Most writers labor over their beginnings, because the beginning the lead must be perfect to lure the reader into the story. The same writers, however, are often far less careful with their endings. But the endings shouldn’t be just a relief (“Thank goodness that’s over!”) for the writer or the reader. Rather, the ending should fit the story as well as the beginning.
Most articles should have effective, emphatic, obvious endings. Most articles (and all feature articles) shouldn’t just trail down the last column of the last page and fall off the bottom of the page. It should be of little Surprise to know that techniques for effective beginnings can be used for effective endings.
There are, however, not quite as many techniques for effective endings as there are techniques for effective beginnings. Some techniques for effective beginnings simply don’t work as endings.
The anthology The Best American Sports Writing, 1993 (Deform, 1994) comprises 25 articles that are, indeed, the best writing about sport in America in 1993. How the writers do represented in this collection use effective endings? Let’s see. There are several key techniques for effective endings.