How to Write an Analytical Essay Conclusion
When you're writing an analytical essay your aim is to back up the conclusion that comes at the end. The main body of the essay should lead logically to that conclusion, and it should be properly supported by your arguments and analysis. That's all down to your research and how you structure the essay, of course. But how do you write the conclusion itself?
Before worrying about that too much you should think about when to write the conclusion. The correct answer is second last; the last thing you write is the introduction. Yes, that sounds odd, but there are good reasons for it. The main thing here, though, is that you remember to write the conclusion second last.
You might already have decided your conclusion before you start work on the essay, or you might decide on it after you've planned and researched your discussion section. As soon as you know what it is make a note of it on your essay outline and add more notes as required. What you're aiming for is a single paragraph with the following information:
- A quick summary of the main discussion points. This should only take one or two sentences.
- Your conclusion about the discussion. You should state exactly what you have decided. An example might be, "The main motivation of most of Clancy's characters is patriotism. This is clear from his description of their opinions on American traditions and institutions. No other factor can explain their actions, for example Clark's willingness to return to Vietnam alone." This information should be stated in two or three simple, clearly worded sentences.
- A final point. This can be a short (one or two sentences) anecdote or joke, or a suggestion for further reading.
One thing you should never do in the conclusion is introduce new ideas that weren't covered in the discussion. This makes the reader wonder what else you've left out and if you have picked your arguments to support the conclusion rather than reached your conclusion from your arguments.
Writing a good conclusion isn't difficult, but it is important. If you can, try to read a few example essays to get an idea of how other people have done it. This will help you get it right.