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Published: Friday 25th of January 2013

How to Write a Diagnostic Essay: Tips, Topics and Example

University professors frequently come across the necessity of detecting the particular aptitudes that each of their students possesses, along with both their strong points and their deficiencies. The purpose of a diagnostic essay is that of accomplishing this specific target. This type of assignment is frequently handed by instructors at the beginning of a new semester. A diagnostic essay assists professors in detecting the type of syllabus and assignments that students are required to go through, both from a personal and a holistic perspective. When dealing with this variety of paper, time is of the essence and students are required to come up with replies to the professors’ prompts. This essay is very efficient when it comes to assessing the student’s individual skills. For this reason, diagnostic papers are also employed in the majority of systematized exams, such as the SATs (scholastic assessment tests).

In some situations, the student is presented with at least two different prompts andis granted the possibility of opting for the one they like best. Ideally, when writing a diagnostic paper, you should separate your content into three distinct subdivisions, namely the introduction, the body and the conclusion. Seeing as this type of essay involves a tight deadline, you ought to allocate a sufficient amount of time for addressing the question and devising an efficient structure for your paper. If you want your diagnostic essay to be a remarkable one, make sure you come up with a gripping introduction as well as a coherent thesis.

How to begin working on your essay

First of all, the student should make sure that he or she has enough time for reading and responding to the prompt, devising the thesis and coming up with an adequate strategy for completing the paper. As such, the first step is to think about the subject and devise a mental outline of the aspects your essay has to cover. After that, you need to introduce the subject. To do so, you ought to review the three primary notions you’d like to approach in your paper. A great way of commencing the introductory paragraph is by reiterating the prompt. For example, let’s consider the following situation: your professor asks you to talk about the most demanding assignment that you have ever had to accomplish. In this case, you should describe the most challenging task you have ever completed. You can begin by listing out a couple of assignments that you might regard as the hardest. From this list, you will be required to detect one particular assignment and talk about it. Hence, you will have to write an introduction regarding the assignment and provide its thorough assessment. For example, you could write about the type of task you had to face, the amount of time it took you to complete it as well as other essential elements. Another crucial section of the introduction is the thesis assertion of your diagnostic essay. This phrase needs to underline the three primary motives as to why this assignment is the most demanding for you.

How to devise the primary section of your paper

Once you’ve dealt with the introduction and the thesis of your diagnostic essay, you need to take care of the body of your paper, which ought to consist of 3 paragraphs. Each of these paragraphs needs to highlight a particular notion and provide a thorough account of it. In the initial paragraph, you should signalize and justify the initial motive for which you believe that the assignment that you are going to discuss constitutes the most demanding task you have ever faced. In this section of your paper, you ought to include your most strong idea or motivation and explain it comprehensively. For example, you could talk about the mental effort you had to make in order to complete the assignment.

The second paragraph ought to delineate the concept or circumstance that you regard as the second most significant motive. For example, you could approach the financial hardships you encountered as a result of the assignment, such as being forced to borrow money so you could accomplish your targets.

The third paragraph needs to approach the third most significant notion in response to the prompt. Following the example we’ve discussed so far, here you can assess the rest of the motives and detect the most powerful one. In accordance with the level of significance you place on each circumstance, you could talk about the physical effort you had to put in to finalize the assignment. In this paragraph, you can also provide a succinct summary of the rest of the motives or circumstances that exert a significant influence on the trajectory of your existence, in spite of not being so essential to your response to the instructor’s prompt.

How to devise a conclusion for your paper

If you want your essay to be successful, you need to come up with a compelling conclusion. In the last section of your essay, you will be required to reiterate the initial ideas presented in your introduction and thesis statement. Keep in mind that this ought to be accomplished succinctly while concentrating on the three primary viewpoints approached in the body of your essay. As per the example discussed above, here you can pinpoint the psychological, economic and physical effort and underline the association in a concise manner. Seeing as this type of paper is time-bound, it is of pivotal significance to devise a brief conclusion and to link it to the anticipated response to the prompt.

The Structure of a Diagnostic Essay

  • Introduction – The substance and foundation of your paper. It explains the prompt that you’ve been assigned.
    • Thesis assertion
  • Body – The first paragraph approaches the first crucial / most significant idea or motive.
    • Second paragraph: second important idea
    • Third paragraph: third important idea
  • Conclusion – The section of your diagnostic essay that reiterates the three essential notions and connects them to the prompt you need to address.

As you can see, the task is no brain surgery - just follow our tips, and you will be fine!