What is the most challenging part of essay writing?
Some name the process of thesis clarification, others mention essay hooks and writing an outline, but our reader Emily has knocked spots off them all when asked to share tips on writing essay conclusions!
Don’t worry, Emily, you are not alone.
Finishing your essay isn’t less but sometimes even more challenging than starting it. Our writers know it firsthand, so they give consent graciously to share expert tips on creating strong conclusions for college papers.
Keep on reading to master this craft once and for all.
Why do you need essay conclusions?
A conclusion provides closure and drives main points of your essay one last time. It’s the chance to impress and give readers understanding why your paper matters. In other words, your conclusion should answer the question “So what?”
- Give the audience something to think about after they finish reading your essay.
- A conclusion should give completeness to your paper. Ending it on a positive note would be a good practice.
It’s not about introducing new ideas but summing up your writing. The goal is to restate the thesis, summarize the essay’s body, and leave readers with a final impression.
Key aspects to remember:
- A strong essay conclusion restates, not rewrites your thesis from the introduction.
- A strong essay conclusion consists of three sentences minimum.
- It concludes thoughts, not presents new ideas.
Example source: Purdue OWL
So, here’s how to end an essay.
How to write a strong essay conclusion?
The number of sentences in your conclusion will depend on how many paragraphs (statements) you have in the essay.
Consider a standard structure for essay conclusions:
Sentence #1: restate the thesis by making the same point with other words (paraphrase).
- Thesis: “Dogs are better pets than cats.”
- Paraphrased: “Dogs make the best pets in the world.”
Sentence #2-4: review your supporting ideas; summarize arguments by paraphrasing how you proved the thesis.
- “Dogs are cleaner, better at showing affection, and ultimately easier to train.”
Sentence #5: connect back to the essay hook and relate your closing statement to the opening one; transit to human nature to impress a reader and give them food for thought.
- “Change your life for the better – go get a dog.”
Finally, combine all sentences to improved and expanded conclusion.
- Based on the above examples, it might look as follows (source):
“There is no doubt that dogs make the best pets in the world. They provide a cleaner environment for your home, are not afraid to show their feelings, and can be trained to do a variety of tricks and jobs. Every second that goes by, you are missing out on happiness. Get out of your chair and make a positive difference in your life – go get a dog!”
Also, you will need a transition word to make readers understand you are going to conclude. The most common are “In conclusion…”,“To sum up…”, and “As previously stated…”, but don’t use them! (If you don’t want to drive your teacher nuts, of course.)
Try “So…” instead. Or, visit the web page of John A. Dowell from Michigan State University to find more transition words for finishing an essay.
You’ve been hit by the structure of essay conclusions.
What about strategies to use for writing them?
Paraphrase the introduction to bring a full-circle to readers. Ending an essay with the same scenario might help to prove your point and create a better understanding.
“From the parking lot, I could see the towers of the castle of the Magic Kingdom standing stately against the blue sky. To the right, the tall peak of The Matterhorn rose even higher. From the left, I could hear the jungle sounds of Adventureland. As I entered the gate, Main Street stretched before me with its quaint shops evoking an old-fashioned small town so charming it could never have existed. I was entranced. Disneyland may have been built for children, but it brings out the child in adults.”
“I thought I would spend a few hours at Disneyland, but here I was at 1:00 A.M., closing time, leaving the front gates with the now dark towers of the Magic Kingdom behind me. I could see tired children, toddling along and struggling to keep their eyes open as best they could. Others slept in their parents’ arms as we waited for the parking lot tram that would take us to our cars. My forty-year-old feet ached, and I felt a bit sad to think that in a couple of days I would be leaving California, my vacation over, to go back to my desk. But then I smiled to think that for at least a day I felt ten years old again.”
Try looking to the future for emphasizing the importance of your essay and give readers food for thought. “When” and “if” are power words to support your points.
“Physical punishment can be a useful method of discipline. However it should be the last choice for parents. If we want to build a world with less violence we must begin at home, and we must teach our children to be responsible.”
You might want to amplify the main point of an essay or put it in a different perspective for setting a larger context. That would help readers gain a new vision on the topic and bring ideas altogether to create a new but related meaning.
“Finally, I feel that we cannot generalize about children or adults being better learners. It depends on the situation and the motivation of the person, and the level of enthusiasm he or she has for learning.”
“Society would be healthier if more people took part in sports of all kinds. We should continue to try to prevent accidents and injuries. However, we should also ensure that sports are challenging, exciting, and, above all, fun.”
How not to fail your essay conclusion?
With all of the above, you feel like a guru who writes essays that work, don’t you? The structure and strategies are clear, and nothing can stop you on the way toward high grades for college papers. Go for it!
But first a warning:
When writing a strong essay conclusion, be sure to avoid these teeny-tiny pitfalls able to sink your paper despite it was legen… wait for it…dary!
- Don’t write any new information. Your conclusion is about summarizing the thesis and statements.
- Don’t share personal thoughts unless you write a first-person opinion piece.
- Don’t restate each and all details. You have body paragraphs for that.
- Don’t just restate the thesis if you can provide some further – not new! – sophistication to original ideas.
- Don’t write lousy words in the conclusion, but use concise language instead.
Your essay needs a conclusion to drive main points and give understanding why it matters. Writing a strong finishing paragraph might be challenging, but a clear structure, together with several strategies to operate, provide room to work.
To end an essay like a boss, consider its type and audience. A conclusion is your last chance to impress readers and give them something to think about, so do your best to summarize statements and answer a “So what?” question the audience might have after reading your paper.
It’s all in your pitch.
I. What is Amplification?
Amplification (pronounced am-pluh-fi-key-shuh-n) involves extending a sentence or phrase in order to further explain, emphasize, or exaggerate certain points of a definition, description, or argument.
Amplification can involve embellishment or technical elaboration. Either way, more information is being added.
II. Examples of Amplification
Here are a few examples of amplification which increases the quality of ordinary sentences:
Imagine you are struggling with a math assignment. You go into a tutoring center to talk to a math tutor.
The assignment was complicated.
In this sentence, necessary information is conveyed: the assignment was complicated. But the tutor will need to know what, specifically, made the assignment complicated in order to help.
Sentence using Amplification:
The assignment was complicated because it involved numerous steps. I believe I became lost on step three, but I’m not sure. I may have miscalculated here on step four as well. Can you help me?
Through the use of amplification, you have made clear what you are struggling with, and the tutor can now help you.
Imagine you are at a doctor’s office because you have been feeling sick. Your doctor asks, “What brings you here today?”
I think I’m getting sick.
Once again, more information is needed in order to help the doctor understand the problem.
Sentence using Amplification:
I think I’m getting sick—I’ve been experiencing terrible headaches and drainage, and I’ve just begun to develop a sore throat as well.
Amplification serves to specify with more information and detail.
For a final example, imagine you are attempting to describe just how beautiful a fall day was.
I was overwhelmed with how beautiful a day it was.
This sentence expresses the intended sentiment, but it lacks flowery, descriptive language.
Sentence using Amplification:
I was overwhelmed with how beautiful an autumn day it was—the leaves were an awe-inspiring palette of deep reds, vibrant oranges, and bright yellows, the wind wafted through the crisp air, and the sun shone brilliantly through puffs of cumulus clouds.
Wow! With amplification, a beautiful fall day can project off of the page, transporting the reader into the experience.
III. The Importance of Using Amplification
Amplification provides more information in order to strengthen an important point in a speech. It serves to exaggerate certain statements which can underline comedic or serious intentions. It emphasizes the persuasive aspects of an argument by elaborating why exactly they should be considered. In creative writing, amplification draws attention to the most compelling, vivid, or thought-provoking sections of a narrative. In general, amplification highlights what is most important.
IV. Examples of Amplification in Literature
Amplification characterizes speakers, vividly illustrates scenes and moments, and describes in-depth what is most important.
For an example of amplification in literature, read the beginning of Nathaniel Hawthorne’s The Scarlet Letter:
It is a little remarkable, that—though disinclined to talk
overmuch of myself and my affairs at the fireside, and to
my personal friends—an autobiographical impulse should
twice in my life have taken possession of me, in addressing
This introduction utilizes amplification. Instead of simply saying he has decided to write an autobiography, the speaker explains it in-depth.
For a second example, read this excerpt from The Twits by Roald Dahl:
If a person has ugly thoughts, it begins to show on the face. And when that person has ugly thoughts every day, every week, every year, the face gets uglier and uglier until you can hardly bear to look at it.
A person who has good thoughts cannot ever be ugly. You can have a wonky nose and a crooked mouth and a double chin and stick-out teeth, but if you have good thoughts it will shine out of your face like sunbeams and you will always look lovely.
Dahl uses elaboration to describe in-depth how an ugly person becomes uglier, and how a beautiful person, despite any physical imperfections, remains beautiful. This is more powerful than simply saying “Ugly thoughts make you ugly, but beautiful thoughts make you beautiful.”
V. Examples of Amplification in Pop Culture
Amplification creates compelling and interesting dialogue and lyrics in movies, television, and song.
The main character of the film, Patch Adams, makes the following claim when asked if he has been treating patients in his ranch:
Everyone who comes to the ranch is a patient, yes. And every person who comes to the ranch is also a doctor.
When asked to elaborate, he uses amplification to define “doctor” in-depth and holistically:
Every person who comes to the ranch is in need of some form of physical or mental help. They’re patients. But also every person who comes to the ranch is in charge of taking care of someone else–whether it’s cooking for them, cleaning them, or even as simple a task as listening. That makes them doctors. I use that term broadly, but is not a doctor someone who helps someone else? When did the term “doctor” get treated with such reverence, as, “Right this way, Doctor Smith”… or, “Excuse me, Dr. Scholl, what wonderful footpads”… or, “Pardon me, Dr. Patterson, but your flatulence has no odor”?
This emotional and down-to-earth description of a doctor is an emotional appeal to the judges in the movie as well as to the audience watching at home.
For a second example, read the critic Anton Ego’s speech in the film Ratatouille:
The world is often unkind to new talent, new creations. The new needs friends. Last night, I experienced something new, an extraordinary meal from a singularly unexpected source. To say that both the meal and its maker have challenged my preconceptions about fine cooking is a gross understatement. They have rocked me to my core. In the past, I have made no secret of my disdain for Chef Gusteau’s famous motto: “Anyone can cook.” But I realize, only now do I truly understand what he meant. Not everyone can become a great artist, but a great artist can come from anywhere.
Ego uses amplification to clearly explain how the world reacts to something new and how the brave critic must defend it. He also elaborates on the unexpected meal and how it changed his preconceptions. To simply say, “The meal challenged my preconceptions” would miss the larger point: Ego realized a great artist can come from anywhere. As the audience knows, Ego is talking about a rat chef. The eloquence of his explanation highlights just how amazing this little chef is.
VI. Related Terms
Like amplification, auxesis involves the accumulation of information. Auxesis is a specific type of amplification in which words are piled on in order of importance, ending with the most important or triumphant part. Here are a few examples of auxesis:
- We scored a goal. Then another! Forty minutes later, we were winning four to zero!
In this example, the sentences build in order of goals scored and in excitement over winning the game.
- At first, he was a little angry. A few minutes later, his face was red. An hour later, he was fuming!
This example shows an increasingly angry person in increments.
- We planned on a brief coffee date, but then we decided to get dinner, too. Hours later, we were still talking and planning on our next date!
This example shows a relationship developing as a brief date is extended and extended.
Congeries is another specific type of amplification in which words are piled on in order to describe something in-depth. Here are a few examples of congeries:
- He’s a curly, sweet, blonde, little, tiny, fun, funny puppy.
- She was wild and crazy! Bizarre! The most amazing thing! Too much to handle! Wow!
- The speech was interesting, compelling, thought-provoking, overwhelming at times, and so very inspiring.
As can be seen in the above examples, congeries piles on the words, oftentimes adjectives, to fully and enthusiastically describe something.
VII. In Closing
Amplification turns the speakers up on what the audience needs to pay attention to and understand. It can be used to carefully explain, slowly elaborate, or expressively describe. Amplification proves that less is not more. More is more!
Patch Adams (8/10) Movie CLIP – You Treat a Person (1998) HD