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Ending With a Question

Conclusion paragraphs are very important to a piece of writing. Whether it’s fiction or nonfiction, a conclusion summarizes the main idea and important details. Sometimes conclusions remind readers of the lesson to be learned, sometimes they keep the ideas fresh in their minds, and sometimes they leave them wondering, thinking, or questioning. Ending with a question is a great way to leave the reader thinking even after he or she is finished reading.

In a fiction story, you might want to suggest that the story continues. For example, in a story about a boy on an adventure that comes to a close, you might subtly suggest, "He thought it was all over, so why was there still a buzz coming from that box?" You may want to ask your reader to help you think of a solution. "She had tried everything she could. Maybe there was still another way?" You can also ask general questions; as long as they help you wrap up your story. "Is there anything better than sunshine in the middle of winter?"

In nonfiction, you’ll want to make sure your readers understand the main idea and details. You might want to ask a question that checks their comprehension, "How much do we really know about the first President of the United States?" You can guide your readers to learn more by asking something like, "What else can we learn about these amazing creatures?" Or stress your opinion by adding something like, "Will we ever realize how important it is to save our rainforests?"

Ending with a question is an effective strategy to use when you want your ending to be remembered. Play around with different questions and see what works best. You wouldn’t want to end your paper with anything that didn’t make your work stand out, would you?

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