6. Lazy Introductions and Conclusions
This essay writing tip involves the two most important parts of the essay--the beginning and the end. This essay writing tip is ignored by students overly eager to finish the assignment, regardless of content.
Example: In conclusion, bears are very important animals. Next time you're at the zoo, make a special visit to the bear pavilion.
Introductory and concluding paragraphs each have a purpose. Introductions are intended to lead the reader into the main topic of an essay. Many students begin introductions with the thesis and a quick highlight of their main points, but this is sloppy and you will almost always lose points. Try to begin with an interesting statement to pull the reader in, then tie in some introductory knowledge of your subject, and end with a strong, but simple thesis.
The purpose of a conclusion is to summarize your main points into a single thought that gives a sense of completion. It is the "falling action" of the essay, similar to that of a story. Lord of the Rings doesn't just end when the ring is cast into the fires of Mt. Doom. The hobbits must travel back to the Shire, say goodbyes to friends, and face some small remaining evils before the story is complete. Your conclusion must also wrap up any unfinished business.
Typically, conclusions are rushed or overlooked. Many students spend hours grueling over the writing of the essay and get to the conclusion and wish to get it over with as soon as possible. Don't do this. Give the conclusion its due. What have you been writing about for the last five hours? What have you proven in your essay? Give the reader a quality final thought.
Often, students will repeat themselves in the conclusion. Strive to say things in a new way. Sentence variety matters!
Solution: Remember the purpose of introductions and conclusions. Take your time to make them thorough and meaningful. Lead up to your thesis in the intro. Deal with unfinished business and try not to simply repeat yourself in the conclusion.
Example: After only a brief foray into ursology it becomes clear that bears are fascinating creatures. The bear's conflicting natures of fuzzy and fierce, playful and powerful, and cute and deadly make it one of mankind's most revered and feared creatures. Sadly, bears usually get a bad rap. If the public learns the proper ways to respect the bear, the relationship between man and bruin would be greatly improved. To find out more about bears and their habits, or to make a donation to a local bear awareness council, please visit www.bearinfo.com.