What is a short essay?
A short essay is a concise and succinct presentation of your thesis, arguments in support of the topic, and a conclusion in no more than three to five paragraphs. Short essay differs from the traditional essays in the length and depth of the thoughts presented.
The format of the short essay
The basic format for writing short essay includes three major sections – introduction, body, and conclusion. There can be one paragraph each for the introduction and conclusion sections but, the body can have 2-3 paragraphs, depending on the theme of the short essay. If you have a complex essay topic, more paragraphs will be needed to discuss all the information about the topic. If the topic is specific, one or two paragraphs should be enough.
Begin with a powerful opening line that describes your topic in an attention-grabbing way. The introduction serves as an outline for the essay so briefly introduce your main ideas in this section.
The entire essay hinges on the body section. All the arguments, facts, views, names, dates, and quotes that you accumulated during your research should flow in this section, describing your topic or emphasizing your argument. Make sure you connect every paragraph to the next so that the essay is legible to the readers.
Arrange your arguments in two or three paragraphs. Each paragraph should discuss a specific argument that conveys the underlying notion of your essay. Put your strongest argument in the first paragraph, the next strongest afterward, and your weakest towards the end. This technique will engage readers in your thesis right from the beginning and subsequently convince them with additional arguments.
Once you complete the lengthiest and strongest section of your essay, it’s time to sum up your ideas in a conclusion paragraph. Start by restating your thesis topic, mention your opening argument and inform your readers that your essay has wrapped up. This section allows readers to take the knowledge gained from your essay and convert it into a tangible solution. If you’ve written the essay well, your readers will be more illuminated by the time they finish reading it.
How to write a short essay?
Quite contrary to its name, a short essay can take more time and effort to write than a traditional essay. While long essays give you enough space to clarify and explain all your points, short essays leave you with not much space to build a strong argument. The best way to write a short essay is to include only the most relevant information to prove your point. Here are a few tips that will help you in writing a short essay:
1) Placement and complexity of the thesis are two things that you should consider when writing a short essay. If you are writing a short essay, your thesis should come in the first three sentences. The thesis should be exciting and all-embracing. Given the length of your essay, you don’t have much time to wobble around so, come straight to the point.
The complexity of your topic is another factor to be considered. Choose a topic that you can do justice to in 2-3 paragraphs. There is no point in picking an elaborate thesis topic if have only 500 words to write. Considering you have only a few paragraphs, pick a topic that you can explain using one or two main ideas with supporting evidence.
2) Topic argument delineates the entirety of your essay. If you want your argument to be accessible, make it crisp! Do not defer until the end of the paragraph to present your argument. Three words: introduce, support, and examine.
3) Limit the number of sentences to present your supporting evidence. Use one or two sentences to cite a story or anecdote. Make sure that you provide only the information that is necessary for grasping the central theme of your essay.
4) The analysis is the most important aspect of your essay, whether it is 200 words or 2,000 words long. If you are writing a college admission essay, admission officers will know about your qualities and your ability to think critically just by looking into how you reflect on the concept or theme of your thesis and how well you present an argument. You should try to portray your thoughts in the best possible way and focus on responding to the prompt.
5) Conclusion includes a brief synopsis of your main argument and topic statement. It should not be more than three sentences. Do not waste space in repeating the points that you already made.
6) If your essay is longer than the recommended word count, read it again and highlight the most important points of supporting evidence and analysis. These are the sentences that you probably want to keep.
7) Make sure you retain only those sentences that specifically contribute to your essay. Try combining two or more sentences that convey similar ideas. Use dashes, semi-colons, or compound sentences. Check for verbosity as well. Take out extraneous words to condense your sentences without changing the meaning of the sentence.
8) If you are finding it difficult to limit the word count without hampering the clarity and strength of your argument, you need to simplify your argument. When writing short essays, broader theses often make a good choice as you support these topics with one or two definite examples. This helps the readers to make inferences from your thesis even if you did not state them explicitly.
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