Argumentative essays are written to prove author’s position on a certain subject. And, as you can easily guess from a name, this position is usually arguable — that is, there is more than one side to take on any matter. In other words, argumentative essays should convince readers of writers’ opinions — generally, with facts, data, and other evidence. Even though most arguing and convincing will happen in the main body of your work, it is unwise to underestimate the importance of an argumentative essay conclusion. After all, this is the last part your audience will be reading, so an argumentative essay conclusion is also your last chance to prove your point.
All in all, a conclusion for an argumentative paper has the same basic elements as any other conclusion for an academic paper. In other words, it should briefly summarize the main points, proved in your body parts and reinstate a thesis, formulated in your introduction. So, the best way to prepare for writing your argumentative paper conclusion is to over your body paragraphs and introduction once again. Remember, you cannot just copy-paste the sentences you’ve already written. All essential information from your body parts and your introduction should be restated (paraphrased) in conclusion.
Even though conclusions summarize your paper major points, the best way to start this paragraph is to once again remind readers of your subject’s importance. You may even get a bit emotional and creative here — anything goes to leave a lasting impression on your reader. If for example, you are writing an argumentative paper on recycling, stating once again that not turning our planet into a trashcan is our responsibility can shake your readers up a bit. After that, you can move on to actually enumerating your findings (evidence you used in main body paragraphs).
Most argumentative papers are based on logic and rationale. So, after catching your readers’ attention and stating your subject’s importance once again, you are to briefly summarize the most convincing, memorable arguments you made in body paragraphs. Remember to keep it rational — this way, you will have a greater chance of swaying readers to your side of the argument. Plus, reinstating your main findings will remind them of the major points discussed in your work. Finally, it will help you highlight arguments that matter the most. Here, it is also important not to introduce any new information — as a rule, this only weakens your arguments and confuses the reader.
There are several ways to wrap up a conclusion in a memorable and effective manner. First, you could once again appeal to emotion (when applicable) and highlight the importance of your subject and/or stress the validity of your arguments. Or, you could use a call to action, urging readers to think about other possible ways to approach this topic. Alternatively, you could make a future prediction, stating what would happen if the audience does not take this issue seriously. All of those are very powerful ways to conclude a paper and leave an impression on your audience.
Depending on the topic, you might even try to make it personal. In the example of a recycling paper, you could suggest that dumps could eventually be built near your readers’ homes. Finally, you could urge the audience to take more action than think about possible solutions to the problem — visit a city council meeting, enlist in a volunteering organization, etc. All of those approaches work fine — as long as you do not introduce any new information and keep it short.