Now that you understand the importance of ‘waterproofing your roof’ (summarising the arguments and presenting your own judgements in your conclusion) you need to do one last thing: insulate your roof. Once you have done this, you can stand back and marvel at your building.

03 Conc 05 01

Question

What do we mean by ‘Insulating your Roof’?

Answer

We at The Coursework Club use the term ‘insulating’ to mean the method by which you elevate your conclusion above the level of that of the average student. Your roof is built, but in order to make your reader feel all cosy and warm inside your new house, you need to add something to it. What do you add to a house that will keep the inhabitant warm? Insulation.

Question

What do we mean, ‘insulation’?

Answer

Insulation is the material you lay inside a roof in order to trap the heat and keep those living in the house warm. What we mean by insulation is this: every essay requires a degree of creative originality, something that separates it from the hundreds of essays the examiner has to read. Of course your entire essay should display originality of thought, but the conclusion is your chance to leave a lasting and unique impression. If you leave the right impression on the reader, they will come away – believe it or not – with a warm feeling of having read something truly interesting.

Question

How can we make sure the examiner comes away with this warm feeling?

Answer

This part is a little tricky but it can be achieved in a variety of ways. See below.

Ways to 'Insulate' your Roof


  • Challenge the question.
  • Offer a pithy exit sentence (pithy = a forceful, clever, meaningful and brief statement).

N.B.
By employing a degree of originality in your conclusion, you demonstrate your superior understanding of the topic and discussion. How else could you be original if your understanding was anything less than superior? ☺

Let’s continue to use the same example question, so that you can better see how to apply a degree of originality to your conclusion. Let’s insulate the roof of your house.

Example 1


How far would you agree that the Domino Theory was the main reason JFK became involved in Vietnam?

...Perhaps a more appropriate question to be answered is not whether the Domino Theory was the main reason for JFK's involvement but whether it should be considered a legitimate reason at all. Any investigation into the Cold War must necessarily contain a certain degree or revisionism - the Cold War having long since ended. With the vantage point of posterity, where calmer heads can prevail, perhaps the fact that, once Vietnam fell and the rest of Asia did not automatically follow suit and fall like dominoes to communism, proves the weakness of the Domino Theory as a legitimante cause of the US involvement. Naturally, the benefit of hindsight was not available to those determining the foreign policy course of the JFK administration, but a little more, "subtlety of analysis" and a little less hysteria, may have perhaps removed the Domino Theory from the discourse entirely.

Challenging the question

An original, pithy exit sentence.

Simple!

What you have learned

This section has shown you the importance of demonstrating a degree of originality in your conclusion. Using a clear example, we have shown you how to challenge the question (always do this respectfully) and leave the reader with a pithy exit sentence that will warm him right up. Don’t forget, you should already have demonstrated original thinking at every stage of your essay, but your conclusion gives you the perfect opportunity to leave a lasting impression, after all, it will be the last thing he reads.

You have insulated your roof. Your house is now built. Stand back and marvel at it. Congratulate yourself on your new found ability to create such a sound and well-structured piece of coursework. These skills will take you well beyond your high school years. Well beyond.

Just quickly go through the checklist to ensure you have accomplished everything you need to in your conclusion.

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