No New Information
Many people would agree that you should not make any new points in your concluding paragraph. So, if you can’t say anything new, what can you say? Something old, of course!
Rephrase your thesis sentence. Paraphrase each of your topic sentences and remind the reader of one or two pertinent examples for each.
You might want to use a quotation which you feel perfectly presents your character or to inject humor.
Example: Little Miss Muffet’s mother probably put it best when she said, “Well, all I’ve got to say is if you don’t get of your tuffet and start cleaning your room, there’ll be a lot more spiders around here!”
You might want to ask a question for the audience to think on further.
Example: Under what circumstances is it likely that giving in and persevering will win a person a better position in the end, as Cinderella’s worked out for her?
You might end by generalizing from your character to the world at large.
Example: “Goldilocks did not follow the rules and yet was able to escape without consequences; while this happens sometimes in the real world, it is not something to be counted on.”
Yes, New Information
Not everyone is opposed to new information within the conclusion. If you or your teacher are among these, what kinds of new information could you add to the conclusion? Basically, you can add anything as long as it is relevant.
Do not use the “new information” idea of the conclusion to discuss something extraneous to your point. For example, if you are writing about the novel Gulliver’s Travels, do not use your final paragraph to talk about how great or horrible Jack Black was in the role of Gulliver in the recent movie. You could, however, refer to the movie in terms of how it supports or contradicts your point in the essay.
If, however, you were discussing Gulliver’s Travels and how Gulliver succumbs to insanity as a result of his acceptance of rationality as the highest virtue, a discussion of a more modern experience similar to that, perhaps Nietzche’s mental illness after his famous proclamation of the death of god, would be appropriate.
Or, using the example above, you might discuss how Goldilocks seems to have gotten away with disobeying the rules in your paper and then in the conclusion discuss real-world consequences, through celebrities arrested for drug abuse or personal experiences with attempting to circumvent the rules. Then you would need to tie what you were talking about back to your main thesis and end with something similar to this example.
“Goldilocks did not follow the rules and yet was able to escape without consequences; while this happens sometimes in the real world, it is not something to be counted on.”
Hints to remember:
Do not address the audience in an academic paper. Don’t make an announcement.
Bad example: We have seen through this discussionâ€¦
Bad example: As I have shown, â€¦
Just say what you want to say.
Conclude your paragraph with a strong statement, not a weak reference.
Bad example: So Fanny Price was not a bad heroine after all.
Better: Jane Austen presents the world with an often-misunderstood heroine who found her proper place in life and excelled within it.
For other parts of the character analysis:
How to Write a Character Analysis: Introduction
How to Write a Character Analysis: Body Paragraphs
How to Write a Character Analysis: Titles