Writing the Basic Analytical Essay: Part Four The Conclusion

This copyrighted article is the fourth of a series that teaches students how to write an effective essay. Writing the Basic Analytical Essay: Parts One, Two, and Three are available at http://cooperhillstylebook.com/archive/

Unlike the Introduction, which begins with a general idea and narrows down to specific categories, the Conclusion applies the specific ideas discussed in the essay to broader concepts, patterns, or principles. The Conclusion evaluates: it can criticize, determine, generalize, assert, justify, judge, recommend, predict, extrapolate, etc. It can also disagree with the basic position of the entire essay. Below are some suggestions.

  1. Comment on the theme or opening general topic of the essay pointing out the logical consequences or implications of your essay about life, society, nature, politics, faith, education, family, human experience in general, etc.
  2. Respond to a quotation or question (either implied or explicit) in the Introduction.
  3. Respond to a question or issue raised by the discussion in the body of the essay
  4. Respond to the shock or surprise at the end of the story and show how it illuminates the theme.
  5. Indicate how the thesis illustrates or exemplifies universal patterns of thought or action and a general truth about human experience.
  6. Show the relevance of the theme or subject to experiences you have had or to other literature, art, music you have read, viewed, or heard.
  7. State your opinion about the discussion in the essay. Note any omissions in the discussion, and suggest ideas that require further examination.
  8. Disagree with the conclusions of the author.
  9. A combination of any of the above.

For the purpose of this particular essay, let’s choose concluding strategy # 1.

The fact that both slavery and freedom are problematic does not mean that they’re equivalent. Each one has ramifications that affect the personality, even the identity, of the chooser. The choices that people make reflect their priorities: whether physical comfort or spiritual satisfaction. However, these priorities are not fixed. People can change, and what changes them are their subsequent choices at crucial junctures in their lives. Essentially then, our choices show who we are, and determine whom we become. Thus the Dog confirmed his slave mentality by relinquishing his freedom, just as the Wolf upheld his dignity by opting for freedom. Aesop’s fable points out that people do not have to be limited by the situations in which they find themselves or by their personalities. They are not predestined. They can choose to overcome both their circumstances and their initial predisposition. People can influence their future and define their identity.

*The Basic Essay is copyrighted © by Rosette Liberman, Ed.D. Dr. Liberman is the co-author of the classic The Cooper Hill Stylebook — a digital writing and revision text that can be ordered through www.cooperhillstylebook.com.