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Now it is clear which societies will be discussed (Egypt, Greece, France, Islam) and what the general theme of the paper will be (the variable paths to empowerment women have found over time). In much the same way that the introduction lays out the thesis for the reader, the conclusion of the paper should reiterate the main points—it should never introduce new ideas or things not discussed in the body of the paper! The force with which you express the theme here is especially important, because if you're ever going to convince the reader that your thesis has merit, it will be in the conclusion.
This process of presentation and cross-examination is equivalent to the "body" of your essay.
Finally, end with a "closing statement"—that is, the conclusion of your essay—arguing as strongly as possible in favor of your client's case, namely, your theme. It's not a murder mystery, for instance, full of surprising plot twists or unexpected revelations. Instead, lay everything out ahead of time so the reader can follow your argument easily.
Even more important, they make the argument readily accessible to readers and remind them of that purpose from start to end. As the writer of an essay, you're essentially a lawyer arguing in behalf of a client (your thesis) before a judge (the reader) who will decide the case (agree or disagree with you).
So, begin as a lawyer would, by laying out the facts to the judge in the way you think it will help your client best.
It also needs a final paragraph summarizing what's been said and driving the author's argument home. Introductions and conclusions are crucial in persuasive writing.
They put the facts to be cited into a coherent structure and give them meaning.
That means you must be clear, forthright and logical. To wit, after reading the introduction, I tend to stop and ask myself where I think the rest of the paper is headed, what the individual paragraphs in its body will address and what the general nature of the conclusion will be.
If I'm right, it's because the introduction has laid out in clear and detailed fashion the theme and the general facts which the author will use to support it. The following is an introduction of what turned out to be a well-written paper, but the introduction was severely lacking: The role of women has changed over the centuries, and it has also differed from civilization to civilization.
Some societies have treated women much like property, while others have allowed women to have great influence and power. I have no idea, for instance, which societies will be discussed or what the theme of the paper will be.
That is, while I can see what the general topic is, I still don't know the way the writer will draw the facts together, or even really what the paper is arguing in favor of.