Writing concluding paragraphs to argumentative essays*

*Here the word "conclusion" is used to describe the closing paragraph.

Concluding paragraphs are just as important as introductions. The concluding paragraph closes the essay and tries to close the issue. The aim is to convince the reader that your essay has covered all the most important arguments about the issue and that your main conclusion is the best position on the issue. You should not present any new arguments in your concluding paragraph.

Many students find it difficult to write a concluding paragraph. By this time they may have done so much work on the body of the essay that they just want to finish the essay off as quickly as possible and so they write a rushed and badly written concluding paragraph. But the concluding paragraph is the last part of the essay that your reader will see. Spend some time on carefully writing the concluding paragraph so that you give your reader a good final impression of your essay.


Let's look again at the concluding paragraph from the model essay on Marine Parks:

In conclusion, these parks should be closed, or at the very least, no new animals should be captured for marine parks in the future. Our society is no longer prepared to tolerate unnecessary cruelty to animals for science and entertainment. If we continue with our past crimes against these creatures we will be remembered as cruel and inhuman by the generations of the future.

Task 1: The three parts of a concluding paragraph
A simple introduction to an argumentative assignment has three parts. Read the following description of the parts. Then circle the sentences in the concluding paragraph above which cover each part and write the number for each part in the margin next to it, e.g. for the first part draw a circle around the sentence(s) that restate(s) the main conclusion (thesis) and write "1" in the margin next to it.

The three parts to a conclusion:


Restates the main conclusion


Presents one or two general sentences which accurately summarize your arguments which support the main conclusion


Provides a general warning of the consequences of not following the conclusion that you put forward and/or a general statement of how the community will benefit from following that conclusion


Task 2: Ordering sentences in a conclusion
Now put the following sentences into the correct order. They make up the conclusion to another argumentative essay. The main conclusion of this essay is that the government should spend more money on childcare places for the children of parents who study or work.


If we fail to meet our obligations in this area, we will be sacrificing our present and future well-being merely in order to appease outdated notions of family life and to achieve short-term financial savings.


In conclusion, it is essential that we support the nation's parents and children by funding more childcare places.


Only in this way can we provide the valuable learning environments that young Australians need while, at the same time, utilizing the skills of all productive members of our society.


The entire national community will then be enriched economically, socially and culturally.


Task 3: The three parts of a conclusion (again)
Print out the answer to task 2. Then circle the sentences which cover each of the three parts of argumentative essay conclusions and write the number for each part in the margin next to it, just as you did for the conclusion to the marine parks essay in Task 1.


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