Whether you are in high school or university, your academic life will involve writing a lot of assignments. When students are told to write a short essay, the first thought that crosses their minds is that it will be a simple task. But the fact is that writing short essays can be more complex than longer ones.
Developing the skills of writing short essays is very important. In real life, knowing how to write and talk shortly will help you craft winning papers and become a great communicator. Therefore, how do you write a great short essay?
What is the best short essay format?
The primary feature of a short essay is that the student has to put the ideas within a limited space. In most cases, short essays take between 200 and 500 words based on the selected topic and your department requirement. Essentially, this translates to a paper of three to five paragraphs that captures the introduction, body, and conclusion.
For example, if you select a common topic such as “What are the Causes of Global Warming,” there are many resources supporting it. But the tons of info can be a problem at this point because you want to be as brief as possible. Therefore, you should only focus on the most relevant points to make the essay wholesome. To know how to filter the points, it is prudent to practice short essay writing as much as possible.
How to write a short essay
Whether the task at hand is for writing a descriptive, narrative, or other types of short essays, the basic requirements are similar to those of standard essays. So we are going to list them here to help you craft winning short essays.
- Select the best topic
This is the first step in creating a winning short essay. Although your teacher might provide the topic to work on, many are the times that you will be required to pick the topic. Therefore, go for the topic that you are interested in to make writing the short essay easy.
- Comprehensively research the topic
Like other types of essays, your short essay will only be impressive if you carry comprehensive research. Although the main points might not need many resources compared to when crafting a longer paper, it is important to be as thorough as possible. Notably, ensure to look for recent resources, about five years since their publication.
- Brainstorm the subject
Before you start writing the short essay, it is prudent to have the overall picture. You should brainstorm the subject broadly so that the message you will send through becomes clear. Then, all that will be left is organizing the points and writing them down like a pro.
As you research and brainstorm the subject, you should list the main points to capture in the essay. But how do you put them down? What point should come at the beginning or at the end? To create a short harmonic essay, you need to have a good short essay outline.
How long is a short essay? In most of the cases, the teacher will tell you the length of every assignment. But if the teacher did not indicate the length, consider using the outline to pen a maximum of about five-paragraph essay.
- Write your draft
Armed with the main points for your paper and a great outline, you should go ahead and write the first draft. It is called a draft because you will need to improve it further before submission. Try as much as possible to stay within the outline. But if the draft ends up being shorter or longer, there is no problem because you will improve it later.
- Edit the paper to remove all the mistakes
The last step to writing your paper is editing it. Here, you need to carefully look at the paper to identify and correct every mistake. Be on the lookout for incomplete sentences, spelling mistakes, and confusing parts. Also, remove clichés. You could even consider asking an unbiased friend to read the paper and suggest areas that need improvement.
A closer look at a great short essay structure
One of the main components of a short essay that will make it sparkle and rake optimum points is its structure. If you read the top short essay examples, the structure from the beginning to the end is very clear; the paper flows from the introduction, the body, and finally to the conclusion. So how do you go about writing these parts?
Introduction: This is the first part of your short essay. The introduction should be used to grab the reader’s attention to make him/her want to read the rest of your paper. Consider using a hook sentence (attention grabber) that is mesmerizing. The introduction should be about four-five sentences.
Thesis: A thesis is your stand on the short essay you are working on. It should be the last sentence of the introduction. Make the thesis debatable and motivating so that you can argue it throughout the essay.
The short essay body: This is where you discuss the main points or arguments of the essay. In a standard five-paragraph short essay, three paragraphs should be dedicated to the body. This means that you should discuss the three key points. In every paragraph, you should start with a topic sentence and then support it with evidence from various resources. Finally, every paragraph should end with your explanation. Remember that all of these should be tied to your thesis.
Conclusion: This is the last part of your short essay. Therefore, you should use it to summarize the main points. Start the conclusion by restating the thesis and then summarizing the main points. Note that when writing the conclusion of a short essay, you should avoid the temptation of adding new points. But you can finish by calling for further research into the topic is you found missing gaps in the literature.
Special tips for writing great short essays
Writing can be complicated. Academic writing can be even more complex because of the myriad of rules and skills required. So are there possible ways to improve your work for better marks? The answer is, “yes.” Here, we will outline some great tips that you can use when writing most academic papers, including short essays.
Go for the topic that you are personally interested in. This will help you to avoid getting bored and lost midway.
Read widely about the topic. Extensive reading will help you to capture relevant information and increase the chances of getting more marks from your tutor.
Make sure to read other short essay format examples. This is one of the best ways to understand how to craft different sections of a short essay.
Follow the instructions given by your teacher. When your teacher asks you to write an essay, the instructions should be strictly adhered to. For example, did your teacher ask you to format the paper based on APA or MLA styles?
- Make sure to reference the paper well. When writing any academic paper, you need to credit the source of your information articulately. This is very important in avoiding academic dishonesty.
Need some help with the short essay?
It is not uncommon to find students indicating that writing assignments, even with a sample short essay, and a great outline, is tough. If you find yourself in this situation, do not feel bad. Developing the right skills needs time. But it is not just the skills that can make writing a short essay challenging. The deadline might be tight, or you might have other engagements.
No matter what is standing on the way to crafting a great paper, you cannot give up. It is time to seek writing help. The writing assistance is provided by professionals who understand what is a short essay and have the best skills to craft winning paper for you. No matter the topic of your short essay, the writing expert guarantees you of a great essay and top marks.