Wednesday, April 24, 2013

In Conclusion, Finally, As we draw to a close, The End, Happy trails to you

There are many ways to say goodbye. Some people say, "Check ya, later." Others evoke the "Catch you on the flip side." While many are happy with the, "Love you, Bye." 

It seems that we are a people of greetings and salutations, and when there are no words, we often use gestures.

Goodbye can be said with a nod of the head, a wink of the eye, and the ever popular hand wave (that also smartly doubles for hello).

Yet, when it comes to writing, many of us greatly struggle with saying goodbye to our work. The conclusion can be one of the hardest sections of a paper to write.

I find this hard to believe because sometimes writers are exceptionally happy to have reached the end of a project. Also, typically when you have reached the end of that project ... you are in the home stretch! You're ready to ride off into the sunset! But there you sit. Stuck. Unable to hop on that horse and make that ride.

So, then you fall back on the old "In Conclusion." It's the most familiar writing goodbye you have.

I'm here to tell you to never, ever, ever, write that. Even if you are desperate to be done with your paper.

I believe that "In Conclusion" completely discounts all of the smart work you have already done in your paper, and it also kind of insults your reader. I'm pretty sure that they can tell that this last paragraph is indeed the end.

So, then what should you do?

I think that re-reading your introduction and mulling that over for a moment helps.  Say that thesis statement out loud. Then think to yourself, "Okay, this is my bottom line. This is it. This is what I want my reader to remember. I need to re-state this a smart way that reminds my audience of what I really really want them to take away from this paper."

Then sit down and write.

If you still feel like you have to write "In Conclusion" then do it, write the rest of that paragraph,  and then go back...and cross out that "In Conclusion." Usually, what follows those two words is what you wanted to accomplish anyway. It doesn't need that fancy signal phrase.

So, say you're writing a blog about goodbyes, and you find that you need to sum it up and get out? What do you do?

Here is an example:

Saying goodbye is never easy, in person or in writing. A conclusion is, obviously, the end of something. A definite finality. After a writer has created a piece of work, it can be difficult to wrap things up - to draw the curtains on the performance, but it has to be done. So, do not over step your boundaries. Re-iterate your important information about your topic. Don't use any fancy catch-phrases, just remind your reader of your really good point and get out of there.

It has been a great pleasure and a wonderful experience 
to write for EIU Writes for two semesters
 under the direction of Dr. Tim Taylor.  I'm afraid to say goodbye to him in person, for fear of tears, so this will have to suffice. 

1 comment:

  1. Kelly: All of us will miss you too. Good luck at the thesis defense this afternoon.