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acAdvanced Composition 
Four Ways to End an Essay

March 31, 2005

The conclusion is your last chance to make an impression on the reader of your essay. Often, students hurry their conclusions, especially on a test essay.

Learn the techniques below to make writing the conclusion an easier and more satisfying task. Remember to restate your thesis in a new, reworded sentence to begin your conclusion. NOTE: You may, if writing the conclusion first, consider your thesis as a first statement and your introductory thesis as a restatement.

Restated Thesis for the samples: “Therefore, the automobile is harmful in three ways, all serious to human society.”


Summary (most common, but a bit boring), Technique One

[Thesis restated] Automobiles harm us through their harmful emissions, the temptation to drive rather than walk, and the horrific accidents they cause. If we stopped to think about the consequences more often, perhaps we would be more inclined to walk a bit more and enjoy smelling the roses! [Do not use this technique for your homework assignment!]

Final Quotation, Technique Two

[Thesis restated] We often forget the capacity for harm that comes from the use (and overuse) of the private automobile. If we are inclined to forget, the following statistic ,based on accident levels in the USA, should prove sobering: “Approximately 2 million disabling, non-fatal injuries occur in automobile accidents every year.”

Anecdote, Technique Three

[Thesis restated]  Often, I walk around the large Vancouver urban park named for Queen Elizabeth while enjoying the music on my headphones. But, very often, my joy is tempered by annoyance with the harsh metallic smells of automobile exhausts and the dull roar that even penetrates my well-sealed headphones. The automobile is truly a mixed blessing!

Warning or Remedy (or both, together), Technique Four

[Thesis restated] The overuse of the personal automobile in our cities is indeed a serious issue. Already we face high levels of pollutants that penetrate our homes and dirty the lungs of our children, along with an epidemic of obesity among our populations due to lack of exercise. If we all let our cars take one “day off” a week, imagine how much cleaner (and quieter) our cities would be!

Assignment and Homework:

      Write three different conclusions to your essay on exercise using techniques 2, 3, and 4.

      Revise each conclusion once and hand in both the original and revised conclusions in class next week.



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