Writing clearly and concisely is one of the best skills you can take from school into professional settings. A great way to practice this kind of writing is with short essays. A short essay is any essay that has a word count of fewer than 1,000 words. While getting assigned a short essay might seem preferable to a ten-page paper, writing short poses its own special challenges. Here, we’ll show you how to write a convincing short essay in five simple steps.
What is a short essay?
A short essay is any type of essay condensed to its most important elements. There is no universal answer to what a short essay length is, but teachers generally assign short essays in the 250- to 750-word range, and occasionally up to 1,000 words.
Just because the essays are short doesn’t mean the subjects must be simple. One of the greatest challenges of short essays is distilling complex topics into a few telling words. Some examples of short essay topics are:
- The advantages and disadvantages of social media
- The pros and cons of online learning
- The influence of music on human emotions
- The role of artificial intelligence in modern life
- The ways that climate change affects daily life
Why write short essays?
Short essays have a number of advantages, including effective communication, critical thinking, and professional communication.
Effective communication: In the short essay, you don’t have the space to wander. Practicing short essays will help you learn how to articulate your message clearly and quickly.
Critical thinking: Writing a short essay demands the ability to think critically and identify key points that support the central thesis. Short essays will help you hone your ability to find the most relevant points and shed irrelevant information.
Professional communication: Whether it’s writing a persuasive email, a project proposal, or a succinct report, the ability to convey information effectively in a brief format is a valuable skill in the professional world.
Developing writing skills: As with all writing practice, short essays provide an excellent platform for you to refine your writing skills, such as grammar, sentence structure, vocabulary, and coherence. The more you practice crafting short essays, the more your overall writing proficiency improves.
How to write a short essay
The tactics you use for longer essays apply to short essays as well. For more in-depth guides on specific types of essays, you can read our posts on persuasive, personal, expository, compare-and-contrast, and argumentative essays. Regardless of the essay type, following these five steps will make writing your short essay much easier.
Don’t be afraid of learning too much about a subject when you have a small word count. The better you understand your subject, the easier it will be to write clearly about it.
2 Generate ideas
Jot down key points, arguments, or examples that you want to include in your essay. Don’t get too wrapped up in the details during this step. Just try to get down all of the big ideas that you want to get across. Your major argument or theme will likely emerge as you contemplate.
Outlines are especially helpful for short essays because you don’t have any room for excess information. Creating an outline will help you stay on topic when it comes time to write.
You have to actually write the essay. Once you’ve done your research, developed your big ideas, and outlined your essay, the writing will come more easily.
Naturally, our favorite part of the process is the editing. The hard part (writing) is done. Now you can go back through and make sure all of your word choices make sense, your grammar is checked, and you have cleaned up any unessential or irrelevant information.
Short essay examples
Why small dogs are better than big dogs (209 words)
Small dogs are beloved companions to many, and their unique qualities make them a perfect fit for some pet owners. In this essay, we explore why a small dog might be the right choice for you.
Firstly, the compact size of small dogs makes them ideal for people living in apartments or homes with limited space. As long as you can get your furry friend to fresh air (and grass) a couple of times per day, you don’t have to worry about having a big yard.
Secondly, small dogs require less food, which can be advantageous for those on a budget.
Small dogs are also easier to handle and control. Walks and outdoor activities become less physically demanding, making them a preferable choice for children, the elderly, or those with limited strength.
If you travel a lot for work or family, small dogs are much easier to bring along than their larger counterparts. Some travel companies make dog carriers that tuck neatly under a bus or plane seat.
In conclusion, small dogs offer a multitude of benefits, from their limited space requirements and economic advantages to their ease of handling and portability. These charming qualities undoubtedly make small dogs a cherished choice for pet owners seeking a new companion.
Why big dogs are better than small dogs (191 words)
Big dogs, with their impressive presence and gentle souls, have captured the hearts of countless pet owners. In this essay, we explore why big dogs are better pets than their smaller counterparts.
Firstly, big dogs exude an aura of protectiveness and security. Their size alone can act as a deterrent to potential intruders, making them excellent guard dogs for families and properties. Their mere presence provides reassurance and safety.
Secondly, big dogs tend to have more energy and strength, making them suitable partners for various outdoor activities and adventures. Hiking, jogging, or simply playing fetch becomes an enjoyable experience, fostering an active and healthy lifestyle for both pet and owner.
Lastly, big dogs often have a gentle and patient demeanor, especially when interacting with children and other pets. Their calm nature can bring a peaceful or grounding presence to otherwise chaotic homes.
In conclusion, big dogs possess a captivating blend of commanding protectiveness, physical capacity, and gentle disposition. These qualities make them exceptional companions, providing both security and emotional fulfillment. Big dogs are a great choice for potential pet owners looking for an animal with majestic appeal and a loving heart.
Short essay FAQs
What is a short essay?
A short essay is any essay that is shorter than 1,000 words. Teachers often assign short essays to teach students how to write clearly, coherently, and concisely.
When do you write a short essay?
Short essays help students practice effective communication, critical thinking, and persuasive writing. While short essays are often assigned in school, they are also useful in professional settings for things like project proposals or reports.
How do you format a short essay?
Short essays should be formatted according to your teacher’s guidelines or the requirements of your workplace. Check your assignment for the word count and stick to it. Make sure your essay flows logically from one idea to the next by presenting a clear thesis, using strong topic sentences, and providing a concise conclusion.