Short Essay Writing Guide

Outline the main points of your topic being careful to not select points you might have a hard time explaining in only a few sentences.

Do as much cutting as you can and then recheck the length.

If it is still over one-page long, you may need to consider whether you are trying to cram in too many points.

Write each paragraph as if it could stand alone in the essay, being sure to introduce the issue and complete the thought with a closing sentence.

Finally, write the conclusion to wrap up the paper.

Almost all modern essays are written in prose, but works in verse have been dubbed essays (e.g., Alexander Pope's An Essay on Criticism and An Essay on Man).

While brevity usually defines an essay, voluminous works like John Locke's An Essay Concerning Human Understanding and Thomas Malthus's An Essay on the Principle of Population are counterexamples.

Review your paper draft for punctuation, grammatical or other errors that might cost you points.

Make sure the essay is written in an informational and academic tone and check to make you have followed your professor's instructions exactly.

Start the introduction with something catchy to engage the reader into wanting to read the rest of your essay.

Some students prefer to leave writing the introduction for their last step and write it once the rest of the paper is drafted.

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