PHONE Etiquette

By Ruth Oji

‘…And they lived happily ever after,’ is a well-known kind of conclusion for most fictional pieces for children. As we advance in age, education, and career, we find that such conclusions do not serve our purpose any longer. There is the need to be more intentional and purposeful with respect to the kind of conclusions we give to our essays or to any other kind of write-up.

Why are conclusions necessary for every write-up? For one thing, your reader can find in the concluding paragraph a summation of what the entire essay has been about. For another thing, it gives you an opportunity to reiterate the salient points that you want to be noted by your reader. In other words, your stance on the subject you have written about will be clearly inferred from your conclusion.

How can you ensure that your concluding paragraph serves its purpose as earlier identified? By using the right approach that conforms to your goal in writing the piece. I will share with you different approaches you can deploy to make your conclusions come off as powerful and effective.

One way to powerfully conclude your essay is to issue out a call for action, CFA. Depending on the purpose of your essay, you may want to get people to side with you on an argument, buy a product you are selling, or accept a service you are rendering. Whatever the case is, CFAs are a powerful tool for conclusion; they get your reader to know exactly what you would have them do with the information you have shared in the body paragraphs resulting from your thesis statement. 

Could you also ask a question or several questions in your concluding paragraph? This will serve to stir the mental capacity of your reader and lead them to think more about your propositions in the essay. This approach of asking questions has to be engaged strategically in order for you to come up with the right kind of questions related to the argument developed in the essay.

Additionally, you may simply choose to do a recap of the main points that were discussed in the essay. This is most effective for readers who simply scan through the introductory and concluding parts of an essay. 

Would you like to leave a lasting impression in the minds of your readers when they get to the concluding paragraph? Then consider using statistics that echo the validity of the stance you have adopted in your work. This enhances and promotes your credibility as a writer because numbers don’t lie! Be sure to do sufficient research so that when your statistics are checked out, they are authentic and credible.

Powerful quotations by reputable persons can also be used to conclude an essay. Since the individuals are forces to be reckoned with, chances are that people would like to listen to their sayings, and it would be a lot easier for the main point of the essay to be connected with such quotes.

What approaches have worked for you to deliver a powerful conclusion in your essays? Feel free to share them with me so that others can take a cue.

•Dr. Oji is a Senior Lecturer of English at the Institute of Humanities, Pan-Atlantic University, Lagos

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