Writing A Conclusion For A Reflective Essay: Professional Advice
The reflective essay is a type of assignment that requires a student to tell a story about a person, an event or some other important element about his or her past but in a way that actually reflects a purpose for telling that particular story. The reflective essay is often descriptive in nature and moves the reader through several relevant details on the way to arriving at the writer’s main purpose. This article will provide professional advice that focuses on what you need to know about writing a conclusion for a reflective essay:
The Conclusion Is a Reflection
Just like your entire assignment is a reflection of a person, an even or some other important element about your past, your conclusion should be a shorter and more precise version of what you have recounted in your paper. Review your thesis statement and think about what the main purpose of your story was. Use this to guide your conclusion.
Bring the Reader Back to the Beginning
A great technique for writing a conclusion in other kinds of assignment is to bring the reader back to the beginning of your work by relating the content in the final paragraph with that of the beginning. This works especially well in a reflective essay where you can return to the beginning and write something about what you learned that you didn’t know when the story first started.
Leave the Reader Satisfied but Wanting More
This piece of professional advice might be seem a little contradictory at first glance, but the two things can work together to produce a great ending to your paper. Leave no open questions. Don’t leave your reader wondering what happened to a particular character or some other event. Be sure you leave no loose ends. If you leave your reader satisfied he or she will likely want to read more of your work, not particularly this piece or story, but wanting to read more of your work in general.
Propose a Call to Action, Get Your Reader Active
A great piece of professional advice towards writing a memorable conclusion is to get your reader active by proposing a call to action. If your story develops in a way that encourages the reader to change his or her behavior or do something they wouldn’t have if it weren’t for your story your writing will be more likely to be remembered.
The conclusion of the essay
The function of the essay's Conclusion is to restate the main argument. It reminds the reader of the strengths of the argument: that is, it reiterates the most important evidence supporting the argument. Make sure, however, that your conclusion is not simply a repetitive summary as this reduces the impact of the argument you have developed in your essay. The conclusion provides a forum for you to persuasively and succinctly restate your thesis given the reader has now been presented with all the information about the topic. Depending on the discipline you are writing in, the concluding paragraph may also contain a reflection on the evidence presented, or on the essay's thesis. The nature of the reflection will depend on your topic (Woodward-Kron, 1997) but questions such as these may be considered:
What is the significance of your findings?
What are the implications of your conclusions for this topic and for the broader field?
Are their any limitations to your approach?
Are there any other factors of relevance that impact upon the topic but fell outside the scope of the essay?
Are their any suggestions you can make in terms of future research?
The conclusion should match the introduction in terms of the ideas presented and the argument put forward. Sometimes you will find that the process of writing has changed what you have argued and so it will be necessary to go back and reword the introduction. Finally, the conclusion is not the place in your essay to introduce new information or new ideas: these should be in the body of your essay.
Essay Question:: Italy on the eve of 1860 has often been described as an unlikely nation. Why?
|Before 1860, only a tiny minority of the population believed that Italy could ever become a unified nation under one Italian ruler. Yet, despite this belief and the many obstacles blocking the path to unificationsuch as differences and suspicion between the many regions of the peninsula, the lack of planning and common goals that saw many uprisings fail and the divergent views and politics amongst the men who fought for unity,the Piedmont region emerged "...as the nucleus around which the rest of Italy could gather" (Mack Smith, 1959: 17). On March 17, 1861, the Kingdom of Italy was proclaimed. Italy was no longer a geographical expression, it was a nation.||reference to essay question|
reiteration of thesis point
overview of main arguments explaining the obstacles to Italy's unification
concluding comment and reference to essay question
1 This essay has been adapted from material developed by R. Woodward-Kron, E. Thomson & J. Meek (2000) Academic Writing: a language based guide (CD-ROM), University of Wollongong
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