A guide to writing a good conclusion for an IELTS essay.
Updated: Sept 9th 2021
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 could lose a whole band score in task response.
Conclusions are pretty easy to write. You just need to rephrase your main points and restate your opinion. One way to do this is to paraphrase the thesis statement again. No new information should be added to the conclusion and it must be concise and to the point. Do not copy your thesis statement word for word either, do not repeat whole sentences or it will lower your score. Work on paraphrasing your thesis statement from the introduction.
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 cohesive device when starting the conclusion. There are 3 choices below.
- To sum up
- To conclude
- In conclusion
Do not to use informal cohesive devices to start 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…
As outlined above….
I think you get the idea here, there are many other examples of this but these sentences are not natural and completely 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.
Some people prefer to spend their lives doing the same things and avoiding change, whereas others think that change is always a good thing. Discuss both these views and give your own opinion.
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
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 differing 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.
One of the major problems facing the world today is the growing number of refugees. Some say developed nations of the world should tackle this problem by taking in more refugees. To what extent do you agree or disagree?
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
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.
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. (this is just my rule to keep you on track)
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, that you can paraphrase, explain and support your ideas. Use grammar and vocabulary accurately. 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.