The essay is one of the key components of the academic preparation of university students in the United States.
Therefore, everyone who is going to apply to American universities should have a thorough understanding of what this genre of independent student work is.
What is an essay?
A modern essay is a small text devoted to some important and socially significant problem. Students are challenged to use their own judgments, to evaluate the processes taking place in society.
It is noteworthy that the subject that can become the topic of an essay can be anything: from the peculiarities of the development of jellyfish to the causes of the beginning of the Great Patriotic War. An important distinctive feature of an essay becomes the enlargement of any topic to the level of universal public importance, as well as a bright and argumentative author’s position.
The essay contributes to the development of thinking activity
The American system of higher education is well known for its strong liberal arts foundation and practical approach to the knowledge acquired. The best of this system is striving to be adopted by domestic universities as well. That is why now as part of the Unified State Exam an essay is written on various subjects, for example, social studies.
When writing such work, a student not only memorizes facts and figures, but also makes sense of the information received, learns to critically assess them, and use them in practice.
For this reason, a good and high-quality essay should include the following elements:
- A justified introduction in which the main topic of the work is formulated. Its social importance is outlined.
- The author is obliged to confirm his position with information from authoritative sources, for example, it can be quotations of famous scientists or references to official documents.
- The main part of the essay is the coherent and logical reasoning of the student himself, devoted to the specified topic.
- The author should confirm his/her position with examples from personal life so that the position looks as argumentative as possible.
- Emotional and vivid coverage of the issue is welcome.
- The final part of the work should urge the reader to think about the topic of the essay to reflect on it more deeply.
As a rule, the volume of the work is one or two printed pages. It takes from several hours to several days to write, everything depends on the complexity of the chosen topic.
In some cases, writing a quality paper requires delving into sources, finding additional facts about the topic, comparing them with each other to form a reasoned judgment.
Examples of essays that can be considered exemplary, in addition to a quality semantic core, must have good literary language. This, too, takes time.
Essays are an additional way to test your knowledge
This type of work pushes the student to go deeper into the topic offered to him. After all, writing a quality essay requires, in fact, conducting a mini-research.
This is the goal often pursued by teachers, giving an assignment in a similar genre. Obtaining a high grade is impossible without an in-depth study of the material related to the topic of the essay.
The essence of the essay is in the presence of specifics, it is the facts that come to the fore here. The author should choose convincing ways of argumentation based on reliable information. General thoughts and arguments about everything and nothing at once are not welcome.
All this makes the essay one of the universal tools for controlling the preparation of students.
How to learn to think with an essay
In American universities, the essay has already become an important and integral part of the educational process. It is given no less attention than attendance at lectures, seminars, and exam grades. It is an interesting and promising genre. Having mastered it, you can get an effective tool that will allow you to learn the educational material faster and more qualitatively.
In the essay, which students are assigned to write, they should formulate subjective perceptions, regarding one or another socially significant topic.
In American universities, it is possible to submit an essay on absolutely any topic, so much work can be assigned to absolutely any subject – both human and technical. It is important to stick to the main direction – the moral and social benefit that the student will get from the sources in the preparation of this work.
What gives the ability to write a good essay?
University professors are increasingly talking about the need to instill in students the ability to practically use the knowledge acquired in lectures and from textbooks. This skill is tested by writing an essay, which evaluates the student’s ability to present his or her thoughts in written form, giving reasoned arguments.
This work must contain information and references from authoritative sources. To find them, these sources need to be carefully studied.
From the majority of other varieties of student papers, such as a test, a test or an essay, the essay is fundamentally different in that it allows the author to fully justify his views on the world around him, to formulate beliefs, often for himself. After all, until you learn to reason, to put on paper those or other thoughts, you can not come to interesting and unexpected conclusions.
Recommendations for creating a strong essay
- To write a quality essay, it is important to learn to look at the problem from a new perspective, to be able to ask yourself non-standard questions and look for answers to them. It is necessary to abandon stamps and formulaic views of the problem to offer an out-of-the-box solution.
- A useful technique when writing an essay many teachers call “What if…”. It is possible to achieve the required subjectivity and originality if you independently design a situation that is the opposite of common sense. For example, an essay on the necessity of vaccinating the population can be built on the proposal to imagine a society in which everyone would refuse to be vaccinated all at once. Such a rhetorical device makes the imagination and thinking to work at maximum speed. This is exactly what is needed when writing an essay.
- A good essay must necessarily contain research on the specified topic, as well as your own inferences in an unconventional form. The stylistics of writing such a text should be as close as possible to the texts of public speeches.
The ability to write quality essays comes in handy in life, because such assignments teach a person to think outside the box, which becomes the key to the ability to solve working issues. Also, the essay pushes the author to the development and self-education, assiduity, and high self-organization. All these are qualities that are highly valued by modern employers.