Don’t finish by repeating yourself

Writing needs to engage the reader from the start. Yesterday I looked at why we need to remember to keep our opening statements interesting.

However, any effort there can be wasted with a poor conclusion.

Unless you’re writing a novel, the ending should be all about getting the reader to do something. Remember the warning about telling people what they already know? If your conclusion is simply a summary of what the rest of the piece has already said, then by definition you’re telling people something they already know.

The place for a concise summary is at the beginning, not the end. The rest of the piece may then repeat the summary, but it has a legitimate function – to expand on this and provide the evidence.

The conclusion to any piece of marketing collateral should explain that if you found all that interesting, here’s what we’re going to do now. That applies to data sheets as much as White Papers.