Guidance No. 2:
Qualities Of A Good Essay: Essay being the reflection of writer’s whims, caprices, idiosyncrasies and rationality, it is difficult to bind it in a few stereotyped qualities. As the subject matter includes ” anything from the Day of Judgement to a pair of scissors “, as Lynd puts it, the qualities are likely to be different from essay to essay. All the essays, however, possess some common qualities.
Structure:- Essay is an organic whole but not unshaped lump. it is divided into paragraphs of different length.
Unity:- Essay is like a building which is, no doubt, made of individual bricks but each brick is not called a building. It is the unity of design which goes to make the building. Similarly, every sentence, each paragraph and essay as a whole should have unity. The systematic development of thought is the keynote of a good essay .; Digression and unnecessary padding will defeat the very purpose of an essay.
Coherence:- The ideas in the essay should not hang loosely like gossamer but should be stitched together in a logical sequence. Ideas in the essay are interlinked like the links of a chain. Disjointed ideas will mar the beauty of the essay. The hotchpotch of ill-digested ideas creates anarchy in the essay.
Balance:- A proper proportion should be maintained between the various parts of the essay. If the trivial points are unduly stretched and important points unduly economized, the essay will have ill – a balance which is a disqualification. The main theme should always be kept in mind. Suppose the essay has to be written in about 1,000 words, the best division of paragraphs and points would be to put approximately 100 words in the introduction, 100 words in different paragraphs numbering 8, and about 100 words in the conclusion.
Choice Of Subject:- Choose the topic with which you are thoroughly acquainted. Certain students select an unfamiliar subject, thinking that the attempt may bring them more maks but it is simply wishful thinking. A man who is the master of the topic with which you have got only nodding, acquaintance, will score definitely higher than you. Understand the subject thoroughly before you start writing. The wrong start will mean the wrong essay.
Make An Outline Of Your Essay:- A haphazard approach would mean confusion, repetition and various other flaws of the essay. An outline is like the blueprint of a building, if the essay is not planned well, the execution will also be defective.
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The Introduction:- Every essay needs an introduction. An introduction is the face of the essay. It should, therefore, be striking, fascinating and must at once arrest the attention of the reader. Various essayists have started their essays in different ways. The modern tendency is to take a direct plunge into the subject matter. The hackneyed method was to start the essay with a definition or quotation. The start may also depend on the particular subject matter. Even quotation may be most apt if the subject of the essay can comfortably accommodate it.
The body:- It is the most important portion of the essay. Here only one is likely to be led astray. The middle of the essay contains the main discussion on the subject matter and as such attempts should be made to avoid non – essential material.
The Conclusion:- Conclusion flows naturally out of the essay. No hard and fast rules can be prescribed. The end should neither be dramatic nor abrupt but natural. It is the last impression on the reader or examiner. Be very careful that the last impression is not bad. No indication like ” It is the time the essay should end; in conclusion, I may add: O God, solve the problems; lack of time did not allow me to write more, etc, ” should be given. If the introduction is the face, middle the body, conclusion constitutes the legs, of the essay. If a beautiful face and symmetrical body are supported on lean legs, the whole structure will lose its charm. An essay is an organic whole, hence the beginning, the middle and the end are to be knit together.
Style:- Dean Alford says, ” Be simple, be unaffected, be honest in your speaking and writing. Never use a long word where a short one will do. Call a spade a spade and not a well known along with instrument of manual husbandry, let home be home and not a residence; a place, and not a locality and so on. Simplicity is the soul of good English. ” ” Among all other lessons, this should first be learned that we never affect any strange inkhorn terms, but to speak as is commonly received, neither seeking to be overfine, nor yet living over careless, using our speech as most men do, and ordering our wits as the fewest have done. ”