Short essays are common writing tasks assigned in almost allacademic disciplines. A small size of the paper is oftenunderstood as an easy matter but it is more than meets the eye.The biggest challenge is to write directly on what is pertinentto the topic. If not, there won’t be enough space to mention allless important issues. Therefore, a short essay requiresoutstanding analytical and summarizing skills.
The guideline below is a perfect opportunity for everyone who isgoing to write a short paper for the first time.
Step 1. Given that your essay is short, the topic of it should bevery specific. It must be both coherent and powerful, i.e. itshould sound clear and striking so that to draw the reader’sinterest immediately. That's why avoid topics that are too broadto cover, as a short format will not allow you to explore theissue to the full.
Broad topics require extensive research. They sound loose andgeneralized rather than specific. Too narrow topics are not theoption too because they cannot be discussed in detail and arehard to research as there is little relevant information.Therefore, you are unlikely to finish the research successfullyand get the required size of the essay.
The topic is right if there is enough information on the subjectto make it interesting and sensitive. If you cannot decidewhether your topic is broad or narrow, you may ask your teacheror librarian for advice.
A manageable topic has 2 or 3 concepts. Topics with more than 3concepts are narrow. For example, Business Leadership is toobroad while Business Leadership inside Software Corporations inAsian Countries is too narrow. A good one will be Leadership inCorporate Relations across Indian Business Community.
Step 2. Focus on parameters. Your essay must include theinformation which is relevant to the topic. For instance, inresearching the problem of corporate business, focus on thestatements on administrative management in big companies. Inother words, think of the statements that directly refer to thematter, otherwise, you will not be able to fit the parameters ofa short essay.
Step 3. Outline the essay. Once the research on the essay issueis done, outline the main ideas dictated by the obtained data. Itis the stage of writing a thesis statement, arguments andconclusion. Keep in mind that an outline is just a sketch of thefuture paper so your text should be scrupulously neat.
Step 4. Compose the first draft. Read it through by yourself andshare it with someone else to have a fresh look on the paper. Itwould be perfect if your first reader is unaware of the topic;thus, he or she will have no preconceived opinions.
Step 5. Draft your essay for the second time. Make sure that allyour findings are included and argued appropriately. If yes,think how coherent they are. That means you should give aYes-answer to the following questions:
- Does the thesis smoothly lead to the paragraphs?
- Does the essay body describe the issue in detail followingthe thesis statement?
- Does the conclusion recap your thesis statements andsummarize the major findings?
- Are there enough transition words that adequately suit thecontent of the paper?
Proofreading and editing is a must, therefore very often thesecond draft is not a final one. You may rewrite again and againto craft a perfect paper. But stay calm and learn how to write ashort essay using this all-inclusive list of advice.
Basic short essay format
The short essay components are the same as in long papers.Normally, a short essay consists of 5 paragraphs which are: anintroduction with a thesis statement, two or three bodyparagraphs and a conclusion.
The secret of an effective introduction is a good thesis thatdraws the attention of the readers and excites their curiosityfrom the start to the end. Do not make your thesis too detailedas it may bore the readers. To appeal their interest from thefirst sentences, use quotations. It is the best way to hint aboutthe issue and save space for the arguments as quotes are the mostforcefully and concisely-formulated expressions. Moreover,quotations always look solid and enticing. Compose theintroduction of three sentences where one of them is a thesis.
Body paragraphs are the major part of the essay. This space isfor opening the facts, arguing and providing supporting evidence.Everything is topped with your viewpoint on the issue. Arrangeall the information coherently so that the readers could followyour claims easily. Keep their interest by acute sayings, weightydata and remarkable events. It is notorious that body paragraphsbecome more powerful if the discussion is supported withexamples. They visualize many facts and make the ideas more vividand true to life.
Keep in mind that the paragraphs won’t work well if there is nological connection between them, so think carefully to transitthe final sentence of para 1 to the main idea of the nextparagraph. To do this, always have the outline before your eyesand use a list of transition words.
A well-designed paragraph algorithm
If you wonder how to write a short essay without a pain in theneck, you should master the standard paragraph pattern. Arrangeyou perfect paragraph in the following succession:
- Topic sentence
You need this sentence to delineate the argument. Make it catchyto allow the reader access the message right off the bat. A topicsentence always goes first in the paragraph so do not leave ituntil the end.
- Supporting statements
Your essay is short so try to limit the number of sentences thatback up your argument. Have one sentence rather than two orthree. This sentence can be presented as an anecdote, a story, oran example. If you find it difficult to adjust the supportingevidence into one sentence, you may combine two examples withinone statement. The best way to avoid long explanations is tochoose a narrow topic for the essay. Thus, you will not have toprovide extensive commentary on the problem.
- Introspective statement
It is very important what a writer has made of the examplesprovided in the paragraph. Writing introspectively means toanswer the questions “So what?” Or “What have we achieved byillustrating the idea?”
- Closing paragraph
Definitely, each component of the essay should be flawlesslycrafted. So whether you present the topic or provide theevidence, you have to get all your writing skills and techniquestogether. No less important is the conclusion in which yousummarize all the arguments and viewpoints provided in theparagraphs above. The formula of a perfect concluding part is torestate a thesis, give a summary of the ideas and wrap them up.In the conclusion, you are to make the readers understand whatthey have finally learned. They may not agree or disagree withyou but they should get involved in the issue, start to analyzeit and draw their own conclusions.
So when writing a paragraph you should act like this: present theidea in the topic sentence, provide the supporting facts andillustrations and finally introspect.
These are essentials that will help you not to lose the line ofthought and prioritize the ideas. So to stay specific andobjective follow these rules:
- Discuss the strongest points first and present the weakestarguments in the closing paragraph of the essay.
- Make the title sound strong by using a verb. Look through anynewspaper and you will see that every headline has a verb.
- Make your title or thesis provocative to involve your readersin the discussion.
Here are a few eye-captivating titles:
- Bitcoin will soon replace half of the conventional currency
- AIDS: exists or not?
- Who does South Korea face off against?
- Expect to lose weight by suggestive therapy
- The religion loses its power on citizens
- How the French revolution affected the political system ofthe country
- Do not skip the error-correction and editing stage. A greatdeal of essays has failed because of one-eyed proofreading.
- First, choose a topic and then centre your ideas on it.However, you may always review it when the essay is finished tosee if it still sounds effective.
- Avoid vague words, slang, colloquial language and complexstructures.
- Follow the appropriate style, punctuation and format as thewise saying goes: “First impressions are most lasting”.
- Use reputable sources so that not to include inauthentic datain your essay. It is not good to overuse the Internet resourcesas many of them may be unreliable.
- Cite everything you find, otherwise, you will be accused ofplagiarism.
- Omit empty sentences such as “I consider”, “Some people saythat”, “It is interesting to mention”, “It is clear that” as theydo not follow the academic format.
- Say "No" to generalizing phrases. Even if they look grand andsubstantial, the instructor will easily identify your trick.
How to make a long paper short
Most people lack the skill to present the information briefly andto the point. Some individuals may also struggle writing any kindof the essay due to various reasons. However, everyone may cometo this task sooner or later.
In fact, both students and business people can face thischallenge throughout their everyday life or career. Short essays,brief reports, summaries or short speeches are the types of oralor written presentation in many spheres of life so they should beready to cope with this task competently. There is hardly one whois able to present the topic briefly at the first attempt. Sohave patience and be diligent at every step of the writingprocess.
If it happens you cannot make your essay short regardless of allthe advice given above, we offer you to implement thesecut-a-long-story-short tips:
- Condensate technique
Look through your writing carefully to make sure that everystatement contributes to the essay topic. If you have twosentences that similarly convey one idea, try to combine them byusing dashes, semi-colons, or compound clauses. Check the textfor wordy sentences. For example, there may be sentences startingwith “It is”, “It says”, “It seems to me that”, etc. It isnecessary to get rid of such redundant words. Experiment with thesentence structure more than once and you will learn to rephraselengthy statements without changing the meaning.
- Highlight the ultimate messages
A key point of this method is using a highlighter or a pencil tomark out only most important parts of the essay. Leave outeverything that does not provide evidence or introspection andyou will notice how your essay is getting shorter. Once finished,ask your friend or parent to do the same procedure.
- Weak sentence test
Another way to shorten the essay is to extract every sentence andtest whether the message has become less strong without it. Ifyou do not see any difference after taking out the sentence, youcan remove it safely.
- Simplify the thesis
A short essay assumes a thesis which is a bit broader than inlong discussions. That means you will need only a couple ofexamples to develop the thesis. Thus, your essay becomes shorter.
Your total victory over a short essay is guaranteed if you followthe recommendations from this guideline. If you are still indoubt that your writing piece is OK, think of hiring aprofessional editor from a reputable essay writing service. Weencourage you to consider our writing team who will serve yourneeds and complete any essay assignments in due time.
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