How to Write a Short Essay: Format & Examples

Short essays answer a specific question on the subject. They usually are anywhere between 250 words and 750 words long. A paper with less than 250 words isn’t considered a finished text, so it doesn’t fall under the category of a short essay. Essays of such format are required for personal statements where you need to write about yourself. It might seem easy, but it’s not half.

The picture provides introductory information about a short essay format.

Expressing and elaborating your idea within the given word limit is the most challenging part of the task. In this article, we’ll explain how to write a great short essay. If you’re working on one of your assignments and need help, keep reading to learn more!

  • 📚 Essay Format
  • 📝 Essay Template
  • ✨ Guide & Useful Tips
  • ✅ Essay Topics

🔗 References

📚 short essay format.

A short essay follows a standard essay structure : intro – main body – conclusion. You can be creative with the contents of your paper; however, it’s best to stick to the hamburger essay format when it comes to structure.

These are the benefits of having a standard essay structure:

  • You always have a template that can help you organize your thoughts.
  • You can estimate how many words each paragraph should include, making the writing process faster and easier.
  • You can get a high grade by simply following the instructions.

Below you’ll find more detailed information on how to organize each short essay section.

Introduction

An essay introduction aims to grab the reader’s attention and provide essential background information . It sets the tone for the paper and presents the thesis statement, outlining the essay’s central argument. Here are a couple of advice on how to make your introduction work: 

Body Paragraphs

In the body paragraphs, you present and develop the essay’s main points. Each section focuses on a specific idea related to the topic, providing evidence, examples, and analysis to support the overall thesis statement. Here’s the structure of a paragraph:

A summary aims to condense the key ideas and arguments presented in an essay, allowing readers to quickly grasp the essence of the paper without reading the entire content. A good summary should:

The picture provides a list of steps for writing a short essay.

📝 Short Essay Template

Use this easy template to quickly structure any short narrative, argumentative, or informative essay.

  • Hook: an intriguing fact, question, or statistic to grab your readers’ attention.
  • Background info: something that provides context.
  • Thesis statement: the purpose or central argument of your essay presented in one sentence.
  • Topic sentence: a paragraph’s opening sentence that expresses its main idea.
  • Supporting sentences: evidence, facts, and examples supporting the topic sentence.
  • Transition: phrases or sentences that ensure coherence and cohesion in the essay, allowing for a clear and logical progression of information.
  • Summary: a brief recap and conclusion to an essay.
  • Restated thesis: a restatement of the main ideas and arguments.

✨ How to Write a Short Essay: Useful Tips

Each essay format has different requirements. Below are some tips to help you ensure you’re on the right track with the short essay format.

1. Follow the Short Essay Format

Mastering the format requirements is crucial, especially when writing a concise argumentative essay. While the five-paragraph structure may not be commonly found in literature, it holds great significance in academic writing for several reasons:

  • Adhering to this standardized template makes the writing process more manageable.
  • The clear guidelines facilitate reading, checking, and evaluation.
  • This format accommodates various essay types, allowing students to excel in most academic texts .

Each paragraph in the short essay format plays a distinct role, making it essential to include all components for a cohesive and impactful essay.

2. Make Your Introduction Meaningful

Here’s how you can make your introduction work:

  • When writing the opening paragraph of your essay, be very specific about your topic. It will help you sharpen your argument and clarify your intentions.
  • To avoid a generic introduction, consider providing an example of the evidence you will use to support your point.
  • Lastly, make sure to place your thesis statement as the concluding sentence of the paragraph, signaling to your readers where they can find the main point of your essay.

3. Write a Strong Thesis

Much has been said about the importance of a thesis statement, but crafting a persuasive one can be challenging. In a short essay, a strong thesis statement plays a crucial role. It summarizes the argument you intend to defend in your paper, setting the stage for your essay. Your thesis statement should be specific, intellectually rewarding by presenting new information, and decisive in expressing your opinion . Let’s take a closer look at some examples to illustrate these principles:

  • Bad example: There is a vast diversity of opinions regarding abortions .
  • Good example: Every woman must have the right to control her pregnancy which means the right to control her own body, health, and life.
  • Bad example: Prisons can harm a convict’s further career.
  • Good example: Imprisonment deteriorates a convict’s self-confidence and motivation, lowering their chances for new employment.
  • Bad example: Orphans become the beloved children in some families, while in others, they never become natives.
  • Good example: This essay aims to confirm that the reasons why adopting families don’t accept children lie within the families’ unreadiness for change.

4. Keep Your Introduction & Conclusion Concise

In the realm of short essay writing, brevity is the key. While it may be tempting to use abstract statements as hooks or delve into distant considerations in the conclusion part, keep an eye on the word count. With a maximum of 75 words each, the introduction elucidates the topic and conveys its significance, while the conclusion reiterates the main claim and reinforces the supporting evidence .

5. Make Topic Sentences from Your Thesis

When it comes to short essays, brevity extends to the main body as well. Typically comprising only 3 to 4 paragraphs, each of them focuses on a distinct aspect of the overall argument. To ensure clarity, we suggest splitting the thesis into multiple parts and transforming them into topic sentences for each paragraph. This structured approach will help you avoid confusion and make the paper more digestible for your readers. Additionally, this method simplifies crafting a well-rounded conclusion.

6. Refer to Reliable Sources

When tackling a short essay, it’s crucial to avoid baseless claims and instead focus on substantiating your arguments. Pay special attention to the sources you cite, as even the slightest inconsistency can catch the reader’s eye.

Enhance your essay’s credibility by incorporating several quotations or research-based facts, demonstrating your awareness of the topic. Even in the case of an in-class essay where extensive research may not be feasible, include relevant information or paraphrase passages you have previously encountered. Use indirect quotations if you can’t remember the exact wording.

7. Revise Your Short Essay

With a 500-word count, every word counts! Here are a few tips you may find helpful:

  • Take a moment to assess the length of your essay and eliminate any unnecessary words to ensure a faster and more polished result. Consider using our convenient summarizer to streamline your writing further.
  • Sometimes it’s hard to spot your own mistakes while proofreading the essay. Our essay-to-speech tool feature can help you identify weak points by reading your paper out loud. This auditory perspective can help you quickly identify and rectify any areas that require improvement.

✅ Short Essay Topics

Selecting an engaging and captivating topic is vital if you want to showcase your writing skills in a single short essay. Below are some examples to inspire your creativity . They’ll help you brainstorm and find the perfect topic that aligns with your interests and allows you to demonstrate your writing skills .

Short Narrative Essay Topics

  • How I see a day in my adult life .
  • Personal Experience in the Covert Conflict.
  • A loss that will never be replenished.
  • The Author’s Personal Experience.
  • Describe how you would change the school program .
  • Higher Education: Personality and Academic Success.
  • What is the critical element of success?
  • Photography: Hobby of Millions Unique for Everyone.
  • My first love and lessons learned from it.
  • Mindfulness Practicing: Personal Experience.
  • The longest day of my life.
  • Writing: Personal Hobby Analysis.
  • A place to find peace in the hurricane of events.
  • The Sports Coaching Guidelines and Routines.
  • An eye-opening situation that changed the way I treat others.
  • Innovation in Operation Management – Personal Experience.
  • The worst trait of my character.
  • Chapter 8 of “Criminology Today” by F. Schmalleger.
  • How I met my best friend.
  • Importance of Friendships.

Short Argumentative Essay Topics

  • Social media can kill a relationship.
  • Smoking in Public Places: Should It Be Banned?
  • Animals should live in their natural habitats .
  • Should People Be Ashamed of Poverty?
  • Mandatory Overtime for Nurses Should Be Eliminated.
  • The third wave of feminism is about to end with a half-victory.
  • The Importance of Variability in the Food Industry.
  • Gender Stereotypes: Should Real Men Wear Pink?
  • Pharmacies: A big lie that costs a fortune.
  • Police Standards Should Be Modified.
  • Genetic cloning is immoral.
  • Should Smoking Be Illegal?
  • College Athletes Should Not Be Paid.
  • We will never be equal because we are all different.
  • Mandatory Job Drug Test Should Be Allowed.
  • The best economic system has not been developed yet.
  • Why Marriage Should Be Based on Love and Not Arranged?
  • Reasons Why Kids Should Not Play Tackle Football.
  • Owning a gun means you can be killed by chance.
  • Should Social Media Be Banned?
  • The non-family-friendly TV screen.
  • Why Immigrants Should Receive Social Services?
  • There’s a lot more sport about video games than we think.
  • Should Children Be Taught Sex Education in School?

Short Informative Essay Topics

  • How have video games affected modern technologies ?
  • Infidelity and Societal Impact on Family Values.
  • Meaning of Life in “Half a Day” by Naguib Mahfouz.
  • Sociological Research Evaluation: Effects of Parental Imprisonment on Children’s Social and Moral Aspects.
  • Climate Change Impacts.
  • Explain the importance of the Olympic Games for building intercultural links.
  • The Importance of Strategic Management and Planning.
  • The Network Strategy of USA Today.
  • A prominent artist and their masterpiece.
  • Organizational Vision and Its Importance for the Staff.
  • How to develop reading habits that last.
  • The Impact of Electronic Medical Records.
  • New and Old Media: Form, Impact, and Accessibility.
  • Declaration of Independence and Cultural Issues Today.
  • How does alcohol impact the way we behave?
  • The Importance of Diet Monitoring.
  • Personal Philosophy of Nursing Care.
  • Why do teachers need a study plan?
  • The Introduction of a Four-Day Work Week.
  • Journalist Profession, Its Pros and Cons.
  • The role of capitalism in shaping our idea of democracy .
  • Teju Cole Personality’s in Modern American Society.
  • The Importance of Medical Ethics.
  • Tell a story of a famous and successful startup.
  • Power of Advertising: Good and Bad Balance’ Importance.
  • Personal and Political Pacifism.
  • The cultural importance of divination.
  • Important Factors in Personal Investment.
  • My way of organizing my daily schedule and staying productive .
  • The Impact of “The Marrow of Tradition” on Future American Literature.
  • Ray Bradbury’s “Fahrenheit 451”: Themes and Importance of the Book.

❓ Short Essay FAQ

A short essay is an academic paper typically ranging between 200 and 750 words, providing a focused topic exploration. This type of essay follows a standard structure: intro-main body-conclusion, usually presented in a five-paragraph format.

A short essay typically ranges from 200 to 750 words which can be covered in three to five paragraphs. This concise format translates to less than one page of typed content. However, it’s important to note that specific requirements may vary depending on the college, with some specifying a minimum of 150 words and a maximum of 650 words. Be sure to review the task instructions to ensure you meet the guidelines.

In a short essay, the number of words is more important than the number of sentences. It means you can use any number of sentences as long as you stay within the required word limit. However, most of the time, a short essay consists of around 20 to 25 sentences.

An introduction needs to grab readers’ attention and provide some background information. It’s best to start your essay with a hook. However, be careful and add only the necessary information since your word count is limited.

  • Writing short essays – Concordia University
  • Thesis Statements; The Writing Center – University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill
  • What Is an Essay Structure? (With 4 Types and Tips) | Indeed.com
  • How to Write a Thesis Statement: Writing Guides: Writing Tutorial Services: Indiana University Bloomington
  • Topic Sentences and Signposting | Harvard College Writing Center
  • Using Topic Sentences | Writing Advice
  • Beginning Proofreading – Purdue OWL® – Purdue University
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The Student Guide on the Short Essay Format

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Do you know what a best student does right when writing a short essay? Of course, he follows the right pattern or structure of writing one. And, this interesting blog post is your opportunity to learn the short essay format and chase down those nerdy kids in the academic run.

Following a good short essay format will enhance the readability of your academic piece. Plus, it will also help in conveying your idea well to the target audience. That being said,  our writers  always stick to the best formatting guidelines when dealing with a short essay task.

We know you are now in a hurry to know the fundamentals of a good short essay format. So let’s get started with them.

Table of Contents

What is a Short Essay?

A short essay is a brief piece of writing that’s all about presenting a specific argument, analysis, or viewpoint on a particular topic. It’s usually not as long as those regular essays you have to write for school. There’s no super strict rule about how many words it should be, but it’s usually around 250 to 500 words, give or take. It all depends on the situation or what your teacher wants.

A short essay is all about getting your point across in a limited space. Even though it’s short, it still needs to have a proper structure with an intro, body, and conclusion. You can write about anything, from your personal thoughts to academic stuff or analyzing specific problems.

Due to their limited length, short essays require precise and focused writing. They emphasize the importance of conveying information effectively and efficiently, making every word count. In a short essay, the writer aims to present a thesis or central idea and support it with succinct yet compelling evidence or examples. Overall, it could be a short task but nevertheless very challenging for some students, that’s why we advise consulting the best  paper writing service  available.

Anyway, let’s move to understanding the format of such an essay.

The Fundamentals of a Short Essay Format

A short essay format typically consists of an introduction, body paragraphs, and a conclusion. Despite its brevity, it aims to present a concise argument or viewpoint effectively. Here’s an in-depth breakdown of each section:

Introduction

Begin with a compelling hook to grab the reader’s attention. This could be an anecdote, a startling fact, a quote, or a rhetorical question.

Background Information

Provide brief context or background information on the topic to orient the reader.

Thesis Statement

Present a clear and specific thesis that states your main argument or opinion succinctly. This sets the tone for the essay and guides the reader on what to expect.

Body Paragraphs

Topic sentence.

Start each body paragraph with a clear topic sentence that supports your thesis and sets the focus of the paragraph.

Supporting Evidence

Present evidence, examples, facts, or statistics that support the topic sentence and, by extension, the overall thesis.

Explanation and Analysis 

Explain how the evidence supports your argument. Analyze and interpret the evidence to illustrate its relevance and impact on your viewpoint.

Transitions 

Use transitional phrases or sentences to smoothly connect ideas between paragraphs and ensure a coherent flow of thoughts.

Restate Thesis

Summarize your main argument or opinion by restating the thesis statement, albeit in different words.

Summary of Key Points 

Briefly recap the main points discussed in the body paragraphs, emphasizing their significance in supporting your thesis.

Closing Statement 

End with a memorable closing statement that reinforces the essay’s main idea or leaves the reader with something to ponder.

Avoid Introducing New Information 

Ensure that the conclusion does not introduce new ideas or evidence; it should serve to conclude the existing discussion.

Formatting Considerations

Conciseness.

Given the short length, focus on conveying ideas succinctly without unnecessary elaboration.

Clarity and Precision

  • Use clear, straightforward language to communicate ideas effectively.
  • Structure and Organization 
  • Maintain a logical structure with clear transitions between sections to enhance readability.

Proofreading and Revision

Ensure the essay is free from grammatical errors and typos. Revise and edit to refine the content and improve coherence.

10 Expert Tips and Tricks on a Short Essay Format

Here are some expert tips and tricks for mastering the short essay format. Something you will get with the best  assignment writing service  when you opt to pay someone to write your essay.

Focus on Clarity and Conciseness

Use clear and specific language to convey ideas without unnecessary verbosity.

Every sentence should contribute directly to the argument or explanation.

Structure and Organization

Plan the essay’s structure before writing to maintain a logical flow.

Craft a compelling introduction to engage the reader and present a clear thesis.

Stay On Topic

Keep the focus on the main argument or viewpoint without drifting off-topic.

Resist the temptation to cover too many points; focus on depth rather than breadth.

Support with Succinct Evidence

Choose strong, relevant examples or evidence that directly support your thesis.

Keep analysis concise, linking evidence back to the main argument.

Transitions and Cohesion

Use transitional words or phrases to guide the reader through your points smoothly.

Ensure coherence between paragraphs for a seamless reading experience.

Effective Conclusion

Recap the main points briefly without introducing new information.

End with a memorable closing statement that reinforces the thesis.

Trim unnecessary words or phrases to maintain brevity.

Ensure that each sentence is clear and contributes to the essay’s purpose.

Practice and Feedback

Continuously practice writing within a limited word count to refine skills.

Get feedback from peers or mentors to identify areas for improvement.

Time Management

Allocate sufficient time for planning, writing, and revising the essay.

Focus on the most critical points to ensure they’re well-developed within the short length.

Read Examples and Study Structure

Read well-crafted short essays to understand effective structures and styles.

Explore diverse topics and styles to grasp the versatility of short essay writing.

problems that students face with a short essay formula

Writing Rules and the Short Essay Format

As you may know that APA and MLA writing rules follows a different short essay format or structure. Here’s how.

APA Short Essay Format

Here’s an APA short essay format example for you:

  • The title is centered in the middle of the page.
  • Student’s name, institution, course name/number, instructor’s name, and due date at the bottom center or bottom right corner.
  • No separate title for the introduction.
  • Begin with the introduction paragraph after the title page.
  • Include a clear thesis statement at the end of the introduction paragraph.
  • Use clear and concise topic sentences for each paragraph.
  • Support each point with evidence, research, or examples.
  • Provide in-text citations for all sourced information.
  • Ensure a clear transition between paragraphs.
  • No separate title for the conclusion.
  • Summarize the main points without introducing new information.
  • Restate the thesis statement in different words.
  • Offer insights or suggestions if appropriate to the topic.
  • Include a separate page titled “References” centered at the top of the page.
  • List all sources cited in the essay alphabetically by the author’s last name.
  • Follow the APA format for referencing (Author, Date, Title, etc.).
  • Use 12-point Times New Roman font.
  • Double-spacing throughout the essay.
  • One-inch margins on all sides of the page.
  • Include a running head on each page with a shortened title (not exceeding 50 characters) and page number in the top right corner.

MLA Short Essay Format

Here’s the MLA short essay format example for you: 

  • In MLA style, a separate title page isn’t necessary unless specifically requested by the instructor.
  • On the first page, include your name, instructor’s name, course title, and date at the top left corner.
  • Center the essay’s title below this information, but do not underline, italicize, or use quotation marks for the title.
  • Start with the introduction paragraph after the heading or title.
  • No specific heading is required for the introduction.
  • End the introduction with a clear thesis statement.
  • Use clear topic sentences at the beginning of each paragraph.
  • Support arguments or points with evidence, examples, or citations where necessary.
  • Include in-text citations for all sourced information according to MLA guidelines.
  • Ensure smooth transitions between paragraphs.
  • No separate heading for the conclusion.
  • Summarize key points without introducing new information.
  • Restate the thesis using different words and offer concluding thoughts if relevant.

Works Cited

  • Include a separate page titled “Works Cited” centered at the top of the page.
  • Follow MLA format for citations (Author, Title of Source, Title of Container, etc.).
  • Include a header on each page with your last name and page number in the top right corner.

Final Thoughts

Overall, we have tried to answer what is short essay format and why it is crucial for effective communication within a concise space. Here’s the highlight of important points we have learned in this article:

  • Learning to convey depth of thought within a limited word count is a valuable skill.
  • Each sentence should contribute directly to the argument or explanation without excess.
  • A well-structured essay, with a clear introduction, body, and conclusion, aids in presenting ideas effectively.
  • Ensuring seamless transitions between paragraphs enhances readability.
  • Using clear, specific language without sacrificing depth aids in effective communication.
  • Striving for clarity without oversimplifying complex ideas or arguments is essential.

Still, if you are confused with the format of short essay, don’t hesitate to contact our experts.

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How To Write A Short Essay: Effective Writing Tips

Table of contents

  • 1 What Is a Short Essay?
  • 2.1 Introduction
  • 2.3 Main body
  • 2.4 Conclusion
  • 3.1 Identify the topic of your interest
  • 3.2 Make a quality research
  • 3.3 Turn to online services
  • 4 Short Essay Example
  • 5 Dos and Donts in Writing Your Perfect Short Essay
  • 6.1 How long is a short essay?
  • 6.2 How to format a short essay?
  • 6.3 How to write a short essay response?

Once students enter middle school, they get acquainted with the short essay writing format. They learn different styles and types and practice creating well-structured consistent papers. Often short essays appear as an introductory assignment or a final exam on several subjects. Doesn’t matter whether you’re still in school, in college, or university, you need to improve your writing skill to receive decent grades.

Although a short essay requires between 200 and 500 words, it’s not as easy as it seems. Sometimes learners need much more than just a couple of hours to come up with quality text that meets all the academic requirements. By sharing this article, we want to give you some tips and get into details on writing a short essay. Just in a few minutes, you can find out what are the components of a good essay, what are the dos and don’t of writing, and much more useful knowledge!

What Is a Short Essay?

Before going deep into the topic, it’s reasonable to answer the question, “What is a short essay?”. By understanding simple definitions, you’ll better deal with the assignment and deliver the academically proper task. Firstly, a short essay is a written assignment that expresses the author’s opinion and thoughts toward a specified topic and consists maximum of 500 words. However, sometimes writing a profile essay task might differ and set the cap limit of only 200 words. There are several types of essays that learners can choose from:

  • Argumentative essays
  • Descriptive essays
  • Narrative essay writing
  • Expository type of an essay

Students can share their points of view in formal and informal styles. For instance, they may talk about daily observations or pick more thoughtful themes and narrate about dignity or higher purposes of life, etc. The main goal of such an assignment is to teach learners to express themselves correctly in short forms. They have to improve their skills to write concisely and avoid repetition. Opinions based on true facts, supporting evidence and materials that strengthen the thought, and strong arguments are essential compounds of quality essays.

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Components of General Short Essay

A basic short essay consists of 5 paragraphs : one for the introduction, three for the arguments and thesis of the text, and one for the conclusion. To create a solid outline, you should divide the structure by scaling the material from the most to least important. It would add a smooth transition, giving the impression of a well-thought-out work. Knowing the structure helps to overcome many fears of “how to start a short essay”. Moreover, it helps to organize your thoughts and clarify each argument’s value.

When you face issues and have no opportunity to finish your task, pay for essay writing and leave the worries behind. It will save up your time and benefit your score. The experts know all about how to write a perfect paper and meet the requirements.

Anyone who has ever wondered how to write an essay successfully will find the following review of its components useful.

Introduction

The beginning of the paper is a vital part of your writing. The first impression defines whether the reader or a listener is going to continue paying attention to your paper. So, the purpose of the intro paragraph is to intrigue and create a hook that will persuade your audience to read further. In 5 sentences, you should convince them that your theme is urgent and worth getting acquainted with. Be brief, catchy, and provide enough information to catch the attention. Here is your perfectly done introduction.

The next step is the last sentence of the first paragraph. Take some time and create a debatable thesis. The topic should resonate and make the audience interested in the final answer. Also, it is supposed to give hints about the main idea, so the reader could clearly define and understand it. In case you’re having a hard time with the creative aspect — turn to your reliable writing service and ask for a couple of tips. Last but not least, specify things. A thesis cannot be general, simple, or too broad because the audience will not see the worth of reading something already known.

Three clauses out of five are intended for the main body of the essays. It should be enough to provide readers with key thoughts and support them with quality research and write important facts, and arguments. To achieve better clarity, divide information into corresponding micro-paragraphs: one argument – one separated block. Make sure to highlight the strongest opinion by putting it first and supporting it with appropriate pieces of evidence.

Descending the order of arguments will make your essay look better. So, if you have less supportive facts to any of your clauses, just put them further in the text. Adding essay quotations and citations will give you extra points as well. Keep in mind that you must cite all the resources accordingly to academic requirements. Otherwise, referred information is reviewed as plagiarism.

Great closing paragraphs consist of a synthesis of what you’ve narrated before. Do not tell the reader the same information once more. Better try to answer those questions you raised in the beginning, show effective results of your research, and share the new view on the topic with your target audience. Remember, with the introduction, you aim to catch readers’ attention, while with the conclusion, you need to make them satisfied that they spent time on your paper and developed a new vision on a specified subject.

Short essays are a great way to get your point across quickly. They can be used for a variety of tasks, from school papers to brand marketing. If you’re looking for an effective way to write a short essay, consider buying a  narrative essay for sale from a credible online writing service like PapersOwl.com. Pre-written narrative essays are carefully crafted pieces that can provide you with the inspiration and guidance you need to create something original and unique.

Successful Short Essay Writing Tips

To write a good paper, you have to know certain rules and take several criteria into account. Begin with general aspects that may help you to shape a decent structure and improve the quality of the working process. If you still are not aware of them, we’ve listed the tips further to support you in writing short essays!

Identify the topic of your interest

Most students don’t even realize how important to select a topic that burns the fire in your heart. You’ll be amazed at how easy and pleasurable the research process is when you’re writing essays about the subject of your interest. The audience is always involved when seeing the author’s passion for the topic.

Make a quality research

Kick off the preparation by reading a lot: don’t be afraid to investigate the chosen subject in all possible ways. Make sure you have enough knowledge about writing a qualitative comparison essay before writing the first paragraph. Analyze several resources, go to the library, etc. Also, watch the language you use — avoid slang, cliché phrases, and verbiage.

Turn to online services

After your assignment is ready, apply to online services to proofread or edit the spelling mistakes. When you write and turn in the paper, it’s highly important to support your arguments with quality narration. Typos may significantly affect your ratings, so make sure to double-check before marking the task completed.

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Short Essay Example

Human life is full of colors. Sometimes it reminds us of dark blue or gray when we’re feeling upset, or turns to bright yellow and green when we’re at our happiest. There are many challenges that help us to build a unique character. We learn by falling and raising again. Although it gets rough sometimes, life is beautiful in all its colors.

Anyways, everything that kills us makes us feel alive, doesn’t it?

Since the beginning of time, humanity experienced changes. Primitive people learned how to make fire, find food, and built shelters. When they got acquainted with the surroundings and possible difficulties, they faced a new issue — floods. They had to start all over again. Yet, the disaster is brilliant if look deep into the roots of the event. It represents how powerful the human mind is and it shows the extensive development of one’s mind and skills.

Nowadays we can feel the impetuous flow of life as well. Often we get angry and sad, and we cry. On the contrary, we dance from happiness, feel thankful, and cheer for our luck. Frequently, we desire to get rid of some emotions but have no clue how essential they are. Without positive and negative turns, our life would be worth nothing. There will be no feelings, and feelings fill life with exceptional meaning. A large number of great minds and famous thinkers have written thousands of scientific works, contemplating the meaning of life. For instance, “Brave New World” by Aldous Huxley or “The Sirens of Titan” by Kurt Vonnegut.

Moreover, the living process is so diversified. Humanity can develop its biological roots or review life from a philosophical or social point. There are plenty of unanswered questions that we, people, want to discover and the secret knowledge we crave to possess.

There is a broad spectrum of topics that can be discussed based on a simple definition of life. Most likely, humanity will never define the beginning and the end of times. Besides, we should always live our life to the fullest and learn important lessons, even in rough cases. One thing to remember is all great change is preceded by chaos.

Dos and Donts in Writing Your Perfect Short Essay

When you think about how to write a proper text according to assignment requirements, you must apply the essential dos and don’ts of writing.

Stick to a chosen question and stay concise. Tell the essentials and avoid irrelevant information;

Make a rough draft of your paper. Build a proper format, and write down several thoughts, facts, and evidence to support the clauses;

Learn the details about how to write a correct intro, describe arguments, and finish the paper.

Don’t:

Don’t pick a general question. When it’s too broad, you’ll have no more than two paragraphs to express your opinion. In case you run out of ideas, buy an essay online — there is nothing wrong with getting a bit of expert support;

Don’t use informal language and other words that could ruin the positive and scientific effect of your text;

Don’t rephrase the same information and put it further in the paper. Obvious clauses and answers negatively impact the way the audience perceives your topic.

How long is a short essay?

How to format a short essay, how to write a short essay response, readers also enjoyed.

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short essay format means

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How to Write a Short Essay

Last Updated: May 22, 2023 Fact Checked

This article was co-authored by Christopher Taylor, PhD . Christopher Taylor is an Adjunct Assistant Professor of English at Austin Community College in Texas. He received his PhD in English Literature and Medieval Studies from the University of Texas at Austin in 2014. There are 13 references cited in this article, which can be found at the bottom of the page. This article has been fact-checked, ensuring the accuracy of any cited facts and confirming the authority of its sources. This article has been viewed 104,868 times.

Essay writing is a common assignment in high school or college courses, especially within the humanities. You’ll also be asked to write essays for college admissions and scholarships. In a short essay (250-500 words), you will need to provide an introduction with a thesis, a body, and a conclusion, as you would with a longer essay. Depending on the essay requirements, you may also need to do academic or online research to find sources to back up your claims.

Picking a Topic and Gathering Research

  • If you have any questions about the topic, ask your instructor. If your essay doesn't respond to the prompt, you likely won't receive full credit.

Step 2 Choose a single arguable point for your brief essay.

  • If you're writing an essay for an in-class test or for an application, tailor the essay to the given prompt and topic. Quickly brainstorm a few ideas; for example, think of positive things you can say about yourself for a college-entrance essay.
  • For example, the topic “depression in American literature” is far too broad. Narrow down your topic to something like “Willie Loman’s depression in Death of a Salesman .”
  • Or, you could write about a narrow topic like “the increase in the USA’s national debt in the 1950s” rather than a broad topic like “the American economy in the 20th century.”

Step 3 Find 1-2 appropriate secondary sources in an online research database.

  • Depending on the field in which you’re writing the essay—e.g., hard sciences, sociology, humanities, etc.—your instructor will direct you towards appropriate databases. For example, if you’re writing a high-school or college-level essay for your English class, visit online literary databases like JSTOR, LION, and the MLA Bibliography.
  • If you're writing the essay for a college or graduate-school application, it's unlikely that you'll need to include any secondary sources.
  • If you're writing a timed or in-class essay, you may not be able to find research articles. But, still do draw information from texts and sources you've studied both in and out of class, and build from points made in any provided reading passages.

Step 4 Use an article...

  • If you’re writing about current events or journalism topics, read articles from well-known news sites like CNN or the BBC.
  • Avoid citing unreliable websites like blogs or any sites that have a clear bias about the topic they’re reporting on.

Composing the Essay

Step 1 Create an outline...

  • If you write the essay without outlining, the essay will be poorly organized.

Step 2 Write a convincing,...

  • This thesis statement is far too weak: “ Death of a Salesman shows the difficulty of living in America after WWII.”
  • Instead, hone your thesis to something like: “Arthur Miller uses Death of a Salesman to show that the American Dream is materialist and impractical.”

Step 3 Use your introduction paragraph to explain the essay’s topic.

  • So, avoid beginning the paragraph by writing something like, “Since the beginning of time, all people have been consumed with the desire for their father’s approval.”
  • Instead, write something like, “In the play Death of a Salesman , Willie Loman’s sons compete for their father’s approval through various masculine displays."
  • Then, you can say, "To examine this topic, I will perform a close reading of several key passages of the play and present analyses by noted Arthur Miller scholars."

Step 4 Keep the introduction and conclusion under 75 words each.

  • In a short essay, the conclusion should do nothing more than briefly restate your main claim and remind readers of the evidence you provided.

Step 5 Use body paragraphs to prove various aspects of your central argument.

  • So, take the example about Death of a Salesman . The first body paragraph could discuss the ways in which Willie’s sons try to impress him.
  • The second body paragraph could dive into Willie’s hopelessness and despair, and the third paragraph could discuss how Miller uses his characters to show the flaws in their understanding of the American Dream.

Step 6 Add information from your research sources to strengthen claims.

  • Always cite your sources so you avoid charges of plagiarism. Check with your instructor (or the essay prompt) and find out what citation style you should use.
  • For example, if you’re summarizing the inflation of the American dollar during the 1930s, provide 2 or 3 years and inflation-rate percentages. Don’t provide a full-paragraph summary of the economic decline.
  • If you're writing an in-class essay and don't have time to perform any research, you don't need to incorporate outside sources. But, it will impress your teacher if you quote from a reading passage or bring up pertinent knowledge you may have gained during the class.

Step 7 Ask someone else to read your first draft.

  • If no one agrees to read the essay, read over your own first draft and look for errors or spots where you could clarify your meaning. Reading the essay out loud often helps, as you’ll be able to hear sentences that aren’t quite coherent.
  • This step does not apply to essays written during a timed or in-class exam, as you won't be able to ask peers to read your work.

Step 8 Revise the first draft into the final essay.

  • It’s always a mistake to submit an unrevised first draft, whether for a grade, for admissions, or for a scholarship essay.
  • However, if you're writing an essay for a timed exam, it's okay if you don't have enough time to combine multiple drafts before the time runs out.

Condensing Your Essay

Step 1 Quote only from secondary sources that are related to your topic.

  • So, if you’re writing about Death of a Salesman , an article about symbolism in Arthur Miller’s plays would be useful. But, an article about the average cost of Midwestern hotels in the 1940s would be irrelevant.
  • If you’re writing a scholarship essay, double-check the instructions to clarify what types of sources you’re allowed to use.

Step 2 Remove verbiage to keep your essay under the word count.

  • A common cliche you might find in an essay is a statement like, "I'm the hardest working student at my school."
  • For example, this sentence is too verbose: “I have been a relentlessly stellar student throughout my entire high school career since I am a seriously dedicated reader and thoroughly apply myself to every assignment I receive in class.”
  • Shortened, it could read: “I was a stellar student throughout my high school career since I was a dedicated reader and applied myself to every assignment I received.”

Step 3 Write short sentences...

  • Avoid writing something like, “Willie Loman can be seen as having achieved little through his life because he is not respected by his sons and is not valued by his co-workers.”
  • Instead, write, “Arthur Miller shows readers that Willie’s life accomplishments have amounted to little. Willie’s sons do not look up to him, and his co-workers treat him without respect.”

Step 4 Present only the most relevant argument in your essay.

  • For example, if you’re trying to prove that WWII pulled the USA out of the Great Depression, focus strictly on an economic argument.
  • Avoid bringing in other, less convincing topics. For example, don’t dedicate a paragraph to discussing how much it cost the USA to build fighter jets in 1944.

Short Essay Template and Example

short essay format means

Expert Q&A

  • When composing the text of your essay, resist the temptation to pull words from a thesaurus in an attempt to sound academic or intelligent. Thanks Helpful 0 Not Helpful 0
  • If your high school or college has an online or in-person writing center, schedule an appointment. Taking advantage of this type of service can improve your essay and help you recognize structural or grammatical problems you would not have noticed otherwise. Thanks Helpful 0 Not Helpful 0

short essay format means

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  • ↑ https://owl.purdue.edu/owl/general_writing/common_writing_assignments/research_papers/choosing_a_topic.html
  • ↑ https://monroecollege.libguides.com/c.php?g=589208&p=4072926
  • ↑ https://www.utep.edu/extendeduniversity/utepconnect/blog/march-2017/4-ways-to-differentiate-a-good-source-from-a-bad-source.html
  • ↑ https://www.grammarly.com/blog/essay-outline/
  • ↑ https://writingcenter.unc.edu/tips-and-tools/thesis-statements/
  • ↑ https://libguides.newcastle.edu.au/how-to-write-an-essay/essay-introduction
  • ↑ https://lsa.umich.edu/sweetland/undergraduates/writing-guides/how-do-i-write-an-intro--conclusion----body-paragraph.html
  • ↑ https://writingcenter.fas.harvard.edu/pages/essay-structure
  • ↑ https://mlpp.pressbooks.pub/writingsuccess/chapter/8-3-drafting/
  • ↑ https://www.trentu.ca/academicskills/how-guides/how-write-university/how-approach-any-assignment/writing-english-essay/using-secondary
  • ↑ https://patch.com/michigan/berkley/bp--how-to-shorten-your-college-essay-without-ruining-it
  • ↑ https://writing.wisc.edu/handbook/style/ccs_activevoice/
  • ↑ https://wordcounter.net/blog/2016/01/26/101025_how-to-reduce-essay-word-count.html

About This Article

Christopher Taylor, PhD

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