When you have completed constructing your thesis, developing and expanding your supporting points, and designing and writing your arguments, you will be ready to write your conclusion. You may select from a number of ways to conclude your paper (for example, a summary of points, a reiteration of your thesis, a synthesis of all your arguments). Your purpose is to bring your topic to a close. If you have done a good job of maintaining your direction and developing your claim(s), you will have arrived at your conclusion as a matter of course. One way to determine what to include in your conclusion is to reread your thesis. Ask yourself a few questions. What direction did you name or what claim(s) did you make in your thesis? What limitations did you set for your topic? What path did you choose when you developed your supporting points and wrote your arguments? Your conclusion is a good place to remind your reader where you were headed and how you got there.

Conclusions in student papers often are not used effectively. Do not presume your reader has followed your arguments and knows your conclusion. State it explicitly. If you have been careful to develop support and arguments for your thesis, do not shortchange yourself by brushing lightly over the conclusion. Avoid broad, sweeping statements or generalities; do not introduce new topics or new arguments. Stick to your topic and your direction or claim. Conclude your paper with a strong, deliberate ending that reinforces or clarifies what you have been writing about all along.