How to wrap up a term paper

Students who are tasked with writing a term paper have several parts of the paper to write. The introduction is different from the body of the paper and the conclusion is different, also. While many teachers and professors have spent a significant amount of time teaching their students to write interesting and attention-getting introductions and well-crafted, thoughtful body paragraphs, they have not spent nearly enough time teaching their students how to write the conclusions to wrap up any type of writing assignment.

Ways to Close the Paper

There are several methods to conclude a term paper and they all are appropriate, but for different topics. Depending on the purpose and topic of your paper, these are a few different ways to wrap up your paper:

  • Invoke a call to action
  • Complete an anecdote
  • Evaluate the value of the topic
  • Use a topical quote from a respected source
  • Make a prediction determined by the theme of your paper
  • End with a rhetorical question
  • Create final imagery

Once you have decided on the method you will use to conclude your term paper, there are a few vital elements that you should include in the final sentences. Every concluding section or paragraphs should begin with a restatement of the thesis sentence in order to remind the reader of the main idea you have been supporting. Your final thoughts should leave the reader thinking about exactly what you want the reader to think.

Don’t Forget Your Goal

Your goal is to show your knowledge and get the reader to see the topic through your eyes. When you write the conclusions, always include references back to your most important and strongest points. Once you have restated your thesis and main points, then you leave the reader with the wrap up of your choice.

What to Avoid

While the rules for writing a conclusion to a term paper are quite short, there are several things that you should not include in a concluding section. These are a few ideas to consider:

  • Never include new information in the conclusion
  • Do not directly address the reader
  • Avoid writing things like, “Now that I am finished…”
  • Refrain from including the counterargument
  • Do not include a closing like you would in a letter

In most cases, the conclusion should be one of the easiest sections to write because there is nothing new to include in it. Each concluding paragraph should only restate what has already been argued, so you are only rewriting old information.

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