College tutors need to identify the strength and weakness of students by assessing their particular skills. To achieve this, a diagnostic essay is usually used. The students are prompted to write essays at the beginning of the semester so as to assist the tutors to identify the curriculum and exercises that students will be given either individually or as a group. The essay brings out the skills that each student possesses. Furthermore, it is used to test the student’s capability.
As a student, you need to respond to the tutor’s prompts since essays are normally time-bound. In order to write a good diagnostic paper, you need to understand the question by setting aside some time to plan your thoughts and determine how you will write an effective essay. Therefore, ensure that the introduction is captivating whereas the thesis is clear. Further on, we are giving more detail on the diagnostic essay writing process – read on to become an expert!
How To Write A Diagnostic Essay
A diagnostic essay is a writing assignment frequently given to students to assess their writing skills. It is different from other essays because you are not allocated enough time to research. Hence, you are required to start writing immediately after receiving your essay question. Diagnostic essays are normally used in SAT tests to assess writing abilities.
The essay is usually divided into 3 parts: the introduction, the body, and the conclusion. Since you do not have the luxury of time when writing a diagnostic essay, the following is a breakdown of what your tutor expects.
The basics of a diagnostic essay is as follows:
- An Introduction
- A thesis statement
- Appropriate topic sentences
- Each body paragraph containing one core idea
- A logical flow of ideas
- Development of ideas by supporting them with detailed evidence
- Clear presentation of ideas
- Error-free work
- Around 500 words
- A conclusion.
First and foremost, you need to allocate yourself some time to read and understand what the essay question requires. This helps you to formulate an appropriate thesis and also to plan your writing within the stipulated time frame. Think critically about the topic. Then, have a rough idea of what your diagnostic essay demands.
Your introduction evaluates three main ideas of your focus in the essay discussion, so you can start by reiterating the essay prompt. For example, if your prompt is to write about your most valued achievements in academics, you will describe the awards you received and the talents that were acknowledged while in school. First, you can jot down the moments you think were an achievement. Then, choose one and expound on it. Introduce the achievement while giving a detailed analysis, for instance, the reason for the award, when you were rewarded, the impact it had on your life, and further significant aspects.
The thesis statement is another major part. It should be packaged in one sentence highlighting the main reasons why your achievements are most valued by you.
This is the main part of a Diagnostic essay. It usually has three paragraphs focusing on a particular idea with detailed explanation.
You need to highlight and then write a detailed explanation of the first reason you think was your most valued achievement in school. Ensure that you pick your strongest reason and write it here. Also, you should have a clear description in your writing, for instance, the physical or academic effort you put in order to excel.
This paragraph highlights the second reason that you consider important in your essay. For instance, when you explain your most valuable achievement, the responsibility that was imparted to you due to the achievement can be a focus in this paragraph. If the school’s management decided to make you a student leader because you have earned your way there, then it should be expounded in the body of the second paragraph.
This paragraph entails the importance of the third reason that you consider in your essay. In the example given above, you can choose the strongest point in the list of reasons. Depending on how you have planned your essay, the unseen effort you put it, the hours you took to study, or the physical training you did in order to win the school race, should be discussed here. Also, you can explain another major reason. For instance, how the achievement had an impact in your life.
In concluding a diagnostic essay, ensure that it is communicating effectively. In this section, you need to reiterate the main points you stated in the introduction and thesis statement. The conclusion should be brief. Hence, you need to emphasize three major points you discussed in the main body of the essay. In the above-stated example, you can pinpoint the physical effort you made, the responsibility you earned, and the general impact of the achievement on your life.
Easy Tips on Writing a Diagnostic essay
Are you finding it overwhelming to write a diagnostic essay? You are not alone, many students dread this task. A diagnostic essay plays a huge role in determining your academics, therefore, you need to ace it.
The following are some easy tips to help you break this task into manageable sections:
Pick An Appropriate Topic
If the instructor has assigned you a topic, then you need to choose whether your paper will entail a general view or a particular analysis thereof. If necessary, you should narrow your subject focus.
However, if you are prompted to choose your own topic, make sure to broaden your spectrum. Luckily, this is an opportunity for you to pick a topic that is appropriate and more interesting to you. Before you begin your essay, explain your purpose. Is your intention to educate or to convince? Then, think about some topics that you may find interesting and assess your options. If your intention is to educate, choosing a topic you studied will be appropriate. But if you intend to convince, choose a passionate subject.
Research Widely About Diagnostic Essays
In order to introduce your topic effectively, you should ensure that you have adequate facts about what a diagnostic essay requires. It is not a walk in the park. Therefore, be prepared to put in some time and effort for research. It becomes easier and manageable after knowing what a diagnostic essay entails. So, it’s much better to get ready long before your tutor hands you that essay question.
Draw A Sketch Of Your Ideas
To write an effective diagnostic essay, you have to plan your thoughts logically. Jot down your ideas as this will enable you to see the connections clearly. This sketch is a foundation for your essay. You can draw a mind map by writing your main topic at the center of the page. Then draw four to six lines from the topic. At the end of the lines, write your key ideas. Draw some more lines from the key ideas and add other views on these ideas. This tip allows you to have clarity on your ideas and assists you to achieve an organized and effective essay.
Write A Catchy Introduction
You need to grab the reader’s attention by writing an appealing introduction. Also, it should express the main focus of your diagnostic essay. Here are some forms of attention-grabbing hooks:
- Appalling information
- A dialogue
- A poignant quote
- An interesting story
- A summary of your main topic.
Whatever approach you use, ensure that it has a connection with the thesis statement, which should be in the introduction’s last sentence.
Use simple language
The words in your introduction paragraph should be simple. Your readers are motivated to continue reading your essay since they are able to understand its content. Therefore, do not use complex vocabulary; it will put off your readers.
Avoid unnecessary repetition
Read widely about your topic to avoid repeating information. Repetition of points will score you low marks from your tutor. Furthermore, your readers will get bored of your essay.
Plan your essay
If you do not plan your essay, you are bound to fail. Even though diagnostic essays are assigned limited time, avoid the temptations of writing hastily because of time constraints. Take your time to find the right answers for your essay question. Thus, planning your essay is crucial in formulating a good foundation for your essay.
Proofread Your Essay Thoroughly
After concluding your essay, you must thoroughly proofread your work before submission. Check that your paragraphs are in order and have a logical flow of ideas. Also, ensure that you have followed the instructions carefully. Finally, reread your essay and correct grammatical and spelling errors. To achieve effectiveness, your essay should have a good transitional flow.
Example: Outline of a Diagnostic Essay
- Foundation of the essay
- Include a thesis statement
- 1st Paragraph – first main point
- 2nd Paragraph – second main point
- 3rd Paragraph – third main point
- Restate the three major points and tie it to the essay question.
As you can see from this manual, you need to understand that the most significant part of a diagnostic essay is in the introductory paragraph. This section either grabs or breaks the attention of your readers. You need to have a clear and effective way of presenting your findings in the required format. Writing a diagnostic essay should not be overwhelming if you follow the above tips and write an effective essay that will captivate your readers.
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