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A Manual On Writing Short Essays


There are many people who argue that writing short essays is harder than writing long essays. Sure, the principles are the same but here you are required to write fewer words. And while it's true that ‘less is more’ is an excellent piece of advice, being able to cover the topic, to be convincing in your essay when there are far fewer words at your beck and call, requires you to think in a specific way.

Short essays are like short stories. The reader knows that they are not about to undertake reading War and Peace. They know they are reading a short essay. And the expectations will likewise be different. The key therefore for you is to get a single idea and concentrate wholly and solely on this. As soon as you develop more than one main idea in writing a short essay you create all sorts of problems.

One idea in one short essay

You should spend as much time as possible in the preparation of a short essay in the selection of your one and only main idea. You should be able to express this main idea in a single sentence and in as few words as possible. Do not commence to plan and write your short essay until you have created your one main idea.

In many ways this becomes the thesis statement for what would be seen in a longer essay. From this one idea you create your outline. The same components of a longer essay are found in a short essay. There will be an introduction at the beginning and a conclusion at the end. And in the middle either one or two paragraphs will concentrate on your one main idea. Minor ideas are welcome but do not confuse the reader by introducing more than one main idea.

The mistakes writers make in creating long essays are also found in short essays. Lack of research or supporting material can be a problem even in a short essay. Failure to proofread and fine tune your work applies equally to all essays. And the very basic problem of topic section always applies to short as well as longer essays. Do you like the topic? Can you find excellent research material for your short essay? By understanding the basics of good essay writing, you can apply them to all essays and especially those which are short in length.



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