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Chapter 3: Writing Mechanics Help
Chapter 12: Teaching Writing
Chapter 23: Teaching Reading
College English Composition: Help and Review
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What is a Concluding Sentence?

A concluding sentence is the last sentence in a stand-alone paragraph or in a paragraph that is part of an essay. The significance of a concluding sentence is that it is the last sentence in the paragraph that the reader will read. Therefore, it has to perform several functions. It should signal to the reader that the paragraph has come to an end. It should also remind the reader about the topic sentence, and it should summarize the main points mentioned in the paragraph.

Conclusion Starters

Conclusion starters are transitional words or phrases that are placed at the beginning of a concluding sentence. Depending on their meaning and the intentions of the writer, their purpose is to inform the readers that this is the end of the paragraph, to give a summary of the important points, or to draw a definite conclusion about the paragraph’s topic.

For example, if the writer wants to signal the end of the paragraph, she can use a starter such as all in all. If the writer intends to summarize the important points of the paragraph, a starter such as to sum up would be appropriate. To show that a definite conclusion will be drawn, a writer might choose to use a starter like in conclusion.

The end of a paragraph is signaled by a conclusion starter.

Conclusion starter

How to Write a Concluding Sentence

There are some key elements to be considered when writing a concluding sentence.

  • Transitional words and phrases such as in conclusion or to conclude are often used.
  • The main points in the paragraph can be summarized.
  • The topic sentence can be restated in different words.
  • A final opinion about the topic can be given.

The following paragraph could end with a few different concluding sentences, depending on the writer’s goals.

Alicia Walker’s contract should be renewed for the coming academic year for several reasons. First, in the past two years, Dr. Walker has published three articles in three different top-tier journals. As a result of her publications, our department has been able to secure research funding for two academic years. Second, Dr. Walker’s student evaluations are evidence of her devotion to excellence in teaching and student retention. Third, Dr. Walker chairs two college level committees, and she is an active member of two department level committees; this shows the extent to which she is willing to serve this university.

  • To conclude, Alicia Walker is an asset to our university, and her contract should be renewed.
  • All in all, there is no doubt that Dr. Walker is an asset to our department and that her contract must be renewed.
  • To sum up, due to her devotion to teaching, research, and service to the university, Dr. Walker has to be offered another contract.
  • Therefore, it is beneficial to our department to renew Dr. Walker’s contract.

The first and second examples of concluding sentences essentially restate the topic sentence of the paragraph. The third option restates the main idea and recaps the main points of the paragraph, and the fourth possibility gives a final opinion about the topic.

There are many options to choose from for concluding sentence starters.

Concluding sentence.

Concluding Sentence Examples

Below is a list of concluding sentence examples for other types of paragraphs.

  • In conclusion, due to its educational facilities, low crime rates, and affordable housing, Phoenix is an ideal city for raising a family.
  • In short, by making simple changes to our lifestyles, we can save our planet from global warming.
  • To conclude, there are more differences than similarities between College A and College B.

How to Start a Conclusion Paragraph

There are several different approaches that can help a writer start a conclusion paragraph and a concluding sentence. Before writing the conclusion paragraph, it is important to read over the thesis statement, which is usually given in the introduction. Reiterating the thesis statement in other words is an efficient way of starting a conclusion. Also, it is helpful to go over the main points mentioned in the body paragraphs so their gist can be included in the conclusion.

Before writing a conclusion, the writer must first decide what kind of conclusion would be most appropriate for their writing. For example, sometimes it is best to start with a summary of what was written, and sometimes it is more appropriate to draw a definite conclusion.

After making this decision, the proper conclusion starter must be chosen, be it to write a concluding sentence or a conclusion paragraph. A transitional expression that will express what will come in the conclusion is an effective conclusion starter.

An Effective Conclusion Starter

It is very important for the readers to receive a signal that they are getting close to the end of the writing. Therefore, an effective conclusion starter will ensure that the readers are alerted to this point.

Also, an effective conclusion starter will notify the readers that the important points of the writing are being wrapped up or revisited. Alternatively, an effective conclusion starter can inform the readers that a summary of the important points of the writing will be presented. In addition, with an effective conclusion starter, the readers should not anticipate reading any new information.

Conclusion Sentence Starters

Here is a list of suggested conclusion sentence starters. Usually, these phrases are followed by a comma when they are placed at the beginning of a sentence.

  • To conclude
  • To sum up
  • In conclusion
  • In sum
  • In summary
  • Finally
  • Ultimately
  • Thus
  • Therefore
  • At the end
  • To summarize
  • On the whole
  • In brief
  • Briefly
  • Overall
  • In any event
  • All in all
  • With all this in mind
  • Considering all that was mentioned
  • All things considered
  • In short
  • In general
  • Generally

What to Avoid in a Conclusion

There are key elements that should be avoided in a concluding sentence. The inclusion of the following will weaken the conclusion and render it less effective.

  • No new ideas or arguments should be introduced in a conclusion.
  • No details or examples should be included in the concluding sentence.
  • The topic sentence should not be copied and pasted as the concluding sentence, but it can be restated in a new way.
  • The length of the conclusion is relative to the length of the essay. For a five-paragraph essay with half-page paragraphs, a conclusion paragraph that is one fourth of a page might be appropriate. However, if the essay is six pages long, then a one-page conclusion might be better.

Lesson Summary

A concluding sentence is the last sentence in a paragraph. There are different functions that a concluding sentence can perform in a paragraph. For example, the end of the paragraph can be signaled to the reader by the concluding sentence. The concluding sentence can also be a reminder of the key points mentioned in the paragraph.

Furthermore, it is important for effective conclusions to have effective conclusion starters. Conclusion starters are transitional expressions, like finally or to conclude, that notify the readers that they are getting close to the end.

On the other hand, there are elements to be avoided in conclusions. New ideas, too many examples, or specific details should not be included in the conclusion. The conclusion should not be too short or too long compared to the rest of the paper.

There are different approaches for starting a conclusion paragraph depending on the type of writing. Restating the thesis statement in other words and summarizing the main points are among some of the approaches for starting effective conclusions. Choosing a conclusion starter that represents what to anticipate in the conclusion is another approach in starting a conclusion paragraph.

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