Trailblazing Conclusions

Sandy, Stoney, and Spring are ready to learn about conclusions.

     Sandy, Stoney, and Spring learned a lot about successful introductions in the previous lesson. Curley leads them down the right trail.

      Now they are ready to achieve the "double lasso" effect with their essays by learning the trail signs of a successful conclusion.  Again, they seek the advice of Curley, the Master Trailblazer.

Sandy is eager to get back on the trail.     Sandy, eager to get back on the trail, slings on his backpack and comments, "I know the introduction and conclusion work together to rope the reader's attention and response, but what are the trail signs of a strong conclusion, Curley?"

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Curley warns against writing "The End" in a conclusion.     
     "Glad you asked, Sandy.  Sometimes by the end of the essay writers are tempted to say 'The End.'  This type of conclusion doesn't give the reader a chance to respond.  The writer simply 'drops' the reader off a cliff of information without a lasso."

     Curley continues, "I've rounded up a few trail signs that will help you avoid those pitfalls and guide you in writing a successful conclusion.  Take a look at the list below."




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Curley challenges Sandy to use the trail signs.

   "Now let's see if you can put those trail signs to use.  Hike through the sample conclusion below.  It is about a special person.  Note the trail signs used by the writer."   

   "Sure, Curley.  I'll give it a try," remarks Sandy.

Bring closure.

Restate main idea.

Call for reflection or action.

Bring Closure

Restate main idea

Call for reflection or action

Help Sandy identify the trail signs in the sample below.  Click on the underlined words for feedback.

      In conclusion, my brother is a very special person in my life.  Restate main idea.   He's more loving than you can imagine.  He's very caring in every way.  His jokes, well they could make anyone laughBring closure. If you want to meet a loving, caring, and absolutely funny brother come over and I'll introduce you to mine.Call for reflection or action.

This is an anonymous student response.  It is used with permission from the Florida Department of Education.

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The trail signs helped a lot.

     Sandy finishes the hike and says,  "That was an adventure.  Thanks for marking the trail signs for me, Curley.   I'm ready for some new adventures with my essay now that I know the trail signs of a successful conclusion."

     What about you?  Are you ready to try some new trails?  Read the conclusion of the Magic Kingdom essay below, and then click on the arrow to select the sentences that are examples of the trail signs.

 Magic Kingdom 

     (1) I thought I would spend a few hours at Disneyland, but here I was at 1:00 A.M., closing time, leaving the front gates with the now dark towers of the Magic Kingdom behind me.   (2) I could see tired children, toddling along and struggling to keep their eyes open as best they could.  (3) Others slept in their parents' arms as we waited for the parking lot tram that would take us to our cars.  (4) My forty-year-old feet ached, and I felt a bit sad to think that in a couple of days I would be leaving California, my vacation over, to go back to my desk.  (5) But then I smiled to think that for at least a day I felt ten years old again.

This example was written by Randa Holewa and used by permission of The Write Place, URL: It was adapted from Basic Writing:  A First Course, by Peter Carino, Harper Collins, 1991, and used with permission by him as well.

Bring closure. Select the sentence(s) used to bring closure to the essay.
Restate the main idea. Select the sentence used to restate the main idea.
Call for reflection or action by the reader. Select the sentence(s) used as a call for reflection about the topic by the reader.

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Sandy wants to see the trail markers of a successful conclusion.

    Sandy continues, "I'm beginning to understand the trail signs of a conclusion.  I know I need to bring closure to my essay, restate the main ideas, and call for reflection about the topic by the reader.  Are there trail markers that will help me include these in my conclusion?" Curley marks the way.

    "You bet, Sandy.  I've rounded up some trail markers and examples of each of them for you.  Take a look."



Trail Markers for Conclusion Paragraphs

Appeal for action by the reader.

Make a deduction from the presented facts.

Make a prediction based on presented facts.

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Sandy is ready to hike."Wow, Curley, those trail markers were helpful.  I think I'm well on my way to writing a successful conclusion."

How about you?  You've seen the next sample before.  It demonstrated how the writer makes a prediction based on presented facts.  Look at the sample again.  Check the other trail markers you can identify.


The nightmare continues.The Never Ending Nightmare

        It is often hard to believe that through all the  human advances, very few of us ever take action    against such obvious outbursts of misogyny, which should have been an aspect of the past. Unconsciously we believe that problems have a way of taking care of themselves and if we are not to do something about them, someone else will.  The sad reality is, the problems will remain until someone decides to stand up and take action, to make even the smallest voice count.   Until then, Taliban will continue to enforce their tyrannical measures on the women of Afghanistan, causing many more to lose hope that the terror, which continues to this day, will ever end.

     Click in the box beside the other trail markers you identified in the conclusion above. Then glide over the picture to the right of your response to see if you have correctly identified them.

Appeals for action
Makes a deduction from the presented facts
Poses a question for thought
Ends with a strong contrasting idea

This essay is used by permission from Vera, a tenth grader in Cleveland, Ohio.

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Curley reviews the trail signs for a successful conclusion.     Curley concludes,"Remember, the conclusion is an important part of an expository essay.  It brings closure to the essay, restates the main idea, and calls for reflection or action by the reader." 

    "We are at the end of the the trail.  You've come a long way, trailblazers.  Now forge ahead and use your skills when writing expository essays."


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