2019-01-08 11:33



  Whether you're sitting down to write a research paper for English class about Buddha or you're hours deep in the writing portion of SAT, you want to write a great essay. And although different people have different notions about what makes an essay truly "great," there are a number of things that educators and writers generally agree upon as gold-quality standards. Here are three of those qualities that can take your essay from basic to fabulous.


  1. Language


  The usage of language in an essay is more than j4ust the actual words you use throughout. Things like sentence structure, stylistic choices, levels of formality, grammar, usage, and mechanics all come into play.


  Good Language


  Good language in an essay is merely adequate. It's basic. There's nothing inherently wrong with your language, but there's nothing exceptional about it, either.


  Good essay language means you're using some variety in your sentence structures. For instance, you may write a few simple sentences interspersed with some compound sentences. Your level of formality and tone are also appropriate to the essay. You're not using familiar language and slang, for example, when you're writing a research report in class. Good language in an essay does not disrupt your thesis. Your point gets across and that's all well and fine if you're happy with a good essay.


  Example: When Jack walked into his grandmother's kitchen, he spotted the freshly baked cake on the counter. He helped himself to a huge piece. It was chocolate, and the frosting was a delicious vanilla buttercream. He licked his lips and took a gigantic bite.


  Great Language


  Great language is fresh, full of sensory detail when appropriate and propels your essay forward in invigorating ways. Great language uses a variety of sentence structures and even some intentional fragments when appropriate. Your tone isn't merely adequate; it enhances your argument or point.


  Your language is precise. It's chosen specifically to add nuance or shades of meaning. The sensory details you select pull your readers in, giving them goosebumps, and make them want to keep on reading. Great language makes readers take what you've said very seriously.


  Example: Jack stepped over the threshold of his grandmother's kitchen and inhaled. Chocolate cake. His stomach rumbled. He walked to the counter, mouth watering, and took a rose-pattered china plate from the cabinet and a bread knife from the drawer. The slice he sawed off was enough for three. The first bite of rich vanilla buttercream made his jaw ache. Before he knew it, nothing was left but chocolate crumbs scattered on the plate like confetti.

  例子: 杰克一踏进奶奶厨房的门槛就被吸引住了,那是一块巧克力蛋糕。他的肚子也叫了起来,走进柜台,杰克的口水都流了出来,他从橱柜里拿出一个玫瑰图案的瓷盘,又从抽屉里拿出一把切蛋糕用的刀。他切了三人量的一大块,第一口就咬到了满满的香草奶油,使他食欲大开。在他缓过神来之前,盘子里就只剩下巧克力碎末。

  2. Analysis


  Teachers are always asking you to "dig deep" in your essay, but what does that really mean? Depth is the level at which you analyze the topic you are writing. The deeper you dive into your essay, the more poking and prodding at values, tensions, complexities, and assumptions you will do.


  Good Analysis


  The word "analysis" in and of itself implies a certain level of depth. A good analysis will use reasoning and examples that are clear and adequately demonstrate the importance of the topic. Support may be relevant, but it may come across as overly general or simplistic. You will have scratched the surface of the topic, but you will not have explored as many of the complexities as you could have.


  Let's take, for example, this question: "Should cyberbullying be stopped by the government?"


  Example: Cyberbullying needs to be stopped in its tracksby the government because of the harm that it causes to the victim. Teenagers who have been bullied online have had to be treated for depression, have felt compelled to change schools, and some have even committed suicide. A person's life is too important not to intervene.


  Great Analysis


  A great analysis of a topic is a thoughtful critique that demonstrates insight. It critiques assumptions and details not hinted at in just a good analysis. In the example above, the good analysis mentions the harm to a victim of bullying and names three things that could happen to him or her because of it, but doesn't get into other areas that might offer more insight like societal values, governmental control, effects rippling from one generation to the next, for example.


  Example: Although cyberbullying needs to be stopped - the effects are to dire not to intervene - the government cannot be the entity to regulate speech online. The fiscal and personal costs would be staggering. Not only would citizens be forced to give up their First Amendment rights to free speech, they would have to relinquish their rights to privacy, as well. The government would be everywhere, becoming even more of a "big brother" than they are right now. Who would pay for such scrutiny? Citizens would pay with their freedom and their wallets.


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