Conclusions

Some say the conclusion is the most difficult section of the paper to write because it’s hard to come up with something else to say after you’ve covered your main points. But imagine meeting someone without saying good bye or having a gourmet meal without the joy of a fine dessert. Having an anticlimactic conclusion, or no conclusion at all, brings forth that same lame effect in your paper.

The conclusion is the section in the paper where everything comes together as one; it is where all the ideas join together to query, agitate, and persuade. With a strong conclusion, the audience will be certain your paper has a well-meaning purpose, and that it wasn’t just a cluster of ideas put together loosely. The conclusion is perhaps the most important part of your paper, and the one your reader will ponder about the most.

Keep in Mind

  • Restate your thesis statement but do not repeat it verbatim
  • Relate the ideas in the text to the actual world and how these will affect our future
  • Pose questions and point at areas of exploration to encourage more research and scrutiny on behalf of other researchers
  • Tell your reader why the points of view you just expressed in your work are not only necessary to expose, but also, why these are so important to discuss
  • Remind the reader of the course of action to be taken after reading the paper
  • Compose your conclusion so that it is in balance to the rest of your paper – it should be similar in length to your introduction.

NOTE: It is important that you write an entirely new paragraph for your conclusion. Do not simply copy and paste your introduction and change a few words here and there. You need to adequately summarize what is in your paper to give closure to your argument, and what is in your introduction probably doesn’t provide that closure. Remember that a conclusion serves a separate purpose.

Below, we have included a sample prompt with its introduction, followed by one unsuccessful and one successful conclusion. Read on to see how these examples can inform your approach to conclusions the next time you have to write a paper!


Example

Instructions

Evaluate the role of genre in selling European films to British audiences since 2000. Answer with reference to ONE or MORE of the films studied in this course.

Introduction

While there are several components one must consider when evaluating whether to sell a European film to British audiences, the genre of a film plays a significant role since a movie with strong ties to a particular genre will theoretically be easier to market than those with multiple genres. Many distributors will choose one genre and focus on those traits during the advertising campaign. This can clearly be seen with Good Bye Lenin (2003); UGC Cinemas focused on the comedic aspect and left out the drama initially to draw in more audiences. According to the UK Film Council, Good Bye Lenin was categorized in two genres: comedy and drama. Despite UGC Cinemas executing its focus on comedy, both genres for this film played a role in selling this film to viewers: comedy played an important role for distributors to sell the film through the trailer, drama was more thoroughly explored through the reviews, and by the time the film was sold on DVD, both the dramatic and comedic elements were represented on the DVD cover to bridge the gap identified between the trailer and reviews.

Unsuccessful Conclusion

As previously stated, there are many different components to think about when considering which European film to sell to British audiences, and genre remains a critical factor in selling these films.  With Good Bye Lenin, UGC Cinemas may have initially focused on the comedic genre, but later, when it became apparent the dramatic was more thoroughly explored through the reviews, elements of the dramatic and comedic were well represented on the DVD cover, which all shows genre has a vital role in determining how to market film to British audiences.

Why is this conclusion unsuccessful?

  • If you compare the language from the introduction, you can see there are many similar word constructions and phrases. This conclusion was likely copied and pasted from the introduction.
  • The conclusion does not encourage action, further thought, and does not apply knowledge to a real world situation.
  • This conclusion does not leave the reader with something new to think about; it simply restates ideas.
  • When comparing the introduction and this conclusion, the conclusion is much shorter than the introduction, hinting that balance may be off.

Successful Conclusion

According to the UK Film Council’s website, in 2003, 106 out of 426 films released were sorted as being a comedy as its primary genre while only 18 out of those 106 films were listed as only comedy without any other genres. Given this information, having multiple genres along with comedy is extremely common. However, the practice of only focusing on one particular genre when advertising a movie can potentially limit the audiences that distributors are drawing in. With films like Good Bye Lenin, it can come as surprise to audiences who viewed the trailer to go to a theater and watch a more dramatic film than they previously anticipated. Nowadays, blending genres has become a common practice in film and literature. Audiences are interested in films and books with multiple genres, and distributors may benefit from portraying both genres in their trailers like they did with Good Bye Lenin’s DVD cover. For now, especially with foreign language films, we can expect one genre to be more highly advertised than another if the film features more than one genre. However, by looking up reviews of the film, one can gain a more accurate perception of the film’s genre, even if the reviews are more likely to cast a negative light on the film.

Why is this conclusion successful?

  • This conclusion offers a potential problem, avenues for further exploration, and a temporary solution.
  • The conclusion opens with new and relevant information.
  • When comparing the introduction and this conclusion, the two paragraphs seem to be more balanced.
  • Contains real world context.

 

UK Film Council. “2003 UK Genre List.” British Film Institute, 22 Feb. 2012, http://industry.bfi.org.uk/genre