Imagine going on a date with a really cute guy or girl you’ve had your eye on for a while. The date goes fantastic. You’re falling in love. You go to say goodbye with a romantic kiss…then your date’s parents come out of nowhere, yell at you, and you run away. Did you have a good date or not? Well, even though 99.9% of your date was awesome, you would probably have a hard time shaking the impact of those last few seconds.
This is exactly what happens with writers’ conclusions too.
Their essay is going great. They are making brilliant arguments. They sound as cool as a professor who snowboards. And then…blah. Their essay ends with a blah conclusion. And that’s what the ACT essay reader remembers: blah.
Often, students write conclusions simply because they know they have to include something at the end. But they can be clueless as far as how to write an essay conclusion. Here is an easy way to remember how to pack a punch with your conclusion.
Stay on “TrAC!”
If a writer can remember to “stay on TrAC, they can remember how to end with a dynamic, memorable conclusion paragraph. Conclusions don’t have to be long, but they do need to be worthwhile.
Tr = Thesis restated
Not repeating but rephrasing the thesis, with the purpose of reminding the audience of the main idea the paper has intended to prove. Here, it appears as a more “summative” statement, indicating to readers what has been proven based on the previous body paragraphs of reasoning and evidence.
A = Application
The bulk of the conclusion is NOT merely a summary of the points made in the body, but an explanation of how the points that are made in the body are relevant and worthwhile to have read. Just as the attention getter in the Introduction brings the reader from their world into the world of the paper, the Application transitions the reader from the paper back into the world.
C = Clincher line
The final line in the conclusion is a powerful, memorable line that leaves a lasting impression on the reader, tying together both the main argument of the thesis with the intended application.
The end of a boxing match has a knockout punch. The end of a fireworks show has a grand finale. The end of a career has a big party. What will your ACT essay end with? A memorable conclusion or a weak fizzle of obligatory repetition? No matter the ACT prompt, you can use this easy structure to end the ACT writing with a bang!