Definition of Concluding Remarks in an Essay
A concluding remark is the last sentence of the conclusion in an essay. It is called a concluding remark because it sums up the entire purpose of the essay in a single sentence. As the name suggests, this remark wraps up the entire essay with a period at the end. However, sometimes there could be a question mark or an exclamation mark instead of a period, depending upon the type of remark.
Types of Concluding Remarks
A concluding remark depends upon the type of the essay, or upon the purpose of the writer of the essay. It could be of several types such as:
- A Recommendation Remark
A recommendation remark presents a recommendation that the author makes. It is somewhat like a suggestion, but it is mandatory, while a suggestion is not.
- A Suggestion Remark
A suggestion remark comes when the essay ends with a suggestion. Such remarks often have the auxiliary verb “should,” or in case of something compulsory or essential, it uses “must” or “ought to.” For example, an essay about pollution could end on a suggestive note of, “People should not throw away plastic shopping bags in the open.”
- A Reflective Remark
A reflective remark could make the readers think about several themes, lessons, or insights having emerged out of the essay. For example, “People sometimes wish to take charge of their destinies to make their lives a success.”
- A Futuristic Remark
A futuristic remark predicts what might happen in the future. It is often placed at the end of an essay when something imaginary is presented in it, or some potential solution to a problem is posed.
- A Quizzical Remark
A quizzical remark is not a question or a rhetorical question, but it still poses some question such as, “It is now up to the people to respond to such traumas.”
- A Rhetorical Question
As the name suggests, it is a question writers leave for the audience to reflect upon and respond.
- An Explanatory Remark
An explanatory remark is something that gives further explanation or just says that something is obvious.
Examples of Concluding Remarks from Essays
Example #1: The Battle for Aleppo, Syria’s Stalingrad, Ends (by Robin Wright in The New Yorker)
“There will be little of Syria left, physically, for its people to return to—not an environment offering much hope for real reconciliation.”
This is an explanatory type of concluding remark. It comes at the end of the essay of Robin Wright about the Syrian civil war. It makes clear that what has already been said is again explained in these words.
Example #2: The Iraq Invasion’s Legacy Is Still Bloodily Apparent (by Jared Malsin from Time)
“He adds, “The question we usually get posed is, ‘Was it better under Saddam Hussein?’ And I think it should be posed the other way around. Is it worse now under the post-American regime? And I think it is worse.” He adds, “The question we usually get posed is, ‘Was it better under Saddam Hussein?’ And I think it should be posed the other way around. Is it worse now under the post-American regime? And I think it is worse.”
This is the conclusion of the essay of Jared Malsin. It ends with a rhetorical question, asking the readers what they think, before the writer gives his own opinion. This is a type of rhetorical question concluding remark.
Example #3: The Case of the Wrong Justice (by Liz Spayed from The New York Times)
“Flagging more significant corrections falls into the same category. Being upfront about mistakes or regrets would bring more transparency to The Times’s relationship with its readers. It’s rather like the derelictions of youth: If you break the vase, don’t wait for mom to notice and then confess. Best to catch her when she walks in the door.”
Read this conclusion of the editorial essay of Liz Spayed. It ends on a suggestive note that is called a suggestion type of concluding remarks.
Function of Concluding Remarks
A concluding remark is necessary to give a sense of satisfaction to readers about what they gave read and what they should do now. Different types of concluding remarks act on readers differently. Concluding remarks differentiate essays from short stories, giving them an edge in that they are considered a whole and unified piece; while a short story, having no concluding remark at the end, makes readers feel the desire to read more.