Conclusion Paragraphs

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Every essay needs to end with a concluding paragraph. It is the last paragraph the marker reads, and this will typically be the last paragraph that your write.

What is a ‘concluding paragraph?


The conclusion is the final paragraph of your essay that reminds the reader about the points you have made and how it proves the argument which you stated in your hypothesis.

 

By the time your marker reads your conclusion, they have read all the evidence you have presented in your body paragraphs. This is your last opportunity to show that you have proven your points.

 

While your conclusion will talk about the same points you made in your introduction, it should not read exactly the same.  Instead it should state the same information in a more developed form and bring the essay to an end.

 

In general, you should never use quotes from sources in your conclusion.


Concluding paragraph structure


While the concluding paragraph will normally be shorter than your introductory and body paragraphs, it still has a specific role to fulfil.

 

A well-written concluding paragraph has the following three-part structure:

  • Restate your key points
  • Restate your hypothesis
  • Concluding sentence

Each element of this structure is explained further, with examples, below:


1. Restate your key points

In one or two sentences, restate each of the topic sentences from your body paragraphs. This is to remind the marker about how you proved your argument.

 

This information will be similar to your elaboration sentences in your introduction, but will be much briefer.

 

Since this is a summary of your entire essay’s argument, you will often want to start your conclusion with a phrase to highlight this. For example: “In conclusion”, “In summary”, “To briefly summarise”, or “Overall”.

Example restatements of key points:

Middle Ages (Year 8 Level)

In conclusion, feudal lords had initially spent vast sums of money on elaborate castle construction projects but ceased to do so as a result of the advances in gunpowder technology which rendered stone defences obsolete.

 

WWI (Year 9 Level)

To briefly summarise, the initially flood of Australian volunteers were encouraged by imperial propaganda but as a result of the stories harsh battlefield experience which filtered back to the home front, enlistment numbers quickly declined.

 

Civil Rights (Year 10 Level)

In summary, the efforts of important aboriginal leaders and activist organisations to spread the idea of indigenous political equality had a significant effect on sway public opinion in favour of a ‘yes’ vote.

 

Ancient Rome (Year 11/12 Level) 

Overall, the Marian military reforms directly changed Roman political campaigns and the role of public opinion in military command assignments across a variety of Roman societal practices.

2. Restate your hypothesis

This is a single sentence that restates the hypothesis from your introductory paragraph.

 

Don’t simply copy it word-for-word. It should be restated in a different way, but still clearly saying what you have been arguing for the whole of your essay.

 

Make it clear to your marker that you are clearly restating you argument by beginning this sentence a phrase to highlight this. For example: “Therefore”, “This proves that”, “Consequently”, or “Ultimately”.

Example restated hypotheses:

Middle Ages (Year 8 Level)

Therefore, it is clear that while castles were initially intended to dominate infantry-dominated siege scenarios, they were abandoned in favour of financial investment in canon technologies.

 

WWI (Year 9 Level)

This proves that the change in Australian soldiers morale during World War One was the consequence of the mass slaughter produced by mass-produced weaponry and combat doctrine.

 

Civil Rights (Year 10 Level)

Consequently, the 1967 Referendum considered a public relations success because of the targeted strategies implemented by Charles Perkins, Faith Bandler and the Federal Council for the Advancement of Aborigines and Torres Strait Islanders.

 

Ancient Rome (Year 11/12 Level) 

Ultimately, it can be safely argued that Gaius Marius was instrumental in revolutionising the republican political, military and social structures in the 1st century BC.

3. Concluding sentence

This is the final sentence of your conclusion that provides a final statement about the implications of your arguments for modern understandings of the topic. Alternatively, it could make a statement about what the effect of this historical person or event had on history. 

Example concluding sentences:

Middle Ages (Year 8 Level)

While these medieval structures fell into disuse centuries ago, they continue to fascinate people to this day.

 

WWI (Year 9 Level)

The implications of the war-weariness produced by these experiences continued to shape opinions about war for the rest of the 20th century.

 

Civil Rights (Year 10 Level)

Despite this, the aboriginal people had to lobby successive Australian governments for further political equality, which still continues today.

 

Ancient Rome (Year 11/12 Level)

 

The impact of these changes effectively prepared the way for other political figures, like Pompey, Julius Caesar and Octavian, who would ultimately transform the Roman republic into an empire.

Putting it all together


Once you have written all three parts of, you should have a completed concluding paragraph. In the examples above, we have shown each part separately. Below you will see the completed paragraphs so that you can appreciate what a conclusion should look like.

Example conclusion paragraphs: 

Middle Ages (Year 8 Level)

In conclusion, feudal lords had initially spent vast sums of money on elaborate castle construction projects but ceased to do so as a result of the advances in gunpowder technology which rendered stone defences obsolete. Therefore, it is clear that while castles were initially intended to dominate infantry-dominated siege scenarios, they were abandoned in favour of financial investment in canon technologies. While these medieval structures fell into disuse centuries ago, they continue to fascinate people to this day.

 

WWI (Year 9 Level)

To briefly summarise, the initially flood of Australian volunteers were encouraged by imperial propaganda but as a result of the stories harsh battlefield experience which filtered back to the home front, enlistment numbers quickly declined. This proves that the change in Australian soldiers morale during World War One was the consequence of the mass slaughter produced by mass-produced weaponry and combat doctrine. The implications of the war-weariness produced by these experiences continued to shape opinions about war for the rest of the 20th century.

 

Civil Rights (Year 10 Level)

In summary, the efforts of important aboriginal leaders and activist organisations to spread the idea of indigenous political equality had a significant effect on sway public opinion in favour of a ‘yes’ vote. Consequently, the 1967 Referendum considered a public relations success because of the targeted strategies implemented by Charles Perkins, Faith Bandler and the Federal Council for the Advancement of Aborigines and Torres Strait Islanders. Despite this, the aboriginal people had to lobby successive Australian governments for further political equality, which still continues today.

 

Ancient Rome (Year 11/12 Level) 

Overall, the Marian military reforms directly changed Roman political campaigns and the role of public opinion in military command assignments across a variety of Roman societal practices. Ultimately, it can be safely argued that Gaius Marius was instrumental in revolutionising the republican political, military and social structures in the 1st century BC. The impact of these changes effectively prepared the way for other political figures, like Pompey, Julius Caesar and Octavian, who would ultimately transform the Roman republic into an empire.


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