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- How to conclude an essay | Interactive example
How to Conclude an Essay | Interactive Example
Published on January 24, 2019 by Shona McCombes . Revised on July 23, 2023.
The conclusion is the final paragraph of your essay . A strong conclusion aims to:
- Tie together the essay’s main points
- Show why your argument matters
- Leave the reader with a strong impression
Your conclusion should give a sense of closure and completion to your argument, but also show what new questions or possibilities it has opened up.
This conclusion is taken from our annotated essay example , which discusses the history of the Braille system. Hover over each part to see why it’s effective.
Braille paved the way for dramatic cultural changes in the way blind people were treated and the opportunities available to them. Louis Braille’s innovation was to reimagine existing reading systems from a blind perspective, and the success of this invention required sighted teachers to adapt to their students’ reality instead of the other way around. In this sense, Braille helped drive broader social changes in the status of blindness. New accessibility tools provide practical advantages to those who need them, but they can also change the perspectives and attitudes of those who do not.
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Table of contents
Step 1: return to your thesis, step 2: review your main points, step 3: show why it matters, what shouldn’t go in the conclusion, more examples of essay conclusions, other interesting articles, frequently asked questions about writing an essay conclusion.
To begin your conclusion, signal that the essay is coming to an end by returning to your overall argument.
Don’t just repeat your thesis statement —instead, try to rephrase your argument in a way that shows how it has been developed since the introduction.
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Next, remind the reader of the main points that you used to support your argument.
Avoid simply summarizing each paragraph or repeating each point in order; try to bring your points together in a way that makes the connections between them clear. The conclusion is your final chance to show how all the paragraphs of your essay add up to a coherent whole.
To wrap up your conclusion, zoom out to a broader view of the topic and consider the implications of your argument. For example:
- Does it contribute a new understanding of your topic?
- Does it raise new questions for future study?
- Does it lead to practical suggestions or predictions?
- Can it be applied to different contexts?
- Can it be connected to a broader debate or theme?
Whatever your essay is about, the conclusion should aim to emphasize the significance of your argument, whether that’s within your academic subject or in the wider world.
Try to end with a strong, decisive sentence, leaving the reader with a lingering sense of interest in your topic.
The easiest way to improve your conclusion is to eliminate these common mistakes.
Don’t include new evidence
Any evidence or analysis that is essential to supporting your thesis statement should appear in the main body of the essay.
The conclusion might include minor pieces of new information—for example, a sentence or two discussing broader implications, or a quotation that nicely summarizes your central point. But it shouldn’t introduce any major new sources or ideas that need further explanation to understand.
Don’t use “concluding phrases”
Avoid using obvious stock phrases to tell the reader what you’re doing:
- “In conclusion…”
- “To sum up…”
These phrases aren’t forbidden, but they can make your writing sound weak. By returning to your main argument, it will quickly become clear that you are concluding the essay—you shouldn’t have to spell it out.
Don’t undermine your argument
Avoid using apologetic phrases that sound uncertain or confused:
- “This is just one approach among many.”
- “There are good arguments on both sides of this issue.”
- “There is no clear answer to this problem.”
Even if your essay has explored different points of view, your own position should be clear. There may be many possible approaches to the topic, but you want to leave the reader convinced that yours is the best one!
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This conclusion is taken from an argumentative essay about the internet’s impact on education. It acknowledges the opposing arguments while taking a clear, decisive position.
The internet has had a major positive impact on the world of education; occasional pitfalls aside, its value is evident in numerous applications. The future of teaching lies in the possibilities the internet opens up for communication, research, and interactivity. As the popularity of distance learning shows, students value the flexibility and accessibility offered by digital education, and educators should fully embrace these advantages. The internet’s dangers, real and imaginary, have been documented exhaustively by skeptics, but the internet is here to stay; it is time to focus seriously on its potential for good.
This conclusion is taken from a short expository essay that explains the invention of the printing press and its effects on European society. It focuses on giving a clear, concise overview of what was covered in the essay.
The invention of the printing press was important not only in terms of its immediate cultural and economic effects, but also in terms of its major impact on politics and religion across Europe. In the century following the invention of the printing press, the relatively stationary intellectual atmosphere of the Middle Ages gave way to the social upheavals of the Reformation and the Renaissance. A single technological innovation had contributed to the total reshaping of the continent.
This conclusion is taken from a literary analysis essay about Mary Shelley’s Frankenstein . It summarizes what the essay’s analysis achieved and emphasizes its originality.
By tracing the depiction of Frankenstein through the novel’s three volumes, I have demonstrated how the narrative structure shifts our perception of the character. While the Frankenstein of the first volume is depicted as having innocent intentions, the second and third volumes—first in the creature’s accusatory voice, and then in his own voice—increasingly undermine him, causing him to appear alternately ridiculous and vindictive. Far from the one-dimensional villain he is often taken to be, the character of Frankenstein is compelling because of the dynamic narrative frame in which he is placed. In this frame, Frankenstein’s narrative self-presentation responds to the images of him we see from others’ perspectives. This conclusion sheds new light on the novel, foregrounding Shelley’s unique layering of narrative perspectives and its importance for the depiction of character.
If you want to know more about AI tools , college essays , or fallacies make sure to check out some of our other articles with explanations and examples or go directly to our tools!
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Your essay’s conclusion should contain:
- A rephrased version of your overall thesis
- A brief review of the key points you made in the main body
- An indication of why your argument matters
The conclusion may also reflect on the broader implications of your argument, showing how your ideas could applied to other contexts or debates.
For a stronger conclusion paragraph, avoid including:
- Important evidence or analysis that wasn’t mentioned in the main body
- Generic concluding phrases (e.g. “In conclusion…”)
- Weak statements that undermine your argument (e.g. “There are good points on both sides of this issue.”)
Your conclusion should leave the reader with a strong, decisive impression of your work.
The conclusion paragraph of an essay is usually shorter than the introduction . As a rule, it shouldn’t take up more than 10–15% of the text.
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So much is at stake in writing a conclusion. This is, after all, your last chance to persuade your readers to your point of view, to impress yourself upon them as a writer and thinker. And the impression you create in your conclusion will shape the impression that stays with your readers after they've finished the essay.
The end of an essay should therefore convey a sense of completeness and closure as well as a sense of the lingering possibilities of the topic, its larger meaning, its implications: the final paragraph should close the discussion without closing it off.
To establish a sense of closure, you might do one or more of the following:
- Conclude by linking the last paragraph to the first, perhaps by reiterating a word or phrase you used at the beginning.
- Conclude with a sentence composed mainly of one-syllable words. Simple language can help create an effect of understated drama.
- Conclude with a sentence that's compound or parallel in structure; such sentences can establish a sense of balance or order that may feel just right at the end of a complex discussion.
To close the discussion without closing it off, you might do one or more of the following:
- Conclude with a quotation from or reference to a primary or secondary source, one that amplifies your main point or puts it in a different perspective. A quotation from, say, the novel or poem you're writing about can add texture and specificity to your discussion; a critic or scholar can help confirm or complicate your final point. For example, you might conclude an essay on the idea of home in James Joyce's short story collection, Dubliners , with information about Joyce's own complex feelings towards Dublin, his home. Or you might end with a biographer's statement about Joyce's attitude toward Dublin, which could illuminate his characters' responses to the city. Just be cautious, especially about using secondary material: make sure that you get the last word.
- Conclude by setting your discussion into a different, perhaps larger, context. For example, you might end an essay on nineteenth-century muckraking journalism by linking it to a current news magazine program like 60 Minutes .
- Conclude by redefining one of the key terms of your argument. For example, an essay on Marx's treatment of the conflict between wage labor and capital might begin with Marx's claim that the "capitalist economy is . . . a gigantic enterprise of dehumanization "; the essay might end by suggesting that Marxist analysis is itself dehumanizing because it construes everything in economic -- rather than moral or ethical-- terms.
- Conclude by considering the implications of your argument (or analysis or discussion). What does your argument imply, or involve, or suggest? For example, an essay on the novel Ambiguous Adventure , by the Senegalese writer Cheikh Hamidou Kane, might open with the idea that the protagonist's development suggests Kane's belief in the need to integrate Western materialism and Sufi spirituality in modern Senegal. The conclusion might make the new but related point that the novel on the whole suggests that such an integration is (or isn't) possible.
Finally, some advice on how not to end an essay:
- Don't simply summarize your essay. A brief summary of your argument may be useful, especially if your essay is long--more than ten pages or so. But shorter essays tend not to require a restatement of your main ideas.
- Avoid phrases like "in conclusion," "to conclude," "in summary," and "to sum up." These phrases can be useful--even welcome--in oral presentations. But readers can see, by the tell-tale compression of the pages, when an essay is about to end. You'll irritate your audience if you belabor the obvious.
- Resist the urge to apologize. If you've immersed yourself in your subject, you now know a good deal more about it than you can possibly include in a five- or ten- or 20-page essay. As a result, by the time you've finished writing, you may be having some doubts about what you've produced. (And if you haven't immersed yourself in your subject, you may be feeling even more doubtful about your essay as you approach the conclusion.) Repress those doubts. Don't undercut your authority by saying things like, "this is just one approach to the subject; there may be other, better approaches. . ."
Copyright 1998, Pat Bellanca, for the Writing Center at Harvard University
How to Write a Conclusion for an Essay
By the time you get to the final paragraph of your paper, you have already done so much work on your essay, so all you want to do is to wrap it up as quickly as possible. You’ve already made a stunning introduction, proven your argument, and structured the whole piece as supposed – who cares about making a good conclusion paragraph?
The only thing you need to remember is that the conclusion of an essay is not just the last paragraph of an academic paper where you restate your thesis and key arguments. A concluding paragraph is also your opportunity to have a final impact on your audience.
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How to write a conclusion paragraph that leaves a lasting impression – In this guide, the team at EssayPro is going to walk you through the process of writing a perfect conclusion step by step. Additionally, we will share valuable tips and tricks to help students of all ages impress their readers at the last moment.
Instead of Intro: What Is a Conclusion?
Before we can move on, let’s take a moment here to define the conclusion itself. According to the standard conclusion definition, it is pretty much the last part of something, its result, or end. However, this term is rather broad and superficial.
When it comes to writing academic papers, a concluding statement refers to an opinion, judgment, suggestion, or position arrived at by logical reasoning (through the arguments provided in the body of the text). Therefore, if you are wondering “what is a good closing sentence like?” – keep on reading.
What Does a Good Conclusion Mean?
Writing a good conclusion for a paper isn’t easy. However, we are going to walk you through this process step by step. Although there are generally no strict rules on how to formulate one, there are some basic principles that everyone should keep in mind. In this section, we will share some core ideas for writing a good conclusion, and, later in the article, we will also provide you with more practical advice and examples.
Here are the core goals a good conclusion should complete:
- “Wrap up” the entire paper;
- Demonstrate to readers that the author accomplished what he/she set out to do;
- Show how you the author has proved their thesis statement;
- Give a sense of completeness and closure on the topic;
- Leave something extra for your reader to think about;
- Leave a powerful final impact on a reader.
Another key thing to remember is that you should not introduce any new ideas or arguments to your paper's conclusion. It should only sum up what you have already written, revisit your thesis statement, and end with a powerful final impression.
When considering how to write a conclusion that works, here are the key points to keep in mind:
- A concluding sentence should only revisit the thesis statement, not restate it;
- It should summarize the main ideas from the body of the paper;
- It should demonstrate the significance and relevance of your work;
- An essay’s conclusion should include a call for action and leave space for further study or development of the topic (if necessary).
How Long Should a Conclusion Be?
Although there are no strict universal rules regarding the length of an essay’s final clause, both teachers and experienced writers recommend keeping it clear, concise, and straight to the point. There is an unspoken rule that the introduction and conclusion of an academic paper should both be about 10% of the overall paper’s volume. For example, if you were assigned a 1500 word essay, both the introductory and final clauses should be approximately 150 words long (300 together).
Why You Need to Know How to End an Essay:
A conclusion is what drives a paper to its logical end. It also drives the main points of your piece one last time. It is your last opportunity to impact and impress your audience. And, most importantly, it is your chance to demonstrate to readers why your work matters. Simply put, the final paragraph of your essay should answer the last important question a reader will have – “So what?”
If you do a concluding paragraph right, it can give your readers a sense of logical completeness. On the other hand, if you do not make it powerful enough, it can leave them hanging, and diminish the effect of the entire piece.
Strategies to Crafting a Proper Conclusion
Although there are no strict rules for what style to use to write your conclusion, there are several strategies that have been proven to be effective. In the list below, you can find some of the most effective strategies with some good conclusion paragraph examples to help you grasp the idea.
One effective way to emphasize the significance of your essay and give the audience some thought to ponder about is by taking a look into the future. The “When and If” technique is quite powerful when it comes to supporting your points in the essay’s conclusion.
Prediction essay conclusion example: “Taking care of a pet is quite hard, which is the reason why most parents refuse their children’s requests to get a pet. However, the refusal should be the last choice of parents. If we want to inculcate a deep sense of responsibility and organization in our kids, and, at the same time, sprout compassion in them, we must let our children take care of pets.”
Another effective strategy is to link your conclusion to your introductory paragraph. This will create a full-circle narration for your readers, create a better understanding of your topic, and emphasize your key point.
Echo conclusion paragraph example: Introduction: “I believe that all children should grow up with a pet. I still remember the exact day my parents brought my first puppy to our house. This was one of the happiest moments in my life and, at the same time, one of the most life-changing ones. Growing up with a pet taught me a lot, and most importantly, it taught me to be responsible.” Conclusion:. “I remember when I picked up my first puppy and how happy I was at that time. Growing up with a pet, I learned what it means to take care of someone, make sure that he always has water and food, teach him, and constantly keep an eye on my little companion. Having a child grow up with a pet teaches them responsibility and helps them acquire a variety of other life skills like leadership, love, compassion, and empathy. This is why I believe that every kid should grow up with a pet!”
Finally, one more trick that will help you create a flawless conclusion is to amplify your main idea or to present it in another perspective of a larger context. This technique will help your readers to look at the problem discussed from a different angle.
Step-up argumentative essay conclusion example: “Despite the obvious advantages of owning a pet in childhood, I feel that we cannot generalize whether all children should have a pet. Whereas some kids may benefit from such experiences, namely, by becoming more compassionate, organized, and responsible, it really depends on the situation, motivation, and enthusiasm of a particular child for owning a pet.”
What is a clincher in an essay? – The final part of an essay’s conclusion is often referred to as a clincher sentence. According to the clincher definition, it is a final sentence that reinforces the main idea or leaves the audience with an intriguing thought to ponder upon. In a nutshell, the clincher is very similar to the hook you would use in an introductory paragraph. Its core mission is to seize the audience’s attention until the end of the paper. At the same time, this statement is what creates a sense of completeness and helps the author leave a lasting impression on the reader.
Now, since you now know what a clincher is, you are probably wondering how to use one in your own paper. First of all, keep in mind that a good clincher should be intriguing, memorable, smooth, and straightforward.
Generally, there are several different tricks you can use for your clincher statement; it can be:
- A short, but memorable and attention-grabbing conclusion;
- A relevant and memorable quote (only if it brings actual value);
- A call to action;
- A rhetorical question;
- An illustrative story or provocative example;
- A warning against a possibility or suggestion about the consequences of a discussed problem;
- A joke (however, be careful with this as it may not always be deemed appropriate).
Regardless of the technique you choose, make sure that your clincher is memorable and aligns with your introduction and thesis.
Clincher examples: - While New York may not be the only place with the breathtaking views, it is definitely among my personal to 3… and that’s what definitely makes it worth visiting. - “Thence we came forth to rebehold the stars”, Divine Comedy - Don’t you think all these advantages sound like almost life-saving benefits of owning a pet? “So we beat on, boats against the current, borne back ceaselessly into the past.”, The Great Gatsby
Conclusion Writing Don'ts
Now, when you know what tricks and techniques you should use to create a perfect conclusion, let’s look at some of the things you should not do with our online paper writing service :
- Starting with some cliché concluding sentence starters. Many students find common phrases like “In conclusion,” “Therefore,” “In summary,” or similar statements to be pretty good conclusion starters. However, though such conclusion sentence starters may work in certain cases – for example, in speeches – they are overused, so it is recommended not to use them in writing to introduce your conclusion.
- Putting the first mention of your thesis statement in the conclusion – it has to be presented in your introduction first.
- Providing new arguments, subtopics, or ideas in the conclusion paragraph.
- Including a slightly changed or unchanged thesis statement.
- Providing arguments and evidence that belong in the body of the work.
- Writing too long, hard to read, or confusing sentences.
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Conclusion Paragraph Outline
The total number of sentences in your final paragraph may vary depending on the number of points you discussed in your essay, as well as on the overall word count of your paper. However, the overall conclusion paragraph outline will remain the same and consists of the following elements:
- A conclusion starter:
The first part of your paragraph should drive readers back to your thesis statement. Thus, if you were wondering how to start a conclusion, the best way to do it is by rephrasing your thesis statement.
- Summary of the body paragraphs:
Right after revisiting your thesis, you should include several sentences that wrap up the key highlights and points from your body paragraphs. This part of your conclusion can consist of 2-3 sentences—depending on the number of arguments you’ve made. If necessary, you can also explain to the readers how your main points fit together.
- A concluding sentence:
Finally, you should end your paragraph with a last, powerful sentence that leaves a lasting impression, gives a sense of logical completeness, and connects readers back to the introduction of the paper.
These three key elements make up a perfect essay conclusion. Now, to give you an even better idea of how to create a perfect conclusion, let us give you a sample conclusion paragraph outline with examples from an argumentative essay on the topic of “Every Child Should Own a Pet:
- Sentence 1: Starter
- ~ Thesis: "Though taking care of a pet may be a bit challenging for small children. Parents should not restrict their kids from having a pet as it helps them grow into more responsible and compassionate people."
- ~ Restated thesis for a conclusion: "I can say that taking care of a pet is good for every child."
- Sentences 2-4: Summary
- ~ "Studies have shown that pet owners generally have fewer health problems."
- ~ "Owning a pet teaches a child to be more responsible."
- ~ "Spending time with a pet reduces stress, feelings of loneliness, and anxiety."
- Sentence 5: A concluding sentence
- ~ "Pets can really change a child life for the better, so don't hesitate to endorse your kid's desire to own a pet."
This is a clear example of how you can shape your conclusion paragraph.
How to Conclude Various Types of Essays
Depending on the type of academic essay you are working on, your concluding paragraph's style, tone, and length may vary. In this part of our guide, we will tell you how to end different types of essays and other works.
How to End an Argumentative Essay
Persuasive or argumentative essays always have the single goal of convincing readers of something (an idea, stance, or viewpoint) by appealing to arguments, facts, logic, and even emotions. The conclusion for such an essay has to be persuasive as well. A good trick you can use is to illustrate a real-life scenario that proves your stance or encourages readers to take action. More about persuasive essay outline you can read in our article.
Here are a few more tips for making a perfect conclusion for an argumentative essay:
- Carefully read the whole essay before you begin;
- Re-emphasize your ideas;
- Discuss possible implications;
- Don’t be afraid to appeal to the reader’s emotions.
How to End a Compare and Contrast Essay
The purpose of a compare and contrast essay is to emphasize the differences or similarities between two or more objects, people, phenomena, etc. Therefore, a logical conclusion should highlight how the reviewed objects are different or similar. Basically, in such a paper, your conclusion should recall all of the key common and distinctive features discussed in the body of your essay and also give readers some food for thought after they finish reading it.
How to Conclude a Descriptive Essay
The key idea of a descriptive essay is to showcase your creativity and writing skills by painting a vivid picture with the help of words. This is one of the most creative types of essays as it requires you to show a story, not tell it. This kind of essay implies using a lot of vivid details. Respectively, the conclusion of such a paper should also use descriptive imagery and, at the same time, sum up the main ideas. A good strategy for ending a descriptive essay would be to begin with a short explanation of why you wrote the essay. Then, you should reflect on how your topic affects you. In the middle of the conclusion, you should cover the most critical moments of the story to smoothly lead the reader into a logical closing statement. The “clincher”, in this case, should be a thought-provoking final sentence that leaves a good and lasting impression on the audience. Do not lead the reader into the essay and then leave them with dwindling memories of it.
How to Conclude an Essay About Yourself
If you find yourself writing an essay about yourself, you need to tell a personal story. As a rule, such essays talk about the author’s experiences, which is why a conclusion should create a feeling of narrative closure. A good strategy is to end your story with a logical finale and the lessons you have learned, while, at the same time, linking it to the introductory paragraph and recalling key moments from the story.
How to End an Informative Essay
Unlike other types of papers, informative or expository essays load readers with a lot of information and facts. In this case, “Synthesize, don’t summarize” is the best technique you can use to end your paper. Simply put, instead of recalling all of the major facts, you should approach your conclusion from the “So what?” position by highlighting the significance of the information provided.
How to Conclude a Narrative Essay
In a nutshell, a narrative essay is based on simple storytelling. The purpose of this paper is to share a particular story in detail. Therefore, the conclusion for such a paper should wrap up the story and avoid finishing on an abrupt cliffhanger. It is vital to include the key takeaways and the lessons learned from the story.
How to Write a Conclusion for a Lab Report
Unlike an essay, a lab report is based on an experiment. This type of paper describes the flow of a particular experiment conducted by a student and its conclusion should reflect on the outcomes of this experiment.
In thinking of how to write a conclusion for a lab, here are the key things you should do to get it right:
- Restate the goals of your experiment
- Describe the methods you used
- Include the results of the experiment and analyze the final data
- End your conclusion with a clear statement on whether or not the experiment was successful (Did you reach the expected results?)
How to Write a Conclusion for a Research Paper
Writing a paper is probably the hardest task of all, even for experienced dissertation writer . Unlike an essay or even a lab report, a research paper is a much longer piece of work that requires a deeper investigation of the problem. Therefore, a conclusion for such a paper should be even more sophisticated and powerful. If you're feeling difficulty writing an essay, you can buy essay on our service.
However, given that a research paper is the second most popular kind of academic paper (after an essay), it is important to know how to conclude a research paper. Even if you have not yet been assigned to do this task, be sure that you will face it soon. So, here are the steps you should follow to create a great conclusion for a research paper:
- Restate the Topic
Start your final paragraph with a quick reminder of what the topic of the piece is about. Keep it one sentence long.
- Revisit the Thesis
Next, you should remind your readers what your thesis statement was. However, do not just copy and paste it from the introductory clause: paraphrase your thesis so that you deliver the same idea but with different words. Keep your paraphrased thesis narrow, specific, and topic-oriented.
- Summarise Your Key Ideas
Just like the case of a regular essay’s conclusion, a research paper’s final paragraph should also include a short summary of all of the key points stated in the body sections. We recommend reading the entire body part a few times to define all of your main arguments and ideas.
- Showcase the Significance of Your Work
In the research paper conclusion, it is vital to highlight the significance of your research problem and state how your solution could be helpful.
- Make Suggestions for Future Studies
Finally, at the end of your conclusion, you should define how your findings will contribute to the development of its particular field of science. Outline the perspectives of further research and, if necessary, explain what is yet to be discovered on the topic.
Then, end your conclusion with a powerful concluding sentence – it can be a rhetorical question, call to action, or another hook that will help you have a strong impact on the audience.
- Answer the Right Questions
To create a top-notch research paper conclusion, be sure to answer the following questions:
- What is the goal of a research paper?
- What are the possible solutions to the research question(s)?
- How can your results be implemented in real life? (Is your research paper helpful to the community?)
- Why is this study important and relevant?
Additionally, here are a few more handy tips to follow:
- Provide clear examples from real life to help readers better understand the further implementation of the stated solutions;
- Keep your conclusion fresh, original, and creative.
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So, What Is a Good Closing Sentence? See The Difference
One of the best ways to learn how to write a good conclusion is to look at several professional essay conclusion examples. In this section of our guide, we are going to look at two different final paragraphs shaped on the basis of the same template, but even so, they are very different – where one is weak and the other is strong. Below, we are going to compare them to help you understand the difference between a good and a bad conclusion.
Here is the template we used: College degrees are in decline. The price of receiving an education does not correlate with the quality of the education received. As a result, graduated students face underemployment, and the worth of college degrees appears to be in serious doubt. However, the potential social and economic benefits of educated students balance out the equation.
People either see college as an opportunity or an inconvenience; therefore, a degree can only hold as much value as its owner’s skillset. The underemployment of graduate students puts the worth of college degrees in serious doubt. Yet, with the multitude of benefits that educated students bring to society and the economy, the equation remains in balance. Perhaps the ordinary person should consider college as a wise financial investment, but only if they stay determined to study and do the hard work.
Why is this example good? There are several key points that prove its effectiveness:
- There is a bold opening statement that encompasses the two contrasting types of students we can see today.
- There are two sentences that recall the thesis statement and cover the key arguments from the body of the essay.
- Finally, the last sentence sums up the key message of the essay and leaves readers with something to think about.
In conclusion, with the poor preparation of students in college and the subsequent underemployment after graduation from college, the worth associated with the college degree appears to be in serious doubt. However, these issues alone may not reasonably conclude beyond a doubt that investing in a college degree is a rewarding venture. When the full benefits that come with education are carefully put into consideration and evaluated, college education for children in any country still has good advantages, and society should continue to advocate for a college education. The ordinary person should consider this a wise financial decision that holds rewards in the end. Apart from the monetary gains associated with a college education, society will greatly benefit from students when they finish college. Their minds are going to be expanded, and their reasoning and decision making will be enhanced.
What makes this example bad? Here are a few points to consider:
- Unlike the first example, this paragraph is long and not specific enough. The author provides plenty of generalized phrases that are not backed up by actual arguments.
- This piece is hard to read and understand and sentences have a confusing structure. Also, there are lots of repetitions and too many uses of the word “college”.
- There is no summary of the key benefits.
- The last two sentences that highlight the value of education contradict with the initial statement.
- Finally, the last sentence doesn’t offer a strong conclusion and gives no thought to ponder upon.
- In the body of your essay, you have hopefully already provided your reader(s) with plenty of information. Therefore, it is not wise to present new arguments or ideas in your conclusion.
- To end your final paragraph right, find a clear and straightforward message that will have the most powerful impact on your audience.
- Don’t use more than one quote in the final clause of your paper – the information from external sources (including quotes) belongs in the body of a paper.
- Be authoritative when writing a conclusion. You should sound confident and convincing to leave a good impression. Sentences like “I’m not an expert, but…” will most likely make you seem less knowledgeable and/or credible.
Good Conclusion Examples
Now that we've learned what a conclusion is and how to write one let's take a look at some essay conclusion examples to strengthen our knowledge.
The ending ironically reveals that all was for nothing. (A short explanation of the thematic effect of the book’s end) Tom says that Miss Watson freed Jim in her final will.Jim told Huck that the dead man on the Island was pap. The entire adventure seemingly evaporated into nothingness. (How this effect was manifested into the minds of thereaders).
All in all, international schools hold the key to building a full future that students can achieve. (Thesis statement simplified) They help students develop their own character by learning from their mistakes, without having to face a dreadful penalty for failure. (Thesis statement elaborated)Although some say that kids emerged “spoiled” with this mentality, the results prove the contrary. (Possible counter-arguments are noted)
In conclusion, public workers should be allowed to strike since it will give them a chance to air their grievances. (Thesis statement) Public workers should be allowed to strike when their rights, safety, and regulations are compromised. The workers will get motivated when they strike, and their demands are met.
In summary, studies reveal some similarities in the nutrient contents between the organic and non-organic food substances. (Starts with similarities) However, others have revealed many considerable differences in the amounts of antioxidants as well as other minerals present in organic and non-organic foods. Generally, organic foods have higher levels of antioxidants than non-organic foods and therefore are more important in the prevention of chronic illnesses.
As time went by, my obsession grew into something bigger than art; (‘As time went by’ signals maturation) it grew into a dream of developing myself for the world. (Showing student’s interest of developing himself for the community) It is a dream of not only seeing the world from a different perspective but also changing the perspective of people who see my work. (Showing student’s determination to create moving pieces of art)
In conclusion, it is evident that technology is an integral part of our lives and without it, we become “lost” since we have increasingly become dependent on its use. (Thesis with main point)
You might also be interested in reading nursing essay examples from our service.
How to write an essay: Conclusion
- What's in this guide
- Essay structure
- Additional resources
The last section of an academic essay is the conclusion . The conclusion should reaffirm your answer to the question, and briefly summarise key arguments. It does not include any new points or new information. A conclusion has three sections. First, repeat the thesis statement. It won’t use the exact same words as in your introduction, but it will repeat the point: your overall answer to the question. Then set out your general conclusions , and a short explanation of why they are important.
Finally, draw together the question , the evidence in the essay body, and the conclusion. This way the reader knows that you have understood and answered the question. This part needs to be clear and concise.
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This resource outlines the generally accepted structure for introductions, body paragraphs, and conclusions in an academic argument paper. Keep in mind that this resource contains guidelines and not strict rules about organization. Your structure needs to be flexible enough to meet the requirements of your purpose and audience.
Conclusions wrap up what you have been discussing in your paper. After moving from general to specific information in the introduction and body paragraphs, your conclusion should begin pulling back into more general information that restates the main points of your argument. Conclusions may also call for action or overview future possible research. The following outline may help you conclude your paper:
In a general way,
- Restate your topic and why it is important,
- Restate your thesis/claim,
- Address opposing viewpoints and explain why readers should align with your position,
- Call for action or overview future research possibilities.
Remember that once you accomplish these tasks, unless otherwise directed by your instructor, you are finished. Done. Complete. Don't try to bring in new points or end with a whiz bang(!) conclusion or try to solve world hunger in the final sentence of your conclusion. Simplicity is best for a clear, convincing message.
The preacher's maxim is one of the most effective formulas to follow for argument papers:
Tell what you're going to tell them (introduction).
Tell them (body).
Tell them what you told them (conclusion).
Essay writing: Conclusions
- Analysing questions
- Planning & drafting
- Revising & editing
- Essay writing videos
Jump to content on this page:
“Pay adequate attention to the conclusion.” Kathleen McMillan & Jonathan Weyers, How to Write Essays & Assignments
Conclusions are often overlooked, cursory and written last minute. If this sounds familiar then it's time to change and give your conclusions some much needed attention. Your conclusion is the whole point of your essay. All the other parts of the essay should have been leading your reader on an inevitable journey towards your conclusion. So make it count and finish your essay in style.
Know where you are going
Too many students focus their essays on content rather than argument. This means they pay too much attention to the main body without considering where it is leading. It can be a good idea to write a draft conclusion before you write your main body. It is a lot easier to plan a journey when you know your destination!
It should only be a draft however, as quite often the writing process itself can help you develop your argument and you may feel your conclusion needs adapting accordingly.
What it should include
A great conclusion should include:
A clear link back to the question . This is usually the first thing you do in a conclusion and it shows that you have (hopefully) answered it.
A sentence or two that summarise(s) your main argument but in a bit more detail than you gave in your introduction.
A series of supporting sentences that basically reiterate the main point of each of your paragraphs but show how they relate to each other and lead you to the position you have taken. Constantly ask yourself "So what?" "Why should anyone care?" and answer these questions for each of the points you make in your conclusion.
A final sentence that states why your ideas are important to the wider subject area . Where the introduction goes from general to specific, the conclusion needs to go from specific back out to general.
What it should not include
Try to avoid including the following in your conclusion. Remember your conclusion should be entirely predictable. The reader wants no surprises.
Any new ideas . If an idea is worth including, put it in the main body. You do not need to include citations in your conclusion if you have already used them earlier and are just reiterating your point.
A change of style i.e. being more emotional or sentimental than the rest of the essay. Keep it straightforward, explanatory and clear.
Overused phrases like: “in conclusion”; “in summary”; “as shown in this essay”. Consign these to the rubbish bin!
Here are some alternatives, there are many more:
- The x main points presented here emphasise the importance of...
- The [insert something relevant] outlined above indicate that ...
- By showing the connections between x, y and z, it has been argued here that ...
Remember, your conclusion is the last thing your reader (marker!) will read. Spending a little care on it will leave her/him absolutely sure that you have answered the question and you will definitely receive a higher mark than if your conclusion was a quickly written afterthought.
Your conclusion should be around 10% of your word count. There is never a situation where sacrificing words in your conclusion will benefit your essay.
The 5Cs conclusion method: (spot the typo on this video)
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How to Write a Conclusion
Last Updated: July 15, 2023
Template and Sample Conclusion
This article was co-authored by Christopher Taylor, PhD and by wikiHow staff writer, Danielle Blinka, MA, MPA . Christopher Taylor is an Adjunct Assistant Professor of English at Austin Community College in Texas. He received his PhD in English Literature and Medieval Studies from the University of Texas at Austin in 2014. This article has been viewed 474,446 times.
Writing the introduction and body of a paper is a big accomplishment. Now you need to write your conclusion. Writing a conclusion can feel difficult, but it's easier if you plan ahead. First, format your conclusion by revisiting your thesis, summarizing your arguments, and making a final statement. Then, re-read and revise your conclusion to make it effective.
- Let’s say your thesis reads, “Allowing students to visit the library during lunch improves campus life and supports academic achievement because it encourages reading, allows students to start assignments early, and provides a refuge for students who eat alone.”
- You might restate it as, “Evidence shows students who have access to their school’s library during lunch check out more books and are more likely to complete their homework; additionally, students aren’t forced to eat alone.”
- You might write, “According to data, students checked out more books when they were allowed to visit their library during lunch, used that time to do research and ask for help with homework, and reported feeling less alone at lunch time. This shows that opening up the library during lunch can improve student life and academic performance."
- If you’re writing an argument essay, address the opposing argument, as well. You might write, “Although administrators worry that students will walk the halls instead of going to the library, schools that allow students into the library during lunch reported less behavioral issues during lunch than schools that don’t allow students in the library. Data show that students were spending that time checking out more books and working on homework assignments.”  X Trustworthy Source Purdue Online Writing Lab Trusted resource for writing and citation guidelines Go to source
- Call your reader to action . For example, “By working with school administrators, Greenlawn ISD can increase academic achievement by letting students use the library during lunch.”
- End with a warning . You might write, “If students aren’t allowed to use the library during lunch, they are missing out on a valuable learning opportunity they’ll never get back.”
- Evoke an image . Write, “Next year, students at Greenlawn could be gathered around a table in the library reading or broadening their minds.”
- Compare your topic to something universal to help your reader relate . You might write, “Everyone knows how stressful it is to have a planner full of assignments, so having extra time to work on them during lunch would be a great relief to many students.”
- Show why the issue is significant. Write, "Giving students more time to spend in the library will help them become more comfortable spending time there, which also helps the library's mission."
- Predict what would happen if your ideas are implemented . Say, “Next year, students at Greenlawn could increase their academic achievements, but results will only happen if they can use the library during lunch.”
- End with a compelling quote . For instance, "As author Roald Dahl once said, 'If you are going to get anywhere in life, you have to read a lot of books.'"
- You could also ask your instructor if you can see an example of a well-written conclusion to give you an idea about what they expect you to write.
- If you want to use an introductory phrase, use a stronger one like “based on the evidence” or “ultimately.” You might also begin your first sentence with a word like “although,” “while,” or “since.”  X Trustworthy Source University of North Carolina Writing Center UNC's on-campus and online instructional service that provides assistance to students, faculty, and others during the writing process Go to source
- Additionally, avoid “to conclude,” “in summary,” or “in closing.”
- For example, you may have opened your introduction with an anecdote, quote, or image. Bring it back up in your conclusion. Similarly, if you opened with a rhetorical question, you might offer a potential answer in your conclusion.
- For example, you wouldn’t want to end your essay about allowing students to use the library during lunch by stating, “As the evidence shows, using the library at lunch is a great way to improve student performance because they are more likely to do their homework. On a survey, students reported using the library to do research, ask homework questions, and finish their assignments early.” This leaves out your points about students reading more and having a place to spend their lunch period if they don’t like eating in the cafeteria.
- If you have introduced something you think is really important for your paper, go back through the body paragraphs and look for somewhere to add it. It’s better to leave it out of the paper than to include it in the conclusion.
- If something doesn’t make sense or your conclusion seems incomplete, revise your conclusion so that your ideas are clear.
- It’s helpful to read your entire paper as a whole to make sure it all comes together.
- Don’t put any evidence or statistics in your conclusion. This information belongs in the body of your paper.  X Trustworthy Source University of North Carolina Writing Center UNC's on-campus and online instructional service that provides assistance to students, faculty, and others during the writing process Go to source Thanks Helpful 1 Not Helpful 0
- Make sure you aren’t simply repeating what you’ve written earlier. While you want to restate your ideas, present them in a new way for the reader. Thanks Helpful 0 Not Helpful 0
- Don’t write your conclusion until you’ve written the entire paper. It’ll be much easier to come up with your concluding thoughts after the body of the paper is written. Thanks Helpful 0 Not Helpful 0
- Never copy someone else’s words or ideas without giving them credit, as this is plagiarism. If you are caught plagiarizing part of your paper, even just the conclusion, you’ll likely face severe academic penalties. Thanks Helpful 5 Not Helpful 2
- Don’t express any doubts you may have about your ideas or arguments. Whenever you share your ideas, assume the role of expert.  X Research source Thanks Helpful 0 Not Helpful 0
You Might Also Like
- ↑ http://writing2.richmond.edu/writing/wweb/conclude.html
- ↑ https://writingcenter.unc.edu/tips-and-tools/conclusions/
- ↑ https://owl.purdue.edu/owl/general_writing/common_writing_assignments/argument_papers/conclusions.html
- ↑ https://writingcenter.fas.harvard.edu/pages/ending-essay-conclusions
About This Article
Writing a conclusion can seem difficult, but it’s easier if you think of it as a place to sum up the point of your paper. Begin your conclusion by restating your thesis, but don’t repeat it word-for-word. Then, use 1-2 sentences to summarize your argument, pulling together all of your points to explain how your evidence supports the thesis. End the paper with a statement that makes the reader think, like evoking a strong image or concluding with a call to action. Keep reading for tips on how to avoid cliches in your conclusion! Did this summary help you? Yes No
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17 Essay Conclusion Examples (Copy and Paste)
Essay conclusions are not just extra filler. They are important because they tie together your arguments, then give you the chance to forcefully drive your point home.
I created the 5 Cs conclusion method to help you write essay conclusions:
I’ve previously produced the video below on how to write a conclusion that goes over the above image.
The video follows the 5 C’s method ( you can read about it in this post ), which doesn’t perfectly match each of the below copy-and-paste conclusion examples, but the principles are similar, and can help you to write your own strong conclusion:
💡 New! Try this AI Prompt to Generate a Sample 5Cs Conclusion This is my essay: [INSERT ESSAY WITHOUT THE CONCLUSION]. I want you to write a conclusion for this essay. In the first sentence of the conclusion, return to a statement I made in the introduction. In the second sentence, reiterate the thesis statement I have used. In the third sentence, clarify how my final position is relevant to the Essay Question, which is [ESSAY QUESTION]. In the fourth sentence, explain who should be interested in my findings. In the fifth sentence, end by noting in one final, engaging sentence why this topic is of such importance.
Remember: The prompt can help you generate samples but you can’t submit AI text for assessment. Make sure you write your conclusion in your own words.
Essay Conclusion Examples
Below is a range of copy-and-paste essay conclusions with gaps for you to fill-in your topic and key arguments. Browse through for one you like (there are 17 for argumentative, expository, compare and contrast, and critical essays). Once you’ve found one you like, copy it and add-in the key points to make it your own.
1. Argumentative Essay Conclusions
The arguments presented in this essay demonstrate the significant importance of _____________. While there are some strong counterarguments, such as ____________, it remains clear that the benefits/merits of _____________ far outweigh the potential downsides. The evidence presented throughout the essay strongly support _____________. In the coming years, _____________ will be increasingly important. Therefore, continual advocacy for the position presented in this essay will be necessary, especially due to its significant implications for _____________.
Version 1 Filled-In
The arguments presented in this essay demonstrate the significant importance of fighting climate change. While there are some strong counterarguments, such as the claim that it is too late to stop catastrophic change, it remains clear that the merits of taking drastic action far outweigh the potential downsides. The evidence presented throughout the essay strongly support the claim that we can at least mitigate the worst effects. In the coming years, intergovernmental worldwide agreements will be increasingly important. Therefore, continual advocacy for the position presented in this essay will be necessary, especially due to its significant implications for humankind.
As this essay has shown, it is clear that the debate surrounding _____________ is multifaceted and highly complex. While there are strong arguments opposing the position that _____________, there remains overwhelming evidence to support the claim that _____________. A careful analysis of the empirical evidence suggests that _____________ not only leads to ____________, but it may also be a necessity for _____________. Moving forward, _____________ should be a priority for all stakeholders involved, as it promises a better future for _____________. The focus should now shift towards how best to integrate _____________ more effectively into society.
Version 2 Filled-In
As this essay has shown, it is clear that the debate surrounding climate change is multifaceted and highly complex. While there are strong arguments opposing the position that we should fight climate change, there remains overwhelming evidence to support the claim that action can mitigate the worst effects. A careful analysis of the empirical evidence suggests that strong action not only leads to better economic outcomes in the long term, but it may also be a necessity for preventing climate-related deaths. Moving forward, carbon emission mitigation should be a priority for all stakeholders involved, as it promises a better future for all. The focus should now shift towards how best to integrate smart climate policies more effectively into society.
Based upon the preponderance of evidence, it is evident that _____________ holds the potential to significantly alter/improve _____________. The counterarguments, while noteworthy, fail to diminish the compelling case for _____________. Following an examination of both sides of the argument, it has become clear that _____________ presents the most effective solution/approach to _____________. Consequently, it is imperative that society acknowledge the value of _____________ for developing a better _____________. Failing to address this topic could lead to negative outcomes, including _____________.
Version 3 Filled-In
Based upon the preponderance of evidence, it is evident that addressing climate change holds the potential to significantly improve the future of society. The counterarguments, while noteworthy, fail to diminish the compelling case for immediate climate action. Following an examination of both sides of the argument, it has become clear that widespread and urgent social action presents the most effective solution to this pressing problem. Consequently, it is imperative that society acknowledge the value of taking immediate action for developing a better environment for future generations. Failing to address this topic could lead to negative outcomes, including more extreme climate events and greater economic externalities.
See Also: Examples of Counterarguments
On the balance of evidence, there is an overwhelming case for _____________. While the counterarguments offer valid points that are worth examining, they do not outweigh or overcome the argument that _____________. An evaluation of both perspectives on this topic concludes that _____________ is the most sufficient option for _____________. The implications of embracing _____________ do not only have immediate benefits, but they also pave the way for a more _____________. Therefore, the solution of _____________ should be actively pursued by _____________.
Version 4 Filled-In
On the balance of evidence, there is an overwhelming case for immediate tax-based action to mitigate the effects of climate change. While the counterarguments offer valid points that are worth examining, they do not outweigh or overcome the argument that action is urgently necessary. An evaluation of both perspectives on this topic concludes that taking societal-wide action is the most sufficient option for achieving the best results. The implications of embracing a society-wide approach like a carbon tax do not only have immediate benefits, but they also pave the way for a more healthy future. Therefore, the solution of a carbon tax or equivalent policy should be actively pursued by governments.
2. Expository Essay Conclusions
Overall, it is evident that _____________ plays a crucial role in _____________. The analysis presented in this essay demonstrates the clear impact of _____________ on _____________. By understanding the key facts about _____________, practitioners/society are better equipped to navigate _____________. Moving forward, further exploration of _____________ will yield additional insights and information about _____________. As such, _____________ should remain a focal point for further discussions and studies on _____________.
Overall, it is evident that social media plays a crucial role in harming teenagers’ mental health. The analysis presented in this essay demonstrates the clear impact of social media on young people. By understanding the key facts about the ways social media cause young people to experience body dysmorphia, teachers and parents are better equipped to help young people navigate online spaces. Moving forward, further exploration of the ways social media cause harm will yield additional insights and information about how it can be more sufficiently regulated. As such, the effects of social media on youth should remain a focal point for further discussions and studies on youth mental health.
To conclude, this essay has explored the multi-faceted aspects of _____________. Through a careful examination of _____________, this essay has illuminated its significant influence on _____________. This understanding allows society to appreciate the idea that _____________. As research continues to emerge, the importance of _____________ will only continue to grow. Therefore, an understanding of _____________ is not merely desirable, but imperative for _____________.
To conclude, this essay has explored the multi-faceted aspects of globalization. Through a careful examination of globalization, this essay has illuminated its significant influence on the economy, cultures, and society. This understanding allows society to appreciate the idea that globalization has both positive and negative effects. As research continues to emerge, the importance of studying globalization will only continue to grow. Therefore, an understanding of globalization’s effects is not merely desirable, but imperative for judging whether it is good or bad.
Reflecting on the discussion, it is clear that _____________ serves a pivotal role in _____________. By delving into the intricacies of _____________, we have gained valuable insights into its impact and significance. This knowledge will undoubtedly serve as a guiding principle in _____________. Moving forward, it is paramount to remain open to further explorations and studies on _____________. In this way, our understanding and appreciation of _____________ can only deepen and expand.
Reflecting on the discussion, it is clear that mass media serves a pivotal role in shaping public opinion. By delving into the intricacies of mass media, we have gained valuable insights into its impact and significance. This knowledge will undoubtedly serve as a guiding principle in shaping the media landscape. Moving forward, it is paramount to remain open to further explorations and studies on how mass media impacts society. In this way, our understanding and appreciation of mass media’s impacts can only deepen and expand.
In conclusion, this essay has shed light on the importance of _____________ in the context of _____________. The evidence and analysis provided underscore the profound effect _____________ has on _____________. The knowledge gained from exploring _____________ will undoubtedly contribute to more informed and effective decisions in _____________. As we continue to progress, the significance of understanding _____________ will remain paramount. Hence, we should strive to deepen our knowledge of _____________ to better navigate and influence _____________.
In conclusion, this essay has shed light on the importance of bedside manner in the context of nursing. The evidence and analysis provided underscore the profound effect compassionate bedside manner has on patient outcome. The knowledge gained from exploring nurses’ bedside manner will undoubtedly contribute to more informed and effective decisions in nursing practice. As we continue to progress, the significance of understanding nurses’ bedside manner will remain paramount. Hence, we should strive to deepen our knowledge of this topic to better navigate and influence patient outcomes.
See More: How to Write an Expository Essay
3. Compare and Contrast Essay Conclusion
While both _____________ and _____________ have similarities such as _____________, they also have some very important differences in areas like _____________. Through this comparative analysis, a broader understanding of _____________ and _____________ has been attained. The choice between the two will largely depend on _____________. For example, as highlighted in the essay, ____________. Despite their differences, both _____________ and _____________ have value in different situations.
While both macrosociology and microsociology have similarities such as their foci on how society is structured, they also have some very important differences in areas like their differing approaches to research methodologies. Through this comparative analysis, a broader understanding of macrosociology and microsociology has been attained. The choice between the two will largely depend on the researcher’s perspective on how society works. For example, as highlighted in the essay, microsociology is much more concerned with individuals’ experiences while macrosociology is more concerned with social structures. Despite their differences, both macrosociology and microsociology have value in different situations.
It is clear that _____________ and _____________, while seeming to be different, have shared characteristics in _____________. On the other hand, their contrasts in _____________ shed light on their unique features. The analysis provides a more nuanced comprehension of these subjects. In choosing between the two, consideration should be given to _____________. Despite their disparities, it’s crucial to acknowledge the importance of both when it comes to _____________.
It is clear that behaviorism and consructivism, while seeming to be different, have shared characteristics in their foci on knowledge acquisition over time. On the other hand, their contrasts in ideas about the role of experience in learning shed light on their unique features. The analysis provides a more nuanced comprehension of these subjects. In choosing between the two, consideration should be given to which approach works best in which situation. Despite their disparities, it’s crucial to acknowledge the importance of both when it comes to student education.
Reflecting on the points discussed, it’s evident that _____________ and _____________ share similarities such as _____________, while also demonstrating unique differences, particularly in _____________. The preference for one over the other would typically depend on factors such as _____________. Yet, regardless of their distinctions, both _____________ and _____________ play integral roles in their respective areas, significantly contributing to _____________.
Reflecting on the points discussed, it’s evident that red and orange share similarities such as the fact they are both ‘hot colors’, while also demonstrating unique differences, particularly in their social meaning (red meaning danger and orange warmth). The preference for one over the other would typically depend on factors such as personal taste. Yet, regardless of their distinctions, both red and orange play integral roles in their respective areas, significantly contributing to color theory.
Ultimately, the comparison and contrast of _____________ and _____________ have revealed intriguing similarities and notable differences. Differences such as _____________ give deeper insights into their unique and shared qualities. When it comes to choosing between them, _____________ will likely be a deciding factor. Despite these differences, it is important to remember that both _____________ and _____________ hold significant value within the context of _____________, and each contributes to _____________ in its own unique way.
Ultimately, the comparison and contrast of driving and flying have revealed intriguing similarities and notable differences. Differences such as their differing speed to destination give deeper insights into their unique and shared qualities. When it comes to choosing between them, urgency to arrive at the destination will likely be a deciding factor. Despite these differences, it is important to remember that both driving and flying hold significant value within the context of air transit, and each contributes to facilitating movement in its own unique way.
See Here for More Compare and Contrast Essay Examples
4. Critical Essay Conclusion
In conclusion, the analysis of _____________ has unveiled critical aspects related to _____________. While there are strengths in _____________, its limitations are equally telling. This critique provides a more informed perspective on _____________, revealing that there is much more beneath the surface. Moving forward, the understanding of _____________ should evolve, considering both its merits and flaws.
In conclusion, the analysis of flow theory has unveiled critical aspects related to motivation and focus. While there are strengths in achieving a flow state, its limitations are equally telling. This critique provides a more informed perspective on how humans achieve motivation, revealing that there is much more beneath the surface. Moving forward, the understanding of flow theory of motivation should evolve, considering both its merits and flaws.
To conclude, this critical examination of _____________ sheds light on its multi-dimensional nature. While _____________ presents notable advantages, it is not without its drawbacks. This in-depth critique offers a comprehensive understanding of _____________. Therefore, future engagements with _____________ should involve a balanced consideration of its strengths and weaknesses.
To conclude, this critical examination of postmodern art sheds light on its multi-dimensional nature. While postmodernism presents notable advantages, it is not without its drawbacks. This in-depth critique offers a comprehensive understanding of how it has contributed to the arts over the past 50 years. Therefore, future engagements with postmodern art should involve a balanced consideration of its strengths and weaknesses.
Upon reflection, the critique of _____________ uncovers profound insights into its underlying intricacies. Despite its positive aspects such as ________, it’s impossible to overlook its shortcomings. This analysis provides a nuanced understanding of _____________, highlighting the necessity for a balanced approach in future interactions. Indeed, both the strengths and weaknesses of _____________ should be taken into account when considering ____________.
Upon reflection, the critique of marxism uncovers profound insights into its underlying intricacies. Despite its positive aspects such as its ability to critique exploitation of labor, it’s impossible to overlook its shortcomings. This analysis provides a nuanced understanding of marxism’s harmful effects when used as an economic theory, highlighting the necessity for a balanced approach in future interactions. Indeed, both the strengths and weaknesses of marxism should be taken into account when considering the use of its ideas in real life.
Ultimately, this critique of _____________ offers a detailed look into its advantages and disadvantages. The strengths of _____________ such as __________ are significant, yet its limitations such as _________ are not insignificant. This balanced analysis not only offers a deeper understanding of _____________ but also underscores the importance of critical evaluation. Hence, it’s crucial that future discussions around _____________ continue to embrace this balanced approach.
Ultimately, this critique of artificial intelligence offers a detailed look into its advantages and disadvantages. The strengths of artificial intelligence, such as its ability to improve productivity are significant, yet its limitations such as the possibility of mass job losses are not insignificant. This balanced analysis not only offers a deeper understanding of artificial intelligence but also underscores the importance of critical evaluation. Hence, it’s crucial that future discussions around the regulation of artificial intelligence continue to embrace this balanced approach.
This article promised 17 essay conclusions, and this one you are reading now is the twenty-first. This last conclusion demonstrates that the very best essay conclusions are written uniquely, from scratch, in order to perfectly cater the conclusion to the topic. A good conclusion will tie together all the key points you made in your essay and forcefully drive home the importance or relevance of your argument, thesis statement, or simply your topic so the reader is left with one strong final point to ponder.
Chris Drew (PhD)
Dr. Chris Drew is the founder of the Helpful Professor. He holds a PhD in education and has published over 20 articles in scholarly journals. He is the former editor of the Journal of Learning Development in Higher Education. [Image Descriptor: Photo of Chris]
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In the desperate scramble to combat AI, there is a real danger of penalising students who have done nothing wrong
- Robert Topinka a senior lecturer in media and cultural studies at Birkbeck, University of London
W hen I sat down to mark undergraduate student essays in the spring of 2023, the hype around ChatGPT was already at giddy heights. Like teachers everywhere, I was worried that students would succumb to the temptation to outsource their thinking to the machine. Many universities, including mine, responded by adopting AI detection software, and I soon had my fears confirmed when it provided the following judgment on one of the essays: “100% AI-generated”.
Essays are marked anonymously, so my heart dropped when I found out that the first “100% AI-generated” essay I marked belonged to a brilliant, incisive thinker whose essays in the pre-ChatGPT era were consistently excellent, if somewhat formulaic in style.
I found myself in an increasingly common predicament, caught between software products and humans: students and ChatGPT on one side, lecturers and AI detectors on the other. Policy demands that I refer essays with high AI detection scores for academic misconduct, something that can lead to steep penalties, including expulsion. But my standout student contested the referral, claiming university-approved support software they used for spelling and grammar included limited generative AI capabilities that had been mistaken for ChatGPT.
The software that scanned my student’s essay is provided by Turnitin, an American “education technology” giant that is one of the biggest players in the academic misconduct market. Before ChatGPT, Turnitin’s primary function was to produce “similarity reports” by checking essays against a database of websites and previously submitted student work. A high similarity score does not always mean plagiarism – some students just quote abundantly – but does make it easier to find copy-and-paste jobs.
Generative AI makes copying and pasting seem old-fashioned. Prompted with an essay question, ChatGPT produces word combinations that won’t show up in a similarity report. Facing a threat to its business model, Turnitin has responded with an AI detection software that measures whether an essay strings words together in predictable patterns – as ChatGPT does – or in the more idiosyncratic style of a human. But the tool is not definitive: while the label announces that an essay is “X% AI-generated”, a link in fine print below the percentage opens a disclaimer that admits it only “might be”.
Unlike the “similarity report”, which includes links to sources so that lecturers can verify whether a student plagiarised or used too many quotations, the AI detection software is a black box. ChatGPT has more than 180 million monthly users, and it produces different – if formulaic – text for all of them. There is no reliable way to reproduce the same text for the same prompt, let alone to know how students might prompt it. Students and lecturers are caught in an AI guessing game. It’s not hard to find students sharing tips online about evading AI detection with paraphrasing tools and AI “humanisers” . It’s also not hard to find desperate students asking how to beat false accusations based on unreliable AI detection.
When my student contested the AI detector’s judgment, I granted the appeal. I admit to trusting the human over the machine. But the defence was also convincing, and this particular student had been consistently writing in this style long before ChatGPT came into being. Still, I was making a high-stakes call without reliable evidence. It was a distressing experience for my student, and one that is being repeated across the sector.
Many academics have translated the hype around AI to a heightened suspicion of students. And it’s true that ChatGPT can plausibly write mediocre university-level essays. A combination of ChatGPT and AI “humanisers” might even carry someone through university with a 2:2.
But if universities treat this as an arms race, it will inevitably harm students who rely on additional support to survive a system that is overwhelmingly biased to white, middle-class, native English speakers without disabilities, and whose parents went to university. Students who don’t fall into those categories are also more likely to turn for support to spelling and grammar checkers like Grammarly, which also uses generative AI to offer stylistic suggestions, putting them at risk of running foul of AI detectors even when the substantive ideas are original. Innocent students will inevitably find themselves in a kind of Kafkaesque computational scenario – accused by one automated software of improperly relying on another.
What is to be done? In the desperate – and largely futile – scramble to “catch up” with AI, there is a real danger that academics lose sight of why we assign essays in the first place: to give students the opportunity to display their ability to evaluate information, think critically and present original arguments. This may even be an opportunity to move away from the sort of conventional essay questions that can so easily be fed into ChatGPT. Students can present original, critical work in presentations, podcasts, videos and reflective writing.
It’s also possible to ask students questions that include information that doesn’t exist in ChatGPT’s training data – for instance, by incorporating content generated in class. Lecturers could also address ambient AI anxiety head-on by prompting ChatGPT with assigned essay questions and asking students to critique the resulting output in class. The goal need not be just to fend off AI-generated essays: expanding the range of assessments can also help universities close the achievement gap that exists in part because traditional forms of assessment tend to favour more privileged students.
Of course, all of this puts more pressure on casualised, overworked staff, which is why the kneejerk response to revert to closed-door, handwritten exams is understandable, if misguided. We can be critical of AI, but we can’t pretend it doesn’t exist if we want to prepare students for a world where humans will have to live and work alongside thinking machines.
Achieving that goal would be easier if students arrived at university as open-minded critical thinkers instead of stressed-out, debt-burdened consumers. In this sense, the panic around AI is only the latest symptom of a broader crisis at UK universities, and it is a crisis that is not equally felt. The Conservative government’s move to force universities to cap admissions on “low-value” degrees – cutting off their primary funding source – is also an attack on working-class and minority-ethnic students. Responding to AI with punitive measures based on unreliable detection software risks contributing to that same attack. If there is any chance of avoiding the bitter irony of the biggest technological breakthrough since the internet entrenching enduring inequalities in education, it will come from lecturers working with AI, instead of joining a losing fight against it.
Robert Topinka is a senior lecturer in media and cultural studies at Birkbeck, University of London
- Artificial intelligence (AI)
- Higher education
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The Lure of Divorce
Seven years into my marriage, i hit a breaking point — and had to decide whether life would be better without my husband in it..
This article was featured in One Great Story , New York ’s reading recommendation newsletter. Sign up here to get it nightly.
In the summer of 2022, I lost my mind. At first, it seemed I was simply overwhelmed because life had become very difficult, and I needed to — had every right to — blow off some steam. Our family was losing its apartment and had to find another one, fast, in a rental market gone so wild that people were offering over the asking price on rent. My husband, Keith, was preparing to publish a book, Raising Raffi, about our son, a book he’d written with my support and permission but that, as publication loomed, I began to have mixed feelings about. To cope with the stress, I asked my psychiatrist to increase the dosage of the antidepressant I’d been on for years. Sometime around then, I started talking too fast and drinking a lot.
I felt invincibly alive, powerful, and self-assured, troubled only by impatience with how slowly everyone around me was moving and thinking. Drinking felt necessary because it slightly calmed my racing brain. Some days, I’d have drinks with breakfast, lunch, and dinner, which I ate at restaurants so the drink order didn’t seem too unusual. Who doesn’t have an Aperol spritz on the way home from the gym in the morning? The restaurant meals cost money, as did the gym, as did all the other random things I bought, spending money we didn’t really have on ill-fitting lingerie from Instagram and workout clothes and lots of planters from Etsy. I grew distant and impatient with Keith as the book’s publication approached, even as I planned a giant party to celebrate its launch. At the party, everyone got COVID. I handed out cigarettes from a giant salad bowl — I had gone from smoking once or twice a day to chain-smoking whenever I could get away with it. When well-meaning friends tried to point out what was going on, I screamed at them and pointed out everything that was wrong in their lives. And most crucially, I became convinced that my marriage was over and had been over for years.
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I built a case against my husband in my mind. This book of his was simply the culmination of a pattern: He had always put his career before mine; while I had tended to our children during the pandemic, he had written a book about parenting. I tried to balance writing my own novel with drop-offs, pickups, sick days, and planning meals and shopping and cooking, most of which had always been my primary responsibility since I was a freelancer and Keith had a full-time job teaching journalism. We were incompatible in every way, except that we could talk to each other as we could to no one else, but that seemed beside the point. More relevant: I spent money like it was water, never budgeting, leaving Keith to make sure we made rent every month. Every few months, we’d have a fight about this and I’d vow to change; some system would be put in place, but it never stuck. We were headed for disaster, and finally it came.
Our last fight happened after a long day spent at a wedding upstate. I’d been drinking, first spiked lemonade at lunch alone and then boxed wine during the wedding reception, where I couldn’t eat any of the food — it all contained wheat, and I have celiac disease. When we got back, late, to the house where we were staying, I ordered takeout and demanded he go pick it up for me. Calling from the restaurant, he was incensed. Did I know how much my takeout order had cost? I hadn’t paid attention as I checked boxes in the app, nor had I realized that our bank account was perilously low — I never looked at receipts or opened statements. Not knowing this, I felt like he was actually denying me food, basic sustenance. It was the last straw. I packed a bag as the kids played happily with their cousins downstairs, then waited by the side of the road for a friend who lived nearby to come pick me up, even as Keith stood there begging me to stay. But his words washed over me; I was made of stone. I said it was over — really over. This was it, the definitive moment I’d been waiting for. I had a concrete reason to leave.
A few days later, still upstate at my friend’s house, I had a Zoom call with my therapist and my psychiatrist, who both urged me in no uncertain terms to check myself into a psychiatric hospital. Even I couldn’t ignore a message that clear. My friend drove me to the city, stopping for burgers along the way — I should have relished the burger more, as it was some of the last noninstitutional food I would eat for a long time — and helped me check into NYU Langone. My bags were searched, and anything that could be used as a weapon was removed, including my mascara. I spent my first night there in a gown in a cold holding room with no phone, nothing but my thoughts. Eventually, a bed upstairs became free and I was brought to the psych ward, where I was introduced to a roommate, had blood drawn, and was given the first of many pills that would help me stop feeling so irrepressibly energetic and angry. They started me on lithium right away. In a meeting with a team of psychiatrists, they broke the news: I had been diagnosed with bipolar disorder; they weren’t sure which kind yet. They gave me a nicotine patch every few hours plus Klonopin and Seroquel and lithium.
I wasn’t being held involuntarily, which meant I could write letters on an official form explaining why I ought to be released, which the psychiatrists then had three days to consider. I attached extra notebook pages to the letters explaining that I was divorcing my husband and was terrified I would never be able to see my kids again if I was declared unfit because I was insane. These letters did not result in my release; if anything, they prolonged my stay. I got my phone back — it would soon be revoked again, wisely — but in that brief interim, I sent out a newsletter to my hundreds of subscribers declaring that I was getting a divorce and asking them to Venmo me money for the custody battle I foresaw. In this newsletter, I also referenced Shakespeare. The drugs clearly had not kicked in yet. I cycled through three different roommates, all of whom were lovely, though I preferred the depressed one to the borderline ones. We amused ourselves during the day by going to art therapy, music therapy, and meetings with our psychiatrists. I made a lot of beaded bracelets.
In the meetings with the shrinks, I steadfastly maintained that I was sane and that my main problem was the ending of my marriage. I put Keith, and my mother, on a list of people who weren’t allowed to visit me. Undaunted, Keith brought me gluten-free egg sandwiches in the morning, which I grudgingly ate — anything for a break from the hospital food. My parents came up from D.C. and helped Keith take care of our children. I was in the hospital for a little more than three weeks, almost the entire month of October, longer than I’d ever been away from my kids before in their lives. I celebrated my 41st birthday in the hospital and received a lot of very creative cards that my fellow crazies had decorated during art therapy. Eventually, the drugs began to work: I could tell they were working because instead of feeling energetic, I suddenly couldn’t stop crying. The tears came involuntarily, like vomit. I cried continuously for hours and had to be given gabapentin in order to sleep.
On the day I was released, I didn’t let anyone pick me up. I expected the superhuman strength I’d felt for months to carry me, but it was gone, lithiumed away. Instead, I felt almost paralyzed as I carried my bags to a cab. When I arrived at my apartment, I couldn’t figure out where I should sleep. It didn’t feel like my home anymore. We couldn’t afford to live separately, even temporarily, but the one thing that our somewhat decrepit, inconveniently located new apartment had in its favor was two small attic bedrooms and one larger bedroom downstairs. I claimed this downstairs room for myself and began to live there alone, coming into contact with Keith only when we had to be together with our children.
You might assume that my fixation on divorce would have subsided now that my mental health had stabilized and I was on strong antipsychotic medication. But I still did not want to stay in my marriage. If anything, I felt a newfound clarity: Keith and I had fundamentally incompatible selves. Our marriage had been built on a flaw. My husband was older, more established and successful in his career. These were the facts, so it had to be my job to do more of the work at home. Unless, of course, I decided to take myself and my work as seriously as he took his. But that was unappealing; I had managed to publish three books before turning 40, but I didn’t want to work all the time, like he does.
I wondered if my marriage would always feel like a competition and if the only way to call the competition a draw would be to end it.
We picked the kids up from school and dropped them off, or really mostly Keith did. I appeared at meals and tried to act normal. I was at a loss for what to do much of the time. I attended AA meetings and the DBT meetings required by the hospital outpatient program, and I read. I read books about insanity: Darkness Visible, The Bell Jar, An Unquiet Mind, Postcards From the Edge. I tried to understand what was happening to me, but nothing seemed to resonate until I began to read books about divorce. I felt I was preparing myself for what was coming. The first book I read was Rachel Cusk’s Aftermath, which has become the go-to literary divorce bible since its 2012 publication. In it, Cusk describes the way her life shattered and recomposed after the dissolution of her marriage, when her daughters were still very young. She makes the case for the untenability of her relationship by explaining that men and women are fundamentally unequal. She posits that men and women who marry and have children are perpetually fighting separate battles, lost to each other: “The baby can seem like something her husband has given her as a substitute for himself, a kind of transitional object, like a doll, for her to hold so that he can return to the world. And he does, he leaves her, returning to work, setting sail for Troy. He is free, for in the baby the romance of man and woman has been concluded: each can now do without the other.”
At our relationship’s lowest moments, this metaphor had barely been a metaphor. I remembered, the previous winter, Keith going off on a reporting trip to Ukraine at the very beginning of the war, leaving me and the kids with very little assurance of his safety. I had felt okay for the first couple of days until I heard on the news of bombing very close to where he was staying. After that, I went and bummed a cigarette from a neighbor, leaving the kids sleeping in their beds in order to do so. It was my first cigarette in 15 years. Though that had been the winter before my mania began, I believe the first seeds of it were sown then: leaving the children, smoking the cigarette, resenting Keith for putting himself in harm’s way and going out into the greater world while I tended to lunches, homework, and laundry as though everything were normal.
In Nora Ephron’s Heartburn, as in Aftermath, I found an airtight case for divorce. The husband was the villain and the wife the wronged party, and the inevitable result was splitting up. I felt an echo of this later on when I read Lyz Lenz’s polemic This American Ex-Wife, out this month, marketed as “a deeply validating manifesto on the gender politics of marriage (bad) and divorce (actually pretty good!).” The book begins by detailing how Lenz’s husband rarely did household chores and hid belongings of hers that he didn’t like — e.g., a mug that said WRITE LIKE A MOTHERFUCKER — in a box in the basement. “I didn’t want to waste my one wild and precious life telling a grown man where to find the ketchup,” Lenz writes. “What was compelling about my marriage wasn’t its evils or its villains, but its commonplace horror.”
This was not quite the way I felt. Even though I could not stand to see my husband’s face or hear his voice, even though I still felt the same simmering resentment I had since I entered the hospital, I also found myself feeling pangs of sympathy for him. After all, he was going through this too. When we were inevitably together, at mealtimes that were silent unless the children spoke, I could see how wounded he was, how he was barely keeping it together. His clothes hung off his gaunt frame. And at night, when we passed in the kitchen making cups of tea that we would take to our respective rooms, he sometimes asked me for a hug, just a hug. One time I gave in and felt his ribs through his T-shirt. He must have lost at least 15 pounds.
It began to seem like I only ever talked to friends who had been through divorces or were contemplating them. One friend who didn’t know whether to split up with her husband thought opening their marriage might be the answer. Another friend described the ease of sharing custody of his young daughter, then admitted that he and his ex-wife still had sex most weekends. In my chronically undecided state, I admired both of these friends who had found, or might have found, a way to split the difference. Maybe it was possible to break up and remain friends with an ex, something that had never happened to me before in my entire life. Maybe it was possible to be married and not married at the same time. Then I went a little further in my imagination, and the idea of someone else having sex with my husband made me want to gag with jealousy. Maybe that meant something. I was so confused, and the confusion seemed to have no end.
I read more books about divorce. I received an early copy of Sarah Manguso’s Liars, marketed as “a searing novel about being a wife, a mother, and an artist, and how marriage makes liars out of us all.” In it, John, a creative dilettante, and Jane, a writer, meet and soon decide to marry. Liars describes their marriage from beginning to end, a span of almost 15 years, and is narrated by Jane. The beginning of their relationship is delirious: “I tried to explain that first ferocious hunger and couldn’t. It came from somewhere beyond reason.” But the opening of that book also contains a warning. “Then I married a man, as women do. My life became archetypal, a drag show of nuclear familyhood. I got enmeshed in a story that had already been told ten billion times.” I felt perversely reassured that I was merely adding another story to the 10 billion. It made it seem less like it was my fault.
The beginning of my relationship with my husband wasn’t that dramatic or definitive. I thought I was getting into something casual with someone I didn’t even know if I particularly liked, much less loved, but was still oddly fascinated by. I wanted to see the way he lived, to see if I could emulate it and become more like him. He lived with roommates in his 30s — well, that was the price you paid if you wanted to do nothing but write. I wanted what he had, his seriousness about his work. We went on dates where we both sat with our laptops in a café, writing, and this was somehow the most romantic thing I’d ever experienced. On our third date, we went to his father’s home on Cape Cod to dog-sit for a weekend, and it was awkward in the car until we realized we were both thinking about the same Mary Gaitskill story, “A Romantic Weekend,” in which a couple with dramatically mismatched needs learn the truth about each other through painful trial and error. Our weekend was awkward, too, but not nearly as awkward as the one in the story. On the way home, I remember admiring Keith’s driving, effortless yet masterful. I trusted him in the car completely. A whisper of a thought: He would make a good father.
In Liars, cracks begin to form almost immediately, even before John and Jane get engaged; she is accepted to a prestigious fellowship and he isn’t, and he is forthright about his fear that she will become more successful than he is: “A moment later he said he didn’t want to be the unsuccessful partner of the successful person. Then he apologized and said that he’d just wanted to be honest. I said, It was brave and considerate to tell me. ”
Through the next few years, so gradually that it’s almost imperceptible, John makes it impossible for Jane to succeed. He launches tech companies that require cross-country moves, forcing Jane to bounce between adjunct-teaching gigs. And then, of course, they have a baby. The problem with the baby is that Jane wants everything to be perfect for him and throws herself into creating a tidy home and an ideal child-development scenario, whereas John works more and more, moving the family again as one start-up fails and another flourishes. Jane begins to wonder whether she has created a prison for herself but pacifies herself with the thought that her situation is normal: “No married woman I knew was better off, so I determined to carry on. After all, I was a control freak, a neat freak, a crazy person.” The story John tells her about herself becomes her own story for a while. For a while, it’s impossible to know whose story is the truth.
I thought about Keith’s side of the story when I read Liars. Maybe it was the lack of alcohol’s blur that enabled me to see this clearly for the first time — I began to see how burdened he had been, had always been, with a partner who refused to plan for the future and who took on, without being asked, household chores that could just as easily have been distributed evenly. Our situation had never been as clear-cut as it was for Lyz Lenz; Keith had never refused to take out the trash or hidden my favorite mug. But he worked more and later hours, and my intermittent book advances and freelance income could not be counted on to pay our rent. As soon as we’d had a child, he had been shunted into the role of breadwinner without choosing it or claiming it. At first, I did all the cooking because I liked cooking and then, when I stopped liking cooking, I did it anyway out of habit. For our marriage to change, we would have needed to consciously decide to change it, insofar as our essential natures and our financial situation would allow. But when were we supposed to have found the time to do that? It was maddening that the root of our fracture was so commonplace and clichéd — and that even though the problem was ordinary, I still couldn’t think my way out of it.
Splinters: Another Kind of Love Story, by Leslie Jamison , is in some ways the successor to Aftermath — the latest divorce book by a literary superstar. It is mostly an account of Jamison’s passionate marriage to a fellow writer, C., and the way that marriage fell apart after her career accelerated and they had a child together. It then details her first months of life as a single mother and her forays into dating. In it, she is strenuously fair to C., taking much of the blame for the dissolution of their marriage. But she can’t avoid describing his anger that her book merits an extensive tour, while his novel — based on his relationship with his first wife, who had died of leukemia — fails commercially. “It didn’t get the reception he had hoped for,” Jamison writes, and now, “I could feel him struggling. He wanted to support me, but there was a thorn in every interview.” C. grows distant, refusing to publicly perform the charming self that Jamison fell in love with. “I wished there was a way to say, Your work matters, that didn’t involve muting my own,” Jamison writes.
For all my marriage’s faults, we never fought in public. Friends encouraged us to reconcile, saying, “You always seemed so good together.” (As if there were another way to seem! Standing next to each other at a party, it had always been easy to relax because we couldn’t fight.) And we never did anything but praise each other’s work. Until this last book of my husband’s, that is. I had read Raising Raffi for the first time six months before it was published, while I was out of town for the weekend. I had, at that time, enjoyed reading it — it was refreshing, in a way, to see someone else’s perspective on a part of my own life. I even felt a certain relief that my child’s early years, in all their specificity and cuteness, had been recorded. This work had been accomplished, and I hadn’t had to do it! There had been only a slight pang in the background of that feeling that I hadn’t been the one to do it. But as publication drew nearer, the pang turned into outright anger . The opening chapter described my giving birth to our first son, and I didn’t realize how violated I felt by that until it was vetted by The New Yorker ’s fact-checker after that section was selected as an excerpt for its website. Had a geyser of blood shot out of my vagina? I didn’t actually know. I had been busy at the time. I hung up on the fact-checker who called me, asking her to please call my husband instead. (In case you’re wondering, Keith has read this essay and suggested minimal changes.)
I related to the writers in Splinters trying to love each other despite the underlying thrum of competing ambitions. But most of all, Jamison’s book made me even more terrified about sharing custody. “There was only one time I got on my knees and begged. It happened in our living room, where I knelt beside the wooden coffee table and pleaded not to be away from her for two nights each week,” she writes. Envisioning a future in which we shared custody of our children made me cringe with horror. It seemed like absolute hell. At the time we separated, our younger son was only 4 years old and required stories and cuddles to get to bed. Missing a night of those stories seemed like a punishment neither of us deserved, and yet we would have to sacrifice time with our kids if we were going to escape each other, which seemed like the only possible solution to our problem. Thanksgiving rolled around, and I cooked a festive meal that we ate without looking at each other. Whenever I looked at Keith, I started to cry.
We decided to enter divorce mediation at the beginning of December. On Sixth Avenue, heading to the therapist’s office, we passed the hospital where I’d once been rushed for an emergency fetal EKG when I was pregnant with our first son. His heart had turned out to be fine. But as we passed that spot, I sensed correctly that we were both thinking of that moment, of a time when we had felt so connected in our panic and desperate hope, and now the invisible cord that had bound us had been, if not severed, shredded and torn. For a moment on the sidewalk there, we allowed ourselves to hold hands, remembering.
The therapist was a small older woman with short curly reddish hair. She seemed wise, like she’d seen it all and seen worse. I was the one who talked the most in that session, blaming Keith for making me go crazy, even though I knew this wasn’t technically true or possible: I had gone crazy from a combination of sky-high stress and a too-high SSRI prescription and a latent crazy that had been in me, part of me, since long before Keith married me, since I was born. Still, I blamed his job, his book, his ambition and workaholism, which always surpassed my own efforts. I cried throughout the session; I think we both did. I confessed that I was not the primary wronged person in these negotiations, and to be fair I have to talk about why. Sometime post–Last Fight and pre-hospitalization, I had managed to cheat on my husband. I had been so sure we were basically already divorced that I justified the act to myself; I couldn’t have done it any other way. I had thought I might panic at the last minute or even throw up or faint, but I had gone through with it thanks to the delusional state I was in. There aren’t many more details anyone needs to know. It was just one time, and it was like a drug I used to keep myself from feeling sad about what was really happening. Anyway, there’s a yoga retreat center I’ll never be able to go to again in my life.
At the end of the session, we decided to continue with the therapist but in couples therapy instead of divorce mediation. It was a service she also provided, and as a bonus, it was $100 cheaper per session. She didn’t say why she made this recommendation, but maybe it was our palpable shared grief that convinced her that our marriage was salvageable. Or maybe it was that, despite everything I had told her in that session, she could see that, even in my profound sadness and anger, I looked toward Keith to complete my sentences when I was searching for the right word and that he did the same thing with me. As broken as we were, we were still pieces of one once-whole thing.
My husband would have to forgive me for cheating and wasting our money. I would have to forgive him for treading on my literary territory: our family’s life, my own life. My husband would have to forgive me for having a mental breakdown, leaving him to take care of our family on his own for a month, costing us thousands of uninsured dollars in hospital bills. I would have to forgive him for taking for granted, for years, that I would be available on a sick day or to do an early pickup or to watch the baby while he wrote about our elder son. I would have to forgive him for taking for granted that there would always be dinner on the table without his having to think about how it got there. He would have to forgive me for never taking out the recycling and never learning how to drive so that I could move the car during alternate-side parking. I would have to forgive him for usurping the time and energy and brain space with which I might have written a better book than his. Could the therapist help us overcome what I knew to be true: that we’d gone into marriage already aware that we were destined for constant conflict just because of who we are? The therapist couldn’t help me ask him to do more if I didn’t feel like I deserved it, if I couldn’t bring myself to ask him myself. I had to learn how to ask.
No one asked anything or forgave anything that day in the couples therapist’s office. After what felt like months but was probably only a few days, I was watching Ramy on my laptop in my downstairs-bedroom cave after the kids’ bedtime when some moment struck me as something Keith would love. Acting purely on impulse, I left my room and found him sitting on the couch, drinking tea. I told him I’d been watching this show I thought was funny and that he would really like it. Soon, we were sitting side by side on the couch, watching Ramy together. We went back to our respective rooms afterward, but still, we’d made progress.
After a few more weeks and a season’s worth of shared episodes of Ramy, I ventured for the first time upstairs to Keith’s attic room. It smelled alien to me, and I recognized that this was the pure smell of Keith, not the shared smell of the bedrooms in every apartment we’d lived in together. I lay down next to him in the mess of his bed. He made room for me. We didn’t touch, not yet. But we slept, that night, together. The next night, we went back to sleeping alone.
Pickups and drop-offs became evenly divided among me and Keith and a sitter. Keith learned to make spaghetti with meat sauce. He could even improvise other dishes, with somewhat less success, but he was improving. I made a conscious effort not to tidy the house after the children left for school. I made myself focus on my work even when there was chaos around me. Slowly, I began to be able to make eye contact with Keith again. At couples therapy, we still clutched tissue boxes in our hands, but we used them less. Our separate chairs inched closer together in the room.
That Christmas, we rented a tiny Airbnb near his dad’s house in Falmouth. It had only two bedrooms, one with bunk beds for the kids and one with a king-size bed that took up almost the entirety of the small room. We would have to share a bed for the duration of the trip. The decision I made to reach across the giant bed toward Keith on one of the last nights of the trip felt, again, impulsive. But there were years of information and habit guiding my impulse. Sex felt, paradoxically, completely comfortable and completely new, like losing my virginity. It felt like sleeping with a different person and also like sleeping with the same person, which made sense, in a way. We had become different people while somehow staying the same people we’d always been.
Slowly, over the course of the next months, I moved most of my things upstairs to his room, now our room. We still see the therapist twice a month. We talk about how to make things more equal in our marriage, how not to revert to old patterns. I have, for instance, mostly given up on making dinner, doing it only when it makes more sense in the schedule of our shared day or when I actually want to cook. It turns out that pretty much anyone can throw some spaghetti sauce on some pasta; it also turns out that the kids won’t eat dinner no matter who cooks it, and now we get to experience that frustration equally. Keith’s work is still more stable and prestigious than mine, but we conspire to pretend that this isn’t the case, making sure to leave space for my potential and my leisure. We check in to make sure we’re not bowing to the overwhelming pressure to cede our whole lives to the physical and financial demands, not to mention the fervently expressed wants, of our children. It’s the work that we’d never found time to do before, and it is work. The difference is that we now understand what can happen when we don’t do it. I’m always surprised by how much I initially don’t want to go to therapy and then by how much lighter I feel afterward. For now, those sessions are a convenient container for our marriage’s intractable defects so that we get to spend the rest of our time together focusing on what’s not wrong with us.
The downstairs bedroom is now dormant, a place for occasional guests to stay or for our elder son to lie in bed as he plays video games. Some of my clothes from a year earlier still fill the drawers, but none of it seems like mine. I never go into that room if I can help it. It was the room of my exile from my marriage, from my family. If I could magically disappear it from our apartment, I would do it in a heartbeat. And in the attic bedroom, we are together, not as we were before but as we are now.
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Watch CBS News
Read the full decision in Trump's New York civil fraud case
By Graham Kates
Edited By Stefan Becket, Paula Cohen
Updated on: February 16, 2024 / 8:27 PM EST / CBS News
The judge overseeing the civil fraud case in New York against former President Donald Trump and the Trump Organization has issued his long-awaited ruling , five weeks after the trial in the case concluded .
Judge Arthur Engoron ordered Trump and his company to pay $354 million in fines — a total that jumps to $453.5 million when pre-judgment interest is factored in. It also bars them from seeking loans from financial institutions in New York for a period of three years, and includes a three-year ban on Trump serving as an officer or director of any New York corporation.
Additional penalties were ordered for Trump's sons, Eric and Donald Trump Jr., who are executives at the company, and two former executives, Allen Weisselberg and Jeffrey McConney.
New York Attorney General Letitia James brought the civil suit in 2022, seeking a penalty that grew to $370 million and asking the judge to bar Trump from doing business in the state.
Judge Engoron had already ruled in September that Trump and the other defendants were liable for fraud , based on the evidence presented through pretrial filings.
The judge had largely affirmed James' allegations that Trump and others at his company had inflated valuations of his properties by hundreds of millions of dollars over a the course of a decade and misrepresented his wealth by billions in a scheme, the state said, intended to trick banks and insurers into offering more favorable deal terms.
Trump and his legal team long expected a defeat, with the former president decrying the case as "rigged" and a "sham" and his lawyers laying the groundwork for an appeal before the decision was even issued. He is expected to appeal.
Read Judge Engoron's decision here :
- The Trump Organization
- Donald Trump
- Letitia James
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Why Data Breaches Spiked in 2023
- Stuart Madnick
And what companies can do to better secure users’ personal information.
In spite of recent efforts to beef up cybersecurity, data breaches — in which hackers steal personal data — continue to increase year-on-year: there was a 20% increase in data breaches from 2022 to 2023. There are three primary reasons behind this increased theft of personal data: (1) cloud misconfiguration, (2) new types of ransomware attacks, and (3) increased exploitation of vendor systems. Fortunately, there are ways to reduce the impact of each of these factors.
For many years, organizations have struggled to protect themselves from cyberattacks: companies, universities, and government agencies have expended enormous amounts of resources to secure themselves. But in spite of those efforts, data breaches — in which hackers steal personal data — continue to increase year-on-year: there was a 20% increase in data breaches from 2022 to 2023 . Some of the trends around this uptick are disturbing. For example, globally, there were twice the number of victims in 2023 compared to 2022, and in the Middle East, ransomware gang activity increased by 77% in that same timeframe.
- Stuart Madnick is the John Norris Maguire (1960) Professor of Information Technologies in the MIT Sloan School of Management, Professor of Engineering Systems in the MIT School of Engineering, and Director of Cybersecurity at MIT Sloan (CAMS): the Interdisciplinary Consortium for Improving Critical Infrastructure Cybersecurity. He has been active in the cybersecurity field since co-authoring the book Computer Security in 1979.