Writing an essay is used in many schools of the world to assess and evaluate the personality of the author, his feelings and thoughts, as well as the student’s worldview. Essay does not depend on the amount of knowledge or research of a subject. The main purpose of an essay is a forgetting the measures, prevalence of associations over logic (O’Connor, 2014). Free form of an essay is just for such students as me, who have difficulties to meet the solid framework of scientific works with any given structure.
Any student of high school had assignment to write an essay on various topics and in different subjects not once. Teachers give these tasks in order to develop the skills of independent creative thinking and a written statement of own thoughts in students. Teachers said that essay writing is extremely useful, as it allows the student to learn how to clearly and correctly formulate ideas, organize information, use the basic categories of analysis, highlight causal relationships, illustrate concepts with appropriate examples, make conclusions.
For example in my high school, I had a physics class and the teacher gave us a task to write the essay on the topic “Nuclear energy”. Before starting writing the essay, I remembered that the essay has to contain the following: a clear statement of the essence of the problem, my analysis of this problem using the concepts and analytical tools within the discipline, conclusions, summarizing my position on the stated problem.
I remember the words of my teacher that form of essay can be significantly differentiated depending on the specific discipline. In some cases, this may be an analysis of available statistical data on the problem under study, analysis of materials from the media and the use of models under study, detailed analysis of the proposed tasks with expanded views, selection and detailed analysis of examples to illustrate the problem, etc.
At the beginning of writing the essay, I remembered about its structure. Since the essay should consist of an introduction, body and conclusion, I began with an introduction. I tried to properly formulate the problem and statement, which was planning to find an answer in the course of research about nuclear energy. I focused my attention on the formulation of the problem and clearly expressed problem statement. My introduction was not long, but it was concise and informative. I described the importance of nuclear energy in modern society, and outlined the scope of its use. My statement was clear and gave a good idea about the content of the essay.
In the main part, I gave several arguments in support of the problem statement. I remember that arguments are the facts, phenomena of social life, events, life situations and experiences, scientific evidence, opinion of scientists, etc. I also understand that the best way is to give two arguments in favor of each thesis: one argument seems unconvincing, three arguments can overload the presentation. So, I wrote two arguments in support of my statement. Though my essay was large enough in volume, I still catered for brevity and imagery.
Writing the main part of the essay was the most difficult for me, because this part involved the development of reasoning and analysis, as well as the rationale for them, based on available data, other arguments and positions on this issue. I had difficulties with that, but I managed to cope with them. Just to expand its theme I used graphs and charts.
When writing the essay, I remembered that one paragraph had to contain only one statement and relevant evidence, supported by graphics and illustrative material. Consequently, filling content sections argumentation within paragraph I limited myself to the consideration of one main thought.
Since my essay was about 5 pages, for structuring the text I had to use subheadings to indicate key points of my work: it helped to look at what it was supposed to do. This approach helped to follow a well-defined purpose in my research. Effective use of subtitles is not only marking the main points to be covered. Their sequence is indicative of the presence or absence of consistency in the coverage of the topic.
Writing conclusion of my essay was also complicated. Knowing that conclusion was a generalization of the whole work, I tried to give it due attention. In the conclusion, I summed up the main ideas and arguments of the essay. In this section I also noted the importance of the research and named the used information.
In my essay, I tried to use the following style of presentation: emotionality, expressiveness, artistry. I followed the instructions of experts who believed that the proper effect was provided by short, simple, varied intonation sentences. Also, I tried to use the correct punctuation. I singled out the paragraphs to establish a logical connection of different parts. That way I achieved integrity of the work.
In my essay I tried to avoid common mistakes:
- Bad check. I didn’t just check spelling. I read the text and made sure that there were no ambiguous expressions, failed locutions, etc.
- Tedious foreword. Lack of detail. It happens a lot when interesting essay loses by having enumeration of statements without illustrating them with examples. I have tried to eliminate that from my essay. And I gave two examples to each statement.
- Verbosity. Essays are limited to a certain number of words, so it was reasonably necessary to use this volume in the right way. I gave up some ideas or details, especially if they were already been mentioned somewhere or had no direct bearing on the case. I knew that such things only distracted the reader’s attention and overshadowed the main theme.
- Long phrases. Some students think that the longer sentences are, the better. However, this is far from the truth (Wingate, 2012). I knew that long sentences did not prove the correctness of the author. And at the same time short sentences often produce a greater effect. So, I tried to alternate long sentences with short ones. I read the essay aloud.
After I wrote my essay completely, I decided to read it again and evaluate whether it met all the requirements. I realized that the work had correct grammar and punctuation, sentences were clear and thesis was put clearly, arguments were given in their entirety and conclusion was made in accordance with the thesis of the essay. I was satisfied with the work had done, and subsequently received a good mark and feedback from my teacher. Even though it was difficult to write that essay and it took me much time, the satisfaction I got from well done work, was totally worth it.
O’Connor, Evelyn. “Essay Writing [Edition 3].” Irish Independent, (2014): 24.
Wingate, U. “‘Argument!’ Helping Students Understand What Essay Writing is About”. Journal of English for Academic Purposes, 11.2 (2012): 145-146.