Whether you’re writing a thesis, article, essay, or even an email, you need to conclude it the right way. You’ve gotten through the entire piece, listing ideas, proving your point, or expressing yourself. Now, you want to be done with it all, but hang on! It’s not time to quit!
A conclusion is something that most people ignore or neglect when writing, but that is a big mistake. It’s there to bring the whole article back full circle, reinforcing the statements that you’ve already made. The goal of your piece is to do something, interest people, or help them take action. Therefore, you shouldn’t ignore that last bit because those words might matter most of all. If you think about your article as an argument, you’ll fare better. You are giving your personal ideas on a particular subject to convince others that you have the right point of view. Sometimes, you’re hoping to change their opinion, but you may just want to get people to see things differently. Regardless, the goal is for them to use that information in the text to better others or themselves.
Most people spend a lot of time on the internet, but they don’t read through every single article because it would take too much time. Therefore, the chances of them getting through 300, 1,000, or even more words are pretty slim. All hope isn’t lost, though.
Because many people read headlines, introductions, subheadings, and conclusions, it’s your job to make sure that those points really stand out. They get the gist without having to read through hundreds or thousands of words. We’ve come up with 10 tips on how to write a conclusion. That way, you have a few things up your sleeve to come up with something amazing that will hook your readers.
10Restate Your Article’s Thesis/Theme
Your article or blog (or whatever you have written) must have a point to it or else it wouldn’t have been written. Sometimes, you’ll explain how something works, or you might be persuading people to try a new product. Regardless, you should be able to sum up the entire article as a conclusion. This can take a full paragraph, or it might just take a couple of sentences. Only you can determine how many words you need. Just remember that your reader is probably just going to scan the information you provide.
Since many readers won’t go through the entire article word for word, you need to plan the conclusion carefully. That way, they still walk away with value. Sometimes, readers will skip to the end, like what they see, and choose to read the entire article. Restating the theme of the article is also like summarizing, though they are slightly different. When you reiterate the idea, you likely keep the same information or point out the significant points you were trying to make. It might not be in a shorter form. With a summary, you do make it quick, and you only focus on the two or three primary points you have been writing about.
One issue you’ll face is that some visitors are going to read the whole thing, so they already know the suggestions and ideas you’ve put forth. Therefore, you don’t want to rewrite everything word for word, and you will want to keep it short.
9Answer the “So What?” Question
If you think about the last movie you watched or the most recent book you read, you’ll likely remember the climax moment where the villain was revealed, the mystery solved, or the antagonist was thwarted. In a sense, you remember most that the story was resolved and how.
However, in most cases, the film or book didn’t end there. Usually, there is at least one more scene to wrap up the full story and leave the viewer/reader satisfied. This is called the ‘so what?’ moment. You have been through a complete journey with all the characters, so the writer/filmmaker wants you to know the reason behind spending that time with them. Plus, most books and movies have a takeaway included, such as a moral or a specific point.
Your article’s conclusion works in about the same way. It will wrap up the content, of course, but it also tells the reader why they spent all that time reading it. As such, you can give your audience a reason to use that information or do something with it. In a sense, the conclusion is the “why should I care?” part of the article. You’ve explained your points, given your reasons, and expressed your opinion. The reader has kept up with it for the whole piece, and now they wonder why it’s important to them (or why it was vital for you to write it). Now, the goal is to answer that question effectively so that your readers don’t waste their time. As such, they may scour the internet for more of your writing because they feel that they get valuable information and honest opinions.
8Start with the Heading
Regardless of what you write in the conclusion, it’s helpful to label it. Many short articles and blogs don’t do that, but if your piece is longer than 300-400 words, you may want to consider it. Some people think it’s boring to call out the conclusion for what it is, but at least you will be direct and straightforward. When writers get too creative with their final subheading, readers might start to wonder if that’s really the end of the piece.
You’ll notice, at the end of this article, that we used the subheading ‘conclusion,’ and there’s a very good reason for that. We wanted you to know that you reached the ending of the article. Think of it as a signpost on your road trip. You now know that you reached your destination because you see the sign saying “Welcome to [Insert Location Here.]”
Though it is simple, it also means that there is no room for guessing. You don’t have to deal with a lot of wordplays. Yes, some people like to get creative and end with a “bang.” However, what if your readers don’t know it’s the end? They won’t prepare themselves for that and maybe left wondering where the rest of the article was. Plus, those who scan for the conclusion won’t easily find it, so they may ignore the piece altogether. Simplicity nowadays is very underrated. Everyone wants it in their lives because of information overload. You can give your readers a well-deserved break by stating simply that this is the end. As such, you might also gain more loyal followers because of it.
7Keep It as Short as Possible
Some people have a specific amount of words to write, and they realize that they’ve done and still need 200 or 300 words. Now is not the time to elongate the piece. The conclusion doesn’t have to just be a few sentences, but it shouldn’t span hundreds of words.
Most of the time, people tell you not to focus on the length or to ensure balance. Others, however, tell you that you need to have a specific amount of sentences. For example, if your article is 1,000 words, you would need about four to five sentences to conclude your piece. Longer essays and articles might require a few paragraphs, each with about five sentences. It wouldn’t make sense to write something that’s 3,000 words and then add 50 words at the end and call it a conclusion. You’ve got way too many points to consider in that much copy and can’t adequately summarize it all and engage the reader.
The rule of thumb is to create strong sentences that back up the main point and do so in as few words as possible. For example, you can probably write about six short, concise sentences in about 100 words. Generally, good article conclusions are no more than 250 words, and less is definitely better. In terms of marketing, you want easy-to-understand copy that’s quick to read. Whether you’re writing an ad for Facebook or an article conclusion, get to the point fast and wrap it all up before people get tired of your ramblings.
6Write in a Conversational Tone
It seems that many writers get very technical and formal when writing conclusions. Sometimes, they feel that they need to sound professional at this stage so that they are taken seriously. This is a trap, and you shouldn’t fall into it. The conclusion of your piece must reflect the overall tone and voice you used throughout. Don’t change now just because it’s the end.
In fact, the best writers use a conversational tone in the conclusion, even if they sounded professional and smart throughout. It helps to engage the reader. They feel that you are talking directly to them, and it makes them take notice and want to do whatever it is that you’re asking of them. The trouble is that it’s hard to stay conversational in your conclusion than in the article. This is the last chance you have to make friends with your reader and to show them that you have the information they require. It’s impossible to do that with big words, stilted language, or boring information.
Therefore, it’s best to consider trigger words, especially in your conclusion. However, it’s ideal if you can sprinkle them throughout the text bringing everything home in the end. These words grab attention and might get your reader to subscribe to the newsletter, visit a particular website, or do something else. Just make sure that the phrases you use to match what you want them to do. For example, you wouldn’t tell them that they can get something free if it wasn’t true. They’d click to the site, find out you lied, and would probably never read anything from you again.
5Avoid Adding Graphics and Photographs
It is true that a picture is worth a thousand words, but it doesn’t belong in your conclusion. Even if the entire article or blog was filled with helpful photos, you don’t want that at the end. Graphics are purposeful because visual images can engage the audience and keep them moving through the piece. As such, it helps to create white space so that readers don’t feel overwhelmed when reading a long blog. It can also break up the monotony of the extended copy and give people a mini-break from the text.
However, those images do not belong to the conclusion of your article. This is where you want to get serious (while still remaining conversational,) and tie everything together, including the pictures from before. Images are more likely to distract your readers when they reach the conclusion. Now isn’t the time to do that because you don’t want to keep them reading the copy, as there is no more. This is the end!
Instead, you should focus on the text and ensure that it is engaging and fun to read. You’re reminding the reader what they have gained or learned from the article. Therefore, you don’t need photos, graphs, and illustrations. The only exception to this rule is when you include a button/graphic as a CTA (Call to Action). These can consist of buttons to click to subscribe to the newsletter, ways to share the content on social media, and more. As such, some companies will use their logo and make it a hyperlink that takes the reader directly to the right place.
4Let People Know What to Do Afterward
In conclusion, it’s time to give the audience the next step to take now that they’ve gotten through the article. You should ask yourself what the reader should now do with the information you’ve given them. The next steps and CTAs are quite similar. If you’re writing content for a business, you may want them to become a member, sign up for the newsletter, or buy a product. However, sometimes, the next step to take isn’t about the business or you.
You might have other topic-related articles that you think the reader might like. They may go more in-depth or give different thoughts and ideas. Link to them in the conclusion. As such, you might want the reader to take your advice in some way. Make sure you are specific. For example, if you write about the benefits of recycling, you may want them to start doing this in all aspects of their life. Give the reader information about recycling centers in the area or other helpful information to make it easier on them.
Many times, consumers don’t act or do something specific unless they are told to do so. It’s not because they can’t make a decision; usually, they don’t know what to do next. Give them the edge they need to take that next step. Just remember that the entire conclusion shouldn’t be the CTA. You can include the call to action anywhere (and some people choose to put it right before the end). It shouldn’t be obvious or sales, but it should strike the reader at the right time.
3Ask a Question or Issue a Challenge
Once you have written the conclusion and restated the point of the article, it might be a good idea to ask a question at the very end. This should be the last sentence of the conclusion and give your readers the incentive to click on a link, leave a comment, or visit social media to continue the discussion. Blogs should inspire a sense of community. People want to feel connected to you and interact with you and the other readers. Asking a question allows people to express their opinions and share experiences. Just make sure that what you ask is on-point and engaging. Don’t drift off your topic or ask such a complex question that the audience doesn’t know where to begin.
As such, your question could help readers piece together why they need your service or product or how you could benefit them.
On the same subject, you could give readers a challenge. You can liven up your conclusion by asking readers to reach a milestone or work on a particular goal. Since you pay close attention to demographics (or you should), you know what the audience wants to learn and do. That’s why they’re on the blog, reading your article. Encourage them to better themselves and reach a goal by asking them to do something specific. For example, if you’re writing blogs about fitness, you might ask your readers to do a particular exercise for the next week or track the food they eat for two weeks. Ensure that you have a way for people to share their progress or tell you (other readers) that they completed the task.
2Address the Audience Directly
The conclusion is not the time to be vague. In fact, that’s the worst thing you could possibly do. The goal here is not to turn the reader away; it’s to get them to stay or move onto the next task with you. Keep the consumer persona with you each step of the way, paying close attention to the ending. It’s important that you know who you are talking to. What do they need? Do they hope to come away with something specific? You should also consider the wording that these people are going to respond to best. For example, teens are going to prefer slang terms while an older crowd won’t know what you’re talking about.
Therefore, the conclusion you write is going to look different, depending on who you are writing to. If you’re talking to single women in their 20s, 30s, or 40s who possess bachelor’s degrees, you’ll take on a different writing style than if you were writing to married men with advanced education.
A good way to grab the reader’s attention is to mention the target audience directly. Of course, you can’t include people’s names because you don’t have that information. However, you can speak to a particular group in a way that they will understand. If you were talking to young, single moms, you’d probably mention how hard it is to parent successfully and juggle work, relationships, and their child’s needs. Now, your reader is going to identify with you more and listen to what you have to say because they know you understand what they go through each day.
1Sum Up the Potential Benefits
When you’re writing content for a blog or company, it might be a good idea to talk about the benefits of whatever you’re writing about. However, don’t confuse advantages with features. You want to show a clear reason for learning more or buying the product instead of just stating a fact. While talking about the benefits in the conclusion, you should start by quickly summing up the main points in the article. Then, you can tell the reader how he or she directly benefits from the product.
We’ll go back to the example of fitness. Reiterate what the article was about and then list the benefits of simple exercise. It is less likely to pose a risk of injury, can help people build to more challenging movements, and can improve your range of motion. No matter what you’re talking about, the goal is for the reader to walk away thinking that they can enjoy the benefits if they use those tips or take that advice and use it.
Generally, it’s possible, to sum up the benefits in a few sentences. For that same fitness article from earlier, you might mention that doing the exercise for a week will give the reader more endurance, improve flexibility, and help them progress in their fitness goals. This also works if you’re selling something specific, such as a vacuum cleaner or shampoo. However, with an informational article, you are just selling the reader on the idea. Again, you should make sure that you’re succinct and express yourself in as few words as possible to keep the audience’s attention.
The conclusion you write for an article, essay, or anything else matters a lot. Whether it’s going to go in an email, on a blog, or somewhere else, it has to be well-crafted and concise. Of course, you already know that because you read this article. We talked about ways to make the conclusion useful to the audience, offering 10 different tips to help you learn how to write an effective ending.
You need to understand that every audience is unique. The conclusion you write for one blog may not fit for another. It should represent your writing style, the company’s culture, or the brand. If you’re writing something for school (essay or thesis), it is likely you’ll focus primarily on restating the main points and giving the reader something more to think about. We also talked about length. Some conclusions can be just 50 words long, while others need up to 250 to convey information. It doesn’t matter as much how long the ending is. Instead, focus on the content. The end should be brief and balance with the rest of the article, but it should also give your audience value.
Now, it is time to put these tips to good use. What are you going to write about next? Which tactic will you choose? Are you going to use multiple options or just pick one? Your work isn’t done yet. It’s just begun because now you have to write an amazing piece and do the hard work of creating a conclusion that is meaningful, purposeful, and informational.