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Short Essay Format

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The Short Essay Format Explained

 One of the most usual assignments you are likely to receive from your university or college tutor is a short essay. If you are not entirely familiar with the short essay format, you might start to feel really stressed out. If you are to complete an assignment like this successfully, it is essential you understand the requirements.

What Does the Format of a Short Essay Entail?

So, what is short essay format? Typically, the format for a short essay means anything from one to five pages in length and typed in double spacing. The structure is much the same as, say, a long term paper but more condensed. This type of essay starts with an introductory paragraph containing a thesis statement, followed by a few body paragraphs and a concluding paragraph that sums up the entire essay. Your essay will be easier for readers to understand if the sentences are short and concise, rather than long, complicated and cluttered.

Useful Tips for Short Essay Writing

  • Remember when you are generating ideas for your assignment that the choice of topic accounts for 50% of the essay’s success. Hence, it is very important to select a highly specific topic. Put another way, a topic that is much too broad ranging is not suitable for a short essay. Anyone who knows how to format short essay papers will realize that it will take several pages, maybe even hundreds, to include all the main points for a broad topic. In contrast, a specific and highly focused topic is much more suitable because all the information will fit better in a few pages.
  • Think about what type of information is most important to support your primary arguments and what can be omitted. Your essay should stay focused on facts that are interesting and essential for keeping peripheral information concise. If you find research topic-related material that is interesting but not relevant, it is best to discard it. Additionally, you can refer to any well-written short essay example for further guidance.
  • Prior to starting the actual writing, you need to create an outline. The structure as far as sentences are concerned should be along the lines of “fill in the blanks.” When writing short essay outlines, you should take information from journals and textbooks rather than personal opinions and subjective information.
  • Ask someone you know - family or friends - to read your first essay draft. It is important to have a fresh pair of eyes read your work because text that seems sensible to you can be meaningless to someone else. This feedback, not least on the introduction paragraph, may prove extremely useful.
  • The next (second) draft will not necessarily become your final paper. Where the first drafted is used to explain any research information, the next draft should focus on structure, general organization and flow. The body paragraphs should transition seamlessly on from the introductory one. The main body should discuss the key points in a detailed manner. Clearly, you should stay focused on the topic. Every point, including those in the conclusion, should link back to the introductory paragraph and thesis statement.
  • Should you feel that some areas need to be commented or elaborated on, use endnotes and footnotes for this purpose. This is a means of veering off course a little without disrupting the overall flow of your paper for college or university.
  • The concluding paragraph in an essay for university or college should not just repeat previous information. Rather you should analyze the information and talk about its implications in a wider sense. The conclusion should, of course, link to the thesis and any arguments in the body paragraphs.
  • Should you have any doubts about the relevance of some information, it may be better to leave it out. An essential aspect of the short essay format is that the work is coherent. Given the length restrictions, you will not be able to include a large amount of sources so you need to ensure these are chosen prudently.
  • You should not include your own life experiences in a short essay and especially not in the introduction. The paper needs to be professionally crafted and academic in nature.

If you look at any examples in this genre of essay, you will see the body paragraphs are used to present various arguments in support of the thesis statement. An effective essay does not rely on feeble arguments that are supported by dubious blogs. Additionally, good transitions are a must. A good way to manage flow and connect paragraphs is to use words like “moreover,” “however,” “lastly” and so on. Above all, the importance of a strong conclusion should not be underestimated. An essay is made more memorable when it ends on a thought-provoking note.

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