While some people find it hard to start writing a piece of text, others meanwhile think it’s way more challenging to conclude it; this is often true with regards to formal writing scenarios.
People struggle to conclude texts such as narrative, descriptive, and expository essays because they tend to feel like there’s nothing left to say any further.
More particularly, they also find specific linguistic devices like transition words a bit elusive at times, thereby making the conclusion extra taxing than the introduction or the body.
In this article, we list eight of the best transition words that can be easily used for concluding texts to make them more coherent, cohesive, and compact.
What is a conclusion transition phrase?
A conclusion transition phrase such as “in essence” or “in a nutshell” is a cohesive linguistic device used to introduce a final argument in a speech or article. It signals the reader or listener that the speaker or writer is almost done with his or her series of assertions.
8 conclusory transition expressions
Any piece organized oral and written discourse needs to have an introduction, a body, and a conclusion to be effective.
An introduction has to be catchy, striking, and concise, whereas the body needs to be more detailed, thought-provoking, and comprehensive.
Meanwhile, the conclusion part needs to be summative, implicative, and reflective to the point that it clearly yet concisely captures the holistic message of the writer or speaker.
To be able to create a powerful conclusion, the write must reiterate the main argument set forth in the introduction and the body.
And of course, it should also clearly demonstrate the far-reaching implications of the series of arguments mentioned in the previous paragraphs.
One critical element that a conclusion should have is some sense of connectedness with the previous statements; that said, transition words are vital in making this happen.
So, here are eight effective conclusory transition words and phrases embedded in brief example essays that you can refer to and use at your will and convenience.
The adverb “finally” is a transition word that simply means “in the end,” and it is great for explicitly signaling readers and listeners that you are now in the last part of your argument or story.
It is closely synonymous with “in closing” or “in conclusion” that you can punctuate with post-comma before attaching the main clause.
Alternatively, you may also use “last but not least” and place a comma after it to convey a similar intent as “finally.”
You can use “finally” to introduce a final thought or reason that you want your listeners or readers to ponder on, such as in the example below.
There is never one best way to raise a child. That said, parents have a life-long struggle with how to mold children’s beliefs and attitudes as they grow. Back in the day, corporal punishment was the norm in homes and schools, and undeniably, this method of discipline has had its fair share of pros and cons.
On one hand, corporal punishment has taught children how to follow rules, respect elders, and behave in an expected manner. On the other, it has also increased tendencies of aggression, antisocial behavior, and other mental health issues among children. As the disadvantages of corporal punishment continue to outweigh its benefits, society has also been keener on eradicating it.
Recently, time-outs have been found to be an effective way of modifying a child’s behavior. In my opinion, time-outs are more effective as well as inarguably less harmful than corporal punishment. Hence, this is a method that I support more instead of correcting the child the painful way because of its far-reaching positive implications. If more and more parents learn more about how to use time-outs appropriately, there would be lesser issues related to juvenile delinquency in effect.
Finally, it is worthy to say that scientists should not stop gathering empirical data on improving children’s behavior. Meanwhile, government agencies should also continue creating programs that aim to raise awareness on this matter to maximize positive results.
2. In brief
“In brief” literally means “in short,” and it is great for summarizing the main points of your series of arguments in the previous paragraphs.
“In sum” and “to make the long story short” are close synonyms to “in brief.” A comma should also come after this transition phrase if and when it is used as the introductory phrase of your sentence.
You can use “in brief” to indicate an attempt to reiterate your main points using the fewest possible words in your conclusion.
Here’s how that might work in context.
Not all heroes wear capes and have superpowers, the others are just the ones we rub shoulders with yet fail to recognize. The act of valor has been repeatedly shown around the world in multiple ways — but apart from Superman, Captain America, and Spiderman, heroism can be observed among more common individuals like our parents.Mothers and fathers show unconditional love to their children no matter how old or young they are. For this, they deserve to be constantly recognized and appreciated. Parents, no matter how old they get, always have this urge to believe in their son or daughter and to make them feel like no failure is ever final. They always have our backs whenever we feel like the world is going against us.In brief, superheroes do not only exist in movies. In fact, they live in places really close to our hearts, albeit their superhuman acts are invisible for the most part. So, we must never forget to reciprocate the love and care that our parents continue to shower us and make them feel that they have raised the best children on earth.
3. In a nutshell
By definition, a “nutshell” means the covering or the outer layer of a nut, which means that “in a nutshell” is an idiomatic conclusory transition phrase.
Hence, you must also make your final statements concise and compact if you want to use this connective device in the conclusion part.
As you may figure, “in a nutshell” is synonymous with “in short,” “in summary,” or “in brief” that you should also punctuate with a post-comma.
Here’s an example of how to use this phrase:
Money and Happiness
“Money can’t buy us love,” the Beatles sang — but how realistic can this song verse be? Perhaps, love cannot be bought, but researchers from Cambridge University have found that it is possible to buy happiness, as long as it is done the right way.
A study on the spending habits of bank customers revealed that buying the right things can actually lead to happiness if and when the purchase also matches the buyer’s personality. For example, an outgoing or extroverted person can have an increased amount of happiness if he or she spends money on socially-directed activities such as eating out in pubs. I personally agree with the research findings in the sense that one cannot be truly happy if he or she is able to fulfill his or her life interests because of being financially stable. That said, it is worth noting that one can only achieve more happiness in life if his or her basic needs are already met.
In a nutshell, money cannot buy happiness in a very general point of view, but one can inarguably be happy if he or she is financially capable of spending leisure time without worrying about any debts and basic needs.
4. In essence
“In essence” is a conclusory transition phrase used to emphasize the stance of the writer or speaker toward the target audience.
It is similar to “essentially” or “most importantly” that is effective for recapitulating the most crucial argument in your story, essay, or speech.
Always place a comma after “in essence” if this is used as the introductory phrase in your conclusion statement.
Here’s an example of using “in essence” in a short essay:
The Joys and Perils of Growing Old
Fear of growing old spares no one, and there are countless reasons as to why this is so. Aging means losing the mental and physical flexibility people used to have at their younger age, and it also means slowly losing the time we get to spend with people that matter.
However, growing old also has a multitude of advantages. When we get old, we learn to prioritize things more clearly, and we also become less sensitive to criticisms. Moreover, because of getting more experience and challenges, we also tend to be intellectually richer and more emotionally stable as time goes by. Most importantly, we also get to build more long-lasting relationships with people whom we truly care and trust the most.
In essence, aging is a natural process that every living organism has to go through. Although there are negative aspects to growing old, which are but expected, there are also brighter sides that we should focus on more. To be able to live more fully, we simply have to learn how to count our blessings, no matter how small they are.
5. To summarize
Another popular transition device for conclusions is the phrase “to summarize,” which aims to restate the writer or speaker’s arguments concisely at the end of a writing piece.
“To summarize” has close variations like “in sum,” “in summary,” and “to sum.”
You can never go wrong if you use this transition phrase in your conclusion because it is clearly indicative of the last part of your speech or text.
Here’s how that might appear in an essay’s conclusion:
The Negative Effects of Technology on Communication
Technological progress is everywhere. The role of snail mails, bulky landline phones, and film cameras have all been packed into a single handy device called smartphones, which are changing the way we communicate with one another.
The constant development of more powerful smartphones has led to screen-time addiction that potentially damages not only our eyesight but also our relationships with people. Communicating via technological devices means reducing the quality of conversations and, therefore, the relationships we have with people. That said, you can blame your mobile phone if and when you have found yourself unable to respond spontaneously to actual social conversations. Getting irritated with people who seem not to be within your wavelength is another negative effect of being technologically dependent.
To summarize, smartphones are undeniably convenient tools in the modern age. However, we must never forget to spend time talking and interacting with people in actual social scenarios to prevent the decline of valuable and meaningful conversations.
6. As shown above
“As shown above” is a great transition phrase that implicitly signals the end of the text, and this one only works when there are visual prompts available upon its usage.
This means that you can only use “as shown above” in speech, for example, when the audience is able to see a visual reference such as a PowerPoint presentation.
You should also feel free to use “as shown above” in essays because the reader can always refer back to the earlier statements in the body and introduction parts.
“As you can see,” “as you may notice,” and “as demonstrated above” are related expressions that can be used instead of “as shown above.”
Without any visual prompts, “as mentioned before” and “as previously discussed” should work similarly with “as shown above.”
Here’s how the transition phrase might appear in an essay:
Why Dogs are the Best Pets to Have
We only spend a portion of our lives with our dogs, but dogs spend their whole life with us. For the most part, dogs are highly sociable, intelligent, and affectionate animals that are able to understand how humans communicate. These reasons make dogs one of the best pets to have.
Even if we leave the house in a bad mood because our dogs feasted on our favorite shoes, charger chord, and even our couch, they still get delighted and excited to see us every time we get home from work or school. Dogs are also the best guards to hire because of their highly sensitive olfactory and auditory receptors. And by extension, their loyal, sweet, and loving nature also makes them even better companions than humans at times.
As shown above, dogs are utterly not only the best keepers but also the best allies to have. Hence, we must also show kindness and gratitude to our dogs by keeping them safe from any harm at all costs.
7. By and large
“By and large” translates to “all things considered” or “above all” that can also be used in concluding articles and speeches.
That said, you can use this transition phrase if and when you want to convey that you’ve considered all possibilities whatever argument you want to elaborate on.
It implies the same meaning as “to a great extent” and “for the most part,” which is great for emphasizing a piece of assertion, such as the one below:
Bullying: A Major Cause of Social Problems
Empirical studies have repeatedly shown the harmful effects of bullying — both on children and adults. Bullying must be prevented and awareness about its negative effects must be raised on a large scale.
Bullied children at school have a high risk of developing anxiety and depression-related disorders when they become adults, and adults bullied in their workplace also result in poor job performance, physio-psychological problems. Most crucially, excessive bullying can even lead to suicides among more vulnerable individuals, no matter whether the bullying is done advertently or inadvertently.
By and large, the harmful effects of bullying are evident in many societies around the world. Therefore, all stakeholders must work hand in hand to prevent another parent from grieving because of the untimely death of a child.
8. In its entirety
“In its entirety” means “completely” or “on the whole,” which is, therefore, a closely related expression to “by and large.”
You can use “in its entirety” when you also want to imply that you have considered all possibilities to come up with a contention.
This is a great transition phrase to use in the conclusion part because of its summative function that implicitly signals the end of a speech or text.
As an extension to the expressions listed in today’s post, you may also refer to our other resource material covering practical alternatives to “in conclusion” to further hasten your linguistic flexibility.
Here’s an example of how “in its entirety” might work in context:
The Essence of Humor
“Laughter is the best medicine,” they say. But, to what extent do humans really gain benefits from humor? And what are some of its negative effects, if any?
Experts from the field of social and medical sciences have found that a good sense of humor improves the well-being of people. In particular, it provides therapeutic advantages among palliative care patients, and it has also been found to be an effective strategy in pedagogical practices. In general, people binge-watch TV series and even pay several dollars to watch stand-up performances in comedy bars. All of these activities demonstrate that people do spare time and financial resources to have a good laugh.
In its entirety, the advantages of humor are a lot more than its cons, so long that it is not used as an excuse to completely avoid real-life challenges and fail to face them when necessary. Humor may not be the greatest tool to overcome challenges. However, it has to be viewed as one of the relatively more effective tools to cope with inevitable battles in life.
Frequently Asked Questions on “Transition Expressions for Conclusion”
How can we express a conclusion?
To express a conclusion, we must use conclusory transition words and phrases such as “to summarize,” “in a nutshell,” or “by and large” to introduce the final argument that briefly reiterates the stance of the writer or speaker. The conclusion is also expected to be both implicative and reflective.
How do you start a conclusion paragraph?
Conclusory transition phrases such as “in sum,” “in its entirety,” and “all things considered” can be used to start a conclusion paragraph. A comma must always come after each of these phrases when they are used particularly as introductory statements in the conclusion.
What are some examples of transition words for essays?
For the introduction, “to start with” can be used, while “moreover,” “furthermore,” “consequently,” and “however” can be used within the body. For the conclusion part, “in summary,” “in essence,” and “on the whole” can be used.
Since you are already at the end of today’s article, I might as well use one of the transition phrases elaborated above to demonstrate language application.
In essence, concluding speeches and articles can be a hard nut to crack if and when we do not have background knowledge on cohesive transition devices.
That said, knowing the most suitable conclusory expressions is key in improving our linguistic competence because these devices are inarguably useful in representing our thoughts more clearly, cohesively, and coherently.
Hey fellow Linguaholics! It’s me, Marcel. I am the proud owner of linguaholic.com. Languages have always been my passion and I have studied Linguistics, Computational Linguistics and Sinology at the University of Zurich. It is my utmost pleasure to share with all of you guys what I know about languages and linguistics in general.