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How to Write a 400-Word Essay


Essay writing skills are of great importance, as they are vital in the education process, from elementary school to university. Moreover, a number of professionals, such as lawyers and -- more importantly -- journalists, are frequently required to produce high quality essays. Whether you are a student or a professional, when you have to write a 400-word essay, the difficulty level automatically rises. That's because apart from language fluency, you also need to be concise -- present information clearly and in few words.

Study your subject before you start writing. Regardless of your writing skills and your ability to compile a 400-word text from scratch, the reader will understand whether you are aware of the subject or you just improvised.

Present the information as a list of features, or if the content is contradictory, use the compare and contrast method. On the latter, the essay will consist of four paragraphs, while for the list presentation, do not include more that five paragraphs.

Prepare the structure of your essay. Plan which pieces of information to use in each paragraph and which irrelevant topics to omit. This will save you from erasing parts of paragraphs and hastily patching others, which, during school test, can prove disastrous -- especially when using pens.

Express clearly the main idea of your essay, as well as background information about the topic, in the introduction. The introductory paragraph must not be larger that 100 words, or 80, if you write a five-paragraph essay.

Clarify the subject of each paragraph of the main part. When readers have finished reading the first sentence, they must know what the paragraph is about. The paragraph's last sentence should prepare for your arguments in the following part.

Conclude the essay by summarizing its contents, or suggesting solutions for the presented problem. Never omit the conclusion, even if you have much more information to give than 400 words allow.

Tips
  • Ask for your friends', family members' or colleagues' opinions of your final draft. They can spot mistakes you didn't, and also tell you whether they found the essay compelling and easy to understand.
  • During an exam, always allow at least five minutes before the deadline to check your essay for grammar and spelling mistakes.
  • When you write an essay at home, read it out loud. This will help you spot weaknesses in the language flow, because of too short or too long sentences.
About the Author

Tasos Vossos has been a professional journalist since 2008. He has previously worked as a staff writer for "Eleftheros Tipos," a leading newspaper of Greece, and is currently a London-based sports reporter for Perform Sports Media in the United Kingdom. He holds a Bachelor of Arts in communication and media from the University of Athens.

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