Essay writing doesn't come easy. It's a skill which many abhor and few master. Writers need a guide to help master essay writing.
J.R. Trimble's Writing With Style is something of a classic, though few seem to know it. This book is one of the few books students keep handy from their college days. If you intend on being an effective communicator, this book is simply a must-have.
Trimble assumes a few things. He assumes good grammar and a general facility with writing. For those heading back to school, he may be a bit advanced
However, even the most novice writer can learn from Trimble's example.
Trimble presents a case that writers write for an audience, that writers need to get out of their heads and show someone else what they're thinking. He argues against a self-centered sort of writing, saying, "Once you've finished writing for your self and begin writing for the reader, your mumbo jumbo will start turning into bona fide prose."
He makes the case for revision, which is imperative. All writing is rewriting.
So many student essays start in a vague, aimless fashion and then figure out their main thesis on about page five of an eight page paper. Then, around page seven, the author realizes it's time to wrap things up so rushes through a conclusion which is just as vague and aimless as the introduction and then ends.
From that point, it's imperative to revise. Once the reader realizes her true goal with the paper, the whole thing needs to be retooled to fit that thesis. Indeed, all writing is rewriting.
For a great primer on the art of writing essays, college-level writing, check out Trimble's book. Whether you're at a local university, or continuing education online, this book will be indespensible.
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