Australia Essay Conclusion

Accounting Communication Matters

Conclusion

The final task in the writing process is to write the conclusion. An essay/report conclusion should:

  • remind the reader in general terms of the main point(s) of the essay/report;
  • not introduce any completely new points about the topic;
  • link the discussion back to the statement of purpose, without repeating it;
  • answer the question;
  • create the feeling of closing or rounding off the discussion, for example by giving a summarising comment or looking to the future in general terms.

Example

For the essay question:

Compare General Purpose and Special Purpose Financial Reports. Which do you consider more important? Justify your answer.

A poor conclusion would be:

In this essay GPFR's and SPFR's have been compared and the most important considered.

Or

As we have seen, GPFR's and SPFR's are used for different purposes, and by different people. It has been argued that both types of report are equally important.

This just repeats the earlier statement of purpose [in the past tense!].

It is not necessary to write in conclusion; as this is the last paragraph in the essay or report it must be the conclusion.

A better conclusion would be:

The conclusion is best written after the first or second draft of the essay once you have a good understanding of the way in which you will answer the question.

The conclusion of the essay

The function of the essay's Conclusion is to restate the main argument. It reminds the reader of the strengths of the argument: that is, it reiterates the most important evidence supporting the argument. Make sure, however, that your conclusion is not simply a repetitive summary as this reduces the impact of the argument you have developed in your essay. The conclusion provides a forum for you to persuasively and succinctly restate your thesis given the reader has now been presented with all the information about the topic. Depending on the discipline you are writing in, the concluding paragraph may also contain a reflection on the evidence presented, or on the essay's thesis. The nature of the reflection will depend on your topic (Woodward-Kron, 1997) but questions such as these may be considered:


What is the significance of your findings?
What are the implications of your conclusions for this topic and for the broader field?
Are their any limitations to your approach?
Are there any other factors of relevance that impact upon the topic but fell outside the scope of the essay?
Are their any suggestions you can make in terms of future research?

The conclusion should match the introduction in terms of the ideas presented and the argument put forward. Sometimes you will find that the process of writing has changed what you have argued and so it will be necessary to go back and reword the introduction. Finally, the conclusion is not the place in your essay to introduce new information or new ideas: these should be in the body of your essay.

Essay Question:: Italy on the eve of 1860 has often been described as an unlikely nation. Why?

Before 1860, only a tiny minority of the population believed that Italy could ever become a unified nation under one Italian ruler. Yet, despite this belief and the many obstacles blocking the path to unificationsuch as differences and suspicion between the many regions of the peninsula, the lack of planning and common goals that saw many uprisings fail and the divergent views and politics amongst the men who fought for unity,the Piedmont region emerged "...as the nucleus around which the rest of Italy could gather" (Mack Smith, 1959: 17). On March 17, 1861, the Kingdom of Italy was proclaimed. Italy was no longer a geographical expression, it was a nation.reference to essay question
reiteration of thesis point
overview of main arguments explaining the obstacles to Italy's unification
concluding comment and reference to essay question

1 This essay has been adapted from material developed by R. Woodward-Kron, E. Thomson & J. Meek (2000) Academic Writing: a language based guide (CD-ROM), University of Wollongong



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