How to Write a Concluding Paragraph, Easy Essay Conclusion Format, High School Teacher Vlog

let me show you how just three sentences

can make the difference between a b-plus

and an a-minus


hey everyone today I want to talk about

how to help our kids learn to write

amazingly powerful concluding paragraphs

on their essays so if this is your first

video with me I'd love it if you paused

go down there and click and watch the

how to write an introductory paragraph

video because I'm gonna refer to some

things in there that'll be helpful for

you to have his background

alright so concluding paragraphs matter

more than our kids think my kids often

when they first come in they you know

they don't give much time or attention

to that last paragraph they just slap a

couple sentences in there hit print and

turn it in usually without even running

spell or grammar check that's a

different video for a different day but

that concluding paragraph it's actually

super important and is often the decider

for me as the reader between an essay

that's pretty good and an essay that's

excellent because the concluding

paragraph is the the in note the long

lingering thought that the reader me has

as I turn the page and start to fill out

my content rubric so I teach my kids a

really concrete way it has three things

three ingredients that make a really

strong concluding paragraph and I'm

gonna share that with you today I have a

second video I'm going to cue up here

right now stay tuned at the end of that

I actually have two models of strong

concluding paragraphs that you're

welcome to use one is for Lit analysis

and one is for argument so let's go

alright we are looking at a skeleton

here for the conclusion paragraph format

and I teach my kids to use this whenever

we're dealing with literary analysis

argument writing or research narrative

which is the other mode that I teach

obviously this wouldn't fit that but for

those first three modes this is going to

be a super useful tool okay you're also

seeing here that there are three

elements involved in creating this

paragraph and each one really could just

be one sentence so all told the

concluding paragraph could just be three

sentences sometimes four we really don't

want to move beyond five sentences

because enough is enough

all right when we talked about the intro

paragraph and again that video is

available at the link in the

descriptions we talked about that

paragraph being a funnel in where we

start broad and we get really narrow and

then of course the conclusion is the

funnel out we start really narrow with

the restatement of thesis and then we go

really broad moving away from the work

at hand to talk about more universal


okay so first up is

Restatement using fresh words so

sometimes my kids when they first come

in in the fall semester they think it's

okay just to copy the thesis statement

from the end of the intro paragraph and

then just paste it into the beginning of

their concluding paragraph and no no and

no they are not allowed to do that um it

creates this super robotic feeling and I

want to feel like there's a passionate

writer behind the keyboard that created

this essay for me and simple copy and

paste of thesis is just a disaster so I

require that they rewrite that idea it's

the exact same idea but they're just

massaging it and using fresh words now

sometimes this is really hard for kids

or like this is how I would say it I

said it in the thesis how else I'm gonna

say it so I actually have a really

successful sentence starter here that

helps kids over this hump and I want to

give a shout out to my friend Stephanie

Kamali back at Amador Valley I'd say a

dozen years ago she gave me this idea

I'm pretty sure stuff that it was you my

memory is not great but I really think

that you're the one who showed this to

me so I'm crediting it to you whether or

not you gave it to me but I'm like 97.2%

sure this was you so Steph told me that

you could actually start it like this

and the Sinister goes when one considers

blank and blank it's clear that

blah-dee blah-blah and that's a great

way to get kids going I still use it

today and my kids hang on to it because

it's super concrete and helpful you'll

see that I actually only use two body

paragraphs in my freshmen essays so they

actually write four paragraph essays for

me because the body paragraphs are

pretty involved and I'll deal with that

on a different video if you'd like the

five paragraph essay so you have the

three body paragraphs topics you just

say when one considers XY and Z and so

you could fold into three really easily

and I have an example of that a few

slides down that I'll show you how this

works okay so there you go they've

restated the thesis and then we move on

to explaining why any of this matters

like why did they write this essay why

should any of us care why was it a good

idea for me to spend the last you know a

few minutes reading their essay they

should be answering what I call the so

what so what does any of this matter and

why should we care they need one maybe

two sentences explaining the the bigger

consequence of the thing that they've


looking about and then they wrap it up

one awesome powerful sentence that ends

on a weighty note and that's the kicker

or what we sometimes called a lingering

thought one sentence that just wraps it

all up has a resounding note makes me

glad that I spent my time reading this

paper if the kids get stuck on the

kicker or they feel like they're just

rewriting the same idea as what they

wrote in the sowhat sentence above it I

sometimes encourage kids to try playing

with a famous quote as the end note of

their essay that can be a really

successful technique and I'll show you

that in just a second on the next slide

so whatever they do they want to end

strong note on the quote option two

things that my kids kind of mess up when

they do the quotes one they forget to

cite it so I want to make sure that I

remind everyone yes you still need to

cite that quote even if it's just a

kicker quote at the end I mean also they

sometimes want to overuse it so if

they're using a famous quote as a hook

at the beginning of the intro paragraph

they are not allowed to use one as a

kicker because that is just too much of

a good thing okay so here is what its

gonna look like in real life so on a

previous video I talked about intro

paragraph structure and I used James

Hurst short story The Scarlet Ibis as

our model again if you haven't seen that

go back in time click the link and go

see that on today I'm grabbing in the

upper left hand corner the thesis from

that video and I'm using it as the basis

for what would launch into the

conclusion so I'm gonna read the thesis

the original thesis to you and then I'm

gonna get into the Restatement so you

can see the difference okay original

thesis ultimately Hearst uses the

complicated relationship between doodle

and brother to show that love always

contains some drops of poison mmm

compelling idea and then I would have

had my freshmen spend one body paragraph

talking about foreshadowing and then a

second body paragraph analyzing the

symbolic uses of read there's like a red

bird scarlet ibis itself the little

brother is very like red he's covered in

blood when he dies it's super sad

there's red Leafs on the bush the coffin

is a mahogany redwood so there's lots of

red things happening in the story so

they would spend a body paragraph

analyzing that and then we're ready for

the fourth paragraph

conclusion when one considers the

stories elements of foreshadowing and

symbolic use of various shades of red it

is clear that resentment is a common

side effect of love every child is

taught that hate is the opposite of love

yet hearst reveals that those two

feelings are actually part of the same

powerful emotion just as there can be no

light without dark the human heart can't

help but create some bitterness as it

seeks the sweetness of love oh yeah and

then we have that nice EndNote where we

sit and we mentally chew on that idea

and as I'm reading that I'm thinking is

that true for my own relationships and

I'm sitting with that idea which is a

fresh lens of looking at what the theme

of this story is and that's what it's

all about that's what we want we want to

have an impact and help people see

things in a different way that's why we

analyze these stories in the first place

all right so there's an example of

literary analysis conclusion that works

on the next slide I have one for

argument writing which is a totally

different thing um if you're familiar

with my argument essay writing materials

this thesis in the upper left-hand

corner is gonna look really familiar to

you in that packet as we're doing prep

work before kids start writing their own

I actually have them deconstruct both a

pro and con essay on the topic of

whether energy drinks should be sold to

minors so like Red Bull and monster

whether it's okay for people under 18 to

buy those so in one of those essays this

would be the essay against such

legislation we get this original thesis

proposed laws to ban energy drink sales

to minors are well intentioned but

short-sighted because the legislators

claims not only lacks scientific support

but also insult responsible citizens all

right and then we would spend this would

be a five paragraph essay so you'll see

what the three body paragraphs are in

the Restatement of thesis when one

considers the absence of scientific

proof the desire for fairness in the

marketplace and individual rights and

responsibilities it is clear the

proposed loss to prohibit energy drink

sales to minors should be defeated in

our country it's difficult to change a

law the process encourages us to think

through proposals and fully examine an


before we Inc a new rule that will

govern all our lives perhaps English

philosopher John Locke expressed this

best when he reminded us that every new

law must be designed not to abolish or

restrain but to preserve and enlarge

freedom and there's your solid note and

they were like John Locke and we think

about it notice here that I have the

proper MLA 8th edition citation I would

leave this up on the slide and I have it

on the student handout so that kids have

a good model of what that would look

like and there you go so this one was

four sentences the previous one on lit

analysis was just three sentences so

kids can get this done in a really small

amount of space on their paper this last

slide I have for you is actually a

student handout so I would give this to

my kids as a reference tool for them to

keep in their notebooks or their writing

portfolios so they can refer back to it

as they start writing their own

conclusions on whatever essay I've given

them so the lit analysis there and the

argument and then they could sort of see

how these are all pieced together and

they also have a model of good mla

citation as well so if you'd like a copy

of those slides or the student handout

just click down there there's a link

where you can download everything I want

to thank you for the few minutes you

spent here hopefully these tools are

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channel or just letting some of your

English teacher friends know that we're

here hanging out trying to solve

problems all right this is the last

forum afternoon here in Idaho

apparently it's supposed to rain

tomorrow and then maybe that'll turn

into snow so I gotta go enjoy the last

few hours I'm gonna put the cushions

away and I'll see you probably indoors

next time bye everyone