Is It Good To End An Essay With A Question?
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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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One of the most common questions we receive at the Writing Center is “what am I supposed to do in my conclusion?” This is a difficult question to answer because there’s no one right answer to what belongs in a conclusion. How you conclude your paper will depend on where you started—and where you traveled. It will also depend on the conventions and expectations of the discipline in which you are writing. For example, while the conclusion to a STEM paper could focus on questions for further study, the conclusion of a literature paper could include a quotation from your central text that can now be understood differently in light of what has been discussed in the paper. You should consult your instructor about expectations for conclusions in a particular discipline.
With that in mind, here are some general guidelines you might find helpful to use as you think about your conclusion.
Begin with the “what”
In a short paper—even a research paper—you don’t need to provide an exhaustive summary as part of your conclusion. But you do need to make some kind of transition between your final body paragraph and your concluding paragraph. This may come in the form of a few sentences of summary. Or it may come in the form of a sentence that brings your readers back to your thesis or main idea and reminds your readers where you began and how far you have traveled.
So, for example, in a paper about the relationship between ADHD and rejection sensitivity, Vanessa Roser begins by introducing readers to the fact that researchers have studied the relationship between the two conditions and then provides her explanation of that relationship. Here’s her thesis: “While socialization may indeed be an important factor in RS, I argue that individuals with ADHD may also possess a neurological predisposition to RS that is exacerbated by the differing executive and emotional regulation characteristic of ADHD.”
In her final paragraph, Roser reminds us of where she started by echoing her thesis: “This literature demonstrates that, as with many other conditions, ADHD and RS share a delicately intertwined pattern of neurological similarities that is rooted in the innate biology of an individual’s mind, a connection that cannot be explained in full by the behavioral mediation hypothesis.”
Highlight the “so what”
At the beginning of your paper, you explain to your readers what’s at stake—why they should care about the argument you’re making. In your conclusion, you can bring readers back to those stakes by reminding them why your argument is important in the first place. You can also draft a few sentences that put those stakes into a new or broader context.
In the conclusion to her paper about ADHD and RS, Roser echoes the stakes she established in her introduction—that research into connections between ADHD and RS has led to contradictory results, raising questions about the “behavioral mediation hypothesis.”
She writes, “as with many other conditions, ADHD and RS share a delicately intertwined pattern of neurological similarities that is rooted in the innate biology of an individual’s mind, a connection that cannot be explained in full by the behavioral mediation hypothesis.”
Leave your readers with the “now what”
After the “what” and the “so what,” you should leave your reader with some final thoughts. If you have written a strong introduction, your readers will know why you have been arguing what you have been arguing—and why they should care. And if you’ve made a good case for your thesis, then your readers should be in a position to see things in a new way, understand new questions, or be ready for something that they weren’t ready for before they read your paper.
In her conclusion, Roser offers two “now what” statements. First, she explains that it is important to recognize that the flawed behavioral mediation hypothesis “seems to place a degree of fault on the individual. It implies that individuals with ADHD must have elicited such frequent or intense rejection by virtue of their inadequate social skills, erasing the possibility that they may simply possess a natural sensitivity to emotion.” She then highlights the broader implications for treatment of people with ADHD, noting that recognizing the actual connection between rejection sensitivity and ADHD “has profound implications for understanding how individuals with ADHD might best be treated in educational settings, by counselors, family, peers, or even society as a whole.”
To find your own “now what” for your essay’s conclusion, try asking yourself these questions:
- What can my readers now understand, see in a new light, or grapple with that they would not have understood in the same way before reading my paper? Are we a step closer to understanding a larger phenomenon or to understanding why what was at stake is so important?
- What questions can I now raise that would not have made sense at the beginning of my paper? Questions for further research? Other ways that this topic could be approached?
- Are there other applications for my research? Could my questions be asked about different data in a different context? Could I use my methods to answer a different question?
- What action should be taken in light of this argument? What action do I predict will be taken or could lead to a solution?
- What larger context might my argument be a part of?
What to avoid in your conclusion
- a complete restatement of all that you have said in your paper.
- a substantial counterargument that you do not have space to refute; you should introduce counterarguments before your conclusion.
- an apology for what you have not said. If you need to explain the scope of your paper, you should do this sooner—but don’t apologize for what you have not discussed in your paper.
- fake transitions like “in conclusion” that are followed by sentences that aren’t actually conclusions. (“In conclusion, I have now demonstrated that my thesis is correct.”)
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Can You End An Essay With A Quote (What You Should Know)
by Antony W
February 16, 2023
You’ve put in the hard work in your essay’s opening paragraph and body section, and you’re confident that the paper reads naturally.
Your hook is on point. The body paragraphs introduce your arguments , provide evidence, and give a solid summary of your ideas.
Then you face another common challenge in essay writing, one that’s just as hard to write as the rest of the sections in the essay outline. It hits you that the conclusion of the essay isn’t easy to write either.
The question is this: how do you write this part and wind up an essay you’ve spent a lot of time to complete?
In particular, can you end the essay with a quote ?
If so, how do you do it exactly? If not recommended, then what’s the right way to write the conclusion for an essay without missing the main point?
Can You End An Essay With A Quote?
You can end an essay with a direct quotation provided you quote it appropriately.
However, it’s something we generally don’t recommend in academic writing.
In any case, the concluding paragraph is a section where you prove to your professor that you can eloquently provide a summary for issues discussed in the body section of the paper.
And what’s a better way to do that than with your own words?
Perhaps the biggest problem with ending an essay with a quote is that it crowds out your ideas, and therefore makes the whole concept or topic of the essay somewhat hard to understand from a reader’s perspective.
Quotes also tend to introduce a reader to new ideas, so they’re not best-fitting for the concluding paragraph. Again, you have to attribute an analyze them, something you’ll do better in the body section.
Keeping in mind that the conclusion is the part where you tie everything you’ve written together, consider ending with your own words instead of clogging up the section with a quote.
Below are a few easy ways to conclude an essay instead of using a quotation:
What's The Best Way to End An Essay?
A good way to think of the best conclusion for your essay is to think about the “so what?” question.
Why does your argument matter as far as the essay topic in question is concerned?
Since the conclusion is where you tie everything together into a whole, make sure that what you write in your conclusion can easily convince your readers to consider your argument.
Another way to conclude the essay the right way is to determine what your main ideas are in the argument. Then, reiterate these ideas using a different set of vocabularies and sentence structures so as to not sound redundant.
By doing so, you won’t put yourself in the position where you have to introduce new information to your readers.
Things Not to Do in an Essay’s Conclusion
Let’s be honest:
The conclusion of an essay is just as important as other parts of the paper. Yet it’s the section that many students give the least attention.
Like the other parts, you need to make sure this section grabs your professor’s attention, the same way the opening paragraph and the body paragraphs did.
1. Don’t Introduce New Information in the Conclusion
The last mistake you want to make in the conclusion of an essay is to introduce new information that your reader isn’t already familiar with.
Your reader easily gets distracted, as they’ve lost the meaning of the essay and mostly because you’ve left them wondering what the paper was about in the first place.
If you feel like you’ve left something important out, add it to the body paragraph so it makes up the bulk of your argument.
Doing so shows that you not only have the best organization skills but also you care about providing information in the right order to your readers.
2. Don’t Repeat The Introduction Or The Thesis Statement
Copying the central theme or the paragraph that starts an essay and pasting it in the concluding paragraph is a bad way to end an essay.
Rather than using these statements as is, you can reword them so they don’t look merely pasted.
After all, rewording the intro or the thesis statement gives you an opportunity to incorporate unique sentence structure and varied vocabularies in the essay.
3. Don’t Summarize Your Ideas
If you’re simply reiterating your main ideas in the concluding paragraphs, you don’t stand a chance to impress your professor.
Summarizing more or less makes you repeat yourself, and this can undoubtedly make the conclusion of an essay boring to read.
Instead of dwelling too much on repeating what you’ve already highlighted throughout the essay, give a thought-provoking conclusion.
For what it’s worth, you can extend your ideas beyond what you’ve already stated in the essay and naturally answer the “so what?” question.
3. Don’t Use “In Conclusion” or “In Summary”
These are two phrases that you must never use in the conclusion of an essay.
Think about it:
Your reader has read your essay until they’ve reached the last paragraph, and they know they’ve reached the end of your paper because they’re on the last paragraph of the page.
Using these phrases not only takes up unnecessary text space in an essay but also makes you sound repetitive.
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About the author
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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 3,182,545 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.
- “All in all”
- “As a consequence”
- “As a result”
- Make sure to write your main points in a new and unique way to avoid repetition.
- 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.
- “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.”
- 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?
- 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!
- For instance, words like “firstly,” “secondly,” and “thirdly” may be great transition statements for body paragraphs but are unnecessary in a conclusion.
- 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.
- 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.
- Always review your essay after writing it for proper grammar, spelling, and punctuation, and don’t be afraid to revise. Thanks Helpful 1 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 1 Not Helpful 1
You Might Also Like
- ↑ 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
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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How to Write a Clear and Strong Conclusion for Argumentative Essay: A Simple Step-by-Step Guide
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
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. "
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.
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!
Conclusion and 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 US essay writing service , we have a team of skilled writers who can deliver top-notch argumentative essays tailored to your specific needs. We're here to help you succeed.
To further strengthen your conclusion writing skills, here are some additional resources worth exploring:
Posts from Writers Per Hour Blog
- How Significant Are Opposing Points of View in an Argument
- How to Write a Hook for an Argumentative Essay
- Good Argumentative Essay Topics
- How to Write an Introduction for an Argumentative Essay
- Rebuttal in Argumentative Essay
- Purdue Online Writing Lab: Argumentative Essays
- University of North Carolina Writing Center: Conclusions
Remember, mastering the art of argumentative essay writing doesn't happen overnight. It takes practice and patience. If you ever need help, our professional essay writing service is here to assist you. Our experienced writers are well-versed in crafting compelling argumentative essays and can help you achieve your academic goals.
Last edit at Nov 24 2023
Stefani is a professional writer and blogger at Writers Per Hour . She primarily contributes articles about careers, leadership, business, and writing. Her educational background in family science and journalism has given her a broad base from which to approach many topics. She especially enjoys preparing resumes for individuals who are changing careers.
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