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5 paragraph essays: question about conclusion paragraphs...


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I know that the thesis should generally be restated at the beginning of a conclusion paragraph in an informational (science-based) paper. But is it typical to then go on in subsequent conclusion paragraph sentences and revisit each of the three main points?


This is not how I was taught to write, or how I've been teaching my students to write. After restating my thesis at the beginning of my conclusion paragraph I proceed by "backing my way out" of the paper, sometimes drawing conclusions/adding new twists on some general information/leaving the reader with a suggestion or challenge/commenting on the relevance of the topic to the reader, etc... But I've just never gone through the conclusion paragraph renaming my main points in separate sentences.


One of my students spends the bulk of his conclusion paragraphs revisiting the main points of the body paragraphs. As I'm looking at my IEW manual, I do see a precedent for this in some persuasive essays. But is this typical for informational writing? Is this one of those "more than one way to skin a cat" things, or is there a standard/preference/model to follow for informational conclusion paragraphs that I've been ingnoring?

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I don't use IEW, but I have been teaching the concluding paragraph this way:


1. restate the topic

2. revisit first middle paragraph w/o giving details of the paper

3. revisit second middle

4. revisit third middle

5. Conclude w/ personal comment (no use of pronoun "I")


While it's formulaic, it really helps students learn to write clear, concise, effective essays. They know exactly how to tackle an assignment and how to finish it. It's a mini outline!


BTW, the opening paragraph performs much the same function, except "state" instead of "restate" and give only a hint at the personal comment to come.

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