IELTS Writing Task 2: How to write an effective conclusion

How to write 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, if you do not write one you will leave a weak impression on the examiner and you will lose a whole band score. Conclusion are pretty easy to write.  You are just rephrasing what you wrote in the introduction and paraphrasing your thesis statement. No new information should be added to the conclusion, and it must be short and to the point.

If you prefer, you can watch the video below.


Here are some key points to remember when 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 should 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) this shows that you have a good range of grammar but make sure it doesn’t make the conclusion too long. Try to 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. Never 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 could affect your band 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….


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 paraphrase your thesis statement and the paraphrased task question should be briefly summarised or referred to.

Lets see some examples.

Example 1


Many individuals would rather go through life staying the same, while other people like the idea of facing new challenges. In my opinion, 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 = paraphrased task question from the introduction
   Blue = thesis statement paraphrased

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 people having opposing views, 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


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 = paraphrased task question from the introduction
    Blue = thesis statement paraphrased.

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: We don’t have to paraphrase everything.


Important points:

If your conclusion is too long (over 40 words) it could become irrelevant and lose marks. 
There is no mention in the IELTS marking criteria about this, but I am putting a word count on it as you need to have some kind of rule to keep 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, its does not have to be your own personal view.

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, support your ideas, use grammar effectively and use good vocabulary, summarise and be concise. You just need to prove you can use the language well.

What’s next?

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.

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