Friday, October 06, 2006

Conclusions – Will there be a sequel?

One of the biggest challenges student writers face is toward the end of the process. You’ve written everything except the dreaded conclusion. But what do you write? An all too common approach to conclusions is to summarize your entire paper. The trouble with a summary is that your instructor will be reading the same things they just read in the body of your paper. Especially for short papers written at the undergraduate level, reading a summary may be perceived as time well wasted.

I’ve struggled with conclusions for many years and have found the best way to tackle a paper’s conclusion is to think like some horror movie producers do:
leave room for a sequel! A great writer effectively answers question she’s asked herself but in the end, poses another with the hope that she or another researcher may be able to answer. Just as the monster comes back to life in the frightening final moments of a horror flick, prompting audience anticipation for a sequel, academic writers also might leave their endings open.


Blog note: Here's some more online information on conclusions.

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