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Common Writing Assignments
8 The Examples Essay
An examples essay supports, develops, and defends its thesis in a series of paragraphs, each of which typically illustrates one way in which the thesis statement can be supported.
If you were writing an essay on “Common Minor Penalties in Hockey,” you might have one body paragraph on tripping, one on interference, and one on roughing. If you were doing a longer assignment, such as a survey of all penalties in hockey, you could subdivide your essay into examples of minor, major, and match penalties, each section of which would require more than one paragraph. The conclusion needs to provide readers with that important sense of closure, asserting that the examples have affirmed the thesis and possibly reminding readers of the benefits your information has provided: Hockey is more entertaining to watch when we understand why players are sometimes sent to the penalty box.
To better understand what an examples essay is, read carefully this essay, which describes examples of the red wine grapes of British Columbia.
Example: Red Wine Grapes of British Columbia
Oenophiles and even less devoted wine drinkers are more likely to associate red wine production with France, Italy, and California than Canada. Yet British Columbia is home now to some excellent estate wineries, especially in the Okanagan region, the climate of which is conducive to the growth of the finest red wine grapes. British Columbia vintners grow and harvest Merlot, Cabernet Sauvignon, and Pinot Noir grapes to produce red wines, which are growing in quality and reputation.
The Merlot grape is dark blue. It is cultivated by vintners in virtually every wine-producing regions of the world. It is the red wine grape that BC vintners plant and harvest most frequently (Pawsey 2). It produces excellent varietal wines, which are those made mainly from the juice of a single type of grape (“Varietal”). The Merlot grapes grown in British Columbia are high in tannins, a substance found in the skin of the grape, which gives BC Merlots a pleasantly dry and bitter taste, redolent of unsweetened black tea (“Tannins”). The tannins combined with the red fruit flavours from the juice of the grape mellow out the taste of a Merlot wine, producing a medium-bodied, earthy sensation on the tongue. BC Merlots pair well with most foods, though vegetarians and pescatarians will usually prefer a lighter-bodied red.
The Cabernet Sauvignon grape is hardy enough to thrive in all wine-producing climates, including in the Okanagan, with its sometimes severe temperature fluctuations. It produces wine darker in colour than the Merlot but with less tannins (“Cabernet”). BC “cab savs” are usually full-bodied with moderate acidity. Skilled wine drinkers can taste cherry and mint working in harmony in a fine Cabernet Sauvignon wine (“Cabernet”). This is the carnivore’s grape, pairing well with meat lovers’ pizza, rare steak, baked ham, lamb chops, and thick pulled-pork sandwiches.
If the Cabernet Sauvignon is the muscle grape, the Pinot Noir is the delicate and sensitive member of the family. It is more susceptible than others to disease, and even when it is harvested successfully and made into wine, the wine it produces is fickle, sometimes outstanding, sometimes disappointing (Pawsey 3). British Columbia’s climate should not be conducive to growing the pinot noir grape, but has become so, as one of the few fortunate consequences of global warming (Pawsey 2). BC Pinots are low in tannins, light-bodied, and paler in colour than their Merlot and cab sav cousins. They typically taste of red fruits, with hints of vanilla and leather (“Pinot Noir”). They pair perfectly with the salmon caught in the Pacific Ocean and in the rivers of British Columbia, with other fish dishes, lighter cheeses, and even vegan food.
When it comes to choosing a BC wine cultivated from a red grape, discriminating omnivores are the lucky ones. They may choose a Merlot, a Cabernet Sauvignon, a Pinot Noir, or any blending of the three to fulfill their quest for the perfect complement for their meal.
“ Cabernet Sauvignon .” My Wine Canada . (n.d.), https://mywinecanada.com/types-of-wine/cabernet-sauvignon-wine. Accessed 31 Jan. 2018.
“ Merlot .” My Wine Canada . (n.d.), https://mywinecanada.com/types-of-wine/merlot-wine. Accessed 31 Jan. 2018.
Pawsey, Tim. “ Pinot Noir Is the Bad Boy of the BC Wine Scene .” Quench Magazine , 27 Dec. 2017, https://quench.me/magazine/pinot-noir-bad-boy-bc-wine-scene/. Accessed 2 Feb. 2019.
“ Pinot Noir .” My Wine Canada. (n.d.), https://mywinecanada.com/types-of-wine/pinot-noir-wine. Accessed 31 Jan. 2018.
“ Varietal .” Wikipedia, The Free Encyclopedia , 1 Nov. 2018, https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Varietal. Accessed 2 Feb. 2019.
Red Wine Grapes of British Columbia
Respond to these questions in writing, in small group discussion, or both.
- What is the thesis of this essay?
- What is an oenophile?
- Do you think “The Red Wine Grapes of British Columbia” is informative? What did you learn from the essay?
- Is the concluding paragraph effective? Why or why not?
- Is the works cited list appropriate for this essay? Why or why not?
Write an examples essay of approximately 750 words on one of the following topics: popular video games, designer handbags, basketball shoes, science fiction movies, high-performance sports cars. You may also select your own topic or one recommended by your teacher.
Composition and Literature by James Sexton and Derek Soles is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 International License , except where otherwise noted.
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The Beginner's Guide to Writing an Essay | Steps & Examples
An academic essay is a focused piece of writing that develops an idea or argument using evidence, analysis, and interpretation.
There are many types of essays you might write as a student. The content and length of an essay depends on your level, subject of study, and course requirements. However, most essays at university level are argumentative — they aim to persuade the reader of a particular position or perspective on a topic.
The essay writing process consists of three main stages:
- Preparation: Decide on your topic, do your research, and create an essay outline.
- Writing : Set out your argument in the introduction, develop it with evidence in the main body, and wrap it up with a conclusion.
- Revision: Check the content, organization, grammar, spelling, and formatting of your essay.
Table of contents
Essay writing process, preparation for writing an essay, writing the introduction, writing the main body, writing the conclusion, essay checklist, lecture slides, frequently asked questions about writing an essay.
The writing process of preparation, writing, and revisions applies to every essay or paper, but the time and effort spent on each stage depends on the type of essay .
For example, if you’ve been assigned a five-paragraph expository essay for a high school class, you’ll probably spend the most time on the writing stage; for a college-level argumentative essay , on the other hand, you’ll need to spend more time researching your topic and developing an original argument before you start writing.
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Before you start writing, you should make sure you have a clear idea of what you want to say and how you’re going to say it. There are a few key steps you can follow to make sure you’re prepared:
- Understand your assignment: What is the goal of this essay? What is the length and deadline of the assignment? Is there anything you need to clarify with your teacher or professor?
- Define a topic: If you’re allowed to choose your own topic , try to pick something that you already know a bit about and that will hold your interest.
- Do your research: Read primary and secondary sources and take notes to help you work out your position and angle on the topic. You’ll use these as evidence for your points.
- Come up with a thesis: The thesis is the central point or argument that you want to make. A clear thesis is essential for a focused essay—you should keep referring back to it as you write.
- Create an outline: Map out the rough structure of your essay in an outline . This makes it easier to start writing and keeps you on track as you go.
Once you’ve got a clear idea of what you want to discuss, in what order, and what evidence you’ll use, you’re ready to start writing.
The introduction sets the tone for your essay. It should grab the reader’s interest and inform them of what to expect. The introduction generally comprises 10–20% of the text.
1. Hook your reader
The first sentence of the introduction should pique your reader’s interest and curiosity. This sentence is sometimes called the hook. It might be an intriguing question, a surprising fact, or a bold statement emphasizing the relevance of the topic.
Let’s say we’re writing an essay about the development of Braille (the raised-dot reading and writing system used by visually impaired people). Our hook can make a strong statement about the topic:
The invention of Braille was a major turning point in the history of disability.
2. Provide background on your topic
Next, it’s important to give context that will help your reader understand your argument. This might involve providing background information, giving an overview of important academic work or debates on the topic, and explaining difficult terms. Don’t provide too much detail in the introduction—you can elaborate in the body of your essay.
3. Present the thesis statement
Next, you should formulate your thesis statement— the central argument you’re going to make. The thesis statement provides focus and signals your position on the topic. It is usually one or two sentences long. The thesis statement for our essay on Braille could look like this:
As the first writing system designed for blind people’s needs, Braille was a groundbreaking new accessibility tool. It not only provided practical benefits, but also helped change the cultural status of blindness.
4. Map the structure
In longer essays, you can end the introduction by briefly describing what will be covered in each part of the essay. This guides the reader through your structure and gives a preview of how your argument will develop.
The invention of Braille marked a major turning point in the history of disability. The writing system of raised dots used by blind and visually impaired people was developed by Louis Braille in nineteenth-century France. In a society that did not value disabled people in general, blindness was particularly stigmatized, and lack of access to reading and writing was a significant barrier to social participation. The idea of tactile reading was not entirely new, but existing methods based on sighted systems were difficult to learn and use. As the first writing system designed for blind people’s needs, Braille was a groundbreaking new accessibility tool. It not only provided practical benefits, but also helped change the cultural status of blindness. This essay begins by discussing the situation of blind people in nineteenth-century Europe. It then describes the invention of Braille and the gradual process of its acceptance within blind education. Subsequently, it explores the wide-ranging effects of this invention on blind people’s social and cultural lives.
Write your essay introduction
The body of your essay is where you make arguments supporting your thesis, provide evidence, and develop your ideas. Its purpose is to present, interpret, and analyze the information and sources you have gathered to support your argument.
Length of the body text
The length of the body depends on the type of essay. On average, the body comprises 60–80% of your essay. For a high school essay, this could be just three paragraphs, but for a graduate school essay of 6,000 words, the body could take up 8–10 pages.
To give your essay a clear structure , it is important to organize it into paragraphs . Each paragraph should be centered around one main point or idea.
That idea is introduced in a topic sentence . The topic sentence should generally lead on from the previous paragraph and introduce the point to be made in this paragraph. Transition words can be used to create clear connections between sentences.
After the topic sentence, present evidence such as data, examples, or quotes from relevant sources. Be sure to interpret and explain the evidence, and show how it helps develop your overall argument.
Lack of access to reading and writing put blind people at a serious disadvantage in nineteenth-century society. Text was one of the primary methods through which people engaged with culture, communicated with others, and accessed information; without a well-developed reading system that did not rely on sight, blind people were excluded from social participation (Weygand, 2009). While disabled people in general suffered from discrimination, blindness was widely viewed as the worst disability, and it was commonly believed that blind people were incapable of pursuing a profession or improving themselves through culture (Weygand, 2009). This demonstrates the importance of reading and writing to social status at the time: without access to text, it was considered impossible to fully participate in society. Blind people were excluded from the sighted world, but also entirely dependent on sighted people for information and education.
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The conclusion is the final paragraph of an essay. It should generally take up no more than 10–15% of the text . A strong essay conclusion :
- Returns to your thesis
- Ties together your main points
- Shows why your argument matters
A great conclusion should finish with a memorable or impactful sentence that leaves the reader with a strong final impression.
What not to include in a conclusion
To make your essay’s conclusion as strong as possible, there are a few things you should avoid. The most common mistakes are:
- Including new arguments or evidence
- Undermining your arguments (e.g. “This is just one approach of many”)
- Using concluding phrases like “To sum up…” or “In conclusion…”
Braille paved the way for dramatic cultural changes in the way blind people were treated and the opportunities available to them. Louis Braille’s innovation was to reimagine existing reading systems from a blind perspective, and the success of this invention required sighted teachers to adapt to their students’ reality instead of the other way around. In this sense, Braille helped drive broader social changes in the status of blindness. New accessibility tools provide practical advantages to those who need them, but they can also change the perspectives and attitudes of those who do not.
Write your essay conclusion
My essay follows the requirements of the assignment (topic and length ).
My introduction sparks the reader’s interest and provides any necessary background information on the topic.
My introduction contains a thesis statement that states the focus and position of the essay.
I use paragraphs to structure the essay.
I use topic sentences to introduce each paragraph.
Each paragraph has a single focus and a clear connection to the thesis statement.
I make clear transitions between paragraphs and ideas.
My conclusion doesn’t just repeat my points, but draws connections between arguments.
I don’t introduce new arguments or evidence in the conclusion.
I have given an in-text citation for every quote or piece of information I got from another source.
I have included a reference page at the end of my essay, listing full details of all my sources.
My citations and references are correctly formatted according to the required citation style .
My essay has an interesting and informative title.
I have followed all formatting guidelines (e.g. font, page numbers, line spacing).
Your essay meets all the most important requirements. Our editors can give it a final check to help you submit with confidence.
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An essay is a focused piece of writing that explains, argues, describes, or narrates.
In high school, you may have to write many different types of essays to develop your writing skills.
Academic essays at college level are usually argumentative : you develop a clear thesis about your topic and make a case for your position using evidence, analysis and interpretation.
The structure of an essay is divided into an introduction that presents your topic and thesis statement , a body containing your in-depth analysis and arguments, and a conclusion wrapping up your ideas.
The structure of the body is flexible, but you should always spend some time thinking about how you can organize your essay to best serve your ideas.
Your essay introduction should include three main things, in this order:
- An opening hook to catch the reader’s attention.
- Relevant background information that the reader needs to know.
- A thesis statement that presents your main point or argument.
The length of each part depends on the length and complexity of your essay .
A thesis statement is a sentence that sums up the central point of your paper or essay . Everything else you write should relate to this key idea.
The thesis statement is essential in any academic essay or research paper for two main reasons:
- It gives your writing direction and focus.
- It gives the reader a concise summary of your main point.
Without a clear thesis statement, an essay can end up rambling and unfocused, leaving your reader unsure of exactly what you want to say.
A topic sentence is a sentence that expresses the main point of a paragraph . Everything else in the paragraph should relate to the topic sentence.
At college level, you must properly cite your sources in all essays , research papers , and other academic texts (except exams and in-class exercises).
Add a citation whenever you quote , paraphrase , or summarize information or ideas from a source. You should also give full source details in a bibliography or reference list at the end of your text.
The exact format of your citations depends on which citation style you are instructed to use. The most common styles are APA , MLA , and Chicago .
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Essay Examples and the 4 Main Types
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There are four main types of writing: narrative, descriptive, expository, and argumentative. Each has a unique purpose. Some tell a story, others attempt to alter opinions. You use these four writing types to write different types of essays.
Narrative writing means you’re telling a story from a certain viewpoint, and there is usually a reason for the telling. All narrative essays have characters, setting, a climax, and most importantly, a plot.
When writing a narrative essay , remember to:
- include sensory and emotional details, so the reader will experience the story, not just read about it
- allow the story to support the point you’re making, and make reference to that point in the first sentence
- write in the first or third person
Examples of Narrative Writing
Ready for a little storytelling? Here are some excerpts from narrative essay examples.
"Looking back on a childhood filled with events and memories, I find it rather difficult to pick one that leaves me with the fabled 'warm and fuzzy feelings.' As the daughter of an Air Force major, I had the pleasure of traveling across America in many moving trips. I have visited the monstrous trees of the Sequoia National Forest, stood on the edge of the Grand Canyon and have jumped on the beds at Caesar's Palace in Lake Tahoe."
"Looking for houses was supposed to be a fun and exciting process. Unfortunately, none of the ones that we saw seemed to match the specifications that we had established. They were too small, too impersonal, too close to the neighbors. After days of finding nothing even close, we began to wonder: was there really a perfect house out there for us?"
"The day I picked my dog up from the pound was one of the happiest days of both of our lives. I had gone to the pound just a week earlier with the idea that I would just 'look' at a puppy. Of course, you can no more just look at those squiggling little faces so filled with hope and joy than you can stop the sun from setting in the evening. I knew within minutes of walking in the door that I would get a puppy… but it wasn't until I saw him that I knew I had found my puppy."
The following is an example of a famous narrative written by John Updike , Hub Fans Bid Kid Adieu .
"The afternoon grew so glowering that in the sixth inning the arc lights were turned on--always a wan sight in the daytime, like the burning headlights of a funeral procession. Aided by the gloom, Fisher was slicing through the Sox rookies, and Williams did not come to bat in the seventh. He was second up in the eighth. This was almost certainly his last time to come to the plate in Fenway Park, and instead of merely cheering, as we had at his three previous appearances, we stood, all of us, and applauded."
Descriptive essays describe the traits and characteristics of people, objects, events, and feelings in intricate detail. What’s being described will be thoroughly examined. For example, if you were describing roses, you might want to detail:
- their origin
- their appearance
- their color
- their fragrance
When you write a descriptive essay, you want to involve the reader’s senses and emotions. For example, you could say, "I got sleepy." Or, you could write, "While I waited for Santa, my eyelids grew heavy, the lights on the tree began to blur, and my head began to droop." The second excerpt provides vivid detail, allowing readers to feel like they’re there.
Examples of Descriptive Writing
Ready to dive into the details? Here are three excerpts rife with detail.
"Like his twisted feathers, his many scars, the reliable old owl chose the gnarled, weather-beaten, but solid branch often - it being a companion to the wise alone with the night and the last branch to creak in the heaviest wind. He often came to survey the fields and the clouds before his hunt, to listen to the steady sound of the stream passing through reeds under the bridge, while combing his feathers for the unwanteds - whatever they might be."
A student at Roane State Community College managed to spice up a first visit to a diner. Watch how descriptive things get.
"When entering the door at Lou's, two things are immediately noticeable: the place is rarely empty and seems to consist of a maze of rooms. The first room, through the door, is the main part of the restaurant. There is another, rarely used, dining room off to the right. It was added during the oil well boom of the seventies. Through the main dining room is yet another room; it guards the door leading into the kitchen. This room contains the most coveted table in the place. The highest tribute Lou can bestow on anyone is to allow them access to seats at this table. This table is the family table; it is reserved for Lou's, and her daughter Karen's, immediate family and treasured friends."
Like the diner essay above, this sample excerpt from a student at St. Cloud State spruces up something as everyday as a local pawn shop.
"Billy Ray's Pawn Shop and Lawn Mower Repair looked like a burial ground for country auction rejects. The blazing, red, diesel fuel tanks beamed in front of the station, looking like cheap lipstick against the pallid, wrinkled texture of the parking lot sand. The yard, not much larger than the end zone at General G. Patton High School on the north end of town, was framed with a rusted metallic hedge of lawn mowers, banana seat bicycles, and corroded oil drums. It wasn't a calico frame of rusted parts, but rather an orchestra of unwanted machinery that Billy Ray had arranged into sections. The yellow-tanked mowers rested silently at the right of the diesel fuel. Once red, now faded orange, mowers stood at attention to the left. The oil barrels, jaded and pierced with holes, bellared like chimes when the wind was right. The bikes rested sporadically throughout the lot. In the middle of it all was the office, a faded, steel roof supported by cheap two-by-fours and zebra paneling. Billy Ray was at home, usually, five blocks east of town on Kennel Road."
Expository essays compare, explore, and discuss problems. While there’s a bit of a storytelling element to them, their purpose is greater than that. It’s always to explain some integral concept to the reader. As such, they inform, describe, and explain.
When writing an expository essay, the text needs to:
- be concise and easy to understand
- offer different views on a subject
- report on a situation or event
- explain something that may be difficult to understand
Examples of Expository Writing
Ready to dive deep into a specific issue? Here are three excerpts that’ll show you how it’s done.
"This family was a victim of a problem they could have avoided-a problem that, according to Florida park rangers, hundreds of visitors suffer each year. 'Several times a month,' Ranger Rod Torres of O'Leno State Park said, 'people get scared and leave the park in the middle of the night.' Those people picked the wrong kind of park to visit. Not that there was anything wrong with the park: The hikers camped next to them loved the wild isolation of it. But it just wasn't the kind of place the couple from New Jersey had in mind when they decided to camp out on this trip through Florida."
This sample expository essay from Thoughtful Learning relies heavily on facts and statistics to explain the important concept of cheating.
"Did you know that 7 out of 10 students have cheated at least once in the past year? Did you know that 50 percent of those students have cheated more than twice? These shocking statistics are from a survey of 9,000 U.S. high school students. Incredibly, teachers may even be encouraging their students to cheat! Last year at a school in Detroit, teachers allegedly provided their students with answers to statewide standard tests."
The University of Victoria uses this sample essay to demonstrate the importance of straightforward clarity in an expository essay.
"Throughout history and through a cross-section of cultures, women have transformed their appearance to conform to a beauty ideal. Ancient Chinese aristocrats bound their feet as a show of femininity; American and European women in the 1800s cinched in their waists so tightly, some suffered internal damage; in some African cultures, women continue to wear plates in their lower lips, continually stretching the skin to receive plates of larger size. The North American ideal of beauty has continually focused on women's bodies: the tiny waist of the Victorian period, the boyish figure in vogue during the flapper era, and the voluptuous curves that were the measure of beauty between the 1930s and 1950s. Current standards emphasize a toned, slender look, one that exudes fitness, youth, and health. According to psychologist Eva Szekely, 'Having to be attractive at this time... means unequivocally having to be thin. In North America today, thinness is a precondition for being perceived by others and oneself as healthy.' However, this relentless pursuit of thinness is not just an example of women trying to look their best, it is also a struggle for control, acceptance and success."
In an argumentative essay , the writer is trying to convince the reader by demonstrating the validity or falsity of a topic. They back up their position with evidence, including statistics or the opinion of experts. In these essays, the writer isn’t merely offering an opinion, but making an argument for or against something, and supporting that argument with data.
To write an argumentative essay , it’s important to research and back up what you say in the text. You may also use argumentative writing in persuasive writing , which uses emotional language and appeals to convince the reader.
Examples of Argumentative Writing
When it’s time to stand your ground and make a strong case, allow these excerpts to help get you started.
"Gun control has been a controversial issue for years. A vast majority of citizens believe that if gun control is strictly enforced, it would quickly reduce the threat of crime. Many innocent people feel they have the right to bear arms for protection, or even for the pleasure of hunting. These people are penalized for protecting their lives, or even for enjoying a common, innocent sport. To enforce gun control throughout the nation means violating a person’s Constitutional rights. Although some people feel that the issue of gun control will limit crime, the issue should not exist due to the fact that guns are necessary for self defense against crime, and enforcing gun control is violating a citizen's second amendment right to bear arms."
An argumentative essay from Bogazici University offers a bit of a dramatic flair, which is important to making a strong argument.
"Throw out the bottles and boxes of drugs in your house. A new theory suggests that medicine could be bad for your health, which should at least come as good news to people who cannot afford to buy expensive medicine. However, it is a blow to the medicine industry, and an even bigger blow to our confidence in the progress of science. This new theory argues that healing is at our fingertips: we can be healthy by doing Reiki on on a regular basis."
Essay By Example dives deeply into an argument touting the benefits of online gaming.
"Online games aren't just a diversion, but a unique way to meet other people. As millions of gamers demonstrate, playing online is about friendship and cooperation, not just killing monsters. These games are a viable social network because players focus on teamwork, form groups with like-minded people and have romantic relationships with other players. Massively Multiplayer Online Games (MMOGs) feature millions of players interacting in the same environment. The games are social in nature as they allow players to band together and complete missions based on a story line, or test their skills by fighting against each other. At the start of the game, the user creates a fictional character, and customizes its physical appearance. Since many games involve combat, players also outfit their characters with armor and weapons, as well as choose their 'profession.' Many popular game titles like World of Warcraft and Everquest follow a fantasy theme, so most professions have magical abilities like healing other players or raising undead minions. While the process seems simple, players may spend hours agonizing over the perfect look for their character, from their armor color to the type of skills to use in battle. Once their character is created, the player is free to explore the vast, digital world and interact with other players; however they must pay on average $15 a month for game content. MMOG users are mostly male - usually between the ages of 18-34 - although titles like World of Warcraft have a healthy population of female players as well. With millions of players, there are plenty of people to adventure with."
The Pen Is Mightier Than the Sword
Sometimes, writers only want to offer facts and information (informative writing). Other times, they’re seeking to change the tide of people’s belief systems (argumentative writing). Using these writing techniques, you can write many different types of essays.
English author Edward Bulwer-Lytton wasn’t kidding when he said, “The pen is mightier than the sword.” With the right words and a well-developed argument, you can shape other people’s perceptions too.
Student sample: narrative essay, my college education.
The first class I went to in college was philosophy, and it changed my life forever. Our first assignment was to write a short response paper to the Albert Camus essay “The Myth of Sisyphus.” I was extremely nervous about the assignment as well as college. However, through all the confusion in philosophy class, many of my questions about life were answered.
I entered college intending to earn a degree in engineering. I always liked the way mathematics had right and wrong answers. I understood the logic and was very good at it. So when I received my first philosophy assignment that asked me to write my interpretation of the Camus essay, I was instantly confused. What is the right way to do this assignment, I wondered? I was nervous about writing an incorrect interpretation and did not want to get my first assignment wrong. Even more troubling was that the professor refused to give us any guidelines on what he was looking for; he gave us total freedom. He simply said, “I want to see what you come up with.”
Full of anxiety, I first set out to read Camus’s essay several times to make sure I really knew what was it was about. I did my best to take careful notes. Yet even after I took all these notes and knew the essay inside and out, I still did not know the right answer. What was my interpretation? I could think of a million different ways to interpret the essay, but which one was my professor looking for? In math class, I was used to examples and explanations of solutions. This assignment gave me nothing; I was completely on my own to come up with my individual interpretation.
Next, when I sat down to write, the words just did not come to me. My notes and ideas were all present, but the words were lost. I decided to try every prewriting strategy I could find. I brainstormed, made idea maps, and even wrote an outline. Eventually, after a lot of stress, my ideas became more organized and the words fell on the page. I had my interpretation of “The Myth of Sisyphus,” and I had my main reasons for interpreting the essay. I remember being unsure of myself, wondering if what I was saying made sense, or if I was even on the right track. Through all the uncertainty, I continued writing the best I could. I finished the conclusion paragraph, had my spouse proofread it for errors, and turned it in the next day simply hoping for the best.
Then, a week or two later, came judgment day. The professor gave our papers back to us with grades and comments. I remember feeling simultaneously afraid and eager to get the paper back in my hands. It turned out, however, that I had nothing to worry about. The professor gave me an A on the paper, and his notes suggested that I wrote an effective essay overall. He wrote that my reading of the essay was very original and that my thoughts were well organized. My relief and newfound confidence upon reading his comments could not be overstated.
What I learned through this process extended well beyond how to write a college paper. I learned to be open to new challenges. I never expected to enjoy a philosophy class and always expected to be a math and science person. This class and assignment, however, gave me the self-confidence, critical-thinking skills, and courage to try a new career path. I left engineering and went on to study law and eventually became a lawyer. More important, that class and paper helped me understand education differently. Instead of seeing college as a direct stepping stone to a career, I learned to see college as a place to first learn and then seek a career or enhance an existing career. By giving me the space to express my own interpretation and to argue for my own values, my philosophy class taught me the importance of education for education’s sake. That realization continues to pay dividends every day.
- Narrative Essay Sample. Authored by : Anonymous. Provided by : Anonymous. Located at : http://www.saylor.org/site/textbooks/Writing%20for%20Success.pdf . Project : Writing for Success. License : CC BY-NC-SA: Attribution-NonCommercial-ShareAlike
Essay – examples & model answers | B2 First (FCE)
FCE Essay Examples: Topic (Environment)
Example exam task:, example answer (grade: 3), example answer:.
I think that my country has problems with pollution to the environment like all other countries. This problem is normal for Russia. We have big problems with transport because there are too much cars in our country. And because of that we have problems with atmospeer, air in my city and in all Russia is really dirty and sometimes I can’t make a sigh because it smells around me and of course around that cars on the road. I’ve heard about tradition of one country. They don’t go anywhere by car one day a month or a year, they just use bycicle or their feet. I think it could be very good if we had a tradition like that.
So, what about the rivers and the seas? Yeah, there are some really good and clean rivers and seas where you can go, but there are not many of them. Once I saw the river OB in my city, it was about two years ago but I stil remember that in some places it was not blue, it was green or purple I didn’t really understand because it had different colours.
I don’t know what should we do. Maybe we should just open our eyes and look what we did. But Russian people don’t care about the world around them many people care only about themselves an that’s all.
So, the best idea is look around and try to do something good for our planet and for us and our children.
FCE, CAE, CPE
Practice, write & improve, examiners comments & grade:, example answer (grade: 3-4).
To begin with pollution and damage to the environment is the most serious and difficult problem for countries of all over the world. Scientists of different countries predict a global ecocatastrophe if people won’t change their attitude to our planet.
First of all a huge damage to the environment brings a transport. People can’t imagine their living without cars, buses, trains, ships and planes. But it’s an open secret that one of disadvantage of these accustomed things is harmful exhaust. Needless to say that use of environment friendly engines helps us to save atmosphere from pollution.
In addition to this our rivers and seas are in not less danger situation. It’s a fact of common knowledge that numerous factories and plants pour off their waste to ponds. Obviously that cleaning manufacturing water helps to avoid extinction of ocean residents.
Apart from this I’m inclined to believe that every person can and must contribute to solving this important problem. Doing a little steps for protection our environment every day we will be able to save our Earth. And it’s a task of each of us.
Model Answer (Grade: 5)
DEVELOPMENT VS ENVIRONMENT
If we surf the web looking for pollution and environmental catastrophes, we will find out that every country in the world suffers them. This is a natural consequence of the struggle between development and environment.
If a country decided to live isolated from the rest of the world, living on what it can naturally grow and produce, it surely wouldn’t be highly polluted. But we all want exotic food and technological items from all over the world, so we have to pay the price.
Investing on electrical transport would benefit the environment a lot. Even more if this electricity came from a natural source of energy like wind, rivers and solar boards. It’s difficult to achieve this because petrol companies will fight against these actions.
We also have to take care of our rivers and seas. We all have heard about factories throwing highly toxic substances to rivers, without minimizing their poisoning effects. A really strict law should be applied to fine these factories and make them change their policy.
But what about ourselves? We also can do a lot! If, when possible, we bought larger packs of food, we would be producing less rubbish. And this is only an example!
FCE Essay Examples: Topic (Fashion)
In today’s world, the fashion industry has a strong importance in people’s lives. The fashion industry say to the society what to wear and creates new types of clothes all the time.
Some people claim that the fashion industry has a bad effect on people’s lives, they say that the fashion industry creates clothes that the society has to wear. Furthermore, the clothes’ price is extremely high and people, who can’t afford it, should not be in the society.
In the other hand, the fashion industry guide the people to be in a good appearance, because, nowadays, the appearance of the person is more important than the person itself.
In my opinion, the fashion industry doesn’t has a bad influence on people’s lives. It’s something which was created to help people what to wear.
Example Answer (Grade: 4)
Fashion industry is very a discussed subject nowadays: they create and design new clothes everyday in order to satisfy some people needs.
There are many people who claim that the fashion industry is important and good for society. According to them, this industry design beautiful clothes and thanks to that every person can wear shirts, trousers or any acessory which is on today’s fashion.
On the other hand, the fashion industry in some people opinion, controls the market of clothes and because of that they can’t wear what they want to. In addition, the industry can increase the price of clothes, forcing people who don’t want to be “oldfashioned” to buy and pay a large amount of money to keep “beautiful”.
In my opinion, we can’t let the fashion industry decide what we must or musn’t wear. We shouldn’t judge people for its appearance,because that is not important. We must wear whatever we like, want and feel confortable with.
The society we live today is characterised by technology in constant development, fast speed processes, information travelling and getting to people at a blink of an eye and a complex web of social networking. In this context, the fashion industry is becoming increasingly important and having a more and more paramount role in our lives.
On one hand, the fashion industry is undeniably a source of profit and income. It hires millions of people all over the world and generates millions of dollars every year. Furthermore, such profitable business is also believed to be able to spread and make known the culture of a people, encouraging and enhancing a better understanding of each other.
Nevertheless, for those who are neither impressed nor motivated by numbers and figures, the fashion industry is seen as one which segregates people, isolating those who not fit their laws and commands. It is stated that people place too much importance on appearance and the material, world, sadly true, and the fashion industry just spurs on such situation. Moreover, not only are the costs of fashion item unrealistically high, it is thought to be a money better spent on more pressing issues, such as poverty and hunger.
I do believe that the fashion industry, as it is today, has a harmful effect, because it values a minority of people in detriment to the majority. However, it has such a wide reach that, it put into a good use, it can save lives.
FCE Essay Examples: Topic (Languages)
“There are more reasons to learn a foreign language than to pass a test”
Everything around us revolves around language(s), it is the most important thing in our lives. Society would just not function without it. They are It is our future and I would personaly love to learn as many as I possibly can.
Not everything in life is done because it is necessary. Learning a new language can be a lot of fun. Many people only do it as a hoby, or their knowledge is something that brings them pride and pleasure.
Secondly, we have people who do it simply to challenge themselves. Truly I believe that having a great outcome that stems from your hard work and dedication to learn something new is a wonderful way to challenge prove your ability to yourself and others. Then there is travelling. It is very important to be able to understand and have a conversation with someone abroad, unless you would like to get lost or worse.
To conclude, I think that learning a new language is an amazing thing no matter why you do it. It is always better to do things out of enjoyment, but even if you do it for a test, that knowledge will always be useful.
Learning a a foreign languages is very important nowadays. English, in particular, is essential because it allows is spoken all over the world. That’s the reason why we start studying it from the age of six years old. Going abroad and being able to speak to native people is very satisfying and that’s why I want to improve my knowledge about foreign languages.
I decided to take this exam to know how high my level of English is, but also because I need this certification to go abroad next summer. I really want to come back to Cornwall, an amazing region in the South-West of England. I’ve been there twice with my family, but now I want to go alone. Only being there to England I can really improve my English comprehension and speaking skills.
Fortunately I can will have some English lessons which taught in English at university and I can’t wait for it because it will be an interesting challenge for me. Studying foreign languages is essential to live and to travel. It isn’t simple and I surely have to challenge myself everyday, but the result is so satisfying that we I can’t do without it.
FCE Essay Example: Topic (History)
A very common topic that is being discussed nowadays is wether schools should teach subjects that some may consider useless later in life. A clear example is history, since it is quite difficult to learn and does not help us in day-to-day activities.
However, many people do not realize the importance of it or that it affects our lives today. For example, our political system would not be this way if it weren’t for the Ancient Greeks, numerous politicians and wars who helped shape democracy and our constitution. Yet it is still thought that it’s useless.
In addition, it is very important that we never forget about our past since we must know where we were standing years ago. Moreover, there are some things, such as World War II, that we have to remember to prevent them from happening again. We should also know where we we were standing a century ago: our origins, our identity. The more you learn about your ethnicity, the better.
All in all, I think that it is extremely important to learn about one’s own country’s history. Anyone who gets the chance to do this should not waste it, since they are very fortunate to have this opportunity
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