Essay Writing

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The Essay Writing Process

In Greek legend, the goddess of wisdom, Athena, was born fully armed from the head of Zeus. Unfortunately, this is the only recorded instance of instant wisdom. Especially in the medium of the written word, the communication of complex ideas is a process—a process that requires thinking and rethinking, working and reworking. The student who claims to have dashed off an 'A ' essay at one in the morning the night before it was due is either a liar or a genius.

This document has been formulated to assist you in learning to write effective, intelligent essays. It is divided into the following parts:

PART I: Types of Essays PART II: Developing a Thesis from a Topic PART III:
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You must find texts on the subject and use them to support the topic you have been given to explore. Because it is easy to become lost in a wilderness of outside material, you must take particular care to narrow your topic.
The greatest danger inherent in the research essay is plagiarism. If your paper consists of a string of quotations or paraphrases with little input of your own, you are not synthesizing but copying, and you should expect a low grade. If any of the borrowings are unacknowledged, you are plagiarizing, and the penalties are severe.
A research paper should demonstrate what you have learned, but it should also show that you have a perspective of your own on the subject.
The Literary Essay
In the literary essay, you are exploring the meaning and construction of a piece of literature. This task is more complicated than reviewing though the two are similarly evaluative. In a review you are discussing the overall effect and validity of written work, while in a literary essay you are paying more attention to specifics.
A literary essay focuses on such elements as structure, character, theme, style, tone and subtext. You are taking a piece of writing and trying to discover how and why it is put together the way it is. You must adopt a viewpoint on the work in question and show how the details of the work support your viewpoint.
A literary essay may be your own interpretation, based only on your reading of the

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