Once more you are facing this annoying but obligatory academic writing assignment. You remember myriads of different types of writing assignment, and you meet the newcomer – a short essay. Sounds like you need to do less work but the truth is that it is quite the opposite.

Besides improving writing skills, mostly the sense of this assignment is to teach you to highlight the main and to improve your intellection. It must be the most important to see the core of everything for the intelligent man. Only insane students like writing these essays but this form of education is one of the most versatile ones.

But returning to our theme, what is this short essay format? Let`s check it out.

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What is a Short Essay?

The first question you may ask is how long is a short essay? Speaking frankly, short essay is similar to other kinds of essays but very petite. Everything has its peculiarities, so you do not need to think that you already know how to compose well. Short essay wants you to write about half a page or a little more but not even the whole page.

This may seem that it would be easier to write it if fewer amounts of words needed. But it is very much the reverse. The greatest talent of writer is not in reaching the goals in the bigger texts but in the smallest ones. Russian playwright Anton Chekhov emphasized the importance of the concision and gained recognition due to the skill of brief writing.

Hopefully, your professor believes that you are the next famous playwright that follow Mr. Chekhov and for this purpose wants you to write this short essay. And if you want to meet his or her expectations you need to know how to make your essay short.

How to Make it Short? 

This is the most difficult thing in creating your short essay. After you have an acquaintance with tips on how to shorten your essay, the next parts would be more straightforward and comprehensive. Let`s look through some important advice that would help you to write the short essay properly.

  • The most effective approach is to write a standard full-length essay. After you wrote it, you have more freedom to figure out what is excessive there rather than if you wrote your entire short essay from scratch.
  • After you have a full essay, you need to look it through carefully and decide what is the most appropriate to your topic. First of all, it means that you need to cut all the digressions from the theme. Then, if your essay is still too long, you need to decide what is important for the text but is not the most one. Cut it all. Cut it all until the moment you have a proper word account.
  • In order to accomplish the previous advice, you may try to remove each sentence and imagine the text without it. If the integrity and fullness of the essay would not suffer without the removed sentence you may obviously delete it from there.
  • Reread every sentence that has luck to stay on in your text and try to shorten it by removing unnecessary words. If you have an opportunity to do it, you can bring back still, as for you, important sentences, which you previously cut off.
  • Short essay is defined to be short according to the word account. Fortunately English have some characters that are not the words but make sense in the text – punctuation marks. Use all the kinds of dashes especially em dash – it can substitute conjunction words and sometimes even verbs.
  • Avoid lead-in construction and go straight to the point. Also, omit common phrases and words.
  • Make your thesis narrower. This would help you to concentrate on lesser amount of information, and that is why to use lesser amount of words. This may seem very attractive due to the reduction of the work, but it is not so. You should dedicate all your attention to the topic and to know everything about it. The point is still the same.

Short Essay Structure

Short essays are really very similar to the other essays in the question of its structure. As before, you need to stick to the golden rule of three parts` structure: introduction, body, and conclusion. But in light of specific nature of this kind of essay, there still are some peculiarities.


This part always defines the success of the paper. Introduction sentences are the first things that reader sees, and if it does not satisfy him, he would simply stop reading your text. You cannot let that happen.

Since this is the short essay, your introduction part should be extremely informative. It does not serve for the purpose of shortening (though it also is the reason) but for the purpose of readers` interest. The reader understands that this paper is shorter than usual one and if there is not enough useful information in the introduction – there is no need to give the writer another chance and complete reading.

As usual, you need to state some thesis that would express the main idea and set the main problem of your paper. Stating a thesis almost always is alike, so you just need to come up with the idea of the core of your paper – for what is all about. But do not run mad after the details – leave it for the body paragraphs.

It is always easier to write body paragraphs and especially conclusions comparing to the introduction but in this form of writing it is even more vital. Also, do not forget to use attractive hooks to catch readers` attention and to show your writer`s talent.


The filling of the body paragraphs traditionally depends on the thesis statement. Find several specific arguments to develop your thesis. You are free to discuss both pros and cons of the short essay topics from all the sides providing different facts.

Remember that one paragraph is one argument. Do not try to include in a single paragraph some redundant information that is more suitable to be discussed in the other parts. And you still writing a short essay so focus only on necessary thoughts and do not digress from the line of narration.

It would be great if the volume of the paragraphs in a short essay allows you to include some interesting information as quotes, statistics and maybe even jokes. This would demonstrate your writing skills and make your text more comprehensible.

And the most important thing in writing body paragraphs is logical coherence. The information given there should be connected and actual. After you wrote something think on how it correlates with other thoughts both in the concrete paragraph and in the several paragraphs in connection.


This is definitely is the most straightforward part of the essay. But it does not mean that you can pay it less attention. The hardest work is done in introduction and body paragraph parts but it all can be annihilated by bad conclusion. What do you need to do here?

The specifics of the short essay are least of all represented in conclusion. As if you wrote usual essay you need to clearly sum up all the aforesaid and state some inference. After reading your conclusion your reader should finally get the point of your text but not to get confused with it.

You need to restate the thesis statement and show the reader how it has been developed. Then you are asked to provide brief summary of the body paragraphs part. Your conclusion should make an impression of full integrity and logical coherence of your paper.

Short Essay Outline

Drafting an outline is not obligatory in composing the short essay but is definitely useful. Though sometimes your professor can ask you to provide an outline for the essay, in question of the short essay assignment it is very unlikely.

Why do you need to do more work? Evidently, to make your text better! An outline would help you to navigate through your own ideas and to imagine your text better. You would not need to think on what you wanted to say if you have some material visual prompt.

In order to make up an outline, you need to write a kind of a plan of your text with several points that merely disclose your thought. Starting with the introduction and finishing with the conclusion you need to write down small pieces of information concerning each part.

The aim of an outline is in breaking the information into smaller chapters. Yes, you may object how can you overview the text that looks like this overview. It’s simple – make it shorter. Write a single sentence for the thought that demands disclosure in more than one sentence.

After you have the shortest outline in the world you understand that you almost completed writing your short essay because you need simply to extend this plan with a couple of sentences. Sounds great, isn`t it?


You do not need to think that the shorter your text should be the easier becomes the process of its writing. Yes, you really need to write significantly less information but the work you are doing while writing is almost the same as if you wrote a standard essay.

As it was told many times in this text, the short essay is very similar to the other kinds of essays. But if you are successful in creating the short essay is more valuable comparing with the wider essays. Mind Chekhov – brevity is the soul of wit.