How to write an effective IELTS conclusion

A guide to writing a good conclusion for an IELTS essay.

This lesson will show you all about writing a good conclusion. The conclusion is very important in the essay because if you do not write one you will leave a weak impression on the examiner and you will lose a whole band score in task response.

Conclusions are pretty easy to write. You are just rephrasing your main points and restating your opinion. One way to do this is to paraphrase your thesis statement again. No new information should be added to the conclusion and it must be concise and to the point. Do not just copy your introduction word for word either, do not repeat whole sentences or it will lower your score.


If you prefer you can watch the video below.

 


Here are some key points about writing a conclusion.

1. Do not add new information to the conclusion. Any new ideas or main points should be covered in the main body paragraphs.

2. You can re-paraphrase the thesis statement from the introduction. This will show that you have a good understanding of vocabulary and it will leave a good impression on the examiner. Just remember that it is not necessary to paraphrase everything.

3. Do not go into too much detail, conclusions should only be about 2 or 3 sentences long. Keep it short and concise.

4. Sometimes you can have a prediction statement, (an ‘if’ statement) such as in a problem solution essay, this shows that you have a good range of grammar but make sure it doesn’t make the conclusion too long. Keep the conclusion to 3 sentences maximum.

5. You need to use a linking device when concluding. There are 3 choices below.

  • To sum up
  • To conclude
  • In conclusion.

Do not to use informal linking devices in the conclusion such as these listed below. They are just too informal or inappropriate in the conclusion.

  • I reckon  (informal)
  • In the end  (informal)
  • All in all   (informal)
  • Generally speaking   (too vague for a conclusion)
  • Finally   (this means you are making another final point)
  • Lastly  (this means you have a last point to make)
  • All things considered   (informal)

6. Do not use memorised ‘stock sentences’ in an IELTS essay. I sometimes see these in my students essays, this is because of bad advice being given on the internet. These kinds of memorised sentences are not necessary and may affect your score. See below:

  • In conclusion, I firmly agree with the aforementioned statement….
  • To conclude, as stated above, I think….
  • To sum up, I wholeheartedly agree with the above mentioned points in this essay…
  • To reiterate, according to the aforementioned points….
  • Taking my above views into consideration….
  • In a nutshell…
  • The crux of the matter is…

I think you get the idea here, there are many other examples of this but these sentences are not natural and unnecessary.

Click here to see a lesson on memorised or cliched phrases I often see in IELTS essays


How can you tell if it’s a good conclusion?

If you were to just read the conclusion only and not the essay, then you should be able to get a very good idea of what the essay was about without even reading the main body paragraphs. It should re-paraphrase your thesis statement and briefly summarise your main points. Let’s see some examples.


Example 1

Introduction:

Many individuals would rather go through life staying the same, while other people like the idea of facing new challenges. This essay agrees that change is beneficial to our lives because we can expand our worldview and gain new experiences.

Red = Paraphrased task question    Blue = thesis statement


Conclusion:

To conclude, although some prefer to shy away from new ideas because they feel comfortable with routines, I believe that change is advantageous for developing an open mind and experiencing new things.

Green= cohesive device   Red = re-paraphrased background statement from the introduction
   Blue = thesis statement paraphrased again.

A more concise conclusion:

In a discussion essay, you can use a much more concise and direct conclusion that briefly refers to the differing views and a restated opinion.

To sum up, despite differring views on whether change is beneficial, I think that change is important for developing an open mind and experiencing new things.

Green= cohesive device   Red = referring to the different views    Blue = opinion restated

As you can see, there is a lot of paraphrasing going on here, this is the key to getting a good band score in vocabulary and task response…paraphrasing needs a lot of practice and it must be done right.


Example 2

Introduction:

A major global issue recently is the increasing amount of refugees. Some believe that developed countries ought to deal with this by accepting more refugees. I hold the view that developed nations should not take in more refugees as it puts a burden on the welfare state and causes unease among local communities.

Red = Paraphrased task question    Blue = thesis statement

Conclusion:

In conclusion, although there are people who feel that developed nations must allow additional refugees to enter their countries, I do not agree, as this would put extra pressure on social systems and could create resentments in local neighbourhoods.

Green= cohesive device   Red = re-paraphrased the background statement from the introduction
    Blue = thesis statement paraphrased again.

I kept the keyword ‘refugees’ I could use ‘asylum seekers’ but there is a slight difference in meaning so I didn’t change it. Remember: You don’t have to paraphrase everything. be careful of synonyms as sometimes they carry a different meaning.


Key points:

If your conclusion is too long it could become irrelevant and lose marks. I advise a word count of under 45 words or 3 sentences in a conclusion.

You do not have to be an expert on the topic to write about it, the IELTS exam is not a general knowledge test. You do not have to personally agree or disagree, just give an opinion.

The whole point of giving your opinion and giving specific examples is to show the examiner how well you have understood the question, you can paraphrase, explain and support your ideas, use grammar effectively and use good vocabulary. In the conclusion you need to summarise and be concise.

I advise practicing as much as possible with paraphrasing introductions, thesis statements and conclusions. On this blog there are more articles on thesis statements and practice for paraphrasing.


Any questions?  leave a comment below.

 

Don`t copy text!