Monday, September 12, 2016

Five Reasons I Like Writing Essays

Paper Flower- Ballet
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 Short

Okay, 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 Method

Be 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 Hilarious

As 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.)

5. They’re a Good Learning Tool

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.

Although, having written all this, I realize I have an essay on Hamlet due a week from today. Better get on that…

Have you started getting homework in your classes?


  1. I really like essays! I love how you have a very specific purpose and you get to argue it and the formal structure is so much easier than 'what do my characters say next' and more like 'let me find a way to transition into my next point'. And I like to make my essays funny too!I sometime try to sneak some (very proper sounding) sarcasm in there. Recently I was analysing an article about animal abuse in my essay and I decided to write 'so they bring in an expert to tell the people the should just STAHP' I thought I was funny. My english teacher thought I was weird. It did not make it into the final draft. I wrote a really long essay about Hamlet last year. Good luck!

    1. Yes, that makes it quite a bit easier, no? We just know what we want and so we want it! XD That is a funny sentence, but I can understand why your English teacher would be confused. My essay about Hamlet turned out to only be 750 words, actually, so it wasn't too bad. XD

  2. I have to say I struggled with essays.. I mean I liked them but at uni I was told to write less compellingly and more objectively and... all I wanted to do was write what I wanted.

    I did enjoy sneaking things in though. One year every essay I wrote had a reference to food! Some were blatant and others were subtle. My favourite was 'music is the cheesecake of the mind'.


    1. Yeah, that can be difficult. I'm a chronic rule-follower and love writing with a strict prompts and stuff—it helps get my mind going.

      Ha! That is a great comparison. And now I want cheesecake. Goodie.

  3. I LOVE WRITING ESSAYS TOO! And whenever I casually mention this to my friends, they look at me like I'm mad. But like acutally, I couldn't sleep one night because I was composing an essay to the Common App prompt #2 and I'M NOT EVEN APPLYING TO THE US. In the back of my head, there are a bunch of essays that I want to write for fun at some point, but in the meantime, I have fairly interesting classwork. And I also like writing humorous essays, because I suck at putting humor into fiction, but humorous essays I can to. YES TO THIS WHOLE POST.

    1. XDD Right? I've totally stayed up late to write essays I didn't have to do, either! It's kind of embarrassing, really. And yes, humorous essays are a lot easier than humorous fiction. I really envy people who can construct witty dialogue. :)

  4. I have struggled with writing essays for a very long time! I think one of the reasons is because I don't do drafts. I just send in my first attempt.

    Since entering university, I haven't written any essays. There's no English course on pre university arts for some reason.

    1. Mm, that can definitely make it hard. I know that some people can operate that way and get good grades, but I always need a handful of drafts before I feel confident enough to send something in.

      Huh, that's odd. Of course, it depends on what you study. If you're going to be an engineer, there aren't a ton of essays necessary there, either.


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