9 most common mistakes in writing a conclusion paragraph in IELTS Writing Task 2
In IELTS Writing Task 2, the conclusion paragraph plays a crucial role in summarizing your main points and providing a clear stance on the issue. However, many candidates make mistakes in writing an effective conclusion. Here are some common mistakes to avoid:
- Introducing new ideas: A conclusion should summarize and restate the main points of your essay, not introduce new arguments or ideas.
- Being repetitive: While you should restate your main points, avoid simply copying and pasting the same sentences from your introduction or body paragraphs. Instead, rephrase your arguments and maintain coherence.
- Lack of clear stance: Ensure that your conclusion clearly states your position on the issue. A vague or indecisive stance can weaken your overall argument.
- Writing too long or too short: A conclusion paragraph should be concise and to the point. Aim for about 2-4 sentences to effectively summarize your main points and stance.
- Ignoring the question prompt: Make sure that your conclusion directly addresses the question prompt and ties your essay together.
- Overgeneralization: Avoid making sweeping generalizations or unsupported claims in your conclusion. Stick to the evidence and arguments you have presented in the essay.
- Inappropriate tone: Maintain a formal, academic tone in your conclusion. Avoid using colloquial language, contractions, or emotional language.
- Not using appropriate transition words: Using transition words or phrases like “In conclusion,” “To sum up,” or “Overall” can help signal the end of your essay and improve the flow of your conclusion.
- Inadequate proofreading: Proofread your conclusion carefully for grammar, spelling, and punctuation errors. These mistakes can undermine the overall quality of your essay.
By avoiding these common mistakes, you can create a strong, well-structured conclusion that effectively summarizes your main points and stance on the issue in IELTS Writing Task 2.
How you can avoid the 9 mistakes
To avoid the nine common mistakes in writing a conclusion paragraph for IELTS Writing Task 2, follow these guidelines:
- Stick to the main points: Focus on summarizing and restating the main arguments and ideas from your essay. Do not introduce any new information or arguments in the conclusion.
- Rephrase main points: While restating your main points, use different wording and phrasing to avoid redundancy. This will demonstrate your lexical resource and ability to paraphrase.
- Provide a clear stance: Make sure your conclusion clearly states your position on the issue. A strong and clear stance reinforces your overall argument and enhances the coherence of your essay.
- Maintain an appropriate length: Aim for a conclusion paragraph of about 2-4 sentences. This length should be sufficient to effectively summarize your main points and stance without becoming overly lengthy.
- Address the question prompt: Ensure that your conclusion directly responds to the question prompt and ties your essay together. Restate how your arguments and ideas address the given question.
- Avoid overgeneralization: Stick to the evidence and arguments presented in your essay. Refrain from making sweeping generalizations or unsupported claims in your conclusion.
- Use a formal tone: Maintain a formal, academic tone throughout your conclusion. Avoid colloquial language, contractions, or emotional language that could undermine the professionalism of your writing.
- Utilize transition words: Employ appropriate transition words or phrases (e.g., “In conclusion,” “To sum up,” “Overall”) to signal the end of your essay and improve the flow of your conclusion.
- Proofread carefully: Always proofread your conclusion paragraph for grammar, spelling, and punctuation errors. Mistakes can detract from the overall quality of your essay and impact your score.
An IELTS writing task 2 sample essay with a good conclusion
Here’s a sample IELTS Writing Task 2 question and an essay with a well-structured conclusion:
Some people believe that unpaid community service should be a compulsory part of high school programs (for example, working for a charity, improving the neighborhood, or teaching sports to younger children). To what extent do you agree or disagree?
In recent years, there has been considerable debate surrounding the integration of unpaid community service into high school curricula. Advocates argue that compulsory community service offers a plethora of benefits for both students and society, while opponents claim it could detract from academic achievement. I strongly agree that integrating unpaid community service into high school programs is essential for promoting civic responsibility and fostering personal growth.
Firstly, compulsory community service during high school plays a critical role in nurturing a sense of civic responsibility among students. By engaging in activities such as working for a charity or helping to improve their neighborhoods, young people gain firsthand experience of the challenges faced by various segments of society. This exposure fosters empathy and promotes an understanding of the importance of contributing to the betterment of the community. Consequently, students are more likely to remain engaged in volunteer activities in the future and become responsible, active citizens.
Moreover, unpaid community service provides invaluable opportunities for personal development. By working in diverse settings, students acquire essential life skills such as teamwork, communication, and problem-solving. These skills not only aid in their academic pursuits but also prove beneficial in their personal lives and future careers. Additionally, community service can help students explore different career paths, enabling them to make informed decisions about their future education and employment.
Admittedly, some critics argue that mandatory community service may detract from students’ academic performance, as it could consume a significant amount of time and energy. However, a well-structured program that balances community service with academic requirements can ensure that students are not overburdened. Furthermore, the benefits of community service, such as improved social skills, increased self-esteem, and a sense of accomplishment, could enhance students’ overall well-being and academic performance.
In conclusion, making unpaid community service a compulsory component of high school programs has the potential to instill civic responsibility and promote personal growth among students. While it is essential to strike a balance between community service and academic commitments, the long-term benefits of fostering engaged, empathetic, and skilled citizens far outweigh the potential drawbacks. Therefore, I firmly believe that integrating unpaid community service into high school curricula is a worthwhile and necessary endeavor.
Why the conclusion paragraph is a good paragraph?
Let’s analyze the conclusion paragraph from the essay with respect to the 9 points we mentioned earlier:
- Introducing new ideas: The conclusion paragraph does not introduce any new arguments or ideas. Instead, it summarizes the main points made in the essay.
- Being repetitive: While the conclusion does restate the main points, it does so using different wording and phrasing, maintaining coherence without being overly repetitive.
Here are examples:
From the body paragraph: “By engaging in activities such as working for a charity or helping to improve their neighborhoods, young people gain firsthand experience of the challenges faced by various segments of society.”
From the conclusion paragraph: “making unpaid community service a compulsory component of high school programs has the potential to instill civic responsibility and promote personal growth among students.”
The conclusion effectively summarizes the main point about civic responsibility and personal growth without repeating the exact wording from the body paragraph.
3. Lack of clear stance: The conclusion clearly states the writer’s position on the issue: “I firmly believe that integrating unpaid community service into high school curricula is a worthwhile and necessary endeavor.”
4. Writing too long or too short: The conclusion paragraph is an appropriate length, with 4 sentences that effectively summarize the main points and stance.
5. Ignoring the question prompt: The conclusion addresses the question prompt by restating the writer’s agreement with the idea of integrating unpaid community service into high school programs.
6. Overgeneralization: The conclusion does not make sweeping generalizations or unsupported claims. It sticks to the evidence and arguments presented in the essay.
7. Inappropriate tone: The conclusion maintains a formal, academic tone, avoiding colloquial language, contractions, or emotional language.
Here’s an example from the conclusion paragraph: “In conclusion, making unpaid community service a compulsory component of high school programs has the potential to instill civic responsibility and promote personal growth among students.”
This sentence uses formal language, avoids contractions (e.g., “it’s” or “don’t”), and does not use emotional or colloquial expressions. By maintaining a consistent tone throughout the essay, including the conclusion, the writer demonstrates a professional and coherent writing style.
8. Using appropriate transition words: The conclusion begins with “In conclusion,” which signals the end of the essay and helps improve the flow of the paragraph.
9. Inadequate proofreading: The conclusion paragraph is free of grammar, spelling, and punctuation errors, ensuring that the overall quality of the essay is maintained.
By satisfying these 9 points, the conclusion paragraph is well-structured and effectively wraps up the essay, demonstrating a clear stance and summarizing the main arguments.
Why is it important to write a good conclusion paragraph in IELTS writing task 2?
Writing a good conclusion paragraph in IELTS Writing Task 2 is essential for several reasons:
- Final impression: The conclusion is the last part of your essay that the examiner reads. A well-written conclusion leaves a strong final impression, demonstrating that you have effectively answered the question and communicated your ideas coherently.
- Coherence and cohesion: A good conclusion ties together the main points and arguments from the essay, which enhances the overall coherence and cohesion of your writing. This is one of the four assessment criteria (Task Response, Coherence and Cohesion, Lexical Resource, and Grammatical Range and Accuracy) that examiners use to evaluate your essay.
- Task Response: A strong conclusion reiterates your stance on the issue, showing that you have directly addressed the question and maintained a clear position throughout the essay. This contributes to a better score in the Task Response criterion. To better understand this scoring criterion, you may read the following article: Task Response: The Secret Sauce for Boosting Your IELTS Writing Task 2 Score.
By crafting an effective conclusion, you can significantly improve your overall IELTS Writing essay score.