Most of the time, academic writing can be challenging and stressful. Many students turn to online help and ask others such things as ‘will you write my research paper for me?’. This is because they find the writing process daunting. However, one type of assignment that’s not so hard is the diagnostic essay. On this page, we’ll run through what this particular type of essay is, how to write one, and more.
What Is a Diagnostic Essay?
A diagnostic essay is a piece of writing that’s meant to assess your knowledge of a topic and your writing skills. This type of work is usually set by a teacher at the very start of a course. It’s not marked because it’s meant to provide the course leader with an idea of what your capabilities are. They diagnose their students’ abilities through these essays. They’re typically timed, like other essay types you have to write for exams.
The Importance of Writing Good Diagnostic Essays
Knowing how to write a diagnostic essay is useful, especially if you’re on an academic course, or you’re going to be starting one soon. When you’re writing one, you should think like an academic and write as if the essay is going to be marked. You should take it as seriously as you would any sort of marked essay. The purpose of an essay is to showcase what you can do academically. If you don’t treat a diagnostic essay seriously and don’t try your best, the reader won’t get the right impression of your ability.
You shouldn’t seek custom essay help for this type of writing. With a diagnostic essay, it’s all about what you know now and what your current writing ability is like. It’s an assessment but not a critical one. It’s one of the simplest essay types, so you should be able to write a perfectly good one on your own.
Diagnostic Essay Outline
If you’re wondering how to write a diagnostic essay, the good news is that it’s easy to write. Its layout is pretty simple: there’s an introduction, usually three body paragraphs, and a conclusion. That’s all there is to it.
The introduction presents your topics to the reader and outlines what you’re going to discuss. It should include a thesis statement, which is a bold and concise summary of the essay’s core topics. The body paragraphs are where you discuss the topic. Your discussion should be well organized and succinct. You should present ideas and try to include a counter argument or two if you can. The conclusion is where you summarise everything and outline any final thoughts.
How to Start a Diagnostic Essay?
So, how do you start a diagnostic essay? It’s simple. You may be provided with a title for the piece of writing. If not, you’ll have to come up with a good title for an essay yourself. This should be easy enough because, with a diagnostic essay, the subject matter is usually broad. These essays are more a test of your general knowledge about a topic, not the specific knowledge the course is going to introduce.
So, when you have your title, think about what you’re going to write about. Remember the structure and try to fit your principal argument into three paragraphs. If the essay’s time, you have to think quickly and get straight to it. Come up with some key ideas and think about how you’re going to expand on these in the body paragraphs.
Remember the thesis statement. This is a key part of an essay. It comes at the end of your introductory paragraph. What it does is it summarises, in one or two sentences, the body of your essay, i.e. the primary case you’re putting forward. Having a good thesis statement is important because it helps you focus on the key parts of the essay. The statement also gives the reader a clear indication of what’s to come.
Tips for Writing Body Paragraphs of a Diagnostic Essay
The body paragraph is the core of a diagnostic essay. Here are some tips on how to write them.
The body paragraphs can either be interconnected and form a single argument, or each one can argue its own point. If they’re going to present just one argument among them, they should flow naturally and read well.
If each paragraph is self-contained, it should end with a sentence that leads into the next paragraph to help keep them connected. It should also start with a hook sentence that draws the reader in and lets them know a new thought or argument is being discussed.
Strongest Arguments First
Whether your body paragraphs are connected or not, it’s suggested that the first one contains the strongest argument or the most original thought. You want the reader to get on board with your writing, so it’s important to make a good impression as early in the essay as possible.
As mentioned earlier, a diagnostic essay is usually timed. When essays are to be written under such a condition, students frequently can’t use resources such as books or the internet. Therefore, timed essays don’t require references as regular, non-timed ones do. If you do use other sources, make sure you refer to them as accurately as possible.
Elaborate Without Waffling
The paragraphs of the essay body are the meat of your essay. They’re what the reader is going to be looking at the most. It’s important that you elaborate on the topic and discuss plenty of points, but without waffling. You have to explain things in as few sentences and words as possible, especially when these essays are timed. Having said that, if there’s a particular point you want to focus on, discuss it as much as you need to. Just make sure that what you’re writing is relevant.
How to Conclude a Diagnostic Essay
The conclusion should supply the reader with a brief yet informative recap of the essay’s main points. You should sum up the cases you’ve put forward and write a final sentence or two that reflects on your essay as a whole. It’s recommended you rehash your thesis statement, though you shouldn’t repeat the statement verbatim; use new words and phrases instead.
Make sure your conclusion is concise. It should be a single paragraph in length. You shouldn’t present any new ideas in it, nor should you be asking the reader any new questions.
If you’re the type of student who writes ‘write my college essay’ into a search engine, you shouldn’t have to do this for a diagnostic essay. They’re easy enough to write, and the structure is straightforward. Even though they’re timed, the fact that they’re not marked means there’s not much pressure.
Diagnostic Essay Topics
Below are some examples of diagnostic essay topics. Have a look to see the sorts of questions you may be asked to write essays on during the early part of your course.
- Will e-books replace print books?
- Should education be streamlined, or should independent institutions be allowed?
- Why do many businesses utilize offshore solutions?
- Explain the importance of having a good CV
- Is modern technology helpful or a hindrance?
- Should doctors and nurses be good people?
- Explain why society uses prisons
- How does a lack of sleep affect students?
- Discuss the impact of social media on children
- What are the advantages of going to university?
- Should history be preserved or modified?
- Is killing animals for meat wrong?
- How can the wage gap problem be addressed?
- How can stereotyping be reduced?
- Is artificial intelligence really intelligence?
As you can see, the example titles we’ve listed above are broad. Other types of essays for academic courses are usually a lot more specific in what they ask of you. These titles, however, rely more on your general knowledge and impression of the world, as opposed to the material you’ve learned on a course.
What Should You Not Write in a Diagnostic Essay?
When you write a diagnostic essay, there are a few things that you shouldn’t write. Even though the essays aren’t marked and don’t count towards your grade, it’s best to make them as good as you can. Make sure your submission is an accurate reflection of your capabilities by not writing the following:
- New ideas and arguments in the conclusion; put them in body paragraphs
- Anything that deviates from the central topic
- Language and vocabulary that’s not appropriate for an academic essay
- Quotes/citations without explaining their source; a diagnostic essay doesn’t require these, but you can still include them if you so wish
- Sentences that are too long and confusing for the reader
- Any sort of personal pronouns, unless you’re specifically told this is permitted; generally, academic writing is impersonal
- Words and phrases that are too vague or too exaggerated; with essay writing, it’s about getting to the point, and this should be reflected in the language you use
- Personal stories and anecdotes; again, essays should be impersonal
- A thesis statement that’s too long or vague; your thesis statement should be one or two sentences long and should summarise your writing for the reader
- A title that’s too long and uses too many big words
When you write a diagnostic essay, avoid writing the above. Generally speaking, your writing should be direct and concise. There’s room for you to argue points and express ideas, of course, but there shouldn’t be any waffle. The standard of writing should be the same for a diagnostic essay as any other piece of academic writing.
Unlike most other essays, diagnostic ones aren’t marked. Instead, they’re more of a general test of a student’s capabilities. They’re assigned at the start of a course and used by a course leader to determine what levels the students are at. Because they’re shorter and have a more straightforward structure, they’re easier to write than standard essays. That being said, there are still some key things to include and some things to avoid.
Now, you should have a clear idea of how to write a diagnostic essay. Bear this article in mind the next time you have to write one.
FAQ About Diagnostic Essays
How Long Is a Diagnostic Essay?
The length of a diagnostic essay is usually what students can write in an hour or less. Essays typically include an introduction with a thesis statement, up to three body paragraphs, and a conclusion.
Why Do Teachers Give a Diagnostic Essay?
Students are asked to write a diagnostic essay so that course leaders can assess their knowledge and writing skills.
What Does a Diagnostic Essay Look Like?
A diagnostic essay is just text with no quotations, citations, images or graphs