Using the right method in learning is crucial because the incorrect methodology could end up in the process of having to start from the beginning all over again. Most books concentrate on the academic point of view of essay writing with not much emphasis on the "get down and do it" aspects. I have found a useful method to attaining this however, which is to benefit from the writing mistakes of other students. I have found this website has all the original essays by ESL writers with mistakes corrected and added with comments by the teacher. Learn from other's mistakes. Tell your friends about this resource.
The essay must be well structured and presented in a way the reader unearths easily followed and clear : it must look neat and not present any stumbling blocks to the reader. It must have a clear readable fascinating style. However above all, it must consist of your ideas about literary texts. This is the center of it : this, and this only , gets the marks. Not quotes from critics, not generalisations at 2nd hand about literary history, not filling and padding ; your thoughts, that you have had while in the activity of reading categorical bits of literary texts, which can be cited in the shape of quotations to back up your debates.
In the English Department you find out how to respond to literary texts. This is an engaging and profitable thing to do, but unless you become a teacher of English remarkably few folks in later life will have an interest in your thoughts about Jane Austen. What they are going to be interested in ( I am talking about potential bosses now, but not only them ) is your capability to talk, to think, and to write. This part of the course is where you learn how to write : professionally. The rules that follow tell you a way to do it, or rather how to be taught how to do it.
They set a higher standard than is generally asked of a first year undergraduate essay in this dept. This is for the following reasons. ( one ) I think it's my job to offer you the best recommendation I'm able to, not to tell you how to get by. ( two ) If you find out what these guidelines teach, you will get better marks in all the essays you do from now on till finals. You'll surprise the markers with the standard of your presentations, by manufacturing a higher quality than they think. ( 3 ) you will learn a skill, a not-very-hard-to-learn ability, that may last you for the remainder of your life.
The 1st task is to get the material together. The material comes in two kinds : first and secondary sources. First sources in this situation are literary texts : the particular material that you work on. Secondary sources are works of feedback. Here is your 2nd important Message : It is frequently better to read an original text and refer to it than to read and refer to a critic.
The more literary texts you read and may make reference to the better. You can't possibly read too many. Remember, the key to your essay is the number and quality of your concepts about literary texts. If you casually refer, from at least an obvious position of familiarity, to some obscure literary text, you may win the admiration of your marker. If you refer to a critic, especially an obscure one, the possibilities are his or her eye will glaze over. There are exceptions to this rule, which I will mention later, but the general principle is important : original texts are much better than critics, and you cannot know too many. Whereas it is possible to get a first class degree and never to have read any critics at all .
You've gathered the material, read it, made notes, had ideas, written them down on separate slips, headed and filed them. How do you write the essay? You gather together all of the slips you have on the topic of the essay. You read thru, writing newer ones and re-writing old ones if more or different ideas come to you, and making sure each of them is headed. You put the headings together in a logical order ( headings, sub- headings, sub-sub-headings ) on a sheet of paper in the shape of an abbreviation of the essay. You prepare the slips in order of the outline. You assemble the pile of slips, the outline, and blank paper ( or a blank word-processor screen ) in front of you. You write the essay, going from heading to heading and slip to slide. The essay writes itself, painlessly, because you have done most of the thinking already.
The author to this passage is a teacher of ESL of a secondary school with an interest in English Composition> .