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February 13, 2012 - Writing a Concluding Paragraph

Closing paragraphs are imperative to provide resolution and/or clarify certain points in your composition. Likewise, they help readers see the importance of your thesis or message. Closing paragraphs should serve one or more of the following purposes:

• Restate the thesis.
• Answer any questions left unanswered in the body paragraphs.
• Review main points.
• Emphasize the special importance of one of the main points.
• Connect with the reader's experience or with life in general.

An effective ending is a closing that offers the reader more to think about. In the first part of your closing, review specific points you covered in your writing. In the second part, broaden your scope by providing generalizations about the subject in order to keep the subject alive in the reader's mind.

Your conclusion should not introduce new points or digress in new directions. Do not simply repeat your introduction in different words or apologize or in any way cast doubt on your concluding points.

The following paragraph is an effective closing paragraph that utilizes many of the characteristics noted above.

As one can clearly observe, President Woodrow Wilson and his successful policy and strategy largely impacted the American experience in the Great War and Progressive eras. His stands and foreign policies wholly embraced the tradition of American isolationism and neutrality, but his recognition of when such traditions must end resulted in the United States' continual rise to dominance as a world power. There is no question that the President's decision - the choice to act against the precedent of over a century of history - was one of the most monumental and transformational decisions in the office of the president. Moreover, although preparedness was a colossal headache for the President, he responded appropriately and rapidly by providing for the building of a naval fleet as well as the increase of men and technology in the Army. The war was hopeless without preparedness, and the expediency of such mobilization was as equally impressive. Finally, the President built the foundation upon which the United States would exercise world power for the future. President Wilson effectively developed a peace plan that contributed to a theoretical permanent world peace while compromising on issues in order to preserve global unity. Clearly, President Woodrow Wilson's leadership through his policy and strategy in a time of national transformation is distinguished and can be perceived as a positive impact on the American experience.

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