Problems Students Face While Essay Writing
We spend hours burning the midnight oil trying to make sense of the syllabus and yet, often we are unable to put together an essay that can meet all requirements. A closer look at this issue reveals that there are obstacles in the way of a good essay that can be both personal and institutional. Once we identify what keeps us from writing a good essay, we can help diminish these anxieties and express ourselves better.
An essay is perhaps the most subjective form of assessment there is. Essay writing is the “written proof that a student can do original research and contribute to knowledge” (Townsend 1). All students are required to introduce a coherent statement at the beginning of the essay to establish the purpose of our investigation of a particular topic. This is the best way to honor a reader’s attention. A thesis statement is very much like the objective of an experiment, it indicates the purpose and the desired outcome of our little thought experiment. For example, if you are to write a paper discussing Shakespeare’s ‘Twelfth Night’ as a study of gender, you will have to arrive at this conclusion several times in your essay by dissecting the many themes and the text of the play.
Language can be a major hindrance in writing essays for non-English speaking students. When discussing language, Azizah and Budiman have indicated several problems in academic writing. They conducted an experiment to investigate challenges in writing academic papers for international publications among Indonesian graduate students. One of the most intriguing problems that emerged was the inability to “claim knowledge” (Azizah and Budiman 8). In an essay, we can present certain information that we know about a subject and furthermore, critique the information. Accessibility to this information can come from a wide variety of sources like the internet, journals, media, books and so much more. The researchers suggested that the easiest way to eliminate this issue would be to introduce more essays, research papers, short-form texts, presentations, group papers, web pages, and more to help writers arrive at critical analysis more organically.
Essay writing may happen to be a universal phenomenon; however, its tenants can be guided by the culture we are surrounded by. Students from different backgrounds could hold different values for writing, which can alter the tone and contents of their essays. This is a difficult problem to eliminate, however, writing more frequently can help us develop a style that is unique and accessible.
An essay has to meet other standards of publishable writing as well. This refers to guidelines for formatting, citations, references, and plagiarism. These tools were created to help writers in order to add elements like footnotes that can introduce ideas that the erstwhile audience is unfamiliar with. Plagiarism detection helps restrict the theft of intellectual property. Furthermore, citations can help you place your essay in the wide and large history of discourse.
Thus, a closer look at the conundrums students come across when writing essays indicates that one has to be wary of both personal and institutional barriers. The qualifications of a “good” essay are subjective. Using the right academic tools and a thorough knowledge of guidelines can help in developing a well-structured essay. Writing for a target audience with the goal of sharing unique ideas can help in combating the barriers of writing, helping us all create essays that can initiate widespread conversation.
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