Tuesday, November 25, 2008

Art of Evaluating an Art: Writing Literary Essay


Literature is tagged as creative writing of well recognized artistic value. The art of crafting literary pieces is quite complex and doing a critique on such well-esteemed academic discipline is equally intricate as well - as creating literary essay.


Discussing a work of art like literary works entail giving due credit. Assessment of artworks in creative writing only calls for an equivalent hard-earned status. Therefore, here are the vital elements on accomplishing a quality literary essay – the art of evaluating a work of art.


· The meaning and construction of a piece of literature is explored in a literary essay. This task is quite more complicated than mere reviewing, though the two are similarly evaluative. In a review the overall effect and the validity of a written work is discussed, while a literary essay pays more attention to specifics. It focuses on elements such as structure, character, theme, style, tone, and subtext.


· A literary essay is a personal interpretation, based only on reading the piece. It can also be a mixture of your opinions and references of other criticisms.

· The essay must have an interesting title that has something to do with the writer’s position.


· The language in writing literary essays must be rich. There must be no slang and contractions. Show vocabulary variety and make the literary essay interesting to read.


· Keep the tone straightforward and the explanations concise. Write directly and clearly, but "simple" does not mean "simplistic."


· Use academic formal language. Slang is unacceptable: 'kind of', 'gonna', 'cool', and the likes. Do not use contractions: I'd, I'll, etc. They are acceptable in an oral presentation, but not in formal writings.


· Don't retell the story. Plot is of limited value in crafting a literary essay. Instead, express an opinion. Don't be afraid to take the risk of having a personal interpretation. There's never one correct view - in literary study there is certainly none.


· Do not quote too much. Quote appropriately. The idea is to demonstrate that the argument has substance to quote used.


· In presenting personal views, always try to anticipate objections. One of the best ways to argue a position is to present the opposing argument’s weak logic.


· Organize paragraphs according to the development of the argument, not according to the chronological order of the literary piece. Use transitions to show how logically connected each argument is to one another.


· Use present tense. It shows that the literary work and the issues it raises are still alive. The passive voice is used in essays dealing with scientific discipline such as history, sociology, and political science, but not in a literary essay.

  • Literary essay is not meant as a venue for preaching your personal views. Do not ever try to convert the readers. Avoid clich├ęs and sentimentality.

· Avoid empty statements that really explain nothing. Do not begin the essay with lines like, "William Shakespeare was born in the 16th century". This is common knowledge and is not worth saying.


· Avoid phony statements like, "I absolutely adore Shakespeare". It serves the essay with nothing.


  • Be wary of plagiarism. Any artwork is considered as a unique intellectual property of its creator, therefore, the art of evaluating an art also calls for uniqueness and originality.

Creating a work of art like a literary piece certainly requires sophisticated skills, passion and tons of hard work. Thus, by principle, it is just proper for its critique like literary essay, to undergo the same process, investing equal amount of skills and effort - an art for an art.

Sunday, October 5, 2008

Structuring Compare and Contrast Essay

Compare and contrast essay is quite intricate to write unlike other types of essays. Why? The writer has to efficiently present the details in a way that readers can clearly determine the similarities and differences of the two subjects. In this regard, there are several ways to write this compare and contrast essay.

Apparently, the most important thing to consider in this type of essay is structure. There are many wonderful compare and contrast essays that fall victim to the woes of bad structure - making ingenuity futile.

The rules on how to write a general essay is almost the same with the structure of a compare/contrast essay. To date, the following two formats are most likely the more applicable structures for such complex essay type:

  • Introduction. Generally it is a lead into the thesis statement.
  • Subject 1 discussion. Covers only the first subject of the comparison and contrast. Does not mention subject 2 in this first portion.
  • Subject 2 discussion. Does not discuss Subject 1 in this section. This portion of the paper is dedicated to presenting Subject 2 in great detail.
  • Subjects 1 and 2 discussion. This is the comprehensive analysis of both subjects in several paragraphs.
  • Conclusion. The conclusion is the generalization of the thesis.
And…
  • Introduction. Most likely a leading statement.
  • Comparisons of Subjects 1 and 2. This section tackles only all the similarities of the two topics. There must be at least three comparisons in which example from both topics of comparisons is given.
  • Contrasts of Subjects 1 and 2. This section function like the preceding part only that it does only contrasting points of the two topics.

  • Conclusion. Evidently this part does the wrapping up everything in the paper.

To efficiently write a compare and contrast essay its structure is crucial – it is because any confusion of the points of similarities or differences of the subjects will make the entire piece illogical.

Sunday, June 29, 2008

Definition Essay: How to Define Effectively

Definition essay is a logical attempt of defining or explaining what a term means. While some words have definite, concrete meanings, others have abstract and subjective connotation. But what definition really works?


Choosing a definition is the key step in writing a good definition essay. It is an imperative that you fully understand the term to be defined. Whether t is something concrete or abstract, you need not to use mere dictionary meaning – personal and unique definition.


It is also important to limit your term before starting to define it. For example, the term love is too broad to discuss. You must trim it down to specific like "platonic love" or "first love."


Here are some ways to effectively define a term:


  • Define by what the word does not mean. Ironically, stating the opposite qualities of the term is a good way to build its true meaning. The “what it is not” distinction works because it clarifies the definition and helps readers to understand it better.
  • Define by the term’s function. Explaining what the term does or how something works is a good take off for a definition essay.
  • Define by analysis. Comparing and contrasting the term to other terms of its kind is another technique in defining. Sorting what different special characteristics that make the term stand out is a good definition method.

Having a cohesive and clear-cut definition can only be achieved if you know what writing technique is best suitable. As it requires a personal perspective of the writer, definition essay is a great piece to panel out creativity.


Tuesday, June 24, 2008

Biggest Comparison Essay DON'T: Too Much Unnecessary Details


Comparison essay’s main goal is to provide a sound and logical relationship between the subjects. Employing too much unnecessary details in writing comparison essays can result to vague, irrational and even hilarious compositions.


Here are some examples of the biggest comparison essay don’t. Excerpts from the “30 dumbest things from school essays” (http://www.algebra.com/fun/Essays/):

No. 3 He spoke with the wisdom that can only come from experience, like a guy who went blind because he looked at a solar eclipse without one of those boxes with a pinhole in it and now goes around the country speaking at high schools about the dangers of looking at a solar eclipse without one of those boxes with a pinhole in it.


No. 14 Long separated by cruel fate, the star-crossed lovers raced across the grassy field toward each other like two freight trains, one having left Cleveland at 6:36 p.m. traveling at 55 mph, the other from Topeka at 4:19 p.m. at a speed of 35 mph.


No. 23 He was as lame as a duck. Not the metaphorical lame duck, either, but a real duck that was actually lame. Maybe from stepping on a land mine or something.


No. 11 From the attic came an unearthly howl. The whole scene had an eerie, surreal quality, like when you're on vacation in another city and Jeopardy comes on at 7:00 p.m. instead of 7:30.


No. 24 The ballerina rose gracefully en pointe and extended one slender leg behind her, like a dog at a fire hydrant.


No. 8 The revelation that his marriage of 30 years had disintegrated because of his wife's infidelity came as a rude shock, like a surcharge at a formerly surcharge-free ATM.


No. 30 It hurt the way your tongue hurts after you accidentally staple it to the wall.


No. 12 Her hair glistened in the rain like a nose hair after a sneeze.


No. 5 She had a deep, throaty, genuine laugh, like that sound a dog makes just before it throws up.


Comparison essays highlight relevant similarities among the subjects. Like descriptive essays, comparisons entail details – clear and rational. Using details to emphasize similar qualities still have to be sensible or else, that comparison essay will be included next in the 31 dumbest things list.


Monday, June 9, 2008

Descriptive Essay – Understanding its Basics


Descriptive writing is an exciting type of essay. It is commonly employed by students because it's fun to do than other kind of essays. An efficiently written descriptive essay is thrilling and intriguing as it contains detailed descriptions about the topic.


When you describe a thing, a person or an emotion, it is helpful to list down first things that come to your mind regarding the subject - the way you see, think and feel about the topic. That is what description is all about.


So when you are asked to describe, start with the obvious and take off from there. Start from the general down to the specific. Adjectives to be used are key to a powerful descriptive essay – use precise and strong words. Avoid to much superlatives and vague modifiers. Why?


Because a descriptive essay is supposed to be stimulating. Good choice of words is essential in describing. It mirrors the mood of the writer and arouses readers' senses. It is often regarded as the most complex form of essay writing as it is associated with the ability to transfer emotions to the readers through brilliant use of words.


Aside from that here are more features of a descriptive essay:

  • It has a well-focused subject that can be ordinary or extraordinary. It's up to the writer how to make it as interesting as possible. You can do this by emphasizing what makes it interesting, new, or unusual. It must create a dominant impression for your reader.

  • It has a clear pattern of organization. Your introduction should be from general to specific. Its body have several paragraphs that develop and describe the topic.

  • The tone of the essay is gradually built to highlight that one strong dominant emotion. Your approach must prepare the readers for stronger emotions to follow.

  • It can either be objective or subjective by nature. An objective essay is precise and clinical in approach while a subjective essay of coarse, has a personal touch.

The aim of descriptive essays is to provide a vivid picture of a person, location, feeling, object, or event. These essays offer precise details that enable the readers to clearly imagine the subject described.


So start writing your descriptive essays and enjoy the challenge of conveying your topics' characteristics to your readers. Be creative and imaginative - begin by answering this question: what would you want to describe?


Tuesday, June 3, 2008

Knowing Essay Types Essentials

Are you having problems with writing an essay? Confused of the diverse approaches in essay writing? This blog aims to assist students and essay writers in the making by exploring the basic know-hows that aspiring essay writers must be equipped with - different types of essay. Having a good grasp of what type of essay to employ is certainly key to brilliantly written papers. Also, the ability to distinguish one type of essay to another is crucial in your essay writing concerns such as:
  • Choosing the approach that fits the your personality
  • Selecting writing style that is suitable for your topic
  • Writing in the manner that is in line with your essay's goal

Through this blog, students and essay writer wannabes can have a rundown of the different ways to write an essay - with the main purpose of enabling readers to understand the appropriate essay type to employ. Hopefully, you'll find this blog informative as well as beneficial in your writing activity. Enjoy reading each post and happy writing=).