Writing your Conclusion

So, you’ve written the bulk of your essay.  You are happy with your thesis statement and the body of the paper looks good.  But when you try to write your conclusion, you find that you’re stuck.  Most people dread writing conclusions; and because it is the last part of the essay, it often gets brushed aside.  But there are a few tricks to learning how to write a compelling conclusion without merely restating the introduction.

A concluding paragraph reaffirms the thesis.  A good way to do this is by echoing the thesis without restating it word for word. In this way it brings the essay full circle, and is also a useful tool in referring back to the essay as a whole.  If, when you restate your thesis, you find that the statement no longer applies or has changed in any way, then you can go back into the essay to find where you may have changed course.  You should not, however, simply restate the thesis.  At the end of the essay you should be able to look at your thesis in a new light.  Your thesis has evolved into a proved theory.  Use that to add to the conclusion.  Revisit the thesis in a way that reflects your understanding of the argument.

One of the biggest mistakes that people make when writing a conclusion is introducing new information.  The conclusion should summarize the essay—so if new information is in the conclusion, it will seem strange that this information was not in the body of the essay as well.  This is another opportunity to see what you may have missed in the essay body.  Is this information crucial? Or is it merely something you feel you need to add to the conclusion as a sort of filler?  Your conclusion should wrap up the essay, without adding previously unexplored details.

In the conclusion, do not simply reword the introduction. The conclusion is the last thing your teacher will read, and you want to leave with a good, lasting impression.  Review your argument, taking into account all of the factors you have explored in your essay. In the conclusion, you want to map how your argument developed, and how it brought you to the end.  It really is that simple.  Stick with concrete details.  Do not end the essay with a vague statement about world peace or how (your topic) is ‘good’ for everyone.  Be specific.  Use evidence from the essay.  You can even use a quote.  Even if you feel like you are being repetitive, it is much better to end with strong detail than with a throw away statement.  Above all, relax.  The conclusion should reaffirm your argument and validate your work.  If you have taken the time to research the topic and you feel good about your essay then it will do just that

 

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Writing Your Conclusion

So, you’ve written the bulk of your essay.  You are happy with your thesis statement and the body of the paper looks good.  But when you try to write your conclusion, you find that you’re stuck.  Most people dread writing conclusions; and because it is the last part of the essay, it often gets brushed aside.  But there are a few tricks to learning how to write a compelling conclusion without merely restating the introduction.

A concluding paragraph reaffirms the thesis.  A good way to do this is by echoing the thesis without restating it word for word. In this way it brings the essay full circle, and is also a useful tool in referring back to the essay as a whole.  If, when you restate your thesis, you find that the statement no longer applies or has changed in any way, then you can go back into the essay to find where you may have changed course.  You should not, however, simply restate the thesis.  At the end of the essay you should be able to look at your thesis in a new light.  Your thesis has evolved into a proved theory.  Use that to add to the conclusion.  Revisit the thesis in a way that reflects your understanding of the argument.

One of the biggest mistakes that people make when writing a conclusion is introducing new information.  The conclusion should summarize the essay—so if new information is in the conclusion, it will seem strange that this information was not in the body of the essay as well.  This is another opportunity to see what you may have missed in the essay body.  Is this information crucial? Or is it merely something you feel you need to add to the conclusion as a sort of filler?  Your conclusion should wrap up the essay, without adding previously unexplored details.

In the conclusion, do not simply reword the introduction. The conclusion is the last thing your teacher will read, and you want to leave with a good, lasting impression.  Review your argument, taking into account all of the factors you have explored in your essay. In the conclusion, you want to map how your argument developed, and how it brought you to the end.  It really is that simple.  Stick with concrete details.  Do not end the essay with a vague statement about world peace or how (your topic) is ‘good’ for everyone.  Be specific.  Use evidence from the essay.  You can even use a quote.  Even if you feel like you are being repetitive, it is much better to end with strong detail than with a throw away statement.  Above all, relax.  The conclusion should reaffirm your argument and validate your work.  If you have taken the time to research the topic and you feel good about your essay then it will do just that

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writing about sex

this week has been filled with stories about sex, specifically the difficulty of writing writing about sex.  It is a strange coincidence that this week also marks the bad sex in fiction awards.  When i was reading palimpsest, i felt like i was being assailled by awkward descriptions of sex and bodies in lust.  that sentence makes me feel like a prude. still, it made me wonder whether or not there is any way to avoid those pitfalls when writing about sex.  Something about this novel made me feel like a highschooler agai, giggling at the constant animalistic metaphors and florid descriptions of passion, and desire.  I felt like these blatant statements took away any of the erotisism of the sex acts.  sex should be mysterious, or even just not be forcefully catagorized.  my favorite descriptions of sex are often simply alluded to.  the story itself was interesting, but i did not find it appealing at all.

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body event. rock and roll style.

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Body Event: Rock and Roll

 

For my second body event, I went to a Rock and Roll show in San Francisco.  I did my hair, put on my standard black pants, heels, and tank top, and rimmed my eyes in black eyeliner.  I am familiar with the band I was going to see, so I knew how to dress the part.

When you watch a rock and roll band, the first thing you may notice is how far apart they stand.  The swagger is exaggerated, unnatural, and overtly sexual.  It is almost a comical stance; there is not punch line though, merely a running gag. The band is aware of how ridiculously exaggerated they are, at this realization makes their act an honest performance. Simply put. It’s rock and roll.

The body defines the performance

The performance comes from the body

The music is a conduit

Through the body

Is acting as a Eucharist

Rock and Roll requires tremendous ego, skill, and posturing; the body should not naturally be place in this position.  It would put tremendous strain on the shoulders to hold the instrument, pressure on the lower spine, strain the hip tendons and the arches of the feet.  The body contorts, and becomes something more than an accumulation of muscles and sinew.  The body becomes part of the performance.  During the show, it was apparent that the band members were very aware of this.

Well, what is more accurate is that only at first were they aware of the way their bodies moved.  You could on their faces that they were carefully considering each movement.  The performance was crafted and there was a good deal of self-awareness involved.  Then, as they focused more on the actual music, their faces relaxed and their bodies moved more fluidly, detached from the persistent considering/performing.  I began to notice the degree of comfort that band members had with their own bodies.  The drummer seemed to undulate in time with the beat.  His body moved while his face showed a great presence with the movement and also a massive detachment from the rest of the band.  It seemed that his body was moving completely independent from his consciousness.  The lead guitar player was the exact opposite.  I assumed that he is the most self-conscious member of the group because his body was more jerky and awkward.  His face registered a constant consideration of the way he performed.  He never really looked at his instrument or the rest of the band.  His gaze flitted around the stage, the floor, the ceiling, and it seemed as if he was not comfortable moving his body to the rhythm of the music.  The bass player was the most interactive.  He frequently went up to and danced with the other members of the band.  He was also the one who danced the most, contorting his body to the highest degree possible.  His facial expression differs from the rest of the band because he seems to be the most aware of his surroundings.  He is completely comfortable with his body and with the use of his body as a tool of this performance.  The vocalist is similar to the base player in that is also interacting with the band, but he is less focused on his body than on the audience.  He is the member who is the most enmeshed in the performance act.

These bodies were transformed into vehicles for sex and music.  Their movements were exaggerated and their forms were contorted into tools of humor, desire, and an overall embodiment of rock and roll.  It was interesting to see the way that the body could be manipulated once it was the focus of intense attention.  The performance aspect of this event heightened the pressure, and made the bodies move,, bend, and interact to a higher degree than they normally would have.  It was engrossing, and my own body responded by dancing, without my mind being very aware of it.

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venus

what i noticed about this version of venus was that my position as a reader was always in flux. it seemed as if suzan-lori parks did not want to let me in on the story; the play seemed to be devoid of a certain amount of detail, and the voice of baartman was biased in a way that seemed false, and incomplete.  The fragmentation extended past her voice and into the plot.  The medical language really kept the details about the story at arms length, making me look at something in an objective and cold way, which is not how i wanted to approach this text.  I was also confused as to why parks wanted to hint at baartmans complacency in her treatment…was she trying to challenge our collective point of view or take on the oppositional white stance?

It seems as though parks does not think that we, as readers, are worthy of knowing the truth about the matter.  The voice she chose to lend to baartman, the doctor, and the rest of the play do nothing but arouse suspicions about the characters intentions and their own knowledge.  Every detail in the play seemed tainted by the scientific and matter-of-fact language.  Even words seemed to be turned into a cold, hard, currency.  Perhaps parks did not think that we, as a modern society, could ever know the truth, and we should thus instead be confronted with a play colored by our own bias and modern sensibilities. the play did make me think about human sexuality and desire; how do we lose/ gain humanity through our own sexuality and how do our bodies become vessels for this…caucasian and african american bodies alike…still, it seemed like the minds of the characters were both unaware of their bodies and fixated too closely on the body…there was no viewpoint that seemed appropriate or given the necessary weight…it is difficult to articulate this, but overall, i was not too pleased with this text.

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dr simms, and examining my bias

my initial response to the techniques and morality of Dr. Simms shocked me, because at first, i approached the essay as a skeptic.  i did not think that the information was false…i am fairly aware of the horrific amounts of torture inflicted upon women and enslaved peoples for the supposed ‘progress of medicine’…its just that the authors voice was so strong, so initially personal, that i couldnt help but tune her out.  why did i do this? as i read the essay, i noticed my body responding in the way she described other readers’ bodies reacting.  my muscles tightened, i held my breath, at times i stared at a sentence in shock…the thought of going through what these women were put through makes me want to vomit. a lot. and it seems that historically this is the trend- that womens-and slave-bodies are property…their otherness is subject to scrutiny…it is not so much that they are different but that they should be ‘figured out’–as if we were an evolutionary mishap. after reading this article, i went home, made dinner, read a comic book…and realized why i was so hesitant to listen to the voice of the essay writer.  i come from a long line of doctors…my entire family, with one exception-myself-is somehow working in the medical field.  at an early age i watched videos of surgery over dinner, visited hospitals, and read anatomy books with family members.  I always accepted that a certain amount of medicine was gruesome, and that sacrifices were sometimes necessary…i did not however, ever imagine something as terrible as Dr. Simms…still, it was interested to find my bias here, in a place i felt was safe…because isn’t medicine, and the pursuit of health, always worth it.  the answer is clearly not so easy…i think of those women strapped to a table, with Dr. Simms looming over them, and i feel physically sick.

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