3U: Wrapping Things Up

Greek Turkey Wrap by Lynn Gardner, via Flickr

Greek Turkey Wrap by Lynn Gardner, via Flickr

Just like there are several styles of introductions, there are also several styles of conclusions. Regardless of the style you choose, a conclusion needs to do the following:

  • revisit the thesis (but do not simply restate the thesis; your task is to state the thesis in a different way)
  • in most cases, the style of the conclusion should be consistent with the style used in the introduction (if you wrote an anecdotal introduction, you should probably return to the anecdote in the conclusion)
  • the conclusion should end with impact generated either by a particularly effective summary, a sentence that turns the argument so the reader gets a new perspective, or a few sentences that place the argument in a broader context

Remember my introduction about video games and a conference at which I presented? Let’s see if the conclusion below is a good fit for it:

Some of my colleagues (including, presumably, those who chose not to attend my session) might argue that education is not entertainment. They are right. It should, however, be engaging. When I consider open world environments like Minecraft or highly strategic and detailed recreations like Total War, I can’t help but think that educators are missing an incredible opportunity. These virtual world provide engaging learning tools that could help us move beyond simple regurgitation. In fact, studies show that simulations are among the most effective learning environments, with participants retaining as much as 85% of their learning compared with the paltry 10% retention rates of traditional “chalk and talk”.  Thus, perhaps educators should stop questioning the efficacy of video games in education and start questioning traditional practices that simply don’t work.

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