Unable to find work because he'd failed his College English course, Simon suffered a nervous breakdown and spent his declining years defacing large dictionaries in public libraries.

What Is an Essay?

There is no such thing as a standard essay format. The word “essay” comes from the French word “essai” which simply means “attempt.” An essay is an attempt to get across an idea or an emotion to an audience.

Essays come in all shapes, sizes and flavours. They can be found in the daily papers, in magazines, in academic journals, and in flyers handed out by activists at rallies. Sometimes essays put forth an argument; sometimes they simply convey a feeling.

We will also learn to integrate the APA style in our essays. APA style has little to do with the actual writing process, but much to do with the final product.

Seven Types of Bad Writing

I highly recommend this piece by Matthew Stibbe, writer in chief at Articulate Marketing, on the Seven Types of Bad Writing.

Lynn Stratton on the Five Paragraph Essay: Taught to Remove all Thought

I also highly recommend Lynn Stratton’s article in which she rails against the Five Paragraph Essay called Taught to Remove All Thought.

One, Two, Three: The Rhetoric of Numbers

Roy Peter Clark has written an interesting article on the effect that different number of items has on readers. “One may be the loneliest number, but two can be quite companionable, three a crowd, and four the Beatles. Each number has its special magic.”

Read the full piece, Writing by the Numbers, from the Poynter Report. (It’s a PDF file, so you’ll need an Adobe Reader, which you probably have already.



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