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In my previous post, I covered how to nail introductory paragraphs, particularly for articles. Today, let’s cover how to wrap it all up with a fantastic conclusion.
The SAC format
Most conclusions can follow the Summary, Action, and Clincher (SAC) format. It works well for essays, articles, and blogs, for instance.
The summary reviews your key assertion or thesis and ties all your main points together.
The action encourages your reader to do something based on the thesis/article points. It can be a mental action (e.g., “Consider…”), but task-oriented statements (e.g., “Clean up your computer files”) arguably are more powerful. It really just depends on the nature of the thesis.
The clincher is an attention-getter or final thought that makes it clear to the reader that you’re all done.
Here’s a quick example:
All great articles need a powerful conclusion. The best way to do that is to use SAC formatting, which includes a summary, action, and clincher. (summary) Prepare your thesis and body carefully when you write so that pulling your thesis and main points together with this template is easy. (action) After all, the more organized your writing is, the more enjoyable it likely will be for your reader, and that’s the ultimate author’s goal. (clincher)
Instead of rehashing, SAC ties it all together and directs people forward with a clear why
The main consideration when you use SAC is that you don’t want to sound like you’re just repeating yourself. Don’t just pull your thesis and main point sentences down to the bottom, and don’t add more details, because by the time you reach your conclusion, you already should have laid those out in the body.
Instead, find a way to rephrase those concepts in an interesting way that pulls everything together. The reader should get the sense, based on how you do this, that you’re wrapping up and are about to give them that clincher.
So think about that final sentence. Ask yourself what impression you want the reader to take away and how you can lead into that. The more you can think about a broad perspective or big picture, the simpler this job will be.