The final paragraphs of any paper can be extremely difficult to get right, and yet they are probably the most important. They offer you a chance to summarize the points you have made into a neat package and leave a good impression on the reader.
Many people choose to start the last paragraph with the phrase in conclusion, but this has its downsides.
Firstly, you should only use it once. Any more than that and your essay will sound horribly repetitive. Secondly, there is the question of whether you should even use the phrase at all?
- Why Is It Wrong to Use "In Conclusion" when Writing a Conclusion?
- What Can I Use Instead of "In Conclusion" for an Essay?
- What Are Some Synonyms for "In Conclusion" in Formal Writing?
- What Are Some Synonyms for "In Conclusion" in Informal Writing?
- What Is Another Word for "In Conclusion"?
- What Should a Conclusion Do in an Article or Paper?
Why Is It Wrong to Use "In Conclusion" when Writing a Conclusion?
Though it’s okay to use in conclusion in a speech or presentation, when writing an essay it comes across as stating the obvious. The phrase will come across as a bit unnecessary or "on the nose."
Its use in an essay is clichéd, and there are far cleaner and more elegant ways of indicating that you are going to be concluding the paper. Using in conclusion might even irritate and alienate your audience or readers.
Thankfully, there are hundreds of synonyms available in the English language which do a much better (and much more subtle) job of drawing a piece of writing to a close.
The key is to choose ones which suit the tone of the paper. Here we will look at both formal options for an essay or academic paper, and informal options for light-hearted, low key writing, or speeches.
What Can I Use Instead of "In Conclusion" for an Essay?
If you are writing an academic essay, a white paper, a business paper, or any other formal text, you will want to use formal transitional expressions that successfully work as synonyms for in conclusion.
The following are some suggestions you could use:
As has been demonstrated
A simple way of concluding all your points and summarizing everything you have said is to confidently state that those points have convincingly proven your case:
As the research has demonstrated, kids really do love chocolate.
As all the above points have demonstrated, Dan Brown really was the most technically gifted writer of the 20th Century.
As has been demonstrated in this paper, the side-effects of the vaccine are mild in comparison to the consequences of the virus.
As has been shown
This is another way of saying as has been demonstrated, but perhaps less scientific and more literary. As has been shown would work well in literature, history, or philosophy essays.
- As has been shown above, the First World War and industrialization were the drivers for a new way of seeing the world, reflected in Pound’s poetry.
In the final analysis
This is a great expression to use in your conclusion, since it’s almost as blunt as in conclusion, but is a more refined and far less clichéd way of starting the concluding paragraph.
Once you have finished your argument and started drawing things to a close, using in the final analysis allows you to tail nicely into your last summation.
- In the final analysis, there can be little doubt that Transformers: Dark of the Moon represents a low point in the history of cinema.
Along with let’s review , this is short and blunt way of announcing that you intend to recap the points you have made so far, rather than actually drawing a conclusion.
It definitely works best when presenting or reading out a speech, but less well in an essay or paper.
However, it does work effectively in a scientific paper or if you wish to recap a long train of thought, argument, or sequence before getting to the final concluding lines.
- To review, of the two groups of senior citizens, one was given a placebo and the other a large dose of amphetamines.
Another phrase you could consider is in closing. This is probably better when speaking or presenting because of how double-edged it is. It still has an in conclusion element to it, but arguably it could also work well when drawing an academic or scientific paper to a conclusion.
For example, it is particularly useful in scientific or business papers where you want to sum up your points, and then even have a call to action:
- In closing then, it is clear that as a society, we all need to carefully monitor our consumption of gummy bears.
Or in an academic paper, it offers a slightly less blunt way to begin a paragraph:
- In closing, how do we tie all these different elements of Ballard’s writing together?
Perhaps the most similar expression to in conclusion is in summary. In summary offers a clear indication to the reader that you are going to restate the main points of your paper and draw a conclusion from those points:
In summary, Existentialism is the only philosophy that has any real validity in the 21st century.
In summary, we believe that by switching to a subscription model...
What Are Some Synonyms for "In Conclusion" in Formal Writing?
On top of those previously mentioned, here are some other phrases that you can use as an alternative to in conclusion:
- To summarize
- Overall, it may be said
- Taking everything into account
- On the whole
- In general, it can be said that
- With this in mind
- In the end
- Considering all this
- Everything considered
- As a final observation
- Considering all of the facts
- For the most part
- In light of these facts
What Are Some Synonyms for "In Conclusion" in Informal Writing?
When it comes to finishing up a speech, a light-hearted paper, blog post, or magazine article, there are a couple of informal phrases you can use rather than in conclusion:
In a nutshell
The phrase in a nutshell is extremely informal and can be used both in speech and in writing. However, it should never be used in academic or formal writing.
It could probably be used in informal business presentations, to let the audience know that you are summing up in a light-hearted manner:
- In a nutshell, our new formula Pro Jazzinol shampoo does the same as our old shampoo, but we get to charge 20% more for it!
You can also use it if you want to get straight to the point at the end of a speech or article, without any fluff:
- In a nutshell, our new SocialShocka app does what it says on the tin—gives you an electric shock every time you try to access your social media!
At the end of the day
This is a pretty useful expression if you want to informally conclude an argument, having made all your points. It basically means in the final reckoning or the main thing to consider is, but said in a more conversational manner:
At the end of the day, he will never make the national team, but will make a good living as a professional.
At the end of the day, the former President was never destined to unite the country…
Long story short
Another informal option when replacing in conclusion is to opt for to make a long story short —sometimes shortened to long story short.
Again, this is not one you would use when writing an academic or formal paper, as it is much too conversational. It’s a phrase that is far better suited to telling a joke or story to your friends:
- Long story short, Billy has only gone and started his own religion!
Would you ever use it in writing? Probably not, except for at the end of friendly, low-key presentations:
- Long story short, our conclusion is that you are spending far too much money on after work company bowling trips.
And possibly at the end of an offbeat magazine article or blog post:
- Long story short, Henry VIII was a great king—not so great a husband though!
Other "In Conclusion" Synonyms for Informal Writing
You can use any of the synonyms in this article when writing informally, but these are particularly useful when you want your writing to sound conversational:
- All in all
- By and large
- On a final note
- Last but not least
- For all intents and purposes
- In short
- The bottom line is
- To put it bluntly
- To wrap things up
- To come to the point
- To wind things up
What Is Another Word for "In Conclusion"?
Instead of opting for one of the above expressions or idioms, there are several different singular transition words you can use instead. Here are a couple of examples:
The perfect word to tell the reader you are reaching the end of your argument. Lastly is an adverb that means "at the end" or "in summary." It is best used when you are beginning your conclusion:
- Lastly, with all the previous points in mind, there is the question of why Philip K Dick was so fascinated with alternate history?
But can also be used at the very end of your conclusion too:
- Lastly then, we are left with Eliot’s own words on his inspiration for "The Waste Land."
Finally does exactly the same job as lastly. It lets the reader know that you are at the final point of your argument or are about to draw your conclusion:
- Finally, we can see from all the previous points that...
Another word that can be used at beginning of the conclusion is the adverb ultimately. Meaning "in the end" or "at the end of the day," it can be used as a conclusion to both informal and formal papers or articles:
- Ultimately, it comes down to whether one takes an Old Testament view of capital punishment or...
It can also be used in more survey, scientific, or charity appeal style articles as a call to action of some sort:
- Ultimately, we will all need to put some thought into our own carbon footprints over the next couple of years.
A good word to conclude a scientific, or survey style paper is overall. It can be used when discussing the points, arguments or results that have been outlined in the paper up until that point.
Thus, you can say:
- Overall, our survey showed that most people believe you should spread the cream before you add the jam, when eating scones.
Other Transition Words to Replace "In Conclusion"
Here are a few transition word alternatives to add to your arsenal:
Pro tip: You should use transition words throughout your essay, paper, or article to guide your reader through your ideas towards your conclusion. ProWritingAid’s Transitions Report tells you how many transition words you’ve used throughout your document so you can make sure you’re supporting your readers’ understanding.
It’ll also tell you what type of transitions you’ve used. If there are no conclusion words in your writing, consider using one of the synonyms from this article.
What Should a Conclusion Do in an Article or Paper?
One of the most effective ways of finishing up a piece of writing is to ask a question, or return to the question that was asked at the beginning of the paper using. This can be achieved using how, what, why, or who.
This is sometimes referred to as the "so what?" question. This takes all your points and moves your writing (and your reader) back to the broader context, and gets the reader to ask, why are these points important? Your conclusion should answer the question "so what?".
To answer that, you circle back to the main concept or driving force of the essay / paper (usually found in the title) and tie it together with the points you have made, in a final, elegant few sentences:
How, then, is Kafka’s writing modernist in outlook?
Why should we consider Dickens’ work from a feminist perspective?
What, then, was Blake referring to, when he spoke of mind forged manacles?
There are plenty of alternatives for drawing an effective and elegant close to your arguments, rather than simply stating in conclusion.
Whether you ask a question or opt for a transition expression or a single transition word, just taking the time to choose the right synonyms will make all the difference to what is, essentially, the most important part of your paper.
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