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essay writing

PostPosted: Mon Jan 23, 2006 6:09 pm
by rita
Me again,


I have yet another nagging question about structuring written work.


I can't seem to write proper essays(especially historical ones)

Usually, for any given essay:

I'll do a TON of research(hours sometimes...)

read it all and select wonderful annecdotes and examples

write it alll up with out really ever writing either an introduction or a conclusion. Just barely stringing together a few scraggly sentences to support( not really) a mountain of examples.



The worst, for me, other than getting punctuation right( I write as muddled as I think....)

When an assignment states that I must write 2000 words am barely able to get to 500( I keep on adding words randomly hoping I'll meet the nummber...)

Often something similar to the following inner dialogue happens whenever I start to write :

I understand exactly what this topic is, I have great ideas,

If only I could talk and explain this instead of having to painstankingly write out every idea... I get stuck because is as though understanding comes so instantly I don't have time to figure out the details because I'm on to the next idea or just can't bear the thought of having to slow don't my racing thoughts.

I was told to write as though I were trying to explain something to a child or a completely ignorant person( I can't bear to think someone, let alone one who would read my paper, would be ignorant...)

What to do, good people, I'm begging for your kind and expert advice...

my brain is so muddled when it comes to following plans(I get carried away by what I'm learning in the proceess of researching the paper...)

thanks so much for answering my plea for help...

PostPosted: Mon Jan 23, 2006 9:25 pm
by fuzzy
1) OK first rule of an essay- good essays should be able to be understood by ANYONE reading it even if they are not a historian- you dont have to explain it like you would to a child, but you need to be able to write it in a way that will alloow ppl who dont know anything about, for example, the history of the shipping companies in India, to understand the topic- this means not making it overly complex yet not too simple. The best way of doing this is to get a mate who doesnt do the subject to read over the essay and see if they could make sense of it.

2) You need to write yourself a plan- intro, para 1, para 2, para 3, conclusion, for example. Write the body of the essay first paragraph at a time, and THEN do the conclusion and intro- they should both refer to the question.

PostPosted: Tue Jan 24, 2006 6:31 pm
by kitty_cute
Yep, I agree with Fuzzy. Structuring is very important, it makes it easier to read, and remember to contain paragraphs, very important!

PostPosted: Tue Jan 24, 2006 7:25 pm
by david456
I did History and Fuzzy is spot on. This template should be applied to any essay.

PostPosted: Wed Jan 25, 2006 2:40 pm
by Thirteen-thirty-seven
Fuzzy's advice is very good. You may find that writing your plan in the form of a "mind map" is easier than doing it in bullet points, though.

If speed of writing is a problem then typing your essays will be best.

If you have a problem with punctuation, read "Eats, Shoots and Leaves," by Lynne Truss. It is explains punctuation very clearly and is surprisingly funny for a book about dots and squiggles.

PostPosted: Sat Feb 11, 2006 3:48 pm
by Esioul
I find I need to spend hours and hours planning, otherwise I cannot write an essay without getting very muddled.

I have written 1,400 words of an essay today, 500 to go, yay. Then that leaves only one more to write this term, which looks to be an interesting one.

PostPosted: Sat Feb 11, 2006 5:12 pm
by Hermionefan5
Esioul wrote:I find I need to spend hours and hours planning, otherwise I cannot write an essay without getting very muddled.

I have written 1,400 words of an essay today, 500 to go, yay. Then that leaves only one more to write this term, which looks to be an interesting one.


Good job! Keep at it! 8) I have an essay due this week on Wednesday. I want to finish it by monday so I can do something else on Valentine's Day (Tuesday). I have a lot of the same troubles that Rita mentioned. My parents usually read over my essays to see if my thoughts make sense and then they try to help me come up with better sentences. It's usually good to have someone read it over for clarity. Sometimes that person may give you more ideas. I have good ideas, but it is hard to get them on paper in the right order. :oops: That also happens when I write fiction sometimes. I have trouble putting ideas into words (just as I do in speaking) when I put them on paper. I usually try to get help with my papers from someone else. Do you have a writing center at your school where you might be able to get them to read through/edit your work? Maybe they can help you get everything more clear and punctuation more correct. My nemesises are commas. I hate them! :evil:

PostPosted: Sat Feb 11, 2006 5:13 pm
by Hermionefan5
sorry me again. I just wanted to say I like your advice, Fuzzy. Good stuff! :D

PostPosted: Thu Mar 02, 2006 3:01 pm
by emma
My special education tutor nags me everytime I take her a piece of work to look at about the punctuation Lack of it what I don't think teachers realise is that whilst everyone else was learning to use punctuation I was still learning to write. I also get moaned at and little comments on my work when i get it back for example your essay is very disjointed. this is because my thoughts are all jumbled up in my head.

anyway i has a seminar today on how to write an essay:
heares some tips
Say what you are going to say (introduction) say it (main body) Say what you have said (conclusion) using a topic sentance at the start of each paragraph

when I was doing my english sats and gses I used the point quote comment structure