|Flickr Credit: Roxanna Salceda|
We’re getting back into the swing of school at last. It’s probably weird to announce that I really enjoy my homework, but I do. Writing essays is fun! In, you know, a tedious and self-doubting kind of way. Let me give you a better picture of what I mean.
1. They’re Usually Pretty ShortOkay, this isn’t true all the time. Some people have to write papers upwards of twenty pages, and then there are dissertations and whatnot. But! At least for your average class, essays can be anywhere from 3-10 pages. That brevity means you can spend a lot of time on creating a tight product in a short period of time. As someone who does not like long projects, this works very well for me.
2. They Suit My Editing MethodBe it essay or novel, my editing process involves something like 3-4 rewrites from beginning to end before reaching in-line edits. In projects with a great deal of words, this process can take quite a while. Like I said, I like short projects, so those rewrites can get very tiresome. Also, it’s easier to see how I’ve gotten better in each draft, and I do like stroking my ego.
3. First Drafts are Terrible But I am HilariousAs with every writing project, my first drafts are terrible, but I have a ton of fun anyway. In fact, I don’t approach writing essays much differently than I do writing blog posts. I just vomit every single thought in my head onto the page. To an outsider, it would look pretty confusing, but I giggle at my own writing. It’s not a terrible problem to have.
(None of these made it into the final edition of the essay, for the record.)
4. They Can Be So Personal!By personal, I don’t mean that I am the subject of every essay. That isn’t what my teachers or I want. Just because I’m not sharing my life story in essays doesn’t mean that I’m not inserting myself into the conversation. Once I’ve found a subject matter I’m really interested in, I am able to write more like myself than ever. (Of course, this doesn’t always happen, which is a bummer.)
Writing essays about certain subject matter can help me understand a particular work better. If I want to cover all my bases I might have to look up word definitions or the author’s biography or contextual history. Then I have to make sure I’m sticking to the prompt while also making a valid assertion. As often as I have to do it, it’s always a challenge—just the sort I am up for.
5. They’re a Good Learning Tool
Although, having written all this, I realize I have an essay on Hamlet due a week from today. Better get on that…