Challenge Journal – What comes in the end?

“The conclusion should offer more than a summary of what has been said. Options here include some reasonable speculation/broader inferences from your argument, the implication on society at large (frame this carefully), or possible directions for future research”


Above is some feedback from my Comm 362 course on a paper I wrote about making meaning of the iMessage app.


I’ve always struggled with this. Luckily, in this project, I don’t have to do a broad summary of what I’ve said as a part of my conclusion, but what’s the appropriate way to end? I always want to leave the reader thinking, and it would be nice to have a gripping “call to action,” but what if my topic just isn’t like that? As my GSI commented in this, implications for society at large are an option, but where is the line between placing your work in the greater context and making unfounded philosophical speculations? Similarly, asking more questions and pointing out that there’s more to be uncovered is good, but is that really a good ending to anything but a research paper (which this ((kinda)) was)? Maybe? When I think about endings that I’ve really enjoyed, they’ve been memorable and intriguing but not cliché. I’m very afraid of the cliché. So when my topic (defining the “classic” in classic American style/fashion) is one that involves thought and contemplation but not necessarily a tangible action, what to do? I kind of like the idea of tying it back around to reference what I spoke about in the beginning of my paper, but is that too English 125? I’m not sure. Sometimes without distance (which is not something we can have from our projects with the speed of the semester) it’s hard to tell the difference between a genuinely good idea and one that’s actually a subpar repetition of something you’ve seen somewhere. Any good frames for thinking about this?

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