Last edited by Allen Brizee on March 22, 2013 .
This resource covers writing a detailed conclusion for your GED essay.
Writing a Developed and Detailed Conclusion
It is important to have a strong conclusion, since this is the last chance you have to make an impression on your reader. The goal of your conclusion isn’t to introduce any new ideas, but to sum up everything you’ve written. Specifically, your conclusion should accomplish three major goals:
- Restate the main idea of your essay, or your thesis statement
- Summarize the three subpoints of your essay
- Leave the reader with an interesting final impression
The paragraph below is an example conclusion. As you read, think about what each sentence accomplishes within the paragraph. What sentence(s) restates the essay’s thesis statement? What sentence(s) summarizes the essay’s three subpoints? What sentence(s) leaves the reader with an interesting final impression?
Getting a better job is a goal that I would really like to accomplish in the next few years. Finishing school will take me a long way to meeting this goal. To meet my goal, I will also prepare my résumé and search for jobs. My goal may not be an easy one to achieve, but things that are worth doing are often not easy.
Notice that the first sentence restates the thesis. The second and third sentences summarize the essay’s subpoints. Finally, the fourth sentence leaves the reader with an interesting final impression.
No new information is presented in this paragraph. Instead, the writer sums up what has been written so far and leaves the reader with a last thought. While the content of the paragraph is very similar to the introduction, the paragraph itself is not exactly the same. This is important. Even though the goal of the conclusion is to restate a lot of the information from the introduction, it should sound different because the conclusion’s purpose is slightly different from the introduction.
Practice writing a conclusion using the sample essay topic and the thesis statement. Remember to support the points you have gathered. Remember to restate your thesis, summarize your subpoints, and leave the reader with an interesting final impression.
For more information development and details, please visit these Purdue OWL resources:
To practice responding to a writing prompt, please use the CWEST GED Essay Game.
Conclusions aren't easy—but they're very important. And contrary to popular belief, they're not simply a place to restate what you've said before in the same way. They're an opportunity to cast all the arguments you've made in a new light.
Conclusions give you a chance to summarize and organize your main points, reminding the reader how effectively you’ve proven your thesis. It’s also your final opportunity to make a lasting impression on your reader.
Simple Conclusion Formula
- Proper, relevant restatement of thesis statement and strongest evidence
- Relevant final thought
As an example, let’s create a conclusion following our two-step process.
Let’s say your thesis statement is:
College athletes should not be paid because many receive compensation in the form of scholarships and benefit from more visibility to potential professional recruiters.
Now we’ll follow our formula to write an effective conclusion.
Restatement of Thesis and Strongest Evidence
The first step in writing our conclusion is to restate the thesis statement.
It’s important not to simply copy your thesis statement word for word. You can also briefly include evidence or other points that were mentioned in your paper.
You could write something like:
College athletes don’t need financial compensation because they receive numerous benefits including scholarships, additional experience and coaching, and exposure to professional teams.
This sentence reminds the reader of our original thesis statement without copying it exactly.
At this point, you could also synthesize 1-2 of the strongest pieces of supporting evidence already mentioned in your essay, such as:
With four years of tuition costing up to hundreds of thousands and salaries in potential professional sports careers averaging millions, these benefits already amount to significant compensation.
Notice that we didn’t start with a transition like, “In conclusion,” or, “In summary.” These transitions aren’t necessary and are often overused.
Relevant Final Thought
You want to end your conclusion with a strong final thought. It should provide your reader with closure and give your essay a memorable or thought-provoking ending.
The last sentence of your conclusion can point to broader implications, like the impact the topic of your essay has had on history, society, or culture.
Another good rule of thumb is to allow your final sentence to answer the question, “So what?” Your reader has spent time reading your paper, but why does any of this matter? Why should your reader—or anyone else—care?
For our sample conclusion, for example, you could write:
Providing still more compensation to college athletes would send the message that they are employees, not students. If we don’t want education to be sidelined, college athletes should not be paid.
This concluding sentence answers the, “So what?” question by explaining the potential repercussions of paying college athletes. It gives the reader a reason to be more invested in your essay and ideas.
Putting It All Together
The conclusion reads:
College athletes don’t need financial compensation because they receive numerous benefits including scholarships, additional experience and coaching, and exposure to professional teams. With four years of tuition costing up to hundreds of thousands and salaries in potential professional sports careers averaging millions, these benefits already amount to significant compensation. Providing still more compensation to college athletes would send the message that they are employees, not students. If we don’t want education to be sidelined, college athletes should not be paid.
To create effective conclusions of your own, remember to follow these guidelines:
- Don’t feel the need to start with overused transitions such as, “In conclusion,” or, “In summary.”
- Restate your thesis statement in a new way.
- You can also restate 1-2 of your strongest pieces of supporting evidence.
- Don’t mention anything in your conclusion that wasn’t mentioned in the body of your essay.
- End with a strong final thought, preferably one that answers the question, “So what?”
By following these simple steps, you’ll craft a conclusion that leaves a powerful final impression on your readers.