Posted on March 27, 2019
The research paper, or in this case, essay, is the most dreadful assignment that students have to take on in school. Not because it is necessarily difficult, but usually it is very dry and allows minimal room for creativity and freedom for students. Nonetheless, we are still required to do it, unless you want to fail, but who wants to fail, right? In Krause’s “The Research Essay”, he describes the steps taken to write a polished essay and putting emphasis on calling the assignment an essay rather than a paper. Doing that gives it a better connotation. Sometimes, it actually works for me. The first thing that comes into my mind when I hear the word paper in the context of an assigned work, I think that it is a task that I must complete to boost my grade. However, when I hear the word essay, I think of a medium in which I can convey my opinion on a certain topic. I think this will be useful to me because I commonly don’t like writing traditional research essays a lot because it is presented in such a static manner.
Another useful tip described in this is one I use continuously in writing assignments even before I read this excerpt. I want to highlight it because it is crucial to writing an essay. Writing an outline before actually starting to write gives the writer a better sense of organization, in turn, giving the readers a better chronology of the parts of the essay and how each part connects with one another. This isn’t just talk; I’ve wrote an essay before without writing an outline beforehand. Recently, in the personal narrative, my first draft was critiqued of lacking a clear timeline in the order of when events happen, and that some of the content was out of order, leading to events being introduced without context. This leads to massive confusion for the reader, and oftentimes the reader is not beside the writer to ask questions that they have or to clear up the ambiguity in the essay. The essay is the only medium and messenger that the writer can use to say what they want to say to the reader.
Perhaps the most underrated tip is that of the introduction. The introduction works like an advertisement. Not everyone is sold on reading your essay or buying your product, unless you’re Apple. Now, how do they convince their buyers to buy whatever they sell? Advertising and marketing. They can come up with a trashy product and still have buyers preordering that item and the stores around the globe will be filled with customers. Now I’m not saying you should do that for your essay and have a bad paper but make your introduction really good, rather it comes to show how powerful the intro can be. It’s where you entice the reader to continue reading your essay. It also gives a quick synopsis of what the rest of your essay is going to be about. It will help me a lot because it can turn what I think is a dry essay into one that is worth reading.
The tips in Krause’s excerpt really can help the writer achieve a perfect essay. Every step individually isn’t hard but perfecting every part to form a coherent essay is the difficult part. There is no specific step that takes priority over the other, rather having all of them ensures a great essay. Lacking or not putting as much effort into a step may cause the essay to be of lower quality. My personal narrative ended on a weak note in the conclusion, which turned my A grade essay into a A-. Don’t be stupid. Don’t be like me.