As well as many other academic assignments, a diagnostic essay is aimed at evaluating the level of the student`s expertise, as well as his/her academic strengths and weaknesses. Actually, it is a good instrument for professors to understand how well the student knows the particular topic.

How to Create an Ideal Diagnostic Essay?

What Is a Diagnostic Essay?

A diagnostic essay is exactly what the title suggests. It is an academic paper that aims to diagnose the writing and research skills of the student, as well as their attitude to a specific issue or subject. When one visits a doctor, he or she learns a diagnosis based on the symptoms and medical tests. In the same way, the tutor wants to diagnose the student`s level of expertise in a specific topic, as well as their writing competence. In particular, your teacher will check your grammar, punctuation, sentence constructions, and other skills that contribute to your overall academic performance.

If you feel that writing a diagnostic essay is something scary, do not panic! Knowing the essential peculiarities of this task, as well as having some practical suggestions on how to organize your working process, you will be able to reach success. We assure you that creating a diagnostic essay will significantly boost your academic performance since it will allow you to obtain more secrets of academic writing, familiarize yourself with the academic standards, as well as learn from your mistakes.

How to Write a Diagnostic Essay?

Correct Format and Structure of a Diagnostic Essay

Writing a diagnostic essay may turn into a challenge unless you organize your work properly. Thus, we highly recommend you to follow the classic format because it will help you put all your ideas in the right order. Unless your professor provided you with other instructions, your diagnostic essay should consist of an introduction, main body, and a conclusion.

  • Introduction

In your introductory paragraph, you need to indicate your topic and introduce your research question to your reader. You need to engage your audience by persuading them that the topic chosen is worth attention. The last sentence of your introductory paragraph is a thesis statement that presents a strong claim or a call to action.

  • Main body

Usually, there are three main body paragraphs that help the writer build their arguments and support their viewpoint. When working on your main body, you need to understand that one paragraph should discuss one single idea. Mixing your ideas and jumping from one to another, you will just confuse your reader. When stating your arguments, do not forget to support them with solid evidence such as recent statistics, quotes from reputed scholars, etc.

  • Conclusion

To make your complex arguments clearer, you need to restate all the main ideas in your conclusion. Do not include new arguments in our concluding paragraph because it will violate the standards of academic writing. Besides, you need to rephrase your thesis statement in other words so that it could make an impression on your target audience. Finalize your paper with an intriguing or thought-provoking idea that will help your reader remember it.

Common Tips

  • Make sure to be as clear and concise as possible. Be focused and try not to include irrelevant details in your essay.
  • Make sure to connect your sentences with the help of good transitions.
  • Revise your essay several times when it is ready in order to check whether all the sentences are logically correct and there are no flaws.

Good Diagnostic Essay Topics

First and foremost, you need to understand that a diagnostic essay can be written on any topic. If you have some doubts regarding the topic chosen, it is better to ask your tutor for assistance instead of trying to guess whether the topic is good or not. Some topics of diagnostic essays are very specific. For instance, you can write an essay either on the literary work of Francis Scott Fitzgerald or on the concept of the American Dream described in The Great Gatsby. Finally, you can write a diagnostic essay on the characteristic features of the writing style of Francis Scott Fitzgerald.

In ESL/EFL classes, the students are often asked to create diagnosis essays on general topics. For instance, you can be asked to write a diagnosis essay on your favorite subject in high school, your favorite teacher, or a meaningful day in your life. Also, you may be asked to write your essay on some controversial issues such as a death penalty or abortion.

Actually, the topic for a diagnostic essay usually depends on its purpose. For instance, if you need to write an application essay, you will be asked to write about your previous achievements and experiences that helped you grow into a confident individual.

If your tutor allowed you to select the topic, try to pick up the one that fully matches your research interests. Being interested in your topic, you will be able to develop an incredible essay that will please your target audience. However, if you find it difficult to choose a good topic, no worries! Below, you will find the list of potential topics for a diagnostic essay that will help you write a well-structured piece:

  • Discuss the book that had the greatest impact on you. What lessons have you learned from it?
  • Discuss the Renaissance literature and its characteristic features;
  • Analyze your favorite character from Frankenstein;
  • Describe the main characteristics of your writing process;
  • How to become a good student? Support your arguments with real-life experiences;
  • Do you agree that literature plays a huge role in the life of an individual?
  • What does it mean to be honest with the surrounding people?
  • Discuss the role of integrity in the present-day realms;
  • Explain what were the causes and consequences of racial discrimination in the United States;
  • Choose one of the US Presidents and discuss his contribution to the well-being of the US citizens;
  • What historical events had the greatest impact on the life of your family?
  • How to become a good leader? What leadership style you like the most?
  • Explain why it is so important to leave the comfort zone from time to time;
  • Name three popular artists, dead or alive, you would invite for a dinner;
  • Identify the key benefits and shortcomings of democracy;
  • What is the biggest threat to the environment nowadays?
  • What is the role of religion in human life?
  • Describe your short-term and long-term goals. How are you going to reach them?

Diagnostic Essay Format Tips

  • Pay attention that in such an essay, the introduction is particularly important since it should grab the reader`s attention and burn the interest;
  • Each of the paragraphs should start with the clear topic sentence that will be related to a thesis statement;
  • All your arguments should be valid and relevant. If you want to support some of them with the citation, make sure to follow the formatting style suggested by your tutor;
  • Start with the strongest arguments moving towards the less important ones;
  • When writing about some concepts that may appear unknown to your reader, do not hesitate to explain them;
  • When your final draft is ready, edit and proofread it thoroughly before submitting;
  • Last but not least, read your paper once again to make sure it answers the prompt. If there are some irrelevant sentences, do not hesitate to rewrite or delete them.

Diagnostic Essay Outline

The importance of an outline can hardly be underestimated because it helps the writer keep the thoughts and ideas focused. An outline includes the key ideas and statements that will be explained in the essay. Pay attention that an outline for a diagnostic essay should include an introduction, topic sentences from the main body, and a conclusion.

All in all, we do hope that our suggestions will help you create an outstanding diagnostic essay example. Do your best and you will get an outstanding result!


October 15, 2019
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