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Draft Your Conclusion

Provide a Summary

The summary may be the strategy most often used for concluding. And, like the transitional phrase, may seem rather unimaginative to your reader. Additionally, short papers may not need a summary (and, in fact, may seem insulting to your reader). When providing a summary for your reader, your goal is to reaffirm your thesis and remind your reader(s) how well you’ve supported it.


Let’s look at an example of a concluding paragraph that summarizes the paper.

With hot air ballooning opening yet another avenue of sky travel, communication students need to become familiar with this sport as a newsworthy event. The motivations for hot air ballooning may range from scientific research of wind patterns through exploration of uncharted skies to mere leisurely entertainment with fellow sky enthusiasts. While hot air ballooning has met with more failures than successes with the recent downfalls of two of the last three skynauts, the outlook for ballooning is optimistic, as seen with its recent entry in the world of the Olympic competitions.

It’s tough to judge whether the conclusion above adequately summaries the paper without reading the paper itself. However, we can pick up some tips by looking both at the conclusion above and the thesis for this paper included below.


Ballooning Paper’s Thesis: “communication students need to become familiar with this recent mid-air craze as it is certain to capture the public's curiosity. This paper discusses the various motivations for these types of trips, examines their successes and failures, and identifies the future trends in hot air ballooning for these sky-venturers who have floated their way into today's headlines.”


As in the example above, if you include a summary of your paper, it should not be long or detailed. It should reaffirm your thesis statement. Two tips for this strategy:


1. Keep the summary short

2. Use fresh wording.


While the conclusion may be a summary only, more often you’ll include a brief summary in addition to another strategy.