Teaching How to Write a Conclusion: Don't let a Perfectly Good Essay Go to Waste. Teach Students How to Write a Good Conclusion.

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After teaching students how to hook the reader with masterful leads and revise the middle for clarity and focus, I felt good about myself once again. I bragged to the student teachers at my school and invited them to my room to watch greatness in action. Then I read the conclusion of my students' essays.

In shock, I ran back to each student teacher and begged them not to come near my room, apologized to the university they attended and cancelled my weekend golf trip to British Columbia.

I had work to do. I had to devise a lesson plan that taught students how to write a conclusion. Here’s what I came up with.

Techniques for an Effective Conclusion, with Examples

  • A lesson learned: I guess I should have listened to my Mom when she said, “don’t smear blood on your legs and swim with sharks”
  • Action: As the shark came closer, I corralled the obese adolescent, shoved him in the predator’s path, and swam like heck to safety!
  • Dialogue: The angry parent cornered me and yelled, “You killed my son.” I responded, “no ma’am, that shark killed your son.”
  • Emotion: The horrified parents looked on as the shark chewed their son’s knee cartilage. I drove away, relieved that it wasn’t me.
  • Drawstring: I glanced over and noticed Franklin had a smirk on his face. He had done the same thing during a shark attack in New Zealand. We have held a secret respect for each other ever since.
  • Surprise: I opened the newspaper and read “Mass murderer eaten by shark.” I couldn’t believe that 12-year-old was a mass murderer. It looks like I’m a hero.
  • Quotation: Remember, “You don’t have to be faster than the shark; you just have to be faster than the person you’re swimming with.”

Additional Tips

  • When I was in high school (and college), I would write just long enough to fulfill the assignment requirements, even if it meant adding an unnecessary page or two. Is it any wonder I didn’t know how to teach when to conclude an essay? Luckily, I learned: Read the rough draft. Find where it ends, Stop. Anything after it is unnecessary.
  • Before writing the conclusion, reread the introduction. Often an effective conclusion brings the reader full circle by tying together the beginning and the end.
  • For revising a rough draft, have students analyze which method they used for concluding and determine if another method might be more successful.
  • Have students write two different conclusions using two different methods. In groups of 3-4, have them analyze which is better.

This post is part of the series: How to Revise Essays for Organization: Six Lesson Plans that Work

Organized people accomplish more. So does organized writing. teach your students how to organize their writing and how to revise their writing with these five excellent lessons.

  1. A Lesson Plan on How to Hook Your Reader with Dynamite Leads
  2. Writing Lesson Plan in Making the Middle Clear and Concise
  3. Lesson Plan: How to Write an Effective Conclusion
  4. Lesson Plan: How to Write Effective Paragraphs
  5. A Lesson Plan on Writing Coherent Transitions
  6. Lesson Plan: Writing a Good Topic Sentence