Next to your beginning, your ending is the most important part of your article or story. This is also true in writing books. When your readers get to an end of a chapter, you do not want them to place a bookmark in and lay down the book without a desire to pick it up again. I have a shelf full of books with bookmarks stuck in them—books I have never finished because they didn’t hold my interest at the end of their chapters. I don’t want my books sitting on other people’s shelves unread.
Here are the first three of my twelve suggested endings. I have given examples of each type of ending from chapters in my own books.
- The Lead Replay – This is a duplication or a rewrite of the lead sentence or paragraph or a restatement of the lead’s theme.
“With the Lord leading the way, FEBC expands its ministry to move to the future as it lifts its eyes beyond the horizon” (Eyes Beyond the Horizon, Thomas Nelson).
- The Proximity Close – Tap the material immediately preceding your final paragraph for a closing.
“Next time you are in a church, look carefully at the stained glass windows. Picture yourself as part of His magnificent stained glass window. Watch the sun piercing through each unique piece of glass. Notice how many shapes and sizes are necessary to form the whole.
Remember that the Master Craftsman started with one—one piece of fractured glass. What can we accomplish for His glory if we, too, start with one?” (You Start with One, Thomas Nelson).
- The Restatement of Purpose – Occasionally, a vivid and colorful restatement of the article’s purpose makes an effective close.
“God teaches us to pray specifically. He knew that car was important to Richard’s education, so He spared it. With what took place, I learned an important lesson: When things look bleakest, God is there, showing His presence in the smallest details of our lives” (“The Fire,” Rest Stops for Single Mothers, Broadman & Holman).