A short essay is a common type of academic assignments, it`s simple to draft keeping in mind one crucial detail – limited space for your work, 1 page approximately. If you enjoy your topic and have a lot of thoughts to share, it can be quite difficult to stop yourself while writing. Difficult, but it is pretty much possible.
Writing process step-by-step
1. Choose a topic for your future essay
While choosing your topic, keep in mind that your future short essay should reflect your personal views, thoughts, and experience. Therefore, select among all available topics, one that interests you extremely or, at least, more than other topics.
The selected topic should reflect the essence of your future essay, but it also has to be catchy to draw your future reader’s attention at first sight. Due to the limited space, it also should be short and simple for understanding, without complex wording.
So, here is a checklist for your topic:
- easy to understand.
2. Gather your thoughts to form ideas and arguments
Before starting your brainstorming, provide some preliminary research concerning your topic. Try to find as much relevant information as possible to shape your subsequently:
- the final point of view that will be reflected in your short essay;
- arguments that will enable to make your short essay persuasive;
- supporting samples easy to verify.
To write effectively, note all important thoughts that come to your mind. Highlighting will definitely help you to select the main thoughts among less important. If you have a couple of similar ideas, try to consolidate such to say more with fewer words.
The main idea of your short essay should reflect your opinion on the subject of this short essay. Your reader should understand it clearly and even more – this idea has to follow him/her when reading your short essay. To make your text strong, each paragraph, argument, and sample in your short essay has to support the main idea.
Special emphasis should be made to the arguments of your short essay. They have to be in coherence with your main idea, be clear and simple. But also they should be persuasive and strong. Therefore, you should form them based on general knowledge available to everyone, official information, opinions of recognized specialists, information that is easy to verify, etc.
3. Structure it
A very good structural organization will definitely help you to express yourself better while writing. The following key elements your short essay must have:
- body paragraphs;
The introduction should contain a thesis statement and be limited to 3-4 sentences. Shape it shortly and strongly omitting any unnecessary details. Adding some hook to your thesis statement is a good idea to grab your reader’s attention. It is also much better to place your thesis statement closer to the beginning of your short essay.
Each paragraph should contain a separate argument, perfectly, if it opens this certain paragraph. Each subsequent sentence should explain and expand your argument further. To strengthen your opinion, you can also include supporting evidence (quotes, stories, statistics, samples easy to verify, etc.). The amount of these supporting elements strongly depends on the complexity of your topic– the more complex topic of your short essay requires more supporting elements. On the contrary, there is no practical sense to include too much evidence in a small short essay or to explain a pretty simple topic. Another important point is making smooth transitions between the body paragraphs of your short essay. This will help you to integrate your thoughts effectively and increase the overall readability of your text.
The conclusion of your short essay should serve as a brief summary of your key idea and provided arguments. 3-4 sentences will be pretty enough for your conclusion. It is also possible to finish your conclusion with some interesting statement coherent with your text.
Your short essay should contain some kind of line through the entire text with your thesis statement as a starting point. All subsequent elements, especially arguments, should be consistent and organized well. To help yourself at this point, make some schemes on a separate paper to visualize the structure of your short essay and keep it further.
4. Writing process itself
The length of your short essay is the next foremost thing after its content, of course. You should always keep in mind that exactly limited space around 500 words (or 1 page approximately) makes your essay short.
Pay special attention to your tone. Due to the limited space, your voice will sound much louder. So, do your best to be genuine, interesting, and polite, especially when presenting your arguments and evidence. Use plain wording to make your short essay sound simple and avoid any possible confusion or misunderstanding.
Again, due to the limited space, every sentence in your short essay has to be of practical importance. Each irrelevant sentence should be eliminated as it can make your text weaker. Simply focus on your main ideas.
Grasping the opposing points towards the subject matter of your short essay will definitely help you to identify the best way to make your arguments strong. It is also highly desirable to range your arguments from the strongest to less strong and make sure they flow. Adapting your text to your reader’s needs will make your short essay easier for understanding.
Double-check your short essay to make sure it is free from any contradictions. Feel free to identify points where interesting things are appropriate to include. They are like spices in your text. So, they deserve special attention but still have limited space.
Another important thing worth to consider when drafting your short essay is emphasizing any prospective implication. If your topic allows, simply try to elaborate on ideas about how your findings can be applied outside this particular assignment.
5. Polishing in the end
Indeed, sometimes it can be quite challenging to shorten your text, but here is some helpful advice. Simply orient yourself on whether your essay will lose its sense if you eliminate some particular piece of information. This tip will help you to identify the pillars of your essay, information subject to revision, and all other information that can be easily removed with no regrets. So, check each sentence a couple of times and revise your short essay until satisfied, within the provided limited space.
Here is a short checklist for you:
- write your essay in a sound manner and active voice;
- draft your thesis statements and arguments shortly and clearly;
- range your arguments from the strongest to less strong;
- make smooth transitions between the body paragraphs;
- limit the number of explanatory elements (quotes, stories, anecdotes, etc.), explain promptly and shortly;
- consolidate your ideas, if possible, without losing their sense.
- choose a very complex topic;
- overweight your essay with information that can be simply excluded without affecting your text;
- explain lengthily and complicatedly.
Hopefully, this short guide will help during the entire process of your short essay writing. Simply consider this opportunity to express your thoughts within the limited space as your challenge. Keep this idea to save yourself from frustration when you need to shorten your text.
Enjoy your writing, and have a lot of inspiration.