Although many people list introductions as the most difficult part of writing an essay, conclusions must come a close second, whereas, in fact, it should be the easiest of the three parts out of introductions, paragraphs and conclusions. Having got your readers safely to this point without losing them or confusing them as to the relevance of your arguments, there is little you can do now to weaken your work. Nevertheless, there are still problems we should avoid. As we’ve seen with other aspects of essay writing, the source of many of these problems is that we are simply unsure what we should do in a conclusion, and if we’re not clear what we’re doing we are unlikely to do it well. Some students are convinced they must finish on an upbeat note, with a clear, firm declaration of their opinion. If the question asks for your opinion, they argue, you must give it. The problem with this is that such a declaration of opinion may just come completely out of the blue. The essay may be full of the most skilful analysis and discussion of the problems, leaving you with no clear grounds for absolute certainty one way or the other. Therefore, to make a clear statement of your opinion, showing no doubt or uncertainty, would be inappropriate.
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