How To Write A Conclusion For A Literary Essay: Basic Rules

Okay, so you have written your initial draft. You have dotted all of the I’s and crossed all of the T’s. You know you have written the kind of essay that will blow the competition out of the water. However, as you will be aware the conclusion and the manner in which you bring a sense of closure to your critique is pivotal. Gloss over it and all of the time that you have invested in your essay to date will have been in vein. Go into overkill and you will be, well, killing the essay.

Before you start panicking or reaching for the delete button don’t worry, I you follow these basic rules then you won’t go far wrong:

  • Spend time on it
  • I have lost count of the times when I have been excitedly reading some brilliant essays only for them to fall flat at the final hurdle. Frankly, it defies logic that someone would invest so much time and effort into the introduction and main body, only to skip over the conclusion as though it were irrelevant. Tiredness or a desire to finish are not excuses. You have to polish, and re-polish until it is absolutely flawless.

  • Recap on the central argument of your argument
  • There is an art to doing this, and once you have written several essays, you will find yourself getting into a routine. You need to deftly recap on all of the main points in your essay without going over them all in depth. The last thing you want to do is repeat that which you have already written!

  • Do not introduce any new threads
  • Your conclusion is not the place to casually throw in any new threads that you have previously forgotten about. If you do suddenly remember something, then you will need to go back and introduce it into the main body of the work rather than trying to slot it in here.

  • Emphasize the significance of your findings
  • Unless you give credence to your findings, then your readers are going to be left scratching their heads and wondering what the point of it all is. If possible try and find a way of linking the literary work to the modern day, or you could maybe explain just why you feel so passionate about it and what it means to you. Whatever, your words need to resonate and connect with your audience.