The ingredients of the conclusion

The ingredients of the conclusion

Pallant (2009), meanwhile, sees the conclusion slightly differently. She argues that the conclusion should "leave (the reader) with a clear impression that the purposes of the essay have been achieved". Pallant sees five basic ingredients of a conclusion as follows, though these will not always be used in the same conclusion:

  • summary of the main points (being careful not to repeat exactly what you have written before)
  • Concluding statements 
  • Recommendations
  • Predictions
  • Solutions

These recommendations probably apply more to discussion essays than they do to other kinds of assessed writing at university. For example, if you are writing a business plan or discussing a law scenario, or answering an examination question, you may not need the above elements, unless the question specifically asks you for them or unless it is known that it is expected of you in the discipline you are working in.

However, you will generally need a final section to indicate that you are 'rounding off' the discussion. Always be very careful to check what the conventions are in the discipline you are working in, and ideally, it is best to look at examples of past students' work so that you can see what you are aiming for.

Reference: English for academic study : reading and writing. Source book John Slaght, Paddy Harben and Anne Pallant. Reading : Garnet Education, 2009.