When writing a conclusion (closing paragraph) in Writing Task 2, there are a few things that you should do (or avoid) in order to make your conclusion a more effective one. Knowing what to include or avoid in your closing paragraph can help you get a higher band score in IELTS Writing. So, let’s look at some tips you can practice and implement in your response.

Tip 1: Refer back to your introductory paragraph

You may want to think of your introduction and conclusion as two pieces of the same puzzle because they should be closely linked. Make sure you:

  • Return to the idea(s) that you presented in your introduction

  • And add further insight obtained after writing the body of your essay.

Tip 2: Summarise your essay’s main arguments

It is very important to provide a summary of your essay’s main points in your conclusion. But make sure you avoid repeating things. Instead, show the examiner how the arguments you made and the supporting details you used all fit together.

Tip 3: Avoid repetition

When summarising the main points in your essay, don’t repeat the language you use in your body paragraphs. Vary your language so that you don’t repeat the same words and sentence structures again and again. This will show the examiner that you can use a wider range of vocabulary and grammatical structures.

Tip 4: Give your own opinion

In Writing Task 2, you will always be asked to give your opinion in essay form. If you get to your final paragraph and realise that you haven’t given your opinion, make sure you include it in your conclusion so your opinion is clear.

Tip 5: Don’t introduce a new argument

Make sure you do not raise new points in your conclusion. Remember that your closing paragraph is where you bring closure to your essay and not where you introduce new ideas.

How to put these tips into action

Now that we have looked at strategies for writing an effective conclusion, let’s see how these strategies work together to bring an essay to a cohesive end.

Take a look at the sample question, sample introductory paragraph and conclusion below. And see how this test taker has put the 5 tips mentioned into action to write a cohesive conclusion.

Example - Writing Task 2 question

The threat of nuclear weapons maintains world peace. Nuclear power provides cheap and clean energy.

The benefits of nuclear technology far outweigh the disadvantages.

To what extent do you agree or disagree?

Give reasons for your answer and include any relevant examples from your own knowledge or experience.

Write at least 250 words.

Writing Task 2: Sample introduction

Nuclear technology has been around for many years. Whether this technology is used for weapons of mass destruction or as a source of energy, many are of the belief that the use of nuclear energy has more advantages than disadvantages. In my opinion, nuclear technology can indeed be a very efficient energy source. However, nuclear weapons possess such enormous destructive power that any benefits that this technology may offer to humankind are not enough to counter its potentially devastating effects. This essay will address why the drawbacks of nuclear technology outweigh the benefits and will include relevant examples to support this position.

Writing Task 2: Sample conclusion

Nuclear technology is extremely dangerous. Even though nuclear weapons have only been used twice, on the Japanese cities of Hiroshima and Nagasaki, evidence from these actions, as well as from nuclear accidents such as the Chernobyl disaster, are irrefutable proof of the disastrous effects of nuclear technology. Even in the absence of nuclear accidents, nuclear power inevitably produces radioactive waste, which is severely damaging to our bodies. Our best protection against these dangers is to simply not use nuclear technology. Instead, we should look for alternative ways to produce sustainable energy and to achieve world peace through spreading a message of tolerance, kindness and non-violence.

If you review the main points in the example conclusion above:

  • The destructive power of nuclear weapons

  • The disastrous consequences of nuclear disasters

  • The harmful effects of radioactive waste.

You will see the writer reminds the examiner (reader) the strength and importance of their main ideas, while summarising how this point fit well with the examples provided in the body of the essay.

To finish, you can see the writer highlights their proposed course of action, which helps end the essay on a more positive note.