How to Write a Conclusion

Once you have written the introduction and crafted a well-argued and suitably organised main body, you need to ‘cap’ your essay with a water tight conclusion. Your conclusion must serve a number of purposes, among the most important being to leave the reader ‘satisfied’ that all of your work has been neatly, tidily, and cleverly drawn to a suitable close.

The Roof: Your Conclusion

You have laid a solid, secure foundation. The main structure of your house has been constructed to the required specifications and the reader is ready to move in. The only thing the house needs now, is a roof. In the same way that the introduction is the foundation to your house, the conclusion is the roof to it. A house needs a roof in order keep the elements out, to keep the warmth in, to provide security, and to ‘finish’ the construction with flair and creativity. Your essay requires a conclusion that will provide the same function. If you follow the advice given in this unit, you will be able to construct, over and over, a robust, yet beautifully crafted, conclusion for any question that you are faced with

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Remember this Top Tip?

Top Tip 1

One easy way we, at The Coursework Club, help our students remember the purpose of each of the three sections of an essay, is this:

“To tell them what you’re going to tell them”.

Main Body
“To tell them”.

“To tell them what you’ve already told them”.

The Purpose of a Conclusion

  • It must refer back to the original question title and all of its key terms.
  • It must provide an overall judgement related to the ‘judgement demand’ of the question.
  • It must summarise the key arguments and discussion.
  • It must be clearly linked to the claims you stated in your introduction. In a very practical sense, your main body should be ‘bookended’ by both your introduction and conclusion.
  • The more sophisticated conclusions will contain some form of historiography.
  • The more sophisticated conclusions will leave the reader with an original, pithy critique of the question title or its arguments.
  • It must leave the reader ‘satisfied’ that you have conclusively drawn together all of the complex strands of the title question, and that an appropriate end has been reached in the discussion. If the introduction is the first impression you make on the reader, then the conclusion is the final impression you can make.

Make the wrong final impression and any good work you have done thus far, will be quickly undone.

Top Tip 2

Don’t worry if you feel that much of your conclusion just seems to be repeating what you have already said in your introduction and main body – believe it or not, this is the main function of your conclusion: summarise and repeat. Beat the examiner over the head with the arguments, discussions, and judgments you have already written about in your main body.

‘Building’ Your Conclusion

Imagine that the examiner has, for whatever reason, not read any of your work. She has forgotten the introduction and skipped the main body. Oddly, in terms of understanding what your coursework is about – the main arguments and discussions, the key terms of the question, and so on – she should have no problems. All of this will be in your conclusion – just in summary form. In a very real sense, your conclusion should be a microcosm (something small that encapsulates the characteristics of something much larger) of your entire essay. This should demonstrate clearly, how important having a good conclusion is to your coursework. Without a sound roof, your house is worthless: nobody will want to live in it.


How do you make sure the reader will finally be convinced to move into your wonderful ‘house’?


You build the safest, most secure and most protective roof for your house – a great conclusion for your coursework.

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