The final paragraph is the place to cover what else you would need to know before you are able to decide whether the conclusion is actually valid. This �what else� paragraph obviates the necessity for a formal conclusion. Useful statements are along the lines of:
In order to decide whether, indeed, ABC is actually the case, it would be useful to have access to XYZ.
XYZ might include one or other of: Expert opinion (. business consultant) / statistics / surveys / research data etc depending on the focus of the essay.
It is useful to end the essay on a note of doubt. Suggest that the argument might have a valid point, but that more information would be needed to come to a specific conclusion.
Critical reading is a big part of understanding argument. Although some of the material you read will be very persuasive, do not fall under the spell of the printed word as authority. Very few of your instructors think of the texts they assign as the last word on the subject. Remember that the author of every text has an agenda, something that he or she wants you to believe. This is OK—everything is written from someone’s perspective—but it’s a good thing to be aware of. For more information on objectivity and bias and on reading sources carefully, read our handouts on evaluating print sources and reading to write .
Since the turn of the new century, a theory has emerged concerning the end of the world, or at least the end of life as we know it. This new theory centers around the year 2012, a date that many claim has mysterious origins in ancient manuscripts from many different cultures. The most noted characteristic of this date is that it appears to mark the end of the Mayan calendar. But there is no evidence to suggest that the Maya saw any great relevance to this date. In fact, none of the claims surrounding a 2012 doomsday event hold up to scientific inquiry. The year 2012 will pass without a major, life-altering catastrophe .