Once you have finished laying out your argument, it is customary and helpful to end your paper with a conclusion. The conclusion signals the end of the development of the argument in the body and turns to reflect upon the significance of the work as a whole. This reorientation is helpful for the reader, whose mind has been focused on the details of the developing argument in the body and who, without the writer’s direction, may lose sight of the larger significance of the paper.
After an initial summary of the contents presented in the body, the conclusion returns to the thesis, framing the whole discourse with a pleasing symmetry while drawing out the implications of the thesis more fully. Connecting the content of the paper to its meaning in relation to the larger world of events and ideas, the conclusion prepares the reader to reengage life with what the author hopes is a new perspective.
The length of the conclusion may vary depending on the degree of attention the author wishes to devote to the task of global synthesis—that is, expounding and developing the relevance of the thesis within larger networks of meaning.
Other "Crafting Your Paper" topics:
The Body of Your Paper: Overview
Writing Your Introduction
Crafting Your Paragraphs
Becoming A Better Writer Home