The MBA Essay Writing Guide: #9 – A Guide to Fantastic Essay Conclusions

by on October 6th, 2012

An essay’s conclusion can be its weakest link or its greatest asset. Think of it like a movie – everybody remembers a grand finale but a muddled or confusing ending can absolutely ruin a good film. With that in mind, it’s a shame that so many applicants treat their ending as an afterthought; using whatever words they have left to half-heartedly sum up their message. It’s sad, really…

The best way to avoid this rookie mistake is to plan for it ahead of time. Almost everybody knows how they’ll start their essay ahead of time, why not also plan out your ending? Thinking of your conclusion at the start of your essay not only helps you structure your writing, it also gives you a “finish line” and ensures you tackle this essential part of your essay when you’re at your most creative.

With this in mind, here are a few tips for crafting that banging conclusion that’ll knock your essay out of the park and onto your dream school’s shortlist.

  1. Tie your conclusion to your introduction. You’ve got to come up with an eye-catching introduction anyways; why not kill two birds with one stone by using it as the foundation for your conclusion? If you start your essay with a story or anecdote, for example, you can refer to that same story to end your essay. This not only gives your essay a “holistic” feel and structure, it will remind the reader of how great your introduction was and will ultimately make your essay more memorable.
  2. Throw in a twist. Instead of REPEATING your essay’s content in shorter form, use your conclusion to give us examples that go beyond your main argument. For instance, if your essay topic is about learning from a failure, a quick anecdote showing the reader how you applied the lessons learned in the future can work WONDERS.
  3. Be different to be memorable. The worst conclusion is a boring one. And, unfortunately, a common one. Schools go through hundreds of applications, so a surprising conclusion is essential for separating yourself from the pack and popping off the page. Compare yourself to a Jedi, refer to a childhood memory, or make a bold claim – just don’t end a great essay with, “I sincerely hope you will consider my candidacy.”

So remember:

  • Tie your conclusion to your introduction.
  • Throw in a surprise twist.
  • Be different to be memorable.

Check out the other articles in this series:

The MBA Essay Writing Guide: #8 – Simplify Your Writing By Avoiding Buzzwords
The MBA Essay Writing Guide – #7: “Your School Is Ideal Because…”
The MBA Essay Writing Guide – #6: Breaking Down Technical Jargon
The MBA Essay Writing Guide – #5: Getting Specific With Goals
The MBA Essay Writing Guide – #4: Writing About Sensitive Topics
The MBA Essay Writing Guide – #3: Quantifying Success
The MBA Essay Writing Guide – #2: Making Your Personal Qualities POP!
The MBA Essay Writing Guide – #1: Building a Catchy Intro

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