At the very end of an argument we get the conclusion. Conclusions are very useful things. They tie all the loose strings together and project what you have thought into the future.
Projection is the activity of throwing forward, extending something beyond something else: one argument leads to the next. You must explain the connection between two propositions by asking questions that arise from the argument you have just given and the answer to which leads to the next proposition.
There are two parts to a conclusion. First you have to tidy up the place and show the whole argument in all its splendour. Then you can project the argument forward, either in the form of further questions which will need another essay to answer, or in the form of strategy of action.
Here are some of the questions you might ask yourself for the first part:
· Have I dealt with everything that should have been dealt with?
· If not, have I explained why I have not dealt with those issues?
· Are there any loose ends that I do not want to spend too much time on but which need to be resolved or tied up in some way?
Here are some questions for the second part of the conclusion:
· What are the consequences of my argument?
· How is my argument going to affect the subject and the discipline which it addresses?
· What can I do with the information I have presented. How is it useful to me?
· How can I put what I have said into practice?
These are significant questions; they take what you have thought and translate that thought into a basis for practice: Architects need theory to practice.
One mistake essay writers often make is that they ask questions quietly and only write down the answers. It is important to show the reader that you are asking the questions, by writing them down explicitly.