Organizing Writing Ideas Study Guide (page 4)

Updated on Aug 25, 2011

The Conclusion

In the conclusion paragraph, the writer summarizes the thesis to remind the reader what has been asserted in the essay. The rest of the paragraph "zooms out" from the thesis, returning to the general topic. It can be an opportunity to tie up loose ends in the essay, or to explain how the topic fits into a bigger picture.

Often, conclusion paragraphs mention how the topic will continue beyond the essay. An essay about declining wolf populations, for example, might conclude with the statement "If humans don't intervene to help wolves, they could be extinct within 20 years." This sort of statement gives the reader something to think about after the essay is over.

A conclusion paragraph can be depicted as an upright triangle, the opposite of the introduction paragraph. The conclusion starts with the most specific assertion and ends by talking about the general topic once again.


Essays are a useful way for students and professionals alike to analyze a topic. There are three types of essays: informative (or expository), narrative, and persuasive. Each type of essay has several options for organizing the argument, but all essays follow the same basic structure. The first paragraph introduces the topic and the author's thesis. The middle paragraphs explain details to support the thesis. The final paragraph summarizes the thesis once more and concludes the topic.


  1. Many well-known writers, including novelists and poets, have also published books of essays. Find an essay to read today. What is the topic of the essay? What is the author's thesis? How many paragraphs of supporting details does the author include? Is it a narrative, informative, or persuasive essay?
  2. Choose a topic that interests you, such as your favorite athlete, teacher, or activity. If you needed to write a narrative essay about this topic, what would your thesis be? Write it down. Then write possible thesis statements for an informative essay and a persuasive essay about the same topic. Which essay would be the most interesting to write?

Practice exercises for this study guide can be found at:

Organizing Writing Ideas Practice Exercises

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