Essay Writing Tips

overdriveguitarmanoverdriveguitarman The Walrus
edited March 2010 in Less Rokk More Talk
Hi everyone, my language teacher decided to give us an essay on Friday (yesterday). Due Monday. This Monday.

So I am trying to work on it (along with all my other homework) and I can't seem to think of a good way to do an introduction!

And I also am very bad at transitions, I just don't understand them!

I was hoping that some of you would have some essay tips that you know! Like how you never say "you" or the intro should be "attention-grabbing".

The essay is "Select one famous person that you would like to meet. Explain 3 details to support why."

I am doing Tim McIlrath (lead singer, lyricist, and guitarist of Rise Against) because I really do want to meet him

Thank you for any help, sorry if I sound whiny but I had to cancel recording of my song I have been waiting to do for a while so I am a little disappointed.


Edit: Also, I have looked through the language book for help on what I am asking about, and it truly surprised me how little help it provided. It didn't help at all.

Comments

  • Oscar-RioOscar-Rio 0/10
    edited March 2010
    pick someone who has more things going on in their life and have contributed something useful. You may find there's more to talk about. If you're struggling with your introduction it might be wise to rethink your subject choice.
  • overdriveguitarmanoverdriveguitarman The Walrus
    edited March 2010
    Mega-Tallica;3564317 said:
    Is it one of those 5-paragraph essays that they make you do so many of? I always hated doing those and I'm more of a Math guy anyway.

    No need to thank me for being so helpful with your essay :p
    They give us so many! We have to do another one about a person after reading a biography! She has given us a month for that one though so it's okay.

    I am really good at math! I'm the best at my school! :D
    jonoo24;3564318 said:
    Pick someone more interesting and famous, more people will know him.
    Well, I wanted to do someone that I honestly wanted to meet, so this is who I thought of. What I have so far as an introduction is this:

    "Being successful as a musician is very difficult. There is lots of competition and you need to be truly talented. The lead singer, lyricist, and guitarist of Rise Against, Tim McIlrath, was lucky enough to become famous from his hobby. "

    We need five sentences and I'm not sure if that is even any good!
  • overdriveguitarmanoverdriveguitarman The Walrus
    edited March 2010
    Oscar-Rio;3564324 said:
    pick someone who has more things going on in their life and have contributed something useful. You may find there's more to talk about. If you're struggling with your introduction it might be wise to rethink your subject choice.
    I have no idea who else I could do though!

    There is not many famous people I would really care about meeting outside of music.

    Any ideas?
  • jonoo24jonoo24 Merch-Table
    edited March 2010
    everyone not obsessed with Rise Against said:
    who?
    .
  • overdriveguitarmanoverdriveguitarman The Walrus
    edited March 2010
    jonoo24;3564332 said:
    .
    haha I know, but actually a lot of kids at my school know the band Rise Against! So it won't be completely unrelatable!

    Their new album "Appeal to Reason" was nominated for the Grammy's not too long ago!
  • Oscar-RioOscar-Rio 0/10
    edited March 2010
    overdriveguitarman;3564330 said:
    I have no idea who else I could do though!

    There is not many famous people I would really care about meeting outside of music.

    Any ideas?
    no idea on whom you could choose, but remember that "famous" is an arbitrary term.
  • kiggidykevkiggidykev Thinks about pandas
    edited March 2010
    Use your opening paragraph to sum up the three details about this person that you find fascinating without getting into too much detail.

    Then use those three details to each expand into paragraphs detailing why that person is so awesome to you. Use lots of detail and imagine that you are explaining to your grandparents, who have no idea who this person is.

    For a conclusion, sum it up by restating how your person is awesome using your proof from the previous paragraphs.
  • overdriveguitarmanoverdriveguitarman The Walrus
    edited March 2010
    kiggidykev;3564341 said:
    Use your opening paragraph to sum up the three details about this person that you find fascinating without getting into too much detail.

    Then use those three details to each expand into paragraphs detailing why that person is so awesome to you. Use lots of detail and imagine that you are explaining to your grandparents, who have no idea who this person is.

    For a conclusion, sum it up by restating how your person is awesome using your proof from the previous paragraphs.
    haha that actually is very helpful! Thanks!

    I am going to try to think of three main reasons hold on!
  • kiggidykevkiggidykev Thinks about pandas
    edited March 2010
  • back_blowsback_blows Washed Up
    edited March 2010
    I am by no means, a professional essay writer, but I'll do my best.

    For science papers intros should state some sort of fact relevant to the rest of your paper. For example, a paper about heart and stroke awareness might start off with "30% of men over 50 die of heart failure every year" (completely made-up figure). In your case you might want to throw in some interesting fact about that dude.

    For the middle paragraphs (aka the meat of the essay), try and link them together. For instance, if I were writing why I think back_blows is such an awesome guy, my main points might be:

    Argument 1 (strongest or 2nd strongest argument): He has a powerful beard
    Argument 2 (weakest argument): He's kvlt
    Argument 3 (strongest or 2nd strongest argument): He emits a strong musk

    At the end of argument 1, I would have a sentence linking my powerful beard to my kvltness. Something along the lines of "As a result of ridiculously powerful beard, back_blows is considered to be one of the most wicked men on the planet". This will be a good lead in for the second paragraph which is about my kvltness.

    When concluding, avoid the cliched "In conclusion..." line. It's really annoying. Basically, summarize your thoughts on that dude and come up with a really clever ending that makes the reader wanting more.
  • overdriveguitarmanoverdriveguitarman The Walrus
    edited March 2010
    back_blows;3564353 said:
    I am by no means, a professional essay writer, but I'll do my best.

    For science papers intros should state some sort of fact relevant to the rest of your paper. For example, a paper about heart and stroke awareness might start off with "30% of men over 50 die of heart failure every year" (completely made-up figure). In your case you might want to throw in some interesting fact about that dude.

    For the middle paragraphs (aka the meat of the essay), try and link them together. For instance, if I were writing why I think back_blows is such an awesome guy, my main points might be:

    Argument 1 (strongest or 2nd strongest argument): He has a powerful beard
    Argument 2 (weakest argument): He's kvlt
    Argument 3 (strongest or 2nd strongest argument): He emits a strong musk

    At the end of argument 1, I would have a sentence linking my powerful beard to my kvltness. Something along the lines of "As a result of ridiculously powerful beard, back_blows is considered to be one of the most wicked men on the planet". This will be a good lead in for the second paragraph which is about my kvltness.

    When concluding, avoid the cliched "In conclusion..." line. It's really annoying. Basically, summarize your thoughts on that dude and come up with a really clever ending that makes the reader wanting more.
    HAHA! That brightened up my day! That helped me get an idea of what transitions are like thank you!

    So here are the reasons I came up with

    1. He could tell me how he started out as a musician (tips for being successful)

    2. He could say how he gets inspiration for songs

    3. He could tell me what it's like to be a musician (It's my "dream" job that I have little chance of getting, haha)

    I could try to think of some more if those don't sound good!
  • supernova1324supernova1324 Headliner
    edited March 2010
    kiggidykev;3564341 said:
    Use your opening paragraph to sum up the three details about this person that you find fascinating without getting into too much detail.

    Then use those three details to each expand into paragraphs detailing why that person is so awesome to you. Use lots of detail and imagine that you are explaining to your grandparents, who have no idea who this person is.

    For a conclusion, sum it up by restating how your person is awesome using your proof from the previous paragraphs.
    This is the basics of a 5 paragraph essay and all you really need. also, if it needs to be a certain length and you can't think of anything else to type, just use the replace tool to replace all of your periods and commas with a size two points higher. Works like a charm.
  • overdriveguitarmanoverdriveguitarman The Walrus
    edited March 2010
    supernova1324;3564377 said:
    This is the basics of a 5 paragraph essay and all you really need. also, if it needs to be a certain length and you can't think of anything else to type, just use the replace tool to replace all of your periods and commas with a size two points higher. Works like a charm.
    It has to be like this:

    Intro: 5 sentences

    Body Paragraphs (3): 8 sentences each

    Conclusion: 5 sentences


    That's 34 sentences about this guy.... :confused:

    I forgot to say that we read this to the class and our classmates grade it!

    Which is awesome! But what would suck if people actually try to impress the teacher or something and be really picky and give bad grades. :(

    I am going to start working on it, and will post it later to see if it's okay! Thank you for the help! :)
  • Oscar-RioOscar-Rio 0/10
    edited March 2010
    sheesh, don't write by numbers. just write.
  • overdriveguitarmanoverdriveguitarman The Walrus
    edited March 2010
    Oscar-Rio;3564483 said:
    sheesh, don't write by numbers. just write.
    Well I think we have to write that many sentences... I wish we could just write.
  • back_blowsback_blows Washed Up
    edited March 2010
    overdriveguitarman;3564497 said:
    Well I think we have to write that many sentences... I wish we could just write.
    You should just write as much as you can. If you go over the limit, then subtract. It's always easier to remove than add on stuff.
  • monkeyfishmonkeyfish Road Warrior
    edited March 2010
    overdriveguitarman;3564409 said:
    It has to be like this:

    Intro: 5 sentences

    Body Paragraphs (3): 8 sentences each

    Conclusion: 5 sentences
    I am the last person that you should listen to because I treated essays like a bad joke, and this nonsense is the reason why. So blocky and restrictive, what's the fun in this sterile form of writing?

    But anywho, I advise you to take this class a smidge less serious. You won't be kicked out of school because you don't know how to write an interesting essay. I put down 750 words that were supposed to be about my Spring Break, which instead was a very thorough and concise description of the texture of my cat's fur as a kitten.

    I guarantee you, take any eight sentences about as complex as "See dog run. Run, dog, run," and you got a passable paragraph. The teacher may not LIKE it, but what's she going to do? Fail you for using simple sentences?
  • overdriveguitarmanoverdriveguitarman The Walrus
    edited March 2010
    monkeyfish;3564509 said:
    I am the last person that you should listen to because I treated essays like a bad joke, and this nonsense is the reason why. So blocky and restrictive, what's the fun in this sterile form of writing?

    But anywho, I advise you to take this class a smidge less serious. You won't be kicked out of school because you don't know how to write an interesting essay. I put down 750 words that were supposed to be about my Spring Break, which instead was a very thorough and concise description of the texture of my cat's fur as a kitten.

    I guarantee you, take any eight sentences about as complex as "See dog run. Run, dog, run," and you got a passable paragraph. The teacher may not LIKE it, but what's she going to do? Fail you for using simple sentences?
    Well actually she would... haha

    Also, I am actually a really good student! I always get straight A's and stuff! (In math I am the best by far though, I am in Advanced Geometry in 8th Grade and I have a perfect 100% right now on my interim! It is a little insane as this is actually a very hard class and nobody else is even close to an A+)

    So I do need to do good on this essay! And we had a lot of snow days so the language teacher decided to not give us as much grades (tests/quizzes), so this will be a strong decider in my final grade!

    I think I am doing okay so far, thanks to the tips in this thread!
  • FizzelerFizzeler Washed Up
    edited March 2010
    back_blows;3564353 said:
    I am by no means, a professional essay writer, but I'll do my best.

    For science papers intros should state some sort of fact relevant to the rest of your paper. For example, a paper about heart and stroke awareness might start off with "30% of men over 50 die of heart failure every year" (completely made-up figure). In your case you might want to throw in some interesting fact about that dude.

    For the middle paragraphs (aka the meat of the essay), try and link them together. For instance, if I were writing why I think back_blows is such an awesome guy, my main points might be:

    Argument 1 (strongest or 2nd strongest argument): He has a powerful beard
    Argument 2 (weakest argument): He's kvlt
    Argument 3 (strongest or 2nd strongest argument): He emits a strong musk

    At the end of argument 1, I would have a sentence linking my powerful beard to my kvltness. Something along the lines of "As a result of ridiculously powerful beard, back_blows is considered to be one of the most wicked men on the planet". This will be a good lead in for the second paragraph which is about my kvltness.

    When concluding, avoid the cliched "In conclusion..." line. It's really annoying. Basically, summarize your thoughts on that dude and come up with a really clever ending that makes the reader wanting more.
    That works for some essays, but for others you might want to try

    Intro: (introduce topic and provide some filler and background info hook needed as well)
    Argument 1: (most successful and easily introducable argument)
    Argument 2: (middle argument that adds to the point, but also is more in depth than the first argument)
    Argument 3: (same as 1 except it should be perfect to close with)
    Conclusion: (sum up thesis and wrap up your points avoid words that state it is the conclusion and end with something that interests the reader)

    as for a topic it depends what interests you and the information you have on your subject, for this essay topic you have I would write about John Watson, Walt Whitman or Karl Marx because those are individuals I know a bit about and could write an essay on.

    The greater your passion the better your writing, trust me it took me 2 years to learn this and that History essays are easy
    overdriveguitarman;3564409 said:
    It has to be like this:

    Intro: 5 sentences

    Body Paragraphs (3): 8 sentences each

    Conclusion: 5 sentences


    That's 34 sentences about this guy.... :confused:

    I forgot to say that we read this to the class and our classmates grade it!

    Which is awesome! But what would suck if people actually try to impress the teacher or something and be really picky and give bad grades. :(

    I am going to start working on it, and will post it later to see if it's okay! Thank you for the help! :)
    wait until you need to write college apps and scholarships essays then you will enjoy writing thick body paragraphs now and AP essays are the worst
  • HeavyMetalKingHeavyMetalKing Road Warrior
    edited March 2010
    overdriveguitarman;3564409 said:
    It has to be like this:

    Intro: 5 sentences

    Body Paragraphs (3): 8 sentences each

    Conclusion: 5 sentences


    That's 34 sentences about this guy.... :confused:

    I forgot to say that we read this to the class and our classmates grade it!

    Which is awesome! But what would suck if people actually try to impress the teacher or something and be really picky and give bad grades. :(

    I am going to start working on it, and will post it later to see if it's okay! Thank you for the help! :)
    If your classmates are grading it you're more or less of the hook. The last thing high school kids want to do is analyze their classmates essays (I know I've been out of high school for almost 6 years, but I still remember what it felt like). Generally, at least in my high school, peer reviews resulted in everyone getting a great grade...with the occasional exception of the presenter being hated by someone in the class for some stupid reason (oh, I don't like his hair, he gets all 1's). Although in my English classes the class reviews were usually a certain (smaller) percentage of the overall grade, with our teacher also scoring the presentation. Granted I was in the Gifted and Talented English program so this could have something to do with it.

    On the subject of helping you: someone else may have already said this, but transitions usually work best to introduce the next paragraph. Between point one and point two, for example, you could say something as simple as, "While I would benefit from learning how he started as a musician, it is also important to learn how one draws inspiration to write enjoyable music." Now that's not the greatest transition ever, but I just wanted to give you some kind of idea of what I was talking about. My knee is killing me right now so I'm not exactly thinking as well as I normally would.
  • monkeyfishmonkeyfish Road Warrior
    edited March 2010
    overdriveguitarman;3564517 said:
    Well actually she would... haha

    Also, I am actually a really good student! I always get straight A's and stuff! (In math I am the best by far though, I am in Advanced Geometry in 8th Grade and I have a perfect 100% right now on my interim! It is a little insane as this is actually a very hard class and nobody else is even close to an A+)
    Oh, you're that guy. :) Well in that case, I don't see what the big deal is since you're doing a spiffy job just in forum posting. I mean, with this one post you were basically halfway done with an essay on why you want to do a good job on the essay.
  • overdriveguitarmanoverdriveguitarman The Walrus
    edited March 2010
    HeavyMetalKing;3564526 said:
    If your classmates are grading it you're more or less of the hook. The last thing high school kids want to do is analyze their classmates essays (I know I've been out of high school for almost 6 years, but I still remember what it felt like). Generally, at least in my high school, peer reviews resulted in everyone getting a great grade...with the occasional exception of the presenter being hated by someone in the class for some stupid reason (oh, I don't like his hair, he gets all 1's). Although in my English classes the class reviews were usually a certain (smaller) percentage of the overall grade, with our teacher also scoring the presentation. Granted I was in the Gifted and Talented English program so this could have something to do with it.

    On the subject of helping you: someone else may have already said this, but transitions usually work best to introduce the next paragraph. Between point one and point two, for example, you could say something as simple as, "While I would benefit from learning how he started as a musician, it is also important to learn how one draws inspiration to write enjoyable music." Now that's not the greatest transition ever, but I just wanted to give you some kind of idea of what I was talking about. My knee is killing me right now so I'm not exactly thinking as well as I normally would.
    Yeah I am in the "Extended" English class which is the higher one. I am friends with basically everyone though so it should be okay! I won't worry about it too much actually!

    And your example for the transition seemed fine! I am can't seem to think of a good one, I am slowly finishing this, and when I post it I bet it will be obvious how dumb the transitions are unfortunately!
  • jonoo24jonoo24 Merch-Table
    edited March 2010
    overdriveguitarman;3564517 said:
    in 8th Grade
    Life gets much, much harder.
  • overdriveguitarmanoverdriveguitarman The Walrus
    edited March 2010
    jonoo24;3564788 said:
    Life gets much, much harder.
    Indeed it does, my brother is 3 years older than me.

    This is what I have right now:

    "Being successful as a musician is very difficult. There is lots of competition and you need to be truly talented. The lead singer, lyricist, and guitarist for the band Rise Against, Tim McIlrath, was lucky enough to become famous from his hobby. As a striving musician I would love to meet Tim because he could tell me how he started out as a musician, how he creates his songs, and what it’s like to be a musician. Getting paid to do what you love is hard to accomplish, and I’m sure Tim would have a few tips to achieving that.

    Nobody is just born a successful musician. It takes lots of practice and talent, but you also need to know how to be recognized. You need to make your own unique sound in a field of thousands of others trying to do the same thing. Tim went from a normal teenager to a member of one of the most popular punk bands today. To know how he went about getting started would be a great guide for me. After you become a successful musician though you need to continue to think of new songs and this can be a difficult task.

    Tim has been writing songs for about 10 years now. He has worked on five studio albums with Rise Against, and most if not all of his songs have strong lyrics about various topics. In songs such as “State of the Union” and “Collapse” he talks about more political issues. While in songs such as “Savior” and “The Good Left Undone” they talk about more personal topics. With this experience in songwriting, finding out how he created these songs would help me become a better musician. After a musician writes the songs though, there is much more he has to do.

    Being a successful musician requires a lot of work. Rise Against travels all over the world, recording songs and playing sold-out shows constantly. For this reason, Tim would know a lot about what being a musician is like and have some tips for handling it. If I want to become a musician it is important to know what to expect. Tim still manages to uphold a healthy marriage with two children, even with all of his travel. To know how he feels about the life of a musician will also help me decide if I really want to be one as well.

    Meeting Tim would be ideal for learning more about being a musician. It would be a great opportunity to meet him and have him share information about his career. I could only hope I could follow in his footsteps."

    The conclusion DEFINITELY needs work, I've gotten really tired and couldn't think of what to say...

    I couldn't think of very much interesting stuff but no matter who I did I don't I think I would have been able to anyway.
  • overdriveguitarmanoverdriveguitarman The Walrus
    edited March 2010
    I would definitely appreciate constructive criticism!

    Heck, you can even insult stuff if you want! At least it will get me to notice it and work on it!
  • FizzelerFizzeler Washed Up
    edited March 2010
    overdriveguitarman;3564847 said:
    I would definitely appreciate constructive criticism!

    Heck, you can even insult stuff if you want! At least it will get me to notice it and work on it!
    Okay fixing all grammatical errors
    overdriveguitarman;3564807 said:
    Indeed it does, my brother is 3 years older than me.

    This is what I have right now:

    "Being a successful musician is very difficult. There is a great amount of competition and you need to have talent and potential. The lead singer, lyricist, and guitarist for the band Rise Against, Tim McIlrath, was lucky enough to become famous from his hobby. As a striving musician I would love to meet Tim because he could tell me how he started out as a musician, how he writes his songs and composes the lyrics, and what it’s like to be a musician. A carrier performing and and actively participating in what you love is hard to accomplish, and I’m sure Tim would have a few tips to achieving that.

    Some minor grammar errors, but since you are not a senior or College student I would not worry much on word choice, but regardless I will still edit for it

    Nobody is just born a successful musician. It takes lots of practice and talent, but you also need to know how to be recognized. You need to make your own unique sound in a field of thousands of others trying to do the same thing. Tim went from a normal teenager to a member of one of the most popular punk bands today. To know how he went about getting started would be a great guide for me. After you become a successful musician though you need to continue to think of new songs and innovate your sound, this can be a difficult task.

    Adding the little part at the end eases transition and creates a better flow

    Tim has been writing songs for about 10 years now. He has worked on five studio albums with Rise Against, and most if not all of his songs have strong lyrics about various topics. In songs such as “State of the Union” and “Collapse” he talks more about political issues. While in songs such as “Savior” and “The Good Left Undone” the lyrics reflect more personal topics. With this experience in songwriting, finding out what inspired him to write these songs would help me become a better musician. After a musician writes the songs though, there is much more he has to do.

    Again word choice not sure how to fix the bottom transition, but it is a bit awkward

    Being a successful musician requires a lot of work. Rise Against travels all over the world, recording songs and playing sold-out shows constantly. For this reason, Tim would know a lot about what being a musician is like and have some tips for handling it. If I want to become a musician it is important to know what to expect. Tim still manages to uphold a healthy marriage with two children, even with all of his travel. To know how he feels about the life of a musician will also help me decide if I really want to be one as well.

    Solid paragraph

    Meeting Tim would be ideal for learning more about being a musician. It would be a great opportunity to meet him and have him share information about his career. I could only hope I could follow in his footsteps."

    The conclusion DEFINITELY needs work, I've gotten really tired and couldn't think of what to say...

    I couldn't think of very much interesting stuff but no matter who I did I don't I think I would have been able to anyway.
    Yes the conclusion needs work an easy way is to restate (not in exact words) in the conclusion and summarize all your points

    Overall it is okay needs some word choice improvement, but your still in grade school so you don't need to worry much on that yet

    Second body transition needs work

    I would say vary sentence structure and length, but again same thing as word choice
  • overdriveguitarmanoverdriveguitarman The Walrus
    edited March 2010
    Fizzeler;3565169 said:
    Okay fixing all grammatical errors


    Yes the conclusion needs work an easy way is to restate (not in exact words) in the conclusion and summarize all your points

    Overall it is okay needs some word choice improvement, but your still in grade school so you don't need to worry much on that yet

    Second body transition needs work

    I would say vary sentence structure and length, but again same thing as word choice
    Thank you very much! I changed the second body transition to

    "With this experience in songwriting, finding out what inspired him to write these songs would help me become a better musician. There is much more to being a musician than just writing songs, though.

    Being a successful musician requires a lot of work. Rise Against travels all over the world, recording songs and playing sold-out shows constantly."

    I am working on the conclusion, but also, I remembered she hates the word "you" (last time she even took of 10 points for each time you said it....)

    And that really messes up this paragraph

    "Nobody is just born a successful musician. It takes lots of practice and talent, but one also needs to know how to be recognized. You need to make your own unique sound in a field of thousands of others trying to do the same thing. Tim went from a normal teenager to a member of one of the most popular punk bands today. To know how he went about getting started would be a great guide for me. After one becomes a successful musician though they need to continue to think of new songs and innovate your sound, this can be a difficult task."

    I'm not sure if I should change the red's to "They" and "their". And the blues are "you"'s that I changed
  • overdriveguitarmanoverdriveguitarman The Walrus
    edited March 2010
    Conclusion! Thus basically finishing my paper! And about the matter up there ^ (my last post) I decided to just use they and their!

    "Meeting Tim would be a great opportunity. Hearing about his career would be a great help to anyone wanting a start working in music. His experience of getting into and being successful in the music industry would provide a guide for people wanting to follow in his footsteps. He writes inspiring songs and lyrics and has now helped in the creation of over one hundred different songs. The chance to learn about this career from him would be ideal because he inspires me and he has lots personal experience."
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