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Chapter 10. Making Your Bones > End Game: Conclusions - Pg. 118

Making Your Bones 118 Notice that I said "state an opinion" rather than "state your opinion." While the opinion in your conclusion will normally be something you believe in, it doesn't have to be. You're free to take whatever side you want--even if you don't strictly believe it. Call for Action You've laid out the problem or situation in the body of your writing. Now, in the conclusion, tell your audience what you want them to think or do. The recommendation can be in the form of a suggestion, demand, or plea--or any combination of these proposals--to move readers to action. Here's an example on the same theme of welfare reform: It is obvious that the current welfare system must be reformed. I believe the first step toward meeting that objective is to terminate any public financial aid that is shown to be based on the applicants' deception. The next step is to instill better values in children and newly formed fam- ilies. Schools should focus on family issues and family life and structure. Children should be taught to be responsible for their own actions. These methods can help us successfully re-work an untenable and destructive system and so help all Americans. Author! Author! Talk about great conclusions: When the famous grammarian Dominique Bouhours was dying, his last words are reported to have been: "I am about to--or I am going to--die. Either expression is used." And here's a sorry conclusion: According to legend, the Greek playwright Aeschylus was killed when an eagle dropped a tortoise on his bald head, mistaking it for a rock. Ouch. The Least You Need to Know · Introductions matter, so craft them carefully, suiting the method to your purpose and audience. · Your introduction can be a statement of purpose, an anecdote, a joke, a quotation, a question, a description, or a statistic. · In the body of your paper, elaborate on ideas with details. These can take the form of statistics, facts, sensory details, examples, quotations, and anecdotes. · Effective conclusions pull together all your ideas, leave your readers feeling satisfied, and move them to continue thinking about your writing. · Your conclusion can be a summary and restatement, opinion, or call for action.