A good conclusion tells the reader, Okay, I’m finished. That’s it. There isn’t any more. It’s all over now. Sayonara.

Here are some basic principles.

  • Keep it short.
  • Never leave them turning the page looking for the rest of your paper.
  • Leave them room to think and feel for themselves.
  • Offer a surprise that seems inevitable.
  • Stay away from tired endings such as and in conclusion, as we have seen, and in summary.

A good conclusion also arises naturally from what comes before. It is a logical outgrowth of the essay. Like the introduction, the conclusion relates directly to the topic and the main idea.

Below are 5 ways to end your essay. Bear in mind, this is not an exhaustive list. The best conclusions arise naturally from what comes before.

A reminder statement

You don’t have to include all the points from your essay. Find a fresh way to state your thesis.

Thesis: If you’re in the market for a cat or dog, you should consider adopting from a local shelter because it will save you money, save a life, and cut down on the over-population of dogs and cats.

Conclusion: Remember, your adoption fee supports the work of the animal shelter and therefore enables even more pets to be adopted rather than euthanized.


This works very nicely, especially if you’ve opened with a quotation and can quote from the same person again. Remember, however, it must be pertinent, not just tacked on.

Thesis: Scientists are not exactly sure why humans need sleep, but lack of sleep has detrimental effects on a person’s health.

Conclusion: Until scientists unravel the mystery of sleep, perhaps it’s best to think of it as Shakespeare did when he wrote the following in Macbeth: “Sleep that knits up the ravell’d sleave of care,/ the death of each day’s life/ sore labour’s bath,/ balm of hurt minds, great nature’s second course,/ chief nourisher in life’s feast.” Night, night!


You know what that means – telling what you think the future holds.

  • The next time you go diving, you will know how to .
  • In no time at all, you will be able to .
  • Someday scientists will unravel the mystery of sleep and figure out a way for humans to get its benefits without actually having to do

Summary statement

This is a common conclusion, but it can be sort of boring.

Thesis: The human eye belongs to a general group of eyes found in nature called ‘camera-type eye’ because the individual components of the eye work in a manner similar to an analog camera.

Conclusion: Vision is a complicated process and each eye is unique. However, the structures function much like an analog camera. The cornea acts as the viewfinder. The pupil changes size like the aperture and the lens corresponds to the lens of a camera. The retina functions like film.

An invitation or challenge

You can ask the reader to take action.

Thesis: The territorial defensive behavior of peregrine falcons fluctuates based on three factors: the time of year, the breeding cycle, and the cause for defense.

Conclusion: Much remains to be learned about these fierce, beautiful fighters. You can help with conservation efforts by joining The Peregrine Fund, a non-profit organization dedicated to protecting birds of prey.