Are Conclusions Always Necessary?

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Are Conclusions Always Necessary?

Post by CraftyLass »

Articles with separate paragraphs of information such as "10 Things You Didn't Know About X" or "Five Ways to Improve your X" tend to be published on the web without conclusions. Each paragraph can stand separately or occur in any order. There isn't an obvious conclusion because the paragraphs don't build up information to make a point. I've written a few of these since joining CC and always added a final (to my mind) unnecessary paragraph because of the conclusion requirement in the guidelines. Has anyone had one of these types of articles rejected specifically because they didn't include a conclusion?
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Re: Are Conclusions Always Necessary?

Post by Judith »

In my college journalism classes, we were taught every article has three parts.

1. Begin by telling the reader what you are going to tell them.

2. Tell them.

3. End by telling the reader what you told them.

In an instance of an article composed of "ten things," I do finish with one or two sentences. I've never eliminated a brief summary, so I am not sure if it would be accepted.
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Re: Are Conclusions Always Necessary?

Post by Lysis »

I always include a summary since they say it's part of the guidelines and it's one less thing to worry about.
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Re: Are Conclusions Always Necessary?

Post by JasmineStone »

Yep, I got a slap on the wrists a couple of years ago for submitting a bunch of list articles (5 Reasons to Blah Blah Blah, etc) without conclusions. If I was writing for my own website I probably wouldn't use a conclusion for these types of article, but it's not worth risking the rejections from CC, so I always add a conclusion now.
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Re: Are Conclusions Always Necessary?

Post by tayalltheway »

I also got at least one rejection for not writing a conclusion, so I always throw one in now. Often I just do a sentence or two after the list, though, so they don't take much extra time/effort.
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Re: Are Conclusions Always Necessary?

Post by evaku »

I have written hundreds of such articles, never with a conclusion, and received a rejection for it only once when an editor thought it would make the article stronger to have one. I personally didn't agree because I think it is a little awkward to put in a conclusion into those types of list articles, but did it anyway and all was good :) whenever I do any other type of article I always have a conclusion, but usually a very short one. Conclusions just don't seem to be a really big thing on the internet (especially for list articles)!
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Re: Are Conclusions Always Necessary?

Post by cmcmahon66 »

I,too, had plenty of list type articles accepted without a conclusion, and sold many of them. But I got a reject a while back for not having one and now I include one. It's just one less thing to get rejected for, which keeps the articles getting out there for sale that much faster.
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Re: Are Conclusions Always Necessary?

Post by ReneeF »

It's just a good part of professional writing. they teach you to write conclusions in most high-school and college writing courses, especially journalism, which is what non-fiction internet content borders on.
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Re: Are Conclusions Always Necessary?

Post by gators18 »

I never do a conclusion, and I think it's not helpful to the client on a spec piece. Why? Because you don't know exactly what conclusion they want the reader to draw. Is it a call to action to read more of their blog, contact them about a product or service, feel enabled to to it themselves, or just feel smarter? It's also one of the most subjective parts of the article and the most likely to be deleted and rewritten for stylistic reasons. Couple that with most writers looking at it as a quick/cheap way to run up the word count/price and it really doesn't add value.
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