How to Write a Diagnostic Essay



Writing an essay can be an interesting and even exciting task, especially when you know how to write it and are familiar with the subject. If you have no idea how to create a diagnostic essay, this article can be a valuable guide for you. Your essay should show your ability to focus on the topic, demonstrate your writing talents and represent your skills in formulating a thesis statement.

Usually, the essays are graded, except the one — a diagnostic essay. This kind of assignment differs from other ones which are should be written during the course. It is going to show your teacher your academic performance and the results of your studying the art of writing.

The Purpose of the Diagnostic Essay

The diagnostic essay is written by a student at the beginning of the course. Having read the diagnostic essay, a teacher or a professor would be able to analyze what skills of his student to be worked on and what talents are appropriate and enough for the classes’ objectives. This so-called “diagnostics” permits the teaching staff to support the student’s abilities and to develop the future tasks as per these abilities.

The diagnostic essay is the kind of composition which should be written within the definite time limit. You don’t need to perform any researching process, which should is usually to be done for other types of essays. But you need to demonstrate your ability to use the time wisely for prewriting, draft making, editing and proofreading the composition.

Topics for Diagnostic Essay Writing

The most usual topics for the diagnostic essays are represented by the questions to be answered on by the students. Depending on the professor’s option, the prompt can give complete freedom to the students in writing and they can choose the topic themselves. Sometimes, this freedom does only distract and it is not easy to figure out what to write about to represent yourself in the best light. There are several examples of the topics for the assignment writing which should help you find the one which fits more to your personality:


1. Was there any situation in my life which I would like to change if I could go back to the past?

2. What would you do if you would break $1000000 jackpot?

3. Does virtual reality influence negatively on the teenagers’ behavior?

4. How do you imagine yourself in 7 years?

5. How can students be more concentrated when studying?

6. Is it important to study a foreign language?

7. What does love mean to me?

8. Tell about one of the hard decisions in your life? Why was it hard for you?

9. How does lack of sleep influence our life?

10. What is friendship?

11. The simplest thing to do in the World.

12. What would you ask Mr. President should you have a chance?

13. Challenges and difficulties in moving to a new school (college, university).

14. Is it possible for the books to gain the popularity over the movies?


Keep the structure!

Despite the fact that this kind of paper writing is not graded (like other types of an essay), you should not neglect its proper structuring. Even having limited time you should keep the structure of the essay and meet the requirements for it. Always remember the main parts of the essay: Introduction, Main Part and Conclusion.

Before starting writing an Introduction or a beginning paragraph, spend some time for prewriting and write a brief answer to the question asked in the prompt. When you find an answer to the question, 70% of the task can be considered as being done. This answer is going to serve you the basis for the main thesis statement formulation. Write some thoughts which you are going to develop later on in the Intro and in the Main Part.

In the Introduction, you are expected to give an answer to the question asked in the topic. You may add the thoughts you have listed before in the draft. If you take the topic “What would you do if you would break $1000000 jackpot?”, you can highlight 3-4 main variants, which can be combined into the thesis statement and develop them later in the Main Part.

The Main Part should be started with a transition sentence. The transition sentence for the topic about $1000000 jackpot can be as follows: “If one day I would be lucky enough to break a jackpot I would not believe my eyes”. In the next sentences, you can describe what you would feel and what your reaction would be in the first minutes after announcing the winning.

Write about your reaction to the unexpected moments. Describe whom you usually tell about your success or failure. In the next paragraphs tell about three or four ways how you would spend the winning: charity, depositing some part of the money, buying something for yourself or your family. Draw your attention to the major requirement – each body paragraph should refer to the subject of the essay.

The Conclusion part should start smoothly after the Main Part. Do not make a sharp separation of the parts. Here the transition sentence should be as well. If you have said about your feelings, emotions and general behavior in the situations of sudden success, you can rephrase this in the transition sentence in the following manner: “The moment I would win a million of dollars I would definitely feel like”. In the following final sentences, you can rephrase the thesis statement provided in the Introduction. You should find the proper words to prove that the ways you chose for spending the winning are worthy.


Tips for the Diagnostic Essay Writing

Whatever your topic is about, keep in mind that your professor is going to asses how you begin and end your diagnostic essay, how you formulate a thesis statement, whether you adhere to the topic, and how you represent and develop your ideas. Even having a small amount of time, do proofread your work. The absence of grammar mistakes and satisfactory syntax are obligatory. Do not be in a hurry but do not space out.

Set the tone

For the diagnostic essay writing, as well as for other types of essays, you are advised to choose a friendly tone for expressing your ideas and opinions. They way you talk to the reader has a big influence on the reader’s mood and is assessed too.

Separate your time

Should you have only 40 minutes for writing, separate your time wisely: 4 minutes for answering the question given in the topic, 10 minutes for figuration of your main thesis statement and some ideas, 22 minutes for writing and leave a couple of minutes for proofreading and editing if necessary.

Clarify the topic

When you have a prompt with a definite topic, you have to assure yourself that you understand the question. Any misunderstanding can cause the wrong development of a thesis statement. Devote some minutes to puzzle out the topic.

The diagnostic essay is not the only way your teachers can assess your personality but it is the best means to see your way of thinking and skills gained during the years of studying.