Diagnostic Essay Writing guide

Essay writing can be an interesting task for students especially if they understand the best writing skills and are well versed with their topic. If you are stuck on how to write a diagnostic essay, this article will give you a step-by-step guide on how to go about it. Students usually write diagnostic essays at the beginning of their coursework. The teaching staff gives the essay promptly in order to analyze the skills and talents of their students and thus support the students’ abilities and also to develop curriculum based on the abilities of the students.

Diagnostic essays are written within a definite time frame hence no research is needed. However, you will be required to demonstrate your capability to utilize time appropriately in pre-writing, writing a draft, and proofreading your work. A diagnostic essay usually takes the form of a question which is presented by a teacher and expected to be answered by the students. Based on the preference of the teacher, students are given a defined topic or left to make own choice.  Examples of topics for a diagnostic essay include; what is friendship? Describe a time when you had to make a tough decision, why was it hard? What is the simplest thing to do in the world? What are some of the challenges associated with moving to a new school or college?

A diagnostic essay assumes a fixed five-paragraph standard format; an introduction, a body comprising three paragraphs and a conclusion. Due to the limited time-frame, you will need to have a comprehensive plan of what you will write in your fingertips. Start by creating a plan in your mind, allocate enough time for each step, write the essay and proofread it before submitting.

Writing the diagnostic essay introduction

Understand your topic well as well as what to include in the main body before starting the introduction. Ensure you understand very well what you are introducing.  Start by paraphrasing your given or chosen topic. Add also the three key points that you are preparing to focus on in the main body. For instance, if you decide to write about the challenges of moving to a new college, you will need to have three variant challenges and give them a scope. Therefore, each of your three paragraphs will be dedicated to one of these challenges and you will concisely mention them in your introduction.

Then use a thesis statement to end your introduction. For example in our case above, your thesis statement might involve mentioning the factors you consider most challenging when familiarizing with a new college environment.

The main body

As earlier mentioned, the body of a diagnostic essay contains three paragraphs. Each paragraph presents a unique idea which you are expected to elaborate in detail.

The first paragraph comprises the strongest of all points. Following our example, the first paragraph will address the hardest challenge based on your order of priority.  Explain why this challenge is critical; for example, mention the mental effort and the psychological impact of the challenge. Employ factors of consideration and order of priority techniques to explain to your teacher why you consider this point more influential.

In the second paragraph of your essay, present the second most difficult challenge that you faced by moving to a new school or college. Apply the same priority measures to place this point but ensure you do not contradict yourself. Notably, the challenge here might even be hard compared to the first one based on some factors. In such a case, you will need to explain why you find this challenge less influential than the other one and ultimately what landed this particular challenge at number two.

The last paragraph will involve the last of your points. Again, you will have to explain why you placed this point in the third position. However, you will need to demonstrate that despite its position, this challenge is still hard to deal with and it is still valid. At this point, you are free to briefly mention other challenges that did not make it to your list but which you consider still essential.

Writing the conclusion

Concluding a diagnostic essay can sometimes be challenging because of the time limit factor. However, this cannot prevent you from making a powerful conclusion. To ensure your end is powerful enough, it is critical to make it briefer and to the point. Your aim is to leave the reader convinced that the topic has been covered fully even if it was prompt.

You need to realize that at this point you don’t need to provide any new information to your reader. Instead, just reaffirm your thesis statement and point out the key points from your main body paragraphs. With our example, restate the thesis, list the three main challenges briefly, and explain why you think some challenges are more difficult than others.

Proofread your essay to point out any grammatical, or style errors that you might have made in the process of writing. Remember this essay is time-bound so you cannot help yourself writing in a rush and thus subject to making some mistakes. Although this essay will not influence your grades, you might be misrepresented by poor writing and increased grammatical errors. You can find examples and samples here

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