Online Writing Center




What is the purpose of a conclusion?

The conclusion of a paper serves two functions: it signals the end, and it leaves readers with something important to remember. The first is necessary for the reader's sense of completeness. The second leaves the reader to think about what is important and appropriate.

You may look either backward or forward in your conclusion. In looking backward, you may return to some image or other motif in the introduction, restate the thesis, or summarize the main points. In looking forward, you may forecast the future, call for action, discuss implications, or point out the significance of the ideas.



The following examples come from student essays on how to secure a summer job:

I . Look Backward: Return to the Introduction

Despite all these suggestions, finding a summer job may still be as difficult as locating an inexpensive apartment near campus. But you can be confident that you have gone about it efficiently and looked into all the possibilities. The rest is up to luck.

2. Look Backward: Restate the Thesis

You can see that looking for a summer job need not be a hit-or-miss process. It can be conducted in a systematic, efficient manner that should procure results. Almost always, it will.

3. Look Backward: Summarize the Main Points

What is important is to start looking for a summer job early and to follow the specific suggestions noted here. You may not want to investigate all the possibilities: overseas employers, federal agencies, local or state government, industries in other areas, and local businesses. But you should realize it is better to have too many opportunities than too few.

4. Look Forward: Forecast the Future

Despite these suggestions, you may not find summer work. The growing demand for these positions and the diminishing supply of them means that many young people will be unemployed. Therefore, you may find yourself volunteering for a community service organization or returning to campus to attend summer sessions. So while you are working hard to find a summer job, think about a back-up plan, so that you will be sure to make valuable use of your time.  

5. Look Forward: Call for Action

The important point to remember is to get started looking for that summer job today. You can write letters to federal agencies, check into local and state government possibilities, get a copy of the Summer Employment Directory, and follow my suggestions about seeking a position in local business. Those who hesitate may be lost this summer.




Writing Center Home



Beginning the Essay

Building the Essay

Proper Format


More Writing

Essay Tests