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Arts & Letters Daily

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Concluding Paragraph

Concluding paragraph

     Dr. Otto
The Introduction and the Conclusion are the bookends of an essay or report which makes them the most important paragraphs in the entire essay or report. Both are important and related to each other in that the conclusion needs to respond to the Introduction, especially, to the main idea. The challenge in writing a conclusion is …
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Sample – scroll down to Sample
Assignment – scroll down to Assignment
Answer Key – scroll down to Answer Key
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Notes

The Introduction and the Conclusion are the bookends of an essay or report. Both are important and related to each other in that the Conclusion needs to respond to the Introduction, especially, the main idea. The challenge in writing a conclusion is to restate the main idea based on the information and arguments submitted in the body of an essay or report without bringing in new information.

In short, these are the features readers look for in a concluding paragraph. First, readers want to know whether the main idea has been restated based on what was written in the body of the essay or report. Second, they want to be convinced that any restatement is supported by the facts and arguments presented in the body. Readers will remain sceptical about the conclusion if the connection has not been made. Finally, they want the writer to bring closure with a final remark. This can be done in several ways such as appealing for more research, asking for more debate, accepting the conclusion.

Hence, writers should include the following features in a concluding paragraph.

  • Restate the main idea announced in the introduction
  • Connect the facts and arguments presented in the body to the main idea. The main idea should be supported or challenged by the facts and arguments presented in the Body. If the facts and evidence support the main idea, a conclusion can be drawn that extends the main idea. If they challenge the main idea, a conclusion that refutes the main idea should be made.
  • Close with a final remark. The final remark brings closure to the essay or report by bringing closure or encouraging further research/debate.

The challenge of writing a concluding paragraphs is to bring honest closure to a particular report or essay without attempting to bring closure to the research  or debate on a topic.

Sample

Natural Disaster

In the spring of 1997, Grand Forks, North Dakota experienced a flood that occurs only once in a hundred years. The flood, which crested 26 feet above flood stage, inundated 95% of the city and triggered a major fire in the down town business district. This report will describe the magnitude of the Flood and elaborate on the weather conditions that triggered it.

More than 50,000 people were driven from their homes. Many left with only the clothes on their backs and no idea of where they would go. Others were able to gather up what became known as the “three P’s -pets, pills and pillows.  There was very little time to act once the river overtopped the dikes. It came through the sewers and spurted up through the holes and catch basins ‘like geysers.” The drinking water and sewage systems were overwhelmed and useless. The flood crested at an unprecedented fifty-four feet, twenty-six feet above flood stage. As the crest moved across the Canadian border, the Red River was twenty-five miles wide.

The signs of above normal precipitation were evident by early Fall. Normally, winter storm tracks tend to run south and east of the Red River Valley. They trap the moist air flowing up from the Gulf of Mexico and carry it to Iowa and Michigan. But in 1996-97, a slight shift in the position of the planetary Rossby waves moved the track somewhat farther north and west. Minnesota, especially the Red River Valley, became the target for heavy rains and numerous blizzards.

Template for a concluding paragraph

Restate main idea

Without a doubt, this was the Flood of the Century.

Supported by information or arguments

An unusual combination of weather conditions resulted in unusually high precipitation and a rapid melting pattern. The severity of the Flood was reflected in a comment made by the Mayor of Grand Forks, “It was like a fist hit me in the stomach”.

Final remark

Everyone hoped it would never happen again.

Assignment

Read the following report and complete the template below.

Cars of the Future

Since gasoline powered cars are significant contributors to air pollution according to some environmental scientists, they urge industry to find clean fuels to power cars. Two sources of energy need to be explored: electricity and liquid hydrogen. This report compares prototype vehicles that run on electricity with those that run on liquid hydrogen.


Electric powered cars are suitable for driving short distances at relatively low speeds, such as, to work or to shop. The batteries must be recharged regularly, over a six to eight hour period. Therefore, long trips may be inconvenient unless recharging stations are built along major transportation routes. On the other hand, cars fuelled with liquid hydrogen are better suited for traveling longer distances at faster speeds since they do not depend on batteries that require regular recharging. Both electric batteries and hydrogen cell power are environmentally friendly; neither emits pollutants. Cars powered with hydrogen fuel cells are more expensive and will not be available in the near future. The battery-powered car is less expensive and is currently available.

Cars powered by environmentally friendly fuels are available. Since the electric car is the only environmentally friendly car that is immediately available, it may become the choice for city driving.  Cities may regain clean air.

Template for a concluding paragraph

  • Restate main idea

____________________________________________________________________

  • Supported by information or arguments
  • ____________________________________________________________________
  • Final remark

____________________________________________________________________

Assignment

Writing Assignment: Concluding Paragraph

Revise the concluding paragraph of the report you wrote. Complete the template below to ensure that you have included all aspects of a concluding paragraph. Submit it to your teacher or tutor for feedback. Then edit your paragraph based on the feedback you received.

Template for a concluding paragraph

  • Restate main idea

____________________________________________________________________

  • Supported by information or arguments
  • ____________________________________________________________________
  • Final remark

____________________________________________________________________

Answer Key

Concluding Paragraph

  • Restate main idea

–       Cars powered by environmentally friendly fuels are available.

  • Supported by information or arguments

Since the electric car is the only environmentally friendly car that is immediately available, it may become the choice for city driving.

  • Final remark

–       Cities may regain clean air.