Intros are easy to write. You just summarize what you’re about to say or present the questions you’ll be answering. Conclusions are tougher. You could summarize what you said again, but it’s a dull way to wind up. What are the possibilities for conclusions?
1. Return to the beginning. Repeat a statement from the opening paragraph. As I said, this can be a dull end, but it’s still better than just cutting yourself off.
2. Make a payoff. Satisfy the reader somehow and they will accept that as an end. I already suggested answering the opening question, but after working it over for the length of the article, a strong clear statement makes a good close.
3. Tie-back to the middle. End by referring to something you said at any point in the piece. If something you said was especially important, really brings out the theme of the article or is unique to the article, that’s a good tie-back.
4. Write with a time-line to finish with a natural ending. It can be the logical order of events in a story or steps in an activity. This forces something to come last.
5. Find the last location. Where has everything been headed in a story? Or where does the argument for your nonfiction piece logically end?
6. Write an epilogue. Sure, the story is over, but what happened next? What is expected next by the experts? What are the possible future directions for research?
7. A good quote. Not a great way to end an article, but if nothing else is working and you have a good one, go for it.
8. Make a call to action. Find a motivational message to end the piece.
That should give you some ideas for when you come to the end of an article and realize you need a conclusion but you’ve already said everything you want to say. I know I’m ready for a conclusion when I’m thinking of typing, “Well there you go. That’s the story on that.”
Like any writing tip, reading it is one thing, using it another. Pick a few you’ve never used before and give them a spin.
Article by Ivan Izo.