Writing a 250 Word Essay
Academic assignments can be different: from quantitative and qualitative essays t, from literature reviews to voluminous dissertations. All academic papers have a various word count. The minimal length of the work is a one-page composition that consists of 250 words.
Many students find it difficult to write a lot, but others, on the contrary, suffer from excessive verbosity, especially when they write quickly and focus on how to put their thoughts into words. Writing an essay within a given number of words, like 250 word essay, is sometimes equally difficult. The recommendations will help you write an essay of a given size not at the expense of its quality. Your goal is to learn to avoid verbose words and write briefly and clearly.
The Main Steps
First write, then edit. If you are constantly worrying about the number of words, you can start throwing ideas away without writing them down. Instead, write on paper all the valuable thoughts that come to your head. At this stage the text needs to expand and collect all the possible ideas.
Replace the word combinations with separate words. There is always the opportunity to say the same thing in fewer words. For example:
- The phrase “make a request” or “cause troubles” can often be replaced with a single verb “ask” or “disturb.”
- Replace “at the same time” with “simultaneously” and “looking alike” with “similar.”
- The adverb “now” can be used instead of “at this moment.”
- Introductory sentences like “this fact is obvious” or “it seems clear that” can be replaced with simply “obviously” and “evidently.”
- A sentence with the words “the reason that… is…” can be rewritten using a simple “because” or “since”. For example, the sentence “”the reason the ice does not sink is that…” turns into “the ice does not sink, because…”
Avoid pleonasms, that is, the use of unnecessary words.
- The examples of pleonasms can be such expressions as “go back,” “in the end,” “atmospheric air.” It’s enough just to write “return” (as it is impossible to return forward), “eventually” (the result is always summed up at the end), and “air” (it forms the atmosphere).
- Suggestions like “where does she go?” or “where is this house located?” are often also superfluous. Instead, use the question word “where.”
- Get rid of repetitions. Try to use each statement only once. Each argument should be clear and concise so that you do not have to repeat it or explain it again. It needs to be learned but it’s worth it: this skill will be valuable for you throughout life.
Paying Attention to the Grammatical Voice
Try to write the same sentence in the active voice, and then in the passive voice (or vice versa). Look at which version is better to read, expresses your idea, and uses fewer words (but note the warnings below regarding the passive voice). The active voice will not necessarily be more concise. Everything depends on the construction of the sentence. A passive voice, along with impersonal sentences, is often used in scientific texts. For example:
- I gave propylthiouracil with water to rats. (Seven words)
- Propylthiouracil was given to rats with water. (Seven words)
When there are many determinants in the sentence, an impersonal sentence or a passive voice can be more concise:
- Yesterday, the doctor diagnosed her with hyperthyroidism. (Seven words)
- Yesterday she was diagnosed with hyperthyroidism. (Six words)
The active voice can be more concise or sound more natural than the passive one:
- Passive voice: “The meeting will be held on Friday.” (Seven words)
- Active voice: “The meeting will happen on Friday.” (Six words)
- Passive voice: “The paper is put in the folder.” (Seven words)
- Active voice: “The paper is in the folder.” (Six words, but sounds better)
Sometimes, when you write a 250 word essay, you need to evaluate statements, especially when discussing theories, giving forecasts, justifications, and relationships. It should not be repeatedly mentioned in the sentence that it is an assumption.
- There is a possibility that he may come today.
- He might come today.
The words “I believe that” are often superfluous, since the essay is signed by your name and everything that it says is your opinion. In a sentence beginning with “I believe that,” it seems that you are trying to make it clear that your argument is what you think. Instead, give real arguments.
- I believe that variable A influences the growth of variable B.
- The variable A probably influences the growth of variable B, because
Avoid words that do not change the meaning of the sentence. Phrases such as “in fact,” “in principle,” “in truth” can often be omitted.
Double-Checking Your 250 Word Essay
When you write the first draft of your essay, there may be too many words in it, even if you did not notice it. In this case, procrastination will not do you good. By postponing writing an essay until the last minute, you are depriving yourself of time to read it and get rid of unnecessary words, phrases, and thoughts. However, some argue that, on the contrary, only the need to write an essay at the last minute helps them not to be verbose. Still, most people will benefit from the opportunity to read their essay quietly and without haste with a red pen in hand.
- Ask your classmate or friend with a good sense of the syllable to test your work and help you remove all the unnecessary sentences and words. A look from the side often helps identify repetitions.
- Time will help you notice mistakes and repetitions. If you write an essay 24–48 hours before the deadline, you will have time to put it aside and then go back to it and read it again. With a fresh glance, you will certainly see what else you can remove.
Do not focus on the written and do not be afraid of removing the phrases you don’t need. Knowing what can be reduced is an important quality of a good writer. Ask yourself: “Would I want to read this to the end? Is it written interestingly and to the point?” If your answer is no, then probably you could not clearly state your thoughts. Write down your unused ideas somewhere: they will be useful for another essay or other literary creativity.
- When writing a 250 word essay, stick to the topic. Examples of different cases lengthen the essay. You can shorten it by deleting them. Do not get carried away by the side lines just because they are entertaining. If you have included them in the original draft, shorten them later, but for now you should have everything that you work with before you. If you just need to talk about something, think about how to do it in another essay.
- If possible, put all the charts, lists, diagrams, drawings, and the like into the application at the end of the essay, so as not to overload the reader with additional information.
- If there are footnotes in your work, they must meet the requirements. Many teachers do not approve of attempts to increase the content of the work, disguising its part as footnotes. Any notes should only clarify this or that moment of the text but do not contain additional information that you simply could not insert anywhere else.
- Many teachers establish a restriction on words only approximately. If this is the case, then there will be no problems if you write a few words more. The things teachers do not exactly want to do is to read long texts where one has to look for the main meaning (do not forget that they have to check for 40–80 works).
- Most modern programs for working with texts have the function of counting words. Use this opportunity. In the Microsoft Word editor, right-click on the status bar, and check the “Number of words” box so that it always appears at the bottom of the page, or select “Statistics” in the “Review” tab. To find this function in other programs, read the instructions for them. There is also a separate online tool for automatic counting of words and signs.
- Remember about the number of words, but shorten the essay only after you write it completely. Erase everything unnecessary and get a complete concise text.
Although the passive voice is quite natural in scientific works, in general it should be avoided. Even this will help you get rid of a few words. If you make too many sentences in a passive voice, it will make the composition less clear, while the style will be more formal and clerical. Use the passive voice in moderation if you want to write clearly and briefly.
Things Professors Don’t Like
- If you cannot answer the question of the assignment
- Poor structure of the text
- Inability to adhere to the main question
- Use of rhetoric (approvals) instead of argumentation (evidence)
- Negligent handling of data, including excessive generalization
- If the narrative part is too extensive and not supported by analytical material
- If somebody else’s points of view are stated without expressing your own position on the matter
- Repetitions of the same information