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English: skills for learning
English: skills for learning

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5 Using the last paragraph to conclude the essay

An essay should always have a concluding paragraph. An effective concluding paragraph should:

  • refer to the assignment question and its key content words
  • refer to the claim made in the introduction
  • refer to and draw together the points made in the main body of the essay
  • provide a clear answer to the question
  • provide a brief comment (optional).

Activity 15

Timing: Allow approximately 10 minutes

Read these two conclusions and then answer the questions that follow.

Conclusion 1

To conclude, in each of the settings described there can always be valid reasons for an individual’s private space to be entered. Aspects of safety cannot be ignored and regulations must be adhered to, particularly in non-domestic settings. There are always the problems of staff routines, and the greater good of all patients must be balanced against an individual’s needs. However, care should be taken when handling all these situations. Care staff should always remember that they are dealing with individual people. It must be difficult enough to cope with the loss of physical or mental capabilities, and to have to come to terms with the impossibility of ever leading a healthy independent life again without the added indignity of being treated as an object. Everyone is entitled to respect and to be given at least some control and freedom. This is a basic human right.

Conclusion 2

To conclude, whether they work in hospitals, residential homes or patients’ homes, carers must be sensitive to the different characteristics of private and public spaces. This sensitivity helps to carefully balance, on the one hand, patients’ need to privacy, dignity and control over their lives and, on the other, the carers’ need to guarantee safety and effective care. Evidence shows that this approach ultimately affects quality of care as patients will appreciate the security provided by the care context but at the same time benefit from having at least some autonomy and some control over their private spaces. This is likely to increase patients’ well-being and favour the recovery process.

  1. Which conclusion more closely follows the main characteristics of the concluding paragraph described above?
  2. Why do you think this?
  3. Why is the other conclusion less effective?

Make some notes in the box before comparing them with mine.

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Conclusion 2 is the most effective because it very clearly answers the question asked, which was ‘Why is it important for carers to recognise the differences between public and private spaces?’ It does this by referring to the point, made in the introduction, that an understanding and sensitivity to these differences affects quality of care and is therefore good practice.

In providing this answer, Conclusion 2 summarises the main points made by the main body of the essay. This is done by mentioning ‘patients’ need to privacy, dignity and control over their lives’ and ‘the carers’ need to guarantee safety and effective care’.

Conclusion 1 is less good because it does not clearly answer the question. It summarises many points made by the main body and provides recommendations and comments. Recommendations were not required and it was therefore not necessary to include them.