Five: Introductions and Conclusons
conclusion is your last chance to persuade the reader or
impress upon them your qualifications. Endings are the last
experience an admissions officer has with your essay, so
you need to make those words and thoughts count. You should
not feel obligated to tie everything up into a neat bow.
The essay can conclude with some ambiguity, if appropriate,
as long as it offers insights. The aim is for the admissions
officer to leave your essay thinking, “That was a satisfying
read.” Here are some Do’s and Don’ts as you develop your
upon the broader implications of your discussion.
This could include the following strategies:
linking your conclusion to your introduction to
establish a sense of balance by reiterating introductory
a term used previously in your body paragraphs.
with a famous quote that is relevant to your argument.
Do not TRY to do this, as this approach is overdone.
This should come naturally.
your discussion within a larger context or show
that your topic has widespread appeal.
the conclusion back to your introduction. A nice
conclusion makes use of the creativity you used in
your introduction. If you used an anecdote in your
intro, use the conclusion to finish telling that story.
to end on a positive note. You may want to restate
your goals in terms of how they will be fulfilled
at the institution to which you are applying.
Since the essay is rather short to begin with, the
reader should not need to be reminded of what you
wrote 300 words beforehand. You do not need to wrap
up your essay in a nice little package. It should
be an ending, not a summary.
stock phrases. Phrases such as, “in conclusion,”
“in summary,” “to conclude,” belong only in dry, scientific
writing. Don’t use them.
to Explain the Unexplainable. Your essay need
not be so tidy that you can answer why people die
or why starvation exists -- you are not writing a
sitcom -- but it should forge some attempt at closure.
you move on to Lesson Six: Editing
and Revising, you should take a break. Let your
draft sit for a day or two. You need to distance yourself
from the piece so you can gain objectivity. If there is
anything more difficult than trying to edit your own work,
it is trying to edit your own work right after you have
written it. Once you have let your work sit for a while,
you will be better able to tackle the final steps of editing
on to Lesson Six: Editing and Revising