27 September 2011

The Essay Essay

David Garcia

English 81/91-W09

Mr. Jon Herrin

October 25, 2011

Writing A Super Essay

     We often find ourselves sitting in some course for which we must write

an essay.For some people, the task comes easily. For others, writing an

essay is incredibly difficult. I have learned in my writing course that writing

a good, readable, intelligent essay is not as difficult as it may seem at first.

     To start with, one needs to have a clear understanding of the 5-step

writing process. First, one must give a little time to thinking. In the thinking,

we start our brain “moving” towards our topic as we get ready for

“noting.” In noting, we make lists, brainstorm, web or cluster our ideas

about the writing topic. Then, after we decide what to include in our paper,

we start the actual writing of the paper. Once we’ve got the first draft,

we go back for revising—or, looking again. In revising, we add and take

away ideas, words, and sentences, and we make sure the structure of

the paper is right.  Finally, after revising, we move to finalizing – writing

a final, edited, well-structured draft that we can turn in to our instructor.

     With regard to the “structure” of the paper, it is important that the

essay be properly “laid out.” The first part of the essay is the Intro

Paragraph. This part of the essay is supposed to “grab” the reader by

creating questions in the reader’s mind or by making connections with

the reader through general truths and ‘connection words’ (we,us, our.)

Also, we want to make sure that this paragraph has a “thesis”—a

sentence or question that reveals (generally) the topic of the whole

paper. This paragraph should be short—only three sentences or so.

The second and largest part of the essay is the Body, usually comprised

of three or four “body” paragraphs. Each of these paragraphs begins

with a topic sentence that “controls” or directs the topic of the entire

paragraph. The final part of the essay is the Conclusion Paragraph. This

part is also short like the Intro (2 or 3 sentences) and serves to tie up

the essay. In this part of the essay, we “reaffirm” or emphasize the thesis.

     One area that befuddles a few students is how to make corrections

when writing the final draft. We can actually do that quite easily! For

instance, if a student is writing and realizes that she left out a word,
she can simply place an up-arrow(^) in the line and ^ the word she

left out. If one writes the wrong word or misspells a word, he can simply
draw a single line through the mispelled word and write the correction

over the error.  Doing this allows us to make corrections without

creating a messy paper.

     Furthermore, there are a few more things we can do to make our

class papers look polished and academic. 1) Get in the habit of skipping

lines—this looks better and makes correcting errors easier. 2) Don’t

write on the back of the paper—sometimes there are “bleed-throughs”

that make the front look messy. 3) Write in pen (blue or black)—

pencil tends to smudge or smear easily. 4) Turn in the paper on time…

and early if possible! Just by paying attention to these few items can

make the difference between a “C” and a “B” on a paper or exam.

     Yes, it may seem that there is a lot to putting together a good essay,

but simply doing these things can greatly affect our writing and our

grades. I don’t know about you, but I want my papers to be effective

and to receive high marks. Happy Writing!

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