What Is a Clincher at the End of Your Essay?

by Michael Stratford

A clincher at your essay's end is the final statement, summation or impression you give the reader. It's a last chance to make your point again, add a quote or question or brief idea that enhances your essay, or reword your thesis to give a finished feel.

Some Examples

Typical clinchers include a summation of the points of an essay, a universal comparison to other situations or a final warning. They might describe a possible result or subsequent problem, or they may add a provocative last question or quotation, one that leaves the reader thinking and wanting to find out more.

Go Back to the Beginning

The best clinchers refer back to the essay's introduction: if the essay begins by describing a social problem, the clincher might be a call to action or a recommendation; if it begins with an anecdote, the clincher might refer back to the anecdote's ending to make a further point.

Clinchers to Avoid

Avoid the abrupt, clever, cliched or too-colloquial ending: "That's all, folks" or "In conclusion," or "I better wrap up." The clincher is your last word; make it memorable for the reader, since it brings him closure.

About the Author

Michael Stratford is a National Board-certified and Single Subject Credentialed teacher with a Master of Science in educational rehabilitation (University of Montana, 1995). He has taught English at the 6-12 level for more than 20 years. He has written extensively in literary criticism, student writing syllabi and numerous classroom educational paradigms.

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