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17 Essay Conclusion Examples (Copy and Paste)

essay conclusion examples and definition, explained below

Essay conclusions are not just extra filler. They are important because they tie together your arguments, then give you the chance to forcefully drive your point home.

I created the 5 Cs conclusion method to help you write essay conclusions:

Essay Conclusion Example

I’ve previously produced the video below on how to write a conclusion that goes over the above image.

The video follows the 5 C’s method ( you can read about it in this post ), which doesn’t perfectly match each of the below copy-and-paste conclusion examples, but the principles are similar, and can help you to write your own strong conclusion:

💡 New! Try this AI Prompt to Generate a Sample 5Cs Conclusion This is my essay: [INSERT ESSAY WITHOUT THE CONCLUSION]. I want you to write a conclusion for this essay. In the first sentence of the conclusion, return to a statement I made in the introduction. In the second sentence, reiterate the thesis statement I have used. In the third sentence, clarify how my final position is relevant to the Essay Question, which is [ESSAY QUESTION]. In the fourth sentence, explain who should be interested in my findings. In the fifth sentence, end by noting in one final, engaging sentence why this topic is of such importance.

Remember: The prompt can help you generate samples but you can’t submit AI text for assessment. Make sure you write your conclusion in your own words.

Essay Conclusion Examples

Below is a range of copy-and-paste essay conclusions with gaps for you to fill-in your topic and key arguments. Browse through for one you like (there are 17 for argumentative, expository, compare and contrast, and critical essays). Once you’ve found one you like, copy it and add-in the key points to make it your own.

1. Argumentative Essay Conclusions

The arguments presented in this essay demonstrate the significant importance of _____________. While there are some strong counterarguments, such as ____________, it remains clear that the benefits/merits of _____________ far outweigh the potential downsides. The evidence presented throughout the essay strongly support _____________. In the coming years, _____________ will be increasingly important. Therefore, continual advocacy for the position presented in this essay will be necessary, especially due to its significant implications for _____________.

Version 1 Filled-In

The arguments presented in this essay demonstrate the significant importance of fighting climate change. While there are some strong counterarguments, such as the claim that it is too late to stop catastrophic change, it remains clear that the merits of taking drastic action far outweigh the potential downsides. The evidence presented throughout the essay strongly support the claim that we can at least mitigate the worst effects. In the coming years, intergovernmental worldwide agreements will be increasingly important. Therefore, continual advocacy for the position presented in this essay will be necessary, especially due to its significant implications for humankind.

chris

As this essay has shown, it is clear that the debate surrounding _____________ is multifaceted and highly complex. While there are strong arguments opposing the position that _____________, there remains overwhelming evidence to support the claim that _____________. A careful analysis of the empirical evidence suggests that _____________ not only leads to ____________, but it may also be a necessity for _____________. Moving forward, _____________ should be a priority for all stakeholders involved, as it promises a better future for _____________. The focus should now shift towards how best to integrate _____________ more effectively into society.

Version 2 Filled-In

As this essay has shown, it is clear that the debate surrounding climate change is multifaceted and highly complex. While there are strong arguments opposing the position that we should fight climate change, there remains overwhelming evidence to support the claim that action can mitigate the worst effects. A careful analysis of the empirical evidence suggests that strong action not only leads to better economic outcomes in the long term, but it may also be a necessity for preventing climate-related deaths. Moving forward, carbon emission mitigation should be a priority for all stakeholders involved, as it promises a better future for all. The focus should now shift towards how best to integrate smart climate policies more effectively into society.

Based upon the preponderance of evidence, it is evident that _____________ holds the potential to significantly alter/improve _____________. The counterarguments, while noteworthy, fail to diminish the compelling case for _____________. Following an examination of both sides of the argument, it has become clear that _____________ presents the most effective solution/approach to _____________. Consequently, it is imperative that society acknowledge the value of _____________ for developing a better  _____________. Failing to address this topic could lead to negative outcomes, including _____________.

Version 3 Filled-In

Based upon the preponderance of evidence, it is evident that addressing climate change holds the potential to significantly improve the future of society. The counterarguments, while noteworthy, fail to diminish the compelling case for immediate climate action. Following an examination of both sides of the argument, it has become clear that widespread and urgent social action presents the most effective solution to this pressing problem. Consequently, it is imperative that society acknowledge the value of taking immediate action for developing a better environment for future generations. Failing to address this topic could lead to negative outcomes, including more extreme climate events and greater economic externalities.

See Also: Examples of Counterarguments

On the balance of evidence, there is an overwhelming case for _____________. While the counterarguments offer valid points that are worth examining, they do not outweigh or overcome the argument that _____________. An evaluation of both perspectives on this topic concludes that _____________ is the most sufficient option for  _____________. The implications of embracing _____________ do not only have immediate benefits, but they also pave the way for a more _____________. Therefore, the solution of _____________ should be actively pursued by _____________.

Version 4 Filled-In

On the balance of evidence, there is an overwhelming case for immediate tax-based action to mitigate the effects of climate change. While the counterarguments offer valid points that are worth examining, they do not outweigh or overcome the argument that action is urgently necessary. An evaluation of both perspectives on this topic concludes that taking societal-wide action is the most sufficient option for  achieving the best results. The implications of embracing a society-wide approach like a carbon tax do not only have immediate benefits, but they also pave the way for a more healthy future. Therefore, the solution of a carbon tax or equivalent policy should be actively pursued by governments.

2. Expository Essay Conclusions

Overall, it is evident that _____________ plays a crucial role in _____________. The analysis presented in this essay demonstrates the clear impact of _____________ on _____________. By understanding the key facts about _____________, practitioners/society are better equipped to navigate _____________. Moving forward, further exploration of _____________ will yield additional insights and information about _____________. As such, _____________ should remain a focal point for further discussions and studies on _____________.

Overall, it is evident that social media plays a crucial role in harming teenagers’ mental health. The analysis presented in this essay demonstrates the clear impact of social media on young people. By understanding the key facts about the ways social media cause young people to experience body dysmorphia, teachers and parents are better equipped to help young people navigate online spaces. Moving forward, further exploration of the ways social media cause harm will yield additional insights and information about how it can be more sufficiently regulated. As such, the effects of social media on youth should remain a focal point for further discussions and studies on youth mental health.

To conclude, this essay has explored the multi-faceted aspects of _____________. Through a careful examination of _____________, this essay has illuminated its significant influence on _____________. This understanding allows society to appreciate the idea that _____________. As research continues to emerge, the importance of _____________ will only continue to grow. Therefore, an understanding of _____________ is not merely desirable, but imperative for _____________.

To conclude, this essay has explored the multi-faceted aspects of globalization. Through a careful examination of globalization, this essay has illuminated its significant influence on the economy, cultures, and society. This understanding allows society to appreciate the idea that globalization has both positive and negative effects. As research continues to emerge, the importance of studying globalization will only continue to grow. Therefore, an understanding of globalization’s effects is not merely desirable, but imperative for judging whether it is good or bad.

Reflecting on the discussion, it is clear that _____________ serves a pivotal role in _____________. By delving into the intricacies of _____________, we have gained valuable insights into its impact and significance. This knowledge will undoubtedly serve as a guiding principle in _____________. Moving forward, it is paramount to remain open to further explorations and studies on _____________. In this way, our understanding and appreciation of _____________ can only deepen and expand.

Reflecting on the discussion, it is clear that mass media serves a pivotal role in shaping public opinion. By delving into the intricacies of mass media, we have gained valuable insights into its impact and significance. This knowledge will undoubtedly serve as a guiding principle in shaping the media landscape. Moving forward, it is paramount to remain open to further explorations and studies on how mass media impacts society. In this way, our understanding and appreciation of mass media’s impacts can only deepen and expand.

In conclusion, this essay has shed light on the importance of _____________ in the context of _____________. The evidence and analysis provided underscore the profound effect _____________ has on _____________. The knowledge gained from exploring _____________ will undoubtedly contribute to more informed and effective decisions in _____________. As we continue to progress, the significance of understanding _____________ will remain paramount. Hence, we should strive to deepen our knowledge of _____________ to better navigate and influence _____________.

In conclusion, this essay has shed light on the importance of bedside manner in the context of nursing. The evidence and analysis provided underscore the profound effect compassionate bedside manner has on patient outcome. The knowledge gained from exploring nurses’ bedside manner will undoubtedly contribute to more informed and effective decisions in nursing practice. As we continue to progress, the significance of understanding nurses’ bedside manner will remain paramount. Hence, we should strive to deepen our knowledge of this topic to better navigate and influence patient outcomes.

See More: How to Write an Expository Essay

3. Compare and Contrast Essay Conclusion

While both _____________ and _____________ have similarities such as _____________, they also have some very important differences in areas like _____________. Through this comparative analysis, a broader understanding of _____________ and _____________ has been attained. The choice between the two will largely depend on _____________. For example, as highlighted in the essay, ____________. Despite their differences, both _____________ and _____________ have value in different situations.

While both macrosociology and microsociology have similarities such as their foci on how society is structured, they also have some very important differences in areas like their differing approaches to research methodologies. Through this comparative analysis, a broader understanding of macrosociology and microsociology has been attained. The choice between the two will largely depend on the researcher’s perspective on how society works. For example, as highlighted in the essay, microsociology is much more concerned with individuals’ experiences while macrosociology is more concerned with social structures. Despite their differences, both macrosociology and microsociology have value in different situations.

It is clear that _____________ and _____________, while seeming to be different, have shared characteristics in _____________. On the other hand, their contrasts in _____________ shed light on their unique features. The analysis provides a more nuanced comprehension of these subjects. In choosing between the two, consideration should be given to _____________. Despite their disparities, it’s crucial to acknowledge the importance of both when it comes to _____________.

It is clear that behaviorism and consructivism, while seeming to be different, have shared characteristics in their foci on knowledge acquisition over time. On the other hand, their contrasts in ideas about the role of experience in learning shed light on their unique features. The analysis provides a more nuanced comprehension of these subjects. In choosing between the two, consideration should be given to which approach works best in which situation. Despite their disparities, it’s crucial to acknowledge the importance of both when it comes to student education.

Reflecting on the points discussed, it’s evident that _____________ and _____________ share similarities such as _____________, while also demonstrating unique differences, particularly in _____________. The preference for one over the other would typically depend on factors such as _____________. Yet, regardless of their distinctions, both _____________ and _____________ play integral roles in their respective areas, significantly contributing to _____________.

Reflecting on the points discussed, it’s evident that red and orange share similarities such as the fact they are both ‘hot colors’, while also demonstrating unique differences, particularly in their social meaning (red meaning danger and orange warmth). The preference for one over the other would typically depend on factors such as personal taste. Yet, regardless of their distinctions, both red and orange play integral roles in their respective areas, significantly contributing to color theory.

Ultimately, the comparison and contrast of _____________ and _____________ have revealed intriguing similarities and notable differences. Differences such as _____________ give deeper insights into their unique and shared qualities. When it comes to choosing between them, _____________ will likely be a deciding factor. Despite these differences, it is important to remember that both _____________ and _____________ hold significant value within the context of _____________, and each contributes to _____________ in its own unique way.

Ultimately, the comparison and contrast of driving and flying have revealed intriguing similarities and notable differences. Differences such as their differing speed to destination give deeper insights into their unique and shared qualities. When it comes to choosing between them, urgency to arrive at the destination will likely be a deciding factor. Despite these differences, it is important to remember that both driving and flying hold significant value within the context of air transit, and each contributes to facilitating movement in its own unique way.

See Here for More Compare and Contrast Essay Examples

4. Critical Essay Conclusion

In conclusion, the analysis of _____________ has unveiled critical aspects related to _____________. While there are strengths in _____________, its limitations are equally telling. This critique provides a more informed perspective on _____________, revealing that there is much more beneath the surface. Moving forward, the understanding of _____________ should evolve, considering both its merits and flaws.

In conclusion, the analysis of flow theory has unveiled critical aspects related to motivation and focus. While there are strengths in achieving a flow state, its limitations are equally telling. This critique provides a more informed perspective on how humans achieve motivation, revealing that there is much more beneath the surface. Moving forward, the understanding of flow theory of motivation should evolve, considering both its merits and flaws.

To conclude, this critical examination of _____________ sheds light on its multi-dimensional nature. While _____________ presents notable advantages, it is not without its drawbacks. This in-depth critique offers a comprehensive understanding of _____________. Therefore, future engagements with _____________ should involve a balanced consideration of its strengths and weaknesses.

To conclude, this critical examination of postmodern art sheds light on its multi-dimensional nature. While postmodernism presents notable advantages, it is not without its drawbacks. This in-depth critique offers a comprehensive understanding of how it has contributed to the arts over the past 50 years. Therefore, future engagements with postmodern art should involve a balanced consideration of its strengths and weaknesses.

Upon reflection, the critique of _____________ uncovers profound insights into its underlying intricacies. Despite its positive aspects such as ________, it’s impossible to overlook its shortcomings. This analysis provides a nuanced understanding of _____________, highlighting the necessity for a balanced approach in future interactions. Indeed, both the strengths and weaknesses of _____________ should be taken into account when considering ____________.

Upon reflection, the critique of marxism uncovers profound insights into its underlying intricacies. Despite its positive aspects such as its ability to critique exploitation of labor, it’s impossible to overlook its shortcomings. This analysis provides a nuanced understanding of marxism’s harmful effects when used as an economic theory, highlighting the necessity for a balanced approach in future interactions. Indeed, both the strengths and weaknesses of marxism should be taken into account when considering the use of its ideas in real life.

Ultimately, this critique of _____________ offers a detailed look into its advantages and disadvantages. The strengths of _____________ such as __________ are significant, yet its limitations such as _________ are not insignificant. This balanced analysis not only offers a deeper understanding of _____________ but also underscores the importance of critical evaluation. Hence, it’s crucial that future discussions around _____________ continue to embrace this balanced approach.

Ultimately, this critique of artificial intelligence offers a detailed look into its advantages and disadvantages. The strengths of artificial intelligence, such as its ability to improve productivity are significant, yet its limitations such as the possibility of mass job losses are not insignificant. This balanced analysis not only offers a deeper understanding of artificial intelligence but also underscores the importance of critical evaluation. Hence, it’s crucial that future discussions around the regulation of artificial intelligence continue to embrace this balanced approach.

This article promised 17 essay conclusions, and this one you are reading now is the twenty-first. This last conclusion demonstrates that the very best essay conclusions are written uniquely, from scratch, in order to perfectly cater the conclusion to the topic. A good conclusion will tie together all the key points you made in your essay and forcefully drive home the importance or relevance of your argument, thesis statement, or simply your topic so the reader is left with one strong final point to ponder.

Chris

Chris Drew (PhD)

Dr. Chris Drew is the founder of the Helpful Professor. He holds a PhD in education and has published over 20 articles in scholarly journals. He is the former editor of the Journal of Learning Development in Higher Education. [Image Descriptor: Photo of Chris]

  • Chris Drew (PhD) https://helpfulprofessor.com/author/chris-drew-phd/ 5 Top Tips for Succeeding at University
  • Chris Drew (PhD) https://helpfulprofessor.com/author/chris-drew-phd/ 50 Durable Goods Examples
  • Chris Drew (PhD) https://helpfulprofessor.com/author/chris-drew-phd/ 100 Consumer Goods Examples
  • Chris Drew (PhD) https://helpfulprofessor.com/author/chris-drew-phd/ 30 Globalization Pros and Cons

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conclusion essay topic

How to Write a Conclusion for an Essay

conclusion essay topic

By the time you get to the final paragraph of your paper, you have already done so much work on your essay, so all you want to do is to wrap it up as quickly as possible. You’ve already made a stunning introduction, proven your argument, and structured the whole piece as supposed – who cares about making a good conclusion paragraph?

The only thing you need to remember is that the conclusion of an essay is not just the last paragraph of an academic paper where you restate your thesis and key arguments. A concluding paragraph is also your opportunity to have a final impact on your audience. 

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How to write a conclusion paragraph that leaves a lasting impression – In this guide, the team at EssayPro is going to walk you through the process of writing a perfect conclusion step by step. Additionally, we will share valuable tips and tricks to help students of all ages impress their readers at the last moment.

Instead of Intro: What Is a Conclusion?

Before we can move on, let’s take a moment here to define the conclusion itself. According to the standard conclusion definition, it is pretty much the last part of something, its result, or end. However, this term is rather broad and superficial.

When it comes to writing academic papers, a concluding statement refers to an opinion, judgment, suggestion, or position arrived at by logical reasoning (through the arguments provided in the body of the text). Therefore, if you are wondering “what is a good closing sentence like?” – keep on reading.

What Does a Good Conclusion Mean?

Writing a good conclusion for a paper isn’t easy. However, we are going to walk you through this process step by step. Although there are generally no strict rules on how to formulate one, there are some basic principles that everyone should keep in mind. In this section, we will share some core ideas for writing a good conclusion, and, later in the article, we will also provide you with more practical advice and examples.

How to Write a Conclusion for an Essay _ 4 MAJOR OBJECTIVES THAT CONCLUSION MUST ACCOMPLISH

Here are the core goals a good conclusion should complete:

  • “Wrap up” the entire paper;
  • Demonstrate to readers that the author accomplished what he/she set out to do;
  • Show how you the author has proved their thesis statement;
  • Give a sense of completeness and closure on the topic;
  • Leave something extra for your reader to think about;
  • Leave a powerful final impact on a reader.

Another key thing to remember is that you should not introduce any new ideas or arguments to your paper's conclusion. It should only sum up what you have already written, revisit your thesis statement, and end with a powerful final impression.

When considering how to write a conclusion that works, here are the key points to keep in mind:

  • A concluding sentence should only revisit the thesis statement, not restate it;
  • It should summarize the main ideas from the body of the paper;
  • It should demonstrate the significance and relevance of your work;
  • An essay’s conclusion should include a call for action and leave space for further study or development of the topic (if necessary).

How Long Should a Conclusion Be? 

Although there are no strict universal rules regarding the length of an essay’s final clause, both teachers and experienced writers recommend keeping it clear, concise, and straight to the point. There is an unspoken rule that the introduction and conclusion of an academic paper should both be about 10% of the overall paper’s volume. For example, if you were assigned a 1500 word essay, both the introductory and final clauses should be approximately 150 words long (300 together).

Why You Need to Know How to End an Essay:

A conclusion is what drives a paper to its logical end. It also drives the main points of your piece one last time. It is your last opportunity to impact and impress your audience. And, most importantly, it is your chance to demonstrate to readers why your work matters. Simply put, the final paragraph of your essay should answer the last important question a reader will have – “So what?”

If you do a concluding paragraph right, it can give your readers a sense of logical completeness. On the other hand, if you do not make it powerful enough, it can leave them hanging, and diminish the effect of the entire piece.

Strategies to Crafting a Proper Conclusion

Although there are no strict rules for what style to use to write your conclusion, there are several strategies that have been proven to be effective. In the list below, you can find some of the most effective strategies with some good conclusion paragraph examples to help you grasp the idea.

One effective way to emphasize the significance of your essay and give the audience some thought to ponder about is by taking a look into the future. The “When and If” technique is quite powerful when it comes to supporting your points in the essay’s conclusion.

Prediction essay conclusion example: “Taking care of a pet is quite hard, which is the reason why most parents refuse their children’s requests to get a pet. However, the refusal should be the last choice of parents. If we want to inculcate a deep sense of responsibility and organization in our kids, and, at the same time, sprout compassion in them, we must let our children take care of pets.”

Another effective strategy is to link your conclusion to your introductory paragraph. This will create a full-circle narration for your readers, create a better understanding of your topic, and emphasize your key point.

Echo conclusion paragraph example: Introduction: “I believe that all children should grow up with a pet. I still remember the exact day my parents brought my first puppy to our house. This was one of the happiest moments in my life and, at the same time, one of the most life-changing ones. Growing up with a pet taught me a lot, and most importantly, it taught me to be responsible.” Conclusion:. “I remember when I picked up my first puppy and how happy I was at that time. Growing up with a pet, I learned what it means to take care of someone, make sure that he always has water and food, teach him, and constantly keep an eye on my little companion. Having a child grow up with a pet teaches them responsibility and helps them acquire a variety of other life skills like leadership, love, compassion, and empathy. This is why I believe that every kid should grow up with a pet!”

Finally, one more trick that will help you create a flawless conclusion is to amplify your main idea or to present it in another perspective of a larger context. This technique will help your readers to look at the problem discussed from a different angle.

Step-up argumentative essay conclusion example: “Despite the obvious advantages of owning a pet in childhood, I feel that we cannot generalize whether all children should have a pet. Whereas some kids may benefit from such experiences, namely, by becoming more compassionate, organized, and responsible, it really depends on the situation, motivation, and enthusiasm of a particular child for owning a pet.”

What is a clincher in an essay? – The final part of an essay’s conclusion is often referred to as a clincher sentence. According to the clincher definition, it is a final sentence that reinforces the main idea or leaves the audience with an intriguing thought to ponder upon. In a nutshell, the clincher is very similar to the hook you would use in an introductory paragraph. Its core mission is to seize the audience’s attention until the end of the paper. At the same time, this statement is what creates a sense of completeness and helps the author leave a lasting impression on the reader.

Now, since you now know what a clincher is, you are probably wondering how to use one in your own paper. First of all, keep in mind that a good clincher should be intriguing, memorable, smooth, and straightforward.

Generally, there are several different tricks you can use for your clincher statement; it can be:

  • A short, but memorable and attention-grabbing conclusion;
  • A relevant and memorable quote (only if it brings actual value);
  • A call to action;
  • A rhetorical question;
  • An illustrative story or provocative example;
  • A warning against a possibility or suggestion about the consequences of a discussed problem;
  • A joke (however, be careful with this as it may not always be deemed appropriate).

Regardless of the technique you choose, make sure that your clincher is memorable and aligns with your introduction and thesis.

Clincher examples: - While New York may not be the only place with the breathtaking views, it is definitely among my personal to 3… and that’s what definitely makes it worth visiting. - “Thence we came forth to rebehold the stars”, Divine Comedy - Don’t you think all these advantages sound like almost life-saving benefits of owning a pet? “So we beat on, boats against the current, borne back ceaselessly into the past.”, The Great Gatsby

strategies

Conclusion Writing Don'ts 

Now, when you know what tricks and techniques you should use to create a perfect conclusion, let’s look at some of the things you should not do with our online paper writing service :

  • Starting with some cliché concluding sentence starters. Many students find common phrases like “In conclusion,” “Therefore,” “In summary,” or similar statements to be pretty good conclusion starters. However, though such conclusion sentence starters may work in certain cases – for example, in speeches – they are overused, so it is recommended not to use them in writing to introduce your conclusion.
  • Putting the first mention of your thesis statement in the conclusion – it has to be presented in your introduction first.
  • Providing new arguments, subtopics, or ideas in the conclusion paragraph.
  • Including a slightly changed or unchanged thesis statement.
  • Providing arguments and evidence that belong in the body of the work.
  • Writing too long, hard to read, or confusing sentences.

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Conclusion Paragraph Outline

The total number of sentences in your final paragraph may vary depending on the number of points you discussed in your essay, as well as on the overall word count of your paper. However, the overall conclusion paragraph outline will remain the same and consists of the following elements:

conclusion ouline

  • A conclusion starter:

The first part of your paragraph should drive readers back to your thesis statement. Thus, if you were wondering how to start a conclusion, the best way to do it is by rephrasing your thesis statement.

  • Summary of the body paragraphs:

Right after revisiting your thesis, you should include several sentences that wrap up the key highlights and points from your body paragraphs. This part of your conclusion can consist of 2-3 sentences—depending on the number of arguments you’ve made. If necessary, you can also explain to the readers how your main points fit together.

  • A concluding sentence:

Finally, you should end your paragraph with a last, powerful sentence that leaves a lasting impression, gives a sense of logical completeness, and connects readers back to the introduction of the paper.

These three key elements make up a perfect essay conclusion. Now, to give you an even better idea of how to create a perfect conclusion, let us give you a sample conclusion paragraph outline with examples from an argumentative essay on the topic of “Every Child Should Own a Pet:

  • Sentence 1: Starter
  • ~ Thesis: "Though taking care of a pet may be a bit challenging for small children. Parents should not restrict their kids from having a pet as it helps them grow into more responsible and compassionate people."
  • ~ Restated thesis for a conclusion: "I can say that taking care of a pet is good for every child."
  • Sentences 2-4: Summary
  • ~ "Studies have shown that pet owners generally have fewer health problems."
  • ~ "Owning a pet teaches a child to be more responsible."
  • ~ "Spending time with a pet reduces stress, feelings of loneliness, and anxiety."
  • Sentence 5: A concluding sentence
  • ~ "Pets can really change a child life for the better, so don't hesitate to endorse your kid's desire to own a pet."

This is a clear example of how you can shape your conclusion paragraph.

How to Conclude Various Types of Essays

Depending on the type of academic essay you are working on, your concluding paragraph's style, tone, and length may vary. In this part of our guide, we will tell you how to end different types of essays and other works.

How to End an Argumentative Essay

Persuasive or argumentative essays always have the single goal of convincing readers of something (an idea, stance, or viewpoint) by appealing to arguments, facts, logic, and even emotions. The conclusion for such an essay has to be persuasive as well. A good trick you can use is to illustrate a real-life scenario that proves your stance or encourages readers to take action. More about persuasive essay outline you can read in our article.

Here are a few more tips for making a perfect conclusion for an argumentative essay:

  • Carefully read the whole essay before you begin;
  • Re-emphasize your ideas;
  • Discuss possible implications;
  • Don’t be afraid to appeal to the reader’s emotions.

How to End a Compare and Contrast Essay

The purpose of a compare and contrast essay is to emphasize the differences or similarities between two or more objects, people, phenomena, etc. Therefore, a logical conclusion should highlight how the reviewed objects are different or similar. Basically, in such a paper, your conclusion should recall all of the key common and distinctive features discussed in the body of your essay and also give readers some food for thought after they finish reading it.

How to Conclude a Descriptive Essay

The key idea of a descriptive essay is to showcase your creativity and writing skills by painting a vivid picture with the help of words. This is one of the most creative types of essays as it requires you to show a story, not tell it. This kind of essay implies using a lot of vivid details. Respectively, the conclusion of such a paper should also use descriptive imagery and, at the same time, sum up the main ideas. A good strategy for ending a descriptive essay would be to begin with a short explanation of why you wrote the essay. Then, you should reflect on how your topic affects you. In the middle of the conclusion, you should cover the most critical moments of the story to smoothly lead the reader into a logical closing statement. The “clincher”, in this case, should be a thought-provoking final sentence that leaves a good and lasting impression on the audience. Do not lead the reader into the essay and then leave them with dwindling memories of it.

How to Conclude an Essay About Yourself

If you find yourself writing an essay about yourself, you need to tell a personal story. As a rule, such essays talk about the author’s experiences, which is why a conclusion should create a feeling of narrative closure. A good strategy is to end your story with a logical finale and the lessons you have learned, while, at the same time, linking it to the introductory paragraph and recalling key moments from the story.

How to End an Informative Essay

Unlike other types of papers, informative or expository essays load readers with a lot of information and facts. In this case, “Synthesize, don’t summarize” is the best technique you can use to end your paper. Simply put, instead of recalling all of the major facts, you should approach your conclusion from the “So what?” position by highlighting the significance of the information provided.

How to Conclude a Narrative Essay

In a nutshell, a narrative essay is based on simple storytelling. The purpose of this paper is to share a particular story in detail. Therefore, the conclusion for such a paper should wrap up the story and avoid finishing on an abrupt cliffhanger. It is vital to include the key takeaways and the lessons learned from the story.

How to Write a Conclusion for a Lab Report

Unlike an essay, a lab report is based on an experiment. This type of paper describes the flow of a particular experiment conducted by a student and its conclusion should reflect on the outcomes of this experiment.

In thinking of how to write a conclusion for a lab, here are the key things you should do to get it right:

  • Restate the goals of your experiment
  • Describe the methods you used
  • Include the results of the experiment and analyze the final data
  • End your conclusion with a clear statement on whether or not the experiment was successful (Did you reach the expected results?)

How to Write a Conclusion for a Research Paper

Writing a paper is probably the hardest task of all, even for experienced dissertation writer . Unlike an essay or even a lab report, a research paper is a much longer piece of work that requires a deeper investigation of the problem. Therefore, a conclusion for such a paper should be even more sophisticated and powerful. If you're feeling difficulty writing an essay, you can buy essay on our service.

How to Write a Conclusion for a Research Paper

However, given that a research paper is the second most popular kind of academic paper (after an essay), it is important to know how to conclude a research paper. Even if you have not yet been assigned to do this task, be sure that you will face it soon. So, here are the steps you should follow to create a great conclusion for a research paper:

  • Restate the Topic

Start your final paragraph with a quick reminder of what the topic of the piece is about. Keep it one sentence long.

  • Revisit the Thesis

Next, you should remind your readers what your thesis statement was. However, do not just copy and paste it from the introductory clause: paraphrase your thesis so that you deliver the same idea but with different words. Keep your paraphrased thesis narrow, specific, and topic-oriented.

  • Summarise Your Key Ideas

Just like the case of a regular essay’s conclusion, a research paper’s final paragraph should also include a short summary of all of the key points stated in the body sections. We recommend reading the entire body part a few times to define all of your main arguments and ideas.

  • Showcase the Significance of Your Work

In the research paper conclusion, it is vital to highlight the significance of your research problem and state how your solution could be helpful.

  • Make Suggestions for Future Studies

Finally, at the end of your conclusion, you should define how your findings will contribute to the development of its particular field of science. Outline the perspectives of further research and, if necessary, explain what is yet to be discovered on the topic.

Then, end your conclusion with a powerful concluding sentence – it can be a rhetorical question, call to action, or another hook that will help you have a strong impact on the audience.

  • Answer the Right Questions

To create a top-notch research paper conclusion, be sure to answer the following questions:

  • What is the goal of a research paper?
  • What are the possible solutions to the research question(s)?
  • How can your results be implemented in real life? (Is your research paper helpful to the community?)
  • Why is this study important and relevant?

Additionally, here are a few more handy tips to follow:

  • Provide clear examples from real life to help readers better understand the further implementation of the stated solutions;
  • Keep your conclusion fresh, original, and creative.

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So, What Is a Good Closing Sentence? See The Difference

One of the best ways to learn how to write a good conclusion is to look at several professional essay conclusion examples. In this section of our guide, we are going to look at two different final paragraphs shaped on the basis of the same template, but even so, they are very different – where one is weak and the other is strong. Below, we are going to compare them to help you understand the difference between a good and a bad conclusion.

Here is the template we used: College degrees are in decline. The price of receiving an education does not correlate with the quality of the education received. As a result, graduated students face underemployment, and the worth of college degrees appears to be in serious doubt. However, the potential social and economic benefits of educated students balance out the equation.

Strong Conclusion ‍

People either see college as an opportunity or an inconvenience; therefore, a degree can only hold as much value as its owner’s skillset. The underemployment of graduate students puts the worth of college degrees in serious doubt. Yet, with the multitude of benefits that educated students bring to society and the economy, the equation remains in balance. Perhaps the ordinary person should consider college as a wise financial investment, but only if they stay determined to study and do the hard work.

Why is this example good? There are several key points that prove its effectiveness:

  • There is a bold opening statement that encompasses the two contrasting types of students we can see today.
  • There are two sentences that recall the thesis statement and cover the key arguments from the body of the essay.
  • Finally, the last sentence sums up the key message of the essay and leaves readers with something to think about.

Weak Conclusion

In conclusion, with the poor preparation of students in college and the subsequent underemployment after graduation from college, the worth associated with the college degree appears to be in serious doubt. However, these issues alone may not reasonably conclude beyond a doubt that investing in a college degree is a rewarding venture. When the full benefits that come with education are carefully put into consideration and evaluated, college education for children in any country still has good advantages, and society should continue to advocate for a college education. The ordinary person should consider this a wise financial decision that holds rewards in the end. Apart from the monetary gains associated with a college education, society will greatly benefit from students when they finish college. Their minds are going to be expanded, and their reasoning and decision making will be enhanced.

What makes this example bad? Here are a few points to consider:

  • Unlike the first example, this paragraph is long and not specific enough. The author provides plenty of generalized phrases that are not backed up by actual arguments.
  • This piece is hard to read and understand and sentences have a confusing structure. Also, there are lots of repetitions and too many uses of the word “college”.
  • There is no summary of the key benefits.
  • The last two sentences that highlight the value of education contradict with the initial statement.
  • Finally, the last sentence doesn’t offer a strong conclusion and gives no thought to ponder upon.
  • In the body of your essay, you have hopefully already provided your reader(s) with plenty of information. Therefore, it is not wise to present new arguments or ideas in your conclusion.
  • To end your final paragraph right, find a clear and straightforward message that will have the most powerful impact on your audience.
  • Don’t use more than one quote in the final clause of your paper – the information from external sources (including quotes) belongs in the body of a paper.
  • Be authoritative when writing a conclusion. You should sound confident and convincing to leave a good impression. Sentences like “I’m not an expert, but…” will most likely make you seem less knowledgeable and/or credible.

Good Conclusion Examples

Now that we've learned what a conclusion is and how to write one let's take a look at some essay conclusion examples to strengthen our knowledge.

The ending ironically reveals that all was for nothing. (A short explanation of the thematic effect of the book’s end) Tom says that Miss Watson freed Jim in her final will.Jim told Huck that the dead man on the Island was pap. The entire adventure seemingly evaporated into nothingness. (How this effect was manifested into the minds of thereaders).
All in all, international schools hold the key to building a full future that students can achieve. (Thesis statement simplified) They help students develop their own character by learning from their mistakes, without having to face a dreadful penalty for failure. (Thesis statement elaborated)Although some say that kids emerged “spoiled” with this mentality, the results prove the contrary. (Possible counter-arguments are noted)
In conclusion, public workers should be allowed to strike since it will give them a chance to air their grievances. (Thesis statement) Public workers should be allowed to strike when their rights, safety, and regulations are compromised. The workers will get motivated when they strike, and their demands are met.
In summary, studies reveal some similarities in the nutrient contents between the organic and non-organic food substances. (Starts with similarities) However, others have revealed many considerable differences in the amounts of antioxidants as well as other minerals present in organic and non-organic foods. Generally, organic foods have higher levels of antioxidants than non-organic foods and therefore are more important in the prevention of chronic illnesses.
As time went by, my obsession grew into something bigger than art; (‘As time went by’ signals maturation) it grew into a dream of developing myself for the world. (Showing student’s interest of developing himself for the community) It is a dream of not only seeing the world from a different perspective but also changing the perspective of people who see my work. (Showing student’s determination to create moving pieces of art)
In conclusion, it is evident that technology is an integral part of our lives and without it, we become “lost” since we have increasingly become dependent on its use. (Thesis with main point)

You might also be interested in reading nursing essay examples from our service.

How To Write A Conclusion For An Essay?

How to write a good conclusion, how to write a conclusion for a college essay, related articles.

How to Write an Essay

The Writing Center • University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill

Conclusions

What this handout is about.

This handout will explain the functions of conclusions, offer strategies for writing effective ones, help you evaluate conclusions you’ve drafted, and suggest approaches to avoid.

About conclusions

Introductions and conclusions can be difficult to write, but they’re worth investing time in. They can have a significant influence on a reader’s experience of your paper.

Just as your introduction acts as a bridge that transports your readers from their own lives into the “place” of your analysis, your conclusion can provide a bridge to help your readers make the transition back to their daily lives. Such a conclusion will help them see why all your analysis and information should matter to them after they put the paper down.

Your conclusion is your chance to have the last word on the subject. The conclusion allows you to have the final say on the issues you have raised in your paper, to synthesize your thoughts, to demonstrate the importance of your ideas, and to propel your reader to a new view of the subject. It is also your opportunity to make a good final impression and to end on a positive note.

Your conclusion can go beyond the confines of the assignment. The conclusion pushes beyond the boundaries of the prompt and allows you to consider broader issues, make new connections, and elaborate on the significance of your findings.

Your conclusion should make your readers glad they read your paper. Your conclusion gives your reader something to take away that will help them see things differently or appreciate your topic in personally relevant ways. It can suggest broader implications that will not only interest your reader, but also enrich your reader’s life in some way. It is your gift to the reader.

Strategies for writing an effective conclusion

One or more of the following strategies may help you write an effective conclusion:

  • Play the “So What” Game. If you’re stuck and feel like your conclusion isn’t saying anything new or interesting, ask a friend to read it with you. Whenever you make a statement from your conclusion, ask the friend to say, “So what?” or “Why should anybody care?” Then ponder that question and answer it. Here’s how it might go: You: Basically, I’m just saying that education was important to Douglass. Friend: So what? You: Well, it was important because it was a key to him feeling like a free and equal citizen. Friend: Why should anybody care? You: That’s important because plantation owners tried to keep slaves from being educated so that they could maintain control. When Douglass obtained an education, he undermined that control personally. You can also use this strategy on your own, asking yourself “So What?” as you develop your ideas or your draft.
  • Return to the theme or themes in the introduction. This strategy brings the reader full circle. For example, if you begin by describing a scenario, you can end with the same scenario as proof that your essay is helpful in creating a new understanding. You may also refer to the introductory paragraph by using key words or parallel concepts and images that you also used in the introduction.
  • Synthesize, don’t summarize. Include a brief summary of the paper’s main points, but don’t simply repeat things that were in your paper. Instead, show your reader how the points you made and the support and examples you used fit together. Pull it all together.
  • Include a provocative insight or quotation from the research or reading you did for your paper.
  • Propose a course of action, a solution to an issue, or questions for further study. This can redirect your reader’s thought process and help them to apply your info and ideas to their own life or to see the broader implications.
  • Point to broader implications. For example, if your paper examines the Greensboro sit-ins or another event in the Civil Rights Movement, you could point out its impact on the Civil Rights Movement as a whole. A paper about the style of writer Virginia Woolf could point to her influence on other writers or on later feminists.

Strategies to avoid

  • Beginning with an unnecessary, overused phrase such as “in conclusion,” “in summary,” or “in closing.” Although these phrases can work in speeches, they come across as wooden and trite in writing.
  • Stating the thesis for the very first time in the conclusion.
  • Introducing a new idea or subtopic in your conclusion.
  • Ending with a rephrased thesis statement without any substantive changes.
  • Making sentimental, emotional appeals that are out of character with the rest of an analytical paper.
  • Including evidence (quotations, statistics, etc.) that should be in the body of the paper.

Four kinds of ineffective conclusions

  • The “That’s My Story and I’m Sticking to It” Conclusion. This conclusion just restates the thesis and is usually painfully short. It does not push the ideas forward. People write this kind of conclusion when they can’t think of anything else to say. Example: In conclusion, Frederick Douglass was, as we have seen, a pioneer in American education, proving that education was a major force for social change with regard to slavery.
  • The “Sherlock Holmes” Conclusion. Sometimes writers will state the thesis for the very first time in the conclusion. You might be tempted to use this strategy if you don’t want to give everything away too early in your paper. You may think it would be more dramatic to keep the reader in the dark until the end and then “wow” them with your main idea, as in a Sherlock Holmes mystery. The reader, however, does not expect a mystery, but an analytical discussion of your topic in an academic style, with the main argument (thesis) stated up front. Example: (After a paper that lists numerous incidents from the book but never says what these incidents reveal about Douglass and his views on education): So, as the evidence above demonstrates, Douglass saw education as a way to undermine the slaveholders’ power and also an important step toward freedom.
  • The “America the Beautiful”/”I Am Woman”/”We Shall Overcome” Conclusion. This kind of conclusion usually draws on emotion to make its appeal, but while this emotion and even sentimentality may be very heartfelt, it is usually out of character with the rest of an analytical paper. A more sophisticated commentary, rather than emotional praise, would be a more fitting tribute to the topic. Example: Because of the efforts of fine Americans like Frederick Douglass, countless others have seen the shining beacon of light that is education. His example was a torch that lit the way for others. Frederick Douglass was truly an American hero.
  • The “Grab Bag” Conclusion. This kind of conclusion includes extra information that the writer found or thought of but couldn’t integrate into the main paper. You may find it hard to leave out details that you discovered after hours of research and thought, but adding random facts and bits of evidence at the end of an otherwise-well-organized essay can just create confusion. Example: In addition to being an educational pioneer, Frederick Douglass provides an interesting case study for masculinity in the American South. He also offers historians an interesting glimpse into slave resistance when he confronts Covey, the overseer. His relationships with female relatives reveal the importance of family in the slave community.

Works consulted

We consulted these works while writing this handout. This is not a comprehensive list of resources on the handout’s topic, and we encourage you to do your own research to find additional publications. Please do not use this list as a model for the format of your own reference list, as it may not match the citation style you are using. For guidance on formatting citations, please see the UNC Libraries citation tutorial . We revise these tips periodically and welcome feedback.

Douglass, Frederick. 1995. Narrative of the Life of Frederick Douglass, an American Slave, Written by Himself. New York: Dover.

Hamilton College. n.d. “Conclusions.” Writing Center. Accessed June 14, 2019. https://www.hamilton.edu//academics/centers/writing/writing-resources/conclusions .

Holewa, Randa. 2004. “Strategies for Writing a Conclusion.” LEO: Literacy Education Online. Last updated February 19, 2004. https://leo.stcloudstate.edu/acadwrite/conclude.html.

You may reproduce it for non-commercial use if you use the entire handout and attribute the source: The Writing Center, University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill

Make a Gift

In a short paper—even a research paper—you don’t need to provide an exhaustive summary as part of your conclusion. But you do need to make some kind of transition between your final body paragraph and your concluding paragraph. This may come in the form of a few sentences of summary. Or it may come in the form of a sentence that brings your readers back to your thesis or main idea and reminds your readers where you began and how far you have traveled.

So, for example, in a paper about the relationship between ADHD and rejection sensitivity, Vanessa Roser begins by introducing readers to the fact that researchers have studied the relationship between the two conditions and then provides her explanation of that relationship. Here’s her thesis: “While socialization may indeed be an important factor in RS, I argue that individuals with ADHD may also possess a neurological predisposition to RS that is exacerbated by the differing executive and emotional regulation characteristic of ADHD.”

In her final paragraph, Roser reminds us of where she started by echoing her thesis: “This literature demonstrates that, as with many other conditions, ADHD and RS share a delicately intertwined pattern of neurological similarities that is rooted in the innate biology of an individual’s mind, a connection that cannot be explained in full by the behavioral mediation hypothesis.”  

Highlight the “so what”  

At the beginning of your paper, you explain to your readers what’s at stake—why they should care about the argument you’re making. In your conclusion, you can bring readers back to those stakes by reminding them why your argument is important in the first place. You can also draft a few sentences that put those stakes into a new or broader context.

In the conclusion to her paper about ADHD and RS, Roser echoes the stakes she established in her introduction—that research into connections between ADHD and RS has led to contradictory results, raising questions about the “behavioral mediation hypothesis.”

She writes, “as with many other conditions, ADHD and RS share a delicately intertwined pattern of neurological similarities that is rooted in the innate biology of an individual’s mind, a connection that cannot be explained in full by the behavioral mediation hypothesis.”  

Leave your readers with the “now what”  

After the “what” and the “so what,” you should leave your reader with some final thoughts. If you have written a strong introduction, your readers will know why you have been arguing what you have been arguing—and why they should care. And if you’ve made a good case for your thesis, then your readers should be in a position to see things in a new way, understand new questions, or be ready for something that they weren’t ready for before they read your paper.

In her conclusion, Roser offers two “now what” statements. First, she explains that it is important to recognize that the flawed behavioral mediation hypothesis “seems to place a degree of fault on the individual. It implies that individuals with ADHD must have elicited such frequent or intense rejection by virtue of their inadequate social skills, erasing the possibility that they may simply possess a natural sensitivity to emotion.” She then highlights the broader implications for treatment of people with ADHD, noting that recognizing the actual connection between rejection sensitivity and ADHD “has profound implications for understanding how individuals with ADHD might best be treated in educational settings, by counselors, family, peers, or even society as a whole.”

To find your own “now what” for your essay’s conclusion, try asking yourself these questions:

  • What can my readers now understand, see in a new light, or grapple with that they would not have understood in the same way before reading my paper? Are we a step closer to understanding a larger phenomenon or to understanding why what was at stake is so important?  
  • What questions can I now raise that would not have made sense at the beginning of my paper? Questions for further research? Other ways that this topic could be approached?  
  • Are there other applications for my research? Could my questions be asked about different data in a different context? Could I use my methods to answer a different question?  
  • What action should be taken in light of this argument? What action do I predict will be taken or could lead to a solution?  
  • What larger context might my argument be a part of?  

What to avoid in your conclusion  

  • a complete restatement of all that you have said in your paper.  
  • a substantial counterargument that you do not have space to refute; you should introduce counterarguments before your conclusion.  
  • an apology for what you have not said. If you need to explain the scope of your paper, you should do this sooner—but don’t apologize for what you have not discussed in your paper.  
  • fake transitions like “in conclusion” that are followed by sentences that aren’t actually conclusions. (“In conclusion, I have now demonstrated that my thesis is correct.”)
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How to Write an Essay Conclusion

How to Write an Essay Conclusion

4-minute read

  • 1st October 2022

Regardless of what you’re studying, writing essays is probably a significant part of your work as a student . Taking the time to understand how to write each section of an essay (i.e., introduction, body, and conclusion) can make the entire process easier and ensure that you’ll be successful.

Once you’ve put in the hard work of writing a coherent and compelling essay, it can be tempting to quickly throw together a conclusion without the same attention to detail. However, you won’t leave an impactful final impression on your readers without a strong conclusion.

We’ve compiled a few easy steps to help you write a great conclusion for your next essay . Watch our video, or check out our guide below to learn more!

1. Return to Your Thesis

Similar to how an introduction should capture your reader’s interest and present your argument, a conclusion should show why your argument matters and leave the reader with further curiosity about the topic.

To do this, you should begin by reminding the reader of your thesis statement. While you can use similar language and keywords when referring to your thesis, avoid copying it from the introduction and pasting it into your conclusion.

Try varying your vocabulary and sentence structure and presenting your thesis in a way that demonstrates how your argument has evolved throughout your essay.

2. Review Your Main Points

In addition to revisiting your thesis statement, you should review the main points you presented in your essay to support your argument.

However, a conclusion isn’t simply a summary of your essay . Rather, you should further examine your main points and demonstrate how each is connected.

Try to discuss these points concisely, in just a few sentences, in preparation for demonstrating how they fit in to the bigger picture of the topic.

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3. Show the Significance of Your Essay

Next, it’s time to think about the topic of your essay beyond the scope of your argument. It’s helpful to keep the question “so what?” in mind when you’re doing this. The goal is to demonstrate why your argument matters.

If you need some ideas about what to discuss to show the significance of your essay, consider the following:

  • What do your findings contribute to the current understanding of the topic?
  • Did your findings raise new questions that would benefit from future research?
  • Can you offer practical suggestions for future research or make predictions about the future of the field/topic?
  • Are there other contexts, topics, or a broader debate that your ideas can be applied to?

While writing your essay, it can be helpful to keep a list of ideas or insights that you develop about the implications of your work so that you can refer back to it when you write the conclusion.

Making these kinds of connections will leave a memorable impression on the reader and inspire their interest in the topic you’ve written about.

4. Avoid Some Common Mistakes

To ensure you’ve written a strong conclusion that doesn’t leave your reader confused or lacking confidence in your work, avoid:

  • Presenting new evidence: Don’t introduce new information or a new argument, as it can distract from your main topic, confuse your reader, and suggest that your essay isn’t organized.
  • Undermining your argument: Don’t use statements such as “I’m not an expert,” “I feel,” or “I think,” as lacking confidence in your work will weaken your argument.
  • Using generic statements: Don’t use generic concluding statements such as “In summary,” “To sum up,” or “In conclusion,” which are redundant since the reader will be able to see that they’ve reached the end of your essay.

Finally, don’t make the mistake of forgetting to proofread your essay ! Mistakes can be difficult to catch in your own writing, but they can detract from your writing.

Our expert editors can ensure that your essay is clear, concise, and free of spelling and grammar errors. Find out more by submitting a free trial document today!

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At some point, you’re going to be asked to write an argumentative essay. An argumentative essay is exactly what it sounds like—an essay in which you’ll be making an argument, using examples and research to back up your point.

But not all argumentative essay topics are created equal. Not only do you have to structure your essay right to have a good impact on the reader, but even your choice of subject can impact how readers feel about your work.

In this article, we’ll cover the basics of writing argumentative essays, including what argumentative essays are, how to write a good one, and how to pick a topic that works for you. Then check out a list of argumentative essay ideas to help you get started.

What Is an Argumentative Essay?

An argumentative essay is one that makes an argument through research. These essays take a position and support it through evidence, but, unlike many other kinds of essays, they are interested in expressing a specific argument supported by research and evidence.

A good argumentative essay will be based on established or new research rather than only on your thoughts and feelings. Imagine that you’re trying to get your parents to raise your allowance, and you can offer one of two arguments in your favor:

You should raise my allowance because I want you to.

You should raise my allowance because I’ve been taking on more chores without complaining.

The first argument is based entirely in feelings without any factual backup, whereas the second is based on evidence that can be proven. Your parents are more likely to respond positively to the second argument because it demonstrates that you have done something to earn the increased allowance. Similarly, a well-researched and reasoned argument will show readers that your point has a basis in fact, not just feelings.

The standard five-paragraph essay is common in writing argumentative essays, but it’s not the only way to write one. An argumentative essay is typically written in one of two formats, the Toulmin model or the Rogerian model.

The Toulmin model is the most common, comprised of an introduction with a claim (otherwise known as a thesis), with data to support it. This style of essay will also include rebuttals, helping to strengthen your argument by anticipating counterarguments.

The Rogerian model analyzes two sides of an argument and reaches a conclusion after weighing the strengths and weaknesses of each.

Both essay styles rely on well-reasoned logic and supporting evidence to prove a point, just in two different ways.

The important thing to note about argumentative essays as opposed to other kinds of essays is that they aim to argue a specific point rather than to explain something or to tell a story. While they may have some things in common with analytical essays, the primary difference is in their objective—an argumentative essay aims to convince someone of something, whereas an analytical essay contextualizes a topic with research.

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What Makes a Good Argumentative Essay?

To write an effective argumentative essay, you need to know what a good one looks like. In addition to a solid structure, you’ll need an argument, a strong thesis, and solid research.

An Argument

Unlike other forms of essays, you are trying to convince your reader of something. You’re not just teaching them a concept or demonstrating an idea—you’re constructing an argument to change the readers’ thinking.

You’ll need to develop a good argument, which encompasses not just your main point, but also all the pieces that make it up.

Think beyond what you are saying and include how you’re saying it. How will you take an idea and turn it into a complex and well thought out argument that is capable of changing somebody’s mind?

A Strong Thesis

The thesis is the core of your argument. What specific message are you trying to get across? State that message in one sentence, and that will be your thesis.

This is the foundation on which your essay is built, so it needs to be strong and well-reasoned. You need to be able to expand on it with facts and sources, not just feelings.

A good argumentative essay isn’t just based on your individual thoughts, but research. That can be citing sources and other arguments or it can mean direct research in the field, depending on what your argument is and the context in which you are arguing it.

Be prepared to back your thesis up with reporting from scientific journals, newspapers, or other forms of research. Having well-researched sources will help support your argument better than hearsay or assumptions. If you can’t find enough research to back up your point, it’s worth reconsidering your thesis or conducting original research, if possible.

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How to Come Up With an Argumentative Essay Topic

Sometimes you may find yourself arguing things you don’t necessarily believe. That’s totally fine—you don’t actually have to wholeheartedly believe in what you’re arguing in order to construct a compelling argument.

However, if you have free choice of topic, it’s a good idea to pick something you feel strongly about. There are two key components to a good argumentative essay: a strong stance, and an assortment of evidence. If you’re interested and feel passionate about the topic you choose, you'll have an easier time finding evidence to support it, but it's the evidence that's most important. 

So, to choose a topic, think about things you feel strongly about, whether positively or negatively. You can make a list of ideas and narrow those down to a handful of things, then expand on those ideas with a few potential points you want to hit on.

For example, say you’re trying to decide whether you should write about how your neighborhood should ban weed killer, that your school’s lunch should be free for all students, or that the school day should be cut by one hour. To decide between these ideas, you can make a list of three to five points for each that cover the different evidence you could use to support each point.

For the weed killer ban, you could say that weed killer has been proven to have adverse impacts on bees, that there are simple, natural alternatives, and that weeds aren’t actually bad to have around. For the free lunch idea, you could suggest that some students have to go hungry because they can’t afford lunch, that funds could be diverted from other places to support free lunch, and that other items, like chips or pizza, could be sold to help make up lost revenue. And for the school day length example, you could argue that teenagers generally don’t get enough sleep, that you have too much homework and not enough time to do it, and that teenagers don’t spend enough time with their families.

You might find as you make these lists that some of them are stronger than others. The more evidence you have and the stronger you feel that that evidence is, the better the topic.  Of course, if you feel that one topic may have more evidence but you’d rather not write about it, it’s okay to pick another topic instead. When you’re making arguments, it can be much easier to find strong points and evidence if you feel passionate about our topic than if you don't.

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50 Argumentative Essay Topic Ideas

If you’re struggling to come up with topics on your own, read through this list of argumentative essay topics to help get you started!

  • Should fracking be legal?
  • Should parents be able to modify their unborn children?
  • Do GMOs help or harm people?
  • Should vaccinations be required for students to attend public school?
  • Should world governments get involved in addressing climate change?
  • Should Facebook be allowed to collect data from its users?
  • Should self-driving cars be legal?
  • Is it ethical to replace human workers with automation?
  • Should there be laws against using cell phones while driving?
  • Has the internet positively or negatively impacted human society?

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  • Should college athletes be paid for being on sports teams?
  • Should coaches and players make the same amount of money?
  • Should sports be segregated by gender?
  • Should the concept of designated hitters in baseball be abolished?
  • Should US sports take soccer more seriously?
  • Should religious organizations have to pay taxes?
  • Should religious clubs be allowed in schools?
  • Should “one nation under God” be in the pledge of allegiance?
  • Should religion be taught in schools?
  • Should clergy be allowed to marry?
  • Should minors be able to purchase birth control without parental consent?
  • Should the US switch to single-payer healthcare?
  • Should assisted suicide be legal?
  • Should dietary supplements and weight loss items like teas be allowed to advertise through influencers?
  • Should doctors be allowed to promote medicines?

Government/Politics

  • Is the electoral college an effective system for modern America?
  • Should Puerto Rico become a state?
  • Should voter registration be automatic?
  • Should people in prison be allowed to vote?
  • Should Supreme Court justices be elected?
  • Should sex work be legalized?
  • Should Columbus Day be replaced with Indigenous Peoples’ Day?
  • Should the death penalty be legal?
  • Should animal testing be allowed?
  • Should drug possession be decriminalized?

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  • Should unpaid internships be legal?
  • Should minimum wage be increased?
  • Should monopolies be allowed?
  • Is universal basic income a good idea?
  • Should corporations have a higher or lower tax rate?
  • Are school uniforms a good idea?
  • Should PE affect a student’s grades?
  • Should college be free?
  • Should Greek life in colleges be abolished?
  • Should students be taught comprehensive sex ed?

Arts/Culture

  • Should graffiti be considered art or vandalism?
  • Should books with objectionable words be banned?
  • Should content on YouTube be better regulated?
  • Is art education important?
  • Should art and music sharing online be allowed?

body_socks

How to Argue Effectively

A strong argument isn’t just about having a good point. If you can’t support that point well, your argument falls apart.

One of the most important things you can do in writing a strong argumentative essay is organizing well. Your essay should have a distinct beginning, middle, and end, better known as the introduction, body and opposition, and conclusion.

This example follows the Toulmin model—if your essay follows the Rogerian model, the same basic premise is true, but your thesis will instead propose two conflicting viewpoints that will be resolved through evidence in the body, with your conclusion choosing the stronger of the two arguments.

Introduction

Your hook should draw the reader’s interest immediately. Questions are a common way of getting interest, as well as evocative language or a strong statistic

Don’t assume that your audience is already familiar with your topic. Give them some background information, such as a brief history of the issue or some additional context.

Your thesis is the crux of your argument. In an argumentative essay, your thesis should be clearly outlined so that readers know exactly what point you’ll be making. Don’t explain all your evidence in the opening, but do take a strong stance and make it clear what you’ll be discussing.

Your claims are the ideas you’ll use to support your thesis. For example, if you’re writing about how your neighborhood shouldn’t use weed killer, your claim might be that it’s bad for the environment. But you can’t just say that on its own—you need evidence to support it.

Evidence is the backbone of your argument. This can be things you glean from scientific studies, newspaper articles, or your own research. You might cite a study that says that weed killer has an adverse effect on bees, or a newspaper article that discusses how one town eliminated weed killer and saw an increase in water quality. These kinds of hard evidence support your point with demonstrable facts, strengthening your argument.

In your essay, you want to think about how the opposition would respond to your claims and respond to them. Don’t pick the weakest arguments, either— figure out what other people are saying and respond to those arguments with clearly reasoned arguments.

Demonstrating that you not only understand the opposition’s point, but that your argument is strong enough to withstand it, is one of the key pieces to a successful argumentative essay.

Conclusions are a place to clearly restate your original point, because doing so will remind readers exactly what you’re arguing and show them how well you’ve argued that point.

Summarize your main claims by restating them, though you don’t need to bring up the evidence again. This helps remind readers of everything you’ve said throughout the essay.

End by suggesting a picture of a world in which your argument and action are ignored. This increases the impact of your argument and leaves a lasting impression on the reader.

A strong argumentative essay is one with good structure and a strong argument , but there are a few other things you can keep in mind to further strengthen your point.

When you’re crafting an argument, it can be easy to get distracted by all the information and complications in your argument. It’s important to stay focused—be clear in your thesis and home in on claims that directly support that thesis.

Be Rational

It’s important that your claims and evidence be based in facts, not just opinion. That’s why it’s important to use reliable sources based in science and reporting—otherwise, it’s easy for people to debunk your arguments.

Don’t rely solely on your feelings about the topic. If you can’t back a claim up with real evidence, it leaves room for counterarguments you may not anticipate. Make sure that you can support everything you say with clear and concrete evidence, and your claims will be a lot stronger!

What’s Next?

No matter what kind of essay you're writing, a strong plan will help you have a bigger impact. This guide to writing a college essay is a great way to get started on your essay organizing journey!

Brushing up on your essay format knowledge to prep for the SAT? Check out this list of SAT essay prompts to help you kickstart your studying!

A bunch of great essay examples can help you aspire to greatness, but bad essays can also be a warning for what not to do. This guide to bad college essays will help you better understand common mistakes to avoid in essay writing!

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Melissa Brinks graduated from the University of Washington in 2014 with a Bachelor's in English with a creative writing emphasis. She has spent several years tutoring K-12 students in many subjects, including in SAT prep, to help them prepare for their college education.

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Traditional Academic Essays In Three Parts

Part i: the introduction.

An introduction is usually the first paragraph of your academic essay. If you’re writing a long essay, you might need 2 or 3 paragraphs to introduce your topic to your reader. A good introduction does 2 things:

  • Gets the reader’s attention. You can get a reader’s attention by telling a story, providing a statistic, pointing out something strange or interesting, providing and discussing an interesting quote, etc. Be interesting and find some original angle via which to engage others in your topic.
  • Provides a specific and debatable thesis statement. The thesis statement is usually just one sentence long, but it might be longer—even a whole paragraph—if the essay you’re writing is long. A good thesis statement makes a debatable point, meaning a point someone might disagree with and argue against. It also serves as a roadmap for what you argue in your paper.

Part II: The Body Paragraphs

Body paragraphs help you prove your thesis and move you along a compelling trajectory from your introduction to your conclusion. If your thesis is a simple one, you might not need a lot of body paragraphs to prove it. If it’s more complicated, you’ll need more body paragraphs. An easy way to remember the parts of a body paragraph is to think of them as the MEAT of your essay:

Main Idea. The part of a topic sentence that states the main idea of the body paragraph. All of the sentences in the paragraph connect to it. Keep in mind that main ideas are…

  • like labels. They appear in the first sentence of the paragraph and tell your reader what’s inside the paragraph.
  • arguable. They’re not statements of fact; they’re debatable points that you prove with evidence.
  • focused. Make a specific point in each paragraph and then prove that point.

Evidence. The parts of a paragraph that prove the main idea. You might include different types of evidence in different sentences. Keep in mind that different disciplines have different ideas about what counts as evidence and they adhere to different citation styles. Examples of evidence include…

  • quotations and/or paraphrases from sources.
  • facts , e.g. statistics or findings from studies you’ve conducted.
  • narratives and/or descriptions , e.g. of your own experiences.

Analysis. The parts of a paragraph that explain the evidence. Make sure you tie the evidence you provide back to the paragraph’s main idea. In other words, discuss the evidence.

Transition. The part of a paragraph that helps you move fluidly from the last paragraph. Transitions appear in topic sentences along with main ideas, and they look both backward and forward in order to help you connect your ideas for your reader. Don’t end paragraphs with transitions; start with them.

Keep in mind that MEAT does not occur in that order. The “ T ransition” and the “ M ain Idea” often combine to form the first sentence—the topic sentence—and then paragraphs contain multiple sentences of evidence and analysis. For example, a paragraph might look like this: TM. E. E. A. E. E. A. A.

Part III: The Conclusion

A conclusion is the last paragraph of your essay, or, if you’re writing a really long essay, you might need 2 or 3 paragraphs to conclude. A conclusion typically does one of two things—or, of course, it can do both:

  • Summarizes the argument. Some instructors expect you not to say anything new in your conclusion. They just want you to restate your main points. Especially if you’ve made a long and complicated argument, it’s useful to restate your main points for your reader by the time you’ve gotten to your conclusion. If you opt to do so, keep in mind that you should use different language than you used in your introduction and your body paragraphs. The introduction and conclusion shouldn’t be the same.
  • For example, your argument might be significant to studies of a certain time period .
  • Alternately, it might be significant to a certain geographical region .
  • Alternately still, it might influence how your readers think about the future . You might even opt to speculate about the future and/or call your readers to action in your conclusion.

Handout by Dr. Liliana Naydan. Do not reproduce without permission.

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100 Persuasive Essay Topics

  • M.Ed., Education Administration, University of Georgia
  • B.A., History, Armstrong State University

Persuasive essays are a bit like argument essays and persuasive speeches , but they tend to be a little kinder and gentler. Argument essays require you to discuss and to attack an alternate view, while persuasive essays are attempts to convince the reader that you have a believable argument. In other words, you are an advocate, not an adversary.

A Persuasive Essay Has 3 Components

  • Introduction : This is the opening paragraph of your essay. It contains the hook, which is used to grab the reader's attention, and the thesis, or argument, which you'll explain in the next section.
  • Body : This is the heart of your essay, usually three to five paragraphs in length. Each paragraph examines one theme or issue used to support your thesis.
  • Conclusion : This is the final paragraph of your essay. In it, you'll sum up the main points of the body and connect them to your thesis. Persuasive essays often use the conclusion as a last appeal to the audience.

Learning how to write a persuasive essay is an essential skill that people use every day in fields from business to law to media and entertainment. English students can begin writing a persuasive essay at any skill level. You're sure to find a sample topic or two from the list of 100 persuasive essays below, sorted by degree of difficulty.

Watch Now: 12 Ideas for Great Persuasive Essay Topics

  • Kids should get paid for good grades.
  • Students should have less homework.
  • Snow days are great for family time.
  • Penmanship is important.
  • Short hair is better than long hair.
  • We should all grow our own vegetables.
  • We need more holidays.
  • Aliens probably exist.
  • Gym class is more important than music class.
  • Kids should be able to vote.
  • Kids should get paid for extra activities like sports.
  • School should take place in the evenings.
  • Country life is better than city life.
  • City life is better than country life.
  • We can change the world.
  • Skateboard helmets should be mandatory.
  • We should provide food for the poor.
  • Children should be paid for doing chores.
  • We should populate the moon .
  • Dogs make better pets than cats.

Intermediate

  • The government should impose household trash limits.
  • Nuclear weapons are an effective deterrent against foreign attack.
  • Teens should be required to take parenting classes.
  • We should teach etiquette in schools.
  • School uniform laws are unconstitutional.
  • All students should wear uniforms.
  • Too much money is a bad thing.
  • High schools should offer specialized degrees in arts or sciences.
  • Magazine advertisements send unhealthy signals to young women.
  • Robocalling should be outlawed.
  • Age 12 is too young to babysit.
  • Children should be required to read more.
  • All students should be given the opportunity to study abroad.
  • Yearly driving tests should be mandatory past age 65.
  • Cell phones should never be used while driving.
  • All schools should implement bullying awareness programs.
  • Bullies should be kicked out of school.
  • Parents of bullies should have to pay a fine.
  • The school year should be longer.
  • School days should start later.
  • Teens should be able to choose their bedtime.
  • There should be a mandatory entrance exam for high school.
  • Public transit should be privatized.
  • We should allow pets in school.
  • The voting age should be lowered to 16.
  • Beauty contests are bad for body image.
  • Every American should learn to speak Spanish.
  • Every immigrant should learn to speak English.
  • Video games can be educational.
  • College athletes should be paid for their services.
  • We need a military draft .
  • Professional sports should eliminate cheerleaders.
  • Teens should be able to start driving at 14 instead of 16.
  • Year-round school is a bad idea.
  • High school campuses should be guarded by police officers.
  • The legal drinking age should be lowered to 19.
  • Kids under 15 shouldn't have Facebook pages.
  • Standardized testing should be eliminated.
  • Teachers should be paid more.
  • There should be one world currency.
  • Domestic surveillance without a warrant should be legal.
  • Letter grades should be replaced with a pass or fail.
  • Every family should have a natural disaster survival plan.
  • Parents should talk to kids about drugs at a young age.
  • Racial slurs should be illegal.
  • Gun ownership should be tightly regulated.
  • Puerto Rico should be granted statehood.
  • People should go to jail when they abandon their pets.
  • Free speech should have limitations.
  • Members of Congress should be subject to term limits.
  • Recycling should be mandatory for everyone.
  • High-speed internet access should be regulated like a public utility.
  • Yearly driving tests should be mandatory for the first five years after getting a license.
  • Recreational marijuana should be made legal nationwide.
  • Legal marijuana should be taxed and regulated like tobacco or alcohol.
  • Child support dodgers should go to jail.
  • Students should be allowed to pray in school.
  • All Americans have a constitutional right to health care.
  • Internet access should be free for everyone.
  • Social Security should be privatized.
  • Pregnant couples should receive parenting lessons.
  • We shouldn't use products made from animals.
  • Celebrities should have more privacy rights.
  • Professional football is too violent and should be banned.
  • We need better sex education in schools.
  • School testing is not effective.
  • The United States should build a border wall with Mexico and with Canada.
  • Life is better than it was 50 years ago.
  • Eating meat is unethical.
  • A vegan diet is the only diet people should follow.
  • Medical testing on animals should be illegal.
  • The Electoral College is outdated.
  • Medical testing on animals is necessary.
  • Public safety is more important than an individual's right to privacy.
  • Single-sex colleges provide a better education.
  • Books should never be banned.
  • Violent video games can cause people to act violently in real life.
  • Freedom of religion has limitations.
  • Nuclear power should be illegal.
  • Climate change should be the president's primary political concern.
  • Arizona State University Writing Center staff. " Persuasive Essay Structure ." ASU.edu, June 2012.
  • Collins, Jen, and Polak, Adam. " Persuasive Essays ." Hamilton.edu.
  • 100 Persuasive Speech Topics for Students
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  • 501 Topic Suggestions for Writing Essays and Speeches
  • Controversial Speech Topics
  • How to Write a Persuasive Essay
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  • 30 Writing Topics: Persuasion
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Essay Topics – List of 500+ Essay Writing Topics and Ideas

List of 500+ essay writing topics and ideas.

Essay topics in English can be difficult to come up with. While writing essays , many college and high school students face writer’s block and have a hard time to think about topics and ideas for an essay. In this article, we will list out many good essay topics from different categories like argumentative essays, essays on technology, environment essays for students from 5th, 6th, 7th, 8th grades. Following list of essay topics are for all – from kids to college students. We have the largest collection of essays. An essay is nothing but a piece of content which is written from the perception of writer or author. Essays are similar to a story, pamphlet, thesis, etc. The best thing about Essay is you can use any type of language – formal or informal. It can biography, the autobiography of anyone. Following is a great list of 100 essay topics. We will be adding 400 more soon!

But Before that you may wanna read some awesome Essay Writing Tips here .

500+ essay topics for students and children

Get the Huge list of 100+ Speech Topics here

Argumentative Essay Topics

  • Should plastic be banned?
  • Pollution due to Urbanization
  • Education should be free
  • Should Students get limited access to the Internet?
  • Selling Tobacco should be banned
  • Smoking in public places should be banned
  • Facebook should be banned
  • Students should not be allowed to play PUBG

Essay Topics on Technology

  • Wonder Of Science
  • Mobile Phone

Essay Topics on Festivals on Events

  • Independence Day (15 August)
  • Teachers Day
  • Summer Vacation
  • Children’s Day
  • Swachh Bharat Abhiyan
  • Janmashtami
  • Republic Day

Essay Topics on Education

  • Education Essay
  • Importance of Education
  • Contribution of Technology in Education

conclusion essay topic

Essay Topics on Famous Leaders

  • Mahatma Gandhi
  • APJ Abdul Kalam
  • Jawaharlal Nehru
  • Swami Vivekananda
  • Mother Teresa
  • Rabindranath Tagore
  • Sardar Vallabhbhai Patel
  • Subhash Chandra Bose
  • Abraham Lincoln
  • Martin Luther King
  • Lal Bahadur Shashtri

Essay Topics on Animals and Birds

  • My Favorite Animal

Essays Topics About Yourself

  • My Best Friend
  • My Favourite Teacher
  • My Aim In Life
  • My Favourite Game – Badminton
  • My Favourite Game – Essay
  • My Favourite Book
  • My Ambition
  • How I Spent My Summer Vacation
  • India of My Dreams
  • My School Life
  • I Love My Family
  • My Favourite Subject
  • My Favourite Game Badminton
  • My Father My Hero
  • My School Library
  • My Favourite Author
  • My plans for summer vacation

Essay Topics Based on Environment and Nature

  • Global Warming
  • Environment
  • Air Pollution
  • Environmental Pollution
  • Water Pollution
  • Rainy Season
  • Climate Change
  • Importance Of Trees
  • Winter Season
  • Deforestation
  • Natural Disasters
  • Save Environment
  • Summer Season
  • Trees Our Best Friend Essay In English

Essay Topics Based on Proverbs

  • Health Is Wealth
  • A Stitch in Time Saves Nine
  • An Apple a Day Keeps Doctor Away
  • Where there is a will, there is way
  • Time and Tide wait for none

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Essay Topics for Students from 6th, 7th, 8th Grade

  • Noise Pollution
  • Environment Pollution
  • Women Empowerment
  • Time and Tide Wait for none
  • Science and Technology
  • Importance of Sports
  • Sports and Games
  • Time Management
  • Cleanliness is next to Godliness
  • Cleanliness
  • Rome was not Built in a Day
  • Unemployment
  • Clean India
  • Cow Essay In English
  • Describe Yourself
  • Festivals Of India
  • Ganesh Chaturthi
  • Healthy Food
  • Importance Of Water
  • Plastic Pollution
  • Value of Time
  • Honesty is the Best Policy
  • Gandhi Jayanti
  • Human Rights
  • Knowledge Is Power
  • Same Sex Marriage
  • Childhood Memories
  • Cyber Crime
  • Kalpana Chawla
  • Punctuality
  • Rani Lakshmi Bai
  • Spring Season
  • Unity In Diversity
  • Artificial Intelligence
  • Online Shopping
  • Indian Culture
  • Healthy Lifestyle
  • Indian Education System
  • Disaster Management
  • Environmental Issues
  • Freedom Fighters
  • Grandparents
  • Save Fuel For Better Environment
  • Importance Of Newspaper
  • Lal Bahadur Shastri
  • Raksha Bandhan
  • World Environment Day
  • Narendra Modi
  • What Is Religion
  • Charity Begins at Home
  • A Journey by Train
  • Ideal student
  • Save Water Save Earth
  • Indian Farmer
  • Safety of Women in India
  • Sarvepalli Radhakrishnan
  • Capital Punishment
  • College Life
  • Natural Resources
  • Peer Pressure
  • Nature Vs Nurture
  • Romeo And Juliet
  • Generation Gap
  • Makar Sankranti
  • Constitution of India
  • Girl Education
  • Importance of Family
  • Importance of Independence Day
  • Brain Drain
  • A Friend In Need Is A Friend Indeed
  • Action Speaks Louder Than Words
  • All That Glitters Is Not Gold
  • Bhagat Singh
  • Demonetization
  • Agriculture
  • Importance of Discipline
  • Population Explosion
  • Poverty in India
  • Uses Of Mobile Phones
  • Water Scarcity
  • Train Journey
  • Land Pollution
  • Environment Protection
  • Indian Army
  • Uses of Internet
  • All that Glitters is not Gold
  • Balanced Diet
  • Blood Donation
  • Digital India
  • Dussehra Essay
  • Energy Conservation
  • National Integration
  • Railway Station
  • Sachin Tendulkar
  • Health And Hygiene
  • Importance Of Forest
  • Indira Gandhi
  • Laughter Is The Best Medicine
  • Career Goals
  • Mental Health
  • Save Water Save Life
  • International Yoga Day
  • Winter Vacation
  • Soil Pollution
  • Every Cloud Has A Silver Lining
  • Indian Culture And Tradition
  • Unity Is Strength
  • Unity is Diversity
  • Wildlife Conservation
  • Cruelty To Animals
  • Nelson Mandela
  • Of Mice And Men
  • Organ Donation
  • Life in a Big City
  • Democracy in India
  • Waste Management
  • Biodiversity
  • Afforestation
  • Female Foeticide
  • Harmful Effects Of Junk Food
  • Rain Water Harvesting
  • Save Electricity
  • Social Media
  • Social Networking Sites
  • Sound Pollution
  • Procrastination
  • Life in an Indian Village
  • Life in Big City
  • Population Growth
  • World Population Day
  • Greenhouse Effect
  • Statue of Unity
  • Traffic Jam
  • Beti Bachao Beti Padhao
  • Importance of Good Manners
  • Good Manners
  • Cyber Security
  • Green Revolution
  • Health And Fitness
  • Incredible India
  • Make In India
  • Surgical Strike
  • Triple Talaq
  • A Good Friend
  • Importance of Friends in our Life
  • Should Plastic be Banned
  • Nationalism
  • Traffic Rules
  • Effects of Global Warming
  • Fundamental Rights
  • Solar System
  • National Constitution Day
  • Good Mother
  • Importance of Trees in our Life
  • City Life Vs Village Life
  • Importance of Communication
  • Conservation of Nature
  • Man vs. Machine
  • Indian Economy
  • Mothers Love
  • Importance of National Integration
  • Black Money
  • Greenhouse effect
  • Untouchability
  • Self Discipline
  • Global Terrorism
  • Conservation of Biodiversity
  • Newspaper and Its Uses
  • World Health Day
  • Conservation of Natural Resources
  • A Picnic with Family
  • Indian Heritage
  • Status of Women in India
  • Child is Father of the Man
  • Reading is Good Habit
  • Plastic Bag
  • Terrorism in India
  • Library and Its Uses
  • Life on Mars
  • Urbanization
  • Pollution Due to Diwali
  • National Flag of India
  • Vocational Education
  • Importance of Tree Plantation
  • Summer Camp
  • Vehicle Pollution
  • Women Education in India
  • Seasons in India
  • Freedom of the Press
  • Caste System
  • Environment and Human Health
  • Mountain Climbing
  • Depletion of Natural Resources
  • Ishwar Chandra Vidyasagar
  • Health Education
  • Effects of Deforestation
  • Life after School
  • Starvation in India
  • Jan Dhan Yojana
  • Impact of Privatization
  • Election Commission of India
  • Election and Democracy
  • Prevention of Global Warming
  • Impact of Cinema in Life
  • Subhas Chandra Bose
  • Dowry System
  • Ganesh Chaturthi Festival
  • Role of Science in Making India
  • Impact of Global Warming on Oceans
  • Pollution due to Festivals
  • Ambedkar Jayanti
  • Ek Bharat Shreshtha Bharat
  • Family Planning in India
  • Democracy vs Dictatorship
  • National Festivals of India
  • Sri Aurobindo
  • Casteism in India
  • Organ trafficking
  • Consequences of Global Warming
  • Role of Human Activities in Global Warming
  • Issues and Problems faced by Women in India
  • Role of Judiciary in the Country Today
  • Sugamya Bharat Abhiyan
  • PUBG Mobile Game Addiction
  • Role of Youths in Nation Building
  • Value of Oxygen and Water in Life/Earth
  • Farmer Suicides in India
  • Start-up India
  • Pollution Due to Firecrackers
  • Life of Soldiers
  • Child Labour
  • Save Girl Child
  • Morning Walk
  • My School Fete
  • Essay on Financial Literacy
  • Essay On Sustainable Development
  • Essay On Punjab
  • Essay On Travel
  • My Home Essay
  • Child Marriage Essay
  • Importance Of English Language Essay
  • Essay On Mass Media
  • Essay On Horse
  • Essay On Police
  • Essay On Eid
  • Essay On Solar Energy
  • Animal Essay
  • Essay On Mango
  • Gender Discrimination Essay
  • Essay On Advertisement
  • My First Day At School Essay
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How to Answer the 2024-25 Common App Essay Questions

conclusion essay topic

An outstanding college essay can be the x-factor that gets you accepted to the school of your choice – particularly if you’re hoping to attend a prestigious university . As the emphasis on test scores declines , recent data shows that over 56% of colleges place considerable or moderate importance on students’ supplemental essays. So the Common Application, with its variety of essay prompts , can help you showcase your personality, achievements, and aspirations. 

While writing essays about yourself may be an art form, how you approach your answer can be more scientific. Here are our best strategies to select and answer the Common App essay questions for the 2023-2024 admissions year. 

How do you know which prompt to pick? 

Before you start brainstorming, consider the following criteria to choose an essay topic.

  • Instinct – When writing a college essay made its way onto your to-do list , was there a personal story that jumped to mind? If so, test out how it feels to trust that instinct. Is there a prompt that this idea aligns with? 
  • Passion – Can you write about this topic with excitement? If you’re leaning toward a topic because it feels like the one you “should” choose rather than one you’re amped about, don’t fall for that common mistake . Admissions officers read a ton of essays. If you’re not passionate about your subject matter, it’ll be clear. 
  • Understanding – While the Common App essay questions seem fairly straightforward, ensure you understand your prompt and can answer all parts of it. Another mistake students make is forcing something they want to talk about into an existing essay topic. If you have an idea that doesn’t address one of their specific questions, consider prompt 7, which allows you free rein to explore the topic of your choice.
  • Dimension – Does your essay give insight into who you are, outside of your GPA, extracurriculars, and letters of recommendation? For example, if you were the captain of your school’s varsity soccer team, an essay about soccer may not be your best choice.

The Common App Essay Topics 

According to a study from Yale , the most important thing to college admissions officers isn’t which prompt you choose, but that you write a great essay. Here are a few pointers to keep in mind:

  • Craft a compelling, cohesive narrative that relates back to who you are as a person and a student. 
  • Be honest , and don’t embellish details nor use AI .
  • Avoid clichés that college counselors have seen before .
  • Start early , and give yourself plenty of time to perfect your essay.
  • Proofread your essay , and ask a friend, teacher, or family member to read it too. 

Common App Prompt #1: Identity essay 

“Some students have a background, identity, interest, or talent that is so meaningful they believe their application would be incomplete without it. If this sounds like you, then please share your story.”

Students who have a unique aspect of their identity that isn’t otherwise represented in their application might enjoy this prompt. And remember: identity doesn’t just mean your ethnic background. 

  • Choose an aspect of your identity that makes you who you are. Are you the first in your family to go to college? Were you educated outside of a traditional school system? Are you a member of a religious group that has shaped your worldview? Each of these examples represents an aspect of identity that might be interesting to explore.
  • Be specific about your background, identity, or interest that you’ve chosen. Explain how your personal experience deviates from the norm. 
  • Describe the impact of this facet of your identity on who you are. Reflect on how this has related to your growth and perspective on yourself, your community, and your future. For example, if English wasn’t your first language, how did learning the language influence your interests? Did you turn to movies and television and discover a love of cinema that influenced you to pursue a career in entertainment? 

Get your creative juices flowing by reading other Common App essay prompt 1 examples that worked.

Common App Prompt #2: Overcoming obstacles essay 

“The lessons we take from obstacles we encounter can be fundamental to later success. Recount a time when you faced a challenge, setback, or failure. How did it affect you, and what did you learn from the experience?”

Don’t think you can only write on this topic if you’ve experienced some type of significant hardship. No matter who you are or where you’re from, you’ve had to overcome obstacles to get to where you are today. Adversity breeds resilience, which is a great quality to highlight to a college admissions committee. 

  • Identify an obstacle that has impacted you. Think back on experiences that required you to persevere. This could be something big, like the loss of a parent or a natural disaster, or something less severe, like a failing grade on an important assignment or losing an election for class president. 
  • Detail the experience and your role in it. How did you feel when you first encountered this challenge? If you were overwhelmed or scared, be honest. Specificity around details, emotions, and your mindset will create empathy and paint a full picture. Then, complete the story. How did this event unfold? How did your mindset shift? 
  • Highlight what you learned and your eventual success. As you brainstorm, make a list of your takeaways. If you experienced a major illness, did you find a renewed sense of gratitude for your physical health? Then, connect your learnings to some success. If you got fired from a part-time job, did the experience help you identify the career path you actually want to pursue and put you in a position to pursue it? 

Study up on how other determined students have aced Common App essay prompt 2 . 

Common App Prompt #3: Individuality essay 

“Reflect on a time when you questioned or challenged a belief or idea. What prompted your thinking? What was the outcome?”

College campuses are full of students who are eager to expand their horizons and reassess previously held worldviews. If this sounds like you, prompt three might be perfect. 

  • Choose a belief or idea that you questioned at some point. This could be anything from your approach to mental health, to your perspective on gender roles or religious beliefs. Explain why you held this belief and the importance of this idea in your life. 
  • Explain what prompted you to explore . Was it a book? An article? A conversation with a teacher? Describe the scene – what happened, where you were, and how you felt.
  • Detail the experience of your reflection . Did you turn to books to better understand the other side of this issue? Did you engage in conversation with people who thought differently from you? Get into the weeds of your exploration.
  • Present your conclusion . If you changed your perspective, what was the evidence that caused this shift? And if you discovered an even greater sense of certainty around your original opinion, how does that feel? Or, if you’re still not sure but continuing to explore, that’s a great answer, too.

Read how other curious high school students explored beliefs in Common App Prompt #3 essay examples . 

Common App Prompt #4: The gratitude essay 

“Reflect on something that someone has done for you that has made you happy or thankful in a surprising way. How has this gratitude affected or motivated you?”

Gratitude can be a powerful source of motivation, particularly when we’re feeling defeated or down. If you’ve experienced an act of kindness that impacted your life in some significant way, reflect on it in prompt #4.

  • Pinpoint an act of kindness that someone has done on your behalf. This could be something monumental, like a family member donating an organ, or a small, everyday gesture, like a stranger paying for your coffee. 
  • Set the stage for your story. What happened? Why did you need this act of kindness? If you ran out of gas in the middle of the highway, what did that feel like? Then, present the act of kindness in as much detail as you can while staying within the word limit. What prompted the kind stranger to pull over with their gas can? What conversation ensued? 
  • Explore your gratitude and reflect upon how the experience affected you. Did this random act of kindness change your perspective? Did you pay it forward through community service? Show how this experience caused you to change in some way, big or small. Don’t stop at gratitude; push yourself to action. 

Read about times other high school students felt inspired by the empathy shown to them.

Common App Prompt #5: The personal growth essay 

“Discuss an accomplishment, event, or realization that sparked a period of personal growth and a new understanding of yourself or others.”

High school is a period of deep personal growth. Use this prompt to highlight ways you’ve grown that might not be captured by your GPA or extracurricular activities. 

  • Reflect on periods of personal growth and pinpoint the events that might have triggered them. Make a list of these types of occurrences. For example, traveling abroad to a new country, being selected to write for the school newspaper, or overcoming a fear of public speaking to compete in a debate. 
  • Narrate your experience . You might think of this as your “before” and “during” snapshot. If you weren’t the best student in your science class, but had an exciting hypothesis to tackle in a science fair project, describe how you approached this project. Then, tell the reader about what happened. Did you succeed? Did you fail? Did you uncover a new skill?  
  • Expand on your shift in perspective and how this experience caused you to look at yourself and those around you differently. Think of this as your “after.” If your project went on to win your local science fair, how did this shift your view of your scientific abilities? Underline how you grew from this experience and how it shaped your perspective. 

For inspiration, here are examples of Essay #5 responses from high school students just like you. 

Common App Prompt #6: The passion essay 

“Describe a topic, idea, or concept you find so engaging that it makes you lose all track of time. Why does it captivate you? What or who do you turn to when you want to learn more?”

Every student, no matter their GPA or collegiate aspirations, has a hobby or pastime they enjoy. Are you particularly passionate about yours? Take this opportunity to write about it, particularly if your passion is unique.

  • List the things you love . Ideally, your greatest passion came to mind as soon as you read this prompt. But if you have an affinity for more than one thing, make a list. This could be anything from making pottery to playing chess or trying out new recipes in the kitchen.
  • Explain why you have such an affinity for this hobby or pastime. Delve into the history behind this passion. How did you first get interested in rescuing animals? Did a parent or mentor expose you to this work? Did the experience of finding a lonely cat on the street spark your passion? 
  • Expand upon your learning process and how you developed your knowledge of this topic. If you love astronomy, what steps did you take to learn about the night sky and types of stars? Did you immerse yourself in YouTube videos about space? Or visit local observatories? Demonstrate your thirst for knowledge and ability to self-motivate. 

Read other passionate essays here that have captivated admissions officers. 

Common App Prompt #7: Topic of your choice 

“Share an essay on any topic of your choice . It can be one you’ve already written, one that responds to a different prompt , or one of your own design.”

Prompt 7 can be divisive. For some, this open-ended prompt is a great opportunity to write a unique, personal essay. Since there are no rules (other than the word limit), there are several ways to approach Prompt 7.

You could choose a topic that is unique to you, write a personal statement, or tell a compelling story that has some broader appeal. Or, you could think totally outside the box and turn your essay into a screenplay, newspaper article, or other artistic form. 

If you’re considering this prompt, try not to recycle an essay you’ve previously written for a high school class. The admissions officer will recognize your junior year English essay on Othello and, most likely, will find this choice lazy. Moreover, the Common App essays are meant to offer insight into who you are – not how you perform academically. 

That said, this prompt does offer you the opportunity to reuse a prior essay as a base and then tweak it. Just be careful. The college admissions process is high-stakes. Don’t ruin your chances because you’re trying to save time on your essay. 

To find inspiration, check out other students’ essays on Prompt 7 . 

Pay less for college with Going Merry

The Common App essays give students an opportunity to inject some personality into their college applications. No matter which prompt you choose, write with passion and honesty. And then recycle some of those essays in your scholarship applications on Going Merry , to win some cash for college.  Going Merry is a comprehensive college prep platform that helps students get into college and afford it without student loans. We provide tips to make your college applications shine; we curate thousands of high-quality scholarships and help you win them; and we make it easier to compare colleges through our (free!) college cost insights tool. Take the next step to realizing your collegiate aspirations when you sign up for Going Merry today .

Disclaimer: This blog post provides personal finance educational information, and it is not intended to provide legal, financial, or tax advice.

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Wayne State University

School of information sciences, school of information sciences current students, instructions for writing reflective essays.

Instructions 

In the reflective essay, the student will discuss how s/he has developed as an information professional during the School. The student will discuss each of the four MLIS student learning outcomes, and demonstrate how they have become proficient in these learning outcomes. 

The essay should following standard writing practice, with introduction, subheadings, and conclusion piece, free of grammar and typo mistakes.  References are required.  

For each MLIS learning outcome, the student uses 300-350 words to demonstrate their understanding of the learning outcome, and then uses an appropriate artifact to support their competency in the learning outcome.  

Since multiple components are included in each learning outcome, the student can address one or two components for each learning outcome. Please use several sentences to justify your focus on those components. 

For example : for LO#3, “Demonstrate professional competency, including critical thinking, research, communication, cultural competence, technology development, digital literacy, leadership, lifelong learning, and adherence to professional ethics”, students might address only “technology development” and “lifelong learning” components in their reflections.  

As a concluding piece of the essay, the student will include their stance or philosophy of the information profession. The student will gird the philosophy piece using readings of the research, professional literature, personal experiences, and the learning outcomes. Students can address questions like: What is an information professional? What are the characteristics, qualities and knowledge that will be most important to you as an information professional? 

Use of writing in the first person is encouraged.    Essay Submission 

The final product will be a 1400-1700 word reflective essay, with suitable and ethical citation practices followed (final word count excludes bibliography). Please note that this is not a personal history or review of courses taken during the School. Instead, it is an articulation of your growth as an information professional and your adoption of a personal professional philosophy. 

You may submit the reflective essay in .doc, .docx, or pdf formats. Please do not submit the essay in .zip or .rar format. 

Make sure your reflective essay has the following elements: 

Introduction 

Discussion of each MLIS learning outcome 

Discussion of appropriate artifacts in relation to each MLIS learning outcome 

Professional philosophy 

Conclusion 

References 

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Perspective

When pto stands for 'pretend time off': doctors struggle to take real breaks.

Mara Gordon

conclusion essay topic

A survey shows that doctors have trouble taking full vacations from their high-stress jobs. Even when they do, they often still do work on their time off. Wolfgang Kaehler/LightRocket via Getty Images hide caption

A survey shows that doctors have trouble taking full vacations from their high-stress jobs. Even when they do, they often still do work on their time off.

A few weeks ago, I took a vacation with my family. We went hiking in the national parks of southern Utah, and I was blissfully disconnected from work.

I'm a family physician, so taking a break from my job meant not seeing patients. It also meant not responding to patients' messages or checking my work email. For a full week, I was free.

Taking a real break — with no sneaky computer time to bang out a few prescription refill requests — left me feeling reenergized and ready to take care of my patients when I returned.

But apparently, being a doctor who doesn't work on vacation puts me squarely in the minority of U.S. physicians.

Research published in JAMA Network Open this year set out to quantify exactly how doctors use their vacation time — and what the implications might be for a health care workforce plagued by burnout, dissatisfaction and doctors who are thinking about leaving medicine.

"There is a strong business case for supporting taking real vacation," says Dr. Christine Sinsky , the lead author of the paper. "Burnout is incredibly expensive for organizations."

Health workers know what good care is. Pandemic burnout is getting in the way

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Health workers know what good care is. pandemic burnout is getting in the way.

Researchers surveyed 3,024 doctors, part of an American Medical Association cohort designed to represent the American physician workforce. They found that 59.6% of American physicians took 15 days of vacation or less per year. That's a little more than the average American: Most workers who have been at a job for a year or more get between 10 and 14 days of paid vacation time , according to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics.

However, most doctors don't take real vacation. Over 70% of doctors surveyed said they worked on a typical vacation day.

"I have heard physicians refer to PTO as 'pretend time off,'" Sinsky says, referring to the acronym for "paid time off."

Sinsky and co-authors found that physicians who took more than three weeks of vacation a year had lower rates of burnout than those who took less, since vacation time is linked to well-being and job satisfaction .

And all those doctors toiling away on vacation, sitting poolside with their laptops? Sinsky argues it has serious consequences for health care.

Physician burnout is linked to high job turnover and excess health care costs , among other problems.

Still, it can be hard to change the culture of workaholism in medicine. Even the study authors confessed that they, too, worked on vacation.

"I remember when one of our first well-being papers was published," says Dr. Colin West , a co-author of the new study and a health care workforce researcher at the Mayo Clinic. "I responded to the revisions up at the family cabin in northern Minnesota on vacation."

Sinsky agreed. "I do not take all my vacation, which I recognize as a delicious irony of the whole thing," she says.

She's the American Medical Association's vice president of professional satisfaction. If she can't take a real vacation, is there any hope for the rest of us?

I interviewed a half dozen fellow physicians and chatted off the record with many friends and colleagues to get a sense of why it feels so hard to give ourselves a break. Here, I offer a few theories about why doctors are so terrible at taking time off.

We don't want to make more work for our colleagues

The authors of the study in JAMA Network Open didn't explore exactly what type of work doctors did on vacation, but the physicians I spoke to had some ideas.

"If I am not doing anything, I will triage my email a little bit," says Jocelyn Fitzgerald , a urogynecologist at the University of Pittsburgh who was not involved in the study. "I also find that certain high-priority virtual meetings sometimes find their way into my vacations."

Even if doctors aren't scheduled to see patients, there's almost always plenty of work to be done: dealing with emergencies, medication refills, paperwork. For many of us, the electronic medical record (EMR) is an unrelenting taskmaster , delivering a near-constant flow of bureaucratic to-dos.

When I go on vacation, my fellow primary care doctors handle that work for me, and I do the same for them.

But it can sometimes feel like a lot to ask, especially when colleagues are doing that work on top of their normal workload.

"You end up putting people in kind of a sticky situation, asking for favors, and they [feel they] need to pay it back," says Jay-Sheree Allen , a family physician and fellow in preventive medicine at the Mayo Clinic.

She says her practice has a "doctor of the day" who covers all urgent calls and messages, which helps reduce some of the guilt she feels about taking time off.

Still, non-urgent tasks are left for her to complete when she gets back. She says she usually logs in to the EMR when she's on vacation so the tasks don't pile up upon her return. If she doesn't, Allen estimates there will be about eight hours of paperwork awaiting her after a week or so of vacation.

"My strategy, I absolutely do not recommend," Allen says. But "I would prefer that than coming back to the total storm."

We have too little flexibility about when we take vacation

Lawren Wooten , a resident physician in pediatrics at the University of California San Francisco, says she takes 100% of her vacation time. But there are a lot of stipulations about exactly how she uses it.

She has to take it in two-week blocks — "that's a long time at once," she says — and it's hard to change the schedule once her chief residents assign her dates.

"Sometimes I wish I had vacation in the middle of two really emotionally challenging rotations like an ICU rotation and an oncology rotation," she says, referring to the intensive care unit. "We don't really get to control our schedules at this point in our careers."

Once Wooten finishes residency and becomes an attending physician, it's likely she'll have more autonomy over her vacation time — but not necessarily all that much more.

"We generally have to know when our vacations are far in advance because patients schedule with us far in advance," says Fitzgerald, the gynecologist.

Taking vacation means giving up potential pay

Many physicians are paid based on the number of patients they see or procedures they complete. If they take time off work, they make less money.

"Vacation is money off your table," says West, the physician well-being researcher. "People have a hard time stepping off of the treadmill."

A 2022 research brief from the American Medical Association estimated that over 55% of U.S. physicians were paid at least in part based on "productivity," as opposed to earning a flat amount regardless of patient volume. That means the more patients doctors cram into their schedules, the more money they make. Going on vacation could decrease their take-home pay.

But West says it's important to weigh the financial benefits of skipping vacation against the risk of burnout from working too much.

Physician burnout is linked not only to excess health care costs but also to higher rates of medical errors. In one large survey of American surgeons , for example, surgeons experiencing burnout were more likely to report being involved in a major medical error. (It's unclear to what extent the burnout caused the errors or the errors caused the burnout, however.)

Doctors think they're the only one who can do their jobs

When I go on vacation, my colleagues see my patients for me. I work in a small office, so I know the other doctors well and I trust that my patients are in good hands when I'm away.

Doctors have their own diagnosis: 'Moral distress' from an inhumane health system

Doctors have their own diagnosis: 'Moral distress' from an inhumane health system

But ceding that control to colleagues might be difficult for some doctors, especially when it comes to challenging patients or big research projects.

"I think we need to learn to be better at trusting our colleagues," says Adi Shah , an infectious disease doctor at the Mayo Clinic. "You don't have to micromanage every slide on the PowerPoint — it's OK."

West, the well-being researcher, says health care is moving toward a team-based model and away from a culture where an individual doctor is responsible for everything. Still, he adds, it can be hard for some doctors to accept help.

"You can be a neurosurgeon, you're supposed to go on vacation tomorrow and you operate on a patient. And there are complications or risk of complications, and you're the one who has the relationship with that family," West says. "It is really, really hard for us to say ... 'You're in great hands with the rest of my team.'"

What doctors need, says West, is "a little bit less of the God complex."

We don't have any interests other than medicine

Shah, the infectious disease doctor, frequently posts tongue-in-cheek memes on X (formerly known as Twitter) about the culture of medicine. Unplugging during vacation is one of his favorite topics, despite his struggles to follow his own advice.

His recommendation to doctors is to get a hobby, so we can find something better to do than work all the time.

"Stop taking yourself too seriously," he says. Shah argues that medical training is so busy that many physicians neglect to develop any interests other than medicine. When fully trained doctors are finally finished with their education, he says, they're at a loss for what to do with their newfound freedom.

Since completing his training a few years ago, Shah has committed himself to new hobbies, such as salsa dancing. He has plans to go to a kite festival next year.

Shah has also prioritized making the long trip from Minnesota to see his family in India at least twice a year — a journey that requires significant time off work. He has a trip there planned this month.

"This is the first time in 11 years I'm making it to India in summer so that I can have a mango in May," the peak season for the fruit, Shah says.

Wooten, the pediatrician, agrees. She works hard to develop a full life outside her career.

"Throughout our secondary and medical education, I believe we've really been indoctrinated into putting institutions above ourselves," Wooten adds. "It takes work to overcome that."

Mara Gordon is a family physician in Camden, N.J., and a contributor to NPR. She's on X as @MaraGordonMD .

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Can you trust 2024 election polls on Donald Trump and Joe Biden? Here's how to cut through the noise.

conclusion essay topic

Love them or hate them, political polls aren’t going anywhere. As the 2024 presidential election kicks into high gear, the internet will be flooded with surveys tracking the horserace between President Joe Biden and former President Donald Trump.

Keeping track of the numbers can be daunting: Who's ahead in national polls? Who's ahead in state-level surveys? Figuring out which numbers to pay attention to – and whether any of it actually matters – can be even more challenging.  

Luckily, the USA TODAY Network has got you covered. Here’s a refresher on why polls matter, whether you can trust them and what to look out for this year.  

What do polls tell us about the election?  

Think of polls as quick snapshots rather than crystal ball readings.  

Prep for the polls: See who is running for president and compare where they stand on key issues in our Voter Guide

They don’t necessarily predict the results of an election. Rather, they’re used to gauge how people feel about a race during a specific period. Pollsters may ask questions about the future, but surveys have more to say about the voters' current temperature.

Polls also tend to have a short shelf life. Public opinion can shift quickly, meaning that the results of polls are often only a reliable measure of the state of a race during the time they were taken. 

A survey taken two months ago won’t reflect the state of a race today, and a poll fielded tomorrow won’t tell us who is going to win the presidential election in November.

However, that doesn't mean polls captured at the beginning of a campaign cycle don't matter. The insights from early polls tease out the major issues voters are thinking about that could shape the race.  They also help trace the trendlines of how a candidate is performing – whether they’re gaining traction, stagnating or losing support. 

Pollster John Zogby likened the importance of looking at early polling to checking benchmarks while trying to reach an exercise goal.  

“Am I going to get on the scale the day before to see how I did?” said Zogby. “No, I get on the scale every so often to say what am I doing? How am I doing? What am I doing right?” 

Conducting polls early in a race and often throughout the course of an election allows political scientists, journalists and the public to track trends and spot major inflection points in campaigns.  

Beware of two-candidate polls  

Not all polls are built the same. The way a survey is designed, from how questions are worded to the demographics of the participants chosen, can influence the accuracy of its results.  

David Paleologos , director of the Suffolk University Political Research Center, said political polls are most accurate when they replicate as closely as possible the questions and options voters will see on their ballot.

For instance, he said that polls on the 2024 presidential election should include choices beyond the two major party candidates – Trump and Biden – because most ballots will contain third-party and independent candidates who will garner some support.  

“If the polls only show a binary choice, between Trump or Biden, you're not getting the full picture,” Paleologos said.

He pointed to close margins in critical swing states, including Wisconsin, Arizona and Georgia, during the 2020 election as an example. Trump lost in those states by fewer votes than Libertarian Party candidate Jo Jorgensen received.  

If Jorgensen had not been in the race, the results in those battlegrounds, and possibly the outcome of the election nationally, could have looked markedly different, Paleologos said.

The Libertarian Party hasn’t yet chosen its candidate for the 2024 election. But early polls that include the party and other independent candidates as options are likely to more accurately show how disaffected voters are looking at their options, he explained.

Suffolk University and USA TODAY have a partnership collecting polling data and insights.

Who's being polled?

Another factor that can impact a poll’s accuracy is the sample population surveyed. Polls randomly select a small sample of people designed to represent the broader views and attitudes of a larger population. But every organization uses different methodologies to create their samples.  

For instance, some election polls take the temperature of the general population, while others only include active voters or likely voters. They also may weigh demographic information, such as the ratio of Democrats to Republicans, differently.  

In the 2024 race, Zogby, author of the forthcoming book "Beyond the Horse Race: How to Read Polls and Why We Should," suggested that the most accurate polls include only likely voters, the pool of people already planning to cast a ballot in November.

“A likely voter today may not be a likely voter on October 31,” Zogby said, but capturing these voters allows political scientists to better understand the Americans who will choose the next president.

Should I pay attention to national polls or state surveys?

Pollsters were lambasted in 2016 for projecting that then-Democratic nominee Hillary Clinton would win the election over Trump.

But national polls , which are supposed to reflect the popular vote across all states, were technically right. Overall, Clinton won nearly 2.9 million more votes than Trump.  

So, what went wrong? Many analysts overstated Clinton’s lead in national polls, and few organizations conducted state-specific polls in former Democratic strongholds, such as Wisconsin, Michigan and Pennsylvania, that Trump was able to capture. His wins in those states ultimately landed him the electoral college victory.  

That’s not to say that national polls are inferior to state polls, but you should think of them differently.

“National polls are more valuable to understand what the issues are impacting likely voters,” Paleologos said, while state polls better represent the horserace.

He and other polling experts told USA TODAY that Biden needs to lead Trump by three to four percentage points in a national poll to be tied with the Republican in the electoral college . That's because large liberal-leaning states like California and New York tend to tilt the results of national polls in Democrats’ favor, whereas the "electoral college these days skews Republican," Zogby said.

In other words, a national poll showing Biden and Trump tied would tell a similar story to a swing state poll that shows Trump leading Biden by a few points.  But generally, experts warn against comparing national and state surveys, which are built off of different methodologies, against one another.

Can you trust the polls?  

Mostly. Because polls are analyzing a myriad of shifting factors, they'll always have some level of uncertainty baked in, regardless of the specific election. Organizations also don’t collaborate on what states they plan to poll, or when, which means there’s always potential for blind spots, like in 2016. 

Some political observers rely on poll averages, such as a tally from Real Clear Politics. These are generally reliable, but they can miss trends.

But when interpreted properly, polls often provide an accurate portrait of the state of an election. 

“There are folks that will say, ‘Oh, you missed the election by two points,’” Zogby said. "Well, two points – that showed the ballpark of what was going to happen.” 

And the more polls there are, the easier it is to evaluate the race.  

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