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How to write an essay?

I remember reading something else_LJ or else_web about being taught how to write an essay in US schools with sections and content outlines and so on. We never had that when I was at school back in the 80s in the UK. I wrote a number of essays but would just write and write on the subject matter given all the research I could gather and I never had any structure or suchlike. I got good grades in my classes because I did not do any essay subjects like history and the other classics. The subjects I did do that had some form of essay in exams (like English Lit) I would just write and write until I ran out of stuff to say or time, whichever came first. My main subjects were maths and sciences. The former did not have essays. The latter I would just regurgitate what I had read.

So, I now find myself interested in researching a subject with a view to trying to write an essay about it. Huh. No idea where to start.

My BSc Biochemistry project writeup needed to be lengthy but followed a similar outline to an experiment writeup and included photos that I took on the scanning electron microscope of the samples. My MSc Information Technology project writeup was similar. I described what I did, talked about some similar research and included screenshots.

Neither project write-up received very good marks. I am still convinced that I "got" both degrees due to the medical notes that I had each time due to supposed mono/glandular-fever relapses that we now know were probably MS relapses.

Okay so maybe I am just tilting at windmills here but I do know that, had I been taught *HOW* to write an essay I would have found both of those processes less stressful and been less likely to have whatever relapse it actually was.

Also, now that I seem to score so high for ASD/Autism/Aspergers and now that I have done some reading about that subject and have watched videos by people on the spectrum, I now know that exams and final projects were never ideal as an education structure for me. I knew this at the time but did not have the words to explain that back them.

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( 2 comments — Leave a comment )
chordatesrock
May. 11th, 2014 01:39 am (UTC)
There's definitely something about this on the internet. The form taught in US schools is the five-paragraph essay. It's an essay of the following form:

I am going to tell you a thing that is true because of this, that and the other.

This.

That.

The other.

As you can see, thing.

The structure can get recursive if your three middle paragraphs each involve supporting points.
natf
May. 11th, 2014 03:35 pm (UTC)
Ah thanks for that. Knowing what to search for helped.
https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Five_paragraph_essay
( 2 comments — Leave a comment )
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