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07 April 2022

The Biggest Reason Writing an Essay Is so Hard

The biggest reason writing an essay is so hard is because we mostly focus on those external rewards like getting a passing grade or our teacher’s approval. The problem is that when you focus on external approval it not only makes writing much less fun, it also makes writing significantly harder.

 

Why?

Because when you focus on external approval, you shut down your subconsciousness, when it is your source of creativity. What this means practically is that when you’re trying to write that perfect, A-plus-worthy sentence, you’re turning off most of your best resources. -> brain Instead, write an interesting essay, write an essay that you think is fascinating.

 

And when you’re finished, go back, and edit it until it’s “good” according to your teacher’s standards. Every story is about conflict and change, and the truth is that essays are about conflict and change, too! The difference is that in an essay, the conflict is between different ideas, the change is in the way we should perceive those ideas.

 

That means that the best essays are about surprise, “You probably think it’s one way, but in reality, you should think of it this other way.” See tip #3 for more on this.

 

As I was writing a paper for a literature class, I realized that the articles and books I was reading said what I was trying to say much better than I ever could. So, what did I do? I just quoted them liberally throughout my paper. When I wasn’t quoting, I rephrased what they said in my own words, giving proper credit, of course. I found that not only did this formula create a well-written essay, but it also took about half the time to write.

 

When I used this technique, my professors sometimes mentioned that my papers were very “source” heavy. However, at the same time, they always gave me A’s. Like the five-sentence trick, this technique makes the writing process simpler. Instead of putting the main focus on writing well, it instead forces you to research well, which some students find easier.

 

As I was writing a paper for a literature class, I realized that the articles and books I was reading said what I was trying to say much better than I ever could. So, what did I do? I just quoted them liberally throughout my paper. When I wasn’t quoting, I rephrased what they said in my own words, giving proper credit, of course. I found that not only did this formula create a well-written essay, but it also took about half the time to write.

 

When I used this technique, my professors sometimes mentioned that my papers were very “source” heavy. However, at the same time, they always gave me A’s. Like the five-sentence trick, this technique makes the writing process simpler. Instead of putting the main focus on writing well, it instead forces you to research well, which some students find easier.

 

Essay writing can be a dance. You don’t have to stay in one place and write from beginning to end. Give yourself the freedom to write as if you’re circling around your topic rather than making a single, straightforward argument. Then, when you edit, you can make sure everything lines up correctly.

 

  • You (You’ll notice I use a lot of you’s, which is great for a blog post. However, in an essay, it’s better to omit the second person.)
  • Clichés
  • Some
  • That
  • Things
  • To Be verbs