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Writing short essays: 3 tip to follow

Writing short essays is an art in itself. The simple fact that there are not as many words as you would expect in a longer essay or certainly in a dissertation, means that you have to get to the nub of the matter as soon as possible. You cannot afford to be verbose. You cannot afford to pad your writing.

Remember that the whole purpose of writing an essay be it short or long is to address the topic. Remember that the person reading your essay will probably have read thousands of short essays beforehand and will easily know the difference between something which is well-written and something which is not well-written. So here are three basic tips to help make writing a short essay a successful project just for you.

  • make the introduction as descriptive and as interesting as possible
  • concentrate on the details and characteristics
  • make the conclusion a mini story in itself

The introduction to any essay is a bit like the opening sentence in the opening paragraph of a novel. It needs to grab the attention of the reader. So think about that very carefully. Remember that this is not a piece of prose for the general public. This is primarily for your teacher or tutor and to make your short essay stand out from all the others, give it a punchy and eye-catching introduction. Think about that first sentence. Does it stand alone as something which is interesting and more importantly, something which makes you want to read the rest of the essay?

You are only writing a short essay. You don't have time to go into a lengthy description of your argument or the characters or whatever. So concentrate on the details on the characteristics of your argument or character. Think about all the practical descriptions you can make and include these in the body of your essay. There is no opportunity for padding or waffle. As they say, be direct, get to the point and do so as quickly as possible.

Make your conclusion a stand-alone paragraph. It should be something that you can take away from the rest of your essay and read by itself. And it should make sense. It should be a mini version of everything you have written before. Carry out a simple test. Show your conclusion to somebody and ask them if it is a story in itself. Ask them if it makes sense. If it does, then your summary of your short essay has been really well written.

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