Monday, October 8, 2012

A good essay begins with an interesting introduction – ONE THAT WILL OUTLINE THE CONTENT [appositive] in such a way that the reader is hooked from the very first sentence.  Editors bore quickly, and when their interest flags, it can be detrimental to the publication of an article. While reading an essay, an editor or teacher looks for structure -- THREE SKELETAL ELEMENTS: [appositive] the introduction, the body, and a conclusion. All the rest fleshes out the essay and can leave a figure WASTED OR STRONG. [Adj out of order]

Students WRITING FRANTICALLY THE NIGHT BEFORE A DUE DATE, [absolute] often leave out important descriptive essay elements: TRANSITIONS, SUPPORTING POINTS, FINAL THOUGHTS. [appositive] OFTEN REPEATING THEMSELVES, [participle] students try to pad a paragraph so that it fulfills the requirement of a certain number of sentences.  READING A NUMBER OF HASTILY WRITTEN ESSAYS [participle] can make a grown teacher cry out in frustration. Why grade something carefully that has been knocked out in an hour? The essay WRITTEN IN LAST MINUTE ANXIETY [absolute] doesn’t deserve the same treatment as one that has been thoughtfully produced.

This is not to say that teachers don’t care. Of course they care, but when faced with 20 essays, some of them clearly lacking much forethought, one doesn’t have to wonder which essays will receive the most attention.  That’s unfair someone might claim because the essay was, in fact, handed in on time, but it all comes out in the wash, doesn’t it? All essays are not equal, and even though a teacher tries to read them with an unprejudiced eye, the researched ones are just plain better, and usually those are the ones on which a student has spent the most time.

All in all, a good essay leaves the reader with a feeling that the person who has written it has some penchant for the topic. Sometimes, when a subject is predetermined by the teacher that is hard to come by. DRUMMING UP PASSION [participle] is difficult. It has to come from within and cannot be manufactured. Perhaps that is why so many essays fail; the topic was just unpalatable.

1 comment:

  1. you are the absolute master of appositives, Linda! Remind me to talk a bit about participles vs. gerunds before the week is out.