Get the Powers to Act from Fresh Ideas



July 8, 2015

Entertaining Fluff-Free Guide to Better Essay Writing

How is an essay graded in whatever exam?
  1. Ideas: relevant, sound, fresh, deep?
  2. Sentence Variety: length, pattern/structure, rhythm
  3. Word Variety: length, difficulty, pattern/structure, idiomaticity.
  4. Paragraph Variety:length, pattern/structure, rhythm
  5. Rhetorical and figurative devices.

In short, to do well with school essays, first have good ideas and second, use good language.

Then, "good ideas" is a matter of minutes if you are a natural born trickster. You will always have interesting or reasonable things to say, whatever tight spot you are in. Even if you are not born that way, you can acquire a good bag of tricks in a matter of days.

But "good language" is a matter of months or years. You cannot "experiment" your language use in exam time.

Let's see what happens when you attempt to experiment with language and fail. In real-life, such errors are amusing but in exams, it's altogether a different matter.

Let's begin with Sentence Variety. What is wrong with the following:
  • We are interested of painting.
  • This is the story what our neighbor told us.
  • No matter which she says, they are not convinced.

Will you be rewarded for your adventurism, or be punished for your daring but sloppy grammar? Be honest with yourself.

Now let's do experiments with Word and Idiom:
  • Be very careful in these markets. A miss is as good as a kilo meter.
  • Although the poor girl gave him her heart, the guy left her wickednessly.
  • At the close of the day, what we do for our customers will be recognized.
Experiments with Paragraph Variety, and Experiments with Rhetorical and Figurative Devices are left to our readers for exercise.

The gist: we can wing or bluff with Ideas. But not with Language: not with Sentence Structure/Grammar, not with Words and Idioms, not with Paragraph Organization, etc.

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