I have read the idiom "at the end of the day" is overused, probably in spoken language, and it may be found sounding irritating by some people. Besides that, I'd like to ask if it would be correct to use in a academic essay instead of closure words such as "to conclude", "to sum up" or "to summarize" etc.

Do people use it in that way ?


I wouldn't say it's overused. It's kind of a dramatic expression so it might not really belong in an academic essay unless you want to strongly emphasize something, and the rest of the essay supports that level of drama.

There are of course dozens of other ways to "sum up" an essay, some more creative than others. But in academia you aren't always rewarded for creativity. If I had to guess, I'd say perhaps 80% -- maybe more -- of undergraduate papers end with "In conclusion ..."

So that's always safe.

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It's colloquial language that doesn't belong in an academic essay.

Besides that, it doesn't just mean "in summary". You could use it in a situation where there are competing or contradictory issues, to emphasise the most important, or to omit from consideration the least important. You wouldn't use it in an essay, where, presumably, your argument has been strictly in support of your conclusion.

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