Unit 15: THE CONCLUDING PARAGRAPH
A Safe Environment
Look again at the meaning of the word ecology. It is defined as “the relationship between organisms and their environment.” You are an example of an organism, and the place where you are is an example of an environment. You of course, want feel safe and comfortable in your environment. What do you need to feel safe? What do you need to feel comfortable? With a classmate, add two or three items in each box in the chart.
Now think about when you feel uncomfortable or unsafe in an environment. Do you ever feel that you are in danger? Make a list of these things as well.
What Makes Me Feel
What Makes Me Feel
What Makes Me Feel in Danger
-too much noise
-the brake light flashing in my car
-a phone call in the middle of the night
-walking alone in the dark
In your country, how does the state of the natural environment affect your personal safety? In order words, if your natural environment (e.g., the air and the water) is clean, do you feel safe? If your natural environment is polluted, do you feel in danger?
Parts of a Concluding Paragraph
The last paragraph of your essay is, of course, the concluding paragraph. This paragraph has a very important function in your essay. Since it is the last paragraph to be read, you want your reader to leave with a clear understanding of what the point of your essay is.
A concluding paragraph consists of a summary of the points made in your body paragraphs a restatement of the thesis statement, or a final comment on your topic. You may choose one of these ways to end your essay, or you may choose two or three. The choice is yours as the writer.
A concluding paragraph should never introduce new information about the topic of the essay. New information should go in another body paragraph, not in a concluding paragraph.
One way to end your essay is to summarize the main points in it. Read the following essay about homeless people. Notice the concluding paragraph.
Feeling Secure-Even without a Home
When you walk downtown on almost any large American city, you see many homeless people. They sit on the streets with their shopping carts full of their meager belongings and often ask for money. Do they make you nervous? Do they even scare you? The truth is that most homeless people do not want to be homeless, and they are afraid of the same things that you are. Homeless people, like everyone else, need basically three things to feel in their environment
First, and most importantly, homeless people need to feel physical safety. For you and me, this feeling comes when we enter our apartment or house and lock the door behind us. For a homeless person, this feeling is a luxury. They may go to a shelter at night, but sometimes the people in the shelter can be dangerous, especially if they are mentally ill. Then, in the morning, they are kicked out of the shelter and forced to roam the streets. For these reasons, a lot of homeless people claim bench or street corner as their town. They are trying to feel physically secure.
Second, homeless people need to have a dependable source of food. This is such a basic need that most of us don’t even think about, but for a homeless person, finding food can be a full-time job. There are places to go for meals that are usually run by local government or churches, but there isn’t enough food for everyone to have three nutritionally balanced meals a day. Getting one meal a day is considered good for a homeless person. Other food comes from scrounging through garbage or begging on the streets. It’s difficult to feel coming in your environment when you don’t know where your next meal is coming from.
Finally, to feel safe, you need to know that if you get sick or injure yourself, you can get the medical treatment you need. In the United States, this is becoming increasingly difficult even for people who do have places to live but don’t have a lot of money. It’s almost impossible for a homeless person. It’s true that homeless people can usually go to an emergency room in a hospital if they are gravely sick or injured, but some hospital these days are turning away anyone who don’t does have health insurance. If the sickness or injury is not severe, there are some clinics for homeless people, but, again, the need do not far exceeds the availability.
In summary, the end concluding paragraph in this essay mentions all the main source, and the need for medical care when necessary are essential for all of us. The constant struggle to obtain these is why homeless people do not feel secure in their environment.
As you can see, the concluding paragraph in this essay mentions all the main ideas brought out in each of the supporting paragraphs of the essay. When you write a summary as concluding paragraph, you must make sure that you include all the topics in the body paragraphs.
An alternative to a summary is a restatement of the idea of your thesis statement. Here is another concluding paragraph for the essay on homeless people.
Model Concluding Paragraph
In short, all people want to feel safe in their environment, and to do requires that you have these things. These are so easy to obtain that most of us take them for granted. However, if you are homeless, getting the basics becomes more difficult and sometimes impossible.
III. Final Comment
Often, a concluding paragraph is most effective when you add a final comment to a summary or restatement or both. Look at yet another alternative to the original concluding paragraph for the essay on homeless people.
Model Concluding Paragraph
In concluding, the next time you see homeless people, try to look beyond your fear and think about how insecure they must feel in their environment. They may not know where they can go that night to feel safe or what their next meal will be. They may be worried about getting sick, or they may already be sick and have no place to go. For them, life in this world is day-to-day struggle to survive.
I. The following essay does not have a concluding paragraph. Read the essay and the three possible concluding paragraphs that follow. Choose the best one, and be prepared to explain your choice.
The Small Strengths of Nature
We often think, and rightly so, that human beings are destroying the environment. However, it is also true that sometimes the Earth and the environment become the destroyers. Earthquake, hurricanes, and droughts cause huge damage to vast areas of the Earth. However, on a far less extreme scale, nature is always demonstrating to us that it is stronger than we are.
For example, we cut down trees and construct houses, office and apartment buildings, roads, and sidewalks. Then, we plant other trees just where we want them so that our landscaping will be perfect. Over the years, the trees slowly-almost unnoticeable-grow taller, and their roots grow deeper, and, suddenly, our nice roads and sidewalk get cracks in them. We think that we are strong, but those trees are stronger.
Another example of nature demonstrating its power is when the small creatures the world come into our nicely constructed environments and either destroy them or make them very unpleasant to live in. these small creatures are of course, insects, which are far stronger than any human being. Termites can totally destroy a house, and an invasion of ants in our food can make life miserable. Indeed, the cockroaches in our cupboard have ancestors that go back millions and millions of years. How can we possibly expect to control them? In short, it’s clear that insects are stronger than humans.
Even on a microscopic level, we are at the mercy of the environment. Our bodies and our scientists have developed ways of fighting the many bacteria and viruses that cause serous diseases and death. Nevertheless, there is still on cure for the common cold. We may develop vaccines and antibiotics to protect us from many viruses and bacteria, but they can change and become resistant to our attempts to destroy them. In other words, they are often stronger than we are.
In short, we live in a world that stronger than we are. Trees will win any long-term battle over concrete, and termites can eat building. I hope that this means that we will not eventually kill the Earth.
In concluding, I find these small examples of nature’s being stronger than humans somewhat comforting. While we attempt to control and thereby destroy our environment, the environment keeps renewing itself in small ways. Humans as a species may not survive, but I believe the Earth will.
All in all, nature is strong. In fact, it demonstrates this to us every day with its plants, insects, microscopic life, and weather, isn’t it time we pay attention to this fact and stop trying to control it?
II. This essay does not have a concluding paragraph. On a separate piece of paper, write two concluding paragraphs-one with a summary and a final comment, and the other with a restatement and a final comment.
Pollution: Looking Back and Going Ahead
As we being a new century, it might be a good idea to look back and see where we have been. Human beings accomplished a tremendous amount in the twentieth century, as the advances in medicine, technology, and the quality of life can attest. However, we often made these advances at the expense of our Mother Earth. In fact, we face the very real possibility of dying out as a species because of the damage we caused to the environment in the twentieth century. As the century closed, we were beginning to make progress in preventing the pollution of our air, water, and land, but there is still a long way to go.
In the United States, air pollution was at its worst in the 1960s. In some urban environments, it was difficult to breathe on a hot summer’s day when many cars were on the road and many factories were releasing their toxic waste directly into the air. Then, in 1970, the Clean Air Act was passed by Congress, and the Environment Protection Agency was given the authority to enforce safe standards for car and factory emissions. Since then, the air quality in many American cities has become noticeably better. Other countries also established standards, and several international agreements were made. However, there are still too many cars on the road. In developing countries especially, it is difficult to choose to protect the environment when people need jobs, so factories continue to pollution the air.
Water pollution is also a grave concern. People cannot live without water, but over the years, it has been contaminated by human and animal waste, chemical runoff from factories, and even oil spills. Drinking or bathing in such pollution water cause illness and even death in many people. As early as 1956, Congress realized the necessity of stabling laws to protect our water, and the laws were subsequently made stronger. Nevertheless, too many people in the United States and other countries do not have clean drinking water. We must solve this problem in the twenty-first century if we hope to survive.
In the 1900s, people thought that nuclear energy was the answer to the world’s decreasing sources of fossil fuel, which is fuel that is formed from natural remains, such as from plants and animals. Unfortunately, the use of nuclear energy created a bigger problem: what to do with the waster that comes from making it. This waste can have dangerous effects on humans and other life forms for thousands of years. The solution was to store it underground in areas that are not likely to have earthquakes, but no one knows for sure if the waste will remain contained. An even bigger problem for the land is the millions of tons of garbage that people create every year. There are landfills and garbage dumps, but the amount of garbage is still increasing, and the people of the Unites States and other developed nations (those who create the cast majority of the garbage in the world) must solve this problem in the next century. Many countries have begun stronger recycling efforts, but it is only the beginning. The goal should be recycle 100 percent of our garbage.
Concluding Paragraph 1
Concluding Paragraph 2
The End of Unit 15!