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Learn the best strategies and tips on how to write an effective and persuasive debate essay for your academic success.

How to write a debate essay

When it comes to expressing opinions, engaging in a debate can be an effective way to communicate and support your stance on a particular issue. A debate essay, or argumentative essay, allows you to showcase your critical thinking skills and present a well-reasoned argument. This type of essay requires careful planning and organization to effectively persuade your audience. By following a step-by-step approach, you can develop a strong debate essay that presents your point of view clearly and convincingly.

Before diving into the writing process, it’s essential to understand the purpose of a debate essay. The goal is not only to express your own opinion but also to address counterarguments and anticipate potential objections. Your aim is to convince your audience to understand and accept your perspective by presenting strong evidence and logical reasoning. To achieve this, you need to research and gather relevant information on the topic, evaluate different viewpoints, and outline a clear structure for your essay.

One of the key components of a successful debate essay is a strong thesis statement. This statement presents the main argument or claim that you will be defending throughout your essay. It should be clear, concise, and impactful. Your thesis statement should express your position on the topic and provide a preview of the main points you will be discussing. A well-crafted thesis statement sets the tone for your essay and helps guide your writing process, ensuring that every point you make supports and strengthens your overall argument.

Understand the topic and choose a side

Before diving into the debate essay writing process, it is crucial to thoroughly understand the topic at hand and carefully consider which side you will argue for. This step is essential as it sets the foundation for a well-reasoned and persuasive argument.

Take the time to read and research extensively on the topic to gain a comprehensive understanding of its different aspects and perspectives. Look for reliable sources such as books, scholarly articles, and reputable websites to gather information and insights. By doing so, you will be able to familiarize yourself with various arguments, counterarguments, and evidence presented by experts in the field.

Once you have gained a deep understanding of the topic, it is time to choose a side. Consider the different arguments presented by both sides and evaluate which one aligns with your own beliefs, values, and knowledge. Think about the strengths and weaknesses of each argument, as well as the evidence supporting them. Reflect on your own experiences and personal views to help you make an informed decision.

Choosing a side does not necessarily mean that you have to agree with it wholeheartedly. It simply means that you will be presenting and defending that particular perspective in your debate essay. Keep in mind that choosing a side does not imply being closed-minded or dismissive of the opposing viewpoint. A well-rounded debate essay will acknowledge and address counterarguments, showing a balanced and thoughtful approach to the topic.

Once you understand the topic and have chosen a side, you can move on to the next step of the debate essay writing process: gathering evidence and constructing a persuasive argument.

Research and gather supporting evidence

In order to write a strong and convincing debate essay, it is essential to conduct thorough research and gather relevant supporting evidence. Research serves as the foundation for an effective argument, providing credible information that strengthens your position and persuades your audience.

When conducting research, it is important to explore multiple sources to ensure a well-rounded understanding of the topic. This can include peer-reviewed articles, academic journals, books, and reputable websites. By utilizing a variety of sources, you can gain different perspectives and enhance the credibility of your argument.

During the research process, it is crucial to critically analyze the information you gather. This involves evaluating the credibility and reliability of your sources. Look for evidence that is backed by reputable experts, institutions, or organizations. Additionally, consider the timeliness of the information to ensure that you are presenting the most current and relevant data.

As you gather evidence, it is also important to keep track of your sources. This will allow you to properly cite and reference your information in your debate essay. Utilize a citation style guide, such as APA or MLA, to ensure consistency and accuracy in your citations.

When selecting evidence to support your argument, consider the strengths and weaknesses of each piece of information. Choose evidence that is logical, well-reasoned, and directly relevant to your argument. Avoid using biased or unreliable sources that may weaken your position.

In conclusion, research and gathering supporting evidence is a critical step in writing a debate essay. Thorough research and careful evaluation of sources will strengthen your argument and enhance your credibility. By selecting well-reasoned and relevant evidence, you can effectively persuade your audience and present a compelling debate essay.

Organize your arguments

Organize your arguments

When writing a debate essay, it is crucial to organize your arguments in a clear and logical manner. By doing so, you will be able to effectively present your ideas and support your stance on the given topic. Organizing your arguments not only helps you convey your message more effectively, but it also makes it easier for your readers to comprehend and follow your line of thinking.

One way to organize your arguments is to group them based on similarities or themes. This can be done by identifying common elements or ideas among your arguments and grouping them together. For example, if you are arguing in favor of stricter gun control laws, you might have separate arguments related to reducing gun violence, preventing accidental shootings, and deterring criminals. By grouping these arguments together, you can present a more cohesive and convincing case.

Another way to organize your arguments is by presenting them in a logical order. This can be done by arranging your arguments from the strongest to the weakest or from the most general to the most specific. By structuring your arguments in this way, you can build a strong foundation and gradually persuade your readers as they progress through your essay. Additionally, presenting your arguments in a logical order makes it easier for your readers to follow your reasoning and understand the progression of your ideas.

Furthermore, it is important to provide evidence and examples to support your arguments. This can be done by incorporating research findings, statistics, expert opinions, and real-life examples into your essay. By including evidence, you not only strengthen your arguments but also make them more persuasive and credible. However, it is crucial to ensure that the evidence you present is reliable and relevant to your topic. Additionally, you should clearly explain how the evidence supports your arguments so that your readers can understand the connection.

In conclusion, organizing your arguments is a crucial step in writing a debate essay. By grouping your arguments based on similarities or themes, presenting them in a logical order, and providing evidence to support them, you can effectively convey your ideas and persuade your readers. Remember to stay focused on your main point and to present your arguments in a clear and concise manner. With proper organization, your debate essay will be more impactful and convincing.

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How To End a Debate: Learn to Conclude and Make a Closing Statement

  • Post author: Edeh Samuel Chukwuemeka ACMC
  • Post published: December 25, 2021
  • Post category: Scholarly Articles

How To End a Debate (Closing Statement): A debate speech is a well-written argument that seeks to refute an opponent’s claim while elaborating on your own. Debating may help you improve your critical thinking abilities, teamwork abilities, public speaking abilities, and persuasive abilities. Arguing with someone and winning may also be enjoyable. Some debates enable you to question your opponents while they are speaking.

You must wait for your turn to speak in other forms. Depending on the debate’s format, each debate is separated into several speeches. Simply review the debate rules ahead of time and practice debating in that format. When finishing your debate speech, you have the opportunity to reiterate your most important points, conclude your arguments, give the judges something to think about, and ultimately deliver a logical conclusion.

How do you summarize a debate

Recommended: How to Start a Debate Introduction

Table of Contents

Components Of Debate

a. Introductory Statements : Opening remarks are crucial to a successful discussion because they allow both sides – those in favor of a position and those opposed to it – to capture the attention of the audience. The positive side, also referred to as the side that supports the topic or circumstance, is always the first to make a comment.

How to conclude a debate speech

Opening statements in structured talks have a limited time for both the positive and negative sides to express their cases. The opening words establish the tone for the dialogue and should include the viewpoint, claim, or notion you wish to defend as well as a brief summary of your supporting evidence.

Following the opening speeches, each party delivers its arguments in further depth, using statistical data, examples, and expert opinions to back up its claims. Once again, the positive side makes their case first.

2. Rebuttals: After both sides have clearly identified and explained their points, each side has the chance to indicate why they feel the other side’s arguments are weak or incorrect – this is known as the “ rebuttal .” The opposing party is the first to respond.

How does a speaker properly conclude a debate speech

You may begin your response by saying, “ My opponent’s statements are incorrect for various reasons .” “ My study demonstrates that my opponent’s opinions lack credibility ,” for example.

Following each side’s rebuttal, and depending on the moderator or judge’s format for the debate, each side may be given another opportunity to offer a rebuttal – properly known as a “ second rebuttal .” During the rebuttal, neither side is permitted to offer fresh evidence to bolster its argument.

Also see: How to speak in public without fear

3. Sessions for Questions and Answers: Some debates include a question-and-answer session in which each side queries the other party. According to the International Debate Education Association, the objective of cross-examination is to explain your opponents’ arguments, push them to commit to a definite viewpoint on unclear matters, bring out any fallacies or flaws in their arguments, and examine deficiencies in their evidence.

What is a good closing statement for a debate

Cross-examination usually occurs after each party has presented its arguments but before the rebuttal stage. Inquire with your teacher or the debate host about when and whether a question-and-answer session will take place.

“ May you perhaps restate and explain your initial argument? ” you could begin your cross-examination. “ Could you perhaps clarify where you obtained the statistical data to support your findings? ”

A Q&A session’s purpose is to guarantee that both parties fully comprehend the opposition’s arguments so that they can formulate and explain their best defense.

Also see: Famous Scientists and their Discoveries in the field

4. Statements of Closure: Closing speeches allow each side to summarize their significant arguments and highlight their most relevant issues. They also allow you to draw attention to your opponent’s flaws in front of the judges.

How to Close a Debate Speech

They have the benefit of making their closing arguments first. The goal is to persuade your audience that you have solid evidence to back up your statements and that your opponent’s ideas are inadequate. To make a lasting impact, conclude with an intriguing example of an eye-catching analogy. Include any negative consequences of your argument not being taken seriously or accepted.

Recommended: Important things to consider before starting a business

Interesting Ways to End a Debate

1. Use of quotation : If you have a quotation that wraps up your final argument or provides closure to your case, use it. Check your notes to ensure that you have addressed all of your opponent’s arguments and that you have concluded your case.

If you discover an unaddressed argument by your opponent, address it before concluding your speech.

How To End a Debate with your closing statement

2. Explain the most important points: An overview for your judges describes the most important points in your case. This can be accomplished by restating each of your main points or by making a general statement about your case.

For example, if you are arguing for basic human rights over national interests, you may want to make a quick general statement about the importance of human rights and society’s responsibility to prioritize them.

While your speech addressed this general statement with more specific information, the general statement shows your judges that you understand your issue and are concerned about your overall case.

How do you wrap a debate

Also see: How to become a better singer fast

3. Sing Song Ending: Request that the audience repeats a phrase from your speech that you used multiple times. Assume your slogan is “ Together, we can win. ” You keep repeating that sentence.

Then, right before you finish, you remark, “I know that all of you are brilliant, and all of you are determined.” I know none of us can accomplish it alone, but (pause) together (pause) we can (pause until the audience responds.)

4. Use specific vocal inflections: Use certain vocal inflections to indicate that you are nearing the end of your speech. While giving a summary of your case and explaining the holes in your opponent’s argument, move your notes away from you and gaze straight at the judges.

Speak slower than you did throughout your real speech, exploiting the difference in speed to make your final comments stay in the minds of your assessors. As you make your closing remarks, practice your final inflection, dropping your voice and slowing your words.

Recommended: How to become a successful lawyer: 10 Qualities you need

5. Third Party Close: The Third-Party close elevates the usage of a quote. Make use of a quotation in the context of your message.

Use the idea of that quotation to frame your conclusion so that it functions as a launching pad to elevate your message high enough for the audience to completely comprehend it.

6. Inform your judges on how to vote : Inform your judges on how to vote. Make a simple statement like, “ After reviewing the information about this topic, you must vote to affirm the topic. ” Continue by elaborating on the specific flaw in your opponent’s argument.

“ Our opponents today failed to contend with our most important point, about the value of human rights and their essential place in a virtuous society, ” for example. Be specific about which points your opponents did not address and emphasize the significance of these issues.

Also see: Causes, Effects and Solutions to low self-esteem

7. Connect the primary points to the core message: It is critical to plan out the primary concepts you will discuss at the start of your presentation. An audience that is unaware of the stages of the journey you are going to take them on will be less relaxed than one that is aware of what is to come.

At the end of your presentation, go through everything you’ve discussed, but don’t just list the many concepts you developed; illustrate how they are linked and how they support your primary thesis.

8. Thank the audience: After you’ve completed presenting the substance, the easiest approach to close a speech is to say, “ thank you .” This has the advantage of being understood by everybody.

It’s an excellent technique for anyone to indicate to the crowd that it’s time to applaud and then go.

Also see: Tips on how to improve your emotional intelligence

Your closing words should make it clear that your debate presentation is coming to an end. The audience should be able to read it and respond quickly. As previously stated, saying “ thank you ” is a good way to conclude. If there is no acclaim, stand tall and wait. Don’t wiggle, and don’t even bother to mumble, ‘ And that just about covers it .’ Thank you very much.

how to write a conclusion for a debate essay

Edeh Samuel Chukwuemeka, ACMC, is a lawyer and a certified mediator/conciliator in Nigeria. He is also a developer with knowledge in various programming languages. Samuel is determined to leverage his skills in technology, SEO, and legal practice to revolutionize the legal profession worldwide by creating web and mobile applications that simplify legal research. Sam is also passionate about educating and providing valuable information to people.

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How to Write a Good Debate Essay

When the word “debate” occurs in an essay title, you are being asked to examine a subject in which there are opposing views. The aim is that your essay will lead to support for one side, based on clear argument, effective judgement and justification for the decisions presented and arguments presented. The foundation of a good debate essay is effectively completing research combined with being able to refer to facts and credible information. The biggest challenge is to remain unemotional, whilst still persuading your audience of the validity of the arguments you are making in support of your chosen side.

Writing your debate essay


Your introduction should ensure that your reader understands what topic is being debated and encourage them to read more. One effective way to start is with a question, which sets the stage for you to state your position on the subject (your thesis statement). For example, “Does online learning creates laziness in students?”.

The aim is that your readers will have an immediate answer to the question, and this then drives the arguments you are presenting. An alternative approach is to refute a statement, framing the subject negatively, for example, “There are studies which suggest online learning creates laziness, however, studies have shown that online learning actually increases motivation”. In this case you are encouraging the reader to support your argument. In both cases, you have set a foundation with your introduction which needs to be built on by effective arguments and evidence.

The body text of your debate essay should be separated into paragraphs, each one of which will cover a different reason / rationale for the viewpoint you set out in your introduction. For each point you should provide back-up information from credible sources, which demonstrates that you have evaluated evidence before drawing a conclusion and opinion. Each paragraph should introduce your argument for or against, depending on your perspective, and include where appropriate, statistical evidence, illustrative data and clearly referenced sources. A good tip with a debate essay is to also present the counterargument for your point and refute it with viable sources to demonstrate why it is incorrect, demonstrating your understanding of the subject. The structure of the body text should be logical, moving from one argument to another with effective connections such as “Furthermore”, “Notwithstanding”, “Moreover” or similar to ensure coherence of argument.

The conclusion to your debate essay should be a summing up of all the positive points you have made, reaffirming your stance on the issue and should refer back to your thesis statement or original question. This enables you to demonstrate that you have effectively provided a strong justification for your point of view and in so doing, persuaded the reader of the accuracy of your perspective and opinion.

Key Words for a Debate Essay

  • In the same way
  • On the other hand
  • Nevertheless
  • On the contrary
  • Subsequently
  • Specifically
  • Furthermore
  • In consequence

Tips For Writing A Debate Essay

An argumentative paper depends on various aspects that can either build the conversation or break it. Here is how to write a debate essay step by step and get your point through in a convincing manner:

  • Choose the topic wisely. Make sure it is a controversial topic that can have a debate both ways. You can pick any topic from child education to medicinal marijuana. The topic itself needs to have a compelling pull to keep the audience involved.
  • Once the topic is decided, figure out which side you are on. For topics like domestic violence, most people will be against it, but you can still create an argument around it confidently.
  • Make sure you have done your research to articulate the facts and stats which go both in favour and against the topic. Your opponents may have a different perspective than you, but if you have solid grounds that can prove your stance, you can make them agree with you.
  • Know your audience. The readers of your essay will be very crucial to you building your argument. If you are writing a term paper, you may focus more on sentence building, structuring, and formatting. But if you are drafting for a competition, you need solid supporting research which can be cited and argued.
  • Have your facts ready. Without figures and numbers, a paper loses credibility. It becomes more of an opinion-piece than a debate essay grounded in facts.
  • The last, the most important factor. Select an issue you are most passionate about. If you feel strongly about it, you will be able to express your thoughts and also be able to research it with dedication.

Consider these tips combined when you think about how to make a debate essay convincing and interesting. Don’t forget, your opponent may not agree at all with your verdict, but at least you would present your vision with strong arguments and leave a good impression on the readers.

Mastering Your Argumentative Essay Conclusion: Tips & Techniques


Table of contents

  • 1.1 Steps to Writing an Argumentative Essay Conclusion
  • 2 How to Restate a Thesis Statement
  • 3.1 Know how to structure your paper
  • 4.1 Example 1
  • 4.2 Example 2
  • 4.3 Example 3
  • 4.4 Examples 4, 5
  • 5 How to Finish an Argumentative Project Conclusion Paragraph

Want to write a perfect conclusion for your paper but don’t know how? Everyone has been there, and it’s never easy. It is the final part of your writing, so by the time you reach it, you have no energy and can’t focus.

Still, the conclusion part is crucial for the success of every paper. You have to give the final answer to the audience by restating your thesis and noting your claims and findings. If you think you can’t write one, you’d better buy an argumentative essay online and solve your problems.

In this article, you will find everything you need to know about a conclusion to an argumentative essay and how to write it.

What to Write in the Conclusion for an Argumentative Essay

To write a conclusion argumentative essay, you first need to recall all the key points of your essay.

Except for those basic points, knowing how to conclude an argumentative essay also requires a few more things:

The first thing to pay attention to is your tone of writing. Make sure it is authoritative yet calm and informative. This way, you will assure readers that your work is essential for the case.

Next is your first sentence. How you start your conclusion does matter. You need to state what you did and why. That will remind the readers once again about what they have read.

After you write it, you will need to point out the key findings of your writing. You must note the important evidence you have written about in your paper. Keep it brief and connect them to your text conclusion.

The last step is to finish the conclusion of your argumentative essay in a meaningful way. Ensure a positive final sentence to make the reader reflect on your work and make them act.

Thus, writing a conclusion for an argumentative essay is a complex process. It can be not easy to come up with a good conclusion on your own, so don’t hesitate to seek  essay assistance if you need it.

Author Note: Make sure not to present any new arguments or claims in the conclusion. This section of your paper is your final opinion. Writing further details, ideas, or irrelevant findings can ruin the text.

Steps to Writing an Argumentative Essay Conclusion

Your conclusion should convincingly summarize your viewpoint. Here’s a simplified way to approach it:

  • Briefly restate the importance of your topic.
  • Summarize your thesis statement again.
  • Acknowledge opposing views to strengthen your argument.
  • Suggest actions to be taken or hint at further exploration.

How to Restate a Thesis Statement

  • Choose the Right Location:

Place your restated thesis statement where it fits best. Often, it works well at the start of the conclusion, but not always. First, draft a rough conclusion to find the ideal spot. Consider opening with a rhetorical question instead, depending on your paper’s structure.

  • Leverage Your Paper’s Content:

Use the full context of your paper to enhance your thesis restatement. Now that your readers have the full information, you can deepen the impact of your argument.

  • Clarify the Significance:

Address why your argument matters. Answer the “So what?” question by linking back to the broader implications of your thesis.

  • Avoid Common Clichés:

Start your conclusion without clichéd phrases like “In conclusion” or “As this paper has shown.” These phrases can undermine the strength of your restatement.

  • Maintain Confidence:

Assert your thesis confidently without hedging with phrases like “It seems like.” However, recognize opposing views respectfully to avoid alienating your readers.

how to write a conclusion for a debate essay

How to Format the Conclusion of an Argumentative Essay?

To format a conclusion, you have to follow a well-established standard. The best essay conclusions include a “lead” (opening statement). Then point out one vital factor from your paragraph. Usually, one point per paragraph, no more, or it will get too bulky. Finally, add an appropriate finale that will serve as a smooth exit of the whole paper, the final sentence.

By using the standard format, you will have an easier time when you have to write an argumentative essay conclusion. You can focus on the facts and tailor them to appeal to readers. That will re-convince them about your point for the case.

Here we can add that the final sentence should not always be smooth and friendly. When your conclusion tone is assertive, write the final part of the finale as a call to action—an attempt to affect the reader and make them want to research. To find out more about the matter or even take a stand with their own opinion.

Know how to structure your paper

  • 12-point Times New Roman
  • 0″ between paragraphs
  • 1″ margin all around
  • double-spaced (275 words/page) / single-spaced (550 words/page)
  • 0.5″ first line of a paragraph

Knowing the exact way to structure a conclusion in an argumentative essay is crucial. Someone may say that it is not important. But this is one of the first things people pay attention to. So, you have to format the paper and its main points properly. In any assignment, the style of the text adheres to strict requirements. Usually, you can find them by asking your professor or checking the educational institution’s website.

In that sense, you must stick to proper formatting when writing a perfect argumentative essay . To get the best grade, you have to use the  recommended formatting style , which can be APA, AP, or other. So remember, following the proper structure and formatting can make the critical points of your work stand out. As a result, your paper will look better, and your paper results will score higher.

Writing a perfect conclusion for your paper can be difficult, especially when you have no energy and can’t focus. Fortunately, is here to help. Our experienced writers can provide you with an excellent conclusion for your paper so that you can confidently submit it.


Essay Conclusion Examples

If you are still trying to figure out what your conclusion should look like, check below. We have prepared how-to-end argumentative essay examples . These can give you an idea about the structure and format of your paper’s final point.

In this particular sample, the case is about global warming. So, the essay’s conclusion has to give a compelling reason why the reader and the public should act and prevent the issue. You must remember that what you write depends on the type of paper and should be unique.

“Throughout our text, we pointed out findings about the impact of global warming. Nature cannot sustain itself in the ever-changing climate. The ice caps melt, and the shorelines deteriorate, thus causing the extinction of both flora and fauna. Due to the persisting crisis, we must take action and use the best methods to protect the future of our planet.”

Some papers involve public policies and morals. In such cases, you must write in a tone that will feel morally right but will support and justify your arguments. Usually, you write such papers when your topic is pointing towards persuasion. Below, you can see an argumentative essay conclusion example for such texts.

“As time goes on, technology has changed how we, as a society, receive and use information. Media’s influence has been increasing throughout the social applications we use daily. The said impacts public opinion, as we can see from the participants in our study group. Most have stated that their primary information source is social media. These media get large funds from private entities to filter your content. This way, you see their ideas and become part of their audience. If you like your news free of filtering and want truthful information, you must act now and ensure your rights.”

At one point or another, you will get an assignment to help with your career objectives. Usually, it is connected to your writing as you have to research specific matters. For example, bring out your point of view and make conclusions. You can quickly implement such tasks in essays like the argumentative one. Thus, you have to be ready to write a conclusion of an argumentative essay that can fit well and is decisive.

“Often, when you get the opportunity to launch a new business, you must grab it. Plan business meetings, solve the x, y, and z obstacles, and speed up the process. Business is about profit, producing more revenue, and creating an easily manageable structure. If you choose to act on a different undertaking, there will be risks a or b, which can lead to overstepping the estimated budgets.”
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Examples 4, 5

As seen, the conclusion of an argumentative essay may reflect your moral choices. In other cases, on a figure of speech and even sensitivity towards an issue.

So, some good argumentative essay topics need an emotional appeal to the reader. It’s important to present your views effectively and respectfully. But, no matter your point, it is crucial to state your ideas without offending anyone else.

“The right to give birth or not is fundamental for women. They must have it ensured. Otherwise, they have no control or option in their social relationships. The analysis showcases how an unwanted pregnancy can influence and determine the life of a young woman and her child. So without guaranteed rights, women are forced to use dangerous methods to retake ownership of their body, and that must change.” “Life is not a choice given by someone. It is a fundamental right guaranteed by the law. In that sense, denying an unborn child’s right to life is identical to denying any other person’s rights. Furthermore, studies have long proven that life begins with its inception. Therefore, carrying out policies of pro-choice is like murder. With that in mind, saving the unborn by speaking out for them is like giving their rights a voice.”

How to Finish an Argumentative Project Conclusion Paragraph

How to end an argumentative essay? A strong conclusion is key. The final sentence should deeply impact your reader, often ending smoothly yet with a call to action that compels them to think or act. In other cases, the call to action is intense. It could be smoother, but its main goal is to influence the audience to contemplate and act.

It should look like, “ If we don’t do it now, we won’t be able to act in the future. ” If your sentence cuts the flow of the whole text, it will not appeal to your reader.  If you are having trouble crafting the perfect conclusion for your argumentative essay, you can always pay for essay help from a professional writer to get the job done right.

Now you understand how to write a conclusion for an argumentative essay, but remember to catch up on the whole paper flow and finish it in the same tone. Use the call to action sentence and exit your essay smoothly while giving the readers ideas and making them think about the case. If you can’t, please check our argumentative essay writing services , which can easily tackle the task. Note that by getting it done by a professional, you can learn from examples. Besides, the text can get done in a few hours.


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How to Write an Argumentative Essay


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how to write a conclusion for a debate essay

how to write a conclusion for a debate essay

How to Write a Conclusion for an Essay - Tips and Examples

how to write a conclusion for a debate essay

The conclusion of your essay is like the grand finale of a fireworks display. It's the last impression you leave on your reader, the moment that ties everything together and leaves them with a lasting impact. 

But for many writers, crafting a conclusion can feel like an afterthought, a hurdle to jump after the excitement of developing the main body of their work. Fear not! This article will equip you with the tools and techniques regarding how to write a conclusion for an essay that effectively summarizes your main points, strengthens your argument, and leaves your reader feeling satisfied and engaged.

What Is a Conclusion

In an essay, the conclusion acts as your final curtain call. It's where you revisit your initial claim (thesis), condense your main supporting arguments, and leave the reader with a lasting takeaway. 

Imagine it as the bridge that connects your ideas to a broader significance. A well-crafted conclusion does more than simply summarize; it elevates your points and offers a sense of closure, ensuring the reader leaves with a clear understanding of your argument's impact. In the next section, you will find conclusion ideas that you could use for your essay.

Please note that our online paper writing service can provide you not only with a stand-alone conclusion but with a fully new composition as well!

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Types of Conclusion

Here's a breakdown of various conclusion types, each serving a distinct purpose:

Technique Description Example
📣 Call to Action Encourage readers to take a specific step. "Let's work together to protect endangered species by supporting conservation efforts."
❓ Provocative Question Spark curiosity with a lingering question. "With artificial intelligence rapidly evolving, will creativity remain a uniquely human trait?"
💡 Universal Insight Connect your argument to a broader truth. "The lessons learned from history remind us that even small acts of courage can inspire change."
🔮 Future Implications Discuss the potential consequences of your topic. "The rise of automation may force us to redefine the concept of work in the coming decades."
🌍 Hypothetical Scenario Use a "what if" scenario to illustrate your point. "Imagine a world where everyone had access to clean water. How would it impact global health?"

How Long Should a Conclusion Be

The ideal length of a conclusion depends on the overall length of your essay, but there are some general guidelines:

  • Shorter Essays (500-750 words): Aim for 3-5 sentences. This ensures you effectively wrap up your points without adding unnecessary content.
  • Medium Essays (750-1200 words): Here, you can expand to 5-8 sentences. This provides more space to elaborate on your concluding thought or call to action.
  • Longer Essays (1200+ words): For these, you can have a conclusion of 8-10 sentences. This allows for a more comprehensive summary or a more nuanced exploration of the future implications or broader significance of your topic.

Here are some additional factors to consider:

  • The complexity of your argument: If your essay explores a multifaceted topic, your conclusion might need to be slightly longer to address all the points adequately.
  • Type of conclusion: A call to action or a hypothetical scenario might require a few extra sentences for elaboration compared to a simple summary.

Remember: The most important aspect is ensuring your conclusion effectively summarizes your main points, leaves a lasting impression, and doesn't feel rushed or tacked on.

Here's a helpful rule of thumb:

  • Keep it proportional: Your conclusion should be roughly 5-10% of your total essay length.

How many sentences should a conclusion be?

Essay Length 📝 Recommended Sentence Range 📏
Shorter Essays (500-750 words) 🎈 3-5 sentences
Medium Essays (750-1200 words) 📚 5-8 sentences
Longer Essays (1200+ words) 🏰 8-10 sentences

Conclusion Transition Words

Transition words for conclusion act like signposts for your reader. They smoothly guide them from the main body of your essay to your closing thoughts, ensuring a clear and logical flow of ideas. Here are some transition words specifically suited for concluding your essay:

Technique 🎯 Examples 📝
Summarizing & Restating 📋
Leaving the Reader with a Lasting Impression 🎨
Looking to the Future 🔮
Leaving the Reader with a Question ❓
Adding Emphasis 💡

Remember, the best transition word will depend on the specific type of conclusion you're aiming for.

How to Write a Conclusion

Every essay or dissertation writer knows that the toughest part of working on a conclusion can be striking the right balance. You want to effectively summarize your main points without redundancy, leaving a lasting impression that feels fresh and impactful, all within a concise and focused section. Here’s a step-by-step guide to help you write a stunning essay conclusion:

How to Write a Conclusion

Restate Your Thesis

Briefly remind your reader of your essay's central claim. This doesn't have to be a word-for-word repetition but a concise restatement that refreshes their memory.

Summarize Key Points

In a few sentences, revisit the main arguments you used to support your thesis. When writing a conclusion, don't get bogged down in details, but offer a high-level overview that reinforces your essay's focus.

Leave a Lasting Impression

This is where your knowledge of how to write a good conclusion can shine! Consider a thought-provoking question, a call to action, or a connection to a broader truth—something that lingers in the reader's mind and resonates beyond the final sentence.

Avoid Introducing New Information

The conclusion paragraph shouldn't introduce entirely new ideas. Stick to wrapping up your existing arguments and leaving a final thought.

Ensure Flow and Readability

Transition smoothly from the main body of your essay to the conclusion. Use transition words like "in conclusion," "finally," or "as a result," and ensure your closing sentences feel natural and well-connected to the rest of your work.

Note that you can simply buy essay at any time and focus on other more important assignments or just enjoy your free time.

Conclusion Paragraph Outline

Here's an outline to help you better understand how to write a conclusion paragraph:

Step 🚶 Description 📝
1. Revisit Your Thesis (1-2 sentences) 🎯
2. Summarize Key Points (1-2 sentences) 🔑
3. Lasting Impression (2-3 sentences) 💡 This is where you leave your reader with a final thought. Choose one or a combination of these options: Urge readers to take a specific action related to your topic. Spark curiosity with a lingering question that encourages further exploration. Connect your arguments to a broader truth or principle. Discuss the potential long-term consequences of your topic. Evoke a strong feeling (sadness, anger, hope) for a lasting impact. Conclude with a relevant quote that reinforces your key points or offers a new perspective.
4. Final Touch (Optional - 1 sentence) 🎀 This is not essential but can be a powerful way to end your essay. Consider a: that summarizes your main point in a memorable way. (simile, metaphor) that leaves a lasting impression. that invites the reader to ponder the topic further.
  • Tailor the length of your conclusion to your essay's overall length (shorter essays: 3-5 sentences, longer essays: 8-10 sentences).
  • Ensure a smooth transition from the main body using transition words.
  • Avoid introducing new information; focus on wrapping up your existing points.
  • Proofread for clarity and ensure your conclusion ties everything together and delivers a final impactful statement.

Read more: Persuasive essay outline . 

Do’s and Don’ts of Essay Conclusion Writing

According to professional term paper writers , a strong conclusion is essential for leaving a lasting impression on your reader. Here's a list of action items you should and shouldn’t do when writing an essay conclusion:

Dos ✅ Don'ts ❌
Restate your thesis in a new way. 🔄 Remind the reader of your central claim, but rephrase it to avoid redundancy. Simply repeat your thesis word-for-word. This lacks originality and doesn't offer a fresh perspective.
Summarize your key points concisely. 📝 Briefly revisit the main arguments used to support your thesis. Rehash every detail from your essay. 🔍 Focus on a high-level overview to reinforce your essay's main points.
Leave a lasting impression. 💡 Spark curiosity with a question, propose a call to action, or connect your arguments to a broader truth. End with a bland statement. 😐 Avoid generic closings like "In conclusion..." or "This is important because...".
Ensure a smooth transition. 🌉 Use transition words like "finally," "as a result," or "in essence" to connect your conclusion to the main body. Introduce entirely new information. ⚠️ The conclusion should wrap up existing arguments, not introduce new ideas.
Proofread for clarity and flow. 🔍 Ensure your conclusion feels natural and well-connected to the rest of your work. Leave grammatical errors or awkward phrasing. 🚫 Edit and revise for a polished final sentence.

Conclusion Examples

A strong conclusion isn't just an afterthought – it's the capstone of your essay. Here are five examples of conclusion paragraphs for essays showcasing different techniques to craft a powerful closing to make your essay stand out.

1. Call to Action: (Essay About the Importance of Recycling)

In conclusion, the environmental impact of our waste is undeniable. We all have a responsibility to adopt sustainable practices. We can collectively make a significant difference by incorporating simple changes like recycling into our daily routines. Join the movement – choose to reuse, reduce, and recycle.

2. Provocative Question: (Essay Exploring the Potential Consequences of Artificial Intelligence)

As artificial intelligence rapidly evolves, it's crucial to consider its impact on humanity. While AI holds immense potential for progress, will it remain a tool for good, or will it eventually surpass human control? This question demands our collective attention, as the decisions we make today will shape the future of AI and its impact on our world.

3. Universal Insight: (Essay Analyzing a Historical Event)

The study of history offers valuable lessons that transcend time. The events of the [insert historical event] remind us that even small acts of defiance can have a ripple effect, inspiring change and ultimately leading to a brighter future. Every voice has the power to make a difference, and courage can be contagious.

4. Future Implications: (Essay Discussing the Rise of Social Media)

Social media's explosive growth has transformed how we connect and consume information. While these platforms offer undeniable benefits, their long-term effects on social interaction, mental health, and political discourse require careful consideration. As social media continues to evolve, we must remain vigilant and ensure it remains a tool for positive connection and not a source of division.

5. Hypothetical Scenario: (Essay Arguing for the Importance of Space Exploration)

Imagine a world where our understanding of the universe is limited to Earth. We miss out on the potential for groundbreaking discoveries in physics, medicine, and our place in the cosmos. By continuing to venture beyond our planet, we push the boundaries of human knowledge and inspire future generations to reach for the stars.

Recommended for reading: Nursing essay examples .

Difference Between Good and Weak Conclusions

Not all conclusions are created equal. A weak ending can leave your reader feeling stranded, unsure of where your essay has taken them. Conversely, writing a conclusion that is strong acts as a landing pad, summarizing your key points and leaving a lasting impression.

⚠️ Weak Conclusion ❓ What's Wrong with It? ✅ Good Conclusion
In conclusion, exercise is good for you. It helps you stay healthy and fit. By incorporating regular exercise into our routines, we boost our physical health and energy levels and enhance our mental well-being and resilience. (Rephrased thesis & highlights benefits.)
This event was very significant and had a big impact on history. The [name of historical event] marked a turning point in [explain the historical period]. Its impact resonates today, influencing [mention specific consequences or ongoing effects]. (Connects to specifics & broader significance.)
Throughout this essay, we've discussed the good and bad sides of social media. While social media offers undeniable benefits like connection and information sharing, its impact on mental health, privacy, and political discourse necessitates responsible use and ongoing discussions about its role in society. (Connects arguments to broader issues & future implications.)

Nailed that essay? Don't blow it with a lame ending! A good conclusion is like the mic drop at the end of a rap song. It reminds the reader of your main points but in a cool new way. Throw in a thought-provoking question, a call to action, or a connection to something bigger, and you'll leave them thinking long after they turn the page.

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How To Write A Conclusion For An Essay?

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

Daniel Parker

Daniel Parker

is a seasoned educational writer focusing on scholarship guidance, research papers, and various forms of academic essays including reflective and narrative essays. His expertise also extends to detailed case studies. A scholar with a background in English Literature and Education, Daniel’s work on EssayPro blog aims to support students in achieving academic excellence and securing scholarships. His hobbies include reading classic literature and participating in academic forums.

how to write a conclusion for a debate essay

is an expert in nursing and healthcare, with a strong background in history, law, and literature. Holding advanced degrees in nursing and public health, his analytical approach and comprehensive knowledge help students navigate complex topics. On EssayPro blog, Adam provides insightful articles on everything from historical analysis to the intricacies of healthcare policies. In his downtime, he enjoys historical documentaries and volunteering at local clinics.

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  • Ending the Essay: Conclusions | Harvard College Writing Center. (n.d.).

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How to Conclude an Essay (with Examples)

Last Updated: May 24, 2024 Fact Checked

Writing a Strong Conclusion

What to avoid, brainstorming tricks.

This article was co-authored by Jake Adams and by wikiHow staff writer, Aly Rusciano . Jake Adams is an academic tutor and the owner of Simplifi EDU, a Santa Monica, California based online tutoring business offering learning resources and online tutors for academic subjects K-College, SAT & ACT prep, and college admissions applications. With over 14 years of professional tutoring experience, Jake is dedicated to providing his clients the very best online tutoring experience and access to a network of excellent undergraduate and graduate-level tutors from top colleges all over the nation. Jake holds a BS in International Business and Marketing from Pepperdine University. There are 8 references cited in this article, which can be found at the bottom of the page. This article has been fact-checked, ensuring the accuracy of any cited facts and confirming the authority of its sources. This article has been viewed 3,214,366 times.

So, you’ve written an outstanding essay and couldn’t be more proud. But now you have to write the final paragraph. The conclusion simply summarizes what you’ve already written, right? Well, not exactly. Your essay’s conclusion should be a bit more finessed than that. Luckily, you’ve come to the perfect place to learn how to write a conclusion. We’ve put together this guide to fill you in on everything you should and shouldn’t do when ending an essay. Follow our advice, and you’ll have a stellar conclusion worthy of an A+ in no time.

Tips for Ending an Essay

  • Rephrase your thesis to include in your final paragraph to bring the essay full circle.
  • End your essay with a call to action, warning, or image to make your argument meaningful.
  • Keep your conclusion concise and to the point, so you don’t lose a reader’s attention.
  • Do your best to avoid adding new information to your conclusion and only emphasize points you’ve already made in your essay.

Step 1 Start with a small transition.

  • “All in all”
  • “Ultimately”
  • “Furthermore”
  • “As a consequence”
  • “As a result”

Step 2 Briefly summarize your essay’s main points.

  • Make sure to write your main points in a new and unique way to avoid repetition.

Step 3 Rework your thesis statement into the conclusion.

  • Let’s say this is your original thesis statement: “Allowing students to visit the library during lunch improves campus life and supports academic achievement.”
  • Restating your thesis for your conclusion could look like this: “Evidence shows students who have access to their school’s library during lunch check out more books and are more likely to complete their homework.”
  • The restated thesis has the same sentiment as the original while also summarizing other points of the essay.

Step 4 End with something meaningful.

  • “When you use plastic water bottles, you pollute the ocean. Switch to using a glass or metal water bottle instead. The planet and sea turtles will thank you.”
  • “The average person spends roughly 7 hours on their phone a day, so there’s no wonder cybersickness is plaguing all generations.”
  • “Imagine walking on the beach, except the soft sand is made up of cigarette butts. They burn your feet but keep washing in with the tide. If we don’t clean up the ocean, this will be our reality.”
  • “ Lost is not only a show that changed the course of television, but it’s also a reflection of humanity as a whole.”
  • “If action isn’t taken to end climate change today, the global temperature will dangerously rise from 4.5 to 8 °F (−15.3 to −13.3 °C) by 2100.”

Step 5 Keep it short and sweet.

  • Focus on your essay's most prevalent or important parts. What key points do you want readers to take away or remember about your essay?

Step 1 Popular concluding statements

  • For instance, instead of writing, “That’s why I think that Abraham Lincoln was the best American President,” write, “That’s why Abraham Lincoln was the best American President.”
  • There’s no room for ifs, ands, or buts—your opinion matters and doesn’t need to be apologized for!

Step 6 Quotations

  • For instance, words like “firstly,” “secondly,” and “thirdly” may be great transition statements for body paragraphs but are unnecessary in a conclusion.

Step 1 Ask yourself, “So what?”

  • For instance, say you began your essay with the idea that humanity’s small sense of sense stems from space’s vast size. Try returning to this idea in the conclusion by emphasizing that as human knowledge grows, space becomes smaller.

Step 4 Think about your essay’s argument in a broader “big picture” context.

  • For example, you could extend an essay on the television show Orange is the New Black by bringing up the culture of imprisonment in America.

Community Q&A

wikiHow Staff Editor

  • Always review your essay after writing it for proper grammar, spelling, and punctuation, and don’t be afraid to revise. Thanks Helpful 0 Not Helpful 0

Tips from our Readers

  • Have somebody else proofread your essay before turning it in. The other person will often be able to see errors you may have missed!

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Jake Adams

To end an essay, start your conclusion with a phrase that makes it clear your essay is coming to a close, like "In summary," or "All things considered." Then, use a few sentences to briefly summarize the main points of your essay by rephrasing the topic sentences of your body paragraphs. Finally, end your conclusion with a call to action that encourages your readers to do something or learn more about your topic. In general, try to keep your conclusion between 5 and 7 sentences long. For more tips from our English co-author, like how to avoid common pitfalls when writing an essay conclusion, scroll down! Did this summary help you? Yes No

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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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So much is at stake in writing a conclusion. This is, after all, your last chance to persuade your readers to your point of view, to impress yourself upon them as a writer and thinker. And the impression you create in your conclusion will shape the impression that stays with your readers after they've finished the essay.

The end of an essay should therefore convey a sense of completeness and closure as well as a sense of the lingering possibilities of the topic, its larger meaning, its implications: the final paragraph should close the discussion without closing it off.

To establish a sense of closure, you might do one or more of the following:

  • Conclude by linking the last paragraph to the first, perhaps by reiterating a word or phrase you used at the beginning.
  • Conclude with a sentence composed mainly of one-syllable words. Simple language can help create an effect of understated drama.
  • Conclude with a sentence that's compound or parallel in structure; such sentences can establish a sense of balance or order that may feel just right at the end of a complex discussion.

To close the discussion without closing it off, you might do one or more of the following:

  • Conclude with a quotation from or reference to a primary or secondary source, one that amplifies your main point or puts it in a different perspective. A quotation from, say, the novel or poem you're writing about can add texture and specificity to your discussion; a critic or scholar can help confirm or complicate your final point. For example, you might conclude an essay on the idea of home in James Joyce's short story collection,  Dubliners , with information about Joyce's own complex feelings towards Dublin, his home. Or you might end with a biographer's statement about Joyce's attitude toward Dublin, which could illuminate his characters' responses to the city. Just be cautious, especially about using secondary material: make sure that you get the last word.
  • Conclude by setting your discussion into a different, perhaps larger, context. For example, you might end an essay on nineteenth-century muckraking journalism by linking it to a current news magazine program like  60 Minutes .
  • Conclude by redefining one of the key terms of your argument. For example, an essay on Marx's treatment of the conflict between wage labor and capital might begin with Marx's claim that the "capitalist economy is . . . a gigantic enterprise of dehumanization "; the essay might end by suggesting that Marxist analysis is itself dehumanizing because it construes everything in economic -- rather than moral or ethical-- terms.
  • Conclude by considering the implications of your argument (or analysis or discussion). What does your argument imply, or involve, or suggest? For example, an essay on the novel  Ambiguous Adventure , by the Senegalese writer Cheikh Hamidou Kane, might open with the idea that the protagonist's development suggests Kane's belief in the need to integrate Western materialism and Sufi spirituality in modern Senegal. The conclusion might make the new but related point that the novel on the whole suggests that such an integration is (or isn't) possible.

Finally, some advice on how not to end an essay:

  • Don't simply summarize your essay. A brief summary of your argument may be useful, especially if your essay is long--more than ten pages or so. But shorter essays tend not to require a restatement of your main ideas.
  • Avoid phrases like "in conclusion," "to conclude," "in summary," and "to sum up." These phrases can be useful--even welcome--in oral presentations. But readers can see, by the tell-tale compression of the pages, when an essay is about to end. You'll irritate your audience if you belabor the obvious.
  • Resist the urge to apologize. If you've immersed yourself in your subject, you now know a good deal more about it than you can possibly include in a five- or ten- or 20-page essay. As a result, by the time you've finished writing, you may be having some doubts about what you've produced. (And if you haven't immersed yourself in your subject, you may be feeling even more doubtful about your essay as you approach the conclusion.) Repress those doubts. Don't undercut your authority by saying things like, "this is just one approach to the subject; there may be other, better approaches. . ."

Copyright 1998, Pat Bellanca, for the Writing Center at Harvard University

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How to Write a Conclusion - Steps with Examples

I remember my college days when one of the most dreadful assignments was writing a research paper. It made me wonder if there was an easier way to help me through it. The worst part was writing the conclusion, which meant wrapping up the entire paper and finally drawing conclusions. It sounds pretty intimidating, doesn't it? How are you supposed to fit all that information into such a short space, and what else might you be missing? In this guide, I will show you how to write a conclusion so you can spare yourself from the distress of it all.

What to Include/ Not Include in a Conclusion?

Professors often stress a lot on writing a good conclusion that includes a wrap-up for your paper or essay. These are some factors you must consider to include in your conclusion:

Restate Your Thesis:

Begin by restating the main argument or thesis of your paper. This reinforces the central point you have been arguing throughout your work.

Summarize Key Points:

Provide a concise summary of the key points and findings from your paper. Highlight the most significant pieces of evidence that support your thesis.

Discuss the Implications:

Explain the broader implications of your findings. How do they contribute to the field of study? What practical applications or theoretical advancements arise from your research?

Address Limitations:

Acknowledge any limitations or weaknesses in your study. This demonstrates a critical and reflective approach to your research and provides a foundation for future work.

Suggest Future Research:

Propose areas for future research. What questions remain unanswered? What further investigations could build on your findings?

End with a Strong Closing Statement:

Conclude with a strong, impactful statement that leaves a lasting impression on your reader. This could be a call to action, a prediction, or a thought-provoking question related to your research topic.

There may also be certain things you would unknowingly add in your conclusion that would ultimately leave a bad impression on the reader. Keep these factors in mind so you may avoid when writing your conclusion for your paper:

New Information:

Avoid introducing new information or ideas that were not covered in the body of the paper. The conclusion is for synthesizing and reflecting on the information already presented.

Detailed Methodology:

Do not include detailed descriptions of your research methods. This information belongs in the methodology section of your paper.

Repetitive Summaries:

Refrain from simply reiterating points that were already made in the results or discussion sections. Instead, focus on synthesizing the information and highlighting its significance.

Speculative Statements:

Avoid idle speculation or guesswork about potential outcomes or implications that are not supported by your research findings.

Apologies or Undermining Your Work:

Do not undermine your work by apologizing for any perceived shortcomings. Present your conclusions confidently and assert the value of your research.

Excessive Length:

Keep the conclusion concise and to the point. Long, drawn-out conclusions can dilute the impact of your final statements.

To put things into perspective, here's what a good and bad conclusion example look like:

Good Example:

Bad Example:

Types of Conclusion

Summarizing conclusion:.

This type is the most common and involves summarizing the main points of the research, reiterating the research question, and restating the significance of the findings.

It is broadly used across different disciplines.

Example: If a study investigated the impact of social media on adolescents' mental health, a summarizing conclusion would reiterate key findings, such as the association between high social media use and increased anxiety and depression levels among adolescents, and emphasize the importance of these findings for developing effective interventions.

Editorial Conclusion:

This type is used less frequently and is suited for research papers that advocate for a particular viewpoint or policy. It presents a strong editorial opinion based on the research findings and offers recommendations or calls to action.

It is suitable for papers focusing on policy recommendations or advocating a specific viewpoint.

Example: For a study on the environmental impact of plastic waste, an editorial conclusion might call for a comprehensive ban on single-use plastics and increased recycling initiatives, urging governments, businesses, and individuals to take immediate action to protect the environment.

Externalizing Conclusion:

This type extends the research beyond the scope of the paper by suggesting future research directions or discussing broader implications of the findings. It is often used in theoretical or exploratory research papers.

It is Ideal for theoretical or exploratory studies.

Example: In a study exploring AI applications in healthcare, an externalizing conclusion might suggest future research into the ethical, legal, and social implications of AI in healthcare and emphasize the need for interdisciplinary collaboration to harness AI's potential while addressing its challenges.

How to Write a Conclusion in 4 Steps [With Examples]

Writing a conclusion may seem a bit tricky, but once you fully understand the essence of what goes into a conclusion, it will become much easier. To demonstrate how to write a conclusion, I will be using WPS Office , a tool designed to be convenient for students, thanks to its easy-to-use interface and free features. You can also utilize WPS AI, as I am in these simple 4 steps, to make the entire process smoother for yourself.

Step 1: Restate The Thesis Statement

Start your conclusion by restating the thesis statement of your research paper. This reminds the reader of the main focus and purpose of your study.

Example: If your thesis statement is "This study investigates the impact of social media on adolescents' mental health, revealing a significant association between high social media usage and increased levels of anxiety and depression.", you can use WPS AI to help improve and rewrite your thesis statement.

Here's how WPS AI can assist you with your thesis statement.

Write your thesis statement in WPS Writer and select the entire text using your mouse.

After selecting the text, a small hover menu will appear. Click on the "WPS AI" icon in this menu.

This will open a list of AI assistance options you can choose from. To ask WPS AI to improve your thesis statement, click on "Improve Writing".

WPS AI will process and return an improved thesis statement. If you don’t like the improved version, click on "Rewrite", or click on "Accept" to replace your text with the improved version.

Step 2: Review Main Supporting Points

Next, we need to summarize the key points of our research. When summarizing the key findings of your research, it’s important to highlight the most significant results and their implications.

Example: Let's say that from our research the most important findings were:

The study found that high social media usage negatively affects adolescents' self-esteem due to constant exposure to idealized images and lifestyles.

Excessive use of social media, particularly before bedtime, was linked to disrupted sleep patterns and insufficient rest, contributing to mental health issues.

Despite being a tool for connection, high social media usage can lead to feelings of loneliness and social isolation as face-to-face interactions decrease.

Here's how WPS AI can assist you summarize the key points of your research for your conclusion.

Let's switch to WPS Office again, and this time let's select the key points that we have written down from our research.

Click on the WPS AI icon from the hover menu to open the list of options you can choose from.

From the list, let's click on "Summarize" to shorten and summarize the key points from our research.

You can now choose to either accept or ask WPS AI to rewrite this summary of key points again.

Step 3: Show Why It Matters

Now that you have laid out all the findings from your paper and WPS AI has effectively summarized them, you can further prompt it to broaden the implications of your findings and follow up with real-world problems.

To get real-world insights using WPS AI, follow these steps:

Click on the WPS AI widget at the top right corner of the WPS Writer interface.

The WPS AI pane will open on the right. Here, simply type in your prompt. Here is an example of a prompt:

"Explain the significance of high social media usage leading to increased anxiety and depression in adolescents, and discuss potential real-world problems and solutions."

WPS AI will display the results, which can now be a part of your summary or can be further summarized or improved with the help of WPS AI.

Step 4: Offer Meaningful Insights

Lastly, provide some final thoughts or insights that will leave a lasting impression on your reader. This can include suggestions for future research, practical applications of your findings, or a call to action based on your conclusions.

Example: Here is an example of how Meaningful Insights can be presented:

Further research is needed to explore the long-term effects of social media usage on adolescent mental health and to identify effective interventions.

Developing and promoting apps that encourage healthy social media use and provide mental health support could mitigate the negative effects identified in the study.

Stakeholders, including policymakers, educators, and parents, should collaborate to create environments that foster healthy digital habits and support adolescents' mental health.

Now, with the help of WPS AI, these points can simply be summarized to get more concise and structured Meaningful Insights for our conclusion.

Bonus Tips: How to Polish your Conclusion with WPS AI

Writing a strong conclusion for your research paper is crucial, and WPS Office is designed to be exceptionally student-friendly. It offers accessible options and advanced features for free, making it an excellent tool for students. One of the standout features is WPS AI, which integrates AI into its writing and proofreading abilities.

Draft Generation: WPS AI can assist you in writing a conclusion by generating an initial draft. This draft serves as a solid foundation, ensuring that all essential elements are included and properly structured.

Grammar and Style Check: WPS AI can identify grammar errors, awkward phrasing, and inconsistencies in your conclusion paragraph. This ensures that your writing is polished and professional.

Sentence Structure Enhancement: The AI can suggest improvements to sentence structures, helping you to vary sentence lengths and styles for better readability and flow. This makes your conclusion more engaging and easier to read.

Vocabulary Enhancement: WPS AI offers synonyms and alternative word choices to enhance the vocabulary in your conclusion, making your writing more sophisticated and engaging.

Clarity and Conciseness: WPS AI can help you refine your conclusion to ensure it effectively summarizes your main points without unnecessary repetition or tangents. This keeps your conclusion focused and impactful.

Refinement and Customization: Once WPS AI has generated the draft, you can refine and personalize it to align with your research and style. This step allows you to inject your voice and insights into the conclusion, making it uniquely yours.

Polishing and Proofreading: After refining the draft, you can use WPS AI to polish the conclusion further. WPS AI's advanced proofreading capabilities ensure that your conclusion is not only coherent and concise but also free of grammatical errors and stylistic inconsistencies.

ByIncorporating WPS AI into your writing routine you can significantly improve your efficiency and the overall quality of your academic work. You can streamline the process of writing your research paper conclusion, saving time and effort while ensuring a high-quality result. Whether you’re summarizing key findings, making policy recommendations, or suggesting future research directions, WPS AI helps you create a compelling and impactful conclusion.

So we have seen how WPS AI can help us write more effective and accurate conclusions, but is this all the help it offers? Absolutely not! With the help of WPS AI, you can further improve your conclusion by making it more fluent and easier to read.

Furthermore, WPS AI is not just a writing tool; it also offers AI spell check features, which can help students proofread their work according to their academic style such as APA, MLA, or Chicago style.

WPS Office has a lot to offer and is a perfect tool for students who need help writing not just effective conclusions but also effective research papers. So if you are stuck with a conclusion or a research paper, consider turning to WPS AI for help.

FAQs about writing a conclusion for paper/ essay

1. how long should a conclusion be.

A well-constructed conclusion typically constitutes approximately 10% of your document's total word count. For instance, in a 1,500-word paper, aim for a conclusion of about 150 words. This provides sufficient space to summarize key points and offer a final overview of the main ideas discussed.

2. How can I make my Conclusion impactful?

Here are some effective strategies for creating an impactful conclusion:

Utilize compelling language to engage the reader effectively.

Ensure the conclusion remains clear and concise, omitting insignificant specifics.

Conclude with a stimulating statement, a call to action, or a reflection on the broader implications of your research findings to make a lasting impact.

3. How do I avoid simply repeating what I've already said in the Conclusion?

To avoid repeating yourself in your conclusion, focus on cohesively summarizing your main ideas rather than reiterating them. Additionally, consider exploring the wider impact of your arguments or suggesting directions for future research on your topic. This approach ensures your conclusion provides fresh perspectives and maintains reader interest.

Perfect Your Conclusion With WPS Office

Your research paper is not complete without a strong conclusion. The person who reads your paper should feel like they have taken away significant key insights from your work. Writing an effective conclusion can sometimes be challenging, but WPS Office, with its AI capabilities, can assist you in helping you with how to write a conclusion to perfection. Incorporate WPS AI into your writing routine to significantly improve your efficiency and the overall quality of your academic work. Try WPS Office today and experience the benefits of AI-assisted writing firsthand.

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How to Write an Argumentative Essay | Examples & Tips

Published on July 24, 2020 by Jack Caulfield . Revised on July 23, 2023.

An argumentative essay expresses an extended argument for a particular thesis statement . The author takes a clearly defined stance on their subject and builds up an evidence-based case for it.

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Table of contents

When do you write an argumentative essay, approaches to argumentative essays, introducing your argument, the body: developing your argument, concluding your argument, other interesting articles, frequently asked questions about argumentative essays.

You might be assigned an argumentative essay as a writing exercise in high school or in a composition class. The prompt will often ask you to argue for one of two positions, and may include terms like “argue” or “argument.” It will frequently take the form of a question.

The prompt may also be more open-ended in terms of the possible arguments you could make.

Argumentative writing at college level

At university, the vast majority of essays or papers you write will involve some form of argumentation. For example, both rhetorical analysis and literary analysis essays involve making arguments about texts.

In this context, you won’t necessarily be told to write an argumentative essay—but making an evidence-based argument is an essential goal of most academic writing, and this should be your default approach unless you’re told otherwise.

Examples of argumentative essay prompts

At a university level, all the prompts below imply an argumentative essay as the appropriate response.

Your research should lead you to develop a specific position on the topic. The essay then argues for that position and aims to convince the reader by presenting your evidence, evaluation and analysis.

  • Don’t just list all the effects you can think of.
  • Do develop a focused argument about the overall effect and why it matters, backed up by evidence from sources.
  • Don’t just provide a selection of data on the measures’ effectiveness.
  • Do build up your own argument about which kinds of measures have been most or least effective, and why.
  • Don’t just analyze a random selection of doppelgänger characters.
  • Do form an argument about specific texts, comparing and contrasting how they express their thematic concerns through doppelgänger characters.

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An argumentative essay should be objective in its approach; your arguments should rely on logic and evidence, not on exaggeration or appeals to emotion.

There are many possible approaches to argumentative essays, but there are two common models that can help you start outlining your arguments: The Toulmin model and the Rogerian model.

Toulmin arguments

The Toulmin model consists of four steps, which may be repeated as many times as necessary for the argument:

  • Make a claim
  • Provide the grounds (evidence) for the claim
  • Explain the warrant (how the grounds support the claim)
  • Discuss possible rebuttals to the claim, identifying the limits of the argument and showing that you have considered alternative perspectives

The Toulmin model is a common approach in academic essays. You don’t have to use these specific terms (grounds, warrants, rebuttals), but establishing a clear connection between your claims and the evidence supporting them is crucial in an argumentative essay.

Say you’re making an argument about the effectiveness of workplace anti-discrimination measures. You might:

  • Claim that unconscious bias training does not have the desired results, and resources would be better spent on other approaches
  • Cite data to support your claim
  • Explain how the data indicates that the method is ineffective
  • Anticipate objections to your claim based on other data, indicating whether these objections are valid, and if not, why not.

Rogerian arguments

The Rogerian model also consists of four steps you might repeat throughout your essay:

  • Discuss what the opposing position gets right and why people might hold this position
  • Highlight the problems with this position
  • Present your own position , showing how it addresses these problems
  • Suggest a possible compromise —what elements of your position would proponents of the opposing position benefit from adopting?

This model builds up a clear picture of both sides of an argument and seeks a compromise. It is particularly useful when people tend to disagree strongly on the issue discussed, allowing you to approach opposing arguments in good faith.

Say you want to argue that the internet has had a positive impact on education. You might:

  • Acknowledge that students rely too much on websites like Wikipedia
  • Argue that teachers view Wikipedia as more unreliable than it really is
  • Suggest that Wikipedia’s system of citations can actually teach students about referencing
  • Suggest critical engagement with Wikipedia as a possible assignment for teachers who are skeptical of its usefulness.

You don’t necessarily have to pick one of these models—you may even use elements of both in different parts of your essay—but it’s worth considering them if you struggle to structure your arguments.

Regardless of which approach you take, your essay should always be structured using an introduction , a body , and a conclusion .

Like other academic essays, an argumentative essay begins with an introduction . The introduction serves to capture the reader’s interest, provide background information, present your thesis statement , and (in longer essays) to summarize the structure of the body.

Hover over different parts of the example below to see how a typical introduction works.

The spread of the internet has had a world-changing effect, not least on the world of education. The use of the internet in academic contexts is on the rise, and its role in learning is hotly debated. For many teachers who did not grow up with this technology, its effects seem alarming and potentially harmful. This concern, while understandable, is misguided. The negatives of internet use are outweighed by its critical benefits for students and educators—as a uniquely comprehensive and accessible information source; a means of exposure to and engagement with different perspectives; and a highly flexible learning environment.

The body of an argumentative essay is where you develop your arguments in detail. Here you’ll present evidence, analysis, and reasoning to convince the reader that your thesis statement is true.

In the standard five-paragraph format for short essays, the body takes up three of your five paragraphs. In longer essays, it will be more paragraphs, and might be divided into sections with headings.

Each paragraph covers its own topic, introduced with a topic sentence . Each of these topics must contribute to your overall argument; don’t include irrelevant information.

This example paragraph takes a Rogerian approach: It first acknowledges the merits of the opposing position and then highlights problems with that position.

Hover over different parts of the example to see how a body paragraph is constructed.

A common frustration for teachers is students’ use of Wikipedia as a source in their writing. Its prevalence among students is not exaggerated; a survey found that the vast majority of the students surveyed used Wikipedia (Head & Eisenberg, 2010). An article in The Guardian stresses a common objection to its use: “a reliance on Wikipedia can discourage students from engaging with genuine academic writing” (Coomer, 2013). Teachers are clearly not mistaken in viewing Wikipedia usage as ubiquitous among their students; but the claim that it discourages engagement with academic sources requires further investigation. This point is treated as self-evident by many teachers, but Wikipedia itself explicitly encourages students to look into other sources. Its articles often provide references to academic publications and include warning notes where citations are missing; the site’s own guidelines for research make clear that it should be used as a starting point, emphasizing that users should always “read the references and check whether they really do support what the article says” (“Wikipedia:Researching with Wikipedia,” 2020). Indeed, for many students, Wikipedia is their first encounter with the concepts of citation and referencing. The use of Wikipedia therefore has a positive side that merits deeper consideration than it often receives.

An argumentative essay ends with a conclusion that summarizes and reflects on the arguments made in the body.

No new arguments or evidence appear here, but in longer essays you may discuss the strengths and weaknesses of your argument and suggest topics for future research. In all conclusions, you should stress the relevance and importance of your argument.

Hover over the following example to see the typical elements of a conclusion.

The internet has had a major positive impact on the world of education; occasional pitfalls aside, its value is evident in numerous applications. The future of teaching lies in the possibilities the internet opens up for communication, research, and interactivity. As the popularity of distance learning shows, students value the flexibility and accessibility offered by digital education, and educators should fully embrace these advantages. The internet’s dangers, real and imaginary, have been documented exhaustively by skeptics, but the internet is here to stay; it is time to focus seriously on its potential for good.

If you want to know more about AI tools , college essays , or fallacies make sure to check out some of our other articles with explanations and examples or go directly to our tools!

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An argumentative essay tends to be a longer essay involving independent research, and aims to make an original argument about a topic. Its thesis statement makes a contentious claim that must be supported in an objective, evidence-based way.

An expository essay also aims to be objective, but it doesn’t have to make an original argument. Rather, it aims to explain something (e.g., a process or idea) in a clear, concise way. Expository essays are often shorter assignments and rely less on research.

At college level, you must properly cite your sources in all essays , research papers , and other academic texts (except exams and in-class exercises).

Add a citation whenever you quote , paraphrase , or summarize information or ideas from a source. You should also give full source details in a bibliography or reference list at the end of your text.

The exact format of your citations depends on which citation style you are instructed to use. The most common styles are APA , MLA , and Chicago .

The majority of the essays written at university are some sort of argumentative essay . Unless otherwise specified, you can assume that the goal of any essay you’re asked to write is argumentative: To convince the reader of your position using evidence and reasoning.

In composition classes you might be given assignments that specifically test your ability to write an argumentative essay. Look out for prompts including instructions like “argue,” “assess,” or “discuss” to see if this is the goal.

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How to Write a Debate Essay

Lori garrett-hatfield.

Debates have been common in the United States since the late 1850s.

"For good ideas and true innovation, you need human interaction, conflict, argument, debate." - Margaret Heffernan

Defending a debate position is something high school students need to master. While defending a position verbally is usually easy, defending on paper can be more difficult. With careful thought and preparation, writing a debate paper can increase confidence, debate and written skills. Researching a chosen or assigned debate paper topic needs to include information on the pros and cons of all sides of the argument.

Explore this article

  • Putting Together a Debate Paper
  • Writing the Debate Essay
  • Making A Rebuttal

1 Putting Together a Debate Paper

Researching a debate paper position helps students argue both sides in that paper. Take good notes on those research materials and write down sources for your information as you may want to cite them in your paper. As you research the main arguments, remember to look for supporting evidence. While the main argument in a debate paper is key, research for the argument response or rebuttal section needs that same evidence just as in a traditional debate speech.

2 Writing the Debate Essay

Next, write the introduction to the debate essay. The introduction tells your paper's reader what your chosen issue is and why the issue is important to you. Most importantly, the introduction explains your position on the issue is as well as providing a brief statement stating why you think you are correct. Also, write your body paragraphs. Each reason that you have for your position or each fact that you present needs to have its own body paragraph. When you state your reason or fact in the paragraph, you must be able to cite research in support of that data. In a debate paper, you cannot simply discuss emotional arguments or reactions to a topic.

3 Making A Rebuttal

As you would in a debate speech, draft a rebuttal paragraph or paragraphs to balance your own asserted arguments. A rebuttal paragraph addresses arguments that might arise from views on the opposite side of your asserted position. Construct the rebuttal paragraphs like the body paragraphs you have already written.

4 Conclusion

Write your conclusion. Be sure this last paragraph of your paper states the issue, your position, why it is important and why it is the correct one in your researched view. In the conclusion, one way to assert your position is by restating your thesis using different wording. If you have space to state why the opposing viewpoint is not correct, you can state that in the conclusion as well. The conclusion of your debate paper is also a place to discuss the need for further analysis, examination or citizen involvement of the presented issues. Stating those related concerns can also fit into this conclusion section.

  • 1 University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill: The Writing Center: Argument
  • 2 National Park Service: The Lincoln-Douglas Debates of 1858
  • 3 Seattle Pi: How to Write a Good Argumentative Essay
  • 4 Owlcation: How to Write an Argument Essay Step by Step

About the Author

Lori Garrett-Hatfield has a B.J. in Journalism from the University of Missouri. She has a Ph.D. in Adult Education from the University of Georgia. She has been working in the Education field since 1994, and has taught every grade level in the K-12 system, specializing in English education, and English as a Second Language education.

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How to End a Debate

Moderator Duties for a Debate

Moderator Duties for a Debate

Often, the most difficult part of any debate is trying to end it. With complex topics and moral or ethical considerations, it can be almost impossible to get either side to yield. But there are a few practical techniques you can use to try and draw the debate to a close, effectively silencing the politicians.

Get Everyone's Attention

Get the attention of the room by either raising your voice or standing up. Outline the need to end the debate by listing reasons simply. These could be anything from a lack of time to the need for an urgent resolution.

Set a Time Limit

Inform all opposing sides they will have a few minutes to summarize their arguments before the close of the debate and give them a specified time to discuss their arguments and gather information. Set ground rules for the summary, such as no interrupting of an opposing side. If necessary, outline the consequences if they do not follow your rules.

Time the Summary

Use a stopwatch and time each speaker as they give a summary of the main points of their argument. This way, all speakers get an equal opportunity to close and they won't be able to dispute that any side received an unfair advantage. If one person passes the time limit, politely interject and ask for a quick summary so the other party will have time to speak. Although debaters don't have to stick to the limit by the second, it's important to avoid one person talking endlessly at the expense of the other.

Take an Audience Vote

Make a visible list of the main points of each perspective as they summarize and display these, side by side in the same format, so it is easy to distinguish each perspective. Ask if there can be a resolve to the debate by a show of hands for a simple yes or no decision. If the majority votes no, conclude the debate with the reasons why not. If the vote is yes, give extra time for each side to create a list of concessions. To speed things up, agree on a number to list.

Come to a Final Agreement

Set a time limit for extra discussion and count down at regular intervals until each party has reached a common ground. Time and verbalize the final agreement. If the debate consists of many minor details, determine a future timeline to have any necessary documents or drafts completed.

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How to Write a Good Conclusion For a Lab Report

How to Write a Good Conclusion For a Lab Report

Writing a good conclusion for your science lab report can be the difference between a good grade and a great one. It's your last chance to show you understand the experiment and why it matters. This article will help you learn how to write a lab conclusion that sums up your work and shows your teacher that you understood what you did.

What Should Be in Your Lab Report Conclusion?

A good lab report conclusion wraps up your lab work in a neat package. When you're thinking about how to write a conclusion for a lab report, focus on four main things. First, remind everyone in a sentence or two of your experiment objectives. Then, quickly mention how you did the experiment and what you found out, but don't introduce new ideas.

Next, talk about the most important things you learned from your experiment. Show how what you found out connects to what you initially tried to do. Lastly, think briefly about what your work means or any limitations you faced during the process. You may include suggestions for further investigation but refrain from proposing solutions.

How to Write a Lab Report Conclusion

To write a good lab conclusion, follow these steps:

  • Remind the reader why you did the experiment and its aims. 
  • Describe how you did the experiment and what tools you used.
  • Briefly discuss the samples used and the results obtained.
  • Provide a short analysis, including your arguments and assumptions.
  • Relate your findings to the broader scientific context of your discipline.
Important: Keep your conclusion short and easy to understand. A lab conclusion should be about 200-300 words or one paragraph. But if your experiment was really complex, you might need up to 500 words.

Remember, your lab conclusion is part of a bigger report. Always make sure your whole report is well-organized, with a title, introduction, how you did things, what you found, what it means, conclusion, and a list of where you got your information. If you have a lot of numbers or calculations, put them at the end in a separate section to make your report easier to read.

A Sample Lab Report Conclusion

Here's an example of how to write a scientific conclusion for a plant experiment:

The experiment examined how various light wavelengths impact tomato seedling growth. Our findings revealed that blue light (450-495 nm) significantly enhanced stem elongation and leaf surface area in tomato seedlings compared to red (620-750 nm) or full-spectrum white light. Throughout the 4-week study, seedlings exposed to blue light achieved an average height of 15.3 cm, surpassing those exposed to red (10.7 cm) and white light (12.1 cm).  These results align with our hypothesis that blue light promotes more vigorous vegetative growth in tomato seedlings, potentially due to its activation of phototropins and cryptochromes. While these outcomes provide valuable insights into early-stage tomato plant development, additional research is necessary to determine the long-term effects on fruit production and quality. This study contributes to our understanding of optimizing light conditions for improved seedling growth in controlled agricultural environments.

This example shows the important parts of a good lab conclusion: it reminds us what the experiment was for, tells how it was done, shares the results, and explains what it all means.

Useful Tips for Improving Your Lab Conclusion

To make your conclusion lab report better, try these tips:

  • Review your grading rubric to ensure you meet all requirements.
  • Maintain an appropriate tone (explanatory, descriptive, or process-oriented).
  • Keep your notes nearby so you can check your facts.
  • Use your own words to say what you were trying to do; don't just copy from your lab instructions.
  • Use passive voice and past tense , typically avoiding first-person perspective. Most lab reports are written in the third person.

When writing a discussion lab report, focus on clarity and sticking to what's important. Don't add new information or discuss things that aren't part of your experiment.

Making Your Scientific Conclusion Clear and Impactful

Writing a great lab report conclusion doesn't have to be hard. With the tips we've discussed on writing a scientific conclusion, you can now write good summaries of your science work. Remember, when writing your discussion lab report, stay focused on your experiment and what you found out. Don't talk about things that aren't related or say things you can't prove. Instead, explain your results, their meaning, and why they matter in science.

Need a little extra help polishing your scientific writing? Aithor might be just what you're looking for. This nifty AI writing tool will streamline your essay and report writing processes. It keeps your original ideas intact while giving your work a professional shine. Whether tackling a tricky lab report or a complex essay, this tool can help you craft well-structured, engaging content in no time. 

Give Aithor a try and see the difference it can make in your academic work.

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I'm in a debate club at school and we've been assigned to write an essay that presents a strong argument on a given topic. Anyone got any tips or advice for writing a persuasive debate essay?

When writing a persuasive debate essay, it's important to craft a strong argument that can persuade your audience or readers. Here are some tips and advice to help you write an effective essay:

1. Choose a compelling topic: Make sure to pick a controversial topic that has at least two strong opposing perspectives. This will allow you to present a robust argument and engage your audience.

2. Understand your audience: Before you start writing, consider who your audience is and what their potential biases or beliefs may be. This information will help you tailor your arguments to resonate with them effectively.

3. Research thoroughly: A well-researched essay will provide you with strong evidence to back up your claims. Use credible sources, such as academic articles, books, and reputable news sources to gather facts and statistics that support your argument. This will also help you identify potential counterarguments and anticipate how to address them in your essay.

4. Develop a clear thesis statement: Your thesis statement should clearly convey your stance on the issue and present a roadmap of your argument. Make sure it's concise and specific, so your audience can easily follow your line of reasoning.

5. Utilize the argumentative structure: Structure your essay by presenting an introduction, body paragraphs, and a conclusion. In the body paragraphs, provide a clear topic sentence, followed by evidence to support your claim, and then analyze the evidence to explain its relevance to the topic. Make sure to address counterarguments as well, and explain why your standpoint is stronger.

6. Use persuasive techniques: Employ various persuasive techniques to make your argument more compelling. These can include appeals to emotion (pathos), logic (logos), and credibility (ethos). Using a combination of these methods can strengthen your overall argument.

7. Ensure clear transitions: Make sure to use clear transitions between ideas and paragraphs, so your essay flows smoothly and maintains a logical progression.

8. Edit and revise: Once you have your draft completed, take the time to edit and revise your essay. Pay attention to grammar, punctuation, and sentence structure. Additionally, check for logical consistency, clarity, and the overall strength of your argument.

9. Practice presentation skills: If you will be presenting your essay in a debate setting, make sure to rehearse your delivery. Speak clearly, maintain eye contact, and be confident in your argument. Be prepared to answer questions or engage in a discussion about your topic.

10. Seek feedback: Before submitting or presenting your essay, share it with peers, teachers, or mentors to get their feedback. This can help you identify areas for improvement and refine your argument.

Remember, the goal of a debate essay is to persuade the reader or audience of your position on a particular topic. By following these tips, you'll be well on your way to crafting a strong and convincing argument. Good luck!

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How to Write a Debate Essay: Simple Principles to Follow

Serious multiracial colleagues having discussion brainstorming project together in office.

Debating means almost the same as arguing. You have a standpoint on a certain issue and want everybody else to accept it. To have a better understanding of what debates are all about, we advise you to watch some videos of political debates. These are the best examples of how one should argue for a certain point.

However, oral debates between people are certainly different from debating on paper and writing a good debate essay. If this is your next written assignment and you face some difficulties with it, we are ready to provide necessary assistance.

So, if you want to know how to write a debate essay and win the “battle”, follow these simple principles.

⭐ Know the features of a good debate

👀 choose debate essay topics wisely, 🔎 investigate background of the problem, 🗣️ collect arguments and counterarguments.

A winning debate has several characteristics that you should know and use when writing own debate essay:

  • a certain position on an issue;
  • proofs and evidences;
  • refuting arguments;

Basically, a good debate essay topic is any current issue that is of great interest to public and causes… heated debates. Yet, it does not mean you should pick any burning issue for discussion. It should be something you feel strongly about and will be able to argue for in your debate essay.

It is very important to study the topic of your debate essay thoroughly. What are the causes of the problem? What makes it so important to people? Why does this issue call opposing views?

Needless to say, you have to study as many materials devoted to the problem as you can and collect your arguments. However, you should also take into account all the counterarguments so that to refute them later in your debate essay.

If you lack ideas for your debate essay, read our articles about an essay on Affirmative Action and essay on animal experimentation.

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How to Structure a Debate Essay in 5 Easy Steps

Table of Contents

Learning how to structure a debate essay is a fundamental skill for anyone who wishes to be successful in their academic careers.

The student can learn about the subject of debate and its different points of view by doing a lot of research. This enables the student choose a point of view and back it up with evidence.

Empirical research, in which the student gathers data through interviews, surveys, observations, or experiments, is often required for argumentative tasks.

This article advises on the 5-step technique to structure a debate essay. Let’s dive in!

fountain pen on black lined paper

What Is a Debate Essay?

Debate essays are the same as argumentative essays. An argumentative essay is a scientific paper that presents, argues, and defends a particular point of view supported by evidence, facts, and examples.

These essays are written to persuade others that your point of view is worth sharing. Students must use a first-person perspective to produce an excellent debate essay.

Regardless of the depth or breadth of their study, argumentative essays are obligated to develop a strong thesis and adhere to logical reasoning.

5 Steps to Structure a Debate Essay

Structuring a debate essay can be the most challenging task for students due to the difficulties of making an argument.

Knowing where to start your essay will give you confidence and assurance that you can successfully map out your essay . These are the structures upon which a debate essay rests.

1. Specific Thesis Statement

A thesis statement is well-stated, specific, and located in the essay’s first paragraph.

Students should provide background information by reviewing the issue broadly in the introductory paragraph of an argument essay.

The next step is for the writer to establish the necessity of or interest in the topic (exigence). This thesis statement needs to focus on the right way to meet the assignment’s requirements.

It will be challenging for students to write a compelling essay if they do not comprehend this section.

2. Proper Transitioning

There should be smooth progressions between the paper’s introduction, main body, and conclusion.

In an essay, transitions serve as the cement between paragraphs. Without a consistent line of reasoning, the reader will become confused, and the essay will fall apart.

A good transition should summarize the prior section’s ideas and set the stage for the new ideas in the subsequent section.

4. Provide Proof to Back Your Thesis

Your proof can be factual, logical, statistical, or anecdotal. The information obtained to support your thesis statement in an argumentative essay must be current, accurate, and comprehensive.

The thesis statement needs to be backed up by evidence, be it factual, logical, statistical, or anecdotal. However, students should think about more than one perspective when gathering evidence.

An effective and well-rounded argumentative essay will also cover the thesis’s counterarguments.

Dismissing data that might disprove a thesis is immoral. It isn’t the student’s responsibility to demonstrate why opposing viewpoints are incorrect. However, they should explain why contrary viewpoints may lack updated information.

3. Provide Evidence-Based Paragraphs

Start by discussing a broad notion in each paragraph. This will help the essay stay focused and organized throughout. In addition, the clarity that results from brevity will be appreciated by the reader.

Each paragraph of the essay’s body should flow from and support the thesis statement introduced in the essay’s introduction.

Your thesis statement should be backed up by research in some paragraphs, which should be appropriately labeled. It should also detail why and how the evidence backs up the premise.

Arguing an issue requires thinking and explaining the other side of the argument. Students writing debate essays should devote one or two paragraphs to addressing opposing viewpoints, depending on the length of the assignment.

Students do not need to demonstrate why the contrary ideas are incorrect. They should instead show how opinions that do not coincide with their thesis may be poorly informed or outdated.

5. Proper Conclusion

Give a summary that revisits the thesis in light of the evidence presented rather than merely restating it.

This is where some students may start to have trouble with the essay. This section of the essay will most strongly impact the reader’s thoughts. It needs to do its job and make sense.

Avoid introducing new material in the conclusion and focus on synthesizing what you’ve discussed in the essay’s main body.

Justify the topic’s relevance, recap its essential ideas, and restate your thesis. Depending on the paper’s length, you should discuss some follow-up research that makes sense in light of your findings.

Final Words

One must know how to structure a debate essay before writing it. It is vital to have proper transitions and essential points. Remember to be persuasive in your approach.

This means showing convincing arguments rather than arguing with the opposition. A well-structured debate essay needs to be able to shift the reader’s perspective and change it radically.

How to Structure a Debate Essay in 5 Easy Steps

Abir Ghenaiet

Abir is a data analyst and researcher. Among her interests are artificial intelligence, machine learning, and natural language processing. As a humanitarian and educator, she actively supports women in tech and promotes diversity.

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How to Write a Winning Debate Speech

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What is a Debate?

A classroom debate involves students delivering persuasive speeches to present and support their opinions on a given subject. This activity helps develop critical thinking and communication skills, enabling students to gain a more comprehensive grasp of various topics.

Debate speeches are written according to a set of rules so a moderator can assess their effectiveness and allow others to question or challenge their statements within a formal debate.

A classroom debate is not an unruly fight or pointless argument but a structured formal conversation on a chosen topic in which two teams argue for or against it to convince the neutral moderator that they hold the stronger position.

Debating is a form of persuasive communication, and while we will be sticking to the fundamentals of how to write a debating speech, we also have a great guide to persuasive essay writing that elaborates on specific persuasive techniques.

Complete Teaching Unit on Class Debating

debate speech,debating | class debating unit 1 | How to Write a Winning Debate Speech |

This unit will guide your students to write excellent DEBATE SPEECHES and craft well-researched, constructed ARGU MENTS ready for critique from their classmates.

Furthermore, this EDITABLE UNIT will provide the TOOLS and STRATEGIES for running highly engaging CLASSROOM DEBATES.

How To Run A Classroom Debate

Before jumping in headfirst to write your debating speech, ensure you understand how a debate is run to maximise your strategy and impact when it counts.

Debates occur in many different contexts, such as public meetings, election campaigns, legislative assemblies, and as entertainment on television shows. These contexts determine the specific structure the debate will follow.

This guide provides a basic step-by-step debate structure we can comfortably run with students in a classroom. By familiarizing students with this structure, they will effortlessly transition to other debate frameworks.

Running a classroom debate can be an engaging and educational activity that helps students develop critical thinking, communication, and research skills. Here’s a step-by-step guide on how to organize and facilitate a successful classroom debate:

1. Choose a Topic For Your Debate.

Also called a resolution or a motion , the topic is sometimes chosen to debate. This is usually the case in a school activity to practice debating skills. 

The resolution or motion is usually centered around a true or false statement or a proposal to change the current situation. Often, the motion starts, ”This House believes that….”

Select a topic relevant to your curriculum and the students’ interests. Ensure that it is debatable and has multiple perspectives. Further down this article, you can find a list of popular classroom debating topics.

2. Form Two Debating Teams

Two teams of three speakers each are formed. These are referred to as ‘ The House for the Motion ’ or the ‘ Affirmative ’ team and ‘The House Against the Motion ’ or the ‘ Negative ’ team.

Preparation is an essential aspect of debating. The speech and debate team members will need time to research their arguments, collaborate, and organize themselves and their respective roles in the upcoming debate.

They’ll also need time to write and rehearse their speeches. The better prepared and coordinated they are as a team, the greater their chances of success in the debate.

3. Assign Roles to Students.

Each team member should have a specific role, such as speaker, researcher , or rebuttal specialist . This encourages teamwork and ensures that each student is actively involved.

4. Research and Preparation:

  • Allocate time for teams to research and prepare their arguments. Encourage students to use multiple sources, including books, articles, and reputable websites. Make sure you read our complete guide to powerful student research strategies.

5. Set Debate Format:

  • Define the debate format, including the structure of each round. Common formats include opening statements, cross-examination, rebuttals, and closing statements.

6. Establish Rules:

  • Set ground rules for the debate, such as time limits for each speaker, etiquette, guidelines for respectful communication, and consequences for rule violations.

7. Conduct a Practice Debate:

  • Before the actual debate, conduct a practice round. This helps students become familiar with the format and allows you to provide feedback on their arguments and presentation skills.
  • On the day of the debate, set up the classroom to accommodate the format. Ensure that each round has a clear structure, and designate a timekeeper to keep the debate on schedule.

9. Facilitate Q&A Sessions:

  • After each team presents their arguments, allow time for questions and cross-examination. This encourages critical thinking and engagement among the students.

10. Evaluate and Debrief:

  • After the debate, provide constructive feedback to each team. Discuss the strengths and weaknesses of their arguments, presentation skills, and teamwork. Also, please encourage students to reflect on what they learned from the experience.
  • Have a class discussion about the debate, exploring different perspectives and opinions. This can deepen students’ understanding of the topic and enhance their critical thinking skills.

Consider integrating the debate topic into future lessons or assignments. This reinforces the learning experience and allows students to delve deeper into the subject matter.

Remember to create a supportive and respectful environment throughout the debate, emphasizing the importance of listening to opposing views and engaging in constructive dialogue.

Each speaker takes a turn making their speech, alternating between the House for the Motion, who goes first, and the House Against the Motion. Each speaker speaks for a pre-agreed amount of time.

Ensure your debate is held in front of an audience (in this case, the class), and occasionally, the audience is given time to ask questions after all the speeches have been made.

Finally, the debate is judged either by moderators or by an audience vote. 

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Download our Debate Organizer

Stay fousssed with this handy template to keep all your ideas organized.

How To Write A Debate

How to start a debate speech.

In highly competitive speech and debate tournaments, students are only provided the topic on the day, and limited time is allowed for preparation, but this is not recommended for beginners.

Regardless of the stakes of your classroom debate, the speechwriting process always begins with research. Thorough research will provide students with both the arguments and the supporting evidence for their position on a topic and generate forward-thinking about what their opponents might use against them.

Writing Your Introduction

The purpose of the introduction in a debate speech is to achieve several things:

  • Grab the attention of the audience,
  • Introduce the topic
  • Provide a thesis statement
  • Preview some of the main arguments.

Grab The Attention Of Your Audience With Strong Hooks

Securing the audience’s attention is crucial, and failure to do this will have a strong, negative impact on how the team’s efforts will be scored as a whole. Let’s explore three proven strategies to hook your audience and align their thinking to yours.

Hook TypeDetails
Quotes from reputable individuals add credibility and authority to your arguments. They demonstrate that influential figures endorse your viewpoint. They provide a concise and impactful way to convey complex ideas or express a widely accepted perspective. Quotations can resonate with the audience, evoke emotions, and make your speech more memorable. By referencing respected individuals, you tap into their expertise and reputation, supporting your position and increasing the persuasive impact of your debate speech.
Using a quotation from a well-known person is a great way to draw eyeballs and ears in the speaker’s direction. People love celebrities, even if that celebrity is relatively minor. 
Using a quotation to open a speech lends authority to what is being said. In addition, the quotation chosen will usually be worded concisely and interestingly, making it all the more memorable and impactful for the audience.
Quotes from reputable individuals add credibility and authority to your arguments. They demonstrate that influential figures endorse your viewpoint. They provide a concise and impactful way to convey complex ideas or express a widely accepted perspective. Quotations can resonate with the audience, evoke emotions, and make your speech more memorable. By referencing respected individuals, you tap into their expertise and reputation, lending support to your position and increasing the persuasive impact of your debate speech.
Using a quotation from a well-known person is a great way to draw eyeballs and ears in the speaker’s direction. People love celebrities, even if that celebrity is relatively minor. 
Using a quotation to open a speech lends authority to what is being said. In addition, the quotation chosen will usually be worded concisely and interestingly, making it all the more memorable and impactful for the audience.
An anecdote is a short, personal story that illustrates or emphasizes a point, often used to make a subject more relatable, and they are a valuable way to ease the audience into a complex topic. Your stories can be used to make complicated moral or ethical dilemmas more relatable for an audience.
Anecdotes are also an effective way for the speaker to build a rapport with the audience, which, in turn, makes the task of persuading them an easier one.

Introduce Your Topic With Efficiency and Effectiveness

Once the audience’s attention has been firmly grasped, it’s time to introduce the topic or the motion. This should be done straightforwardly and transparently to ensure the audience understands the topic of the debate and the position you are approaching it from.

For example, if the topic of the debate was school uniforms, the topic may be introduced with:

Provide Your Thesis Statement

A thesis statement is a concise declaration summarizing the points and arguments of your debating speech.

  • It presents a clear stance on a topic and guides the reader on what to expect in the content.
  • A good thesis statement is debatable and allows for opposing viewpoints and discussion.
  • It serves as a roadmap for the writer, ensuring coherence and focus in the piece.
  • It helps the audience understand the purpose and direction of the work from the beginning.

The thesis statement should express the student’s or the team’s position on the motion. Clearly explaining the speaker’s side of the debate. An example can be seen here.

Provide A Preview Of Your Arguments

The final part of the introduction section of a debate speech involves previewing the main points of the speech for the audience.

There is no need to go into detail with each argument here; that’s what the body of the speech is for. It is enough to provide a general thesis statement for each argument or ‘claims’ – (more on this to follow).

Previewing the arguments in a speech is especially important as the audience and judges only get one listen to a speech – unlike a text, which can be reread as frequently as the reader likes.

debate introduction examples for students

Attention grabbers task.

After explaining the different types of attention grabbers and the format for the rest of the introduction to your students, challenge them to write an example of each type of opening for a specific debate topic. 

When they’ve finished writing these speech openings, discuss with the students which one best fits their chosen topic. Then, they can continue by completing the rest of the introduction for their speech using the format described above.

You might like to try a simple topic like “Homework should be banned.” you can choose from our collection further in this article.

Writing T he Body of the Speech

The body paragraphs are the real meat of the speech. They contain the in-depth arguments that make up the substance of the debate, and How well these arguments are made will determine how the judges will assess each speaker’s performance, so it’s essential to get the structure of these arguments just right.

Let’s take a look at how to do that.

How to structure an Argument

With the introduction out of the way, it’s time for the student to get down to the nitty-gritty of the debate – that is, making compelling arguments to support their case.

There are three main aspects to an argument in a debate speech. They are:

  • The Warrant
The first part of an argument, The claim is the assertion that the argument is attempting to prove. It’s the starting point and sets the direction for your whole argument, so it’s super important to make it clear and convincing.
Think of the warrant as the support system for your claim. It’s like the proof or reasoning that backs up what you’re saying. It’s the part that explains why your evidence actually supports your main point, making your argument strong and convincing.
Finally, The impact in an argument highlights why the claim is important, going beyond proving the point. It explores the broader implications, helping draw meaningful conclusions from the established truth of the assertion.

Following this structure carefully enables our students to build coherent and robust arguments. Ttake a look at these elements in action in the example below.

Brainstorming Arguments

Present your students with a topic and, as a class, brainstorm some arguments for and against the motion.

Then, ask students to choose one argument and, using the Claim-Warrant-Impact format, take a few moments to write down a well-structured argument that’s up to debate standard.

Students can then present their arguments to the class. 

Or, you could also divide the class along pro/con lines and host a mini-debate!

Concluding a Debate Speech

The conclusion of a speech or a debate is the final chance for the speaker to convey their message to the audience. In a formal debate that has a set time limit, the conclusion is crucial as it demonstrates the speaker’s ability to cover all their material within the given time frame.

Avoid introducing new information and focus on reinforcing the strength of your position for a compelling and memorable conclusion.

A good conclusion should refer back to the introduction and restate the main position of the speaker, followed by a summary of the key arguments presented. Finally, the speaker should end the speech with a powerful image that will leave a lasting impression on the audience and judges.

debate speech,debating | classroom debating | How to Write a Winning Debate Speech |

Examples of strong debate Conclusions

The Burden of the Rejoinder

In formal debates, the burden of the rejoinder means that any time an opponent makes a point for their side, it’s incumbent upon the student/team to address that point directly.

Failing to do so will automatically be seen as accepting the truth of the point made by the opponent.

For example, if the opposing side argues that all grass is pink, despite how ridiculous that statement is, failing to refute that point directly means that, for the debate, all grass is pink.

Our students must understand the burden of the rejoinder and ensure that any points the opposing team makes are fully addressed during the debate.

The Devils Advocate

When preparing to write their speech, students should spend a significant proportion of their team collaborating as a team. 

One good way to practice the burden of the rejoinder concept is to use the concept of Devil’s Advocate, whereby one team member acts as a member of the opposing team, posing arguments from the other side for the speaker to counter, sharpening up their refutation skills in the process.

20 Great Debating Topics for Students

  • Should cell phones be allowed in schools?
  • Is climate change primarily caused by human activities?
  • Should the voting age be lowered to 16?
  • Is social media more harmful than beneficial to society?
  • Should genetically modified organisms (GMOs) be embraced or rejected?
  • Is the death penalty an effective crime deterrent?
  • Should schools implement mandatory drug testing for students?
  • Is animal testing necessary for scientific and medical advancements?
  • Should school uniforms be mandatory?
  • Is censorship justified in certain circumstances?
  • Should the use of performance-enhancing drugs be allowed in sports?
  • Is homeschooling more beneficial than traditional schooling?
  • Should the use of plastic bags be banned?
  • Is nuclear energy a viable solution to the world’s energy needs?
  • Should the government regulate the fast food industry?
  • Is social inequality a result of systemic factors or individual choices?
  • Should the consumption of meat be reduced for environmental reasons?
  • Is online learning more effective than traditional classroom learning?
  • Should the use of drones in warfare be banned?
  • Is the legalization of marijuana beneficial for society?

These topics cover a range of subjects and offer students the opportunity to engage in thought-provoking debates on relevant and impactful issues.


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The Ultimate Guide to Opinion Writing for Students and Teachers

debate speech,debating | PersuasiveWritingSkills | Top 5 Persuasive Writing Techniques for Students |

Top 5 Persuasive Writing Techniques for Students

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5 Top Persuasive Writing Lesson Plans for Students and Teachers

debate speech,debating | persuasive writing prompts | 23 Persuasive writing Topics for High School students |

23 Persuasive writing Topics for High School students

debate speech,debating | LEarn how to write a perfect persuasive essay | How to Write Perfect Persuasive Essays in 5 Simple Steps |

How to Write Perfect Persuasive Essays in 5 Simple Steps

Debating strategies for students.

Research and preparation are essential to ensure good performance in a debate. Students should spend as much time as possible drafting and redrafting their speeches to maximize their chances of winning. However, a debate is a dynamic activity, and victory cannot be assured by pre-writing alone.

Students must understand that the key to securing victory lies in also being able to think, write (often in the form of notes), and respond instantly amid the turmoil of the verbal battle. To do this, students must understand the following keys to victory.

When we think of winning a debate, we often think of blinding the enemy with the brilliance of our verbal eloquence. We think of impressing the audience and the judges alike with our outstanding oratory.

What we don’t often picture when we imagine what a debate winner looks like is a quiet figure sitting and listening intently. But being a good listener is one of our students’ most critical debating skills.

If students don’t listen to the other side, whether by researching opposing arguments or during the thrust of the actual debate, they won’t know the arguments the other side is making. Without this knowledge, they cannot effectively refute the opposition’s claims.

Read the Audience

In terms of the writing that happens before the debate takes place, this means knowing your audience. 

Students should learn that how they present their arguments may change according to the demographics of the audience and/or judges to whom they will be making their speech. 

An audience of retired school teachers and an audience of teen students may have very different responses to the same arguments.

This applies during the actual debate itself too. If the student making their speech reads resistance in the faces of the listeners, they should be prepared to adapt their approach accordingly in mid-speech.

Practice, Practice, Practice

The student must practice their speech before the debate. There’s no need to learn it entirely by heart. There isn’t usually an expectation to memorize a speech entirely, and doing so can lead to the speaker losing some of their spontaneity and power in their delivery. At the same time, students shouldn’t spend the whole speech bent over a sheet of paper reading word by word.

Ideally, students should familiarize themselves with the content and be prepared to deliver their speech using flashcards as prompts when necessary.

Another important element for students to focus on when practising their speech is making their body language, facial expressions, and hand gestures coherent with the verbal content of their speech. One excellent way to achieve this is for the student to practice delivering their speech in a mirror.

And Finally…

Debating is a lot of fun to teach and partake in, but it also offers students a valuable opportunity to pick up some powerful life skills.

It helps students develop a knack for distinguishing fact from opinion and an ability to assess whether a source is credible or not. It also helps to encourage them to think about the other side of the argument. 

Debating helps our students understand others, even when disagreeing with them. An important skill in these challenging times, without a doubt.

Debating Teaching Strategies

Clearly Define Debate Roles and Structure when running speech and debate events: Clearly define the roles of speakers, timekeepers, moderators, and audience members. Establish a structured format with specific time limits for speeches, rebuttals, and audience participation. This ensures a well-organized and engaging debate.

  • Provide Topic Selection and Preparation Time: Offer students a range of debate topics, allowing them to select a subject they are passionate about. Allocate ample time for research and preparation, encouraging students to gather evidence, develop strong arguments, and anticipate counterarguments.
  • Incorporate Scaffolded Debating Skills Practice: Before the actual debate, engage students in scaffolded activities that build their debating skills. This can include small group discussions, mock debates, or persuasive writing exercises. Provide feedback and guidance to help students refine their arguments and delivery.
  • Encourage Active Listening and Note-taking during speech and debate competitions: Emphasize the importance of active listening during the debate. Encourage students to take notes on key points, supporting evidence, and persuasive techniques used by speakers. This cultivates critical thinking skills and prepares them for thoughtful responses during rebuttals.
  • Facilitate Post-Debate Reflection and Discussion: After the debate, facilitate a reflection session where students can share their thoughts, lessons learned, and insights gained. Encourage them to analyze the strengths and weaknesses of their arguments and engage in constructive dialogue. This promotes metacognitive skills and encourages continuous improvement.

By following these tips, teachers can create a vibrant and educational debate experience for their students. Through structured preparation, active engagement, and reflective discussions, students develop valuable literacy and critical thinking skills that extend beyond the boundaries of the debate itself.


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Debate Writing

Debate Examples

Caleb S.

20+ Thought Provoking Debate Examples: Including Tips

Published on: Feb 13, 2022

Last updated on: Jan 31, 2024

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Many people struggle to find engaging and informative debate examples to enhance their understanding of various topics. Plus to improve their argumentation skills.

However, it can be challenging to find compelling examples that truly ignite intellectual discourse.

But worry no more! 

In this blog, we have curated over 20 captivating debate examples that will fuel your intellectual curiosity and stimulate meaningful conversations.

Whether you're a student, debater, or simply someone interested in the art of persuasion, this blog is for you.

Let’s get started!

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Debate Examples for Students

A detailed example is necessary to understand the proper format and structure for your debate. Likewise, written debate examples assist students in writing their own debates!

A perfect debate is an art that requires patience and dedication. These examples will help you master the skill.

Debate Examples for Primary School

Have a look at the examples for primary school to understand how debate questions are written. It allows you to see that even complex topics can be broken down in an easy-to-follow manner. 

Also, it will help you better grasp debate question writing and comprehension skills!

Debate Examples Ks2

Debate Examples Sentence

Debate Examples for Middle School

Check out these debate examples for middle school to get a better idea of the format.

Debate Examples for Class 8

Political Debate Examples

Debate Examples for High School

The following are good examples of debate for high school students. They can help you understand better and maybe even start a fiery political discussion with your friends!

Debate Examples for Class 11

Debate Examples for Class 12

Value Debate Example

Value debate is an argument that examines the values that drive decision-making. It usually pits debaters against each other to justify why their position should take precedence over others.

Take a look at the following example to know how to do it.

Value Debate Examples

Informal Debate Example

The goal of an informal debate is not to back up claims with evidence but instead assert or highlight something. For example:

A claim like ‘ I did the dishes last night ’ does not need any sort of logical reasoning.

This could be an argument to convince your siblings that they should do the dishes next time. 

Informal debates are more enjoyable than formal ones because they don't require the burden of proof. Instead, informal discussions aim to assert or point out something with little evidence.

It encourages people who aren’t convinced by what you say until then; maybe your tone makes them change their minds.

Individuals with different opinions use them to start the conversation. These debates may end up in confrontation or disagreement depending on how well-argued your position is compared with others.

Informal Debate Examples

Nature Debate Example

The nature debate is a philosophical argument about the origins and development of human behavior. It says that the physical features of your face are determined biologically.

It examines how environmental factors influence who we are. Among the factors that can be influenced are:

  • How we are brought up
  • Surrounding culture
  • Childhood memories
  • Social relations

The following are examples of a nature debate to help you understand the concept.

Nature Debate Examples

Nurture Debate Examples pdf

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Nature vs. Nurture Debate

The nature vs. nurture debate is a long-standing and complex discussion. It explores the relative contributions of genetics (nature) and environment (nurture) in shaping human traits, behaviors, and development. 

This debate has captivated researchers, psychologists, and philosophers for centuries. Refer to this example provided below for inspiration on how to write an outstanding nature vs. nurture debate.

Nature vs. Nurture Debate Examples

Rebuttal in Debate

A rebuttal is an attempt to refute, argue against, or deny while writing a debate. It mainly does so by introducing other evidence and reasoning to weaken opposing arguments.

To refute an argument, you need a clear idea of your side. A good starting point is to brainstorm ideas and come up with points that can change opposing side beliefs.

With the help of a given rebuttal example, you can get a clear idea.

Rebuttal In Debate Examples

Debate Examples Script

Given below are some more interesting debate examples. 

Criterion debate examples

Balloon debate example

How to Start a Debate 

Simply introduce yourself and your topic. Moreover, a captivating intro will make the listener pay attention and stay engaged for as long as possible.

The following characteristics must be present in an interesting debate introduction.

  • Your stance on the subject, whether pro or con
  • Tell an engaging story about the topic.
  • Make use of a rhetorical question or a strong quote.
  • Recognize the judges, audience members, and your counterpart.

This will surely create a sense of curiosity in the audience by making them want to know more.

Do you want to sound convincing? Check out this amazing opening statement debate example!

How to Start a Debate - Examples

How to End a Debate

The conclusion of a debate must contain the following elements in order not only to wrap up all arguments but also provide context for future discussions.

  • Reiterate the most critical points.
  • Close your concerns naturally.
  • Give your judges something to think about after your debate.
  • Make your final remarks about your case.
  • Add a quotation to conclude the final argument.

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Winning Strategies: Tips to Take Your Debating Skills to the Next Level

Mastering the art of debate requires more than just knowledge of the topic at hand. To truly take your debating skills to the next level, consider incorporating these winning strategies:

  • Research, research, research

Thoroughly educate yourself on the topic you'll be debating. Gather reliable sources, study different perspectives, and familiarize yourself with key arguments and counterarguments.

  • Construct A Strong Case

Develop a clear and logical structure for your arguments. Start with a compelling introduction, followed by well-reasoned points supported by evidence and examples. Anticipate potential rebuttals and prepare counterarguments.

  • Listen Actively

Engage in active listening during the debate. Pay attention to your opponent's arguments and be prepared to respond effectively. Take notes to organize your thoughts and identify areas where you can challenge their points.

  • Use Persuasive Language

Choose your words carefully to convey your ideas convincingly. Utilize rhetorical devices, such as analogies or powerful statistics, to strengthen your arguments and make them more memorable.

  • Maintain Composure

Stay calm and composed throughout the debate, even when faced with opposing views or aggressive questioning. Maintain a respectful tone and avoid personal attacks. Focus on the merits of the arguments rather than the individuals presenting them.

  • Rebut with Precision

When countering your opponent's arguments, address their main points directly. Clearly articulate why their reasoning is flawed or unsupported. Use evidence and logical reasoning to dismantle their claims.

Remember, debate is not only about winning but also about learning and gaining a deeper understanding of complex issues. 

In conclusion, debate can be an incredibly enriching and fulfilling experience. But with these debate examples and winning strategies, you will be equipped to engage in meaningful discussions and make your voice heard.

If you're looking to take your academic journey to the next level, be sure to check out our AI essay generator . is the best essay writing service available for students. Our team of experts is committed to helping you achieve your academic and professional goals, offering expert guidance on essay writing, college applications, and more. 

Take the first step towards academic excellence and hire our writing service now!

Frequently Asked Questions

How do you write a debate example.

Here are seven steps to writing a debate:

  • Intriguing introduction 
  • Pre-speech note to draw the listener’s attention
  • A formal address to the audience 
  • The topic's development 
  • Negative consequences 
  • Conclusion 
  • A formal thank you to the audience 

How do you start a debate speech?

Below are some steps that will help you start a debate speech.

  • Start with a greeting
  • Tell an amazing story
  • Write facts
  • Share your opinion
  • State a problem

Caleb S. (Literature, Marketing)

Caleb S. has extensive experience in writing and holds a Masters from Oxford University. He takes great satisfaction in helping students exceed their academic goals. Caleb always puts the needs of his clients first and is dedicated to providing quality service.

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Debate Essays and What to Know About Them

The nightmare of being a student is in the fact that you never know the type of assignment your teacher might ask you to do at any point in time. You might end up thoroughly failing in your class work unless you understand some of the most crucial concepts for handling some of these tasks. This paper will focus on debate essays and ways in which you can achieve high scores by following simple procedures and guidelines.

Introduction on How to Write a Debate Essay

These essays are narratives that are built on arguments. They divide people into two distinct groups – You are forced to either support or oppose a motion with no option for a middle ground. You are to present all the facts that you believe will help you win your argument. Such conflicts are mostly seen among politicians during parliamentary sessions. Arguments also occur among ordinary people in normal interactions.

Crucial Facts on How to Start a Debate Essay

You first need to know how to write a debate essay step by step if you are to get everything right. Understand what comes first and what needs to be placed in the middle and last section of your document. Here is something you should consider at the start of every paper:

  • Create a hook

You need to get the attention of your audience through the first few lines of your paper. Use facts that are mind-boggling and that are likely to make them trust you. Make this information sound new to them even if they have heard of it before. Provide statistics to support your claims. For instance, don’t just say that “road accidents are some of the major causes of death in the world.” Instead, show the number of people who are killed every year as a result of rogue driving. Show how some of these people are breadwinners in their families or even newlyweds. In other words, capture the attention and imagination of people by all possible means.

  • Show the origin

Every issue always has roots, some of which are never known to the public. Dig deeper into the archives and retrieve enough information that shows how the problem began. In the case of road accidents, you can research to find out how, why, and when the first road accident occurred. You can be more specific to reveal the names of those who lost their lives. Find out what impact these victims had in their nation and include it in your document. However, do not be too wordy.

  • Formulate a thesis statement

This is a summary of what the paper is all about. It shows the relationship between cause and effect by indicating why you support your argument. Avoid being too general since the sentence will lose meaning. Do not say, “Several factors lead to road accidents.” Instead, mention these factors. Say something like “Road accidents are caused by increased levels of corruption, drunk driving, poor roads, and faulty traffic lights.”

  • Choosing what to Omit

Resist the temptation of including every detail in your introduction. That is not how to write a good debate essay. Details are to be added in the body section and not in the introduction. Resist the temptation of wanting to share everything you know about a topic. Stay focused even as you try hard to make your audience agree with you.

Different Ways of Making a Thesis Statement

It is not a must that you use the same method as everyone else when creating your thesis statement. You have three distinct options for this section whenever you are writing a debate essay. Here are the three main ways to construct any thesis statement.

  • Provide all pointers

Your thesis statement can include the crucial points you intend to talk about. Take, for example, a topic like ‘Teenage Pregnancy.’ The points you might want to discuss probably include “neglect by family members, rot in the society, and drug abuse.” You can introduce these points in the following way:

Sample: “Increased pregnancy among teenage girls is as a result of neglect by parents, moral decay in the society, and unreported rape cases.”

You will need to discuss each point in details when you get to the body section. This might be the best option for you as you would easily spot all your crucial points and discuss them in details without forgetting any of them.

  • Answer a question

Use your topic to formulate a question. For instance, ask yourself why most people are unhappy with their lifestyles. You should be able to develop an answer that can be used in your thesis. Here is a typical response to such a question:

Sample: People are not happy with their lifestyles due to the high levels of unemployment that leaves them living below their means, and that denies them the ability to enjoy the luxuries of life.

  • Express your discontentment

You can show why you believe that some assumptions are wrong. Provide your reasons in the same sentence. Make this an argument that might strike a constructive conversation. Here is a good example:

Sample: “It is vague to assume that all old illiterate people can learn statistics since this is a technical discipline that requires young people with high IQ.”

We hope that all your questions on what is a debate essay were sufficiently answered. Make good use of the information provided here to master how to write your debate essay effectively.

Simple Tips for Writing a Debate Essay

The ideas provided in this article should be incorporated into the structure of a debate essay. Have a clear understanding of how to begin a debate essay. Here are more tricks and tips on how to make a debate essay.

  • Sound professional: You cannot convince people unless you make them believe that you know what you are talking about.
  • Be thorough: Exhaust all the points needed to create a convincing document.
  • Introduce your points: Every new paragraph should have a short sentence to let your audience know what to expect.
  • Strong conclusion: Amaze your audience with a memorable ending. It has to be in line with your thesis statement.

These tips will leave a mark in the heart of any examiner. This result leads to good scores.

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Writing a dissertation is a significant milestone in your academic journey. The process can be challenging, but understanding the correct dissertation structure can make it more manageable and ensure that your work meets academic standards. In this guide, we will explore the key components of a dissertation, providing insights and tips on how to effectively structure your dissertation. Whether you're studying in the UK or elsewhere, this comprehensive guide will help you navigate the intricacies of your thesis structure.

The Typical Dissertation Structure

A dissertation follows more or less a research paper structure but on a much larger scale. A well-structured dissertation should be more thorough than an essay or simple research paper and should delve deeper into your chosen topic. The standard dissertation structure generally includes the following sections:


Table of contents, list of figures and tables, introduction, literature review, methodology.

Let's delve into each section to understand its purpose and how to approach it.

The title page is the first impression of your dissertation.

- The title of your dissertation - Your name - Your institutional affiliation - The degree you are pursuing - The date of submission

Ensure the title is clear and descriptive, providing a concise summary of your research topic. It should include the following:

The abstract is a brief summary of your dissertation, typically around 150-300 words. It should highlight the research question, your methodology and key findings, plus a conclusion. Keep it concise but remember that it should be impactful: an effective abstract allows readers to quickly grasp the essence of your dissertation.

The acknowledgements section is where you thank those who have supported you throughout your research journey, including supervisors, peers, and family members. This can be both at the beginning or at the end of your dissertation, so check if your university gives you some guidance in this regard.

The table of contents lists all the sections and subsections of your dissertation along with their page numbers. This helps readers navigate through your work easily.

If your dissertation includes figures and tables, list them here with their corresponding page numbers. This is particularly useful for readers who want to reference specific data or visuals.

how to write a conclusion for a debate essay

The introduction sets the stage for your dissertation. A strong dissertation introduction structure includes:

- Background information on the topic - The research problem or question - The objectives and significance of the study - An overview of the dissertation structure

This section should engage the reader and provide a clear roadmap for the rest of your dissertation.

The literature review examines existing research relevant to your topic, demonstrates your understanding of the field and justifying your research. In your literature review you should:

- Summarise and critically analyse previous studies - Identify gaps in the literature - Establish the context for your research

The methodology section details how you conducted your research. It should include:

- The research design (qualitative, quantitative, or mixed methods) - Data collection methods (e.g., surveys, interviews, experiments) - Data analysis techniques - Ethical considerations

The results section presents the findings of your research without interpretation. Use text to describe key findings, tables and figures to illustrate data and finally make sure that the presentation of your results is clear and logically organised.

how to write a conclusion for a debate essay

The discussion section interprets the results in the context of your research question. It should:

- Explain the significance of the findings - Compare them with existing literature - Discuss potential limitations - Suggest implications for future research

Your conclusion should recap the research question and objectives, summarising your key findings. You should also discuss the significance of the study and suggest areas for future research.

The references section lists all the sources cited in your dissertation, formatted according to a specific citation style (e.g., APA, MLA, Harvard). Ensure all references are accurate and complete.

Appendices include supplementary material that is relevant to your research but not essential to the main text. This might include:

- Raw data - Questionnaires - Interview transcripts

Dissertation Layout Examples and Templates

Creating a dissertation layout template can definitely streamline the writing-up and formatting processes. Using a dissertation layout template can help ensure your work is well-organised and adheres to academic standards. Use the section above as a dissertation layout example, it’s a great place to start! Note, however, that the general structure of a dissertation should be similar globally, but there may be specific requirements for the dissertation structure in the UK. Always check your university's guidelines and ask your supervisor for specific formatting or structural requirements. In addition, don’t forget to keep in mind the following throughout your dissertation-writing process:

  • Consistency : Maintain consistent formatting throughout your dissertation, including font style, size, and margins.
  • Headings and Subheadings : Use clear and descriptive headings and subheadings to guide the reader through your work.
  • Page Numbers : Include page numbers for easy navigation.
  • Spacing : Use appropriate line spacing (usually double or 1.5) to ensure readability.

To Conclude

Structuring your dissertation effectively is crucial for presenting your research clearly and professionally. By understanding the components of a dissertation structure and following best practices, you can produce a well-organised and impactful dissertation. Use dissertation layout templates and examples to guide your formatting, and ensure consistency and clarity throughout your work. Whether you're writing a dissertation in the UK or elsewhere, these dissertation structure tips should give you a broad idea of what to include in your dissertation and will help you create a comprehensive and polished dissertation that meets academic standards.

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Home > Blog > Student > Scholarship > Azerbaijan Scholarships for Indian Students: Win with a Compelling Essay


How to write a strong scholarship essay to universities in Azerbaijan?

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This guide unlocks the secrets to crafting a scholarship essay that gets noticed in Azerbaijan:

  • Tailored Strategies: Learn how to approach merit-based, need-based, and field-specific scholarships.
  • Showcase Your Strengths : Highlight academic achievements, resilience, and passion for your field.
  • Cultural Connection: Demonstrate your knowledge and appreciation of Azerbaijani culture.
  • Research & Connect : Tailor your essay to specific universities and programs.
  • Polish Your Writing: Ensure your essay is clear, concise, and error-free.


Types of scholarships: tailoring your approach, 1. merit-based scholarships:.

  • Showcase Your Brilliance: Go beyond your GPA. Highlight academic achievements that demonstrate your intellectual curiosity, leadership, and collaborative spirit.
  • Example: “My research project on [topic] not only earned me top marks but also sparked a lively debate among my peers, leading to a deeper understanding of [concept].”

2. Need-Based Scholarships:

  • Tell Your Story of Resilience: Openly discuss financial challenges and how they’ve fueled your determination to succeed.
  • Example: “Despite limited resources, I actively sought online courses from Azerbaijani universities, demonstrating my commitment to learning and overcoming obstacles.”

3. Field-Specific Scholarships:

  • Bridge Your Knowledge with Azerbaijani Expertise: Showcase your passion for a specific field and how it aligns with Azerbaijani research interests or academic strengths.
  • Example: “Azerbaijan’s rich history in [field] inspires me. I’m eager to collaborate with renowned Professor [name] at [university] to further my research on [topic].”

Essential Tips for Indian Students

  • Embrace Azerbaijani Culture: Mention your appreciation for Azerbaijani traditions, arts, or even your interest in learning the Azerbaijani language.
  • Research Azerbaijani Universities: Tailor your essay to the specific university and scholarship you’re targeting. Mention professors, research labs, or programs that align with your interests.
  • Connect with Azerbaijani Students: Reach out to current students or alumni for insights into the application process and cultural nuances.
  • Polish Your Essay: Ensure your writing is clear, concise, and free of errors. Seek feedback from teachers or mentors.

What is the Niyo Scholarship

The Niyo Scholarship for Indian students with sights set on international education this Fall 2024!

Niyo which provides free Zero Forex Cards to Indian students to help them save forex charges while studying abroad has launched a $20,000 scholarship fund divided into 10 scholarships each worth $2,000, to outstanding Indian students who are starting their Master’s or Bachelors programs at universities outside India.

The eligibility criteria are broad to ensure that students from all backgrounds have a chance. Whether you are an academic achiever, facing financial difficulties, demonstrated innovative ideas, or are committed to social work, the Niyo Scholarship can support your journey to a world-class education. 

This initiative aims to help students from various fields and encourage diverse talents to pursue their educational dreams abroad.

How to Apply:

  • Download the Niyo app (click on the button or scan the QR to download). 
  • Get your free Niyo card (it’s quick and easy!).
  • Watch for the scholarship banner on the Niyo app homepage (will appear once you complete the card order process).
  • Click on the banner to access the application form.
  • Fill out the form and submit your application.

Top Questions Answered: Your Guide to the Niyo Scholarship​

1. who can apply, what’s the eligibility.

  • Indian students starting their studies abroad in Fall 2024 (between July and September). This includes both bachelor’s and master’s programs.
  • Parents can apply on behalf of their minor children pursuing a bachelor’s degree.
  • Must be a Niyo Card Holder.

2. What countries are eligible?

The scholarship is open to all Indian students starting education abroad in any country outside India, including the

  • United States
  • United Kingdom
  • Netherlands
  • United Arab Emirates
  • Philippines

And many more

3. Is academic merit the only factor?

Absolutely not! We celebrate well-rounded individuals. Here’s how you can qualify:

  • Merit: Stellar academic performance is always impressive.
  • Financial Need: Facing financial limitations? We understand. Explain how the scholarship would make a difference.
  • Innovation: Pioneered a groundbreaking project? Showcase your ingenuity!
  • Social Work: Actively involved in social or environmental causes? Let your dedication shine.

4. Why Apply for the Niyo Scholarship?

There are several compelling reasons to join the Niyo Scholarship race:

  • Financial Support: Each scholarship provides a substantial $2,000 to ease your educational expenses abroad.
  • Recognition: Be acknowledged for your academic excellence, innovative spirit, or dedication to social good.
  • Easy Application: The entire process is conveniently accessible through the user-friendly Niyo app.

5. Can I apply if I already have another scholarship?

6. when will the winners be announced.

Niyo shall start announcing the award winners by mid-July.

Don’t miss out on this incredible opportunity! Download the Niyo app, get your card, and be ready to apply for the scholarship.

Additional Tips for a Stellar Essay

  • Highlight Your Unique Qualities: What makes you stand out as an applicant? Is it your community service, your leadership skills, or your creative talents?
  • Show Your Passion: Write with enthusiasm and sincerity. Let your excitement for studying in Azerbaijan shine through.
  • Tell a Story: A compelling narrative will engage the reader and make your essay memorable.

Related Blogs

Azerbaijan Scholarships for Indian Students: 2024 Guide & Tips

Study in Azerbaijan: Scholarship Guide for Indian Students

Azerbaijan Scholarship Coverage: What Indian Students Need to Know

Azerbaijan Scholarships for Indian Students: How Many to Apply For?

Combine Scholarships & Financial Aid for Studying in Azerbaijan

Scholarship Coverage in USA: What Indian Students Can Expect (2024 Guide)

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How not to write your college essay.

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If you are looking for the “secret formula” for writing a “winning” college essay, you have come to the wrong place. The reality is there is no silver bullet or strategy to write your way to an acceptance. There is not one topic or approach that will guarantee a favorable outcome.

At the end of the day, every admission office just wants to know more about you, what you value, and what excites you. They want to hear about your experiences through your own words and in your own voice. As you set out to write your essay, you will no doubt get input (both sought-after and unsolicited) on what to write. But how about what NOT Notcoin to write? There are avoidable blunders that applicants frequently make in drafting their essays. I asked college admission leaders, who have read thousands of submissions, to share their thoughts.

Don’t Go In There

There is wide consensus on this first one, so before you call on your Jedi mind tricks or predictive analytics, listen to the voices of a diverse range of admission deans. Peter Hagan, executive director of admissions at Syracuse University, sums it up best, saying, “I would recommend that students try not to get inside of our heads. He adds, “Too often the focus is on what they think we want.”

Andy Strickler, dean of admission and financial aid at Connecticut College agrees, warning, “Do NOT get caught in the trap of trying to figure out what is going to impress the admission committee. You have NO idea who is going to read your essay and what is going to connect with them. So, don't try to guess that.” Victoria Romero, vice president for enrollment, at Scripps College adds, “Do not write about something you don’t care about.” She says, “I think students try to figure out what an admission officer wants to read, and the reality is the reader begins every next essay with no expectations about the content THEY want to read.” Chrystal Russell, dean of admission at Hampden-Sydney College, agrees, saying, “If you're not interested in writing it, we will not be interested when reading it.” Jay Jacobs, vice provost for enrollment management at the University of Vermont elaborates, advising. “Don’t try to make yourself sound any different than you are.” He says, “The number one goal for admission officers is to better understand the applicant, what they like to do, what they want to do, where they spend the majority of their time, and what makes them tick. If a student stays genuine to that, it will shine through and make an engaging and successful essay.”

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Don’t Be Artificial

The headlines about college admission are dominated by stories about artificial intelligence and the college essay. Let’s set some ground rules–to allow ChatGPT or some other tool to do your work is not only unethical, it is also unintelligent. The only worse mistake you could make is to let another human write your essay for you. Instead of preoccupying yourself with whether or not colleges are using AI detection software (most are not), spend your time focused on how best to express yourself authentically. Rick Clark is the executive director of strategic student success at Georgia Institute of Technology, one of the first institutions to clearly outline their AI policy for applicants. He says, “Much of a college application is devoted to lines, boxes, and numbers. Essays and supplements are the one place to establish connection, personality, and distinction. AI, in its current state, is terrible at all three.” He adds, “My hope is that students will use ChatGPT or other tools for brainstorming and to get started, but then move quickly into crafting an essay that will provide insight and value.”

Don’t Overdo It

Michael Stefanowicz, vice president for enrollment management at Landmark College says, “You can only cover so much detail about yourself in an admission essay, and a lot of students feel pressure to tell their life story or choose their most defining experience to date as an essay topic. Admission professionals know that you’re sharing just one part of your lived experience in the essay.” He adds, “Some of the favorite essays I’ve read have been episodic, reflecting on the way you’ve found meaning in a seemingly ordinary experience, advice you’ve lived out, a mistake you’ve learned from, or a special tradition in your life.” Gary Ross, vice president for admission and financial aid at Colgate University adds, “More than a few applicants each year craft essays that talk about the frustration and struggles they have experienced in identifying a topic for their college application essay. Presenting your college application essay as a smorgasbord of topics that ultimately landed on the cutting room floor does not give us much insight into an applicant.”

Don’t Believe In Magic

Jason Nevinger, senior director of admission at the University of Rochester warns, “Be skeptical of anyone or any company telling you, ‘This is the essay that got me into _____.’ There is no magic topic, approach, sentence structure, or prose that got any student into any institution ever.” Social media is littered with advertisements promising strategic essay help. Don’t waste your time, energy, or money trying to emulate a certain style, topic, or tone. Liz Cheron is chief executive officer for the Coalition for College and former assistant vice president of enrollment & dean of admissions at Northeastern University. She agrees with Nevinger, saying “Don't put pressure on yourself to find the perfect, slam dunk topic. The vast majority of college essays do exactly what they're supposed to do–they are well-written and tell the admission officer more about the student in that student's voice–and that can take many different forms.”

Don’t Over Recycle

Beatrice Atkinson-Myers, associate director of global recruitment at the University of California at Santa Cruz tells students, “Do not use the same response for each university; research and craft your essay to match the program at the university you are interested in studying. Don't waste time telling me things I can read elsewhere in your application. Use your essay to give the admissions officer insights into your motivations, interests, and thinking. Don't make your essay the kitchen sink, focus on one or two examples which demonstrate your depth and creativity.” Her UC colleague, Jim Rawlins, associate vice chancellor of enrollment management at the University of California at San Diego agrees, saying “Answer the question. Not doing so is the surest way we can tell you are simply giving us a snippet of something you actually wrote for a different purpose.”

Don’t Overedit

Emily Roper-Doten, vice president for undergraduate admissions and financial assistance at Clark University warns against “Too many editors!” She says, “Pick a couple of trusted folks to be your sounding board when considering topics and as readers once you have drafts. You don’t want too many voices in your essay to drown you out!” Scripps’ Romero agrees, suggesting, “Ask a good friend, someone you trust and knows you well, to read your essays.” She adds, “The goal is for the admission committee to get to know a little about you and who better to help you create that framework, than a good friend. This may not work for all students because of content but helps them understand it’s important to be themselves.” Whitney Soule, vice provost and dean of admissions at The University of Pennsylvania adds, “Avoid well-meaning editorial interference that might seem to polish your writing but actually takes your own personal ‘shine’ right out of the message.” She says, “As readers, we connect to applicants through their genuine tone and style. Considering editorial advice for flow and message is OK but hold on to the 'you' for what you want to say and how you want to say it.”

Don’t Get Showy

Palmer Muntz, senior regional admissions counselor at the University of Alaska Fairbanks cautions applicants, “Don’t be fancier than you are. You don’t need to put on airs.” He adds, “Yes, proofread your work for grammar and spelling, but be natural. Craft something you’d want to read yourself, which probably means keeping your paragraphs short, using familiar words, and writing in an active voice.” Connecticut College’s Strickler agrees, warning, “Don't try to be someone you are not. If you are not funny, don't try to write a funny essay. If you are not an intellectual, trying to write an intellectual essay is a bad idea.”

Anthony Jones, the vice president of enrollment management at Loyola University New Orleans offers a unique metaphor for thinking about the essay. He says, “In the new world of the hyper-fast college admission process, it's become easy to overlook the essential meaning of the college application. It's meant to reveal Y...O...U, the real you, not some phony digital avatar. Think of the essay as the essence of that voice but in analog. Like the completeness and authenticity captured in a vinyl record, the few lines you're given to explain your view should be a slow walk through unrestrained expression chock full of unapologetic nuances, crevices of emotion, and exactness about how you feel in the moment. Then, and only then, can you give the admissions officer an experience that makes them want to tune in and listen for more.”

Don’t Be A Downer

James Nondorf, vice president and dean of admissions and financial aid at The University of Chicago says, “Don’t be negative about other people, be appreciative of those who have supported you, and be excited about who you are and what you will bring to our campus!” He adds, “While admissions offices want smart students for our classrooms, we also want kind-hearted, caring, and joyous students who will add to our campus communities too.”

Don’t Pattern Match

Alan Ramirez is the dean of admission and financial aid at Sewanee, The University of the South. He explains, “A big concern I have is when students find themselves comparing their writing to other students or past applicants and transform their writing to be more like those individuals as a way to better their chances of offering a more-compelling essay.” He emphasizes that the result is that the “essay is no longer authentic nor the best representation of themselves and the whole point of the essay is lost. Their distinctive voice and viewpoint contribute to the range of voices in the incoming class, enhancing the diversity of perspectives we aim to achieve.” Ramirez simple tells students, “Be yourself, that’s what we want to see, plus there's no one else who can do it better than you!”

Don’t Feel Tied To A Topic

Jessica Ricker is the vice president for enrollment and dean of admissions and financial aid at Skidmore College. She says, “Sometimes students feel they must tell a story of grief or hardship, and then end up reliving that during the essay-writing process in ways that are emotionally detrimental. I encourage students to choose a topic they can reflect upon positively but recommend that if they choose a more challenging experience to write about, they avoid belaboring the details and instead focus on the outcome of that journey.” She adds, "They simply need to name it, frame its impact, and then help us as the reader understand how it has shaped their lens on life and their approach moving forward.”

Landmark College’s Stefanowicz adds, “A lot of students worry about how personal to get in sharing a part of their identity like your race or heritage (recalling last year’s Supreme Court case about race-conscious admissions), a learning difference or other disability, your religious values, LGBTQ identity…the list goes on.” He emphasizes, “This is always your choice, and your essay doesn’t have to be about a defining identity. But I encourage you to be fully yourself as you present yourself to colleges—because the college admission process is about finding a school where your whole self is welcome and you find a setting to flourish!”

Don’t Be Redundant

Hillen Grason Jr., dean of admission at Franklin & Marshall College, advises, “Don't repeat academic or co-curricular information that is easily identifiable within other parts of your application unless the topic is a core tenant of you as an individual.” He adds, “Use your essay, and other parts of your application, wisely. Your essay is the best way to convey who your authentic self is to the schools you apply. If you navigated a situation that led to a dip in your grades or co-curricular involvement, leverage the ‘additional information’ section of the application.

Thomas Marr is a regional manager of admissions for the Americas at The University of St Andrews in Scotland and points out that “Not all international schools use the main college essay as part of their assessment when reviewing student applications.” He says, “At the University of St Andrews, we focus on the supplemental essay and students should avoid the mistake of making the supplemental a repeat of their other essay. The supplemental (called the Personal Statement if using the UCAS application process) is to show the extent of their passion and enthusiasm for the subject/s to which they are applying and we expect about 75% of the content to cover this. They can use the remaining space to mention their interests outside of the classroom. Some students confuse passion for the school with passion for their subject; do not fall into that trap.”

A Few Final Don’ts

Don’t delay. Every college applicant I have ever worked with has wished they had started earlier. You can best avoid the pitfalls above if you give yourself the time and space to write a thoughtful essay and welcome feedback openly but cautiously. Don’t put too much pressure on yourself to be perfect . Do your best, share your voice, and stay true to who you are.

Brennan Barnard

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  • Career Advice

Anatomy of an AI Essay

How might you distinguish one from a human-composed counterpart? After analyzing dozens, Elizabeth Steere lists some key predictable features.

By  Elizabeth Steere

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Since OpenAI launched ChatGPT in 2022, educators have been grappling with the problem of how to recognize and address AI-generated writing. The host of AI-detection tools that have emerged over the past year vary greatly in their capabilities and reliability. For example, mere months after OpenAI launched its own AI detector, the company shut it down due to its low accuracy rate.

Understandably, students have expressed concerns over the possibility of their work receiving false positives as AI-generated content. Some institutions have disabled Turnitin’s AI-detection feature due to concerns over potential false allegations of AI plagiarism that may disproportionately affect English-language learners . At the same time, tools that rephrase AI writing—such as text spinners, text inflators or text “humanizers”—can effectively disguise AI-generated text from detection. There are even tools that mimic human typing to conceal AI use in a document’s metadata.

While the capabilities of large language models such as ChatGPT are impressive, they are also limited, as they strongly adhere to specific formulas and phrasing . Turnitin’s website explains that its AI-detection tool relies on the fact that “GPT-3 and ChatGPT tend to generate the next word in a sequence of words in a consistent and highly probable fashion.” I am not a computer programmer or statistician, but I have noticed certain attributes in text that point to the probable involvement of AI, and in February, I collected and quantified some of those characteristics in hopes to better recognize AI essays and to share those characteristics with students and other faculty members.

I asked ChatGPT 3.5 and the generative AI tool included in the free version of Grammarly each to generate more than 50 analytical essays on early American literature, using texts and prompts from classes I have taught over the past decade. I took note of the characteristics of AI essays that differentiated them from what I have come to expect from their human-composed counterparts. Here are some of the key features I noticed.

AI essays tend to get straight to the point. Human-written work often gradually leads up to its topic, offering personal anecdotes, definitions or rhetorical questions before getting to the topic at hand.

AI-generated essays are often list-like. They may feature numbered body paragraphs or multiple headings and subheadings.

The paragraphs of AI-generated essays also often begin with formulaic transitional phrases. As an example, here are the first words of each paragraph in one essay that ChatGPT produced:

  • “In contrast”
  • “Furthermore”
  • “On the other hand”
  • “In conclusion.”

Notably, AI-generated essays were far more likely than human-written essays to begin paragraphs with “Furthermore,” “Moreover” and “Overall.”

AI-generated work is often banal. It does not break new ground or demonstrate originality; its assertions sound familiar.

AI-generated text tends to remain in the third person. That’s the case even when asked a reader response–style question. For example, when I asked ChatGPT what it personally found intriguing, meaningful or resonant about one of Edgar Allan Poe’s poems, it produced six paragraphs, but the pronoun “I” was included only once. The rest of the text described the poem’s atmosphere, themes and use of language in dispassionate prose. Grammarly prefaced its answer with “I’m sorry, but I cannot have preferences as I am an AI-powered assistant and do not have emotions or personal opinions,” followed by similarly clinical observations about the text.

AI-produced text tends to discuss “readers” being “challenged” to “confront” ideologies or being “invited” to “reflect” on key topics. In contrast, I have found that human-written text tends to focus on hypothetically what “the reader” might “see,” “feel” or “learn.”

AI-generated essays are often confidently wrong. Human writing is more prone to hedging, using phrases like “I think,” “I feel,” “this might mean …” or “this could be a symbol of …” and so on.

AI-generated essays are often repetitive. An essay that ChatGPT produced on the setting of Rebecca Harding Davis’s short story “Life in the Iron Mills” contained the following assertions among its five brief paragraphs: “The setting serves as a powerful symbol,” “the industrial town itself serves as a central aspect of the setting,” “the roar of furnaces serve as a constant reminder of the relentless pace of industrial production,” “the setting serves as a catalyst for the characters’ struggles and aspirations,” “the setting serves as a microcosm of the larger societal issues of the time,” and “the setting … serves as a powerful symbol of the dehumanizing effects of industrialization.”

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AI writing is often hyperbolic or overreaching. The quotes above describe a “powerful symbol,” for example. AI essays frequently describe even the most mundane topics as “groundbreaking,” “vital,” “esteemed,” “invaluable,” “indelible,” “essential,” “poignant” or “profound.”

AI-produced texts frequently use metaphors, sometimes awkwardly. ChatGPT produced several essays that compared writing to “weaving” a “rich” or “intricate tapestry” or “painting” a “vivid picture.”

AI-generated essays tend to overexplain. They often use appositives to define people or terms, as in “Margaret Fuller, a pioneering feminist and transcendentalist thinker, explored themes such as individualism, self-reliance and the search for meaning in her writings …”

AI-generated academic writing often employs certain verbs. They include “delve,” “shed light,” “highlight,” “illuminate,” “underscore,” “showcase,” “embody,” “transcend,” “navigate,” “foster,” “grapple,” “strive,” “intertwine,” “espouse” and “endeavor.”

AI-generated essays tend to end with a sweeping broad-scale statement. They talk about “the human condition,” “American society,” “the search for meaning” or “the resilience of the human spirit.” Texts are often described as a “testament to” variations on these concepts.

AI-generated writing often invents sources. ChatGPT can compose a “research paper” using MLA-style in-text parenthetical citations and Works Cited entries that look correct and convincing, but the supposed sources are often nonexistent. In my experiment, ChatGPT referenced a purported article titled “Poe, ‘The Fall of the House of Usher,’ and the Gothic’s Creation of the Unconscious,” which it claimed was published in PMLA , vol. 96, no. 5, 1981, pp. 900–908. The author cited was an actual Poe scholar, but this particular article does not appear on his CV, and while volume 96, number 5 of PMLA did appear in 1981, the pages cited in that issue of PMLA actually span two articles: one on Frankenstein and one on lyric poetry.

AI-generated essays include hallucinations. Ted Chiang’s article on this phenomenon offers a useful explanation for why large language models such as ChatGPT generate fabricated facts and incorrect assertions. My AI-generated essays included references to nonexistent events, characters and quotes. For example, ChatGPT attributed the dubious quote “Half invoked, half spontaneous, full of ill-concealed enthusiasms, her wild heart lay out there” to a lesser-known short story by Herman Melville, yet nothing resembling that quote appears in the actual text. More hallucinations were evident when AI was generating text about less canonical or more recently published literary texts.

This is not an exhaustive list, and I know that AI-generated text in other formats or relating to other fields probably features different patterns and tendencies . I also used only very basic prompts and did not delineate many specific parameters for the output beyond the topic and the format of an essay.

It is also important to remember that the attributes I’ve described are not exclusive to AI-generated texts. In fact, I noticed that the phrase “It is important to … [note/understand/consider]” was a frequent sentence starter in AI-generated work, but, as evidenced in the previous sentence, humans use these constructions, too. After all, large language models train on human-generated text.

And none of these characteristics alone definitively point to a text having been created by AI. Unless a text begins with the phrase “As an AI language model,” it can be difficult to say whether it was entirely or partially generated by AI. Thus, if the nature of a student submission suggests AI involvement, my first course of action is always to reach out to the student themselves for more information. I try to bear in mind that this is a new technology for both students and instructors, and we are all still working to adapt accordingly.

Students may have received mixed messages on what degree or type of AI use is considered acceptable. Since AI is also now integrated into tools their institutions or instructors have encouraged them to use—such as Grammarly , Microsoft Word or Google Docs —the boundaries of how they should use technology to augment human writing may be especially unclear. Students may turn to AI because they lack confidence in their own writing abilities. Ultimately, however, I hope that by discussing the limits and the predictability of AI-generated prose, we can encourage them to embrace and celebrate their unique writerly voices.

Elizabeth Steere is a lecturer in English at the University of North Georgia.

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A year after affirmative action ban, how students are pitching themselves to colleges

  • Deep Read ( 13 Min. )
  • By Olivia Sanchez, Nirvi Shah, and Meredith Kolodner The Hechinger Report

June 28, 2024

In the year since the U.S. Supreme Court banned the consideration of race in college admissions, students have had to give more thought to how they present themselves in their application essays – to what they will disclose.

Data from the Common Application shows that in this admissions cycle, about 12% of students from underrepresented racial and ethnic groups used at least one of 38 identity-related phrases in their essays, a decrease of roughly 1% from the previous year. The data shows that about 20% of American Indian and Alaskan Native applicants used one of these phrases; meanwhile 15% of Asian students, 14% of Black students, 11% of Latinx students, and fewer than 3% of white students did so.

Why We Wrote This

A year ago, the U.S. Supreme Court barred affirmative action in college admissions. Students have since used their application essays as a place to explore identity.

To better understand how students were deciding what to include, The Hechinger Report asked newly accepted students from across the United States to share their application essays and to describe how they thought their writing choices ultimately influenced their admissions outcomes. Among them was Jaleel Gomes Cardoso from Boston, who wrote about being Black. 

“If you’re not going to see what my race is in my application, then I’m definitely putting it in my writing,” he says, “because you have to know that this is the person who I am.”   

In the year since the Supreme Court banned  the consideration of race in college admissions last June, students have had to give more thought to how they present themselves in their application essays .

Previously, they could write about their racial or ethnic identity if they wanted to, but colleges would usually know it either way and could use it as a factor in admissions. Now, it’s entirely up to students to disclose their identity or not.

Data from the Common Application shows that in this admissions cycle about 12% of students from underrepresented racial and ethnic groups used at least one of 38 identity-related phrases in their essays, a decrease of roughly 1% from the previous year. The data shows that about 20% of American Indian and Alaskan Native applicants used one of these phrases; meanwhile 15% of Asian students, 14% of Black students, 11% of Latinx students, and fewer than 3% of white students did so.

To better understand how students were making this decision and introducing themselves to colleges, The Hechinger Report asked newly accepted students from across the country to share their college application essays. The Hechinger staff read more than 50 essays and talked to many students about their writing process, who gave them advice, and how they think their choices ultimately influenced their admissions outcomes.

Here are thoughts from a sampling of those students, with excerpts from their essays. 

Jaleel Gomes Cardoso of Boston: A risky decision

As Jaleel Gomes Cardoso sat looking at the essay prompt for Yale University, he wasn’t sure how honest he should be. “Reflect on your membership in a community to which you feel connected,” it read. “Why is this community meaningful to you?” He wanted to write about being part of the Black community – it was the obvious choice – but the Supreme Court’s decision to ban the consideration of a student’s race in admissions gave him pause.

“Ever since the decision about affirmative action, it kind of worried me about talking about race,” says Mr. Cardoso, who grew up in Boston. “That entire topic felt like a risky decision.” 

In the past, he had always felt that taking a risk produced some of his best writing, but he thought that an entire essay about being Black might be going too far. 

“The risk was just so heavy on the topic of race when the Court’s decision was to not take race into account,” he says. “It was as if I was disregarding that decision. It felt very controversial, just to make it so out in the open.” 

how to write a conclusion for a debate essay

In the end, he did write an essay that put his racial identity front and center. He wasn’t accepted to Yale, but he has no regrets about his choice.

“If you’re not going to see what my race is in my application, then I’m definitely putting it in my writing,” says Mr. Cardoso, who will attend Dartmouth College this fall, “because you have to know that this is the person who I am.”                       

 – Meredith Kolodner

Essay excerpt:

I was thrust into a narrative of indifference and insignificance from the moment I entered this world. I was labeled as black, which placed me in the margins of society. It seemed that my destiny had been predetermined; to be part of a minority group constantly oppressed under the weight of a social construct called race. Blackness became my life, an identity I initially battled against. I knew others viewed it as a flaw that tainted their perception of me. As I matured, I realized that being different was not easy, but it was what I loved most about myself.  

Klaryssa Cobian of Los Angeles: A seminomadic mattress life

Klaryssa Cobian is Latina – a first-generation Mexican American – and so was nearly everyone else in the Southeast Los Angeles community where she grew up. Because that world was so homogenous, she really didn’t notice her race until she was a teenager.

Then she earned a scholarship to a prestigious private high school in Pasadena. For the first time, she was meaningfully interacting with people of other races and ethnicities, but she felt the greatest gulf between her and her peers came from her socioeconomic status, not the color of her skin. 

Although Ms. Cobian has generally tried to keep her home life private, she felt that colleges needed to understand the way her family’s severe economic disadvantages had affected her. She wrote about how she’d long been “desperate to feel at home.”

She was 16 years old before she had a mattress of her own. Her essay cataloged all the places she lay her head before that. She wrote about her first bed, a queen-sized mattress shared with her parents and younger sister. She wrote about sleeping in the backseat of her mother’s red Mustang, before they lost the car. She wrote about moving into her grandparents’ home and sharing a mattress on the floor with her sister, in the same room as two uncles. She wrote about the great independence she felt when she “moved out” into the living room and onto the couch.  

“Which mattress I sleep on has defined my life, my independence, my dependence,” Ms. Cobian wrote. 

She’d initially considered writing about the ways she felt she’d had to sacrifice her Latino culture and identity to pursue her education, but said she hesitated after the Supreme Court ruled on the use of affirmative action in admissions. Ultimately, she decided that her experience of poverty was more pertinent. 

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“If I’m in a room of people, it’s like, I can talk to other Latinos, and I can talk to other brown people, but that does not mean I’m going to connect with them. Because, I learned, brown people can be rich,” Ms. Cobian says.  She’s headed to the University of California, Berkeley, in the fall.

– Olivia Sanchez

Essay excerpt: 

With the only income, my mom automatically assumed custody of me and my younger sister, Alyssa. With no mattress and no home, the backseat of my mom’s red mustang became my new mattress. Bob Marley blasted from her red convertible as we sang out “could you be loved” every day on our ride back from elementary school. Eventually, we lost the mustang too and would take the bus home from Downtown Los Angeles, still singing “could you be loved” to each other.  

Oluwademilade Egunjobi of Providence, Rhode Island: The perfect introduction

Oluwademilade Egunjobi worked on her college essay from June until November. Not every single day, and not on only one version, but for five months she was writing and editing and asking anyone who would listen for advice.

She considered submitting essays about the value of sex education, or the philosophical theory of solipsism (in which the only thing that is guaranteed to exist is your own mind). 

But most of the advice she got was to write about her identity. So, to introduce herself to colleges, Oluwademilade Egunjobi wrote about her name.

Ms. Egunjobi is the daughter of Nigerian immigrants who, she wrote, chose her first name because it means she’s been crowned by God. In naming her, she said, her parents prioritized pride in their heritage over ease of pronunciation for people outside their culture. 

And although Ms. Egunjobi loves that she will always be connected to her culture, this choice has put her in a lifelong loop of exasperating introductions and questions from non-Nigerians about her name. 

The loop often ends when the person asks if they can call her by her nickname, Demi. “I smile through my irritation and say I prefer it anyways, and then the situation repeats time and time again,” Egunjobi wrote. 

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She was nervous when she learned about the Supreme Court’s affirmative action decision, wondering what it might mean for where she would get into college. Her teachers and college advisors from a program called Matriculate told her she didn’t have to write a sob story, but that she should write about her identity, how it affects the way she moves through the world and the resilience it’s taught her. 

She heeded their advice, and it worked out. In the fall, she will enter the University of Pennsylvania to study philosophy, politics, and economics. 

I don’t think I’ve ever had to fight so hard to love something as hard as I’ve fought to love my name. I’m grateful for it because it’ll never allow me to reject my culture and my identity, but I get frustrated by this daily performance. I’ve learned that this performance is an inescapable fate, but the best way to deal with fate is to show up with joy. I am Nigerian, but specifically from the ethnic group, Yoruba. In Yoruba culture, most names are manifestations. Oluwademilade means God has crowned me, and my middle name is Favor, so my parents have manifested that I’ll be favored above others and have good success in life. No matter where I go, people familiar with the language will recognize my name and understand its meaning. I love that I’ll always carry a piece of my culture with me.  

Francisco Garcia of Fort Worth, Texas: Accepted to college and by his community

In the opening paragraph of his college application essay, Francisco Garcia quotes his mother, speaking to him in Spanish, expressing disappointment that her son was failing to live up to her Catholic ideals. It was her reaction to Mr. Garcia revealing his bisexuality. 

Mr. Garcia said those nine Spanish words were “the most intentional thing I did to share my background” with colleges. The rest of his essay delves into how his Catholic upbringing, at least for a time, squelched his ability to be honest with friends about his sexual identity, and how his relationship with the church changed. He said he had striven, however, to avoid coming across as pessimistic or sad, aiming instead to share “what I’ve been through [and] how I’ve become a better person because of it.” 

He worked on his essay throughout July, August, and September, with guidance from college officials he met during campus visits and from an adviser he was paired with by Matriculate, which works with students who are high achievers from low-income families. Be very personal, they told Mr. Garcia, but within limits. 

“I am fortunate to have support from all my friends, who encourage me to explore complexities within myself,” he wrote. “My friends give me what my mother denied me: acceptance.”

He was accepted by Dartmouth, one of the eight schools to which he applied, after graduating from Saginaw High School near Fort Worth, Texas, this spring.

– Nirvi Shah

Essay excerpt:  

By the time I got to high school, I had made new friends who I felt safe around. While I felt I was more authentic with them, I was still unsure whether they would judge me for who I liked. It became increasingly difficult for me to keep hiding this part of myself, so I vented to both my mom and my closest friend, Yoana ... When I confessed that I was bisexual to Yoana, they were shocked, and I almost lost hope. However, after the initial shock, they texted back, “I’m really chill with this. Nothing has changed Francisco:)”. The smiley face, even if it took 2 characters, was enough to bring me to tears. 

Hafsa Sheikh of Pearland, Texas: Family focus above all 

Hafsa Sheikh felt her applications would be incomplete without the important context of her home life: She became a primary financial contributor to her household when she was just 15, because her father, once the family’s sole breadwinner, could not work due to his major depressive disorder. Her work in a pizza parlor on the weekends and as a tutor after school helped pay the bills. 

She found it challenging to open up this way, but felt she needed to tell colleges that, although working two jobs throughout high school made her feel like crying from exhaustion every night, she would do anything for her family. 

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“It’s definitely not easy sharing some of the things that you’ve been through with, like really a stranger,” she says, “because you don’t know who’s reading it.”

And especially after the Supreme Court ruled against affirmative action, Ms. Sheikh felt she needed to write about her cultural identity. It’s a core part of who she is, but it’s also a major part of why her father’s mental illness affected her life so profoundly. 

Ms. Sheikh, the daughter of Pakistani immigrants, said her family became isolated because of the negative stigma surrounding mental health in their South Asian culture. She said they became the point of gossip in the community and even among extended family members, and they were excluded from many social gatherings. This was happening as she was watching the typical high school experiences pass her by, she wrote. Because of the long hours she had to work, she had to forgo the opportunity to try out for the girls’ basketball team and debate club, and often couldn’t justify cutting back her hours to spend time with her friends.  

She wrote that reflecting on one of her favorite passages in the Holy Quran gave her hope:

“One of my favorite ayahs, ‘verily, with every hardship comes ease,’ serves as a timeless reminder that adversity is not the end; rather, there is always light on the other side,” Ms. Sheikh wrote.

Her perseverance paid off, with admission to Princeton University.

-- Olivia Sanchez

Besides the financial responsibility on my mother and I, we had to deal with the stigma surrounding mental health in South Asian culture and the importance of upholding traditional gender roles. My family became a point of great gossip within the local Pakistani community and even extended family. Slowly, the invitations to social gatherings diminished, and I bailed on plans with friends because I couldn’t afford to miss even a single hour of earnings.

David Arturo Munoz-Matta of McAllen, Texas: Weighing the risks of being honest

It was Nov. 30 and David Arturo Munoz-Matta had eight college essays due the next day. He had spent the prior weeks slammed with homework while also grieving the loss of his uncle who had just died. He knew the essays were going to require all the mental energy he could muster – not to mention whatever hours were left in the day. But he got home from school to discover he had no electricity. 

“I was like, ‘What am I gonna do?’” says Mr. Munoz-Matta, who graduated from Lamar Academy in McAllen, Texas. “I was panicking for a while, and my mom was like, ‘You know what? I’m just gonna drop you off at Starbucks and then just call me when you finish with all your essays.’ And so I was there at Starbucks from 4 until 12 in the morning.” 

The personal statement he agonized over most was the one he submitted to Georgetown University.  

“I don’t want to be mean or anything, but I feel like a lot of these institutions are very elitist, and that my story might not resonate with the admissions officers,” Mr. Munoz-Matta says. “It was a very big risk, especially when I said I was born in Mexico, when I said I grew up in an abusive environment. I believed at the time that would not be good for universities, that they might feel like, ‘I don’t want this kid, he won’t be a good fit with the student body.’”

He didn’t have an adult to help him with his essay, but another student encouraged him to be honest. It worked. He got into his dream school, Georgetown University, with a full ride. Many of his peers were not as fortunate. 

“I know because of the affirmative action decision, a lot of my friends did not even apply to these universities, like the Ivies, because they felt like they were not going to get in,” he says. “That was a very big sentiment in my school.”                       

– Meredith Kolodner  

While many others in my grade level had lawyers and doctors for parents and came from exemplary middle schools at the top of their classes, I was the opposite. I came into Lamar without middle school recognition, recalling my 8th-grade science teacher’s claim that I would never make it. At Lamar, freshman year was a significant challenge as I constantly struggled, feeling like I had reached my wit’s end. By the middle of Freshman year, I was the only kid left from my middle school, since everyone else had dropped out. Rather than following suit, I kept going. I felt like I had something to prove to myself because I knew I could make it.

Kendall Martin of Austin, Texas: From frustration to love

Kendall Martin wanted to be clear with college admissions officers about one thing: She is a young Black woman, and her race is central to who she is. Ms. Martin was ranked 15th in her graduating class from KIPP Austin Collegiate. She was a key figure on her high school basketball team. She wanted colleges to know she had overcome adversity. But most importantly, Ms. Martin says, she wanted to be sure, when her application was reviewed, “Y’all know who you are accepting.”

how to write a conclusion for a debate essay

It wouldn’t be as simple as checking a box, though, which led Ms. Martin, of Kyle, Texas, to the topic she chose for her college admissions essay, the year after the Supreme Court said race could not be a factor in college admissions. Instead, she looked at the hair framing her face, hair still scarred from being straightened time and again. 

Ms. Martin wrote about the struggles she faced growing up with hair that she says required extensive time to tame so she could simply run her fingers through it. Now headed to Rice University in Houston – her first choice from a half-dozen options – she included a photo of her braids as part of her application. Her essay described her journey from hating her hair to embracing it, from heat damage to learning to braid, from frustration to love, a feeling she now hopes to inspire in her sister.  

“That’s what I wanted to get across: my growing up, my experiences, everything that made me who I am,” she says.

–  Nirvi Shah

I’m still recovering from the heat damage I caused by straightening my hair every day, because I was so determined to prove that I had length. When I was younger, a lot of my self worth was based on how long my hair was, so when kids made fun of my “short hair,” I despised my curls more and more. I begged my mom to let me get a relaxer, but she continued to deny my wish. This would make me so angry, because who was she to tell me what I could and couldn’t do with my hair? But looking back, I’m so glad she never let me. I see now that a relaxer wasn’t the key to making me prettier, and my love for my curls has reached an all-time high. 

This story about  college admission essays  was produced by  The Hechinger Report , a nonprofit, independent news organization focused on inequality and innovation in education. Sign up for Hechinger’s  higher education newsletter . Listen to Hechinger’s  higher education podcast .

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