When a new semester starts, many teachers ask their students to compose a diagnostic essay which should be written right in the class. This is a good way for the teacher to see which skills students already have and which ones he should help them to develop during the course.
How to write a diagnostic essay
Usually, a student has a limited time for writing, so it is strongly advisable to get a clear picture of what you will write about before you actually proceed.
When you get a prompt for your future text, understand how much time you have for writing and give about 10 percent of the time to prewriting tasks. For instance, if you have 50 minutes, leave five minutes to read the prompt and give an answer which comes to your mind. Also, add minimum three ideas which you will use in the thesis and the main part of the text. Don’t forget to review what you have come up with before submitting the text.
Diagnostic essay definition: relax and do your best
This is an essay which is aimed at defining students’ strengths and weaknesses and adjusting the curriculum according to the results. Usually, it is used in the English classes, but not necessarily. Note that the students are not expected to write an outstanding sample and get a good grade. So you can relax on that one and rather focus on showing your knowledge and skills as well as demonstrating how you can utilize those. Plus, all students get the same topic (sometimes there are several diagnostic essay topics for their convenience).
How to structure your text?
The format of your diagnostic essay has no difference from those required for other kinds of essays.
Introduction. Look at the main ideas you drafted during the prewriting stage. Begin your text by paraphrasing the prompt. For example, if you are asked to tell about your biggest achievement and you mention the life period when you graduated from high school with honors, write an explanation why you consider this to be your biggest success. Mention three reasons for that. They will create your thesis statement.
Body paragraphs. Make a transition sentence after the introduction. For instance, if you make a composition about graduating with honors, write “I have never thought how important graduation with honors will be for my future education”. Then tell about things you did to achieve such results. Include paragraphs about further developments in your life (for instance, entering a college of your dream). Mention how you studied hard during the final year and how all the knowledge helped you to get high marks for the graduation tests.
Conclusion. To write a good one, echo the main points from your introduction and thesis statement. For instance, if the three main results of getting the diploma with honors were entering a college of your dream, joining the athletes team and surviving away from your parents, write, “When I graduated from the high school with honors, I never thought I could enter the college of my dream, start playing volleyball as a college athlete and manage my life without mom’s care”. In the conclusion part, say a few words about the tests you had to pass for college stressing that it was easy because you have studied before.
Finally, spend several minutes for proofreading and editing your text. You don’t want to be misrepresented, do you?