It isn’t unusual for students to neglect a short essay when he/she is already dealing with multiple elaborate academic assignments. Short essays can seem less time-consuming and demanding than other types of academic papers. But the moment you start working on it, you may find it hard to keep it concise.
Now, if you’ve been assigned a short essay and you don’t know how to put it together that will guarantee the professor’s appreciation, you’ll need to read ahead. Mentioned below are some intriguing insights on the short essay format that you’ll find beneficial.
Emphasise a single arguable point for your brief essay
Your short essay will revolve around one single central idea. You won’t have sufficient space to bring up too many related ideas. So, select a narrow topic that you’re specifically intrigued about and discuss properly. This will prevent the essay from exceeding its specified word limit.
For instance, the topic “representation of the American dream in literature” will be too broad for a short essay. So, you can condense the topic to something like, “Explain the depiction of the American dream in F. Scott Fitzgerald’s The Great Gatsby.”
Find a couple of appropriate secondary sources
Most of the research you’ll carry out for short essays in high school or college will take place online. There are online databases that let you search through a large number of high-quality, peer-reviewed resource materials. While writing your short essay, you won’t get the time to use more than two sources and may find that it’s most beneficial and time-efficient to only use only one.
Depending on the discipline on which you’re writing the essay— whether it’s humanities, hard sciences, or sociology —your professor will direct you towards credible databases like JSTOR, Google Scholar, LION, etc.
See that the online sources are reliable
If you’re using online sources for your essay paper, make sure that the resources are reliable and relevant. Focus on websites that end in .gov or.edu, as these won’t have a commercial bias.
If your essay is about current events or something that’s been on the news, read articles from distinguished news sites like the BBC or CNN. Avoid mentioning unreliable websites or blogs that present a clear bias about the topic they’re discussing.
Prepare a structure for your essay
Before you start writing the essay, use a structure to plan out what you want to elaborate on in each of your essay paragraphs. Number your paragraphs in the outline and write down a phrase or sentence that highlights the major point you want to address in that paragraph. Also, briefly discuss the secondary sources if you plan to use them in each paragraph.
If you write your essay without structuring it first, the essay may not come across as well put together.
Write an arguable and convincing thesis statement
An impactful thesis statement is a mainstay for your short essay paper. This statement should emphasise the stance or position you plan to take in your essay. If the thesis statement is too vague, or obvious, or weak, you’ll have a tough time focusing your argument around it.
Here’s a short essay thesis statement example for your understanding.
The student loan crisis one of the most serious issues that the nation is facing today.
Use your introductory section to explain the topic
Begin with the paragraph by making a specific statement about the topic of the essay, so your argument needs to be clarified and strengthened from there. Briefly explain what the essay will elaborate on going ahead and why the topic is crucial.
Also, present examples of the type of evidence you’ll incorporate to prove your point. Include the thesis statement as the second or third sentence in the introduction of your short essay, so readers will decipher your main idea immediately.
Ensure the introduction and conclusion is within 75 words each
You may be eager to put together your introductory paragraph as eloquently as possible and make abstract statements about your chosen topic. But you should resist this temptation and keep the paragraphs brief.
The introduction should consist of no more than 6-7 sentences and round off the conclusion within 3-4 sentences. The introduction must describe your topic, present your thesis statement, and let readers find out that the topic matters. In a short essay, the conclusion should simply reiterate the main claim and discuss the evidence you provided.
Let the body paragraphs cover various aspects of your central argument
Every paragraph should cover one idea. You can back up the claim in the paragraph with quotes and paraphrases from primary and secondary sources and your own thoughts and observations. Remember that the claims you make should work to present your thesis statement in one way or another.
For instance, in relation to the earlier example of the American Dream in The Great Gatsby, you can discuss how the love for Daisy led Jay Gatsby to achieve unimaginable success in the first paragraph.
Add details from your sources to strengthen your claims
Presenting a couple of quotations or pieces of data from research articles indicates that you’re well-versed with the conversations surrounding your topic. See that you keep the quotes or data summaries focused, brief, and to the point, so you don’t digress from the word count.
Always use accurate citations, so you avoid any traces of plagiarism. Check with your professor and find out what citation style you should use in your paragraph.
Writing your short essay may seem less overwhelming than other types of academic task. But it’s still possible for you to fumble while writing them. In such cases, the insights from these posts will help approach your short essay properly.
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