How to write a good conclusion

By Matt Burdett, 21 February 2020

This article is about how to write a good conclusion in a Geography essay.

This is one of the hardest things in a Geography essay. How do you avoid repeating yourself?

The simple answer is: paraphrase.

Paraphrasing is where you write the same thing, but using different words. However, some students end up repeating themselves a lot, even if they paraphrase, and waste time by writing out all their evidence again, as well as the theories they’ve referred to. Unfortunately, they fail to answer the question! For exam essays, I recommend aiming for four sentences.

Sentence 1: The main argument in favour (or against)

This is a one-sentence summary of the strongest points you have made in your paragraphs that support your view. It can help your thinking process to actually say ‘in conclusion’ at the start of your sentence. For example:

“In conclusion, there are many benefits of large scale sporting events such as billions of dollars of increased funding, an increase in social well being and a positive long term impact on the local environment.”

Sentence 2: The main argument against (or in favour)

This is a similar sentence to the previous one, but with the opposing view.

“Some people argue that there are important drawbacks, such as short term employment although this may be a result of the globalized workforce rather than the sporting events themselves.”

Sentence 3: Close the debate

Make clear the main reason you think that one side is better than the other. For example:

“The benefits are clear and undebated, whereas the negatives may have far more complex underlying causes.”

Sentence 4: Answer the question directly

Answer the question directly, with firm language. For example:

“Therefore, I agree that large-scale sporting events often create more benefits than problems.”

Putting it together

When we look at it together, we can see how this sums up the entire essay without repeating specific facts:

“In conclusion, there are many benefits of large scale sporting events such as billions of dollars of increased funding, an increase in social well being and a positive long term impact on the local environment. Some people argue that there are important drawbacks, such as short term employment although this may be a result of the globalized workforce rather than the sporting events themselves. The benefits are clear and undebated, whereas the negatives may have far more complex underlying causes. Therefore, I agree that large-scale sporting events often create more benefits than problems.”

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