Crafting Phenomenal Conclusions

  • by Kelly Harmon & Randi Anderson
  • February 7th, 2018

Since there isn't a "formula" for perfect expository writing, it is critical to emphasize that all essays need a beginning, middle, and end. One of the most forgotten decisions is how to end the essay. As the author plans and organizes their thoughts about the topic and message, it is critical to think about how to end the essay. 


Here are some tips for empowering students to craft a conclusion that leaves the reader with a sense of completeness. 

Conclusion should accomplish three goals: 

1. Provide closure for the audience.

2. Leave the reader satisfied with the information.

3. Support the thesis or central/controlling idea by discussing its implications, and re-emphasizing the significance and relevance of your topic, position, or argument.

Conclusion should Not:

1. Repeat the prompt.

2. Add new information or ideas.

3. Be boring.

4. Tell the reader something they already know.


Students need to see lots of examples of conclusions in mentor texts. Select mentor texts that use different conclusion techniques and have students try out each technique. Be sure to have students get feedback from their peers about the effectiveness of the ending. Simply asking them to determine which ending works best and tell why, will help the writer sharpen the decision-making process. Mastering the ending takes lots of practice and feedback. After writing a dozen or more endings, the young writer will never forget to make sure your reader has closure.

Kelly Harmon and Randi Anderson

About The Authors

Kelly Harmon & Associates began in 2001 with a mission of instructional coaching and providing rich literacy resources for educators and parents. Our work incorporates research-based best practices for teaching and learning.

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