Writing a Diagnostic Essay

A diagnostic essay is a timed essay which basically tests the knowledge that a student has on a specified topic. Have a clear work outline before you start writing and always proofread after finishing the composition. A diagnostic essay is a type of write-up that is given to a student at the commencement of an educational course. It is used to analyze a student´s writing skills. Typically, a student is given a question and is required to write about that specific topic provided. This type of essay tends to expose your writing abilities as well as try to give an analysis of the strengths and shortcomings of your writing. This is recommended so that your professor or teacher can plan upcoming work as per your capabilities. Diagnostics essays are also done within a short period of time to provoke your creativity in the given topic. In this type of essay, there is no study required because the writing commences the moment the topic is given. All attention and concentration are directed to the essay. Use the given time to draw an outline, write your essay, edit and check on spelling and grammar before the time elapses. In as much as such as papers seem tasking and difficult to compose especially with the short period allocated, there is no aim of avoiding them because they are hardly ever graded, so you are not obligated to perform your best. Such essays are frequently found when doing international English tests and other related tests in order to assess your writing abilities. Diagnostic essays are written in the normal format: introduction, body with three main paragraphs, and a conclusion. Sometimes, students are required to write on the same topic while other times you are given a number of topics to select from.

Writing the Introduction

It is recommended that you write your paper when you have understood and internalized the given topic. A good idea is to give a summary of what the topic is about. Have the main points that you decide to write about and briefly talk about them. Remember, these points will be explained in the body section of the essay.

Writing the Body of the Essay

After putting down your introduction, begin writing the body by placing each idea in its own paragraph. Each paragraph should have its argument at the start then followed by a clarification of the argument. Do not forget to include any proof in form of statistics or evidence to back up your assertions.

Writing Your Conclusion

This section includes summarized arguments and ought to convincingly connect to the main idea. Finish off the essay using statements that encourage the student to go and research more about the essay topic.

What to Do When Presented with a Diagnostic Theme

  1. Keep still and avoid stressing out because you might lose all the arguments – though some people prefer the stressful environment to come up with good write-ups. If you do not do well in such environments, always try to keep calm.
  2. Understand the given topic correctly. Know what is required of you and address the question as it is because answering it wrongly will show how not creative you are. Make sure a rough draft of your main topics is there before writing to see if you are on track.
  3. Do not rush to start. Create the outline first before you start writing. Also, have an idea of what your conclusion should be like. Having this outline helps to stay on the right path and avoid mixing up many ideas.

Examples of Diagnostic Essay Topics

Most diagnostic essay topics are given without requiring prior research; they are generally common topics, and sometimes personal. Other times, it could be a common issue that you are needed to give your thoughts on. For example, if the theme was about the benefits of going abroad, then the three major highlights could discuss about advantages such as learning a new language, meeting new people, or even visiting a new country. You can argue that taking up a foreign language will make help in appreciating the nation´s culture better and connect with colleague s and friends effectively. Going abroad will also help make new friends and thus broaden your social circles and networks. Visiting a new country is everyone’s dream, and it will help appreciate other cultures. In some situations, your professor will give a precise focus. Sometimes he/she can choose to leave it to the creativity of the students to see what they are skillful in. If this is the case, choose the best topic that brings out your competencies and makes you stand out. Below are some examples of diagnostic essay topics that you can practice on.
  • The Five Major Cities I Wish To Visit And Why
  • Should The Youths Be Permitted To Take Liquor If Their Thinking Capacity Is Established To Be Like That Of A Grown-Up?
  • Can The People On Facebook And Twitter Who Are Well Known And Vocal Also Be Termed As Celebrities?
  • Should Old-Fashioned Male And Female Roles Be Done Away With Once And For All?
  • Does Racial Discrimination Truly Exist?
  • Can Spending Time On YouTube Be Considered Time-Wasting?
  • What Is Important Between Sleep And Hygiene?
  • Which Is The Finest Pet To Keep In A Home Surrounded By A Forest?
  • Can Literature Be Replaced By TV Shows Or Websites In Terms Of Popularity?
  • Who Is The Most Memorable Person You Know?


The key impression of an investigative essay is to actually inform your professor of your capabilities in writing a prompt essay topic. It is never about the knowledge or expertise possessed on that given topic. It is about the talents owned.