Wednesday, July 22, 2009

Good Conclusions

Good conclusions wrap up everything well so the readers don't feel like they've been dropped off a cliff. Good conclusions hark back to something that has gone before, yet without redundancy, and finish with a summary that can include a new way of thinking about the subject. The concluding paragraphs of Garrison Keillor's "How To Write A Letter" is a good example:

"Probably your friend will put your letter away, and it'll be read again a few years from now--and it will improve with age. And forty years from now, your friend's grandkids will dig it out of the attic and read it, a sweet and precious relic of the ancient eighties that gives them a sudden clear glimpse of you and her and the world we old-timers knew. You will then have created an object of art. Your simple lines about where you went, who you saw, what they said, will speak to those children and they will feel in their hearts the humanity of our times.

You can't pick up a phone and call the future and tell them about our times. You have to pick up a piece of paper" (140).


Keillor, Garrison. "How To Write A Letter." We Are Still Married. New York: Viking, 1989.

1 comment:

  1. I always struggled with conclusions in my essays. This is a nice example of one well done.