So much is at stake in writing a conclusion. This is, after all, your last chance to persuade your readers to your point of view, to impress yourself upon them as a writer and thinker. And the impression you create in your conclusion will shape the impression that stays with your readers after they've finished the essay.
The end of an essay should therefore convey a sense of completeness and closure as well as a sense of the lingering possibilities of the topic, its larger meaning, its implications: the final paragraph should close the discussion without closing it off.
Quotations are an instrument to prove your point of view is correct. An essay aiming for 85+ score points contains 2-4 quotes. Each citation supports the thesis statement and strengthens your argument. Quotations are mostly used in Humanities. Social Sciences rely more on paraphrasing, data analysis and statistics. In Natural Sciences quotes are uncommon. Each quote has to be referenced in-text following MLA (Modern Language Association) citation style guidelines. Otherwise, an instructor will consider it plagiarizing. This guide will help you manage quotations in your essay up to the mark.
Experts from the against camp suggest that when you begin an essay with a quote, you miss on the opportunity to present your own take on the subject matter. In their opinion, when writing the introduction, you have to rely only on your words. Whereas quotes are most useful in the main body, serving as an additional argumentation. In conclusion, a quote can be placed, too.
Used effectively, quotations can provide important pieces of evidence and lend fresh voices and perspectives to your narrative. Used ineffectively, however, quotations can clutter your text and interrupt the flow of your argument. This handout will help you decide when and how to quote like a pro.
Sometimes, in order to have a clear, accurate discussion of the ideas of others, you need to quote those ideas word for word. Suppose you want to challenge the following statement made by John Doe, a well-known historian:
If it is especially important that you formulate a counterargument to this claim, then you might wish to quote the part of the statement that you find questionable and establish a dialogue between yourself and John Doe:
This scenario is probably most common in literature and linguistics courses, but you might also find yourself writing about the use of language in history and social science classes. If the use of language is your primary topic, then you will obviously need to quote users of that language.
In order to lend variety to your prose, you may wish to quote a source with particularly vivid language. All quotations, however, must closely relate to your topic and arguments. Do not insert a quotation solely for its literary merits.
Tell your reader who is speaking. Here is a good test: try reading your text aloud. Could your reader determine without looking at your paper where your quotations begin? If not, you need to attribute the quote more noticeably.
As few words as possible. Remember, your paper should primarily contain your own words, so quote only the most pithy and memorable parts of sources. Here are guidelines for selecting quoted material judiciously:
There may be times when you need to quote long passages. However, you should use block quotations only when you fear that omitting any words will destroy the integrity of the passage. If that passage exceeds four lines (some sources say five), then set it off as a block quotation.
If you are quoting a passage that contains a quotation, then you use single quotation marks for the internal quotation. Quite rarely, you quote a passage that has a quotation within a quotation. In that rare instance, you would use double quotation marks for the second internal quotation.
So, why should you use essay quotes on the GRE? To start with, the right use of quotes in essays augments the power of your arguments and makes your essays appear more convincing. Plus, essays with quotes tend to score better than essays without them, because of the initial impact the use of quotes create on the reader, and help strengthen your point.
So, next time when you practice writing an essay response, make sure you write at least one essay from each of these categories. And memorize a few quotes related to each one of these topics, as they will be handy.
For those avid writers, who believe the number of quotes above are too low, we have the right tool for you. Ellipsoid created a random quote generator tool that draws 5 famous quotes from Goodreads every time you reload the page. The good news is these 5 quotes are always theme based so you know where to use them.
Yes, it is rather difficult to remember all the 21 quotes, which is why we asked you to pick a few of your favorite ones from the list. Plus, the only way you can remember these quotes is by using them while you practice AWA essays.
Admissions officers read thousands of college essays every year that end with a summarizing statement. Applicants will say what they learned or discuss the moment they realized something very important.
Conclusions are often one of the most confusing parts of a humanities paper, mainly because they can go a few different ways. Additionally, the conclusion is your last chance to convince your reader of your ideas, meaning that there can be a lot of pressure on one simple paragraph.
Including a quotation in your conclusion is an option. However, make sure you are not introducing brand-new information; the quote should shed more light on your subject or restate your point/main idea. One of the main goals of the conclusion is to leave your reader with a clear idea of your paper. Make sure you choose a quote that will stick with your reader and drive home the point of your paper.
Try writing your conclusion first, then your body paragraphs, and then your introduction. Breaking up the usual order of essay-writing will give you a new perspective on the conclusion and can result in a fresher, more interesting conclusion. Of course, you will revise this conclusion once you have written the rest of your paper, but it is often very useful in determining the structure of your essay (because you know where you want to end up!)
Sometimes, holding back your main point can be a good strategy. If your essay recounts several experiences, you could save your main message for the conclusion, only explaining what ties all the stories together at the very end.
In the essay outlined below, a student gives us snapshots of her experience of gymnastics at different stages in her life. In the conclusion, she ties the stories together and shares the insight that they taught her about different aspects of her character and values.
Whether or not the essay is written at a stretch, once you are done with the introduction and body paragraphs, it is essential to give a thorough reading. This is when you can assess whether you have left any key points or examples out and make amends.
Begin the conclusion by reminding the reader of your viewpoint by reinstating the most logical arguments you made in the essay. Use this space to tie loose ends and summarize the main points. The conclusion needs to act as a reminder, stating why your viewpoint matters.
So yes, you can consider ending with a question and asking a rhetorical question in the conclusion paragraph. This keeps the reader engaged till the last sentence and enhances the recall value of your essay.
Repeating the thesis statement is a complete no-no. It would be best if you rewrote it while tying together the main arguments raised but doing a copy-paste job without adding any value will do nothing to the conclusion.
Even when you know everything about your paper's topic, it's hard to know how to create a "hook" that makes a reader want to read it. And how in the world do you end satisfactorily? The fact is that many of us anguish over our intros and conclusions. The problem of introductions and conclusions is really one problem. They are linked, not only in anguish but in content; they are almost mirror images of each other.
First, however, there are two common misconceptions to dispel. Your thesis is not an introduction. An introductory paragraph starts with a "hook," which leads into the thesis. You do need an introduction as well as a thesis. Second, a simple restatement of your thesis is not a conclusion. To create that satisfying sense of finality in your conclusion, you must revisit the stuff of your introduction. If you start with a story, return to the story. If you start with a definition, return to the definition, even if only to contradict it.
From the TIP Sheet "How to Start (and Complete) a Research Paper," you already know to start writing your paper in the middle, with the thesis statement and body. When you are ready to finish with the introduction and conclusion, choose from several strategies:
IllustrateAn illustration can be as simple as a personal story or anecdote. It's natural to think of a personal anecdote as an introduction to a personal narrative, but stories and anecdotes can be effective introductions to any kind of paper. The following anecdote introduces a research paper on vegetarian and vegan diets. The conclusion returns briefly to the story:
ChallengeA challenge raises reader expectations and creates tension. A challenging opening statement is effective for a thesis that calls for changes to be made in public policies or personal actions, such as in persuasive essays and argument or analysis papers:
QuoteMake good use of the wordsmiths of history. Online quotation banks, usually searchable by topic, are a great source for quotations on practically any subject. You have some latitude in how you choose a quote for an introduction; it can be offbeat or unexpected. In the following example, an unusual quote by Albert Einstein is used to introduce an essay on restricting cell phone use while driving: 2b1af7f3a8