Tuesday, October 8, 2019

Essay Writing: The Main Body - Concluding Sentence



In our previous essay-writing posts, we dealt with the the overall organization of an essay, the introductory paragraph, the main body paragraph's topic sentence, and lastly the supporting sentences of the main body.

I stress once again, for those who haven't read my previous posts in this series, that the information contained within focuses mostly on English as a foreign language exam-type essay questions. This means the advice I give is there to help complete the Writing Section of an exam in approximately half an hour, so all parts of the essay have been whittled down to the bare essentials. 


For those who need to work on longer papers of 400 words or more, simply follow the outline given but expand each section. Additionally, feel free to be more creative in adding more paragraphs to the introduction and conclusion. It is rarely possible to write over a paragraph for either the former or latter in an exam when time is pressing, but this is not case with essays or papers given well in advance, that students can work on for days and for which information has been collected through research.


Now, let's turn to the final part of a main body paragraph -- the concluding sentence. 

We said that a main body paragraph can be divided into three general parts: 








The last section is optional in cases where the written assignment is a short one (200 words or so). In such cases, paragraphs tend to be short so the reader doesn't have a problem remembering what was mentioned in them. In fact, this is precisely the chief raison d’ĂȘtre of a concluding sentence: to reinforce a writer's argument by reiterating the main points stated in the paragraph. Another reason is to untangle the web of a complicated argument, in other words to restate a point differently to clarify the argument beyond a shadow of a doubt. 

If for any reason, you believe all points mentioned in a paragraph are clear enough and the paragraph isn't long enough for readers to have forgotten what they've read, then a concluding sentence is unnecessary. In fact, it should be avoided in my view as it may give the impression that you're trying to fill a page up with something you've already said instead of taking the time to discuss an issue in greater depth from a different perspective. Another reason to avoid such a sentence is because students tend to use the exact same words they used a few sentences ago; such repetition decreases their chances of scoring well when examiners place a grade in the "lexical ability" category (i.e. repetition of words = lack of vocabulary).

To sum up, write a concluding sentence (using different words / phrases from the ones found in the paragraph) to 

a) reinforce your argument(s)

or

b) clarify your argument(s)


Let's look at examples of these. 


Example 1:

Cars are, on the one hand, a hassle and those who stress their disadvantages are right to do so. First of all, drivers have to deal with a number of expenses that drain a household's budget considerably. For instance, servicing a car, paying annual taxes and car insurance agencies, visiting your local gas station every few days, repairing a variety of things and many more minor costs can cause a major headache to your average motorist. Then there is also the question of safety. For fear of having their car stolen, drivers install expensive alarm systems yet still lose their sleep over the matter. Those who do not have a garage to park their vehicle away from prying eyes and nimble fingers even pay a monthly car park subscription. In short, the major reason why cars are considered a drawback by a number of individuals is because of the stress they cause in terms of money.


The final sentence takes the topic of expenses and brings to the fore the problem of stress caused as a result of it. This example shows a concluding sentences which clarifies an argument by connecting expenses and safety with the overall problem which is stress.



Example 2:

Cars are, on the one hand, a hassle and those who stress their disadvantages are right to do so. First of all, drivers have to deal with a number of expenses that drain a household's budget considerably. For instance, servicing a car, paying annual taxes and car insurance agencies, visiting your local gas station every few days, repairing a variety of things and many more minor costs can cause a major headache to your average motorist. Then there is also the question of safety. For fear of having their car stolen, drivers install expensive alarm systems yet still lose their sleep over the matter. Those who do not have a garage to park their vehicle away from prying eyes and nimble fingers even pay a monthly car park subscription. In addition to this, drivers must be aware of everything that is going on around them to avoid an accident, which not only will increase expenses but may also entail permanent bodily harm. In short, one could say that the drawbacks cars present are their high maintenance costs, fear of theft and potential health risks as a result of a road accident.


Here, the concluding sentence picks out the three major disadvantages the writer discusses, and states them as concisely as possible in order to remind the reader of the points this paragraph covered.






 



Click on the following links for more posts concerning essay writing:

1) The Overall Organization of an Essay

2) The Introductory Paragraph

3) The Main Body - Topic Sentence

4) The Main Body - Supporting Sentences 


Read a variety of sample essays by clicking on the image below



http://argutelegacy.blogspot.com/search/label/writing







Looking for help with the oral exam? Click the image for tips and topics to improve your speaking skills. 




http://argutelegacy.blogspot.com/search/label/Speaking






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