Tuesday, 31 March 2009

On Essays

It seems that this week I am relearning how to write essays. It's been brought up in at least two of my courses, which is excellent. With any luck I will be getting distinctions and high distinctions before I know it. Fingers crossed. Touch wood.

I like the way I write essays. It's always worked for me in the past. I get a general idea, sometimes I will write a plan, but mostly it's about pressure. It's about being familiar with the text or the topic, and knowing a few quotes and generally doing the minimal necessary preparation. Because here's the thing. Pressure is good. Stress is excellent. Not sleeping from worry is fabulous. It pushes me to perform to my best because there is so much riding on everything I do in the essay.

So when I have a lot of time to think about my essay and I space out my planning, drafting etc, I actually find the process more daunting. If you remove the stress, do you remove the X factor that makes my work (or has made me work in the past) so dynamic.

I'm not going to go so far as to say that I am the best essay writer in the world, but I also wouldn't say I was the worst. Here are a few things I have going for me;
I can spell
I can construct a sentence that makes sense
I can think on my feet
I'm well read

Here are things I pay careful attention to:
Staying on topic
Linking to my thesis
Not using too many big words to make myself look smarter

So, here goes the most risky experiment of my university career, with me starring as my own lab rat. Will the university approved system that I have been taught for the last week and a half let me down? Was my own system fool proof? Am I the best darn writer in the world? (Doubt it.)

Stay tuned.

1 comment:

  1. I'm sorry, What?
    (research to finished copy: 4 hours)

    ReplyDelete

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