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They put the facts to be cited into a coherent structure and give them meaning.
They leave the reader feeling as though an essay is rounded off, polished, balanced and symmetrical.
Why readers demand this effect is up for debate, but here are some ways to think about that polish: As in paragraph development, sequencing provides a "flow" of ideas and a coherent pattern of development to an essay.
Grammar school and high school teachers often insist on the summary conclusion because it demonstrates an ability to encapsulate your writing concisely by reducing it to its main points.
In college composition, though, where the topics are more complex and your writing is, likewise, more sophisticated, other methods of conclusion can bring to bear your individual voice, your creativity, even your politics, without violating the essay's topic.
A topic, however, is selected from a range of topics that fall under the heading of a subject.
Another way to express balance and resolution in a conclusion is by demonstrating to the reader how your topic relates to others:to reveal the system of ideas in which your topic exists.
If we think of essays as documentary films, and introductions as the camera "zooming in" to a topic from the general to the specific, then conclusions are the camera "zooming out" again.
Unless you are assigned to write a broad survey or overview of a subject in the style of an encyclopedic article, most likely your essay will focus on a specific topic.
Example of an Externalizing Conclusion: CONCLUDING REMARKSWhile a college composition instructor may encourage you to explore different methods of writing conclusions, other instructors may have their own course-related agendas, and they may insist that a certain formula be used in your writing.
Be careful to choose a method of conclusion that follows the guidelines of an essay or research paper assigned by your instructor.