Guidelines for writing a short essay are very similar to the basic guidelines for essay writing. The only difference is a length. The short essay has to be only half a page long; it should also have quite a catchy topic. When talking about the formatting of essays, we have no right to omit the importance of drafting an outline. When you face difficulties choosing what to write about or the topic seems to be too controversial or complicated, drafting an outline is one of the most effective ways to start off writing an essay.

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Guidelines on Writing Short Essays

Just like for any other type of writing, there are some fundamental principles and rules on how to write a short essay that students have to know about. The major parts that comprise a short essay are introduction, body, and conclusion. While introduction and conclusion are one paragraph long each, the number of paragraphs in the body is usually dictated by the topic of the short essay. If essay topic is difficult, most you will have more paragraphs since you would need more space to discuss all the details of the topic. If the essay topic is very narrow, one or two paragraphs should usually be enough. However, having an outline is a must for starting short essay writing process regardless of the number of paragraphs you are going to have in your paper.

Introduction

Talking about a short essay format, we have to say that introduction is extremely important in terms of a paper organization since it has to provide the effective opening line for the whole essay defining the further path for writing. If it is possible, the topic of a short essay should be arguable and provocative in order to make the discussion engaging. You need to think of an effective thesis statement that will draw readers’ attention and keep them interested throughout the entire essay. The importance of a well-written introduction is emphasized by the fact that it influences readers’ understanding of the topic as well as provides a clear understanding of the structure of the writing and how the content is going to unfold. Although the major point of the essay has to be presented in the introduction, namely in the thesis statement, it should not be too detailed not to bore the readers from the very first paragraph. An effective way to make your introduction more appealing and engaging is to include some quotations that will provide some hint about the topic of your essay and how it can be developed.

 

Essay Body Paragraphs

Yet, the major part that the essay revolves around is the body, which should open all the facts, arguments, supporting evidence, and viewpoints on the subject. All information needs to be appropriately and coherently listed so that readers could enjoy smooth reading and actually understand your claims. If in the course of your research and preparation of your essay you found nice quotes, dates, names that could help you discuss the topic better, use them in the main body section to illustrate the facts and provide examples. However, keep in mind that all the paragraphs in the body of the short essay should be logically connected, thus use transitions for smooth flow of the text. In case you feel that your paragraphs do not follow the general flow of your thoughts, you may want to go back to the outline for your essay to get a better perspective on how you can fix some things.

Essay Body: Paragraph Structure

In order to be understood by the readers, you need to keep your arguments separate and develop each one of them in different paragraphs. In fact, such division will help you stay focused without losing the line of thought. Thus, you need to try making each argument objective, narrow, and specific. Although there are no strict guidelines on how to write each body paragraph, you may use some advice from the experienced writers:

  • First things go first – you need to discuss the strongest points in the first paragraph of the essay body.

  • Arguments with less strong supporting evidence should be presented in a descending order.

  • The weakest arguments should be discussed and presented in the closing paragraphs of the essay body.

Such organization of arguments from the strongest to the weakest will help your readers better understand your point as well as it will convince them in to take your side on the issue/topic.

Conclusion

The main body is the largest part of your essay, but when you are done with that it doesn’t mean you are done writing. Now you need to provide a clear summary of all points and arguments in a concluding paragraph. The conclusion should contain the restatement of the thesis statement, the summary of the discussion, and the wrapping up point. A clear conclusion will make your readers think and analyze what they have learned from your essay.

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