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The following essay was written in response to the lesson,  Writing a 500 Word Essay It was done in class, with the participation of students. The essay is a first draft in response to the topic,What is your idea of a perfect vacation? Explain. See the notes that follow the essay on technique and what order to follow.

 Hints for a Perfect Vacation

     Do you remember the time you had a horrible vacation? Everything went wrong. The hotel was noisy; your mother-in-law was driving you crazy; the countryside was full of garbage. Why does this happen so often? The answer seems to be that people fail to plan in advance to ensure their holiday is the best possible. Perfect vacations require good companions, different activities and beautiful natural surroundings.

     The companions we choose are important to a perfect vacation. Imagine being on vacation in Paris with your mother-in-law who spends all day complaining about the food, which is just not like it is at home. Choose carefully, for nothing can wreck your vacation faster. Your long term friends who can make you laugh even when it has been raining for the previous five days are the kind you want to have along. In addition, your companion should share your ideas and bad habits. If you love to smoke a good black tobacco cigarette, they should also. Whatever you do, select someone who when you spend time with them, the time flies and the evening is over before you know it. Good companionship is very important to a good vacation.

     The activities we participate in are significant to the success of our vacation plans. Varied activities make for a pleasant vacation. For example, Club Med offers everything from paragliding to safari. What is most important is that what you do is different from your everyday life. If you are an accountant, then choose mountain climbing for your vacation activity. If you are a police scuba diver, go to visit the famous castle in Romania. But always remember—after the hard day climbing the Matterhorn, take it easy at a bistro in the village below. Or, if you spent the day walking around Dracula's castle, read a romantic novel to get your mind off of the vampires. Whatever you do, make sure to plan your activities carefully to experience a perfect vacation.

     The place we go is essential to how well we meet the goal of a perfect vacation. First, decide on how far your budget allows you to go while, at the same time, considering the cost of staying at your chosen destination. A cheap hotel, beside the all-night disco is no bargain. A good night's sleep is essential to enjoying your vacation; without it, you can't enjoy anything. But, most important of all is the natural beauty of the surroundings. If you live in the Vancouver rain forest, perhaps a visit to the desert will be both varied and beautiful in a new way. If, however, you live in a dry place, then perhaps a visit to Prince Rupert would be more interesting. To meet the goal of the perfect vacation, choose the place carefully.

     To my way of thinking, a perfect vacation requires good companionship, varied activities, and a beautiful natural environment. The wrong companion can really ruin your vacation. Having nothing interesting to do would be boring and a waste of money. And an uninteresting place isn't worth travelling to. Follow my rules and you'll have a great time! (523 words, including title; first draft with some errors) 

Notes on Writing the Essay

First step: Read the topic carefully.

500 words is divided how? 75 words introduction and conclusion and 125 per body.

Get ideas: Three body paragraphs

Order the ideas in some way. Usually, your second best group of examples comes first. Then, your least best group. Finally, your best group.

Get examples for each body paragraph.

Write the examples in the body paragraphs.

Write the conclusion.

Write the introduction and then the title.