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Skip to 0 minutes and 8 secondsWe have looked at some of the typical features of an essay conclusion. Let’s return to Patrick’s essay and see how he ended it. If your essay is fairly short and you do not include headings for each section, then one way to start your conclusion is with an adverbial phrase like “In conclusion”. Patrick re-states the impacts of food waste, but he paraphrases the ideas that he expressed in the introduction and main body of the essay. He then moves on to summarise the different ways that edible and inedible food waste can be recycled. Again these ideas are expressed using different language to that used in the introduction and main body.

Skip to 0 minutes and 54 secondsThe thesis statement which we saw in the introduction is also re-iterated, and again the writer’s viewpoint is expressed through subjective adjectives and adverbs, “great development prospects”, “ re-use food waste effectively”. Finally, for certain types of essay, you can also discuss the implications of the proposed solutions, here an easing of the effects of global warming, and by predicting what will happen in the future. In fact the last sentence of this conclusion is a little weak, because the point made is too general.

Skip to 1 minute and 35 secondsTo summarise, the conclusion to Patrick’s essay included the following typical features; a re-statement of the main points of the essay, a re-statement of the thesis statement, and future implications and predictions You will realise that in an academic essay the main points may be referred to three times in the essay; in the introduction, the main body and the conclusion, but in much more detail in the main body. If there is a thesis statement, it may occur twice; first in the introduction, and again in the conclusion, expressed in different words.

Patrick's essay: the conclusion

In this video Jonathan returns to Patrick’s essay; this time to examine and dissect the conclusion.

As you will see, typical features of an essay conclusion include:

  • a re-statement of the main points of the essay

  • a re-statement of the thesis statement

  • a summary of future implications and predictions.

You can view the conclusion in this PDF document.

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This video is from the free online course:

An Intermediate Guide to Writing in English for University Study

University of Reading