Craft Informative Conclusions
A previous article detailed the ingredients to an informative introduction. This article reveals possible components for writing an informative conclusion.
After students have written an introduction and the body of an informative piece, they often move right into their LAST STEP OR REASON. And then they’re done. They simply conclude at the end of the middle. That is to be expected at the primary level, but it’s important to move students beyond that.
The standards require students to provide a concluding statement that follows the presented information. This typically includes RESTATING A TOPIC SENTENCE OR THESIS STATEMENT. However, it is not necessary to summarize the entire body of reasons just to beef up the conclusion. There are several more powerful pieces to a concluding paragraph than a rehashing of the middle.
Teach students how to RETURN TO A SCENE OR SCENARIO that they mentioned in their introduction or body. If they opened with a description, setting, or vignette, they could return to that in the conclusion, showing how time has passed, how the events played out, or how the problem was solved. Tying their introductions and their conclusions together is a powerful way to end.
Of course, if they didn’t open with a setting or scenario, then this type of ending isn’t appropriate. Another option is the So What? ending. This type of conclusion answers the reader’s question: So, you’ve told me all of this information in the body paragraphs, so what’s your point?
One type of So What? ending might focus on THE RESULT OR OUTCOME. What do we now know?
In the case of a sad or difficult subject matter, students might end with a So What? ending that provides the reader with some GOOD NEWS. Encourage the reader at the end of such a piece.
A third variation of the So What? ending includes an explanation of THE TOPIC’S SIGNIFICANCE. What’s the big deal? Why does it all matter? What is the significance of all of this information?
Whether you teach students all of these different facets of an informative conclusion or just a few, remember to teach them in individual mini-lessons. Once students have practiced each separately, then they can craft a variety of combinations. For example:
Reveal the last step, event, or reason, and then restate the thesis and explain its significance. Or, students could present the “good news” while returning to an opening scene or vignette. Follow this with a restatement of the thesis.
When students have numerous pieces of the conclusion “puzzle,” then they can craft longer, more complete concluding paragraphs. This would ultimately eliminate endings like: Thank you, Goodbye, The End, That’s all I know, or Hope you liked it.
Download the puzzle-piece graphics to build your own lesson resource.