The diagnostic essay is a pretty simple academic assignment. Basically, it is an article on a certain topic given to you by the professor; sometimes, you should choose a topic for your essay by yourself. It aims to show your general skills, writing abilities, and competence in a certain field of study. But in spite of the apparent simplicity of that task, a lot of students struggle to deal with it.
Writing a diagnostic essay may seem challenging for you because of its timing – as a rule, this kind of task is given at the very beginning of your study. Sometimes students get confused about the knowledge they supposed to put in their essays because, at the beginning of their classes, they haven’t learned anything yet. Do not worry about that; a diagnostic essay is not an exam. Furthermore, it is nor even graded. So, let’s find out the purpose of our task and learn some rules on how to write it properly.
Sense and purpose of diagnostic essay
Diagnostic paper can be defined as an academic assignment with a predefined topic to be discussed in an essay form. As usual, a diagnostic paper is assigned at the very beginning of the academic semester in order to show the writing abilities and skills of the students. This kind of work helps professors to understand the level of student’s knowledge and evaluate their writing skills. By defining strengths and weaknesses in written works professors can decide what aspects of the subject students need to improve. That’s why this assignment is called “diagnostic” – your work is going to be diagnosed but not graded as other academic tasks.
Remember that you are not supposed to conduct any research before or while writing your diagnostic essay. Also, it is not a test with correct answers. Usually, you are explaining your point of view with strong arguments and at hand knowledge without learning any special materials beforehand. Your opinion cannot be defined as the wrong answer but pay attention to the structure of your work, quality of your writing skills, and convenient points and conclusions – these are your key points.
The challenging part is the fact that you will have to get your work done during one lesson or some limited amount of time defined by the professor. Therefore, you are supposed to show your ability to cope with deadlines as well as your writing abilities. The speed of writing is another important point to diagnose, so do not neglect it. But there is no need to get too stressed about the diagnostic essay; this article is here to help you get ready for it and complete your task as well as possible.
Requirements of diagnostic paper
The diagnostic essay is pretty similar to other analytical writing assignments. While working with it, you are going to analyze some information, bring up points you find important, provide arguments and examples, offer your own ideas, and come up with a properly formulated conclusion. If you can choose a topic by yourself, it should be relevant and interesting as well.
Like with every other analytical paper, you should connect your introduction and conclusion, so your essay makes sense and reveals your point of view in a clear and convincing way.
The development of your thoughts and ideas in the essay should be logical and consistent, and the transitions between paragraphs should be smooth. Also, remember that spelling mistakes are as unacceptable as logical ones. Check your essay carefully to avoid them, try to write in your best style; it also will be noticed and diagnosed. As a rule, a diagnostic essay requires a certain amount of words defined by the professor, don’t forget to abide by it.
Not only your writing skills are about to be diagnosed but your creativity and critical thinking as well, say pay attention both to the structure and to the content of your work.
Structure of diagnostic essay
Since you have a limited amount of time, it is quite important to plan your work correctly and build a good structure for your essay. It will have standard parts such as introduction, body, and conclusion at the end. Some students get confused about where to start in the introduction and what is supposed to be included in the body part. Let’s talk about each part one by one to make it clear for you.
If you are happy to choose a topic of a diagnostic essay by yourself, you should follow some tips to find the right topic. First, of choosing a subject you are interested in and competent in. Do not take a too specific theme – remember that you won’t be able to search for information or facts you need during your class. The thesis statement of your essay should be catchy and interesting for you to discuss.
In the introduction, you get readers to know the main statement of your essay. If you have a well-known topic, it won’t be difficult to formulate your opinion and bring your thoughts to readers. Remember that your introduction will be connected with a conclusion; therefore, it will be useful to include questions in it. Try not to be basic, even if this way, it’s going to be easier to complete the task. Feel free to write down some new points of view, your own ideas and look at your issue from a different angle.
The main body includes all the analysis in your essay; it is the most important piece of your writing. Here, you are explaining your thoughts, adding some examples, conducting the analysis. Don’t forget to break your text into paragraphs, smoothly move from one focus to another. Mind to make your separate paragraphs interconnected and easy to read. Always keep in mind your thesis statement; do not go far from the topic. Remember that time is not endless, and you also have to write a conclusion and proofread your essay before it runs out.
This part of a diagnostic essay will let the professor understand your knowledge and position about a certain issue. It will show you the ability to make your statements nice and clear.
Now it comes to summarizing all the information you have mentioned before. Read your thesis statement again and start your conclusion with the weather you have confirmed it or disproved; if it was made in the form of a question, simply present an answer you’ve got through your analysis. Sum up all the ideas you have brought in your main part but do not rewrite them – a conclusion should be short and concise in order to show the result of your analysis only.
Do not bring anything new in that part of your essay; all ideas and thoughts belong to the main body. Make your diagnostic essay completed with a couple of saturated final sentences, interconnected with the introduction.
Check your essay for mistakes if you have spare time until the end of the lesson. Make sure you didn’t forget to mention anything important, and you are done with your task!
Some tips for you to know
First advice – don’t be too general. Try to find an interesting point of view, discuss a new theory about something common, go for creative ways to solve your problem. Your essay should be interesting to read in the first place.
Don’t rush or get stressed about the time limitation. Don’t start writing right away; take your time to think and make a plan. Consider what kind of conclusion you are going to end up with, make notes about your main points, think about useful information you have learned before that can help you to prove your point.
Make sure you get your thesis statement right. Read it mindfully and think it over. If you misunderstand your topic, it can ruin the whole point of it, so be careful and attentive.
That’s all the tips you need to know before you start your work with the diagnostic essay. Follow them, and don’t forget about the right structure, and you will definitely make a good impression of your intelligence.