Why don’t you just sit and think? Well, there precisely is Montaigne’s great discovery. Expressing ideas helps you to form them. Indeed, helps is much too weak a word. Almost all of what ends up in my essays I only looked at when I sat down seriously to write them. That’s why I write them.
Into the things you write at school you will be, in theory, merely explaining yourself to your reader. In a real essay you’re writing on your own. You’re thinking out loud.
Not quite. In the same way inviting people over forces you to definitely clean up your apartment, writing something that other individuals will read forces you to definitely think well. Therefore it does matter to possess an audience. The things i have written only for myself are no good. They have a tendency to peter out. I find I conclude with a few vague questions and then drift off to get a cup of tea when I run into difficulties.
Many published essays peter out in the way that is same. Specially the sort written by the employees writers of newsmagazines. Outside writers tend to supply editorials of the defend-a-position variety, which make a beeline toward a rousing (and foreordained) conclusion. Nevertheless the staff writers feel obliged to write something “balanced.” Because they’re writing for a popular magazine, they focus on probably the most radioactively controversial questions, from which– because they may be writing for a favorite magazine– then they go to recoil in terror. Abortion, for or against? This group says the one thing. That group says another. One thing is certain: the relevant real question is a complex one. (but try not to get mad at us. We didn’t draw any conclusions.)
Questions are not enough. An essay has to come up with answers. They don’t always, needless to say. Sometimes you start with a promising question and get nowhere. Read more “If all you have to to do is evauluate things, why should you write anything, though?”