The Reason for Writing an Essay

Everyone has had to write an essay at some point. Writing essays in MLA or APA format is like cleaning the kitchen: it takes a long time, most people do not enjoy it, yet the end product provides a deep sense of accomplishment. Ultimately, how enjoyable they are does not matter. Whether or not the average student likes writing them, essays are the most all-encompassing way to prepare for academic life.

Argumentative or illustration essays have a unique practical benefit because it gives students the opportunity to present their knowledge or opinion on a certain subject in a clear, polished manner. Unlike a group discussion, the student is not simply saying, in all their informal jargon, what first crosses their mind concerning the topic at hand. In an essay, they have the chance to write a rough draft and then edit it to make it as clear and scholarly as it can be. It is also perfect for English and writing classes, where structure, writing techniques, outline, and grammar are the main things being taught. What better way to test a person’s knowledge on a subject than to throw them into a scenario where they will be forced to use all the tools that they have been taught? Also, unlike a test, it is much more difficult to cheat on an essay. Plagiarism or paying someone else to write it are some ways, but teachers, especially English teachers, are very practiced at spotting this kind of deception. The essay is a very realistic way for teachers to assess how well their students really understand the topic, while also assessing their literary and writing skills. Constant practice of these skills will inevitably lead to more logical and analytical thinking concerning any subject. This will help a student develop their own ideas and know how to communicate those ideas well, whether it be in written or spoken form.

But aside from its practicality in assessing knowledge, and its way of forcing a student to research and learn, writing essays is an essential capability for the simple fact that any student will likely be using that skill for the rest of their lives. Almost all high-paying careers (and many ordinary ones as well) require a balanced harmony of both numerical knowledge and writing skills. If a person is not writing actively as part of their job (e.g. journalists, editors), they will have to do it to file reports, communicate via email, and even just keep track of their endless tasks and projects. For example, scientists write detailed reports of their experiments and observations, lawyers write argumentative papers for a living, and teachers write lessons and even curricula. While these jobs imply a very essay-like structure to their forms of communication, any career which contains writing at all will require a well-practiced hand, especially regarding grammar. There is no better way to hone general writing skills than to practice, with wearying repetition, the art of the essay.

While essays can be a chore, they are also essential. Nothing tackles all forms of writing skills at once better than an essay, where the student will be forced to utilize grammar, format, research, and creativity all at once. Essays are all-encompassing – preparing a student for journalism, science, business, law practice, teaching, and countless other careers. Writing is important for just about any career, and essays are the best way to practice writing.

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