How to Write a Winning Argumentative Essay Conclusion

Think back to the last concert you watched. I bet the performers ended with their greatest chart-topping hit, right?

Why? Because they want to end their concert with a high-energy song that everyone knows. They want to play that song—the one everyone waits all night to hear.

By leaving you excited about the final moments of the concert, performers know you’ll be more likely to have positive memories. You’ll also more likely be convinced that your hard-earned dollars were well spent.

The conclusion of your argumentative essay should be like the last song at your favorite concert: memorable and convincing.

Not sure how to make that happen? Read on to learn how to write a winning argumentative essay conclusion.

How to Write a Winning Argumentative Essay Conclusion

woman seated singing 'in conclusion' into microphone

If you want to be a rock star of the argumentative essay world, you need to write a rock-star conclusion.

Because the goal of an argumentative essay is to use logical arguments to convince your audience, your conclusion needs to both remind readers of your main arguments and reinforce those arguments.

In order to write a winning argumentative essay conclusion, follow the three steps outlined below.

Step #1: Review the main arguments of your essay

The conclusion is your last chance to convince readers of your arguments. So it’s pretty important that you first identify not only the main arguments but also the strongest arguments you’ve presented.

Here’s how to identify the main arguments of your essay:

  • Review your thesis statement. If you’ve written a three-part thesis statement, your key points may already be listed in your thesis.
  • Review the topic sentence of each body paragraph. The topic sentence of each paragraph should identify the focus of the paragraph. By reviewing topic sentences, you can note the key points you’ve addressed.
  • Create a reverse outline. If you want to be even more detailed about reviewing the main arguments (and the evidence you’ve used to support your arguments), try a reverse outline to get a complete picture of your essay.

Once you’ve identified your main arguments, decide which ones you’ll highlight in your conclusion.

You may wish to highlight some or all of your main arguments. (Keep in mind, though, that you might be required to summarize all of your key points in your conclusion, so check your assignment guidelines before you start writing.)

After you’ve decided which arguments you’ll highlight, begin writing your conclusion.

Step #2: Transition from the body of the essay and begin the conclusion

arrow carved in a wall pointing to transition

When readers reach the end of your essay, you want them to know that the essay has ended. You don’t want to leave them staring blankly, wondering if you forgot to include the final paragraph(s).

Thus, after you’ve written the final body paragraph of your essay, you need to clearly signal to the readers that your paper is coming to a close and transition to the conclusion.

I know it’s tempting to write “in conclusion” and just start writing, but “in conclusion” isn’t the most effective way to begin your concluding paragraph. Read Wrap It Up: 15 (Better) Concluding Transitions to learn 15 better ways to make the transition.

Once you’ve selected an appropriate transition word or phrase, use the first few lines of your conclusion to emphasize the key arguments of your essay.

I’m sure that you’ve heard that your conclusion should restate your thesis statement. While you should definitely restate the ideas presented in your thesis, you most certainly should not simply reword your thesis. (In other words, don’t just switch up a word or two and call it good.)

Remember, you’re synthesizing the core arguments of your paper and emphasizing the importance of your arguments. You’re not simply rewriting your thesis.

Example: An effective start

As an example of an effective start to a conclusion, take a look at these opening lines from the conclusion in an argumentative essay from our library:

Ultimately, one of the main problems with the men’s rights movement is their belief that women lie about being raped, sexually assaulted, or abused for attention or because they’re bitter against men. In turn, these men get more violent and lash out.

Notice that this conclusion begins with the transition “ultimately” to signal the beginning of the conclusion. The writer then effectively emphasizes the core arguments of the essay: what he/she believes are the main problems with the men’s rights movement.

By restating the central ideas of the paper, the writer effectively reinforces his/her claims and refocuses on the core arguments.

Step #3: Wrap up the conclusion

brown box wrapped up with pink ribbon bow

As you wrap up your argumentative conclusion, keep in mind the purpose of your essay: to convince your audience.

What better way to convince your readers than to appeal directly to them, right?

This doesn’t mean that you should address your readers by using second-person point of view. Instead, stick with third person.

To connect with your readers, you might urge them to take action or illustrate what might happen if they don’t make a change.

This strategy not only engages readers but also leaves them thinking about the importance of your claims.

Stuck on Your Argumentative Essay?
Check Out These Example Arguments

Example: An effecting ending

Here’s the ending of the conclusion I included earlier. (I’ve included the ending in bold after the opening lines of the conclusion, so you can read the entire concluding paragraph at once.)

Ultimately, one of the main problems with the men’s rights movement is their belief that women lie about being raped, sexually assaulted, or abused for attention or because they’re bitter against men. In turn, these men get more violent and lash out. If they would listen to facts and reasoning, they’d understand what victims really go through. They may also come to learn that most of their problems of “male oppression” are results of a patriarchal societal structure and the toxic masculinity they refuse to acknowledge. Maybe they will never understand that feminism is the only thing that can liberate us all, but perhaps if it is rebranded as “egalitarianism” or “human rights”, they’ll reconsider.  

Notice that the writer uses third person to discuss the topic but clearly aims the final lines at anyone who refuses to acknowledge toxic masculinity. The writer then offers a suggestion for a change in terminology as a final push to convince readers that change needs to occur.

NOTE: The writer of this essay uses first-person plural (“us”). While it’s sometimes acceptable to use the first-person plural POV in an essay, check with your professor to see whether it’s acceptable in your assignment.

The Final Steps

woman walking up concrete steps

With your winning argumentative essay conclusion in place, you can now focus on the final touches of your paper.

As you revise and edit your draft, make sure your essay fits all the requirements for a great argumentative essay. If you’re not sure whether your essay is strong, read these posts for additional argumentative essay writing tips:

You can also review tons of example argumentative essays in our database.

Still on the fence as to whether your argumentative essay (or essay conclusion) is convincing? Send your essay our way.

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