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The Closing Paragraph 

What to put in the closing paragraph

What not to put in the closing paragraph

Five bad examples of re-stating the thesis and their revisions

 

The job of the closing paragraph is to re-state the thesis and give a closing thought and/or a specific example or fact. The closing paragraph comes just before your teacher slaps a grade on your paper, so you want to have a strong ending.

 

What to put in the closing paragraph :

  1. It must restate the thesis in different words without changing the meaning.
  2. It must give a sense of completion, not just stop.
  3. It may point out the significance or implications of your thesis.
  4. It may summarize the topic sentence pattern—unless you put this in the opening paragraph.
  5. It may offer a final specific fact, detail, example, statistic, quotation, or contrast.

 

What not to put in the closing paragraph :

  1. It does not need a topic sentence.
  2. It should not list the topic sentences word for word.
  3. It should not tell about specific details or examples that you discussed in the paragraphs of development.
  4. Beware of hedging or changing your mind.

 

Five bad examples of re-stating the thesis and their revisions :

Thesis A: Unfortunately all this preparation could not prevent a disappointing trip.

Restatement: In conclusion, our trip turned out to be a complete disaster.

Comment: Do not overstate your thesis. The trip could not have been a complete disaster unless it ended in tragedy.

Revision: We probably learned some valuable lessons about planning a trip, but that did not lift our sour mood on our long drive home.

 

Thesis B: Smoking is an unwise choice.

Restatement: For all of these reasons, smoking should be outlawed.

Comment: Deciding not to smoke and deciding to outlaw smoking for everyone are different arguments. Pick one and stick with it

Revision: If you don’t smoke, don’t start. And if you smoke, quit.

 

 

 

 

 

Thesis C: Getting a college degree is expensive.

Restatement: Getting a college degree is not worth it.

Comment: Showing the expense is not the same as examining costs versus benefits. Rather than assert a claim that you did not bother to prove, you can only suggest this implication.

Revision: Now that you see how expensive college is, you might well wonder if it is worth it.

 

Thesis D: My father’s venture on flipping a house for a big profit was a failure.

Restatement: Flipping a house for a big profit is not a good idea.

Comment: Showing your father’s unsuccessful venture does not justify condemning the flipping strategy in all other instances for all other investors.

Revision: Flipping a house resulted in unrewarded work and stress.

 

Thesis E: Our trip to Key West was disappointing.

Restatement: Come to think about it, being at Fantasy Fest was a unique once in a lifetime experience, so maybe the trip was worth it after all.

Comment: Don’t hedge. Make up your mind before you write the paper and then stick to your thesis. If you do change your mind, change your thesis and paper, not just your ending.

Revision: I can now brag to everyone that I was at Fantasy Fest, but I might not tell them I didn’t enjoy it.

 Last updated 9/18/06

This document is protected by copyright. It may be used and reproduced only for non-profit educational use.

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