Chapter 6: One Last Time Before You Go: The Conclusion and Final Review
In this chapter we will:
- Review our essay-in-progress and create a conclusion that is not a repetition of what we have written but rather a final claim about the purpose of the entire text in the light of what the focused reading has revealed.
- Review our entire essay—thesis and body paragraphs—and edit for clarity and consistency.
- Demonstrate how a conclusion is not the end of analysis but rather an invitation to readers to engage in conversation.
- Demonstrate the need to say something new in the conclusion so that every aspect of the essay remains relevant to the unveiling of the analyzed article’s purpose.
- Ensure that there is a logical progression from our initial claim through the body paragraphs, and into the culmination of the argument in the conclusion.
We have decided to dedicate an entire chapter to writing conclusions because, in our experience, the conclusion is the most misunderstood of all the components of the analytical essay. Most students seem to understand that a claim needs to be made in the introduction and that evidence needs to be analyzed in the body paragraphs. But these same students often share the widely held misconception that a conclusion exists simply to repeat the points already made in the essay. We think the pervasiveness and persistence of this notion has a lot to do with the five-paragraph essay form that is taught in elementary, junior high, and high school.