All good writers know that writing an ending that satisfies readers is not the easiest of tasks. As writers, we have a huge responsibility to leave our readers satisfied by the time they've finished a piece we've written. And for most young writers, by the time they get to the end, they're burnt out. This is why I like to spend some time teaching my students how to Revise for a Better Ending.
Establish Evaluation Criteria First
As I talked about with Good Beginnings, I like to give my students several pieces to read through that coincide with the genre/form of the current piece we're working on. I'm careful to share samples that include a range of high, medium, and low Endings so we can talk about what we think works well, what could be improved, and why some Endings work better than others.
As we read and discuss the Endings of these pieces together, I create a list of the comments students make. Our list often looks something like this:
A Five Star Ending is one that:
- sums up the main idea of a piece
- feels finished.
- leave readers thinking and/or gives them something to do.
- leaves readers feeling satisfied
- can be connected to the beginning (optional).