The last sentence of every paragraph should be either:
- a summary (e.g. "In summary...")
- a link (e.g. "The next paragraph...")
- both (e.g. "In summary....The next paragraph...")
- neither (introductions paragraph, or longer essays)
- if you have 10 paragraphs in one section of one chapter of your dissertation, don't summarise every paragraph!
- That isn't true in this class though. Let's practice summaries and links!
|Paragraph ||Link, summary, both,or neither ?|
|Introduction ||Neither - write an introduction thesis statement|
|Description paragraph ||Link only|
Description sentences are all different, hard to summarise
|Problems paragraphs (normal body paragraph ||Both|
|Solutions paragraph (last body paragraph) ||Summary only|
Next paragraph is last = obviously conclusion = no need to link
|Conclusion paragraph ||Neither - write a final comment sentence|
|Paragraph X of a longer essay ||Up to you|
Does the reader need a summary yet?
Is the topic about to change?
Examples for first-year essays
1) Link at end of Description (A)
- The next paragraph looks at some problems production of Tantalum is causing
- The next paragraph looks at some of the problems the Sumatran Orangutan is facing
2) Summary-Link at end of Problems (B)
- In summary, there are three problems - 1, 2, and 3 - of which the most serious is 3. The next paragraph looks at some possible solutions for these problems.
- In summary, there are three reasons that the Sumatran Orangutan is becoming endangered - 1, 2, and 3 - of which the most serious threat is 3. The next paragraph looks at some possible solutions for these problems.
- In summary, there are three ways in which which Tantalum production is causing harm to people and the environment - 1, 2, and 3 - of which the most serious is 3. The next paragraph looks at three NGOs which are trying to improve the situation.
3) Summary for Solutions (C)
- In summary, there are three solutions - 1, 2, and 3 - of which the most useful is 3.
- In summary, although there are a number of solutions being attempted - including 1, 2, and 3 - none of them are currently very effective.
- In summary, of the three NGOs working on this issue - 1, 2, and 3 - only 3 is making any real progress.
Rules for sectional essays
- Once you have more than 5 paragraphs, the rules change.
- See write a sectional essay for details
- In summary, though, you can:
- have a separate conclusion paragraph for the section
- just glue 3 sentences to the end of the last section body paragraph:
If you DO NOT use a section conclusion paragraph
The last three sentences of the last paragraph in the section:
- summarize the last paragraph in the section
- summarize the section
- link to the next SECTION, not the next paragraph
- don't link into the conclusion section
- e.g. "In summary, the problem of heavy metal pollution is serious, both for miners and people living near the mine. Overall, this section has shown that production of X causes a number of issues - A, B, and C - of which the most effective is C. However, the next paragraph examines some possible solutions to these issues"
If you DO use a section conclusion paragraph
Body paragraphs are normal
Section Conclusion paragraphs should have:
- Topic sentence for section conclusion e.g. "In summary, this section looked at..."
- Summary of each paragraph in the section (1-3 sentences)
- Final Comment for section (optional)
- Link to next SECTION.