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How to write a good conclusion

If you have an essay introduction, you also need a conclusion. In the introduction, you inform the reader what the main topic is and what the essay is going to be about. In the conclusion, you need to make sure the reader has a clear summary of the main ideas. Basically you need to:

1)  summarise your main ideas/arguments
2)  restate your opinion
2)  add a final comment, thought, question or prediction (band 6+)

For example, look at the following conclusion taken from a Band 8 answer to this iPass essay on Crime

In conclusion, I hold the view that [restates opinion] police and prisons do play a key role in our society, but much more needs to be done to prevent crime [sums up main idea] rather than focusing on increasing punishments. Having said that, harsh sentences do need to be issued to reoffenders and violent criminals [final comment] in order to send out a clear message that crime doesn’t pay.

Think of an essay as a burger

As you might have noticed, the top piece of bread in burger restaurants is often bigger and more attractive than the smaller piece at the bottom but both are essential as they contain the tasty, meaty filling (your main paragraphs). So, while your introduction rephrases the topic, explains your position and gives an overview, your conclusion just needs to wrap everything up neatly.

Link your conclusion to your introduction

When I talk about ‘wrapping your essay up neatly’ I’m referring to the importance of linking the conclusion to your introduction so that your conclusion completes the circle. Now look at the Introduction to the same band 8 essay on Crime and focus on the highlighted parts to see how it links to the conclusion.

Introduction:

In my country, crime is high on the political agenda because people believe that the current laws are too lenient and that much tougher penalties are needed to make Chile a safer place to live in. However, before discussing the effectiveness of handing out stricter punishments, we have to look at the primary causes of crime and take into consideration the reasons why people commit such acts.

Conclusion:

In conclusion, I hold the view that police and prisons do play a key role in our society, but much more needs to be done to prevent crime rather than focusing on increasing punishments. Having said that, harsh sentences do need to be issued to reoffenders and violent criminals in order to send out a clear message that crime doesn’t pay.

Don’t write too much!

Remember the word limit and don’t make the conclusion longer than the introduction. Some IELTS students think the conclusion is like another main part of the essay and so they include additional detailed arguments. This is not a good idea. In a university research assignment you would never do this so why do it in the IELTS essay? However, you can add a short sentence to end in an interesting way, as you could in a presentation.

For instance, in an essay on overpopulation, you could finish with one of these sentences:

Eventually we will outgrow the planet.
More people means a scarcity of resources.
Cities are already overpopulated and cannot take more people.
What can be done about increasing populations is a challenging question.
Governments must work together to solve this problem before it is too late.

And don’t forget that practice makes perfect so why don’t you start practising by entering our essay writing competition where you could win a free IELTS writing course!!

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