It’s Over: Concluding an Essay

Think of watching a film that cuts out 5 minutes before the end with a subtitle that says ‘ran out of time’. That is exactly what you do to an examiner if you don’t write a conclusion to your essay. You must write a conclusion and it needs to be good. Why? Because it is the last thing an examiner will read and it is your final opportunity to leave a lasting impression on them.

Do’s and Don’ts:

  • Do keep it around 5 lines long
  • Do leave yourself enough time in the exam to write it
  • Do not add new arguments (a new quote however might give it some flavour)
  • Do not write ‘I think’ (the examiner wants to read a sophisticated argument not your thoughts) So keep with third person: ‘In conclusion from the arguments presented it is clear that’ or ‘in conclusion one might believe that’
  • Do briefly summarise the main arguments mentioned in your essay (just to remind the examiner what amazing arguments you have raised)
  • Do ‘get off the fence’!! This is especially important if the question asks you to ‘discuss’. This means that you have to conclude why a side is more convincing/ coherent etc than the other based on the arguments/ evaluation you have presented.
  • Do link your conclusion back to the question.

For example:

Screen Shot 2016-03-03 at 20.44.56

You should be able to tell from this conclusion: 1) what the question was 2) which perspective the writer is arguing from and 3) a summary of some of the key points raised.

An examiner should be able to read just your introduction and your conclusion and know exactly what you are arguing and how you are going to answer the question. All the main part of an essay does is fill the detail into the gaps.

Check out https://ithinkthereforeiteach.wordpress.com/2016/03/03/let-me-introduce-myself-writing-an-introdution/ for further advice on writing an introduction. Then put your essay to the test…Screen Shot 2016-03-03 at 20.52.28.png

To view all available teacher and student materials click on: R.S Resources. This digital goods store will allow you to quickly and safely download all materials (for a small charge). These include PowerPoints, lesson packs (with all worksheets and activities) key knowledge test packs (with answers), essay writing skills pack, revision packs and much more. I am always uploading new materials (as and when I cover them with my students) so it is worth checking regularly. These are all the materials I use with my own students, so they are tried and tested and available for you to download, keep and adapt over the years.

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