How to Write a Concluding Sentence With a Punch

This video gives key tips for writing punchy concluding sentences, plus advice on when to use them. Making a joke, taking a step back, and bringing your argument full circle can all be great ways to conclude a paragraph—and they’re all discussed in this video.

Essay WritingWriting Elements and Process
LanguageEnglish Language
Persuasive TextsArgumentive Essay
WritingEssay Writing

Transcript

00:23

How do you write a concluding sentence... with a punch?

00:26

Just as a boxing match with a 'roo consists of multiple rounds, your essay consists of

00:30

multiple paragraphs.

00:31

It's important to end some of these with a little jab to the gut, just to get your

00:35

point across and let your opponent... er... reader, know you mean business.

00:39

Anyway, short paragraphs don't need punchy concluding sentences, but longer paragraphs do.

00:44

A great way to conclude a paragraph is to remind readers where you started. If you started

00:49

talking about effects of toxic laundry detergent on the environment, remind your readers of that.

00:55

And say you've spent four or five detailed sentences describing the anatomy of a kangaroo's

01:00

legs. Let your reader know that a kangaroo's legs are for more than just hopping.

01:05

The end of your essay needs a sentence so punchy that it's a "great big honking walloper."

01:10

That's Shmoop-slang meets Australian slang for "total knock out."

01:16

The final sentence should leave your readers' heads spinning.

01:18

Ask yourself, what's the theme of your essay?

01:22

If the point is that animals display human characteristics, such as a love for boxing,

01:26

make sure to focus on that.

01:28

If the point of your essay is that kangaroos bite other boxers' ears off, a la Mike Tyson,

01:33

well... good luck finding citations for that one.

01:36

Whatever your point, you need to lead your reader's thought process in that direction

01:39

by saying something like, "Animals are more like us than we think."

01:43

Your conclusion is a good place to take a step back and analyze something larger.

01:47

How do kangaroos fit into the world? Marsupials might be a small part of the animal kingdom,

01:52

but they're still important.

01:55

Just don't zoom too far out. "Kangaroos are awesome!" might be true, but it's

01:58

a little too vague of a note to end your essay on.

02:01

You can also make a joke, like, "Don't take a kickboxing class with a kangaroo."

02:06

You just have to make sure this fits in with the tone of the rest of your essay. If your

02:10

paper is about kangaroos going extinct and leaving your readers in tears, a humorous

02:14

rim-shot isn't the best note to end on.

02:17

Finally, you can bring your essay full circle.

02:20

Maybe you can make a reference to the title of your essay. Perhaps it's called "Hopping

02:24

Mad" and you get angry when kangaroos and wallabies are confused. Or you can talk about

02:29

how kangaroos are always "Kicking it to the Limit."

02:32

OR maybe you can think of a reference that doesn't sound like the name of an eighties

02:36

dance aerobics class.

02:38

So those are a few ways to write concluding sentences with a punch.

02:42

Take a step back.

02:42

Make a joke.

02:43

Bring your essay full circle.

02:45

And make sure to transition into the ending like the smooth operator that you are.

02:49

After all, while you don't want to telegraph your knockout punch in a title bout, but in

02:53

an essay, it's nice to let your reader know that it's coming.