The 500 Word Essay — A Write-Up with a Limitation on the Word Count Essays are one way of testing students’ writing capabilities. Some come with a restriction on the number of pages. A…
English essay writing
Guidelines for English essay writing
This blog has already written volumes about “English essay writing”! One can call any essay written in the English language as an “English essay”. Then what am I writing about? What more can I add to the 585 posts with 1,588 different tags? (As of 02/18/2011).
Can we talk about “good language”, “good structure”, “good layout”, “structured references and citations” and other general attributes of good essays? Sorry! I do not want to chew the cud!
Shall we talk of various subjects, topics and essay prompts? But then can these things apply only to “English essay writing”? You will agree that they are common to essays written in any language!
Is this post an example of “English essay writing”? It attempts to write something about nothing in particular. Hope that it does not depend purely on the gift of gab in the English Language! But this is no “essay”. Do not attempt anything like this in your class!
Dead end? We will try to think of something else.
Avoid colloquial English and local metaphors
They may be good for “The color purple”! There are as many versions of the English language in USA as the number of states multiplied by the number of ethnic groups. Bernard Shaw once remarked that the English language divides USA and UK. It is a different issue that he forgot the Cockneys, Scots and Yorkshires of his own country. Add to this Babel the Australian, Canadian, Caribbean, Sub-continental and Pidgin English. Do not forget multitudes of other people who read English. An ideal academic essay should reach all these who understand English. Hence avoid colloquial language and local metaphors in your English essay writing.
Be sensitive to the values of diverse cultures, ethnic groups and religions
I take it that “essays” mean classroom or academic essays. Class rooms and the academic world are just sub sets of the whole world. But the “World is flat” and “essays” can reach larger sections of students and the academic fraternity. Spread of the English language is wide and far. This is a very large canvas that accommodates a heterogeneous variety of nations, races, religions and geopolitical groups. Hence prudence demands that you should be sensitive to the values of all these people. This is particularly true in International essay contests. A couple of pitfalls in this regard, say even one instance of stereotyping, your essay goes out of reckoning.
Mind your grammar and syntax
The denizens of the English speaking world already have enough problems in understanding one another in proper English. Do not add to their woes by substandard grammar, spelling and archaic syntax.
Stick to academic writing standards and conventions
The purpose of formatting and referencing styles like MLA or APA is not just to provide a documented basis for defending plagiarism suits. They provide a platform to facilitate easy world wide understanding.