Life at UCB through the eyes of our student bloggers

To Conclude…

To Conclude…

Today’s blog is going to be a short one, just like your conclusions should be! Now we’re into the thick of the semester, there’s a good chance you’ll start your assignments (and if you haven’t, you definitely should be thinking about them!)

A conclusion is pretty self-explanatory – it’s a short paragraph at the end of your work, concluding what you have discussed in your essay or report. Your conclusion has the ability to make or break your writing. It’s the last thing the assessor will read – if it’s rubbish, it’ll stick in their brains and could lower your mark.

A conclusion should be short! No one wants to read your entire essay again, so pick what you believe to be a few of your strongest points and touch on those. This is where a good plan will be helpful – if you’re aware of your key points before you start to write, it will be very obvious, and your paragraphs are likely to link together nicely. If it’s an assignment where you’re asked to argue your point, be sure to conclude this argument with a definitive answer, don’t be sat on the fence. Be sure you understand the key words in the question or brief, such as justify, describe etc., and make sure you’re doing it properly. Misunderstanding these key words will mean your essay could potentially be completely wrong.

Pay attention to feedback from lecturers! You’ll receive an overall grade for your assignment, about a month after you submit it. All your assignments will be returned to you where you submitted them (usually on Canvas). On these assignments, there will be feedback in the form of strengths and weaknesses, so if a lecturer hasn’t mentioned your conclusion, you’ve most likely done a good job!

It’s not uncommon that a student’s work will start off great and slowly deteriorate, especially if it’s a lot of words. This is usually because the student starts to get bored or has been writing for a long time. If this sounds like it could be you, I would come back to write your conclusion the next day (no matter how badly you just want to submit it)! This is because you want to end your assignment on an engaging note, and this will be hard to do if you’re tired and bored.

I hope some of this helped. If you have any questions on essay writing in general, drop a comment down below or get in contact with CASE (case@ucb.ac.uk) – they’re great at helping with assignments. I’m going to make a short list down below defining some key words you might find in your assignments, so be sure you fully understand what they mean. Make sure you always write in third person, unless told otherwise.

  • Justify – explain and show grounds for decisions
  • Argue – put in a case for or against a view or give evidence for a claim (remember to do so in third person)
  • Define – give the precise meaning
  • Analyse – break up the information, examine relationships and question the information
  • Compare – look for similarities and differences, implies evaluation
  • Discuss – examine by argument, look at both sides, identify implications
  • Summarise – retouch on major points, remove unnecessary detail

These words can take a while to master, so if you’re unsure, speak to a lecturer. 



Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *