Useful Tips for Writing a Short Essay
- It is important to make a distinction between an essay paper and various types of reports. A report has the objective of conveying information while an essay is thesis-based and puts forward supporting evidence that can be opposed or disputed. Summarizing what you have covered in class is not sufficient in essay writing. Rather, you should respond in a critical manner to a particular issue that arose in discussion or in reading material.
- An essay’s topic and its thesis should be highly focused. The essays assigned in many classes are short so there is only room for precise and highly focused thesis statements. The following thesis example is not satisfactory: “Technological advances are more harmful than beneficial.” A thesis needs to be a lot narrower and more specific if it is to work. This example is much better: “Recent advancements in the field of psychopharmacology are likely to be more harmful than beneficial.” The more specific a thesis is, the more supporting evidence you will need to provide. Think how difficult it would be to support the following thesis: “All technologies are evil.”
- Try to develop a controversial thesis. There is little value in trying to defend a thesis if it does not provide some scope for disagreement. Look at this example: “A lot of US citizens now reside in suburban areas.” This option does not provide much to go on. Now look at the next example: “Since the 1970s, a lot of African-American citizens have become middle-class suburban residents.” This has both a statistical and historical element. Therefore, there is more material to work on.
- Make sure your argument is strong. In other words, ensure your premise is more agreeable to readers than your conclusion and that both mesh together in a manner that makes readers agree with your views.
- Think about any objections or opposition you may encounter. Arguments are only as good as their strongest counter-arguments. Think of one forceful objection that might arise and examine its underlying reasons. Consider any opposition fairly and develop a good, well-reasoned response. Ignoring counter-arguments can impact your credibility in a negative way or, worse still, may cause your views to be totally rejected.
- It is important you are concise. Do not make your introduction too wordy or your conclusion too repetitive. Make your point quickly and concisely.
- Gear your writing towards a general readership. Assume readers are fairly well educated people with little knowledge of your course content. This should help you decide how much explanation and clarification you need to provide.
- Document everything! When you use any external sources – quotes or paraphrasing – it is crucial that everything is documented. This should be done in an accepted academic format, which usually means indicating source materials in parenthesis, as footnotes, or as endnotes.
You should additionally attach an explanatory note to any referenced sources or facts that are not commonly known about. Sometimes, tutors do not have a preference about which format you should use but, as a general rule, you should use a particular style consistently.
Short Essay Writing Tips
Writing a short essay may require much more efforts than writing a long one. No wonder, when writing a long essay, you have enough space to clarify all the points you want to discuss, whereas in the short essay, there is not enough place to develop the sound arguments. If you feel that you cannot cope with this task well, do not fall into despair. We have created a unique guide full of short essay writing tips that will help you become a better writer.
The main secret of successful short essay writing is including the most relevant and straight-to-the point information.
How to Make a Good Short Essay? Learn the Short Essay Writing Tips
When writing a short essay, you should ignore all the meaningless details since it significantly undermines the overall impression of your essay. A perfect short essay should strictly follow the common structure.
- Choose a good topic. Indeed, the essential secret of creating a good essay is choosing an interesting topic. As such, if the professor allows you to choose the topic on your own, feel free to select something thought-provoking so that you could engage the audience from the very first lines of your essay.
- When the topic is chosen, it is time to write a perfect thesis. This task is not as easy as it may seem. You have to define the topic and the scope of future discussion in only one sentence. As your main task is to write a short essay, make sure to write your thesis at the very beginning. In your essay, the thesis plays the role of the active hook that should make the reader follow your ideas and arguments. A good thesis should be both all-encapsulating and interesting. Keep in mind that writing a short essay your thesis statement should be short as well.
- Consider the peculiarities of the task. It means that if you have to write a 500-word essay, there is no need to search for the dozens of sources to prove your opinion since you will not be able to develop a solid discussion. Therefore, to succeed, you have to read the prompt carefully paying attention to the slightest details of your task.
- Do not forget about the topic sentences. Your introduction that contains your thesis statement is usually followed by your body. The main body consists of several paragraphs and each of them should begin with the topic sentence. All the topic sentences are related to the thesis statement so that your essay could be treated as one single unit in which all elements are connected with each other. The best way to treat your argument in a paragraph is to present it, support by the evidence, and introspect it.
- Mind the importance of the evidence. Writing a short essay, you have to be extremely clear and concise in providing the evidence. As such, do not use 50 words if 20 will do. Try to use one sentence to cite some story or example. If you are a beginner, you will find it very difficult but keep in mind that practice makes perfect. Writing more essays, you will get more skills.
- Introspection. Introspection is the inevitable part of writing both a short and a long essay. For instance, writing your college application essay, you have to reflect on the essential qualities that will help you become a valuable asset in this educational institution. We assure you that this technique will help you develop your analytical and critical thinking skills.
- When entering the particular college, you have to impress the admission committee by not the stories of your life but the lessons you received from these stories. Therefore, it is particularly important to keep your essay focused on the prompt.
- Conclusion. As well as any other part of your essay, your conclusion required some efforts. Thu, it should not only restate the arguments discussed in the essay but point to the theoretical or practical value of your work. Moreover, it should not contain the quotes or new information. Keep in mind that in a short essay, your conclusion should be limited to not more than three sentences.
What Should I Do If the Essay Is Too Long?
Do not be afraid! You are not the first student who commit the same mistake overburdening the essay with unnecessary details. The best technique to improve the essay is to read it and highlight the most interesting points that should be discussed. Also, to avoid such a problem, it is better to create an outline before the writing process. A simple outline will help you focus on the key points without including the details that are not relevant to your paper. If you doubt the quality of your essay, ask your friend or parent to read it and check if all the arguments and evidence are appropriate.
Wordiness of the sentences is the most serious problem of those, who need to create a short essay. If you want to get the A+ grade, there should not be sentences starting from I would like to mention, or It should be said. These words can be easily taken from the sentence and it will not lose its meaning. At the same time, you have to use the transition words to make the flow of your thoughts smoother.
When the essay is written, read it aloud several times to make sure that all the sentences you wrote are appropriate. If you believe that some sentence is irrelevant and just takes the valuable space, do not hesitate to delete it immediately.
- Define Your Strategy
Some students, especially the beginners, find it rather difficult to cope with the task. We highly recommend you to break the assignment into the small pieces and cope with them one by one.
- Condense Your Thoughts
Read your essay and make sure that every sentence is relevant to your topic. If it is not, paraphrase or delete it. Along with the content of your essay, the professor will assess your organizational skills, so you have to spend some time organizing your essay properly.
If, after the careful checking of your essay, there are still more words than the required word count, you may try to use the Necessity Test Technique.
According to this technique, you have to remove the sentences one by one and check if the overall meaning of the essay suffers from removing a particular sentence.
If there is no way to cut down the number of words without keeping the argument strong and clear, you have only one option – simplify your argument. Remember that a short essay requires a simple argument. As you understand, you cannot develop a long discussion in your short essay.
Still not sure about the essay structure? Find a good short sample essay on the web and use it as the source of inspiration!
To summarize, short essay writing can be a truly interesting task! We hope that our short essay writing tips will help you improve your skills. Apply creative approach impressing your professor by responsible attitude, and you will definitely get the desired outcome!