Me Myself And I Short Essay For Kids
As the government begins its crackdown on essay mill websites, it’s easy to see just how much pressure students are under to get top grades for their coursework these days. But writing a high-scoring paper doesn’t need to be complicated. We spoke to experts to get some simple techniques that will raise your writing game.
Tim Squirrell is a PhD student at the University of Edinburgh, and is teaching for the first time this year. When he was asked to deliver sessions on the art of essay-writing, he decided to publish a comprehensive (and brilliant) blog on the topic, offering wisdom gleaned from turning out two or three essays a week for his own undergraduate degree.
“There is a knack to it,” he says. “It took me until my second or third year at Cambridge to work it out. No one tells you how to put together an argument and push yourself from a 60 to a 70, but once you to get grips with how you’re meant to construct them, it’s simple.”
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The goal of writing any essay is to show that you can think critically about the material at hand (whatever it may be). This means going beyond regurgitating what you’ve read; if you’re just repeating other people’s arguments, you’re never going to trouble the upper end of the marking scale.
“You need to be using your higher cognitive abilities,” says Bryan Greetham, author of the bestselling How to Write Better Essays. “You’re not just showing understanding and recall, but analysing and synthesising ideas from different sources, then critically evaluating them. That’s where the marks lie.”
But what does critical evaluation actually look like? According to Squirrell, it’s simple: you need to “poke holes” in the texts you’re exploring and work out the ways in which “the authors aren’t perfect”.
“That can be an intimidating idea,” he says. “You’re reading something that someone has probably spent their career studying, so how can you, as an undergraduate, critique it?
“The answer is that you’re not going to discover some gaping flaw in Foucault’s History of Sexuality Volume 3, but you are going to be able to say: ‘There are issues with these certain accounts, here is how you might resolve those’. That’s the difference between a 60-something essay and a 70-something essay.”
Critique your own arguments
Once you’ve cast a critical eye over the texts, you should turn it back on your own arguments. This may feel like going against the grain of what you’ve learned about writing academic essays, but it’s the key to drawing out developed points.
“We’re taught at an early age to present both sides of the argument,” Squirrell continues. “Then you get to university and you’re told to present one side of the argument and sustain it throughout the piece. But that’s not quite it: you need to figure out what the strongest objections to your own argument would be. Write them and try to respond to them, so you become aware of flaws in your reasoning. Every argument has its limits and if you can try and explore those, the markers will often reward that.”
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Fine, use Wikipedia then
The use of Wikipedia for research is a controversial topic among academics, with many advising their students to stay away from the site altogether.
“I genuinely disagree,” says Squirrell. “Those on the other side say that you can’t know who has written it, what they had in mind, what their biases are. But if you’re just trying to get a handle on a subject, or you want to find a scattering of secondary sources, it can be quite useful. I would only recommend it as either a primer or a last resort, but it does have its place.”
Focus your reading
Reading lists can be a hindrance as well as a help. They should be your first port of call for guidance, but they aren’t to-do lists. A book may be listed, but that doesn’t mean you need to absorb the whole thing.
Squirrell advises reading the introduction and conclusion and a relevant chapter but no more. “Otherwise you won’t actually get anything out of it because you’re trying to plough your way through a 300-page monograph,” he says.
You also need to store the information you’re gathering in a helpful, systematic way. Bryan Greetham recommends a digital update of his old-school “project box” approach.
“I have a box to catch all of those small things – a figure, a quotation, something interesting someone says – I’ll write them down and put them in the box so I don’t lose them. Then when I come to write, I have all of my material.”
There are a plenty of online offerings to help with this, such as the project management app Scrivener and referencing tool Zotero, and, for the procrastinators, there are productivity programmes like Self Control, which allow users to block certain websites from their computers for a set period.
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Look beyond the reading list
“This is comparatively easy to do,” says Squirrell. “Look at the citations used in the text, put them in Google Scholar, read the abstracts and decide whether they’re worth reading. Then you can look on Google Scholar at other papers that have cited the work you’re writing about – some of those will be useful. But quality matters more than quantity.”
And finally, the introduction
The old trick of dealing with your introduction last is common knowledge, but it seems few have really mastered the art of writing an effective opener.
“Introductions are the easiest things in the world to get right and nobody does it properly,” Squirrel says. “It should be ‘Here is the argument I am going to make, I am going to substantiate this with three or four strands of argumentation, drawing upon these theorists, who say these things, and I will conclude with some thoughts on this area and how it might clarify our understanding of this phenomenon.’ You should be able to encapsulate it in 100 words or so. That’s literally it.”
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Me, Myself, and I
by Michael Dale Sipes, Jr.
I am an extremely open minded, non-judgmental person who loves to learn. I enjoy reading, surfing the web, researching, writing essays, poems, quotes, and reviews. Now when I say open-minded, I by no means imply so open that my brain may fall out. I believe in skeptical skepticism and baloney detection in everyday life. I always prefer the cold hard truth to the warm comforting fantasy, except for when I am dreaming at night, for I often dream bad dreams. I believe there is a time and place for everything and when a problem arises; the time to act is now, never later. I am an Army Veteran and extremely proud of it. Serving my country and the fundamental principles of the Constitution is my most proud achievement. I believe my service to my country is an achievement and a personal sacrifice that sets myself and other Veterans apart from others whether you agree or not. I served three years and there is no dollar amount anyone can put upon three years of life. There are billionaires who are willing to spend extraordinary amounts of money just to go overseas to have an immediate heart, liver, or lung transplant so they can live just a few years longer. Life is the most precious gift from God, yet we do not acknowledge this precious and delicate gift until threatened with disease or the possibility of death.
If I could give you just 15 minutes a year to spend with someone who you love that was very near and dear to you that has passed away, how much would you be willing to pay? I would be willing to give all my assets, all my future earnings, everything down to my bare skin, just to spend 15 minutes a year with my grandfather or great-grandmother to tell them how things have been in my life, to ask them if they are okay and to remind them that I love them so very much. I propose this question because someone once asked me what the three years of Army life was worth in a dollar amount to me. I believe that for every second of life we have is priceless and no dollar amount is equal to anyone’s service to our great country. My service instilled and reaffirmed many moral standards and set in stone the man I am today. There is a saying "you can take the man out of the Army, but you cannot take the Army out of the man" and that holds true today just as it did for soldiers who lived and died in battles epochs ago. I could never repay the Army for what it taught me or gave me in so many different aspects of my being and the life that has followed. Even though there were times in the Army when things were so hard and overwhelming that I thought I would never get through them. I would do it all over again if only I had the chance without needing a second to think it over.
It is a shame how some people show indifference to our military personnel, past, present and for their future after they leave service. Every time I see a member of our military in uniform, I make sure to greet them and thank them for their service. These individuals deserve recognition every day, not just once a year. I firmly believe in the Constitution of the United States, and as an affirmation of this belief I swore an oath to protect and defend the Constitution against all enemies’ foreign and domestic and I am duty bound by that oath until death. I firmly believe in the Supreme Moral law of our land the Declaration of Independence that unfortunately many Americans have completely forgotten its meaning and importance. Due to a lack of knowledge many people incorrectly relate the phrase “We hold these truths to be self-evident, that all men are created equal, that they are endowed by their Creator with certain unalienable Rights, that among these are Life, Liberty and the Pursuit of Happiness” to the Constitution. Thomas Jefferson stated those words in the preamble to the Declaration of Independence.
I hope to see in my lifetime those carefully chosen words, principles and ideals instilled into the hearts and minds of every man, women and child of this great Nation. For children to grow up in a world where everyone is encouraged to learn throughout their life, not only as a child or young adult. Learning is an ongoing process that never stops, not when we complete High School or College, for there are endless possibilities for growth in one’s mind until the very moment we pass on to another sphere of consciousness. Children ask many questions and have much enthusiasm for learning but by the time they reach Jr. High School, much of that enthusiasm and eagerness to learn is gone. We must change this or our future as a society will never come close to being a singularity, a world, and people of one. Instead, our progress will be limited by the uninspired youth of tomorrow. Unfortunately, we already rank low in Mathematics, Science, and History and for every decade, that ranking becomes even lower. As you have already surmised by now, I am a man of great moral conviction and have a great deal of optimism for the future of the United States and humankind as a whole, but also many worries and plenty to justify them.
I feel balance is key to most everything in life so I am an optimist but also a realist. I believe in talking about issues that most consider taboo, or discussing things that would ordinarily bother or scare us. I do not mind airing my dirty laundry so to speak, because I am sure of myself and of my God. I fear no man or woman and that is all encompassing, only God himself. Too many people have too many fears that hold them back in life and fear breeds other negative emotions such as anger. Anger is one of the most horrid of emotions that when not quickly controlled builds and leads to hate and great suffering. Like so many other human beings, I am very loving of others; I care about others, the future of humankinds search for Gnosis. Stay humble before God and your fellow man; woman and child on Earth, a small world that floats like a speck of dust in the morning light.
© Copyright 2018 MichaelS76. All rights reserved.