A conclusion is a call to action. It reiterates the main idea of the essay stated in the introduction, summarizes the evidence presented in the body of the essay, draws any conclusions based on that evidence, and brings a written composition to a logical close.

An essay, a research paper, or a report can end with any of the following:

  • a short summary of the main idea
  • a call to action
  • a reiteration of the main points made
  • a question
  • a proposed solution to the question raised in the thesis statement
  • a statement of the significance of findings
  • a statement of the limitations of the study or research
  • a recommendation for further exploration of the subject

Rule to Remember

A conclusion reiterates the importance of the main idea and summarizes the evidence presented in support of it.

Things to avoid in conclusions:

  • repeating the thesis verbatim
  • repeating ideas from the introduction
  • introducing a new idea not discussed in the main body of the paper
  • apologizing for your views

Sample Conclusion

Advantages of the online delivery of instruction abound; it is the limitations educators often fail to consider. There has to be a well-thoughtout assessment of the curriculum, instructor training programs, technology, and students who will be participating in online programs. Poorly developed curriculum, instructors who are untrained in online delivery of courses, inadequate assessment of student computer skills, and technology accessibility can all contribute to the failure of web-based instruction and result in unmet expectations on the part of students. While educators should take full advantage of all the strengths online instruction has to offer, at the same time they have to strive hard to minimize some of its limitations.

From a student research paper on Advantages and Limitations of Web-Based Instruction

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