We have all written an essay at some point in life. For those still studying, essays are pretty much a way of life. An integral part of each essay is the conclusion. Like the introduction and body sections, the conclusion plays an important part not only in the structure, but also the flow of the essay.
It would however, not be a surprise if most of us don’t understand the importance of a conclusion. This article of essay help service will explain why this section is so important and why each essay must feature it. But before that, let us begin by understanding what it really is.
What is a conclusion?
Simply put, a conclusion is the final paragraph of an essay. It finalizes your essay by summing up your arguments or main points as mentioned in the essay. It therefore ties together your essay and reaffirms your stand.
Purpose of a conclusion
A conclusion is literally your last chance to make an impression to your reader. Unlike the introduction and body sections where you have the opportunity to explain your points at length, the conclusion only allows for a summary of your strongest points. As such, no new ideas should be introduced in the conclusion.
This section of an essay is meant to achieve three main objectives:
- Restate your thesis and main ideas: The first sentence of the conclusion usually repeats your thesis. This does not mean copying it word for word, but rewording it in a way that reflects your stand.
- Summarize the main argument or points: Restating the thesis is then followed by a reiteration of the main points and ideas in the essay as a way of reminding the reader what the essay was about. This should bring to alignment all your conflicting arguments and help the reader see the big picture.
- Create an interesting final impression: Finally, the essay should leave your reader interested in what you have to say. It should also provide closure and a sense of possibilities in the covered topic. This positions you as an essay writer and thinker.
Why is conclusion important
As evidenced in the sections above, a conclusion is important because its purpose in an essay is to hammer your points home.
Its importance can therefore be broken down to three main constituents:
- Gives you an opportunity to leave a lasting impression on the reader: This is after all, the last attempt you have at convincing your reader – or lecturer. You therefore must make them understand your perspective.
- Helps you sum up your thoughts: A conclusion gives you a chance at summing up and organizing your thoughts. This can be especially helpful if you argued on several conflicting points. You can use the conclusion section to explain to your reader which one is your stand and why.
- Makes your essay scannable: Many readers will not read through the essay due to a number of factors. Instead, they’ll quickly scan the important areas so as to get an idea of what the essay is about. The introduction and conclusion are therefore the most read sections: The introduction because it introduces the essay and contains the thesis statement, and the conclusion because it summarizes it.
A conclusion is the final paragraph in your essay and is therefore your last chance or crystalizing your argument and making it transparent to your reader. It helps you ensure your readers do not leave without understanding exactly what you are saying. It should therefore be written in a compelling manner since it can be the difference between a grade A and grade D material.
You know it is important to have a high GPA, strong standardized tests scores, and extracurricular activities for your college application. But what about the essay? Just how much does it really matter to your overall academic profile? The answer is that it depends on a number of factors. The essay is always important, but just how much it will influence your overall application varies by the school to which you are applying, as well as your individual profile.
Looking for more advice on college essay writing? Check out our blog post How to Write the Common Application Essays 2017-2018.
Factors that Affect the Influence of College Essays
Huge public schools, such as state flagship universities, tend to have more applicants that private schools, as well as limited resources with which to evaluate candidates. Competitive state schools, such as UC Berkeley and the University of Michigan, tend to screen candidates on the basis of GPA and test scores first before reviewing extracurricular activities and essays.
If you are a “borderline” candidate, with a good but less-competitive grades and test scores, a strong essay could push you into the admitted pool. However, your essay is unlikely to compensate for grades and test scores that are too far below average, since, first and foremost, the primary bases for evaluation are the quantitative aspects of your application.
In contrast, smaller colleges, especially liberal arts schools, tend to take a more holistic approach to evaluating candidates, since these colleges tend to be more self-selective and receive fewer applications. Therefore, they can devote more time and resources to each individual application.
Top private schools like the Ivies and similar-tier colleges also prefer to use a holistic approach when evaluating students, seeking to understand the candidate and his or her background as a whole. At top-tier colleges, many of the candidates are already excellent students who have stellar grades, test scores, and extracurricular activities, so essays provide an additional way to differentiate candidates and understand their entire profiles and personalities.
The importance of your essay also depends on you personally as a candidate. For the student who otherwise presents a strong profile, with a high GPA, competitive test scores, and stellar extracurricular activities, the essay is unlikely to have a big impact on your overall application, because you have already demonstrated your ability to succeed. However, you should still aim to write a strong essay. If anything, it will only complement the talent you have already conveyed with the rest of your profile — and it never hurts to impress the admissions committee.
Under no circumstances should you ever “blow off” your college essay. Even if your grades, test scores, and extracurricular activities are enough to make you a top candidate for competitive colleges, your essay always matters. In fact, your essay could end up hurting an application for an otherwise strong candidate if it appears hastily written or not well thought-out.
Factoring in your particular interests, talents, and intended major makes the importance of the essay even more nuanced. If you intend to study a humanities subject such as Journalism, Creative Writing, or English, and list writing-oriented extracurricular activities such as your school newspaper or Language Arts tutoring on your application, your essay needs to reflect your talent and chosen major. If colleges see that your focus is writing and receive a poorly-written or uninspired essay, they will be confused — and may wonder how well you understand your own strengths.
On the other hand, if your focus is clearly on a subject in which writing personally and creatively is not as essential, such as the life sciences or math, and your intended major follows the same suit, admissions committees may provide a little more leeway and judge your essay less harshly. You still need to present a well-written and carefully considered essay, of course. If you know writing is somewhat of a weakness, have teachers, guidance counselors, friends, and family members read it and offer feedback. However, colleges will understand that your talents lie elsewhere.
For students who have less-competitive academic profiles, presenting a particularly impressive essay may tip the balance in your favor. This is more likely to happen with smaller schools that can take the time to go over your entire application more comprehensively, because, as mentioned earlier, large schools may not have the resources or funding to devote as much attention to every applicant. Additionally, while a strong essay may help borderline candidates, it won’t be enough to make up for an otherwise weak profile.
That said, students who know they may have weaker GPAs or test scores than other applicants at a particular school may want to take the time to craft a truly outstanding essay. Starting particularly early, coming up with a thoughtful idea, writing several drafts, self-editing, and soliciting feedback may help you create an essay that will give you that extra edge as an applicant.