While getting started can be very difficult, finishing an essay is usually quite straightforward. By the time you reach the end you will already know what the main points of the essay are, so it will be easy for you to write a summary of the essay and finish with some kind of final comment, which are the two components of a good conclusion. An example essay has been given below to help you understand both of these, and there is a checklist at the end which you can use for editing your conclusion.
In short, the concluding paragraph consists of the following two parts:
It is important, at the end of the essay, to summarise the main points. If your thesis statement is detailed enough, then your summary can just be a restatement of your thesis using different words. The summary should include all the main points of the essay, and should begin with a suitable transition signal. You should not add any new information at this point.
The following is an example of a summary for a short essay on cars (given below):
In conclusion, while the car is advantageous for its convenience, it has some important disadvantages, in particular the pollution it causes and the rise of traffic jams.
Although this summary is only one sentence long, it contains the main (controlling) ideas from all three paragraphs in the main body. It also has a clear transition signal ('In conclusion') to show that this is the end of the essay.
Once the essay is finished and the writer has given a summary, there should be some kind of final comment about the topic. This should be related to the ideas is in the main body. Your final comment might:
Here is an example of a final comment for the essay on cars:
If countries can invest in the development of technology for green fuels, and if car owners can think of alternatives such as car sharing, then some of these problems can be lessened.
This final comment offers solutions, and is related to the ideas in the main body. One of the disadvantages in the body was pollution, so the writer suggests developing 'green fuels' to help tackle this problem. The second disadvantage was traffic congestion, and the writer again suggests a solution, 'car sharing'. By giving these suggestions related to the ideas in the main body, the writer has brought the essay to a successful close.
Below is a discussion essay which looks at the advantages and disadvantages of car ownership. This essay is used throughout the essay writing section to help you understand different aspects of essay writing. Here it focuses on the summary and final comment of the conclusion (mentioned on this page), the thesis statement and general statements of the introduction, and topic sentences and controlling ideas. Click on the different areas (in the shaded boxes to the right) to highlight the different structural aspects in this essay.
Although they were invented almost a hundred years ago, for decades cars were only owned by the rich. Since the 60s and 70s they have become increasingly affordable, and now most families in developed nations, and a growing number in developing countries, own a car.While cars have undoubted advantages, of which their convenience is the most apparent, they have significant drawbacks, most notably pollution and traffic problems.
The most striking advantage of the car is its convenience. When travelling long distance, there may be only one choice of bus or train per day, which may be at an unsuitable time. The car, however, allows people to travel at any time they wish, and to almost any destination they choose.
Despite this advantage, cars have many significant disadvantages, the most important of which is the pollution they cause. Almost all cars run either on petrol or diesel fuel, both of which are fossil fuels. Burning these fuels causes the car to emit serious pollutants, such as carbon dioxide, carbon monoxide, and nitrous oxide. Not only are these gases harmful for health, causing respiratory disease and other illnesses, they also contribute to global warming, an increasing problem in the modern world. According to the Union of Concerned Scientists (2013), transportation in the US accounts for 30% of all carbon dioxide production in that country, with 60% of these emissions coming from cars and small trucks. In short, pollution is a major drawback of cars.
A further disadvantage is the traffic problems that they cause in many cities and towns of the world. While car ownership is increasing in almost all countries of the world, especially in developing countries, the amount of available roadway in cities is not increasing at an equal pace. This can lead to traffic congestion, in particular during the morning and evening rush hour. In some cities, this congestion can be severe, and delays of several hours can be a common occurrence. Such congestion can also affect those people who travel out of cities at the weekend. Spending hours sitting in an idle car means that this form of transport can in fact be less convenient than trains or aeroplanes or other forms of public transport.
In conclusion, while the car is advantageous for its convenience, it has some important disadvantages, in particular the pollution it causes and the rise of traffic jams. If countries can invest in the development of technology for green fuels, and if car owners can think of alternatives such as car sharing, then some of these problems can be lessened.
Union of Concerned Scientists (2013). Car Emissions and Global Warming.www.ucsusa.org/clean vehicles/why-clean-cars/global-warming/ (Access date: 8 August, 2013)
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Below is a checklist for an essay conclusion. Use it to check your own writing, or get a peer (another student) to help you.
|The conclusion begins with a suitable transition signal (e.g. 'In conclusion...', 'To summarise...', 'In sum...')|
|The conclusion has a summary of the main ideas|
|The conclusion ends with a final comment (the writer's idea or a recommendation)|
Find out how to improve the cohesion of your writing.
Go back to the previous section about the main body of an essay.
So… It is a beautiful, spectacular day here in Los Angeles. I am sitting at my desk and looking out at the swimming pool and I am thinking a DEEP THOUGHT:
I LOVE CARS.
I don’t just like cars. I don’t just think it’s good to have a car. I LOVE CARS. And I include trucks there, too, of course. I LOVE CARS!!!!
The car is the greatest invention of mankind. The car is what makes all of the difference in life.
Before the car, man was pretty much just an insect. He burrowed and crept along the ground. He moved very slowly. He was subject to the cold and the heat and the rain and the snow and the sleet. He was pitiful. Even once he had the horse, he was still outside. He was still going to get pneumonia and die if he rode around in the winter. He was going to get soaked if he rode in the rain.
Even if he or she were an Emperor or an Empress like Napoleon or the Tsar or Queen Victoria, he was going to have a miserable bumpy ride in a carriage, lurching back and forth, getting miserable and nauseated and still sweltering in the heat and freezing in the cold.
Man has existed in roughly current form for 50,000 years — which is how long it seems to take to get any help from your cable company. But for all but the last roughly 115 years of that time, man was a pitiful, vulnerable creature, not much different in 1860 from what he or she was in 50,000 BC.
What changed it? Well, air conditioning is bliss. The Internet is nice. I happen to love TV and movies. I love vaccines. I love anesthesia.
But what really made all of the difference in human life was the car.
With the car, man was transformed from a worm to a god. With a car, man has superhuman strength. With a car, man can go every day at speeds that would have been incredible even when my grandfather was born.
With a car, we have immunity from the elements. You can drive to Rancho Mirage when it’s 115 degrees outside and in your car, you can be cool and hear great music or Sirius XM broadcasting from London. With a car, my son and I could go up on high mountains in North Idaho to snowboard — he did the snowboarding, I drank hot chocolate–and it would be minus 10 degrees and snow would be falling. And I was as comfortable as if I had been in Newport Beach at the Balboa Bay Club on a fall day.
With a car, I can go through any kind of weather and be comfortable. I can hear great oldies from 1955 and I am in total comfort.
Julius Caesar never had anything this good. Not even close. The emperors of China had hundreds of concubines, which sounds good when you’re young — but he never had anything like the luxury of a car. The car is what makes a man or a woman divine.
And for pennies. You can get a perfectly great car, air conditioning, power steering, great stereo, back view camera, for a few bucks a day. This is incredible.
For the daily price of a Starbucks latte, you can have a machine that transforms you from a mortal to a god.
And modern cars are so incredibly great and reliable: they just don’t break unless you take a crowbar to them. They last and last and service is cheap and often under warranty.
Plus, a car — or a truck — tells the world who you are and what your image is of yourself.
When I first moved to California, I had just come from working as a columnist at the Wall Street Journal in New York. It was a great job. But I took the darned subway everywhere. It was hot and crowded and got stuck when my stomach was upset.
Then I moved to California and I went in to buy a Mercedes 450 SLC. Coolest car on the planet in 1976. And when I hesitated at the price, the salesman, a genius, asked me, “What’s the matter? Don’t you believe in your own future?” Sold! I bought it.
Yes! I did, and girls loved that car. They loved me, a big Republican goofball, and thought I was cool because of a car! Yes, you can get more sex with a cool car.
I mean it: Don’t let anyone ever tell you that a car means nothing to the opposite sex. Or the same sex.
When I was 27 years old, in 1972, and a miserably unhappy trial lawyer in D.C., I summoned up my courage and went down to rural Virginia and bought an extravagantly souped up, fire engine red Corvette. 1962. The best-looking car mankind has ever made. It cost me 1,800 dollars. It was worth 18 million dollars.
I felt like a new person in that car. A cool, powerful person. That car could go 150. It caught rubber at 120 shifting into fourth gear. That’s how much torque it had.
Little Red Corvette. Baby you’re much too fast. Girls — yes, girls, not women — loved me in that car and ignored me without it. I mean they loved me.
Sold. I loved that car and I should never have sold it. I felt the best in that car I ever felt.
I have had many cool cars since then: many Benzes. Two Porsches. Many super-powerful Caddies. I LOVE THEM ALL and think of them the way I think about old girlfriends. With love and longing.
When I have had a bad day, a sweltering, miserable hot day, I slide behind the wheel of my super-charged Cad STS-V. I turn it on. I put on the AC. I put it on XM radio. And I am no longer mortal Ben Stein dreaming of Richard Nixon. I am an immortal deity. That’s what I am.
When I am ill with a cold or a flu, I actually feel a lot better in that car, inside that steel and chrome and glass armor with my negatively charged ions of air-conditioned air blowing on my face than I do in bed. I feel stronger, calmer, more prepared once I have that car around me. I feel better taking a ride in my car than I do in taking any medicine and I feel good right now just writing about it.
And buying a car has gotten to be so easy. No more guessing at the price. No more haggling. No more going back and forth between dealers beating them down to a lower price. You look up the price online and that’s the price. You get a great warranty. You get a smile when you bring in the car for routine service.
If America is a banana republic, what is the banana? The car and wow, those are some big, round juicy bananas.
The car. The truck. The greatest inventions of man’s history. They make mortals into Greek gods.