History of the ESSAY
The rise of the essay in European
culture in the late 16th Century was
coincidental with the evolution of the
notion of individual freedom and the
increased recognition of the value of
The essay thus began as the simplest
and most naturally reflective, self-
generating and self-sustaining kind of
The finest modern essayists, while managing
to sustain a respectfully objective distance
from the topic, have recognizable voices.
Essay writing is the art of channeling a
private inner conversation between the
and its subject into a public outer form.
Why do you have to suffer the burden of
essay writing like those of career
TO TEACH YOU TO THINK!!!!
You will be evaluated NOT on
what you know, but on how well
you can think about what you
know and on how well your
writing elucidates that thought.
Remember that writing is often messy,
usually difficult, and more difficult some
days than others.
Work hard, but be as patient with yourself
as if you were learning to play golf.
The thesis is the purpose you aim to fulfill
when you reach your destination…and
every essay MUST have a purpose.
Topic = topos, “place”
Thesis = “something set down”
A thesis is something
declared, a decision made,
a direction found.
A good thesis answers the question or
fulfills the assignment set by the instructor.
A good thesis presents the argument that
seems most significant and most
interesting to you.
Think of yourself as a member of a jury,
listening to a lawyer who is presenting an
You'll want to know very soon whether the
lawyer believes the accused to be guilty or
not guilty, and how the lawyer plans to
Readers of academic essays are like jury
members: before they have read too far,
they want to know what the essay argues
as well as how the writer plans to make
Developing a thesis
After reading your thesis statement, the
reader should think, "This essay is going
to try to convince me of something. I'm not
convinced yet, but I'm interested to see
how I might be."
Rules of the thesis
A thesis is never a question.
Readers of academic essays expect to
have questions discussed, explored, or
even answered. A question ("Why did
communism collapse in Eastern Europe?")
is not an argument, and without an
argument, a thesis is dead in the water.
Thesis rules cont’d
A thesis is never a list.
A thesis should never be vague,
combative or confrontational.
An effective thesis has a definable,
A thesis should be as clear and specific
The daunting first page…
Thinking and Writing Styles
draw branches that allow you free yourself
from the constraints of sentences or
No order, however, thoughts are
suggested as well as connections of ideas.
Thinking & Writing Styles
Provides a temporary reprieve from the
anxiety of trying to obey the rules and
regulations of correct writing.
Used as a warm-up exercise to bring what
you have in mind to the surface
Write on your specific topic for the whole
time…say 20 minutes.
Who, in this class, would
you pick for the next
Take a moment to write down the name of your
candidate and the reasons for your choice.
Thinking & Writing Styles
Like good paintings, good essays are
structured so well that they appear to have
no structure at all.
However, you will discover a
framework…an arrangement of ideas &
details that is essential to a lucid &
By having the whole essay condensed on
one page, you can see the purpose, the
relationships between the main points and
the supporting details.
More paper gets thrown in the recycling
bin when writers are attempting
introductions than at any other time.
Eventually, your introduction will become
the key to your essay: I will be thoroughly
prepared for the maze of intellectual and
creative thought about to be experienced.
Don‟t fight with yourself!
There is little point in trying to achieve a
creative introduction in the first draft if one
doesn‟t occur to your easily.
What you want at this stage is a working
introduction, one that keeps your draft
intact but does not drain all your creative
T.P‟s can begin by:
Summing up the section you have just written
Elaborate on its significance
Explain how it connects to what will follow
T.P‟s can end by:
Introducing the next section; name what is to
Serves to unify the entire paper
Pulls together the ideas contained
Points out the ideas implications
A little essay in itself
A visual representation of the thinking
process by which the writer demonstrates
his or her thesis.
Each paragraph must be about only one
main idea that is developed through
details, examples and explanations.
The Controlling Idea
The paragraph develops one small idea
just as the essay develops one large idea.
Each new paragraph signals a shift in
focus, therefore it needs a controlling idea
YOU & I
THE WHOLE ESSAY IS YOURS!!!
NO PERSONAL PRONOUNS!
Which one sounds better to you?
A) The cow jumped over the moon
B) The moon was jumped over by the cow.
The answer is A…but why?
The active voice (A) is the natural key for
coherence in composition.
Active voice is less dependent upon
prepositions (by) and auxiliaries (was).
Active voice employs fewer words,
therefore, less displacement of energy.
The use of the present tense makes for
immediate and lively writing.
Writing in the present tense allow the
characters to continue living in the
Past tense makes for boring reading.
Redact & Revise
avoid “it” or “this”
Sometimes good, sometimes not so good.
Transitional words or phrases
Signal logical relation b/w the ideas they link
Transitional Words & Phrases
1. Adding Ideas
2. Emphasizing ideas
3. Illustrating Ideas
In other words
4. Comparing Ideas
In the same way
5. Contrasting Ideas
On the contrary
What is more difficult
than the introduction?
An essay, like a life, may be concluded but
it can never be complete: there will always
be something left undone.
Say goodbye to the „reader‟ in an
informative, witty manner.
The conclusion is NOT
Purely pointing out the fact
that you have accomplished
what you said you would in
A good conclusion will…
Stimulate the reader to think more about
the topic in a critically open-minded way.
Return the reader to the larger view of the
terrain you have covered.
Should there still be colleges and
schools just for men/boys and some just
We are becoming overwhelmingly
dependent on computers. Is this
dependence on computers a good thing or
should we be more suspicious of their
Writing an argumentative essay requires
you to be well armed with strong and
convincing arguments. Your personal
position and insight should of course be
the basis of your work, but the main point
is that your personal views have to be
supported by founded arguments,
reasons, proofs and evidences and
proceed from the factual information.
Always be ready for the opposition to your
opinion. Try to speculate on this in
advance and to develop the opposition
views in your work.
That is it…..let us begin .
Rules you may have forgotten
Avoid personal pronouns (I, we, you, us)
Do not use contractions
“Speak” in a formal voice
Supporting evidence is mandatory