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Rules of Short Essay Writing

The Six Essential Rules of Short Essay Writing

Tutors very often ask students to write short essays. Usually, these assignments are comprised of no more than five (5) paragraphs. Most students are required to write essays and other types of assignments for almost every class they are taking, whether their subject is art, biology, history, math, psychology, science, and so on. Short essays tend to present an idea or concept or make some sort of claim, and whichever it is needs to be supported with reliable evidence.    

Additionally, a short essay should have a logical pattern or structure to it. However, if you follow the simple but essential steps below, you have a good chance of producing a successful short essay:

  1. With the five paragraph format, your essay will be made up of an introduction or opening paragraph, three paragraphs for the main body, and a closing paragraph or conclusion. The introduction is the first or opening paragraph of a short essay. This is followed by the three main body paragraphs. Finally, there is the concluding or closing paragraph. This simple format is a well-accepted standard in the academic world.
  2. An introduction paragraph should attempt to achieve a few specific goals. Of these, one of the most important goals is to make sure readers take an interest in your written work. Let them know what you will discuss in your paper and include a solid thesis statement (which is usually the last sentence in the opening paragraph). Start by developing a sentence your readers will find irresistible. Remember, if you begin in a tedious manner, your readers will be put off from the outset. The final or last sentence in your opening paragraph is usually the thesis statement.
  3. It is usual for the body of this type of essay to be made up of three clear paragraphs. You should aim to cover one main idea or point in each one of these paragraphs. This main point needs to be supported with reliable evidence, which in turn, should serve to prove the validity of your central thesis statement. The points or ideas in the body paragraphs should, if appropriate, be separate of each other. However, they will need to be linked together to show each one’s unique merits. You can achieve this with the use of transitions to move from one paragraph to the next.
  4. The fifth and final paragraph is the conclusion. This is used to sum-up all key points from the body of your short essay. This helps readers understand how the evidence provided in the body supports all your most important points and your thesis. As the closing section of your short essay, it is the most likely the one to remain in the minds of your readers. Therefore, you should try to make it count! 
  5. Do your best to ensure your writing flows logically. Every idea needs to flow smoothly from one to the next. It should not be the case that readers have to stop at any stage to try and work out where they are. It is a good idea to ask someone else to read your essay and let you know if they understand it. In the event they do not, you will need to make it clearer.
  6. Finally, you should proofread and edit your written work. This stage should not be hurried or skimmed over since it is as important as all other parts. A large number of otherwise great essays fall down because writers fail to edit them or do not edit them properly.
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