Maturity exam: how to write a short essay

The first test of the maturity exam focuses on the Italian language: the students can choose between different tracks related to different types of tests.

Today we discover together how to write a short essay.

The expository scheme of the short essay

The expository scheme of the short essay is divided into

  • enunciation
  • critical-informative path
  • conclusion

Let’s briefly analyze these three basic phases.


At this stage a very brief framework of the terms of the problem must be worked out. In particular, a presentation of the thesis to be demonstrated and of the major related problems will be elaborated.

Critical-informative path

In this phase, which represents the core of the writing, the structure must be clear and the evidence evident; everything must be presented consistently with the above



The conclusion is nothing other than confirmation of the starting thesis. A more personal form of leave can be used, but never exceeding, because the persuasive function inherent in the short essay model is not to highlight a personal point of view.

The fundamental characteristics of the Short Essay

The fundamental characteristics of the short essay are four:

  • Brevity
  • Use of keywords
  • Coherence of the linguistic register
  • Objectivity and impartiality
  • Brevity

The short essay, as its very definition says, must be short: if functionality is the structural peculiarity of the short essay, the synthesis is the formal one. Therefore, be careful not to dwell too much on any of the phases just described.

Use of keywords

The key word of the essay must be repeated in every phase, to favor the understanding of the central theme of the essay: around it will turn the most important topics, supported by secondary arguments consistent with the main assumptions.

Consistent linguistic register

On the basis of the central theme it is necessary to choose the type of language related to the communicative form that is used and bring it forward in all the phases of the essay. In particular, for the writing of a short essay (for scientific and literary texts), it is necessary to use a formal register, using a complicated syntax and a very specialized vocabulary. We need to leverage, in addition to our own knowledge, the expressive methods already present in the texts proposed by the track.

Objectivity and impartiality

There is no impartial and objective narrative: if, however, we examine the different aspects of an issue, it is possible to offer a complete presentation. A subjective view of the facts, however, can be very interesting and engaging for the reader, because it also provides hints for the assessment of the student’s critical ability.

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