****Compiled by Denise Slavinski, 10/2/07



Minimum 3-5 sentences.



To bring all of your thesis points together in a reflective manner,

Reinforce the main points and blend them together,

Provide a feeling of closure to the essay,

Answer “So What?”, “Why is this important?”, “Why should I [the reader] care?” in terms of the entire essay and all of the points you have discussed.


A conclusion can (but not all do):













Some Examples of Conclusions

Text Box: It begins with a re-worded thesis and a list of the “signs” examined: the bodies and the image of Christ.
Sentences 2 & 3 give several answers to the “So What?” question.
Finally, sentence 4 gives an overall “answer/claim” to the thesis, that the living find solace in the dead. This idea was not actually mentioned in the essay, but it is a logical possibility given the points the essay discusses. Because I had X, I could go to Y.





      [1] Thus Whitman uses the bodies and the image of Christ to reveal the utter desolation and bewilderment the soldiers encounter in the Civil War. [2] Perhaps the speaker’s need to connect with the isolated dead is, in actuality, an attempt to combat the sudden absence of God in the war. [3] Whitman asserts that the bodies of all men help to magnify the consequences of war that all men experience, as well as creating a desolate society of death in which only living soldiers can also participate. [4] Whitman offers no solutions to the problem, except that the living may find solace in the dead.




Text Box: This conclusion begins with the subject discussed, marriage plots, and a re-worded thesis.
Sentences 2 – 4 reiterate points brought up in the 1st half of the essay and focus on the initial actions of the characters
Sentences 5 – 7 summarize the points from the second half of the essay, and focus on the results of the actions the characters took. 
To create the summary sentences, simply boil down the point of each paragraph (or each main point) into one sentence each.
Finally, sentence 8 answers the “So What?” question regarding the character’s inability to fully evade conventional plots. The reader should care because the characters did actually affect society and because they “paid the price” for their actions.





      [1] The resistance to the traditional marriage plots in The Portrait of a Lady and in The Rise of Silas Lapham reveals the realist setting of the novels as well as the characters’ inability to fully evade the conventional plots dictated by society. [2] Their resistance furthermore illuminates an anxiety regarding social instability. [3] Society cannot “persuade” Isabel and Tom to do any thing; in fact, the more society tries, the harder Isabel and Tom push back. [4] Thus, the actions of Isabel and Tom show the diminution of society’s control over its subjects. [5] To survive and to prevent complete social breakdown, society must allow certain aspects of its plots to be restructured. [6] The malleability of society manifests in the fact that Isabel and Tom actually do make marriages. [7] However, society can only bend so far and change so swiftly, as evidenced by the death of Isabel’s child and by the physical removal of Tom and Penelope from America. [8] Their resistance to the conventional marriage plot will affect society overall, but they must pay the price as the instigators of this change.