What Is a Short Essay?

Writing a short essay is a common academic task in any educational institution. No matter what academic degree you are pursuing, management, literature, journalism, or any other, you will need to write many short essays proving your proficiency and writing skills. But what is a short essay? Is it easy to write it? What short essay format should be followed? In our guide, you will find answers to these and many other questions.

Although a short essay is not a lengthy or sophisticated task, it should be written well in order to maintain successful academic performance. In fact, when you know what to write in a short essay, the entire writing process won`t be difficult for you. Basically, this paper consists of five paragraphs, approximately 100 words each. According to the typical structure, this essay should include an introduction, the main body that consists of three paragraphs, and a conclusion. If you find it too difficult to understand how such an essay should look like, you will need to search for some well-written essay samples that will help you figure out how to develop a topic in a short essay, how to organize your ideas, etc.

How Many Words Should Be in a Short Essay?

For many students, writing a short essay can be pretty challenging because they may find it difficult to squeeze an interesting topic into only 500 words. At the same time, given the limited length of this paper, one should include only accurate and relevant information. So, how long should a short essay be? In fact, the length of such an essay may vary from 250 to 800 words depending on the type of essay and the professor`s requirements. Most probably, you will need to explain your topic in 500 words, which is approximately two pages. Most probably, the required length of your paper will be indicated in the prompt provided by your tutor. The good thing is that such an essay does not require conducting in-depth research. Since such an essay is short, one will need to include only basic information on the topic. Nevertheless, it does not mean that such an assignment is not significant. Your academic reputation depends on the successful completion of different academic assignments including short essays. In case you believe that a short essay can be written at the last moment, you are mistaken because this task requires thorough preparation. In other words, if you are willing to succeed with this assignment, you will need to organize the writing process carefully.

How to Write a Good-Looking Short Essay?

Now, when you know the essential features of a short essay task, we highly recommend you have a look at the common suggestions that will help you produce an impressive piece.

  • Choose a good subject for your essay. The choice of topic is very important. By selecting a standard or boring topic for your essay, you will find it pretty difficult to create an engaging piece. On the contrary, if you manage to pick up an interesting topic, you will be able to enjoy the writing process and create a great essay;
  • Collect information. Of course, if you write your essay spontaneously, without having any idea about what will be discussed in it, you will probably make your ideas disorganized and shallow. As such, although such an assignment does not require in-depth research, you will need to study some relevant sources that will help you figure out what points should be discussed in your paper;
  • Brainstorm your ideas. When you are done with information collection, you will need to think about your topic trying to figure out what aspects should be discussed in your essay. Once you pick up a couple of significant points, make sure to organize them in an outline that will ensure the logical flow of your paper;
  • As soon as you are done with all the preparation stages, you may start writing your essay. Following the classic structure, you will need to present your topic in the introductory paragraph. The opening part should also include a thesis statement that will indicate the direction of the entire essay. In the main body of your paper, you will need to provide more details on your topic making reasonable claims, and supporting these claims with good evidence. Finally, in the concluding part of your essay, you will need to tie up all arguments suggested in the previous parts of the essay;
  • Finally, when your paper is written you will need to take some time to proofread it fixing all mistakes compromising its quality. Keep in mind that in order to bring you a good grade, your essay should be absolutely free from grammatical mistakes.

Short Essay Format

No good essay can be written without writing talent, expertise, and creativity. By applying a professional approach to writing your short essay, you will be able to impress the most demanding tutor. Although writing a short essay does not require much time and effort, you will need to do your best to make your piece compelling and interesting for your reader. Now, let`s have a closer look at the main parts of the essay since they define the common short essay format:

  • Introduction. An introduction is the first part of the essay that should give a basic understanding of your topic to the reader. Some students include sufficient background information in this part to help their audience understand the flow of their ideas better. At the end of the introduction, you should include a thesis statement because it will help your reader figure out what you are going to achieve;
  • Main body. As it was already mentioned, the main body is usually divided into three major paragraphs in which the writer describes three main points related to the topic. Each of these paragraphs should begin with a clear topic sentence that will help your reader understand what is the paragraph about. In the main body of your essay, you will need to provide a detailed analysis of your topic supporting your claims with sufficient evidence;
  • Conclusion. In your concluding paragraph, you don’t need to indicate new details since the primary goal of this paragraph is just to summarize the discussion.

By following this structure, you will be able to analyze any topic in a logical and engaging way. Pay attention that with every new paper, you boost your writing talent and creativity. So, don`t be afraid to develop different topics in your essays as they will help you grow into a skilled academic writer.

Things to Remember

When writing a short essay, you will need to put yourself in your reader`s shoes. This means that you will need to develop your ideas in a way that will make them interesting for your target audience. When the paper is written but you are not certain if it looks fine, you may ask your friend to look it through and let you know what things should be changed. Having this information, you will be able to polish your paper until perfection.

One more point you should consider when writing your short essay is the accuracy of information. If you want to add credibility to your paper, you will need to carefully check the authenticity of the information you provide in it.

It goes without saying that your essay should be absolutely free from plagiarism because students are strictly punished for using the ideas of other people without mentioning their authorship. Therefore, you will need to check your paper through reliable plagiarism-detection software before submitting it.

Finally, when writing your essay, you will need to follow the professor`s guidelines precisely. Although there are some common guidelines on writing a short essay paper, each tutor has their own instructions that should be followed.

Short Essay Sample


The Hip Hop music genre originated in the 1970s in ghettos of New York City. The African-Americans in the location lived in poverty and destitution. However, they developed a unique culture that includes four key elements of emceeing, deejaying, graffiti art, and break-dancing that showed their opposition to injustice in the society around them. It is characterized by strong beats and rhythms. The essay aims at outlining the peculiarities of the overlap between Hip Hop music and two cultural aspects, namely racial and gender issues.

Hip Hop and Race

There is an overlap between Hip Hop music and race. It has a significant influence on the black race in the United States. Therefore, it has shaped and supported black Americans, giving a voice to the community and conveying their message. Hip Hop has offered a platform for musicians to state their opinions about the society, leadership, and treatment of the black population for many years. The music was a direct reaction to socio-economic issues that people of color faced for a long period. The African Americans turned dissatisfaction from unacceptable behavor towards them into productive complaints through the Hip Hop genre. It served as a form of identity founded on a common race, poverty, unemployment, disempowerment, violence, resistance, and other issues, which the black citizens encountered.

Hip Hop and Gender

Moreover, another overlap exists between Hip Hop music and gender. Hip Hop is full if sexism with regards to how women are treated and how the society speaks of females. It shows the modern civilizatiob, which is male controlled, homophobic, and misogynistic. In addition, it exposed the public emphasis on profit and products.


In the 1970s Hip Hop music appearedin ghettos of New York City. It aimed at reacting to poverty, unemployment, violence, and desperation that the black community faced. Furthermore, this genre ovelaps with both cultural aspects of race and gender. It was intended at expressing the plight of the African Americans. The gender issue is manifested by sexism in the music.