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IELTS Writing Task 2: How to write a good conclusion
The conclusion is an important part of your IELTS Writing Task 2 response. A good conclusion is not just a summary of information presented in your essay, but also helps emphasise the importance of the main points or opinions in your essay and gives the reader a sense of closure.
On this page
Tip 1: refer back to your introductory paragraph, tip 2: summarise your essay’s main arguments, tip 3: avoid repetition, tip 4: give your own opinion, tip 5: don’t introduce a new argument, how to put these tips into action, example - writing task 2 question, writing task 2: sample introduction, writing task 2: sample conclusion.
When writing a conclusion (closing paragraph) in Writing Task 2, there are a few things that you should do (or avoid) in order to make your conclusion a more effective one. Knowing what to include or avoid in your closing paragraph can help you get a higher band score in IELTS Writing. So, let’s look at some tips you can practice and implement in your response.
You may want to think of your introduction and conclusion as two pieces of the same puzzle because they should be closely linked. Make sure you:
Return to the idea(s) that you presented in your introduction
And add further insight obtained after writing the body of your essay.
It is very important to provide a summary of your essay’s main points in your conclusion. But make sure you avoid repeating things. Instead, show the examiner how the arguments you made and the supporting details you used all fit together.
When summarising the main points in your essay, don’t repeat the language you use in your body paragraphs. Vary your language so that you don’t repeat the same words and sentence structures again and again. This will show the examiner that you can use a wider range of vocabulary and grammatical structures.
In Writing Task 2, you will always be asked to give your opinion in essay form. If you get to your final paragraph and realise that you haven’t given your opinion, make sure you include it in your conclusion so your opinion is clear.
Make sure you do not raise new points in your conclusion. Remember that your closing paragraph is where you bring closure to your essay and not where you introduce new ideas.
Now that we have looked at strategies for writing an effective conclusion, let’s see how these strategies work together to bring an essay to a cohesive end.
Take a look at the sample question, sample introductory paragraph and conclusion below. And see how this test taker has put the 5 tips mentioned into action to write a cohesive conclusion.
The threat of nuclear weapons maintains world peace. Nuclear power provides cheap and clean energy.
The benefits of nuclear technology far outweigh the disadvantages.
To what extent do you agree or disagree?
Give reasons for your answer and include any relevant examples from your own knowledge or experience.
Write at least 250 words.
Nuclear technology has been around for many years. Whether this technology is used for weapons of mass destruction or as a source of energy, many are of the belief that the use of nuclear energy has more advantages than disadvantages. In my opinion, nuclear technology can indeed be a very efficient energy source. However, nuclear weapons possess such enormous destructive power that any benefits that this technology may offer to humankind are not enough to counter its potentially devastating effects. This essay will address why the drawbacks of nuclear technology outweigh the benefits and will include relevant examples to support this position.
Nuclear technology is extremely dangerous. Even though nuclear weapons have only been used twice, on the Japanese cities of Hiroshima and Nagasaki, evidence from these actions, as well as from nuclear accidents such as the Chernobyl disaster, are irrefutable proof of the disastrous effects of nuclear technology. Even in the absence of nuclear accidents, nuclear power inevitably produces radioactive waste, which is severely damaging to our bodies. Our best protection against these dangers is to simply not use nuclear technology. Instead, we should look for alternative ways to produce sustainable energy and to achieve world peace through spreading a message of tolerance, kindness and non-violence.
If you review the main points in the example conclusion above:
The destructive power of nuclear weapons
The disastrous consequences of nuclear disasters
The harmful effects of radioactive waste.
You will see the writer reminds the examiner (reader) the strength and importance of their main ideas, while summarising how this point fit well with the examples provided in the body of the essay.
To finish, you can see the writer highlights their proposed course of action, which helps end the essay on a more positive note.
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Ielts writing task 1: how to write a job application letter, grammar 101: elude vs. allude.
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How to Write Effective IELTS Conclusions
This post will help you write effective conclusions for IELTS writing task 2 essay questions. It is suitable for both General Training and Academic candidates.
The conclusion is the easiest paragraph to write because, in many ways, you are just using ideas you have already mentioned in your introduction and main body paragraphs . However, this is the last thing the examiner will read, and it is, therefore, crucial that you finish strongly.
You will probably not have much time remaining when you are writing your conclusion, so you must practice them and learn how to write them quickly. I will show you how below.
IELTS Conclusion Quick Tips
- Never write any new ideas in your conclusion. A conclusion should always restate your ideas in the rest of the essay. New ideas should be in the main body and not in the conclusion.
- Make sure you answer the question in the conclusion. The conclusion should state your thoughts about the question and clarify your feelings about the issue.
- Vary your language. Just because you are restating your ideas in the rest of your essay doesn’t mean you use the same language. Instead, you show the examiner you have a wide vocabulary by paraphrasing .
- Don’t try to include everything . You are not required to go into detail; you have already done that in your main body paragraphs. Instead, you will summarise your main points.
- Always write one. It isn’t easy to get a good score in task 2 if you haven’t finished your essay with a conclusion. Even if you are running out of time, make sure you write one.
First, you should start with a linking phrase, but some are better than others. Here are some examples:
- In a nutshell
- In conclusion
- To conclude
Finally isn’t really suitable because it indicates that you are making a final point and therefore a new idea. Finally belongs in the main body of your essay, not the conclusion.
In a nutshell is too informal, and we should never use it in IELTS conclusions.
In general tells the reader you are going to talk generally about a topic. This is not what we will do in our conclusion, and we should not use it.
In conclusion and to conclude are the only two linking phrases you should use to start your conclusion. They tell the reader exactly what the paragraph is about and are formal. You will only write one conclusion, so pick one and stick with it.
How to Write a Good Conclusion
There are two elements to a good conclusion:
- Summarising the main points of your essay
- Varying your vocabulary by paraphrasing
Luckily we have already stated our main points in the introduction, so all we have to do is look back at the conclusion and paraphrase this.
Let’s look at some examples:
It is argued that students should be taught real-life skills, like how to look after money. This essay agrees that they should be part of the curriculum because everyday competencies benefit people later in life, and not being taught how to manage money at an early age can lead to dangerous consequences in adulthood.
I have completed an effective introduction by doing three things:
- Paraphrasing the question
- Stating my opinion
- Outlining what I will talk about in the rest of the essay or in other words, the main points I’m using to support my opinion.
In conclusion, this essay supports the idea that teenagers should be taught functional subjects like financial planning because it helps them in adulthood, and a lack of education related to these topics can have serious consequences.
So all I have done is restate my opinion and included my main supporting points. However, I have not simply copied all the words; I have used synonyms and paraphrasing to vary my language.
Note that I have repeated some words. Paraphrasing does not mean changing every single word. If you cannot think of a way to change every word, feel free to repeat that word. In general, you should try to vary your vocabulary as much as possible, but it is often impossible to change every single word. Better to repeat a word accurately than change it to something wrong.
Here are the paraphrases I used:
This essay supports- This essay agrees
should- ought to
functional subjects- real-life skills
look after money- financial planning
later in life- in adulthood
Let’s look at another example :
Contemporary advances have a serious effect on the planet. While I appreciate that critics may hope that people will shun the latest developments, I believe that technology itself can give us an answer. This essay will first discuss how not using electronics is unfeasible, followed by a discussion of how science is now coming up with ways to reverse global warming and pollution.
This introduction does three basic things:
1. Paraphrases the question
2. States opinion
3. Outlines what the essay will discuss
In conclusion, this essay acknowledges that technological progress jeopardises the planet, but cutting-edge discoveries can halt and even heal this destruction.
Again, all I have done is repeat what I said in the introduction using paraphrasing.
Adding a Prediction or Recommendation to Our Conclusion
We can also add a prediction (what we think will happen) or a recommendation (what we think should happen) to our conclusion.
This is totally optional. I teach students how to write these because it allows them to write something at the end of the essay if they are worried about not making it to 250 words. Only use these if you cannot get over the word count.
Here are my two previous conclusions with one added sentence:
In conclusion, this essay supports the idea that teenagers should be taught functional subjects like financial planning because it helps them in adulthood, and a lack of education related to these topics can have serious consequences. It is recommended that governments make this a compulsory part of the education system.
In conclusion, this essay acknowledges that technological progress jeopardises the planet, but cutting-edge discoveries can halt and even heal this destruction. It is predicted that climate change will be successfully tackled with such inventions.
If you found this article useful and want more help with writing task 2, please visit our task 2 page .
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Writing an IELTS Essay Conclusion
For an IELTS essay conclusion, many students write too much. It is only a short essay, so the conclusion does not need to be too long.
You should also have a formula for writing the conclusion quickly so you can focus your time on developing your ideas and supporting them in your body paragraphs.
You should do three things in your conclusion:
- Use a concluding phrase
- Restate the thesis statement in different words
- Give some personal opinions, hopes, fears, or recommendations about the future
Take a look at this essay question and introduction. The thesis statement is in red:
Blood sports have become a hot topic for debate in recent years. As society develops it is increasingly seen as an uncivilized activity and cruel to the helpless animals that are killed. Blood sports should be banned.
To what extent to you agree or disagree?
Sample IELTS essay introduction:
Despite the fact that killing animals for sport is popular in modern society, it remains a contentious issue. (thesis) I believe that blood sports are cruel and uncivilized and so should be banned as soon as possible.
Sample IELTS essay conclusion:
In order to write the first sentence of the IELTS essay conclusion, you can paraphrase your thesis statement - remember to use a phrase to make it clear it is a conclusion.
To conclude , it is clear that blood sports must be prohibited as no civilized society should allow the pain and suffering of animals simply for fun.
For your final sentence, you can give some personal opinions, hopes, fears, or recommendations about the future.
I hope that governments around the world discuss this issue with haste and forbid this inhumane type of sport as soon as possible.
This then, is the full IELTS essay conclusion:
To conclude , it is clear that blood sports must be prohibited as no civilized society should allow the pain and suffering of animals simply for fun. I hope that governments around the world discuss this issue with haste and forbid this inhumane type of sport as soon as possible.
Further IELTS Essay Conclusion Examples
Currently there is a trend towards the use of alternative forms of medicine. However, at best these methods are ineffective, and at worst they may be dangerous.
To what extent do you agree with this statement?
Alternative medicine is not new. It is accepted that it pre-dates conventional medicine and it is still used by many people all over the world. I am unconvinced that it is dangerous, and feel that both alternative and conventional medicine can be useful.
To sum up , I strongly believe that conventional medicine and alternative therapies can and should coexist. They have different strengths, and can both be used effectively to target particular medical problems . The best situation would be for alternative therapies to be used to support and complement conventional medicine.
Some people believe the aim of university education is to help graduates get better jobs. Others believe there are much wider benefits of university education for both individuals and society.
Discuss both views and give your opinion.
These days, more and more people are making the choice to go to university. While some people are of the opinion that the only purpose of a university education is to improve job prospects, others think that society and the individual benefit in much broader ways.
All in all , I believe that although a main aim of university education is to get the best job, there are clearly further benefits. If we continue to promote and encourage university attendance, it will lead to a better future for individuals and society.
Global warming is one of the most serious issues that the world is facing today.
What are the causes of global warming and what measures can governments and individuals take to tackle the issue?
Probably the most worrying threat to our planet at the present time is global warming. This essay will examine the reasons why global warming is occurring and discuss some possible solutions.
To conclude , although global warming is a serious issue, there are steps that governments and individuals can take to reduce its effects. If we are to save our planet, it is important that this is treated as a priority for all concerned.
More Task 2 IELTS Lessons:
Requirements for IELTS Band 7 in Writing
Getting to an IELTS Band 7 is a struggle for many candidates. This lesson explains exactly what you have to do to reach this band score.
Writing an IELTS Essay Introduction
Tips on how to write an introduction for an IELTS essay introduction in a quick and easy way.
Using Substitution in IELTS to Improve Writing Coherency
You can use substitution in your IELTS essays in order to improve coherency and coherence.
IELTS Task Response - 25% of your essay grade
The IELTS Task Response criteria in the scoring makes up 25% of your band score for your essay.
How to Identify the Task in an IELTS Essay
Learn how to identify the task in an IELTS task 2 essay question. This is one of the most important steps in responding to an essay question.
Improving Writing Coherence for IELTS essays
25% of the writing grade is on how you organise your essay so this lesson shows you how to improve your writing coherence.
Thesis Statement Tips for IELTS Essays
Your thesis statement in an IELTS essay should be written quickly and concisely. Use these tips to do that.
Paragraph Writing for IELTS: Building strong arguments
This paragraph writing lesson provides tips on constructing the best paragraphs for your IELTS essay.
How to Write an IELTS Essay: The key steps
Learn key steps on how to write an IELTS Essay. This guides you on how to write a great essay plus other lessons to improve your writing skills.
The 3 Types of IELTS Opinion Essays in IELTS
IELTS opinion essays in IELTS can be placed into three types. This lesson explains the different types and how to analyse these essay questions.
Tips on How to Score IELTS Band 8 in Writing and Speaking
To score IELTS Band 8 you need to understand exactly what is in the IELTS Band Descriptors for an 8 for writing and speaking first.
IELTS Music Essay: Understanding a Complex Question
An IELTS essay about music is used to show you how to answer a more complex IELTS essay question that does not have a clear 'task' given to you.
Can you use Personal Pronouns in Essays for IELTS?
Learn how to use personal pronouns in essays for IELTS correctly. Can you use "I", "we" and "you"?
How to use brainstorming and planning to generate essay ideas.
Brainstorming and planning is a key step in developing your IELTS essay. This lesson has tips on how to coming up with ideas and organising them.
How to Identify the Topic of an IELTS Essay Question
In IELTS you must identify the topic of your essay as this is a key to making sure your essay is on topic.
Using Pronouns to Improve IELTS Essay Coherency
Find out how to use pronouns to improve your coherency for IELTS task 2 essays.
Generating ideas for IELTS essays for writing task 2
Generating ideas for IELTS essays for writing task 2 can be difficult but complex ideas are not expected.
IELTS Advantage Disadvantage Essay Tips and Strategies
An advantage disadvantage essay is one type of essay that you may get in the test. This lesson shows how to write a pros cons essay.
IELTS Problem Solution Essay Strategies and Tips
In IELTS problem solution essays you have to discuss a particular issue and present ideas to solve that problem.
Transitional Phrases for Essays
Learn transitional phrases for essays to get a band 7 or higher in your IELTS writing for coherence and cohesion.
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IELTS Writing Essays How To Write a Task 2 Conclusion
If your introduction and main body paragraphs are structured correctly, writing conclusions to Task 2 IELTS writing essays is very simple.
This lesson follows on from those on how to write introductions and main body paragraphs so, if you haven’t already studied them, I recommend that you do so now. You’ll find them here:
How To Write a Task 2 Introduction
How To Write Task 2 Main Body Paragraphs
On this page, you'll learn:
- Why a good conclusion is important
- 4 common mistakes to avoid
- The structure of a good conclusion
- How to write the perfect conclusion
Want to watch and listen to this lesson?
Click on this video.
Why a Good Conclusion is Important
High-scoring Task 2 IELTS writing essays have a simple 4 part structure:
2) Main Body Paragraph 1
3) Main Body Paragraph 2
Although your conclusion will only be 1 or 2 sentences long, it’s as important as each of the other sections of the essay and you will miss out on valuable marks if you don’t include one.
A good conclusion will:
- Neatly end the essay
- Link all your ideas together
- Sum up your argument or opinion
- Answer the question
If you do this well, you’ll improve your score for both task achievement and cohesion and coherence which together make up 50% of the overall marks.
Without a conclusion, you’ll score below band 6 for task achievement.
4 Common Mistakes to Avoid
First, let’s consider what students should not do when writing conclusions to Task 2 IELTS writing essays.
You should not :
- Introduce new ideas.
- Introduce new evidence or examples.
- Write too much.
- Be too general
Do not add any new information. The purpose of this final paragraph is to summarise what you’ve already said, nothing else.
Many candidates write conclusions that are far too long. A lengthy conclusion isn’t necessary. Also, you won’t have much time left in which to write it, so keep it short. Follow the simple guidelines I’m about to give you.
Another common error is to write a concluding statement about the topic in general. A big mistake. You must be specific. Your conclusion must relate directly to the question and sum up the specific ideas in the main body of your essay.
The Structure of a Good Conclusion
The ideal conclusion has 1 or 2 sentences:
- Sentence 1 – a summary of your main ideas.
- Sentence 2 – a prediction or recommendation statement. (optional).
This second sentence is optional but perfectly acceptable if you do want to add one. It is useful if you find that you’re just below the word limit when you finish your essay and need just one more sentence to get you over the minimum 250 words.
If your essay is already long enough, leave it out as it won’t earn you extra marks. Your time will be better spent checking your grammar and spellings.
The Summary Sentence
Your summary sentence is the one that’s essential, so we’ll begin with this. We’re going to add a conclusion to the essay we worked on in the lessons on writing introductions and main body paragraphs for Task 2 IELTS writing essays.
Here’s the question:
Here are the introduction and main body paragraphs:
The first few words of a summary sentence are extremely important. The good news is that you can use the same phrase for almost any Task 2 IELTS writing essay. I recommend that you use:
- In conclusion
- To conclude
These cohesive devices do two jobs:
- They link this final paragraph to what has been written previously.
- They make it clear to the examiner that you are about to summarise your answer to the question.
There’s another piece of good news. If you followed my instructions on how to write a good introduction to your essay, your introduction will be a summary of what your essay is going to include .
Since your conclusion is about what the essay did include (your opinion and the main points), all you need to do now is to paraphrase this same information.
Here's the introduction:
Here's the same information formed into a conclusion:
Summary sentence: In conclusion, the significant rise in the average age of people living in rural areas has resulted in a lack of suitable people to fill the workforce and the closure of the majority of village schools, causing hardship to local communities.
Study the way I've used synonyms and a different sentence structure to form this conclusion from the introduction. This really is all you need to do.
The Prediction or Recommendation Sentence
Finally, let’s consider the optional prediction or recommendation sentence. What do these two words mean?
- A prediction is a statement about what you think will happen in the future.
- A recommendation is a statement about what you think should happen in the future.
Here are examples of each type of sentence that you could use for this Task 2 IELTS writing essay:
- It is predicted that there will be a steady increase in young families moving to country locations in the coming decade as parents seek a more relaxed lifestyle for themselves and their children.
- It is recommended that governments should improve public transport and provide affordable village housing to encourage young people back to rural areas.
Sometimes it will be appropriate to use ‘I predict that…’ or ‘I recommend that…’.
With our conclusion written, the essay is complete. Here is the final version. It is well over the 250 minimum word limit so, no prediction or recommendation sentence is needed.
Learning to write good Task 2 IELTS writing essays takes a lot of practice. Use this lesson and the two on introductions and main body paragraphs to learn the technique, then do as much practice as you can on all five question types.
Take as long to plan and write your essays as you need to at first. Gradually speed up the process until you can finish your essay within the 40 minutes allowed.
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More help with ielts writing essays.
IELTS Writing Test – Understand the format & marking criteria, know what skills are assessed & learn the difference between the Academic & General writing tests.
IELTS Writing Tips – Top 10 tips to bring you success in your writing test. Essential information you need to know to achieve a high score.
How To Write a Task 2 Introduction – Find out why a good introduction is essential. Learn how to write one using a simple 3 part strategy & discover 4 common mistakes to avoid.
How To Write Task 2 Main Body Paragraphs – Learn the simple 3 part structure for writing great main body paragraphs and also, 3 common mistakes to avoid.
IELTS Writing Task 2 – T he format, the 5 question types, the 5 step essay writing strategy & sample questions. All the key information you need to know.
The 5 Types of Task 2 Essay – How to recognise the 5 different types of Task 2 essays. 15 sample questions to study and a simple planning structure for each essay type.
Understanding Task 2 Questions – How to quickly and easily analyse and understand IELTS Writing Task 2 questions.
How To Plan a Task 2 Essay – Discover why essay planning is essential & learn a simple 4 step strategy, the 4 part essay structure & 4 methods of generating ideas.
Task 2 Marking Criteria – Find out how to meet the marking criteria in Task 2. See examples of good and poor answers & learn some common mistakes to avoid.
The 5 Task 2 Essay Types:
Step-by-step instructions on how to plan & write high-level essays. Model answers & common mistakes to avoid.
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How to write an IELTS essay conclusion
Home » IELTS academic task 2 » How to write an IELTS essay conclusion
- State your opinion in a crystal clear way. Usually, you express it in one short sentence. This way your essay will have a good finish. It becomes succinct and your thoughts are condensed. This will definitely help to get a high score for your essay.
- Put a small prediction in your conclusion. For example: “It is predicted that the trend of global warming will continue long into the future unless governments take decisive action”. Or: “It is predicted that parents and children will continue to use electronic devices to communicate and this can only strengthen their bonds”.
- Keep an eye on your grammar accuracy and the range of the grammar structures and vocabulary you use. These aspects also considerably increase your chances for getting a high score.
What not to include in your IELTS essay conclusion!
- New arguments. If there are any arguments that pop up in your head while writing conclusion, ignore them. You should have control over your mind and stay focused. This is the way to a successful conclusion.
- New evidence for the arguments. This point corresponds with the previous one.
- Repetitions . Try to avoid saying what you’ve already mentioned. This refers to the logic used as well as evidence and arguments that were pointed out. Your range of words in the language should also help you avoid word repetitions. Also, sometimes by looking for synonyms you can make the conclusion sound over complicated and confusing to the reader. Do not try to find a synonym if it simply doesn’t exists.
- - Examples of conclusions
Let’s have a look at the following two examples of conclusions . Say, you are dealing with the essay on positive and negative aspects of globalization and you have to introduce your opinion.
You write about the positive effects of it (nowadays there are more ideas, the spread of which leads to the spread of language). You also give examples from different countries.
Possible conclusion №1.
“It is necessary to spread ideas, language as well as culture. It will also start to be more tolerated in the future as it becomes more common. In the future , I sincerely hope , the governments will take effective measures to improve the progress of globalization”.
Why does the conclusion sound a bit incohesive and unconvincing? Pay attention to the following points:
- “ It will also start to be more tolerated in the future...” Of course, you are writing about globalization, but the pronoun “it” makes it unclear. You force the reader to make assumptions, creating a strain for a reader, since they have to determine what you’re saying.
- There is a repetition of the phrase “in the future”.
- The phrase “I sincerely hope...” sounds like “I think it is...”. The following is better in terms of how convinced the author is: “I strongly believe...”, “Therefore, I am convinced that globalization is a necessary form to...”.
- There are no new arguments mentioned - it’s good.
- Even though there are two sentences about the future, they are quite weak. The author could have made at least one of them stronger.
Possible conclusion №2.
“ In conclusion , globalization is, undoubtedly , a positive driver in disseminating ideas, language and culture. It is predicted governments will enact further measures to facilitate its progress”.
- Actually, the conclusion is quite successful and convincing. Probably, there is no need to say “In conclusion”. The position is crystal clear since it is stated that it is “a positive driver”. There is no ambiguity that this is an opinion.
- There is new information that was not included earlier, in the body paragraphs: “It is predicted...”.
- There are neither new arguments nor fresh evidence in the example provided. By saying “undoubtedly”, the author pushes the ideas and what he/she was talking about before into a more positive light. It is, for sure, the position of the author.
Sometimes, the author may make use of quotations with the view of improving the quality of the essay. Personally, I think this is dangerous because the quotation can easily be reproduced incorrectly or mistakenly attributed to someone else.
If you are struggling writing your IELTS Task 2 essay do not worry you are not alone! So many students find this the most challenging part of the IELTS exam .
Where do I place my ideas?
My mind goes blank?
These are very common challenges and surprisingly simple to solve. The key is having a system to follow so you know exactly what to write when you see a Task 2 question .
When you have a system and know the steps, and the sentence structures it definitely becomes a lot easier.
Have a look at this online course which includes all the chapters you need to pass IELTS.
Tutorials and Tips to Prepare for Task 2
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- Five Powerful Sentence Structures to use in your IELTS Writing test
- How to use comparisons in Task 2
- Concession Paragraphs for “do I agree/disagree essays”
- How to write an IELTS Essay Conclusion
- IELTS Cohesion and Coherence
- 3 ways to paraphrase for your Task 2 introduction
- Marking Criteria for IELTS Writing
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- 7 Ways to Improve your Sentences in Your IELTS Essays
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- Introduction to Paraphrasing
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- Five Band 9 Words
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- Band 6.5 Essay
- Academic Collocations
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- Discuss Both Views
- Tutorial: To What Extent Essays
- Paraphrasing Introductions
- Essay Structures
- Essay Plans
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- Using Percentages
- Map Vocabulary
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- How to get Band 9
- AT 1 Sample Questions 2022
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How to write an effective IELTS conclusion
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.
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How to Write a Great IELTS Conclusion
Posted by David S. Wills | Aug 31, 2019 | IELTS Tips , Writing | 1
When writing your IELTS task 2 essay, it is vital to have a good conclusion. However, many candidates don’t know how to do this. They wonder what a conclusion should include and what it shouldn’t include. The process of writing a good conclusion is, to many, a complete mystery.
In fact, the conclusion is usually the easiest part of your essay to write. There is no mystery to it, and in this article I am going to explain clearly how to do it. I will show you, step-by-step, the best way to write an effective conclusion for your IELTS task 2 essay.
What sort of essay requires a conclusion?
First of all, before we get into how to write an IELTS conclusion, I will tell you that you do not need to write a conclusion for task 1 . You only need to write a conclusion for task 2. This is because, for task 1, the information that would go in a conclusion could easily be stated within the introduction. You have to identify general trends and overall ideas about the data, and this really doesn’t need to be done in a conclusion. (Learn about task 1 structures here .)
As for task 2, it is very important. For both Task Response and Coherence and Cohesion , you would need at least some sort of conclusion in order to score highly. A conclusion functions as a way of reviewing and summarising the data included in your essay and adds to the value of the essay by formalising and improving its structure.
So, to review:
Writing a conclusion for IELTS
Every IELTS task 2 essay needs a conclusion. This should simply sum up the main idea of the essay and very briefly restate the main arguments. It can be as short as one sentence, although it may be better to write two or three .
Writing a good conclusion can seem a little difficult, and it is hard to teach because it depends on the type of question and also the content of your essay. However, some important points to consider are that it should be brief , contain no new information , and avoid repeating anything from the rest of the essay . It is also very important to make sure that your position in the conclusion is the same as in the rest of your essay.
Let’s examine an example answer to see how the conclusion matches the rest of the essay.
The prevention of health problems and illness is more important than treatment and medicine. Government funding should reflect this.
To what extent do you agree?
I am going to give you my sample answer here, and below I will format it into a table so that you are able to see an explanation for each sentence:
In many countries, government spending on healthcare is a major economic burden. Problems like obesity and heart disease are crippling healthcare systems, and some people suggest that rather than raise taxes to pay for treatments, more money should be invested in preventing these illnesses in the first place. This essay will argue that prevention is better than treatment. The most obvious benefit of putting prevention before treatment is the reduction in human suffering that would inevitably result. Some of the biggest health problems in modern societies are utterly preventable, and therefore it is reasonable to suggest that money spent this way would cause less anguish. Government campaigns to reduce smoking would reduce cancer rates and this would increase people’s quality of life, and of course end the suffering of people who lose loved ones. From a purely financial standpoint, it is beneficial to focus on preventing sickness rather than curing it. The cost of treating sick people with expensive medical procedures, equipment, and medicines is vastly higher than the cost of educating people not to smoke, eat unhealthily, or otherwise lead unhealthy lifestyles. Government campaigns have led to huge decreases in smoking in many Western countries, and it is likely that similar campaigns would yield similar results elsewhere. It would be wise for other countries around the world to implement this sort of system. In conclusion, preventing a disease makes more sense than waiting to treat it. The benefits to average people and also to governments are significantly higher than simply investing in treatments.
Here, I will put the same answer into a table. In the right-hand column, you will see an explanation of the sentence in the middle.
Further Notes on the Conclusion
Looking at this conclusion, we can see that it is short and simple, yet very effective. In just 30 words, it reflects the whole of the essay. Although it presents no specific details, it alludes to everything that can before it in quite general terms. It also presents us with a simple structure for making a good conclusion:
Just remember that you don’t have to say everything again! Notice that in my second sentence, I don’t completely rewrite the ideas from my body paragraphs, but instead allude to them by saying “the benefits to people and governments…” The word “people” refers to paragraph two and “government” refers to paragraph three. Without repeating myself or writing too much, I have concisely summarized my essay.
Finally, you may have noticed that in my example essays, I use “In conclusion” to start almost every conclusion. You may wonder if this is too basic or too boring. Of course, it may seem repetitive in a book with many essays, but for IELTS you are only writing one conclusion, so it doesn’t matter. Some students think that they need “more exciting” language for their essay, so they try to think of a new phrase to begin their conclusion. However, “In conclusion” is perfectly fine. It is simple yet effective. You could also use:
- To conclude
I have seen some people write “All in all” and “In a nutshell”. These are not acceptable, as they are too informal. My advice is to use “In conclusion” because it is easy and always appropriate.
Here is my conclusion to this article on conclusions 😄:
5 Things to Remember about Conclusions
- You should always write a conclusion at the end of an IELTS writing task 2 essay.
- Summarize your essay without repeating.
- Refer to your main ideas.
- Try to write 1-3 sentences.
- Never try to include some new ideas in your conclusion.
About The Author
David S. Wills
David S. Wills is the author of Scientologist! William S. Burroughs and the 'Weird Cult' and the founder/editor of Beatdom literary journal. He lives and works in rural Cambodia and loves to travel. He has worked as an IELTS tutor since 2010, has completed both TEFL and CELTA courses, and has a certificate from Cambridge for Teaching Writing. David has worked in many different countries, and for several years designed a writing course for the University of Worcester. In 2018, he wrote the popular IELTS handbook, Grammar for IELTS Writing and he has since written two other books about IELTS. His other IELTS website is called IELTS Teaching.
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How to Write an Effective IELTS Conclusion
When you are writing the essay for Task 2 of the IELTS Writing section, the last thing that you will include will be your conclusion. An essay’s conclusion has one job: To summarize the rest of the essay in a way that makes it sound even more persuasive. However, many IELTS test-takers forget this, and either write too much in their conclusion, or forget to write one, at all.
Here is what to include, in your IELTS essay conclusion.
A Concluding Phrase
The first thing to put in your conclusion is a signal to the reader that you are finishing your essay, and that they have come to the end. This is called the concluding phrase, and does not have to be longer than a couple of words . It tells the reader that you are done making your argument, and that you are now going to summarize your essay. Examples of good concluding phrases are:
- In conclusion,
- To summarize, or
On the other hand, there are some words that should not be used as a concluding phrase, like:
- Finally, or
These terms make it sound like you are going to make another point in your argument, which is not what the conclusion is for.
A Reminder of Your Thesis Statement
The second thing that you should do in your conclusion is tell your reader what you have just proven or shown. A good way to do this is to remind the reader what you thesis statement was, in your introduction . Your thesis statement, after all, is what your essay is all about.
Optional: Summarize Your Argument
If you have time, you can include a quick overview of your essay in your conclusion. This helps remind the reader why your thesis statement is correct. If you choose to summarize your argument in your essay’s conclusion, though, make sure not to go too much in depth: You should not write more than a sentence or two.
Say Why Your Essay is Important
Finally, you should include a sentence or two about why your essay is important. This makes the reader understand why they should take your essay to heart, and think about it. Mentioning why your essay is important also makes your argument sound much stronger, which is the point behind an argumentative essay .
The IELTS Conclusion
To summarize, your essay’s conclusion should recap the rest of your essay. It should include a concluding phrase, a reminder of your thesis statement, a few words on why your essay is important, and can also include a summary of your argument. By writing a good conclusion on Task 2 of the Writing section, you can earn a higher IELTS score.
Sean is a former IELTS administrator and an IELTS blogger for Magoosh. He has a degree in English literature from the University of New Hampshire, and a law degree from the University of Cincinnati. He has also studied abroad in Cambridge, England and in Botswana. In his spare time, he plays ultimate Frisbee, reads, plays guitar, and writes novels, though not all at the same time.
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