should match the overall tone of your writing and the purpose of your conclusion should align with the goals you set out to achieve in your writing. Failure to consider these factors can lead to a weak or ineffective conclusion that doesn't leave a lasting impression on your readers.

To ensure that the tone and purpose of your conclusion are aligned with the rest of your writing, consider the following points:

Determine the purpose of your writing: Before you begin writing your conclusion, identify the purpose of your writing. Are you trying to persuade your readers, inform them about a particular topic, or entertain them with a story? Understanding the purpose of your writing will help you craft a conclusion that reinforces your overall message.

Avoid introducing new information: Your conclusion should not introduce new information or ideas. Instead, it should summarize the main points you have already made and provide a sense of closure for your readers.

In conclusion, crafting a strong conclusion is essential for making your writing more impactful and memorable. By avoiding common pitfalls such as introducing new information or summarizing your entire essay, and instead focusing on a strong, memorable statement that matches the tone and purpose of your writing, you can leave a lasting impression on your readers. 

In summary, writing a compelling conclusion is a crucial part of any successful essay. By incorporating the strategies and examples provided in this article, you can learn how to effectively summarize your main points, leave a lasting impression on your readers, and drive your message home. Whether you're writing an academic paper, a blog post, or a personal essay, a strong conclusion can make all the difference in leaving a positive and memorable impact on your audience. So, take these tips for conclusion essay examples to heart, and start crafting conclusions that truly resonate with your readers today. 

Are you tired of struggling with your writing and want to take your skills to the next level? Then sign up for Jenni.ai ! This AI-powered writing assistant can help you write with confidence and precision. With its cutting-edge technology and user-friendly interface, Jenni.ai can provide you with personalized suggestions to help you craft compelling essays, articles, and more. Try it out today and experience the power of AI for yourself!

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How to End a College Admissions Essay | 4 Winning Strategies

Published on October 16, 2021 by Meredith Testa . Revised on May 31, 2023.

The ending of your college essay should leave your reader with a sense of closure and a strong final impression.

Table of contents

Endings to avoid, option 1: return to the beginning, option 2: look forward, option 3: reveal your main point, option 4: end on an action, other interesting articles, frequently asked questions about college application essays.

A bad conclusion can bring your whole essay down, so make sure to avoid these common mistakes.

Summarizing

Unlike an academic essay, an admissions essay shouldn’t restate your points. Avoid ending with a summary; there’s no need to repeat what you’ve already written.

Phrases like “in conclusion,” “overall,” or “to sum it up” signal that you have nothing to add to what you’ve already written, so an admissions officer may stop reading.

Stating the obvious

Instead of stating the obvious, let your work speak for itself and allow readers to draw their own conclusions. If your essay details various times that you worked tirelessly to go above and beyond, don’t finish it by stating “I’m hardworking.” Admissions officers are smart enough to figure that out on their own.

You should also avoid talking about how you hope to be accepted. Admissions officers know you want to be accepted—that’s why you applied! It’s okay to connect what you discuss in the essay to your potential future career or college experience, but don’t beg for admission. Stay focused on your essay’s core topic.

Prevent plagiarism. Run a free check.

Many successful essays follow a “sandwich,” or full-circle, structure , meaning that they start with some image or idea, veer away from it in the middle, and then return to it at the end.

This structure is clean, self-contained, and satisfying for readers, so it’s a great choice if it works with the topic you’ve chosen.

In the “sandwich” essay outlined below, a student discusses his passion for musical theater. Instead of simply stating that interest, his essay starts with a funny anecdote about a minor fire that erupted on set. At the end, it returns to this anecdote, creating a sense of closure.

  • Intro: I may be the world’s worst firefighter.
  • Flashback to working on the school musical
  • Demonstrate my passion for theatre
  • Detail the story of the theater set catching fire
  • Show how I made the most of the situation
  • Conclusion: I proved my value as a director, an actor, and a writer that week一even if I was a terrible firefighter.

Many successful essays end by looking forward to the future. These endings are generally hopeful and positive—always great qualities in an admissions essay—and often connect the student to the college or their academic goals.

Although these endings can be highly effective, it can be challenging to keep them from sounding cliché. Keep your ending specific to you, and don’t default to generalities, which can make your essay seem bland and unoriginal.

Below are a good and a bad example of how you could write a “looking forward” ending for the musical theater “firefighter” essay.

Sometimes, holding back your main point can be a good strategy. If your essay recounts several experiences, you could save your main message for the conclusion, only explaining what ties all the stories together at the very end.

When done well, this ending leaves the reader thinking about the main point you want them to take from your essay. It’s also a memorable structure that can stand out.

However, if you choose this approach, it can be challenging to keep the essay interesting enough that the reader pays attention throughout.

In the essay outlined below, a student gives us snapshots of her experience of gymnastics at different stages in her life. In the conclusion, she ties the stories together and shares the insight that they taught her about different aspects of her character and values.

  • Passionate, excited
  • Sister born that day—began to consider people beyond myself
  • Realizing that no matter how much I love gymnastics, there are more important things
  • I’d been working especially hard to qualify for that level
  • It came after many setbacks and failures
  • I had to give up time with friends, first homecoming dance of high school, and other activities, and I considered quitting
  • Conclusion: I’m still all of those selves: the passionate 7-year-old, the caring 11-year-old, and the determined 15-year-old. Gymnastics has been a constant throughout my life, but beyond the balance beam, it has also shown me how to change and grow.

Ending on an action can be a strong way to wrap up your essay. That might mean including a literal action, dialogue, or continuation of the story.

These endings leave the reader wanting more rather than wishing the essay had ended sooner. They’re interesting and can help you avoid boring your reader.

Here’s an example of how this ending could work for the gymnastics essay.

If you want to know more about academic writing , effective communication , or parts of speech , make sure to check out some of our other articles with explanations and examples.

Academic writing

  • Writing process
  • Transition words
  • Passive voice
  • Paraphrasing

 Communication

  • How to end an email
  • Ms, mrs, miss
  • How to start an email
  • I hope this email finds you well
  • Hope you are doing well

 Parts of speech

  • Personal pronouns
  • Conjunctions

There are a few strategies you can use for a memorable ending to your college essay :

  • Return to the beginning with a “full circle” structure
  • Reveal the main point or insight in your story
  • Look to the future
  • End on an action

The best technique will depend on your topic choice, essay outline, and writing style. You can write several endings using different techniques to see which works best.

Unlike a five-paragraph essay, your admissions essay should not end by summarizing the points you’ve already made. It’s better to be creative and aim for a strong final impression.

You should also avoid stating the obvious (for example, saying that you hope to be accepted).

There are no set rules for how to structure a college application essay , but these are two common structures that work:

  • A montage structure, a series of vignettes with a common theme.
  • A narrative structure, a single story that shows your personal growth or how you overcame a challenge.

Avoid the five-paragraph essay structure that you learned in high school.

When revising your college essay , first check for big-picture issues regarding message, flow, tone, style , and clarity. Then, focus on eliminating grammar and punctuation errors.

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Conclusion Examples: Strong Endings for Any Paper

conclusion example with paragraph

  • DESCRIPTION conclusion example with paragraph
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Some might argue that a conclusion is one of the most important components of any research paper or article. It's your last opportunity to make a good impression on your reader. If you can confidently say you’ve fully answered the question posed, or are leaving the readers with a thought-provoking consideration, you've done well. Explore a variety of different papers with great conclusion examples.

Professional Conclusion Examples

When it comes to good conclusion examples, a good rule of thumb is to restate your thesis statement if you have one. Your conclusion should also refer back to your introduction, summarize three main points of your essay and wrap it all up with a final observation. If you conclude with an interesting insight, readers will be happy to have spent time on your writing. See how a professional writer creates a thought-provoking conclusion.

Professional Essay Conclusion Example

The New Yorker published an op-ed by Fergus McIntosh titled A Trip to St. Kilda, Scotland's Lost Utopia in the Sea . He's making the case that St. Kilda's inhabitants are not out of touch as so many travelers seem to believe. Take a look at how he brings it all home.

"Mainlanders always knew that St. Kilda was there, and to describe its people as uncontacted is hyperbole — so why does it, in common with other abandoned places and lost or threatened cultures, arouse such fascination? Perhaps it’s because, in our globalizing, urbanizing, capitalist age, such places remind us that there are alternative ways to relate to the world, and the people, around us: they spur our utopian imagination."

Scientific Paper Conclusion Example

In this research paper , the author summarizes her main findings while also supporting the conclusions she's drawn. In an effort to fully engage the reader in her area of study, she proposes suggestions for future research. This was her way of leaving the readers wanting more.

"Recent research on cold-water immersion incidents has provided a more complete understanding of the physiological processes occurring during drowning and near-drowning accidents. Current findings suggest that the cooperative effect of the mammalian diving reflex and hypothermia plays a critical role in patient survival during a cold-water immersion incident. However, the relationship between the two processes is still unclear. Because it is impossible to provide an exact reproduction of a particular drowning incident within the laboratory, research is hampered by the lack of complete details surrounding drowning incidents. Consequently, it is difficult for comparisons to be drawn between published case studies. More complete and accurate documentation of cold-water immersion incidents—including time of submersion; time of recovery; and a profile of the victim including age, sex, physical condition—will facilitate easier comparison of individual situations and lead to a more complete knowledge of the processes affecting long-term survival rates for drowning victims. Once we have a clearer understanding of the relationship between hypothermia and the mammalian diving reflex, and of the effect of such factors as the age of the victim, physicians and rescue personnel can take steps to improve patient care both at the scene and in the hospital."

Report Conclusion Example

This is the end of a book review by Nanette Scarpellini for the Journal of Air Transportation World Wide . Scarpellini uses her conclusion to reiterate her main points about the author making what could be a dull topic entertaining and offering a suggestion for a future edition. Take a look at how she wraps it all up in her conclusion.

"Aviation History is a collection of significant events in aviation accented by the people who made it happen and correlated with world affairs. The book’s use of color and vivid stories helps to make the advancements come to life as something more than significant events on a timeline. While at times the stories may clutter the page, they also breathe life into what is considered by many to be a dull subject. The author’s enthusiasm for the topic is obvious throughout the book. More thorough proofreading could help alleviate some of the confusion that is caused by typos and a few mislabeled illustrations. The credibility of the content does not suffer due to these obvious errors which will likely be corrected in the next edition."

Examples of Conclusions for Students

While not all students are professional writers, you can still wow your audience with your conclusion. As you review these, take note of the manner in which the writer tied their ideas together, made a call to the reader or left off with some compelling food for thought.

College Essay Conclusion Example

Here we have a college entrance essay worth reading . This student recalls when she used to sit in a blue armchair in her parents' café and read, people-watch and imagine. In the conclusion, she refers back to the blue armchair and that cozy world but also looks forward to finding her niche. You'll see why Johns Hopkins uses this on their website for the model of college entrance essays.

"To say that I have figured out all of who I am would be a lie. Unlike the world of fantasy, there is no single defining moment—no Excalibur, no Sorting Hat—that marks my complete evolution. My niche in the world constantly changes, but what remains steadfast is my commitment to a life of service and adventure, albeit it isn’t as cozy as the blue armchair."

Thesis Conclusion Example

When it comes to a thesis or research paper conclusion example, it's important to end it on a high note. See a thesis conclusion example to get an idea for your thesis paper.

The purpose of this research was to identify effective strategies for dealing with repetitive motions identified in individuals with Autism Spectrum Disorder. Based on the analysis conveyed, it can be concluded that there are multiple behavior modification therapies important for the improvement of this behavior. Future exploration into behavior modification techniques could be useful to finding further therapy techniques. The amount this could improve the lives of others with repetitive motion behaviors is worth exploring.

Conclusion Example for Project

When you think of a project conclusion, there are all different types of projects out there. You might be doing a literature project or a science project. Whatever the case, you want to end with a bang. Check out a conclusion example for a high school science fair project.

Through my analysis of Huggies and Pampers brand diapers, it’s been proven that Huggies is the sure winner in leak protection and fluid retention. As you can see through my experiment, using Huggies over Pampers can help parents to avoid embarrassing diaper leaks and ensure their baby’s skin stays dry avoiding diaper rash and skin irritation. But that begs the question, is Huggies the best in leak protection among all brands? That would take a bit more research.

Formulating Your Conclusion

There is some important information you need to write a conclusion . In addition to restating your thesis and highlighting your main points, you could add a relevant quotation from an authoritative source. This will not work in every case, but if, for example, you were writing a reflective essay on a piece of literature, you might quote a famous scholar who also reviewed that piece.

Additionally, it may be worth taking this opportunity to tie your argument to a larger context, such as relating your central theme to a particular group in society or even a global concept.

What Not to Do in a Conclusion

When it comes to crafting the perfect conclusion, there are a lot of different things you should do. But there are also a few things you’ll want to avoid.

  • While you do need to refer back to your essay or report, don’t just provide a bland summary. Think of the conclusion more as an opportunity to end with a flourish . Spend some time on this last paragraph. You want the reader to finish your essay and think, "Wow. I never considered that," or, "I'm going to remember that."
  • Avoid the tired "In conclusion …" Allow readers to sense you're bringing it home with your tone and thoughtful summation. Turn the essay toward them if you can by asking a question or tying your idea to current society.
  • Also, hold true to what you've just expressed in your writing. Some might feel tempted to say things like, "This is merely one opinion …" In that single line, you've just undercut everything you worked so hard to draw together. Remember to stand behind the case you just made. Be proud of it and end on the highest note possible.

The Last Word

Take some time to go over your conclusion. Remember, it’s an opportunity to pull your thoughts together and magnify the central theme of your writing. It's the cream cheese frosting to that red velvet cupcake you just baked. Don't allow it to be an after-thought to a paper you want to get off your plate. It could end up being the five or so sentences that a reader carries with them forever. Now that you’ve mastered a great conclusion, learn how to write a strong introduction through examples .

The Writing Center • University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill

Conclusions

What this handout is about.

This handout will explain the functions of conclusions, offer strategies for writing effective ones, help you evaluate conclusions you’ve drafted, and suggest approaches to avoid.

About conclusions

Introductions and conclusions can be difficult to write, but they’re worth investing time in. They can have a significant influence on a reader’s experience of your paper.

Just as your introduction acts as a bridge that transports your readers from their own lives into the “place” of your analysis, your conclusion can provide a bridge to help your readers make the transition back to their daily lives. Such a conclusion will help them see why all your analysis and information should matter to them after they put the paper down.

Your conclusion is your chance to have the last word on the subject. The conclusion allows you to have the final say on the issues you have raised in your paper, to synthesize your thoughts, to demonstrate the importance of your ideas, and to propel your reader to a new view of the subject. It is also your opportunity to make a good final impression and to end on a positive note.

Your conclusion can go beyond the confines of the assignment. The conclusion pushes beyond the boundaries of the prompt and allows you to consider broader issues, make new connections, and elaborate on the significance of your findings.

Your conclusion should make your readers glad they read your paper. Your conclusion gives your reader something to take away that will help them see things differently or appreciate your topic in personally relevant ways. It can suggest broader implications that will not only interest your reader, but also enrich your reader’s life in some way. It is your gift to the reader.

Strategies for writing an effective conclusion

One or more of the following strategies may help you write an effective conclusion:

  • Play the “So What” Game. If you’re stuck and feel like your conclusion isn’t saying anything new or interesting, ask a friend to read it with you. Whenever you make a statement from your conclusion, ask the friend to say, “So what?” or “Why should anybody care?” Then ponder that question and answer it. Here’s how it might go: You: Basically, I’m just saying that education was important to Douglass. Friend: So what? You: Well, it was important because it was a key to him feeling like a free and equal citizen. Friend: Why should anybody care? You: That’s important because plantation owners tried to keep slaves from being educated so that they could maintain control. When Douglass obtained an education, he undermined that control personally. You can also use this strategy on your own, asking yourself “So What?” as you develop your ideas or your draft.
  • Return to the theme or themes in the introduction. This strategy brings the reader full circle. For example, if you begin by describing a scenario, you can end with the same scenario as proof that your essay is helpful in creating a new understanding. You may also refer to the introductory paragraph by using key words or parallel concepts and images that you also used in the introduction.
  • Synthesize, don’t summarize. Include a brief summary of the paper’s main points, but don’t simply repeat things that were in your paper. Instead, show your reader how the points you made and the support and examples you used fit together. Pull it all together.
  • Include a provocative insight or quotation from the research or reading you did for your paper.
  • Propose a course of action, a solution to an issue, or questions for further study. This can redirect your reader’s thought process and help them to apply your info and ideas to their own life or to see the broader implications.
  • Point to broader implications. For example, if your paper examines the Greensboro sit-ins or another event in the Civil Rights Movement, you could point out its impact on the Civil Rights Movement as a whole. A paper about the style of writer Virginia Woolf could point to her influence on other writers or on later feminists.

Strategies to avoid

  • Beginning with an unnecessary, overused phrase such as “in conclusion,” “in summary,” or “in closing.” Although these phrases can work in speeches, they come across as wooden and trite in writing.
  • Stating the thesis for the very first time in the conclusion.
  • Introducing a new idea or subtopic in your conclusion.
  • Ending with a rephrased thesis statement without any substantive changes.
  • Making sentimental, emotional appeals that are out of character with the rest of an analytical paper.
  • Including evidence (quotations, statistics, etc.) that should be in the body of the paper.

Four kinds of ineffective conclusions

  • The “That’s My Story and I’m Sticking to It” Conclusion. This conclusion just restates the thesis and is usually painfully short. It does not push the ideas forward. People write this kind of conclusion when they can’t think of anything else to say. Example: In conclusion, Frederick Douglass was, as we have seen, a pioneer in American education, proving that education was a major force for social change with regard to slavery.
  • The “Sherlock Holmes” Conclusion. Sometimes writers will state the thesis for the very first time in the conclusion. You might be tempted to use this strategy if you don’t want to give everything away too early in your paper. You may think it would be more dramatic to keep the reader in the dark until the end and then “wow” them with your main idea, as in a Sherlock Holmes mystery. The reader, however, does not expect a mystery, but an analytical discussion of your topic in an academic style, with the main argument (thesis) stated up front. Example: (After a paper that lists numerous incidents from the book but never says what these incidents reveal about Douglass and his views on education): So, as the evidence above demonstrates, Douglass saw education as a way to undermine the slaveholders’ power and also an important step toward freedom.
  • The “America the Beautiful”/”I Am Woman”/”We Shall Overcome” Conclusion. This kind of conclusion usually draws on emotion to make its appeal, but while this emotion and even sentimentality may be very heartfelt, it is usually out of character with the rest of an analytical paper. A more sophisticated commentary, rather than emotional praise, would be a more fitting tribute to the topic. Example: Because of the efforts of fine Americans like Frederick Douglass, countless others have seen the shining beacon of light that is education. His example was a torch that lit the way for others. Frederick Douglass was truly an American hero.
  • The “Grab Bag” Conclusion. This kind of conclusion includes extra information that the writer found or thought of but couldn’t integrate into the main paper. You may find it hard to leave out details that you discovered after hours of research and thought, but adding random facts and bits of evidence at the end of an otherwise-well-organized essay can just create confusion. Example: In addition to being an educational pioneer, Frederick Douglass provides an interesting case study for masculinity in the American South. He also offers historians an interesting glimpse into slave resistance when he confronts Covey, the overseer. His relationships with female relatives reveal the importance of family in the slave community.

Works consulted

We consulted these works while writing this handout. This is not a comprehensive list of resources on the handout’s topic, and we encourage you to do your own research to find additional publications. Please do not use this list as a model for the format of your own reference list, as it may not match the citation style you are using. For guidance on formatting citations, please see the UNC Libraries citation tutorial . We revise these tips periodically and welcome feedback.

Douglass, Frederick. 1995. Narrative of the Life of Frederick Douglass, an American Slave, Written by Himself. New York: Dover.

Hamilton College. n.d. “Conclusions.” Writing Center. Accessed June 14, 2019. https://www.hamilton.edu//academics/centers/writing/writing-resources/conclusions .

Holewa, Randa. 2004. “Strategies for Writing a Conclusion.” LEO: Literacy Education Online. Last updated February 19, 2004. https://leo.stcloudstate.edu/acadwrite/conclude.html.

You may reproduce it for non-commercial use if you use the entire handout and attribute the source: The Writing Center, University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill

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Table of Contents

Collaboration, information literacy, writing process, conclusions – how to write compelling conclusions.

  • © 2023 by Jennifer Janechek - IBM Quantum

Conclusions generally address these issues:

  • How can you restate your ideas concisely and in a new way?
  • What have you left your reader to think about at the end of your paper?
  • How does your paper answer the “so what?” question?

As the last part of the paper, conclusions often get the short shrift. We instructors know (not that we condone it)—many students devote a lot less attention to the writing of the conclusion. Some students might even finish their conclusion thirty minutes before they have to turn in their papers. But even if you’re practicing desperation writing, don’t neglect your conclusion; it’s a very integral part of your paper.

Think about it: Why would you spend so much time writing your introductory material and your body paragraphs and then kill the paper by leaving your reader with a dud for a conclusion? Rather than simply trailing off at the end, it’s important to learn to construct a compelling conclusion—one that both reiterates your ideas and leaves your reader with something to think about.

How do I reiterate my main points?

In the first part of the conclusion, you should spend a brief amount of time summarizing what you’ve covered in your paper. This reiteration should not merely be a restatement of your thesis or a collection of your topic sentences but should be a condensed version of your argument, topic, and/or purpose.

Let’s take a look at an example reiteration from a paper about offshore drilling:

Ideally, a ban on all offshore drilling is the answer to the devastating and culminating environmental concerns that result when oil spills occur. Given the catastrophic history of three major oil spills, the environmental and economic consequences of offshore drilling should now be obvious.

Now, let’s return to the thesis statement in this paper so we can see if it differs from the conclusion:

As a nation, we should reevaluate all forms of offshore drilling, but deep water offshore oil drilling, specifically, should be banned until the technology to stop and clean up oil spills catches up with our drilling technology. Though some may argue that offshore drilling provides economic advantages and would lessen our dependence on foreign oil, the environmental and economic consequences of an oil spill are so drastic that they far outweigh the advantages.

The author has already discussed environmental/economic concerns with oil drilling. In the above example, the author provides an overview of the paper in the second sentence of the conclusion, recapping the main points and reminding the readers that they should now be willing to acknowledge this position as viable.

Though you may not always want to take this aggressive of an approach (i.e., saying something should be obvious to the reader), the key is to summarize your main ideas without “plagiarizing” by repeating yourself word for word. Instead, you may take the approach of saying, “The readers can now see, given the catastrophic history of three major oil spills, the environmental and economic consequences of oil drilling.”

Can you give me a real-life example of a conclusion?

Think of conclusions this way: You are watching a movie, which has just reached the critical plot point (the murderer will be revealed, the couple will finally kiss, the victim will be rescued, etc.), when someone else enters the room. This person has no idea what is happening in the movie. They might lean over to ask, “What’s going on?” You now have to condense the entire plot in a way that makes sense, so the person will not have to ask any other questions, but quickly, so that you don’t miss any more of the movie.

Your conclusion in a paper works in a similar way. When you write your conclusion, imagine that a person has just showed up in time to hear the last paragraph. What does that reader need to know in order to get the gist of your paper? You cannot go over the entire argument again because the rest of your readers have actually been present and listening the whole time. They don’t need to hear the details again. Writing a compelling conclusion usually relies on the balance between two needs: give enough detail to cover your point, but be brief enough to make it obvious that this is the end of the paper.

Remember that reiteration is not restatement. Summarize your paper in one to two sentences (or even three or four, depending on the length of the paper), and then move on to answering the “So what?” question.

How can I answer the “So what?” question?

The bulk of your conclusion should answer the “So what?” question. Have you ever had an instructor write “So what?” at the end of your paper? This is not meant to offend but rather to remind you to show readers the significance of your argument. Readers do not need or want an entire paragraph of summary, so you should craft some new tidbit of interesting information that serves as an extension of your original ideas.

There are a variety of ways that you can answer the “So what?” question. The following are just a few types of such “endnotes”:

The Call to Action

The call to action can be used at the end of a variety of papers, but it works best for persuasive papers. Persuasive papers include social action papers and Rogerian argument essays, which begin with a problem and move toward a solution that serves as the author’s thesis. Any time your purpose in writing is to change your readers’ minds or you want to get your readers to do something, the call to action is the way to go. The call to action asks your readers, after having progressed through a compelling and coherent argument, to do something or believe a certain way.

Following the reiteration of the essay’s argument, here is an example call to action:

We have advanced technology that allows deepwater offshore drilling, but we lack the similarly advanced technology that would manage these spills effectively. As such, until cleanup and prevention technology are available, we gatekeepers of our coastal shores and defenders of marine wildlife should ban offshore drilling, or, at the very least, demand a moratorium on all offshore oil drilling.

This call to action requests that the readers consider a ban on offshore drilling. Remember, you need to identify your audience before you begin writing. Whether the author wants readers to actually enact the ban or just to come to this side of the argument, the conclusion asks readers to do or believe something new based upon the information they just received.

The Contextualization

The contextualization places the author’s local argument, topic, or purpose in a more global context so that readers can see the larger purpose for the piece or where the piece fits into a larger conversation. Writers do research for papers in part so they can enter into specific conversations, and they provide their readers with a contextualization in the conclusion to acknowledge the broader dialogue that contains that smaller conversation.

For instance, if we were to return to the paper on offshore drilling, rather than proposing a ban (a call to action), we might provide the reader with a contextualization:

We have advanced technology that allows deepwater offshore drilling, but we lack the advanced technology that would manage these spills effectively. Thus, one can see the need to place environmental concerns at the forefront of the political arena. Many politicians have already done so, including Senator Doe and Congresswoman Smith.

Rather than asking readers to do or believe something, this conclusion answers the “So what?” question by showing why this specific conversation about offshore drilling matters in the larger conversation about politics and environmentalism.

The twist leaves readers with a contrasting idea to consider. For instance, to continue the offshore drilling paper, the author might provide readers with a twist in the last few lines of the conclusion:

While offshore drilling is certainly an important issue today, it is only a small part of the greater problem of environmental abuse. Until we are ready to address global issues, even a moratorium on offshore drilling will only delay the inevitable destruction of the environment.

While this contrasting idea does not negate the writer’s original argument, it does present an alternative contrasting idea to weigh against the original argument. The twist is similar to a cliffhanger, as it is intended to leave readers saying, “Hmm…”

Suggest Possibilities for Future Research

This approach to answering “So what?” is best for projects that might be developed into larger, ongoing projects later or to suggest possibilities for future research someone else who might be interested in that topic could explore. This approach involves pinpointing various directions which your research might take if someone were to extend the ideas included in your paper. Research is a conversation, so it’s important to consider how your piece fits into this conversation and how others might use it in their own conversations.

For example, to suggest possibilities for future research based on the paper on offshore drilling, the conclusion might end with something like this:

I have just explored the economic and environmental repercussions of offshore drilling based on the examples we have of three major oil spills over the past thirty years. Future research might uncover more economic and environmental consequences of offshore drilling, consequences that will become clearer as the effects of the BP oil spill become more pronounced and as more time passes.

Suggesting opportunities for future research involves the reader in the paper, just like the call to action. Readers may be inspired by your brilliant ideas to use your piece as a jumping-off point!

Whether you use a call to action, a twist, a contextualization, or a suggestion of future possibilities for research, it’s important to answer the “So what?” question to keep readers interested in your topic until the very end of the paper. And, perhaps more importantly, leaving your readers with something to consider makes it more likely that they will remember your piece of writing.

Revise your own argument by using the following questions to guide you:

  • What do you want readers to take away from your discussion?
  • What are the main points you made, why should readers care, and what ideas should they take away?

Brevity - Say More with Less

Brevity - Say More with Less

Clarity (in Speech and Writing)

Clarity (in Speech and Writing)

Coherence - How to Achieve Coherence in Writing

Coherence - How to Achieve Coherence in Writing

Diction

Flow - How to Create Flow in Writing

Inclusivity - Inclusive Language

Inclusivity - Inclusive Language

Simplicity

The Elements of Style - The DNA of Powerful Writing

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5 Examples of Concluding Words for Essays

5 Examples of Concluding Words for Essays

4-minute read

  • 19th September 2022

If you’re a student writing an essay or research paper, it’s important to make sure your points flow together well. You’ll want to use connecting words (known formally as transition signals) to do this. Transition signals like thus , also , and furthermore link different ideas, and when you get to the end of your work, you need to use these to mark your conclusion. Read on to learn more about transition signals and how to use them to conclude your essays.

Transition Signals

Transition signals link sentences together cohesively, enabling easy reading and comprehension. They are usually placed at the beginning of a sentence and separated from the remaining words with a comma. There are several types of transition signals, including those to:

●  show the order of a sequence of events (e.g., first, then, next)

●  introduce an example (e.g., specifically, for instance)

●  indicate a contrasting idea (e.g., but, however, although)

●  present an additional idea (e.g., also, in addition, plus)

●  indicate time (e.g., beforehand, meanwhile, later)

●  compare (e.g., likewise, similarly)

●  show cause and effect (e.g., thus, as a result)

●  mark the conclusion – which we’ll focus on in this guide.

When you reach the end of an essay, you should start the concluding paragraph with a transition signal that acts as a bridge to the summary of your key points. Check out some concluding transition signals below and learn how you can use them in your writing.

To Conclude…

This is a particularly versatile closing statement that can be used for almost any kind of essay, including both formal and informal academic writing. It signals to the reader that you will briefly restate the main idea. As an alternative, you can begin the summary with “to close” or “in conclusion.” In an argumentative piece, you can use this phrase to indicate a call to action or opinion:

To conclude, Abraham Lincoln was the best president because he abolished slavery.

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As Has Been Demonstrated…

To describe how the evidence presented in your essay supports your argument or main idea, begin the concluding paragraph with “as has been demonstrated.” This phrase is best used for research papers or articles with heavy empirical or statistical evidence.

As has been demonstrated by the study presented above, human activities are negatively altering the climate system.

The Above Points Illustrate…

As another transitional phrase for formal or academic work, “the above points illustrate” indicates that you are reiterating your argument and that the conclusion will include an assessment of the evidence you’ve presented.

The above points illustrate that children prefer chocolate over broccoli.

In a Nutshell…

A simple and informal metaphor to begin a conclusion, “in a nutshell” prepares the reader for a summary of your paper. It can work in narratives and speeches but should be avoided in formal situations.

In a nutshell, the Beatles had an impact on musicians for generations to come.

Overall, It Can Be Said…

To recap an idea at the end of a critical or descriptive essay, you can use this phrase at the beginning of the concluding paragraph. “Overall” means “taking everything into account,” and it sums up your essay in a formal way. You can use “overall” on its own as a transition signal, or you can use it as part of a phrase.

Overall, it can be said that art has had a positive impact on humanity.

Proofreading and Editing

Transition signals are crucial to crafting a well-written and cohesive essay. For your next writing assignment, make sure you include plenty of transition signals, and check out this post for more tips on how to improve your writing. And before you turn in your paper, don’t forget to have someone proofread your work. Our expert editors will make sure your essay includes all the transition signals necessary for your writing to flow seamlessly. Send in a free 500-word sample today!

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Posted on 19th June 2019

Ending Your Essay With a Strong Conclusion

By Cite This For Me

Conclusions aren’t easy—but they’re very important. And contrary to popular belief, they’re not simply a place to restate what you’ve said before in the same way. They’re an opportunity to cast all the arguments you’ve made in a new light.

Conclusions give you a chance to summarize and organize your main points, reminding the reader how effectively you’ve proven your thesis. It’s also your final opportunity to make a lasting impression on your reader.

Simple conclusion formula

  • Proper, relevant restatement of thesis statement and strongest evidence

Relevant final thought

As an example, let’s create a conclusion following our two-step process.

Let’s say your thesis statement is:

College athletes should not be paid because many receive compensation in the form of scholarships and benefit from more visibility to potential professional recruiters.

Now we’ll follow our formula to write an effective conclusion.

Restatement of thesis and strongest evidence

The first step in writing our conclusion is to restate the thesis statement.

It’s important not to simply copy your thesis statement word for word. You can also briefly include evidence or other points that were mentioned in your paper .

You could write something like:

College athletes don’t need financial compensation because they receive numerous benefits including scholarships, additional experience and coaching, and exposure to professional teams.

This sentence reminds the reader of our original thesis statement without copying it exactly.

At this point, you could also synthesize 1-2 of the strongest pieces of supporting evidence already mentioned in your essay, such as:

With four years of tuition costing up to hundreds of thousands and salaries in potential professional sports careers averaging millions, these benefits already amount to significant compensation.

Notice that we didn’t start with a transition like, “In conclusion,” or, “In summary.” These transitions aren’t necessary and are often overused.

You want to end your conclusion with a strong final thought. It should provide your reader with closure and give your essay a memorable or thought-provoking ending.

The last sentence of your conclusion can point to broader implications, like the impact the topic of your essay has had on history, society, or culture.

Another good rule of thumb is to allow your final sentence to answer the question, “So what?” Your reader has spent time reading your paper, but why does any of this matter? Why should your reader—or anyone else—care?

For our sample conclusion, for example, you could write:

Providing still more compensation to college athletes would send the message that they are employees, not students. If we don’t want education to be sidelined, college athletes should not be paid.

This concluding sentence answers the, “So what?” question by explaining the potential repercussions of paying college athletes. It gives the reader a reason to be more invested in your essay and ideas.

Some of the most powerful words in your paper may have been written or said by someone else. Selecting a quote from a well known public figure or an expert in the field of your topic allows you to finish strong with a credible source.

Example quote ending:

“The case for recycling is strong. The bottom line is clear. Recycling requires a trivial amount of our time. Recycling saves money and reduces pollution. Recycling creates more jobs than landfilling or incineration. And a largely ignored but very important consideration, recycling reduces our need to dump our garbage in someone else’s backyard.” – David Morris, co-founder of the Institute for Local Self-Reliance

If you have a bibliography, add a citation for your quote source. It doesn’t matter if it is in MLA format or another style, it’s a good practice to always create citations for information you’ve used.

Ending your paper with a smart and relevant question allows your readers to think for themselves and make your topic their own. The best type of question leads your reader to the same conclusion you have presented in your paper.

Example question ending:

Recycling reduces pollution, saves energy and makes us feel good about ourselves; why wouldn’t we make it a part of our everyday lives?

Call to Action

Most popular in advertising, a call to action asks your reader to execute a specific task after reading your paper. A call to action can contain phrases like: Think about it, See for yourself, Consider, Try, or Remember.

Example call to action ending:

Now that you have read about the benefits of recycling, consider the awesome impact it could have on your local community.

Prediction statements often begin with the words “when” or “if.” In this type of ending, the writer makes an educated guess based on the factual information presented in the paper.

Example prediction ending:

If recycling is adopted by all major cities, we can expect its benefits to spread to smaller cities and towns. That means a significant reduction in landfill use, less pollution and more job creation across the entire country.  

A perspective change can help you end your paper in a way that is creative and interesting. One method is to zoom out and present your subject in a greater context. This ending allows you to take your reader beyond the specifics and provide a more global understanding of your topic. When working with this type of ending, be sure that your statement remains on subject and does not present entirely new information.    

Example zoom out ending:

Recycling is more than a solution for waste management. Treating our environment with respect and protecting our natural resources will benefit our society for generations to come.

Putting it all together

The conclusion reads:

College athletes don’t need financial compensation because they receive numerous benefits including scholarships, additional experience and coaching, and exposure to professional teams. With four years of tuition costing up to hundreds of thousands and salaries in potential professional sports careers averaging millions, these benefits already amount to significant compensation. Providing still more compensation to college athletes would send the message that they are employees, not students. If we don’t want education to be sidelined, college athletes should not be paid.

To create effective conclusions of your own, remember to follow these guidelines :

  • Don’t feel the need to start with overused transitions such as, “In conclusion,” or, “In summary.”
  • Restate your thesis statement in a new way.
  • You can also restate 1-2 of your strongest pieces of supporting evidence.
  • Don’t mention anything in your conclusion that wasn’t mentioned in the body of your essay.
  • End with a strong final thought, preferably one that answers the question, “So what?”

By following these simple steps, you’ll craft a conclusion that leaves a powerful final impression on your readers.

When you mention or quote evidence from other sources, be sure to cite them. There are helpful resources at CiteThisForMe.com such as a Harvard referencing tool , an MLA formatting guide, an APA citation generator , and more!

Module 2: Punctuation

Ending punctuation.

The three most common punctuation marks that come at the end of a sentence are the period, the question mark, and the exclamation point. In MLA, a sentence is followed by a single space, no matter what the concluding punctuation is.

The word period, followed by a period.

Question Marks

An icon showing a question mark

Direct questions obviously use question marks, but so do rhetorical questions, which writers employ to make a point, and which do not expect an answer. Often the answer is implied or obvious, e.g. “Who would have thought that invading Russia during the bitter winter of 1812 would turn out to be a disaster for Napoleon’s lightly clad troops?” At other times, rhetorical questions can be used for heightened rhetorical effect, as when Percy Bysshe Shelley ends his  Ode to the West Wind with, “O Wind, / If Winter comes, can Spring be far behind?”

Polite requests framed as questions also have a question mark, even though they aren’t really seeking an answer, e.g., “Would you hold this beaker?”

Indirect Questions

Indirect questions can be used in many of the same ways as direct ones, but they often emphasize knowledge or lack of knowledge:

  • I can’t guess how Admiral Nelson managed it .
  • I wonder whether I looked that competent .
  • The supervisor asked where the reports were .

Such clauses correspond to direct questions , which are questions actually asked. The direct questions corresponding to the examples above are How did Admiral Nelson manage it? Did I look that competent? Where are the reports? Notice how different word order is used in direct and indirect questions: in direct questions the verb usually comes before the subject, while indirect questions the verb appears second. Additionally, question marks should not be used at the end of indirect questions.

Are the following sentences direct or indirect questions? Which need a question mark at the end?

  • Jackie wondered where her textbooks were
  • Can you pass the scalpel
  • Is anyone here
  • She asked how you were doing
  • Why won’t you admit I’m right
  • Indirect; no question mark
  • Direct; Can you pass the scalpel?
  • Direct; Is anyone here?
  • Direct; Why won’t you admit I’m right?

Exclamation Points

an icon showing an exclamation point in its center.

!!!!!! I’m jUST SO!!!!!!

While this kind of statement is highly effective in that Internet context, it’s unconventional in a piece of writing in standardized academic English. If you want to emphasize something in an essay, you often do it through your wording rather than through an exclamation mark. Here’s F. Scott Fitzgerald on the topic, and attitudes haven’t changed much in academia in the past century, although if you feel strongly that an exclamation point will make a moment in your writing more effective, you have the right to code mesh:

Cut out all these exclamation points. . . . An exclamation point is like laughing at your own joke. — F. Scott Fitzgerald
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Wyzant

How do I conclude an essay?

can you end essay with a question

I remember at NYU all the professors were and I quote: "no rehashing of the paper at the end".  Once, you write the paper and assuming you made valid points, you then let the reader draw on a conclusion.  No rehashing of the paper at the end once again. It's boring and redundant.

can you end essay with a question

For experienced writers, your professors were correct. For a novice writer, and the wisdom of English teachers using the Core Curriculum, repeating the thesis and points is still a good and preferred practice. 

Especially in persuasive papers, letting the reader draw his or her conclusions is taking a risk the point you are making will be missed. Another good rule of thumb is Tell 'em what you're going to tell 'em; tell 'em. Tell 'em what you told them. 

can you end essay with a question

A fine but important distinction:

We should be careful not to confuse the conclusion of an essay with the conclusion of an argument. The former is merely the final paragraph in any body of writing that we can call an essay. The latter is that which follows from the premiss. An essay need not state an argument, but an argument must have a conclusion.

can you end essay with a question

I wholeheartedly agree with Leslie O. on this matter.

can you end essay with a question

20 Answers By Expert Tutors

Liane C. answered • 04/12/13

Experienced and successful! Test Prep, College Essays, Reading/Writing

Everyone has given many opinions on how to end an essay. I agree with some and found other suggestions interesting. I agree that a lot depends on the age/grade level as teacher's requirements evolve with skill level.

Very simply, here is what I tell my students a conclusion should include: 

Summary of major points (never an exact restatement of your thesis;

And a final thought - related to the topic, of course - that is one of the following: a prediction, a recommendation, a revelation, or a moral to the story/argument you have made.

The final thought should be 'larger" than the thesis, and make your reader think a bit beyond what you have written. And I discourage the use of "I" unless the assignment specifically asks you to write in 1st person.     

Leslie O. answered • 01/22/13

Help with English grammar and vocabulary

A conclusion is a summary of the essay. You will want to repeat your point, hopefully found in your thesis, to tell the reader again what you intended to say. You may also want to repeat some of your major points or arguments, reminding the reader of your proof . If the essay is persuasive, you will want to make your persuasive argument again. If the essay is not persuasive, you may want to include what you used to hook your audience in the introduction and provide a sense of closure. 

Do not ask a question. Do not repeat the thesis in exactly the same words. Do not include new information that is not already in the essay. 

can you end essay with a question

Lauren H. answered • 01/21/13

NYS Licensed English Teacher and College Professor Wants To Tutor You!

The conclusion is your way of restating what you wrote in your thesis, but not in the exact order or phrasing you used originally.  

The best way to write one is to start with a SPECIFIC topic sentence that summarizes or embodies your thesis.  Then continue reviewing your argument BRIEFLY in about 2-3 sentences.  Then close with a BROAD statement that is agreeable.  CONCLUSION FORMATTING:  

Specific Topic Sentence → Broad overview of thesis → Wrap up your argument → Broad Closing Sentence.

can you end essay with a question

Annette P. answered • 05/09/13

Writing and English Tutor

In addition to what everyone advised above, I tell my students to end on a final, thought-provoking note. In other words, write a last sentence that you feel will leave the reader thinking for an extra moment or more about some angle of your essay's subject.

I have found that this advice has greatly enlivened the last sentences of concluding paragraphs in many of my students' essays.

can you end essay with a question

Kristen D. answered • 03/27/13

Elementary Education and Special Education Tutor with Degree

This depends on your grade level.  In elementary school, students are taught to conclude their essays by restating the introduction and summing the entire paper up and asking the reader a question based on the essay such as "would you like to live in a x, y, or z?"  Once you get to high school and college, things begin to change because your teachers/professors will expect you to be a bit more creative than that.  While your conclusion should "sum everything up," it shouldn't be too straight forward.  For example, you wouldn't say "As you can see, in this paper I explained x, y, and z."  Instead, you would sum everything up by adding additional information that is a consequence/result of what was discussed throughout the paper.  This adds more information and sums up the body paragraphs.  Just like in books that college level students read, the author doesn't tell you exactly every little detail, you are expected to infer and make connections based on the information provided.  As I always tell my older students, when you are reading a book you are a detective putting together the pieces of a puzzle.  When you are the writer, you choose what is important and what parts of the puzzle can be left out.  Obvious statements such as "in conclusion..." or "as you can see, in this paper I..." are boring to a detective (the readers).

can you end essay with a question

Susan B. answered • 02/26/13

Targeted, Personalized Reading/Writing/Study Skills/SAT Support

I view the conclusion not as a time to restate what you've already said but rather as your last chance to convince your reader of the value of your point of view. By high school, students should be taught to use the conclusion to their advantage.

People reading your essay about why it's wrong to own slaves, for example, don't need you to tell them that you said what you came to say and proved that it's wrong, so there .  Instead, wind up your essay by telling them something they might not have considered.  "Even if the South had won the Civil War, slavery would likely have withered as an institution within a few years simply because of the increased mechanization of farming; it would have ceased to be the economic boon it once was for slave holders. Thus, the morality of slave ownership would have become moot, ceding instead to harsh economic reality. Either way, slave ownership would still have proved to be wrong." 

Please let me know if you need further guidance.

can you end essay with a question

Victor C. answered • 02/26/13

Patient & Knowledgeable Native Speaking Spanish Tutor

The conclusion is very, very important to your essay because the challenge that you have as the writer is to conclude with strength by going beyond just summarizing your main points. Which it is included, but it does not stop short by ending it there. That would be like a dud firecracker. You have to go beyond that by  creating for your audience/readers something which would cause them to take action, think about the future, take your recommendation seriously, challenge their perspective, etc. "It can suggest broader implications that will not only interest your reader, but also enrich your reader’s life in some way. It is your gift to the reader".

A: Make sure your conclusion is more than a summary of your main points , "....but don’t simply repeat things that were in your paper. Instead, show your reader how the points you made and the support and examples you used fit together. Pull it all together ."

The Writing Center, University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill, suggests several strategies, however, I'll mention three of them that will help you to "Pull it together" :

1. "Play the “So What” Game. If you’re stuck and feel like your conclusion isn’t saying anything new or interesting, ask a friend to read it with you. Whenever you make a statement from your conclusion, ask the friend to say, “So what?” or “Why should anybody care?” Then ponder that question and answer it".

2. "Propose a course of action, a solution to an issue, or questions for further study. This can redirect your reader’s thought process and help her to apply your info and ideas to her own life or to see the broader implications".

3. "Include a provocative insight or quotation from the research or reading you did for your paper"

All quotations are from:

Conclusions. The Writing Center, University of North Carolina at Chapel. 26 February, 2013

<Hill.http://writingcenter.unc.edu/handouts/conclusions/>.

can you end essay with a question

Jonathan B. answered • 02/12/13

Effective, Patient Tutor for Sciences and Bible/Religious Studies

Just as an additional help for the future, remember that the conclusion is as (arguably more) important as the rest of the paper. This what people walk away with! Even though the body of your essay/paper is factual and well written, it is easily forgotten.

Don't focus so much time on the body that you forget the intro and conclusion!

Corey L. answered • 01/21/13

Tutoring that suits students' interests

Lauren H. has provided you with a pretty reliable formula for producing the type of conclusion commonly accepted in academic writing, and I would say you should certainly follow that formula if this is what your instructor requests. However, I have also heard many teachers complain about the monotony of having to read hundreds of essays that are nearly identical in format and style. If you are afforded some flexibility in crafting your essay I would say take a different approach that allows your own creativity and cleverness to shine through. ... Here are a few things to consider when writing a conclusion:

1. Is the conclusion necessarily the final paragraph? 

2. Do you state your thesis in the beginning and then provide supporting body paragraphs, or, do you build up to your thesis and save it for the end? Or, do you reach it somewhere in the middle?

In my opinion, I'd say ask yourself "what is the point of the essay, what am I trying to prove, or state," and then determine the best way to organize your writing--either by means of a preparatory outline or through heavy revision and editing after free-writing.

Hope this helps

can you end essay with a question

Alexa V. answered • 06/28/13

SAT/ACT/College Prep, Elementary and English/Writing/Reading Tutor

For most, introductions and conclusion paragraphs are the most daunting components of the essay. However, conclusion writing will seem less scary (and perhaps more fun!) when you remember that the conclusion is really where you get to show off the significance of your research/opinions/ideas (depending upon the type of essay). It's where you get to add a bit more personality (which is not always easy in a critical essay as opposed to creative piece). At the elementary level, we are taught that the conclusion simply restates (albeit in different words) and thus confirms the general points that were proposed in the introduction. However, as you mature as a writer, keep in mind that this can make the essay sound redundant and formulaic . If your essay is well-developed and organized, you have already convinced your reader, logically, of those points. So, rather than just restating (that is, being explicit), keep the conclusions more open-ended than the intro (which ideally orients the reader by directly summarizing the main ideas that will be fleshed out in the body paragraphs). For instance, you can suggest some of the broader implications of your essay, and don't be afraid to venture into slightly new territory here. But, don't go off on a tangent - make sure that every sentence of the conclusion is relevant and logically follows from the information you have already given the reader. Since you're wrapping up the essay at this same time, you need not go into extensive detail when discussing the implications that you find significant. Instead, leave the reader thinking without explicitly dictating their thoughts. This will make for a much more exciting and memorable essay. Some questions to pose in the conclusion (be careful though- these are just guiding ideas and should not actually be stated as questions) are: 1. Why are the ideas discussed in this essay important? 2. What is so innovative or unique about the research or opinions presented in this essay? 3. (think about the broader context of the essay- if your essay were grouped with other essays, try to determine the topic that would unite them together and ask:) What are the social/moral/political/economic/etc. consequences of what is being discussed? 4. (and similarly:) Can these ideas be applied to something larger than that which is directly stated in the essay? In short, leave the reader thinking about the bigger picture !

can you end essay with a question

Robert Y. answered • 04/14/13

Renaissance Tutor: Business and Psychology to Photography and Writing

My advise is to ask. Ask the person for whom you are writing the essay what they look for in a conclusion. Tell them what you are considering and see what they think.

Barring that, your conclusion should create an impression that will stay with your readers long after they've finished reading. The conclusion is also your last chance to sway your audience to your point of view .

As readers come to the end of your essay they should feel a sense of closure . You can create this with a reassertion of your thesis and ensuring your last paragraph or sentence completes what should be a logical pattern you developed in your writing.

Ending with a speculative statement or question will prevent you from closing the readers completely off to the possibility of exploring the larger meaning, implications or other aspects.

Don't announce the end by using "in conclusion" or "in summary" or other variations of the statement. If you use the recommendations above about the logical pattern, then the transition to the conclusion should be obvious to the reader.

And don't summarize your essay, it does not need a rehash.

can you end essay with a question

Stephen C. answered • 03/17/13

Elementary Teacher / College Instructor Available for All Ages

I'll offer a different take on the conclusion paragraph/paragraphs that seem not to be quite in line with what other folks have suggested. The reason my answer will differ is that I teach philosophy classes, where offering a crystal clear argument is the main point of any essay.

In an essay where the  argument is most important, the conclusion should not introduce any new information. The conclusion should recapitulate what one has already said. It should include a restatement of the thesis (as others have suggested) and it should run through the outline of the argument you've just given in the body of the essay. If you include new claims and information as a part of your conclusion, these claims will not be something you've argued for explicitly, which means that the conclusion is not supported by the evidence you've provided. The result is a weak (and irrelevant) conclusion.

In professional academic writing and in higher level college writing courses, the expectation is that the conclusion should do only the following: tell us what you've just argued and how you've argued for that thing.

If an instructor specifically instructs you to do something different, do that instead - it may matter to your grade, after all. But beware you do not fall under the impression that surprising, interesting conclusions are effective for anything other than rhetorical (non-argumentative) purposes.

Effective conclusions can be boring, if one is an uninspired or inexperienced writer, but they need not be. Keep in mind that a boring and justified conclusion is always better than an exciting and unjustified conclusion.

can you end essay with a question

Rebecca W. answered • 02/26/13

Help with English, Grammar, and Reading

The conclusion is often remembered long after the rest of the essay is forgotten (especially if the teacher is reading hundreds of papers).  What is the one thought you want your audience to take from your essay?  What is the most impressive part of your argument? What struck you the most as you researched and wrote your essay? What could you say that will make your paper stand out in the crowd?  It is important to follow the directions for the assignment while at the same time crafting something that the teacher will enjoy reading.  If nothing else, thank your audience for taking the time to read your essay and state as simply as possible what you hope they got from it.

can you end essay with a question

Josh R. answered • 02/06/13

English, ESL, and Digital Media Tutor

While a number of others here have already answered this question sufficiently I think it is important to point out that the conclusion should not be limited simply as a pure restatement something you have already written once. Yes you will want to restate some of your thesis but you will also want to use the conclusion to show how your supporting evidence illuminates and proves what you are trying to say.

Think of your conclusion as light hitting a prism. In a prism a beam of white light is fragmented to and produces a rainbow of color on the other side. Your conclusion is this process in reverse. Your supporting evidence is the rainbow you have just painted with sources, quotations, and proven (or interpreted) facts. Your conclusion needs to take all this and transform it back into the single beam of light that represents your ultimate point, condensed and simplified. You want to use the conclusion in this manner show how the body of your paper proves and supports your thesis before it falls outside of your grasp. 

Many high school students and college undergrads have issues with this when they first begin to write academically. If you want to be successful as a writer it is extremely important to not come across as formulaic while still holding fast to the formatting outlined by your instructor. Oftentimes students will not have a choice in this matter, and if that is the case then stick hard and fast to what you have been told already. However, there is a growing movement among writing instructors at this time (especially in universities) to see us break away from teaching direct rules and formulas and embrace a more organic approach. If you think you have the opportunity to do this then be bold.

Some other tips:

  • Never begin your conclusion with "In conclusion" or some other tiered opening. Always try to find some other way to tip the reader that this is the last major point.
  • Unless your instructor has specifically told you not to, feel welcome to use "I". Just don't highlight your personal experience as the main draw for your paper.
  • You can use the conclusion to pose a question but only if that question is truly clever and thought provoking in relation to your topic. This can be difficult to pull off sometimes so I would advise new writers against it. The question should not function as the point of your paper but rather as an aside.
  • The conclusion is also a good place to experiment with metaphor if you want to be really slick.

Finally, remember that all writing is persuasive. Whether its trying to make a direct impact or simply being submitted for a grade, any piece of writing needs to persuade someone somewhere in order to be successful. How you accomplish your persuasion is most often captured in the conclusion. 

can you end essay with a question

Laura S. answered • 01/29/13

Reading and Test Preparation Expert for grades K-12

One might try what is called the "Miss America" statement.  What this means is that a writer will conclude the essay by posing a concern or question that relates to the theme of the essay.  This statement will  be one that causes the reader to think about the issues in the essay from a broad perspective and to question how the points made in the essay extend to societal questions, perhaps.

can you end essay with a question

Rachel B. answered • 01/26/13

Experienced ESL teacher helping others learn English fluently

Chelsea P. answered • 02/24/13

Sturgis Ky American History and Social Studies

When you conclude your essay think about your thesis. Summarize your thesis but do not repeat yourself because it is boring and redundant to do so. You already made your point. Even though you have written a conclusion..you still have to let the readers draw their opinions and conclusions. Repetition gets a lot of writers trouble. You know what you want to say but can't help but repeat. My suggestion is to have another person read your paper..possibly someone who has probably helped you before..and have them help you with a conclusion. 

Mollie C. answered • 01/21/13

Creative and Fun Elon University Student

Typically, you rephrase the thesis or main idea of your essay.

can you end essay with a question

Liam M. answered • 02/06/13

British Qualified Elementary School Teacher

If you posed something in your introduction you should always remember to refer back to it.  

can you end essay with a question

Kris P. answered • 03/26/13

Education/Research/Media/Communications Specialist: FACTOTUM: FOR HIRE

One concludes an essay with a period, question mark or ellipsis!

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How to write an argumentative essay

How to write an argumentative essay

The argumentative essay is a staple in university courses, and writing this style of essay is a key skill for students across multiple disciplines. Here’s what you need to know to write an effective and compelling argumentative essay.

What is an argumentative essay?

An argumentative essay takes a stance on an issue and presents an argument to defend that stance with the intent of persuading the reader to agree. It generally requires extensive research into a topic so that you have a deep grasp of its subtleties and nuances, are able to take a position on the issue, and can make a detailed and logical case for one side or the other.

It’s not enough to merely have an opinion on an issue—you have to present points to justify your opinion, often using data and other supporting evidence.

When you are assigned an argumentative essay, you will typically be asked to take a position, usually in response to a question, and mount an argument for it. The question can be two-sided or open-ended, as in the examples provided below.

Examples of argumentative essay prompts:

Two-sided Question

Should completing a certain number of volunteer hours be a requirement to graduate from high school? Support your argument with evidence.

Open-ended Question

What is the most significant impact that social media has had on this generation of young people?

Once again, it’s important to remember that you’re not just conveying facts or information in an argumentative essay. In the course of researching your topic, you should develop a stance on the issue. Your essay will then express that stance and attempt to persuade the reader of its legitimacy and correctness through discussion, assessment, and evaluation.

The main types of argumentative essays

Although you are advancing a particular viewpoint, your argumentative essay must flow from a position of objectivity. Your argument should evolve thoughtfully and rationally from evidence and logic rather than emotion.

There are two main models that provide a good starting point for crafting your essay: the Toulmin model and the Rogerian model.

The Toulmin Model

This model is commonly used in academic essays. It mounts an argument through the following four steps:

  • Make a claim.
  • Present the evidence, or grounds, for the claim.
  • Explain how the grounds support the claim.
  • Address potential objections to the claim, demonstrating that you’ve given thought to the opposing side and identified its limitations and deficiencies.

As an example of how to put the Toulmin model into practice, here’s how you might structure an argument about the impact of devoting public funding to building low-income housing.

  • Make your claim that low-income housing effectively solves several social issues that drain a city’s resources, providing a significant return on investment.
  • Cite data that shows how an increase in low-income housing is related to a reduction in crime rates, homelessness, etc.
  • Explain how this data proves the beneficial impact of funding low-income housing.
  • Preemptively counter objections to your claim and use data to demonstrate whether these objections are valid or not.

The Rogerian Model

This model is also frequently used within academia, and it also builds an argument using four steps, although in a slightly different fashion:

  • Acknowledge the merits of the opposing position and what might compel people to agree with it.
  • Draw attention to the problems with this position.
  • Lay out your own position and identify how it resolves those problems.
  • Proffer some middle ground between the two viewpoints and make the case that proponents of the opposing position might benefit from adopting at least some elements of your view.

The persuasiveness of this model owes to the fact that it offers a balanced view of the issue and attempts to find a compromise. For this reason, it works especially well for topics that are polarizing and where it’s important to demonstrate that you’re arguing in good faith.

To illustrate, here’s how you could argue that smartphones should be permitted in classrooms.

  • Concede that smartphones can be a distraction for students.
  • Argue that what teachers view as disruptions are actually opportunities for learning.
  • Offer the view that smartphones, and students’ interest in them, can be harnessed as teaching tools.
  • Suggest teaching activities that involve smartphones as a potential resource for teachers who are not convinced of their value.

It’s not essential to adhere strictly to one model or the other—you can borrow elements from both models to structure your essay. However, no matter which model of argumentation you choose, your essay will need to have an outline that effectively presents and develops your position.

How to outline and write an argumentative essay

A clear and straightforward structure works best for argumentative essays since you want to make it easy for your reader to understand your position and follow your arguments. The traditional essay outline comprises an introductory paragraph that announces your thesis statement, body paragraphs that unfold your argument point by point, and a concluding paragraph that summarizes your thesis and supporting points.

Introductory paragraph

This paragraph provides an overview of your topic and any background information that your readers will need in order to understand the context and your position. It generally concludes with an explicit statement of your position on the topic, which is known as your thesis statement.

Over the last decade, smartphones have transformed nearly every aspect of our lives, socially, culturally, and personally. They are now incorporated into almost every facet of daily life, and this includes making their way into classrooms. There are many educators who view smartphones with suspicion and see them as a threat to the sanctity of the classroom. Although there are reasons to regard smartphones with caution, there are ways to use them responsibly to teach and educate the next generation of young minds. Indeed, the value they hold as teaching tools is nearly unlimited: as a way to teach digital literacy, to reach students through a medium that is familiar and fun for them, and to provide a nimble and adaptable learning environment.

Body paragraphs

Most argumentative essays have at least three body paragraphs that lay out the supporting points in favor of your argument. Each paragraph should open with a topic sentence that presents a separate point that is then fleshed out and backed up by research, facts, figures, data, and other evidence. Remember that your aim in writing an argumentative essay is to convince or persuade your reader, and your body paragraphs are where you present your most compelling pieces of information in order to do just that.

The body of your essay is also where you should address any opposing arguments and make your case against them, either disproving them or stating the reasons why you disagree. Responding to potential rebuttals strengthens your argument and builds your credibility with your readers.

A frequent objection that teachers have to smartphones in the classroom is that students use them to socialize when they should be learning. This view overlooks the fact that students are using smartphones to connect with each other and this is a valuable skill that should be encouraged, not discouraged, in the classroom. A 2014 study demonstrated the benefits of providing students with individual smartphones. Sanctioned smartphone use in the classroom proved to be of particular importance in improving educational outcomes for low-income and at-risk students. What’s more, learning apps have been developed specifically to take advantage of the potential of smartphones to reach learners of various levels and backgrounds, and many offer the ability to customize the method and delivery of lessons to individual learner preferences. This shows that the untapped potential of smartphones is huge, and many teachers would do well to consider incorporating them into their classrooms.

Your concluding paragraph wraps up your essay by restating your thesis and recapping the arguments you presented in your body paragraphs. No new information should be introduced in your conclusion, however, you may consider shifting the lens of your argument to make a comment on how this issue affects the world at large or you personally, always keeping in mind that objectivity and relevance are your guiding principles.

Smartphones have a growing place in the world of education, and despite the presence of legitimate concerns about their use, their value as teaching tools has been clearly established. With more and more of our lives going digital and with the growing emphasis on offering distance learning as an option, educators with an eye to the future won't wait to embrace smartphones and find ways to use them to their fullest effect. As much time and space as we could devote to weighing the pros and cons of smartphones, the fact is that they are not going to disappear from our lives, and our best bet is to develop their, and our students', potential.

Frequently Asked Questions about argumentative essays

Your argumentative essay starts with an introductory paragraph. This paragraph provides an overview of your topic and any background information that your readers will need in order to understand the context and your position.

Like any traditional essay, the argumentative essay consists of three parts:

  • Introduction

There are do's and don'ts in argumentative writing. This article summarizes some of them well - you should, for example, avoid coming to an argument based on feelings, without any evidence. Everything you say needs to be backed up by evidence, unless you are the renowned expert in the field.

Yes, you can start your argumentative essay with a question or with a thesis statement. Or you can do both - ask a question and then immediately answer it with a statement.

There are contrasting views on that. In some situations it can make sense to end your argumentative essay with a question - for example, when you want to create room for further discussions or want the reader to leave thinking about the question.

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How to Write a Clear and Strong Conclusion for Argumentative Essay

Stefani H.

Table of contents

So, you've made it to the end of your argumentative essay. After pouring your efforts into researching and crafting compelling arguments in your introductory and body paragraphs, you're now left wondering, "What on earth do I write in the conclusion paragraph?"

Sound familiar? Well, you're not alone.

Writing conclusion paragraphs often feels like a daunting task. You might find yourself thinking, "What can I say that hasn’t already been said?" However, don't let this uncertainty trick you into undermining the value of a well-written conclusion.

Writing conclusions shouldn't be taken lightly. In fact, the conclusion paragraph is the finishing touch that packages your essay neatly, communicating to the reader that you have provided the closure your argument deserves.

Think about it: you wouldn't gift someone a present without wrapping it, right? Similarly, no matter how strong the arguments you've raised in your essay are, without a solid conclusion, your essay may seem incomplete or lackluster.

In this guide, we'll explore how to write a strong conclusion paragraph in an argumentative essay, ensuring your essay is wrapped up just as beautifully as it was crafted.

The Purpose of a Conclusion Paragraph in an Argumentative Essay

A conclusion paragraph is like the final bow in a performance—it's your last opportunity to impress the audience and leave a lasting impression. In an argumentative essay, this "final bow" serves a few critical roles.

Firstly , the conclusion reaffirms your thesis statement. It brings the reader back to your main argument and reminds them of the stance you've taken. It's not about introducing new ideas, but rather solidifying the ones you've already presented.

Secondly , it's a summary of your main points or arguments. It offers the reader a concise overview of the ground you've covered, tying together all the threads of your argument into a cohesive narrative.

Lastly , it presents a final statement—an impactful sentence or two that leaves the reader with something to ponder. This could be a thought-provoking question, a call to action, or a prediction about the future. It serves to cement your argument in the reader's mind and ensure your essay is memorable.

Now that we've established the critical roles of a conclusion, let's take a closer look at the structure of an argumentative essay, and specifically, how to build a strong conclusion paragraph.

Components of a Strong Conclusion Paragraph

A powerful conclusion to an argumentative essay contains several key elements. Let's break them down:

Restating the Thesis Statement : start by revisiting your thesis statement. This doesn't mean copying it word for word from your introduction, but rather, paraphrasing it in a new light. Given the evidence and arguments you've presented, this reaffirms your position and reminds your reader of the claim you've defended.

Summarizing Main Points/Arguments : next, offer a brief recap of the main points or arguments you've made in the body of your essay. This should be succinct and help tie everything together. Remember, it's a summary—avoid going into too much detail or bringing up any new information.

Presenting the Final Statement : the final statement is your last chance to leave a lasting impression or provoke thought in your reader. This could be a call to action, a quotation, or a forward-looking statement about the implications of your argument. Make sure it reinforces your thesis and wraps up your essay well.

Discussing Broader Implications or Significance : lastly, if appropriate, discuss the broader implications of your topic. How does your argument fit into the larger context? What impact might it have on the future? This helps your reader understand the relevance and potential influence of your argument.

Now that we understand the components let's move on to how to put them together to form an effective conclusion paragraph.

KEY POINTS : " In writing your conclusion, remember to restate your thesis in a fresh and interesting way. Then, summarize your main arguments concisely, ensuring they tie back to your thesis. Consider discussing broader implications or impact of your argument if relevant, to give your conclusion a strong finish. "

Writing a Strong Conclusion: Step-by-Step Approach

Crafting a strong conclusion isn't rocket science, but it does require some thoughtful effort. Follow this step-by-step approach to ensure your conclusion effectively wraps up your argument.

Step 1: Begin by Transitioning Smoothly

First and foremost, don’t abruptly jump into your conclusion. Use transitional phrases such as "in conclusion," "to sum up," or "finally" to signal to the reader that you are wrapping up your argument.

Step 2: Restate Your Thesis

Revisit your thesis statement in the light of the arguments you've made. Remember to paraphrase it—simply copy-pasting the statement won't do. Make it clear that the evidence and points you've presented support your thesis statement .

Step 3: Summarize Your Main Arguments

Next, briefly summarize the main points or arguments you've made in your essay. This is your opportunity to reinforce these points and remind the reader of their importance. Be succinct and avoid introducing any new information.

Step 4: Make Your Final Statement

Your final statement should leave a lasting impression. This could be a provocative question, a prediction, or a call to action—something that will resonate with your reader and encourage further thought or action.

Step 5: Discuss Broader Implications

If it fits your topic, consider discussing the broader implications or significance of your argument. This helps connect your argument to a larger context and can show your reader why your topic matters.

Step 6: Review and Polish

Finally, review your conclusion. Does it flow well? Does it provide a compelling and concise wrap-up of your argument? Make sure to polish your language and check for any errors.

Remember, the conclusion is your last opportunity to leave a lasting impression on your reader, so make it count. If you'd like to see how these steps look in practice, stay tuned for our examples of well-written conclusion paragraphs coming up next.

Examples of Well-Written Conclusion Paragraphs

There's nothing like good examples to illustrate a point. Here are a few well-written conclusion paragraphs from argumentative essays to help you better understand the process we just outlined.

Example 1 : Let's say our thesis statement was, "Despite some drawbacks, the benefits of online learning—such as flexibility and accessibility—make it a viable alternative to traditional education."

Conclusion paragraph : "In conclusion, the rise of online learning is not without its challenges. Technical glitches, lack of interpersonal communication, and the requirement for self-motivation can make it seem less appealing to some. However, when we consider the unmatched flexibility and accessibility it offers to learners worldwide, it's clear that online education is a powerful tool in our educational arsenal. It may not replace traditional education entirely, but it undoubtedly provides a viable alternative for many. As technology continues to advance, we can only anticipate the further enhancement of online learning experiences."

Example 2 : Suppose our thesis statement was, "Even though it is a source of renewable energy, the environmental and social costs of large-scale hydroelectric dams often outweigh their benefits."

Conclusion paragraph : "To sum up, while large-scale hydroelectric dams have long been hailed for their ability to generate renewable energy, we must also consider the significant environmental and social costs associated with them. The destruction of habitats, displacement of local communities, and the risk of catastrophic failure present serious challenges to their continued development. Though the quest for sustainable energy solutions is more critical than ever, it is essential that we weigh these concerns carefully and explore more environmentally and socially responsible alternatives."

These examples should give you a clear picture of how a well-crafted conclusion ties an argumentative essay together. Up next, we'll discuss some common pitfalls to avoid when writing your conclusion.

Common Pitfalls to Avoid When Writing Your Conclusion

As important as it is to know what to include in your conclusion, it's equally crucial to understand what to avoid. Below are some common pitfalls that can weaken your conclusion:

Introducing New Information : your conclusion is not the place to introduce new arguments or information. It should synthesize what you've already discussed, not open up new lines of debate.

Simply Restating the Introduction : while your conclusion should revisit your thesis statement and main points, avoid merely restating your introduction. Your conclusion should add value by providing a fresh perspective or highlighting the implications of your argument.

Making Unsupported Claims : your conclusion should be based on the evidence and arguments you've presented in your essay. Avoid making sweeping claims or statements that aren't backed by your essay's content.

Being Vague or Unclear : your conclusion should be clear and concise. Avoid using vague language or unclear statements that could confuse your reader.

Neglecting the Broader Significance : if it's relevant to your topic, your conclusion is an excellent place to discuss the broader significance or implications of your argument. Avoid missing this opportunity to show your reader why your argument matters.

By being aware of these common pitfalls, you can ensure your conclusion is strong, compelling, and effective. Now, you should be well-equipped to write a strong conclusion for your argumentative essay. But remember, practice makes perfect!

Final Thoughts

Writing a strong conclusion for your argumentative essay is crucial. It provides closure and drives home the main points of your argument one last time. Remember, your conclusion is your last chance to persuade your reader and leave a lasting impression.

Restate your thesis, summarize your main points, make a memorable final statement, and, if applicable, discuss the broader implications of your argument. Avoid common pitfalls like introducing new information or merely restating your introduction.

Take the time to practice this skill and consider utilizing the resources provided above for further learning and improvement. With persistence and patience, you will master the art of writing compelling conclusions.

However, if you find yourself struggling, remember that help is just a click away. At our argumentative essay writing service for students , we have a team of skilled writers who can deliver top-notch custom essays tailored to your specific needs. We're here to help you succeed.

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Rhetorical Questions in Essays: 5 Things you should Know

Rhetorical Questions in Essays

Rhetorical questions can be useful in writing. So, why shouldn’t you use rhetorical questions in essays?

In this article, I outline 5 key reasons that explain the problem with rhetorical questions in essays.

Despite the value of rhetorical questions for engaging audiences, they mean trouble in your university papers. Teachers tend to hate them.

There are endless debates among students as to why or why not to use rhetorical questions. But, I’m here to tell you that – despite your (and my) protestations – the jury’s in. Many, many teachers hate rhetorical questions.

You’re therefore not doing yourself any favors in using them in your essays.

Rhetorical Question Examples

A rhetorical question is a type of metacommentary . It is a question whose purpose is to add creative flair to your writing. It is a way of adding style to your essay.

Rhetorical questions usually either have obvious answers, or no answers, or do not require an answer . Here are some examples:

  • Are you seriously wearing that?
  • Do you think I’m that gullible?
  • What is the meaning of life?
  • What would the walls say if they could speak?

I understand why people like to use rhetorical questions in introductions . You probably enjoy writing. You probably find rhetorical questions engaging, and you want to draw your marker in, engage them, and wow them with your knowledge.

1. Rhetorical Questions in Academic Writing: They Don’t belong.

Rhetorical questions are awesome … for blogs, diaries, and creative writing. They engage the audience and ask them to predict answers.

But, sorry, they suck for essays. Academic writing is not supposed to be creative writing .

Here’s the difference between academic writing and creative writing:

  • Supposed to be read for enjoyment first and foremost.
  • Can be flamboyant, extravagant, and creative.
  • Can leave the reader in suspense.
  • Can involve twists, turns, and surprises.
  • Can be in the third or first person.
  • Readers of creative writing read texts from beginning to end – without spoilers.

Rhetorical questions are designed to create a sense of suspense and flair. They, therefore, belong as a rhetorical device within creative writing genres.

Now, let’s look at academic writing:

  • Supposed to be read for information and analysis of real-life ideas.
  • Focused on fact-based information.
  • Clearly structured and orderly.
  • Usually written in the third person language only.
  • Readers of academic writing scan the texts for answers, not questions.

Academic writing should never, ever leave the reader in suspense. Therefore, rhetorical questions have no place in academic writing.

Academic writing should be in the third person – and rhetorical questions are not quite in the third person. The rhetorical question appears as if you are talking directly to the reader. It is almost like writing in the first person – an obvious fatal error in the academic writing genre.

Your marker will be reading your work looking for answers , not questions. They will be rushed, have many papers to mark, and have a lot of work to do. They don’t want to be entertained. They want answers.

Therefore, academic writing needs to be straight to the point, never leave your reader unsure or uncertain, and always signpost key ideas in advance.

Here’s an analogy:

  • When you came onto this post, you probably did not read everything from start to end. You probably read each sub-heading first, then came back to the top and started reading again. You weren’t interested in suspense or style. You wanted to find something out quickly and easily. I’m not saying this article you’re reading is ‘academic writing’ (it isn’t). But, what I am saying is that this text – like your essay – is designed to efficiently provide information first and foremost. I’m not telling you a story. You, like your teacher, are here for answers to a question. You are not here for a suspenseful story. Therefore, rhetorical questions don’t fit here.

I’ll repeat: rhetorical questions just don’t fit within academic writing genres.

2. Rhetorical Questions can come across as Passive

It’s not your place to ask a question. It’s your place to show your command of the content. Rhetorical questions are by definition passive: they ask of your reader to do the thinking, reflecting, and questioning for you.

Questions of any kind tend to give away a sense that you’re not quite sure of yourself. Imagine if the five points for this blog post were:

  • Are they unprofessional?
  • Are they passive?
  • Are they seen as padding?
  • Are they cliché?
  • Do teachers hate them?

If the sub-headings of this post were in question format, you’d probably – rightly – return straight back to google and look for the next piece of advice on the topic. That’s because questions don’t assist your reader. Instead, they demand something from your reader .

Questions – rhetorical or otherwise – a position you as passive, unsure of yourself, and skirting around the point. So, avoid them.

3. Rhetorical Questions are seen as Padding

When a teacher reads a rhetorical question, they’re likely to think that the sentence was inserted to fill a word count more than anything else.

>>>RELATED ARTICLE: HOW TO MAKE AN ESSAY LONGER >>>RELATED ARTICLE: HOW TO MAKE AN ESSAY SHORTER

Rhetorical questions have a tendency to be written by students who are struggling to come to terms with an essay question. They’re well below word count and need to find an extra 15, 20, or 30 words here and there to hit that much-needed word count.

In order to do this, they fill space with rhetorical questions.

It’s a bit like going into an interview for a job. The interviewer asks you a really tough question and you need a moment to think up an answer. You pause briefly and mull over the question. You say it out loud to yourself again, and again, and again.

You do this for every question you ask. You end up answering every question they ask you with that same question, and then a brief pause.

Sure, you might come up with a good answer to your rhetorical question later on, but in the meantime, you have given the impression that you just don’t quite have command over your topic.

4. Rhetorical Questions are hard to get right

As a literary device, the rhetorical question is pretty difficult to execute well. In other words, only the best can get away with it.

The vast majority of the time, the rhetorical question falls on deaf ears. Teachers scoff, roll their eyes, and sigh just a little every time an essay begins with a rhetorical question.

The rhetorical question feels … a little ‘middle school’ – cliché writing by someone who hasn’t quite got a handle on things.

Let your knowledge of the content win you marks, not your creative flair. If your rhetorical question isn’t as good as you think it is, your marks are going to drop – big time.

5. Teachers Hate Rhetorical Questions in Essays

This one supplants all other reasons.

The fact is that there are enough teachers out there who hate rhetorical questions in essays that using them is a very risky move.

Believe me, I’ve spent enough time in faculty lounges to tell you this with quite some confidence. My opinion here doesn’t matter. The sheer amount of teachers who can’t stand rhetorical questions in essays rule them out entirely.

Whether I (or you) like it or not, rhetorical questions will more than likely lose you marks in your paper.

Don’t shoot the messenger.

Some (possible) Exceptions

Personally, I would say don’t use rhetorical questions in academic writing – ever.

But, I’ll offer a few suggestions of when you might just get away with it if you really want to use a rhetorical question:

  • As an essay title. I would suggest that most people who like rhetorical questions embrace them because they are there to ‘draw in the reader’ or get them on your side. I get that. I really do. So, I’d recommend that if you really want to include a rhetorical question to draw in the reader, use it as the essay title. Keep the actual essay itself to the genre style that your marker will expect: straight up the line, professional and informative text.

“97 percent of scientists argue climate change is real. Such compelling weight of scientific consensus places the 3 percent of scientists who dissent outside of the scientific mainstream.”

The takeaway point here is, if I haven’t convinced you not to use rhetorical questions in essays, I’d suggest that you please check with your teacher on their expectations before submission.

Don’t shoot the messenger. Have I said that enough times in this post?

I didn’t set the rules, but I sure as hell know what they are. And one big, shiny rule that is repeated over and again in faculty lounges is this: Don’t Use Rhetorical Questions in Essays . They are risky, appear out of place, and are despised by a good proportion of current university teachers.

To sum up, here are my top 5 reasons why you shouldn’t use rhetorical questions in your essays:

Chris

Chris Drew (PhD)

Dr. Chris Drew is the founder of the Helpful Professor. He holds a PhD in education and has published over 20 articles in scholarly journals. He is the former editor of the Journal of Learning Development in Higher Education. [Image Descriptor: Photo of Chris]

  • Chris Drew (PhD) https://helpfulprofessor.com/author/chris-drew-phd/ 5 Top Tips for Succeeding at University
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Can you ask Questions in an Essay? How to Blend them Well

How to Blend Questions in Your Essay

How to Blend Questions in Your Essay

Sometimes when writing an essay, you might have a point or an argument that is best presented through a simple or rhetorical question. In this post, we explore questions that can be asked in essays. We expound on the tips to follow when asking questions in an essay and how to do it.

For those who would need personalized help writing essays with questions, we have a team of expert essay writers who can guide you further or even write the whole assignment for you. Just check out that page. However, read on if you want to handle it yourself.

You must provide a satisfactory answer whenever you ask questions in an essay. If you cannot answer it, you must explain why the question cannot be resolved effectively.

can you end essay with a question

Can you ask Questions in an essay?

my question is

In academic writing, it is preferable to specify your research question as you start your paper and address it in the conclusion.

The question should not be so dramatic to spark interest among readers.

The question should be specific and as simply answerable as possible. The questions you consider using in your research should not in any way confuse readers.

Ideally, you can ask questions in an essay, provided they are relevant and add value to the arguments of a paragraph.

A question in an essay should always contribute something substantial to the arguments you make in the essay. Questions should not bring idle speculations that may drop the essay’s tone.

Questions are often very debatable and may change with time. Therefore, be sure of the questions you will use. This will help you put across clear and genuine arguments about the question.

As long as you can defend your argument, your critics will have to accept your points even if they are unconventional.

Questions that are not supported by strong existing debates and are mainly set up with the thought of pulling them down, later on, should be followed by a caution. This keeps you safe from attacks of those who may wish to fault your arguments.

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How to format a question in an essay?

According to the MLA writing format, questions in essays should be formatted as follows:

Use a colon to precede single questions that are contained in a sentence. This is done only if the word that comes before the question is not a verb. Capital letters should be used to start the questions.

Direct questions that are long with internal punctuations that are contained in a sentence should begin with a capital letter and set off with a comma.

Using questions in an essay

Incorporating questions in sentences should be done correctly to avoid errors that can distort the information in a question.

For questions incorporated in series in sentences, lowercase letters should be used to begin the questions.

These questions in the series are not capitalized because they do not begin with proper nouns and are incomplete.

Complete questions should always start with a capital letter and end with a question mark.

Questions in the APA format are to be formatted as APA requires. This includes using the size 12 Times New Roman font, double-spacing the text, and using one-inch margins.

For question-and-answer essays, use numerals followed by periods to show the position of the question. Hit enter to write the answer and hit enter again after the answer to write the next question.

There is no need to differentiate the answer and the question, for example, by making the question bold.

Can you Start or End an Essay with a question?

You can start your essay with a question. Questions have proved to be a good method of getting readers hooked to your essay. They place the reader in doubt.

The reader is likely to mull over the issue rather than have their thoughts contradicted. Questions at the beginning of the essay also let the readers think about the issues discussed in the essay.

This keeps them involved as they go through the paper as well as gives you a nice opportunity to use a different angle to answer the question.

Questions also can excellently introduce striking news. Questions starting an essay should be related to the concept you are writing about.

The questions should be answered in the introduction part. The answer forms the thesis of your essay.

As long as it is used effectively, ending your essay with a question is not wrong. Questions can be used to involve readers and have their say on the topic discussed in the essay.

The question at the end of the essay should reflect on the issues discussed in the essay.

Ways of Ending an Essay with a Question

Concluding your essay can be effective in the following ways:

last question

  • Questions usually make further discussions possible. Readers can start a discussion and explore more on questions asked at the end of essays.
  • Readers will always think and talk about essays that end with questions. They will always try to answer the question posed.
  • It is easy for readers to connect and relate with your essay through questions used to end essays because they make the essay more intriguing.
  • The questions also bring the reader close to your essay and can earn you some extra credit.
  • Choosing a question that relates to your essay helps you easily summarize the ideas you included in your essay and understand them clearly. Readers also are likely to familiarize themselves with the whole concept.
  • When you need a reader to remember your essay, using a question to end your essay is one of the perfect strategies. Finishing your essay with a question is a unique element that can help your essay stand out.

Can you use Rhetorical Questions in Academic Writing?

Rhetorical questions have no room in academic writing. Rhetorical questions are not in the third person as academic writing should be.

They are in first-person, which is a big error in academic writing. Academic writing needs to be direct to the point, and there should be no room for posting questions, causing uncertainty, or entertaining the reader.

Suspense is also not allowed in academic writing. This makes the use of rhetorical questions unacceptable in academic writing.

Academic writing should always be informative and is not a form of creative writing.

Need Help with your Homework or Essays?

How to ask a rhetorical question in essays.

Rhetorical questions in essays can be asked in the following circumstances. When emphasizing a point, rhetorical questions can be used after statements to drive the message home.

Example: Almost 100 million is lost every year in government sponsorships. How much more will we lose in the name of support?

In persuasive essays, rhetorical questions are used to evoke emotions in readers. By managing to do so your essay can be regarded as effective. Example: Isn’t everyone a sinner?

The most important reason rhetorical questions are used in essays is that they serve as the best hooks to grab the reader’s attention. The reader can predict where you are headed in the essay. Example: What is the world without feminists?

Rhetorical questions can be used to bring about a smooth transition in an essay. You can pose a question to emphasize, conclude, or introduce a point.

This is usually a hard skill to master. Example: Do you know that corruption is the main form of misuse of funds? 20% of the national budget was lost to corruption in the previous financial year .

How to Introduce a Question in an Essay?

To introduce an essay with a question, you have to know what you will talk about in the essay. This helps you use a question that fits your essay’s words. Questions that appear in between the essay should connect well with your content.

inserting questions into paragraphs

Always have correct answers to the questions you want to introduce in your essay. The questions should make the readers doubt their knowledge of that particular area.

This can include a question with facts and striking facts about the topic involved. You can learn more about writing good essays by reading our blog on how to write good paragraphs for essays and papers.

Also, check whether you can italicize essays and essay titles to get another perspective on essay writing and different ways of formulating titles.

Alicia Smart

With over 10 years in academia and academic assistance, Alicia Smart is the epitome of excellence in the writing industry. She is our managing editor and is in charge of the writing operations at Grade Bees.

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Is It Good To End An Essay With A Question?

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  • Author Sandra W.

can you end essay with a question

Ending An Essay- Is It A Good Idea To End And Essay With A Question?

Most students debate on whether it is good to conclude an essay with a question. Some think that it is a good idea since it will engage the reader while others think that it is totally a bad idea.

Despite the contrasting views, there is really no harm in concluding your essay with a question as long as you use it in the right way. If used the right way, a question can be an effective tool for engaging your reader and by involving them in the topic that you were discussing.  

Below are reasons why concluding an essay with a question is effective:

  1. A question will leave the reader thinking about the essay even after reading it.  The reader will definitely try to ponder on your question and even try to find an answer. Note that the question you decide to end your essay with should reflect on the content of your essay.

For example, in a fiction essay suggest that the story continues. If your story is about a man on an adventure that ends abruptly, you can suggest that "he thought it was all over, so why were there noises coming from the cave?” Ask your reader to help you think of a solution. "He had tried everything he could to get out of that situation. Maybe there was still one more way?” You can also use general questions as long they help you conclude your story like, "what can be more awesome than staying at the beach during summer?”

If you are writing a nonfiction essay, make sure your readers understand the main idea and details. Try asking a question that checks your reader’s comprehension, "why do you think the main character did that?” This kind of question will require your reader to read between the lines. You can guide your reader to find more about the main character by asking questions like, "how else can you describe the main character?”

  2. A question creates room for further discussions.  Some questions can enable the reader to start a discussion. For instance, you can conclude your essay with a question like, "How much do we know about the President of the United States?” This type of question will have the reader exploring and discussing what they really know about the President.

  3. Concluding with a question is an effective strategy to use when you want the reader to remember your essay.  You need to impress. You want your essay to stand out from everyone else’s and in order to do that you have to apply a unique element on your essay. There is no better way to come up with a unique essay than concluding with a question. Your reader will not forget what he or she read because they will be thinking of the question.

  4. Posing a question on your conclusion makes your essay intriguing and brings your readers close.  Engaging your readers will make them relate or connect with you. Readers want to feel like they know you just by reading what you have written. In addition, it will help you earn some extra credit.

  5. It may also help you summarize your ideas and come up with a new understanding of them.  This is because you will have to choose a question that reflects on the content of your essay. Therefore, it is also a way good to help your reader understand your whole concept.

Remember that your conclusion carries a lot of weight on your essay. Make sure that it is effective and unique. In addition, try different questions to see which one works best.

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Watch CBS News

What is Eid al-Fitr? 6 questions about the holiday and how Muslims celebrate it, answered

By Ken Chitwood

Updated on: April 9, 2024 / 8:03 AM EDT / The Conversation

Ken Chitwood  is a senior research fellow, Muslim Philanthropy Initiative at Indiana University–Purdue University Indianapolis and journalist-fellow at the Dornsife Center for Religion and Civic Culture at the  University of Southern California Dornsife College of Letters, Arts and Sciences .

Eid al-Fitr, one of Islam's principal festivals, will be celebrated April 9, 2024, according to the Fiqh Council of North America . At the middle of June, Muslims will celebrate Eid al-Adha. Ken Chitwood, a scholar of global Islam, explains the two Islamic festivals.

1. What is Eid?

Eid literally means a "festival" or "feast" in Arabic. There are two major eids in the Islamic calendar per year – Eid al-Fitr earlier in the year and Eid al-Adha later.

Eid al-Fitr is a three-day-long festival and is known as the "Lesser" or "Smaller Eid" when compared to Eid al-Adha, which is four days long and is known as the "Greater Eid."

Eid al-Fitr in Indonesia

2. Why is Eid celebrated twice a year?

The two Eids recognize, celebrate and recall two distinct events that are significant to the story of Islam.

Eid al-Fitr means "the feast of breaking the fast." The fast, in this instance, is Ramadan , which recalls the revealing of the Quran to Prophet Muhammad and requires Muslims to fast from sunrise to sundown for a month.

3. How do Muslims celebrate Eid al-Fitr?

Eid al-Fitr features two to three days of celebrations that include special morning prayers. People greet each other with "Eid Mubarak," meaning "Blessed Eid" and with formal embraces. Sweet dishes are prepared at home and gifts are given to children and to those in need. In addition, Muslims are encouraged to forgive and seek forgiveness. Practices vary from country to country.

In many countries with large Muslim populations, Eid al-Fitr is a national holiday. Schools, offices and businesses are closed so family, friends and neighbors can enjoy the celebrations together. In the U.S. and the U.K., Muslims may request to have the day off from school or work to travel or celebrate with family and friends.

In countries like Egypt and Pakistan, Muslims decorate their homes with lanterns, twinkling lights or flowers. Special food is prepared and friends and family are invited over to celebrate.

PAKISTAN-RELIGION-ISLAM-EID

In places like Jordan, with its Muslim majority population, the days before Eid al-Fitr can see a rush at local malls and special "Ramadan markets" as people prepare to exchange gifts on Eid al-Fitr.

In Turkey and in places that were once part of the Ottoman-Turkish empire such as Bosnia and Herzegovina, Albania, Azerbaijan and the Caucasus, it is also known as the, "Lesser Bayram" or "festival" in Turkish.

4. How do Muslims celebrate Eid al-Adha?

The other festival, Eid al-Adha, is the "feast of the sacrifice." It comes at the end of the Hajj , an annual pilgrimage by millions of Muslims to the holy city of Mecca in Saudi Arabia that is obligatory once in a lifetime, but only for those with means.

Eid al-Adha recalls the story of how God commanded Ibrahim to sacrifice his son Ismail as a test of faith. The story, as narrated in the Quran, describes Satan's attempt to tempt Ibrahim so he would disobey God's command. Ibrahim, however, remains unmoved and informs Ismail, who is willing to be sacrificed.

But, just as Ibrahim attempts to kill his son, God intervenes and a ram is sacrificed in place of Ismail. During Eid al-Adha, Muslims slaughter an animal to remember Ibrahim's sacrifice and remind themselves of the need to submit to the will of God.

5. When are they celebrated?

Eid al-Fitr is celebrated on the first day of the 10th month in the Islamic calendar.

Eid al-Adha is celebrated on the 10th day of the final month in the Islamic calendar.

The Islamic calendar is a lunar calendar, and dates are calculated based on lunar phases. Since the Islamic calendar year is shorter than the solar Gregorian calendar year by 10 to 12 days, the dates for Ramadan and Eid on the Gregorian calendar can vary year by year.

6. What is the spiritual meaning of Eid al-Fitr?

Eid al-Fitr, as it follows the fasting of Ramadan, is also seen as a spiritual celebration of Allah's provision of strength and endurance.

Amid the reflection and rejoicing, Eid al-Fitr is a time for charity, known as Zakat al-Fitr. Eid is meant to be a time of joy and blessing for the entire Muslim community and a time for distributing one's wealth.

Charity to the poor is a highly emphasized value in Islam. The Quran says ,

"Believe in Allah and his messenger, and give charity out of the (substance) that Allah has made you heirs of. For those of you who believe and give charity – for them is a great reward."

This piece incorporates materials from an article first published on Aug. 28, 2017. The dates have been updated. This article is republished from The Conversation under a Creative Commons license.

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Weekly News Quiz: April 11, 2024

By Alexandra Banner and James Grant

A lavish dinner. A controversial bill. A bug emergence. What do you remember from the week that was?

Keep up with the news you need. Sign up for the 5 Things newsletter.

Which global leader was invited to the White House this week for a lavish state visit?

can you end essay with a question

President Joe Biden hosted Japanese Prime Minister Fumio Kishida for a state visit Wednesday . The agenda included a glitzy dinner aimed at intertwining and highlighting American and Japanese cultures.

What type of weather impacted millions across the Southern US this week?

can you end essay with a question

A powerful storm system that caused flooding and spawned tornadoes swept through the South and the Mississippi Valley.

Which car company has come under intense scrutiny for its Autopilot technology?

can you end essay with a question

Tesla’s Autopilot system has faced widespread criticism from prominent safety groups. This week, the embattled company settled a major lawsuit filed by the family of a former Apple engineer who died after his Tesla Model X crashed while the Autopilot feature was engaged.

OJ Simpson, one of the most controversial figures of the 20th century, died of cancer this week. His 1995 trial captivated national attention and eclipsed his athletic achievements in which sport?

While Simpson was a highly decorated football star, he became even more of a household name during his 1995 trial . Simpson was ultimately acquitted in the brutal killings of his ex-wife Nicole Brown Simpson and her friend Ron Goldman.

Which prestigious tournament kicked off this week?

can you end essay with a question

The 88th edition of The Masters is underway at Augusta National Golf Club in Georgia.

Which political figure joined TikTok this week — but promised not to dance?

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German Chancellor Olaf Scholz said he created a TikTok account to connect with a younger audience — and he vowed he would not dance on it. “I don’t dance. Promise,” Scholz said in a statement.

Which airline announced it intends to furlough around 260 pilots this fall?

can you end essay with a question

In a move to save cash, Spirit Airlines is furloughing around 260 pilots effective September 1.

Which state Senate passed a controversial bill that would allow teachers to carry concealed handguns at K-12 schools?

Tennessee teachers would be allowed to carry concealed handguns at K-12 schools under a bill passed this week by the state Senate.

Which type of bug will emerge in record numbers across the US this spring?

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Billions of noisy cicadas will soon dig their way out from underground in a massive emergence that won’t happen again until 2245.

A lone lottery ticket recently won the $1.3 billion Powerball jackpot. Where was the ticket sold?

A single ticket sold in Oregon won what's believed to be the fourth-largest jackpot in the history of the game.

can you end essay with a question

Trump's hush money trial begins Monday. Here's what to expect.

Donald Trump will become the first former president to stand trial in a criminal case next week — and he'll do so against the backdrop of a presidential campaign in which he's the presumptive Republican nominee.

Jury selection begins Monday in New York City, and the trial is expected to last six to eight weeks.

Here's a look at what you need to know and what's expected to happen.

How long is jury selection expected to last?

Jury selection is expected to last one to two weeks. Starting Monday, prosecutors and lawyers for Trump will seek to whittle a pool of potentially hundreds of people to 12 jurors and six alternates. Each juror will answer 42 questions designed to discern whether they can be impartial about the polarizing former president. Questions include inquiries about what news sources they follow and whether they've ever attended any Trump rallies or protests. The jurors will be anonymous, meaning their identities will be withheld from the public because of security concerns.

A criminal trial involving Trump's company before the same judge in 2022 took a week to select 12 jurors and five alternates.

What is Trump charged with?

Manhattan District Attorney Alvin Bragg charged Trump with 34 counts of first-degree falsifying business records, a low-level felony. Trump faces a maximum of four years behind bars if he’s convicted.

What is the prosecution alleging?

Prosecutors allege Trump “repeatedly and fraudulently falsified New York business records to conceal criminal conduct that hid damaging information from the voting public during the 2016 presidential election.”

At the heart of the case are allegations of various sex scandals that prosecutors say Trump tried to suppress with the help of his lawyer Michael Cohen and top executives in charge of the National Enquirer. In the final days of the election, Cohen paid $130,000 to one of the women, adult film star Stormy Daniels, to keep silent about her claim she'd had a sexual encounter with Trump in 2006. Trump has denied the allegation.

After he was elected, Trump reimbursed Cohen through a series of checks from his trust that were processed through the Trump Organization and labeled as payments "for legal services rendered" — a claim the DA says was false.

What is Trump’s defense?

Trump has maintained he didn’t do anything wrong, and while he has acknowledged reimbursing Cohen, he has said he didn’t know details about what Cohen was doing.

His lawyers are likely to target Cohen on the witness stand by painting him as a liar who loathes the former president and whose testimony shouldn’t be believed. They’re likely to be aggressive with Daniels, as well, and they’re expected to focus on comments she has made mocking Trump in an effort to portray her as biased and untrustworthy.

Who will testify for the prosecution?

Cohen, who says Trump directed him to make the payment to Daniels, is expected to be a key witness, as is Daniels. Trump's attorneys sought to bar both from testifying, but Judge Juan Merchan gave both the green light to take the stand. Daniels' former attorney Keith Davidson is likely to testify about his negotiations over the payment, a source with direct knowledge of the situation said.

Also expected to testify is Karen McDougal, a former Playboy model who said she had an affair with Trump, a claim he denies. She received money from the Enquirer to keep quiet about her allegations in what prosecutors said was part of a "catch and kill" scheme designed to keep a lid on potential Trump scandals.

David Pecker, a Trump ally who was the CEO of Enquirer publisher AMI at the time, is also expected to be called, the source said. Dylan Howard, another former AMI executive involved in the discussions with Trump and Cohen, may also testify.

Former White House communications director Hope Hicks — who prosecutors have said was involved in phone calls among Trump, Cohen and AMI — and former Trump assistant Madeleine Westerhout are also likely to take the stand, the source said.

Jurors are also expected to hear from Jeffrey McConney, the former controller for the Trump Organization, and Deborah Tarasoff, a former accounts payable supervisor at the company, the source said.

Who will testify in Trump's defense?

Court filings show Trump plans to call Bradley A. Smith, a former Federal Election Commission chair who will testify about the FEC and its function, laws it's responsible for enforcing and definitions and terms that relate to the case. The judge ruled he won’t be allowed to offer his opinion about whether Trump's actions violated election law, as Trump had hoped he would.

Trump, who is the only person who can directly rebut some of Cohen's claims, said Friday that he would "absolutely" testify in the trial. He is not required to take the stand.

Will Trump have to be in court every day?

Unlike the New York civil fraud and E. Jean Carroll defamation trials, the DA's case is criminal, so Trump is required to be in court every day to participate in his defense. The trial is off on Wednesdays, but Trump will have to be in court for the four other days of the court week. The trial days are expected to last from 9:30 a.m. to 4:30 p.m.

Trump has suggested he might do campaign events at night after having attended court during the day.

How many jurors' votes are needed for a conviction or an acquittal?

To reach a verdict, all 12 jurors must agree on whether Trump is guilty or not guilty of a specific charge.

can you end essay with a question

Dareh Gregorian is a politics reporter for NBC News.

can you end essay with a question

Adam Reiss is a reporter and producer for NBC and MSNBC.

Just married? How to know whether to file your taxes jointly or separately.

can you end essay with a question

What could be more romantic than discussing taxes?

Tax season is officially behind us, but it's never too early to plan for next year, and a question you and your significant other may want to ask is: Should we file our taxes jointly or separately? 

It's the age-old quandary couples face each year because of the benefits and drawbacks that come with each option. A simple coin toss to decide which route to take could end up being more costly or cause you to miss out on hefty tax credits and deductions, leading to a smaller tax refund .

For instance, the standard deduction for married couples filing jointly was $29,200 this year versus $14,600 for separate filers. For newlyweds who aren't yet homeowners this mattered a lot since it likely made more sense for them not to file an itemized return and take the standard deduction, said Tim Speiss, a certified public accountant and partner of EisnerAmper in New York. 

But there are many more considerations to take into account before you make your final decision.

What does filing jointly mean? 

 If you're married you can choose whether you want to file a joint return or file two individual returns. 

Filing a joint tax return means your income and your spouse's income get combined together. The joint income is subject to different tax brackets than single filers.

The Internal Revenue Service raised the thresholds for taxes filed this year to adjust for inflation.

Marginal tax rates for married couples filing jointly were:

  • 35% for incomes over $487,450
  • 32% for incomes over $383,900
  • 24% for incomes over $201,050
  • 22% for incomes over $94,300
  • 12% for incomes over $23,200
  • 10% for incomes less than $23,200

Marginal tax rates for individual filers:

  • 35% for incomes over $243,725
  • 32% for incomes over $191,950
  • 24% for incomes over $100,525
  • 22% for incomes over $47,150
  • 12% for incomes over $11,600
  • 10% for incomes less than $11,600

Importantly, filing jointly means you're both on the hook for the money you and your spouse owe to the IRS prior to your marriage. 

What are the rules for married filing jointly? 

In order to file a joint tax return in 2024, you had to have been legally married by Dec. 31, 2023. So as long as you got your marriage license in 2023, you were considered married in the eyes of the IRS.

But if you got divorced or legally separated from your spouse at any point during 2023, you're considered unmarried for the entirety of the year and cannot file a joint return.

Finally, to file jointly you and your spouse must both agree to it. That's why both signatures are required on the tax return. 

Do you get more money if you file jointly? 

"When you file jointly, that is typically how you get the largest legitimate refund," says Scott Curley, co-CEO of FinishLine Tax Solutions, a tax consulting firm based in Houston.

That's because there are more tax deductions and credits married couples filing jointly are eligible for. For example, the Earned Income Tax Credit is generally only available to married couples who file jointly. The EITC enables low-income households to deduct as much as $7,430 off their taxes if they have three or more children.

Similarly, the Adoption Credit and Child and Dependent Care Tax Credit are only available for married couples filing jointly. These credits can directly lower your tax bill and trigger bigger refunds. 

Additionally, couples filing jointly are subject to significantly higher income thresholds for each making the maximum $6,500 deductible IRA contribution. 

When should a married couple not file jointly?  

If you had a lot of out-of-pocket medical expenses the previous year, it may make sense to file a separate return. That's because the tax code allows you to deduct out-of-pocket medical expenses that exceed 7.5% of your adjusted gross income. When you file jointly you have one adjusted gross income which that 7.5% rule applies to.

So if for instance, you had $15,000 of out-of-pocket medical expenses last year with an adjusted gross income of $70,000 you could deduct $9,480 ($70,000 x 7.5% = $5,250; $15,000 - $5,250 = $9,480). Whereas if you filed taxes jointly and your adjusted gross income was $200,000 you wouldn't be able to deduct any of your medical expenses since it wouldn't exceed 7.5% of it.

Another situation where it may not make sense to file a joint return is if one spouse has a significantly lower income, Speiss says. That's because the lower-income spouse may be eligible for more itemized deductions by filing individually..

Also if you don't owe any money to the IRS but your spouse does, by filing together your tax refund could be applied toward the tab they've racked up with the IRS.

"The system does not distinguish between parties if they file jointly," says Curley of FinishLine. But if you file separately you won't be liable for your spouse's tax burden. 

Curley says "dozens" of his clients over the years ran into this issue because one spouse wasn't transparent with the other about how much money they owe the IRS.

He recommends bringing this up with your partner before you tie the knot.

More of your 2024 tax season questions answered

  • What should you do with your tax refund check?
  • How to save with credits on state tax returns
  • What are the 2023 federal tax brackets?
  • Are you missing important tax dates? Milestone birthdays to know.
  • Tax return extensions: Who should request one?
  • What is a 1098-E form?
  • What is a federal tax credit?
  • What is capital gains tax? 2024 rates.
  • Is Social Security income taxable by the IRS?
  • How much is the child tax credit for 2023?
  • Does my state have an income tax?
  • What does FICA mean?
  • What does this IRS code mean? 826, 846, 570 and more.
  • What does OASDI tax mean on my paycheck?
  • What is the FairTax Act of 2023?

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Solar eclipse 2024: Follow the path of totality

Solar eclipse, how to keep pets safe during the solar eclipse, whether at home or on the road.

Rachel Treisman

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A dog tries on eclipse sunglasses in London in 2015. Experts say pets don't need eclipse sunglasses — in fact, quite the opposite. Kirsty Wigglesworth/AP hide caption

A dog tries on eclipse sunglasses in London in 2015. Experts say pets don't need eclipse sunglasses — in fact, quite the opposite.

The solar eclipse is a can't-miss event for millions of Americans, whether or not they'll be viewing it from the path of totality . But what does it mean for our many furry friends?

Dr. Rena Carlson, the president of the American Veterinary Medical Association, got a firsthand view of how animals responded to the total eclipse in 2017.

Her veterinary practice, in Pocatello, Idaho, closed down for several minutes so staff members could watch the eclipse outside, along with many of their dogs.

What you need to know to watch Monday's total solar eclipse

What you need to know to watch Monday's total solar eclipse

"Honestly, the animals were probably more anxious because of our excitement than anything else," she remembers.

Carlson says while certain dogs may exhibit some of the behaviors they normally do when it starts to get dark outside, the eclipse is unlikely to directly affect pets in a significant way.

But things like crowds and traffic can, which is why experts recommend leaving animals at home to be safe.

Carlson says there are steps that their humans should take to look out for them on such a hectic day — especially if anyone involved is traveling .

Thinking of taking a last-minute drive to see the eclipse? Here's what to know

Thinking of taking a last-minute drive to see the eclipse? Here's what to know

"My bigger worry is there was so much traffic and so many people coming through our area that a drive [that] typically would take us two hours took over eight to 10 hours," Carlson says. "So if you're traveling with your dog, please be prepared for long wait times."

Here are some expert tips for protecting your pet during the eclipse, whether they're right in the thick of it or waiting for you at home.

Consider: Should Fido come or stay?

The first step is to decide whether your pet even needs to come with you for outdoor eclipse viewing, whether it's close to home or out of town.

Most of the time, Carlson says, the answer is no.

"It's quite an amazing phenomenon for us to experience," she explains. "And so that can be pretty stressful when dogs are with large crowds and a lot of noise, they don't quite understand the excitement. They're going to be much more nervous about 'What's going on?' and 'How should I react?' "

She says the same guidance applies to all pets, even though cats and birds are not as likely to be traveling in the first place.

"They're going to be better off at home, in their normal environment," she adds.

Prepare for commotion and contingencies if you're traveling

If you do decide to bring your dog, plan ahead for what to do if things get overwhelming.

That includes bringing extra food and water in case the journey takes longer than expected, and getting them out of the car for walks or bathroom breaks if you're stuck in traffic.

Once you're at your destination, Carlson says, "always be thinking about" how to keep your pet safe and comfortable. Keep them on their leash, make sure they're hydrated and pay attention to their body language.

For April's eclipse, going from 'meh' to 'OMG' might mean just driving across town

For April's eclipse, going from 'meh' to 'OMG' might mean just driving across town

"You know your pets' behaviors better than anybody else," she says. "And so watch for any kind of a change in how they're reacting."

Signs of distress may include panting, pacing and whining. If you notice any of these behaviors, Carlson advises removing your pet from the situation as soon as possible, because "the more worked up they become, the harder it is to calm them down."

"I know there's a lot of activity going on and there's a lot of things to see, and excitement," she adds. "But if you have ... a pet with you, make sure you're really paying attention to them and watching their signs of stress so that you can respond appropriately."

How to make the most of next week's solar eclipse

How to make the most of next week's solar eclipse

If you're traveling sans pets, make sure there's someone back home you can call to feed and let them out while you're away, especially if there's a chance you may get home later than normal.

The ASPCA recommends keeping pets busy with a food puzzle toy or other form of enrichment while you're away. But Carlson says not to worry more than usual about leaving your pet alone that day.

"They're not going to be worried about the eclipse happening," she says. "They're just going to think it's a normal day where you're gone."

Don't waste your eclipse glasses on your pet

Any human who plans to look directly at the eclipse needs to wear special sunglasses , except for those few brief minutes when the moon is fully blocking the sun. Pets, however, do not.

"They're outside every day and don't look up at the sun, so there's no reason to think they're going to do that at this point," Carlson explains.

In fact, trying to put glasses on your pet — even for a photo opp — could likely do more harm than good, Carlson says. It could stress dogs, leading them to paw them off and even chew them up.

The physical sensations of watching a total solar eclipse

Why watching the 2024 total solar eclipse might change your life

"Keep the glasses for yourself, because we're the ones that are going to be looking up at the sun and need that protection for our eyes," she says. "They're just going to be looking around like they normally do every day and feeding off of your emotions and your excitement."

Dr. Lori Bierbrier, the senior medical director of ASPCA Community Medicine, told NPR over email that while it's unlikely that animals will look right at the sun, their eyes could be damaged if they do so long enough.

Symptoms of eye damage include squinting, closing one eye or pawing at their eyes, redness, inflammation or cloudiness and watery eyes or discharge. She recommends contacting your vet as soon as you notice them.

Everything you need to know about solar eclipse glasses before April 8

Everything you need to know about solar eclipse glasses before April 8

But what about vet offices that are closed for the eclipse — as Carlson's briefly was — or hard to get to on the day of the eclipse?

Carlson says you should be aware of heavy traffic and figure out back roads you can take.

Ideally, worried pet owners could call their vet to explain the situation and get advice first. Carlson says that's just one example of why strong client-patient relationships are so important.

"Whether there's an eclipse or not," she says, "emergencies happen."

More resources to enjoy the eclipse

  • Sharing the eclipse with tiny humans?  Check out these  kid-friendly total solar eclipse learning guides  from Vermont Public's  But Why,  and this great explainer from KERA Kids on  the difference between a solar and a lunar eclipse .
  • Feeling whimsical?  Here are three ways to  sprinkle a little magic into your eclipse experience .
  • Plan to wander into the wild for the best view?   Here are some tips from outdoor experts.
  • Tips from Bill Nye  on the best ways to enjoy the eclipse.

NPR will be sharing highlights here from across the NPR Network throughout the day Monday if you're unable to get out and see it in real time.

  • total solar eclipse
  • 2024 eclipse
  • animal safety

IMAGES

  1. How To Write a Conclusion for an Essay: Expert Tips and Examples

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  2. How To End An Essay

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  3. How to End an Essay (with Sample Conclusions)

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COMMENTS

  1. Ending the Essay: Conclusions

    Finally, some advice on how not to end an essay: Don't simply summarize your essay. A brief summary of your argument may be useful, especially if your essay is long--more than ten pages or so. But shorter essays tend not to require a restatement of your main ideas. Avoid phrases like "in conclusion," "to conclude," "in summary," and "to sum up ...

  2. How to End an Essay: Writing a Strong Conclusion

    End your essay with a call to action, warning, or image to make your argument meaningful. Keep your conclusion concise and to the point, so you don't lose a reader's attention. Do your best to avoid adding new information to your conclusion and only emphasize points you've already made in your essay. Method 1.

  3. Is it a bad writing practice to end a paragraph with question?

    It reads fast like a dreamer's anticipation. You can feel the unfolding of the story upon a page when you end with a question mark. It creates a pause. Although many do not partake in doing so; who is to say that your way may not be the new way. Perhaps the world has something to learn from you.

  4. How to Conclude an Essay

    Step 1: Return to your thesis. To begin your conclusion, signal that the essay is coming to an end by returning to your overall argument. Don't just repeat your thesis statement —instead, try to rephrase your argument in a way that shows how it has been developed since the introduction. Example: Returning to the thesis.

  5. How to Conclude an Essay (With Examples)

    By following these strategies, you can ensure that your essay concludes in a strong and memorable way, effectively communicating your message and engaging your audience. ... End with a question: Ending your writing with a thought-provoking question can leave your readers with something to ponder and encourage them to engage more deeply with ...

  6. How to Write a Conclusion, With Examples

    Restate your thesis: remind readers of your main point. Reiterate your supporting points: remind readers of your evidence or arguments. Wrap everything up by tying it all together. Write a clincher: with the last sentence, leave your reader with something to think about. For many, the conclusion is the most dreaded part of essay writing.

  7. How to End a College Admissions Essay

    Option 4: End on an action. Ending on an action can be a strong way to wrap up your essay. That might mean including a literal action, dialogue, or continuation of the story. These endings leave the reader wanting more rather than wishing the essay had ended sooner. They're interesting and can help you avoid boring your reader.

  8. Conclusion Examples: Strong Endings for Any Paper

    Strong conclusion examples pave the way for the perfect paper ending. See how to write a good conclusion for a project, essay or paper to get the grade.

  9. Conclusions

    For example, if you begin by describing a scenario, you can end with the same scenario as proof that your essay is helpful in creating a new understanding. You may also refer to the introductory paragraph by using key words or parallel concepts and images that you also used in the introduction.

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    Writing a compelling conclusion usually relies on the balance between two needs: give enough detail to cover your point, but be brief enough to make it obvious that this is the end of the paper. Remember that reiteration is not restatement. Summarize your paper in one to two sentences (or even three or four, depending on the length of the paper ...

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    Overall, It Can Be Said…. To recap an idea at the end of a critical or descriptive essay, you can use this phrase at the beginning of the concluding paragraph. "Overall" means "taking everything into account," and it sums up your essay in a formal way. You can use "overall" on its own as a transition signal, or you can use it as ...

  13. Ending Your Essay With a Strong Conclusion

    You want to end your conclusion with a strong final thought. It should provide your reader with closure and give your essay a memorable or thought-provoking ending. The last sentence of your conclusion can point to broader implications, like the impact the topic of your essay has had on history, society, or culture.

  14. Ending Punctuation

    A question mark comes at the end of a question (so now you know). ... it can seem as if you are throwing a question out to the readers that you yourself aren't capable of answering. In particular, avoid ending the introduction to an essay with a question and then providing your answer ten pages later in your conclusion. It might seem like a ...

  15. How do I conclude an essay?

    As readers come to the end of your essay they should feel a sense of closure. ... You can use the conclusion to pose a question but only if that question is truly clever and thought provoking in relation to your topic. This can be difficult to pull off sometimes so I would advise new writers against it. The question should not function as the ...

  16. How to write an argumentative essay

    When you are assigned an argumentative essay, you will typically be asked to take a position, usually in response to a question, and mount an argument for it. The question can be two-sided or open-ended, as in the examples provided below. Examples of argumentative essay prompts: Two-sided Question. Should completing a certain number of ...

  17. Writing Conclusion for Argumentative Essays [Guide & Examples]

    By being aware of these common pitfalls, you can ensure your conclusion is strong, compelling, and effective. Now, you should be well-equipped to write a strong conclusion for your argumentative essay. But remember, practice makes perfect! Final Thoughts. Writing a strong conclusion for your argumentative essay is crucial.

  18. Rhetorical Questions in Essays: 5 Things you should Know

    If your rhetorical question isn't as good as you think it is, your marks are going to drop - big time. 5. Teachers Hate Rhetorical Questions in Essays. This one supplants all other reasons. The fact is that there are enough teachers out there who hate rhetorical questions in essays that using them is a very risky move.

  19. How to Start an Essay: 7 Tips for a Knockout Essay Introduction

    The fact you present can be one that supports the position you argue in the essay or it can be part of the body of data your expository essay explains. Ask a question. By asking a question in your essay opening, you're directly inviting the reader to interact with your work. They don't get to be a passive consumer; they're now part of the ...

  20. Can you ask Questions in an Essay? How to Blend them Well

    Alicia Smart. Ideally, you can ask questions in an essay, provided they are relevant and add value to the arguments of a paragraph. A question in an essay should always contribute something substantial to the arguments you make in the essay. Questions should not bring idle speculations that may drop the essay's tone.

  21. Is It Good To End An Essay With A Question?

    Below are reasons why concluding an essay with a question is effective: 1. A question will leave the reader thinking about the essay even after reading it. The reader will definitely try to ponder on your question and even try to find an answer. Note that the question you decide to end your essay with should reflect on the content of your essay ...

  22. Can You Start an Argumentative Essay With a Question?

    You can't start an argumentative essay with a question. While rhetorical questions are powerful for producing an effect or making a statement, they aren't effective for starting an argument. Rather than asking a question in the essay, start with a rhetorical statement. Rhetorical statements are far reaching in argumentative writing.

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    Carlson says you should be aware of heavy traffic and figure out back roads you can take. Ideally, worried pet owners could call their vet to explain the situation and get advice first. Carlson ...