09 January 2006

I say! An essay?

I have been reading a book of essays lately.

Wait. Essays? Yep. There was one that even reminded me of being in school.

I've been finding it interesting, not just for content, but for the form. Essay writing seems like it is perhaps a dying art, a written form that lives only now in the English class.

Somebody, and I wish I could remember who, said something once that writing is thinking on paper. Anybody who thinks clearly then can write clearly.

This makes me think that teaching essay writing (and reading good, well-constructed essays) is important and not just to infuriate high school students. Essays have to be laid out clearly and concisely, with thought-out examples to back-up the main idea. For a reader, a good essay is easy to follow because one point flows to the next, and you can see the evolution of the writer's thinking.

Some of these essays have revealed interesting factual tidbits that I didn't know before. A few have made me laugh. The one that reminded me of being in school wasn't quite like that. It was philosophical and faluting ', leaving me with that feeling that I wasn't entirely sure what I'd read.

Then again, may be I just wasn't thinking clearly.

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