How to write an essay in English language for kids and school students? This is a phenomenal how to write essay guide that will teach you the core concept of writing outstanding essays on any topic.
The essay is one of the most popular forms of literature. It has been variously defined, but no definition is quite satisfactory, as the essay varies according to the subject and the writer.
The word essay means literally an “attempt”. It is an attempt to compose one’s thoughts so as to present them in a logically coherent structure and sequence. It is a literary composition usually in prose, dealing with a particular subject bringing out its various aspects one with a view to present a graphic picture of the whole subject-matter in a well-knit composition.
Thus, an essay becomes a test not only of knowledge, but also of thought and imagination. Above all, they should be interesting and divulging the personality of the writer.
Essentials of a Good Essay:
(i) Subject – matter:
An important component of any essay is its matter. Lack of information is one of the main causes – of the inability of many students to write satisfactory essays. Only you can rectify this error. It is essential to acquire an interest in reading and collecting information.
Information on different subjects must be gathered from books, by observation, and by listening and talking to men who know. It is a good plan to keep a note-book, in which you may jot down things-quotations, extracts from speeches and books, incidents you have seen or heard of, referees to books which give useful information.
Just as the sentence and the paragraph must unity, so the composition as a whole must have unity. While it is necessary to introduce many topics into an essay, the main subject should never be lost sight of. At no stage should the reader’s attention and interest be allowed to deviate from the subject. In other words, write about the subject, and not about something else.
One topic should lead onto another. There should be some connection between successive paragraphs.
Language should be simple, lucid and clear, devoid of slang and colloquialism. Clichés and verbosity should be avoided.
(iv) Personal Imprint:
The essay must not merely be a collection of borrowed ideas but must reflect the writer’s personal touch and opinion. However, care should be taken not to express extreme opinions.
Stages in Essay Writing:
A plan is necessary for all compositions, just as a plan is necessary to build a house or to make a graded. For compositions of considerable length, it is always wise to make a written plan.
There are four stages in essay writing:
(a) Think about the subject and jot down on paper all the facts or ideas.
(b) Arrange these facts according to the topic and so construct an outline for the composition.
(c) Write the essay.
(d) Revise what you have written.
Before writing an essay, the following points need to be considered.
Choice of Subject:
Often you a number of subjects given to you, out of which, you must choose one, on which to write. In such cases, it is always advisable to select the subject on which you have the most information. This will save valuable time, which you would have to spend in racking your brain, if you had selected a subject which you did not know so well.
Choose the title with which you are perfectly at home. With the choice of a right title, half the battle is won or lost. Never choose a title merely because you have read it in some book, or you have listened to it in class. You must define the scope of the subject too. The scope of an essay on “Indian films” will be different from the scope of an essay on “The influence of cinema on the youth”. The point of view from which the topic is to be treated has also to be grasped.
When you have got a clear idea of your subject (what exactly it is, and equally important, what it is not), set about collection materials for the essay. Often it is worthwhile to ask what? when? where? how? Why? Of a subject. Do not attempt to write the essay before you have given sometime in thinking what you can say on the subject. As you think about it, ideas, facts, illustrations will pass through your mind. Jot these fleeting thoughts down on paper just as they occur you, without troubling yourself at this stage about their order or suitability.
When you think you have collected enough material for the essay, read over the notes you have made to select the points most suitable for your purpose. You may find that some are not very relevant to the subject; cross them out. Some may be found to be mere repetitions of others; and yet others may be simply illustrations to be brought under main heads. This process of selection will probably suggest you in a general way the line of thought you may follow in the essay.
To make a satisfactory essay, it is very necessary to arrange your thoughts according to some orderly plan. Without it, your essay will be badly arranged, rambling, disproportioned, and full of irrelevancies and repetitions. So, you must at this point, decide on the line of thought to be followed in the essay, a logical order in which you can arrange the thoughts, you have selected.
So, bearing your subject in mind, and with your purpose clearly before you, make a bare outline of the main heads under which you will arrange your various thoughts, in a natural, logical and convincing order-from a brief introduction to an effective conclusion.
Having thus mapped out the main points with which you are going to deal, arrange the ideas you have selected each under its proper main head. You would now have a full outline, which is to be a guide to you in writing the easy.
Writing the Essay:
An essay at the simplest level has three parts – the beginning, the middle (or the body) and the conclusion.
How to Begin an Essay:
It is often said that an essay must have a beginning, middle, and an end. This may seem obvious, as all things have a beginning, middle and an end. But the words “beginning”, “middle”, and “end” are used in a technical sense. The important point to be kept in mind is that the opening or introduction should be striking, and relevant to the subject. It is wrong to begin far away from the subject in hand. The introduction should lead on to the subject without unnecessary delay and without awkwardness.
An introduction may consist of a general statement, an illustration of the subject, or an explanation. An essay may also begin with a quotation or a reference to an accepted opinion, or even by definition. But it is not safe to begin with a definition, as it is very unlikely that a student can give a satisfactory definition of a subject.
The Middle or Body of the Essay:
The beginning or introduction must lead on naturally and logically and logically to the main body of the essay. The introduction should be proportionate; that is, it should be short and in keeping with the size of the whole essay. The middle, of body, is the longest and most important part of the essay. It should contain the necessary facts, ideas, and illustrations.
It is not necessary to exhaust the subject; in the course of an essay of ordinary length it is impossible to say all that might possibly be said on a subject. A few ousting topics should be selected and arranged in an order that you consider suitable; space should be allotted to each topic according to its relative importance.
In a descriptive essay the chief aim is to give a picture of the scene or an object described. The description must be imaginative; that is to say, you must penetrate beneath the exterior and see with your mind’s eye. In an essay on a post-man wears khaki clothes and turban, and brings letters and money orders. You must try to understand his feelings, his attitude to things; you must get inside his letter-bag, so to speak, and see the contents of the message he carries with him.
Narration and description often go together; in fact it is difficult to have pure narrative, except in writings like Aesop’s fables. In narrative essays, it is good to state the circumstances under which the events happen, and narrate the event in the order in which they takes place. An incident may be told from the point of view of one of the persons participating in it, or from the point of view of an onlooker.
In essays requiring exposition, our chef aim is to make clear the meaning or significance of a statement or idea. We make an idea clear by saying it in other words, by stating the opposite of it for the sake of contrast, and by giving specific instances and illustrations.
When argument is required in an essay, it is well to begin with a statement of what we want to prove, so that there may be no doubt in the reader’s mind as to our intention. Then we should put forward our arguments. The arguments may be arranged in the order of their importance, so that the most weight comes last as a finishing stroke.
Some subjects may require both exposition and argument.
The End or Conclusion:
In descriptive and expository essays, the end is reached when the description or the exposition is complete. You must not think that you should say something more after you have said everything that you wanted to say. In narrative and argumentative essays, a formal conclusion is often effective.
A common and effective way of ending an essay is to summaries the main points raised in the body of the essay, or to repeat emphatically the chief argument of the essay. The purpose of the conclusion is to drive home the truth of what has been said in the body of the essay, or to remove doubts, or to enlist the sympathy of the reader.
The conclusion, that is, the last sentence or the last paragraph should, if possible be worded that it will strike the attention of the reader in a special way and linger in his memory. The conclusion should always be short; sometimes even one sentence will do. It should not appear forced a highly poetic end coming after a very prosaic middle will look incongruous. The end must look natural; it must grow out of the main text.
Thus, the beginning of the essay must after an introduction to the topic, the middle part should be the development of thoughts and ideas on the topic – i.e. it is the main body of the essay – and finally the essay should end with a conclusion which sums up or reinforces the ideas expressed in it.
The following outline shows how an essay should be developed.
The Child is Father of the Man:
“A boy, who lived among the mountains in the north of Italy, used to crush flowers to get the color out of their petals, and with this paint he painted the white wall of his father’s house with all sorts of picture. He was the great artist Titian”.
Development of Thought – The Middle or Body of the Essay:
(i) The meaning of the proverb (Exposition).
(ii) The truth of the proverb.
(iii) Other similar saying: “As the twig is bent so the tree will grow.”
(iv) Illustration from the lives of some great men.
The story of Michelangelo, the famous painter and sculptor; the great German writer Fichte; Ruskin; Tennyson.
(v) But is the saying always true? (Argument). Promising childhood may be following by disappointing manhood, and vice versa.
(vi) The probability, in spite of evidences to the contrary, of the early traits of child development as the child grows.
i. Drive home the truth of what has been said in the essay and offer suggestions.
ii. The child is father of the man, thought it is not always apparent.
iii. The need for training children.
The Importance of Style:
Much of the value of an essay depends on the style in which it is written. The secret of clear writing is clear thinking. So, be perfectly clear about what you mean to say, and then say it – as directly, as simply, as concisely as possible. Be direct; use short sentences in preference to long and involved periods. Be simple: do not attempt ornate or flowery language, but use simple words and constructions, and avoid elaborate metaphors. Be concise: avoid unnecessary repetitions and superfluous words and above all ban circumlocution (“talking round” a point instead of going straight for it. Say what you have to say as tersely as is consistent with making your meaning crystal clear. Never use two words where one (the right one) will do. Be natural: do not try to imitate any author’s style, however eloquent, but be yourself.
To acquire a simple, direct and forceful style of writing calls for constant practice. It does not come “by nature”. As pope says:
“True easy in writing comes by art, not chance;
As those move easiest who have learned to dance”.