What Is a Diagnostic Essay and How Do I Write One? (2023 Guide)

By Editorial Team Last updated: Oct 11, 2023

What Is a Diagnostic Essay and How Do I Write One? (2023 Guide)

When students are given the assignment to write a diagnostic essay, they are immediately terrified by the name and question how or what the diagnostic essay definition is. In truth, a diagnostic essay is not the same as a standard one. Its goal is to assess or diagnose a set of competencies that all college students should possess. It is usually administered by college professors at the start of the academic year to assist teaching staff in evaluating existing knowledge of a specific student or course audience. There are certain rules and things to check, as with every assignment, which we will go over in our diagnostic essay guide. Remember that the pros at Eprowriters can assist you in producing an essay of any sort and complexity. Let's have a peek at our manual! There is no need to be concerned!

Read also: Differences Between an Essay and a Research Paper

What is the definition of a diagnostic essay?

A diagnostic essay is an essay thet presents a known topic or pose a question that must be responded to in an essay form for the majority of university courses in the United States. Because most people's time is limited, diagnostic essays can be difficult to write, especially when deadlines are tight and there isn't much time to consider. Because of time constraints and stringent deadlines, there is no need to conduct any study.

The following are some of the reasons why a diagnostic essay could be useful:

  • To evaluate your command of the English language and your ability to communicate in it.
  • To evaluate your grammatical abilities.
  • To see how much you already know about history, philosophy, political science, or any other subject.
  • To decide if you should be placed on an advanced or mainstream educational track.
  • To see how far you've come in learning English as a second language.
  • Transferring to a new school is a big step.
  • Exams for admissions or entrance
  • Application for a job, a grant, or a scholarship

As previously said, the objective of a diagnostic essay is to assist professors in evaluating students' talents, writing styles, and determining their level of knowledge. It is not necessary to demonstrate that you have read specific books or conducted extensive study. Diagnostic essays are similar to timed creativity tests in that they aid in the discovery of skills and deficiencies. When a document is finished, college and university teachers review it and make suggestions, writing advice, and comments on key errors. These elements are really crucial to consider, from grammar to formatting regulations! Furthermore, teachers plan their own work and assignments based on the level of skills demonstrated by each student.
Even though such projects are rarely marked, they must be completed in such a way that teachers can notice the students' abilities to work on preparation, essay writing, reasoning, strategic thinking, and editing! Remember that decent proofreading abilities are also required!

Read also: Step-by-Step Literary Analysis Instructions

Format and Structure of a Diagnostic Essay

Remember that your time is limited, thus it's critical to focus on proper organization first! This method will assist you in avoiding further editing or rewriting issues. Unless otherwise specified, typical diagnostic writing should consist of an introduction, three body paragraphs, and a conclusion.


To introduce the allotted topic or question, repeat the request in your own words. Then, in a few sentences, describe three important ideas (arguments) that will be discussed in the body paragraphs. The thesis statement, which should be one sentence long and convey a powerful argument or a call to action, is the last sentence in an introduction.

3 paragraphs in the body

Remember the ancient adage, "One idea - one body paragraph!" It's a requirement here! Make a case for your point of view, and explain how it pertains to your thesis. Feel free to include any facts, research, or personal experience that can be utilized to back up the various statements being presented.


Summarizing each paragraph's essential points in a way that makes even the most complex information more understandable. In the final paragraph, do not offer any new ideas. Rephrase the thesis statement in alternative phrases so that the target audience has no doubts. In your concluding line, discuss facts or an issue in such a way that it motivates people to act favorably or to learn more about the essay topic.

  • When representing various thoughts and arguments, remember to be as specific as possible.
  • Avoid using generic statements and instead provide instances that demonstrate the teaching staff that you are prepared for the subject at hand and that you have strategic thinking and analyzing skills.
  • Always attempt to write in short, logically correct sentences because this makes editing and proofreading easier. Furthermore, with a stringent word count, things can easily run over the limit!

Step-by-Step Instructions for Writing a Diagnostic Essay

When you discover more about the required format and a list of items to consider, knowing how to write a diagnostic essay will become much easier. To demonstrate good writing skills, this type of writing must be accurate and well-structured. Academic experts utilize such assignments to assess your ability to deal with structure and analysis. As you begin writing your diagnostic essay, keep the following in mind:

Pick a topic that interests you.

You must either respond to a prompt that has already been supplied or find something that inspires you. Consider writing about the difficulties students have had when learning online or discussing societal issues such as racial discrimination. The topic should pose a question or represent a significant problem so that you can "diagnose" the situation and give some of your ideas.

Create a compelling thesis statement.

A excellent thesis statement implies that you should contemplate some idea that displays your viewpoint on the subject. A thesis statement is a statement that summarizes or explains your point of view. It is suggested that you begin with your thesis statement. Consider a list of reasons and arguments to back up your position. It must include the "because it..." component, which backs up your claim.

Make a rough outline.

Of course, if you're short on time, you may skip this section, but it can help you stay organized and ordered in your thinking. It's a good technique to jot down any thoughts that come to mind so you don't forget them while writing. Each paragraph must include only one idea. You won't go over your word limit or make your selected topic too broad if you follow this rule.

Consider the introduction.

You must begin your diagnostic essay with a hook sentence or a memorable phrase that will pique the interest of your readers. Remember to begin by introducing your topic and explaining what it means or why it is important to society. This is also the paragraph in which you should state your thesis. It ought to be linked to your thesis statement. Otherwise, it can come across as odd, which isn't a good thing!

Body Paragraphs

With Topic Sentences Unless otherwise indicated, you should include at least three body paragraphs. This is where you can insert any pertinent facts, such as real-life stories, examples, statistics, or statistics. Provide proof to back up your point of view. Always give credit to the original source if you use any sources.


This is the section where you must summarize your ideas and opinions. Your argument, on the other hand, should be written in alternative words or in a sentence that makes it clearer. No new concepts should be introduced. Simply state all of the major results as if you were completing the bullet points. Avoid repeats and keep your sentences short; your conclusion should account for roughly 10% of your entire word count.

Editing and proofreading

This section should never be overlooked because it aids in the prevention of both significant and minor errors. Learn to read your essay aloud and begin by revising before moving on to proofreading (this part determines how good it sounds). Always be critical and double-check your work using your grading rubric or prompt!

Fortunately, writing a decent diagnostic paper is not as difficult as writing other types of essays you may encounter in college. You are not required to conduct research or to synthesize data from diverse academic sources. You can, of course, include some external data or statistics, but you don't have to if it isn't essential. The most important thing is to be inspired as you begin writing and to use proper language and structure to create content that is logical, fascinating, and easy to understand. Before we get into the more than 40 popular diagnostic essay topics, let us remind you that at Eprowriters, your papers will always be delivered on time!

40+ Hot Topics for Diagnostic Essays

Despite the fact that most university lecturers in the United States provide prompts, some like to give students free reign to think, create, and analyze to see if they can come up with something on their own. Basically, work on something that suits your course's curriculum or that actually stands out and demonstrates your abilities and knowledge. Look at a few different diagnosis essay topics to come up with some personal ideas for diagnostic writing. The diagnostic essay prompts listed here are for a variety of prominent disciplines.

English and literature

  • Describe the Romantic era's literature, concentrating on three specific novels or poetry that epitomize the period.
  • Discuss three novels that have influenced you the most. Why have these three novels been so influential in your life?
  • How do you go about writing? In a five-paragraph essay, describe your process.
  • Analyze one of the characters in Frankenstein after you've finished reading it.
  • Has literature played a significant role in your life? Why do you think that is?

Computers and Society

  • Is social media beneficial or harmful to interpersonal communication?
  • Should the drinking age for American teenagers be lowered?
  • What are the disadvantages of distance learning versus traditional learning methods?
  • Is there a link between racial prejudice and psychology or physiology?
  • What role do you think social networking will have in ten years?

Read Also: Topics for History Essays for Outstanding Papers and Civil Rights Movement Essay Topics

Nursing and healthcare

  • What effect does college life have on modern students' sleep patterns?
  • What nursing theorists have had an impact on me, and how do I anticipate my own social input?
  • How may stress levels in the emergency room be reduced?
  • Is it OK to accept traditional medicine practices?
  • Should nurses be completely truthful or politically correct?


  • Describe the Industrial Revolution's causes and effects.
  • Choose three US presidents and discuss their impact on the country.
  • What does it mean to be a citizen of the United States of America?
  • What impact have historical events had on your life or your family's history?

Business Administration

  • Why do the majority of businesses choose for offshore solutions?
  • How can concerns of gender bias in the workplace be avoided?
  • What are the advantages and disadvantages of outsourcing?
  • Is a company's social media presence beneficial or detrimental to its growth because of its digital footprint?
  • With competent employers, but without a strong team leader, a successful firm is difficult. Do you agree with me?

Political Science

  • The United States' presence in Afghanistan is detrimental to the country's foreign policy.
  • Is it possible to reach a political accord via mediation techniques?
  • Does media openness help to ensure fair and balanced coverage on television?
  • Which political figure has had the most influence on me?
  • Disputes between religions and political conflicts have little in common and should not be lumped together. Do you agree with this viewpoint? Why do you think that is or why don't you think that is?

Read also: Persuasive Essay Topics and Ideas and Narrative Essay Topics and Ideas

Education and Culture

  • Will electronic books eventually supplant traditional print books?
  • What effect does social media have on young people's body image?
  • Are bloggers on the internet journalists?
  • Is it possible to replace physical teachers with interactive content?
  • Should the United States have a unified educational system, or do various teaching techniques have a right to exist as well?

Topics for General Essays

  • Describe an instance when you were forced to step outside your comfort zone. What effect did it have on the formation of your character?
  • What kind of leader are you?
  • Who has had the greatest influence on your life, and why?
  • Who would you invite to dinner if you could invite three persons, living or dead, and why?
  • Describe the gun control argument from several views, without taking sides but merely explaining the various viewpoints.
  • Do you think healthcare (or higher education) should be available to all Americans? Why do you think that is?
  • What makes a free press so important to a democracy?
  • What do you believe the greatest threat to humanity is at the moment?
  • What would you do with a billion dollars to start a business, and why?
  • Describe your short- and long-term objectives.
  • To you, what does the term "white privilege" imply?
  • Do you think killing animals for human consumption is ethical? Why?
  • Is there a good or negative side to human nature?
  • Is religion more harmful than beneficial?

Read AlsoTopics for History Essays for Outstanding Papers and Civil Rights Movement Essay Topics


A diagnostic essay might help you figure out where you stand as a writer. A diagnostic essay may be assigned by a teacher to determine what you already know about a subject. Similarly, whether honing your English composition skills or learning English as a second language, you may come across a diagnostic essay. In fact, if you're learning English as a second language, you'll almost certainly be required to write at least one diagnostic essay to assess your progress.

A diagnostic essay assignment can turn into one of the most significant pieces of writing you'll ever write in your academic or professional lifetime. When applying for jobs or scholarships, you may be required to write one. Similarly, the reader of your diagnostic essay may use it to assess if you are eligible for specialist services such as tutoring or whether you should be placed in a certain course or program. Because a diagnostic essay is so crucial, we've put up this guidance for you and encourage you to seek additional help from a writing coach.

One of the most essential things you can accomplish in your life is to master the art of written communication. As a result, treat your diagnostic essays with respect and use this guidance to help you improve your writing.



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