How to Write a Conclusion That Drives Engagement

Whether you’re writing a blog post or white paper, it’s important to end it in a way that leaves a lasting impression on the reader. 

A strong conclusion can get your prospects to move forward in their buying journey. Simply put, it gives them the push they need to join your email list, book a consultation, or make a purchase. 

In this guide, we’ll show you how to write a conclusion that checks all the right boxes. Let’s get started. 

What Is a Conclusion?

A conclusion is the final section of an essay, article, research paper, or blog post. It’s the “take-home” message and, in some cases, may serve as a call to action (CTA).

This section can have one or more paragraphs that summarize your key points. Depending on the desired outcome, it may include:

  • A reiteration of the key arguments presented in the paper
  • An open-ended question for the reader
  • A potential solution to the problem discussed in the article
  • The broader implications of a study
  • Further recommendations on the subject

For example, the conclusion below is from our article, The Ultimate Guide to Creating a Content Marketing Strategy. 

It starts with a quick reminder about what the reader just learned, encourages the reader to apply that knowledge, and ends in a CTA prompting the reader to try some of Semrush’s tools. 

A conclusion of Semrush's article on The Ultimate Guide to Creating a Content Marketing Strategy

Key Components of an Effective Conclusion

A conclusion can have three or more steps, depending on the expected outcome.

  1. First, reiterate your main point (or thesis statement)
  2. Next, go over the supporting points and arguments 
  3. End with a question, a call to action, or further recommendations

1. Restate Your Thesis

Begin your conclusion with the “What?” Restate your topic and why it’s relevant to the reader, but don’t just repeat ideas from the introduction. Reiterate the main argument based on the information presented in the body paragraphs.

For instance, let’s say you wrote an article on the effects of saturated fat on heart health. 

You included literature reviews, expert quotes, and other evidence. When crafting the conclusion, you’d discuss the impact of saturated fat based on the findings presented in your article. 

See this example from Healthline. The article begins with a brief discussion about saturated fat and its impact on heart health. It broadly presents the topic:

Healthline's article introduction gives a brief discussion about saturated fat and its impact on heart health

The conclusion, however, goes into more detail on the effect of saturated fat, referencing the studies presented in the article: 

Healthline's article conclusion goes into more detail on the effect of saturated fat, referencing the studies presented in the article

So while the introduction raises questions, the concluding paragraphs provide answers while reiterating the thesis (the relationship between saturated fat and heart health). 

2. Highlight the Supporting Points

Next, revisit your paper’s main points or arguments, briefly explaining their significance. 

Use this section to highlight the “So what?” of your thesis. Simply put, you’ll discuss the implications of your argument.

For instance, Healthline concludes that—according to the latest research—the overall composition of foods is more important than individual nutrients like saturated fat. It also provides some quick supporting examples.

Healthline's article concludes that the overall composition of foods is more important than individual nutrients like saturated fat

This part of the conclusion may also address opposing viewpoints. For example, you could mention an older study that contradicts your argument and explain where it falls short. This technique is often used in academic essays and research papers.

3. End with a Call to Action

Write the final part of your conclusion around the question, “Now what?”

Encourage the reader to take action, whether buying a product, following your advice, or reflecting on the topic. You may also recommend further resources, such as a related article. 

Another option is to ask an open-ended question that leaves room for conversation.

Returning to the previous example, you could ask readers how they feel about saturated fat or what they eat for heart health. Think of it as an opportunity to encourage dialogue and engagement.

For example, this blog post from Old School Labs talks about protein powder. In the last few lines, the author asks readers how much protein they consume daily. He also encourages them to share their favorite high-protein recipes.

A conclusion of blog post from Old School Labs about protein powders

Tips for Writing a Compelling Conclusion 

By now, you should have a better idea of how to write a closing paragraph. But while having a clear structure for your conclusion is important, there’s more to making a powerful impression.

Keep It Brief

Keep the conclusion short and to the point. Wrap up your writing without introducing a new idea or unnecessary details.

The ideal length depends on the content type and topic.

An essay conclusion can be around 5%-10% of the word count. But if you’re writing a blog post, it’s okay to conclude it in three to five sentences. What matters most is to wrap things up in a way that satisfies the reader and clearly conveys your message. 

Tie up Any Loose Ends

Always tie up loose ends in the concluding paragraphs by:

  • Addressing unresolved questions
  • Reflecting on different perspectives
  • Highlighting areas that warrant further research

For example, this article from Shape compares three of the most popular cardio machines: the treadmill, the elliptical, and the stationary bike.

All three products have clear benefits, but choosing one over another depends on your individual needs. For instance, a low-impact stationary bike may be safer and more comfortable than a treadmill for someone with back pain.

Shape concludes the article by telling readers to consider their goals and body mechanics. It wraps things up by going over each option and its distinct advantages. The conclusion creates a sense of closure, pointing readers in the right direction.

Shape's article conclusion titled: "So, Which Is Better: Treadmill vs. Elliptical vs. Bike?"

Create an Emotional Connection

Craft a conclusion that will inspire readers to think differently or make positive changes. Consider why someone would read your content and then appeal to their emotions to make a lasting impact.

For instance, incorporate metaphors and analogies to convey complex emotions in a relatable way. Or, connect your message to the reader’s values and beliefs.

You can end on an emotional note when addressing sensitive topics like divorce, body image, or fear of failure. Use this approach to inspire, motivate, or empower your readers and connect with them on a deeper level. If you do it right, they might remember your words and come back for more.

A good example is this article from Grow Therapy, which discusses the seven best ways to recover from a breakup.

The conclusion appeals to the reader’s emotions, emphasizing that it’s normal to feel vulnerable after parting ways with a significant other. It also encourages readers to engage in self-care, reflection, and support to overcome this roadblock.

Grow Therapy's article takeaways

Conclusions with a strong emotional connection are more memorable, according to a study by SAGE Flex, a division of the biopharmaceutical company Sage Therapeutics. 

Answer the 5 Ws in Your Article 

Journalists use the five Ws to craft compelling introductions, but you can apply this principle to your concluding paragraphs, too.

The five Ws consist of a series of questions that drive the narrative. These include:

  • Who is the story about?
  • What happened?
  • When did it happen?
  • Where did it take place?
  • Why did it happen?

You should briefly answer these questions in the first few lines of your content. Then, go into detail in the body paragraphs. 

As a final step, summarize the answers in the conclusion based on the evidence presented in your article. Returning to the five Ws in your concluding paragraphs reinforces your key points and provides clarity.

For example, the “What” allows you to reiterate the main ideas, arguments, or findings. When answering the “Why,” summarize the implications of your topic and its relevance to the reader.

For example, Backlinko’s article on ChatGPT alternatives concludes by reiterating: 

  • Why it’s difficult to pick a single “best” alternative
  • What the reader should consider to make the best personal choice for their use case
  • Who this is for by speaking directly to the reader (e.g., “If you’re still unsure…”)
A conclusion of Backlinko’s article on ChatGPT alternatives

Sure, these questions don’t apply to every article or blog post, but you can use them as a starting point for crafting compelling copy.

Use Simple Language

Plain language is easy to read and understand. It allows you to convey your message effectively.

So unless you’re writing a scientific paper for an academic audience, use simple terms in the concluding paragraphs.

Let’s say you want to cover a more complex topic, such as hypertrophy (enlargement of a muscle or organ). 

While you can and should include studies and data in your paper, use plain language so all readers can comprehend the content.

Plain language ensures your message reaches a diverse audience, including novice athletes and people just starting their fitness journey. It’s also a good way to highlight and reinforce your key points without going into the technicalities.

For instance, this guide to hypertrophy from explains the science behind muscle growth. The article body includes scientific research and technical terms, but the conclusion uses clear, simple language.

"A Quick Review" section of guide to hypertrophy from

Even someone who doesn’t understand the technical part will grasp the key points after reading the conclusion.

Avoid These Common Mistakes

Learning how to write a conclusion for an essay or article takes practice. That’s why it’s essential to double-check your work and look for common mistakes that could hinder your message.

Introducing Unfamiliar Concepts

Refrain from introducing new ideas or concepts in the conclusion. Doing so can create confusion, leaving the reader with unanswered questions.

This mistake can also undermine the argument you’re trying to make and possibly diminish your credibility.

An exception is when you propose new directions for future research. But even then, your ideas should reflect what you already discussed.

Repeating Yourself

A strong conclusion should synthesize, not merely repeat the information already covered in the paper. Show the reader how the points you made and the evidence you brought fit together.

That’s one of the areas where Semrush’s SEO Writing Assistant can help. Use the Smart Writer, an add-on feature of the tool, to simplify or rephrase your concluding paragraphs.

Here’s how:

Let’s say you wrote a blog post about cross-training. 

Paste or import your blog post from your site into the tool.

SEO Writing Assistant editor

Now, enter up to 30 search terms, or keywords, in the “Keywords” box on the right side of the page. These are words or phrases people use to find information online. (See our guide on how to do keyword research for SEO to find out more.)

An article pasted into the SEO Writing Assistant, and keywords added

Now, select your target market, preferred language, and the type of device you want to optimize your content for. And click “Get recommendations.”

Target market, language, and the type of device selected in SEO Writing Assistant

If you’re a premium user, you’ll see the Smart Writer add-on on the right side of the page. It has three main features:

  • Rephraser: Click this button to rephrase, summarize, simplify, or expand your content
  • Compose: Use this AI-powered tool to generate content based on a topic 
  • Ask AI: Enter a text prompt related to the type of content you need, and let AI work its magic 
Smart Writer add-on on the right side of the page in SEO Writing Assistant tool

Highlight the text you want to rephrase, then click the “Rephrase” button. For best results, stick to 130 words. 

"Rephrase" button in SEO Writing Assistant tool

The Rephraser will generate a new version of the content you highlighted. Click “Accept,” “Reject,” or “Try again” to go ahead with the current version, return to the previous version, or generate a new one. 

Rephraser-generated version of the text in SEO Writing Assistant tool

On a similar note, you can highlight the text you want to modify and click “Simplify.” This will make your content easier to read and understand. 

"Simplify" button highlighted above the selected text

The Smart Writer will use AI to generate a new text version. 

A new version of the text above generated by The Smart Writer

You can accept or reject the new version or click “Try again” to generate a different one. Repeat until you’re satisfied with the results.

Thanks to this feature, the SEO Writing Assistant can help you avoid over-repeating information and craft a clear, concise conclusion.

Adding Irrelevant Details

Keep the conclusion concise to maximize its impact. Adding unnecessary or irrelevant details can interrupt the flow and distract from the main message.

Say you wrote a blog post about strength exercises. It’s okay to briefly mention cardio training in the conclusion (e.g., “cardio and strength training complement each other”), but don’t go into detail.

People will read your post to learn about the benefits of strength training, how to create a workout routine, and so on. If they wanted to know more about cardio, they would have read another article.

Leaving a Weak Impression

Whether you’re writing an argumentative paper or a blog post, readers should walk away with something valuable. This could be a piece of advice, a new point of view, or an inspiring message.

A weak conclusion can undermine the effort you put into writing your paper and leave the reader unsatisfied. Craft a strong closing statement that will stick in their minds.

For instance, Green Element published an article about the impact of meat consumption on the environment. The last paragraph states that all animal products generate far more emissions than vegan alternatives.

Summary section of Green Element's article on meat impact consumption on the environment

The author also encourages readers to cut out meat, saying it’s the most impactful step to reducing their carbon footprint. This is a good example of how to end a conclusion in a way that inspires action and leaves a powerful impression.

Using Empty Words 

Phrases like “in summary,” “in conclusion,” or “in brief” don’t add value to the article. They may work for oral presentations but are unnecessary in writing and can break the flow.

Again, focus on the main idea of your article or blog post. Keep this section short and to the point. 

Experiment with Different Types of Conclusions

There’s more than one way to end a blog post, article, or research paper, depending on how you want to convey your message.

Call-to-Action Conclusion

As its name suggests, this type of conclusion drives the reader to take action.

For example, you may tell your audience to download an ebook, try out a product, or adopt new habits, like starting a workout routine. You can also encourage them to browse the rest of your blog or share their thoughts in the comments section.

See how we ended an article about online market research below. In the last few paragraphs, we tell our readers to try Semrush’s Market Explorer and other tools to get accurate data.

A conclusion of Semrush's article on online market research

Summarizing Conclusion

This type of conclusion summarizes the main points of your paper. It’s objective, concise, and descriptive, restating your argument’s significance.

In 2023, the Journal of Exercise Science and Fitness published a review of 11 studies on high-intensity interval training (HIIT) vs. aerobic training for fat loss. 

Its authors concluded that both training methods are equally effective, though HIIT may be more beneficial for managing blood sugar and cholesterol levels. 

A conclusion of Journal of Exercise Science and Fitness's review article

This is a good example of how to write a conclusion paragraph that restates your findings. It’s brief and to the point, giving readers a clear answer on how aerobic exercise compares to HIIT.

Reflective Conclusion

With this approach, end your paper by reflecting on the topic. For instance, share how you feel about the topic or discuss the larger implications of your findings.

Here’s an example from James Clear, an award-winning writer who shares productivity hacks on his blog:

An example of a reflective conclusion by James Clear

Clear wrote about the relationship between luck, hard work, and success. He concluded by sharing his perspective on the topic, giving readers something to reflect on.

Provocative Conclusion

A provocative conclusion challenges the reader’s assumptions and inspires further reflection. It raises thought-provoking questions that encourage people to consider alternative viewpoints.

For example, Business Insider published an article about Elon Musk’s Neuralink brain chip, highlighting its potential benefits and drawbacks. The conclusion leaves readers thinking about the practical implications of this technology.

An example of a provocative conclusion from Business Insider's article on Elon Musk's Neuralink brain chip

The writer points out that having a device in your head could change parts of your personality. From their perspective, the trade-offs may not be worth it.

Why It’s Important to Craft a Strong Conclusion

Introductions and conclusions capture the reader’s attention. However, the conclusion is your last chance to make a good impression and convey your message.

The conclusion can further engage your audience and help them see things in a different light. It also provides closure, leaving the reader satisfied.

Here’s why you should put some effort into crafting a strong conclusion:

Reinforce the Key Takeaways 

A good conclusion paragraph reiterates your message, giving the reader something to take away from the story. It allows you to synthesize and frame your thoughts in a larger context.

For example, this blog post from Purdue University highlights the advantages of earning an MBA online. Its final section wraps up the content, reminding readers that pursuing an online MBA is no longer as difficult and time-consuming as it used to be.

Purdue University's article conclusion, titled: "Learn More About the Purdue Online MBA"

Get Your Readers to Take Action

As mentioned earlier, your concluding paragraphs may also serve as a call to action.

Returning to the above example, Purdue University urges prospective students to contact an enrollment specialist after reading the blog post. The clear and concise message guides the reader on what to do next and why.

Now, let’s say you sell dietary supplements online and want to write an article on heart health. The last paragraphs may reinstate the importance of regular exercise and urge readers to get active.

If the article mentions omega-3 fatty acids, the conclusion may encourage readers to try them out (and buy them from you).

Provide Closure

An effective conclusion also provides closure for the reader by summarizing your key points. It wraps things up and helps your audience understand how your ideas fit together.

Take our guide to paid advertising, for example. The concluding paragraphs remind readers why paid advertising matters and how to start.

A conclusion of Semrush's guide to paid advertising

Leave a Lasting Impression on Your Readers

The last few lines of a blog post or essay can change the reader’s perspective and leave them thinking about what they just read.

It’s an opportunity for your audience to reflect further on the topic. That impression may stay with them and keep your brand at the top of their minds.

For example, American novelist Leslie Jamison wrote a personal essay about daydreaming and how it has shaped her life. 

The conclusion leaves us wondering why we resort to daydreaming. Do we want to escape reality? Find closure? Or, perhaps we daydream about how it would be if things stayed the same?

A conclusion of Leslie Jamison's personal essay about daydreaming

Master the Art of Writing Effective Conclusions

Now you know how to write a conclusion that sticks with the writer. Before getting started, consider the type of content, the topic covered, and the message you want to send.

Most importantly, use your words with purpose. Consider what impression you want to give and what you expect the reader to do after reading your content.

Don’t just repeat ideas from the introduction or thesis. Instead, provide further value to your audience.

If you’re feeling stuck, let Semrush’s SEO Writing Assistant help you out. 

The Smart Writer, one of its key components, can fine-tune your concluding paragraphs for greater clarity and impact. 

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