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Conclusions (in general… and for this assignment).

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1 Conclusions (in general… and for this assignment)

2 Purpose: The conclusion of a text (essay or reflection letter) has a few purposes. In addition, there are several different kinds of conclusions to choose from. Ultimately, it’s your choice: think about the assignment and what your instructor is asking for, and then think about which type of conclusion best suits your essay.

3 Purpose #1 Your conclusion acts as a signal. It tells readers they’ve reached the end of the essay. They feel completion. Helpful tip: don’t add any new ideas here!

4 For your reflection… You could actually tell your reader/yourself that you are going to end the letter, in a sentence or in a phrase. You could also add your hopes as to what the letter might mean/do for the younger you.

5 Purpose #2 It reminds your readers of the main points in the essay. They might have become so interested in your later body paragraphs that they don’t have the information from the earlier body paragraphs fresh in their minds anymore.

6 Purpose #3 It leaves your readers with some final thoughts on the topic.

7 You can try different techniques…

8 Make a prediction In some cases, making a prediction is a natural progression in your essay. For example, your letter is both helping and encouraging your earlier self succeed in Developmental English. You could predict what might happen if s/he follows your advice.

9 Make a suggestion Instead of predicting what would happen if the younger you follows your advice, you could make a concrete suggestion that the younger you do something entirely different in one or all of the topics you discussed. You could also come up with suggestions for completely new ideas that you would never have thought of until this moment. Your brain now thinks differently about reading and writing in English, interacting in class, and being a student!

10 Ask a question Some writers like to end their essays by asking a question of their readers. For example: –As I get closer to the end of the quarter, I wonder what would have happened if I had gone to the Loft weekly (or participated in peer review or formed a study group or talked more in class, etc.). I ask myself: would I be a different kind of writer (student)? Which kind of writer (student) do I really want to be?

11 Give an opinion Many of you, in the analysis essays, felt that the “evaluation” part -- your opinion about the text -- belonged in the conclusion. Your instincts were good! Giving your own perspective is another way to end your essay. How would you evaluate your performance in your Developmental English class(es)? Let your younger self know: does s/he desire this same outcome?

12 Summarize! Because you want to help your readers remember the key points of your essay, you might consider summarizing them here. Paraphrase your main ideas. Build sentences that repeat key words or phrases you want the less experienced you to remember.

13 One last thought* Imagine your younger self saying “So what?” Then explain to him/her why the content of your paper is interesting, important, significant, and/or meaningful! Show him/her how insightful you are. *The “so what” needs to be somewhere in your paper. This is a great place for it!

14 Or you can mix and match! Opinion + prediction Prediction + suggestion Summary + last thought Summary + prediction + suggestion Be creative!

15 In conclusion… Conclusions serve a few different purposes. –They tell your reader the essay is coming to an end. –They often remind your reader of your main points. –They leave your reader with final thoughts.

16 There are a number of techniques Your job is to decide which is best for your essay (or, in this case, your letter). When you choose which technique(s) to use, consider both the type of essay you’re writing and what you’ve said within your essay. Don’t stay married to one technique for every essay you write.

17 Good luck!

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