When writing an essay you will more often than not, find that they have set a word limit. You may be asked by a potential employer, or your tutor, for a short essay. Shorter essays may be used if there is a high volume level of candidates for something, or if your tutor wants to test your brevity. Writing a 200 word essay often requires more planning than a longer piece due to the obvious constraints.
Write a plan for your essay. You should plan your essay into three main sections: the introduction, the body and the conclusion. The introduction should briefly explain what you are trying to achieve in the essay. The body should argue your point, and the conclusion summarise all points.
Paraphrase, rather than quote, a source. Presume the reader has an understanding of the subjects or theories you are quoting. Instead of quoting a paragraph that explains a theory or concept, write something such as "based on Smith's theory," and then lead into your analysis.
Avoid ambiguous and verbose sentences or paragraphs. Due to the short word length, reach your point as simply and succinctly as possible. While additional marks will undoubtedly be given for style, the most important thing, as is true with all writing, is to put your message across as well as possible. In this instance that means finding the balance between detail and persuasion.
Check your work meticulously. While your work has to be condescended, you also need to ensure it is all correct in terms of spelling and grammar. With only 200 words, it will be more obvious if you have made a mistake.