Writing the Diagnostic Essay



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Writing the Diagnostic Essay

  • For the C-Assignment: Diagnostic Essay, you have TWO OPTIONS to choose from:
  • OR
  • Write a Movie Review.
  • Write a Restaurant Review.
  • So, follow these steps to successfully completing this essay:
  • Select your topic at the beginning of the Conclusion Unit.
  • You will use this topic to complete the C-Assignment: Writing the Controlling Statement, C-Assignment: Writing Supporting Statements, C-Assignment: Introduction/Conclusion, and the C-Assignment: Diagnostic Essay.
  • This essay needs to be five paragraphs (introduction, 3 supporting statements/body paragraphs, conclusion).
  • Read on for more information...

Step 1: Choosing Your topic

  • Here are the TWO OPTIONS to choose from:
  • OR
  • Write a Movie Review.
  • Write a Restaurant Review.
  • You are assigned to write a 5 paragraph restaurant review. You may review any restaurant in your neighborhood from the hole in the wall to the elegant bistro. In the first paragraph describe the location, type of restaurant, and when you were there, and state an overall opinion of the restaurant as your thesis. For the 3 body paragraphs, select 3 criteria to detail, such as the food, service, atmosphere, cleanliness or menu selection. In each paragraph give an opinion of one of your criteria and provide 2 or 3 detailed examples that support your opinion. For your conclusion, restate your overall opinion in a different way and offer recommendations. Each paragraph should have topic sentence and be at least 5 sentences long.
  • You are assigned to write a 5 paragraph movie review. You may review any movie in theatres, on video, or on television (the movie does not need to be a recent release). In the first paragraph describe the genre (type of movie), when it was out, the people involved in the production, and state an overall opinion of the movie as your thesis. For the 3 body paragraphs, select 3 criteria to detail, such as the acting, plot, dialogue, music, setting, costumes, special effects, or cinematography. In each paragraph give an opinion of one of your criteria and provide 2 or 3 detailed examples that support your opinion. For your conclusion, restate your overall opinion in a different way and offer recommendations. Each paragraph should have topic sentence and be at least 5 sentences long.

Step 2: Work on assignments

  • There are several assignments that will help you complete the final draft of your diagnostic essay; these need to be completed BEFORE you turn in the final draft of the essay:
  • C-Assignment: Writing the Controlling Statement—This assignment helps you write two possible controlling statements (or thesis statements) for your essay.
  • C-Assignment: Writing Supporting Statements—Writing your supporting statements helps you create a strong case for why you like the restaurant/movie that you selected.
  • C-Assignment: Introduction/Conclusion—See the next slides for more details with these paragraphs.
  • C-Assignment: Diagnostic Essay—Once you’ve revised and spell-checked, you’re ready to submit.

Writing the Introduction

  • Since the introduction is the opening paragraph, it needs to really grab your reader’s attention. A great introduction has three things:
  • Hook—This helps catch the reader’s attention; remember that you can use a quote, a fact, a question, an anecdote (short story)…something to engage your reader.
  • Bridge—This part helps narrow your focus; you can mention your topic, but don’t give your thesis/controlling idea yet.
  • Thesis/Controlling Idea—This is the main idea of your paper; it states your opinion and includes your reasons for it. It should be one sentence.

Sample Introduction

  • Have you ever been to a restaurant that really disappointed you? One that you vowed never to return to? Unfortunately, there are many of these restaurants around town. But Starbucks is a place that never disappoints because it has delicious coffee beverages, provides a warm place to hang out, and has lots of gifts to buy for others.

Writing supporting statements

  • The supporting statements are the body paragraphs of your essay, and there are three. This means you will have three body paragraphs that do the following:
  • Give a reason to support your opinion—This is the topic sentence of your paragraph.
  • Includes lots of facts, examples, explanations, details, and descriptions—You want to support your ideas so that the reader is convinced and persuaded to believe your opinion.
  • Use good writing—This means you will use active voice, powerful word choices, correct commas, and transition words…everything you’ve learned in the course!

Sample Body Paragraph

  • Starbucks has some of the most delicious coffee beverages to choose from; I never get tired of the selections they offer! For example, at the holidays, Starbucks has created several yummy drinks, like Peppermint Mocha, Gingerbread Latte, and Pumpkin Spice Latte. These drinks are like Christmas in a cup, with spices, flavors, and warmth that remind me of why I love this time of year. And for the non-coffee drinker, there are plenty of options to choose from, as well, including Salted Caramel Hot Chocolate and Chai Tea Latte. No matter your flavor, you can always find a drink for you!

Writing the conclusion

  • The conclusion is your last paragraph and needs three things:
  • Restate Your Thesis—Restate means you write it again, but in a different way.
  • Significance—Broaden your focus…why is this so important? What’s so great about it?
  • Final Thought—Leave your reader with something to think about, like a larger concern, consequence, challenge, quote, or question.

Getting Ready to Submit

  • Before you submit your essay, you want to do a few things to make sure you are turning in your best work possible:
  • Reread your essay—Does it make sense? Are you supporting your ideas? Do you stay on topic?
  • Run spell-check & grammar-check—Make sure you are catching all those spelling and grammar errors.
  • Check out the rubric—It’s always a good idea to see how your work will be graded. After looking at the rubric, what grade do you think you will earn? Is there anything you can do to make your essay better? The rubric is on the next page; it’s also available in the Conclusion Folder of the Resources.
  • Save your essay as Rich Text Format—Make sure your teacher can open your essay by saving it correctly.
  • Submit your essay to the correct assignment link—Are you satisfied that you’ve done your best work possible? Submit your assignment!

Diagnostic essay Rubric

Need Additional help?

  • Send me a message! Use the IM Ms. B! button for immediate help or click on the blue Messages button to send me a message.
  • Use the blue Resources button for more details about this or other assignments.


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