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When else ought you introduce new material in a final paragraph?

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  1. Are there any other "times" for introducing new content into a final paragraph?

  2. Have any other famous writers substantiate this bombshell? I was flabbergasted to read this para. because most of my teachers inculcated in me – never introduce material in the last para.! I'm just feeling unconfident.

      Nevertheless, there may be times when it is appropriate to introduce ‘new’ points into a final paragraph. For example, you might make some suggestions for reform (if the question itself was not about reform measures) or provide practical arguments about the likelihood of the suggested action (for instance, the likelihood that political pressure would lead to a certain outcome). This approach would be similar to adding a bit of theory to the final paragraph of an essay answering a problem question: you are showing your knowledge of the related issues, though you are wise enough to remain focused on the main points. It is a fine distinction, but one that you can learn to recognise with practice. In the end, how you conclude your essay is a matter of discretion and an issue which only you can resolve.

Stacie Strong. BA English literature (UC Davis 1986), MPW (USC 1990), JD (Duke 1994), PhD Law (Cambridge 2002), DPhil (Oxford 2003). How to Write Law Essays & Exams 5th Edition (2018). p 121.

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Well, your teachers were talking rot, as they often do. Though, to be fair, the aim of their teaching was probably not give your the full art of writing, but simply to introduce a little elementary structure into the chaotic way many people communicate.

But in the passage you cite, the author does explain why you might introduce new material in the final paragraph. The final paragraph can be used to sum up the argument of the piece, but it can also be used to point onward and outward, to provide a pointer to what comes next.

Thus if the essay has provided a practical solution to an immediate problem, the final paragraph might say, but if you want to understand why this solution works, and so you can solve similar problems in the future, you may want to learn the theory behind this.

Another example might be an essay that argues a point of law to prove what the law actually says in a particular case, but then, in the final paragraph, it might advocate for a change in the law.

These "what next" examples do not belong earlier in the piece. The body of the essay is concerned with the current question -- solving the immediate problem, clarifying the current law -- but at the end it can make good sense to point the reader beyond the immediate, to the principle on which the solution is based, or to a change in the law that might make it more just.

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