After spending so much time refining our essay’s introduction and body paragraphs, we finally arrive at the concluding paragraph. But what should we even put in a concluding paragraph? Is it simply a re-hash of all that has already come before? In that case, why not just restate the topic sentences of each body paragraph? An effective conclusion is not just a simple restatement of the argument which you have just taken the reader through, but also a way for you to argue for the broader significance of your argument.

The concluding paragraph allows you to call back to the original motivating question  that you developed in the first few paragraphs of your paper, where you discussed why your argument was going to be new and intriguing. In this year’s piece, Lucas René Ramos’s conclusion ties his paper together by reminding the reader of his motives and what his intersectional study of Rodríguez de Tió adds to a larger scholarly conversation. In this way, we see conclusion as a sort of gestalt for a successful paper: not only the sum of its parts, but a component which, using many kinds of motives, gestures beyond the author’s main argument into various worlds bordering it.