Everyone who has been to school has written an essay at one time or another. They’re a staple of college life. But the essay has some interesting aspects that you might not have thought about when you’re pulling an all-nighter to crank one out.
In this article, we’ll take a look at 10 interesting facts about essays that just might change the way you look at one of the most misunderstood and most dreaded aspects of the college experience.
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Fascinating Facts about Essay Writing
So, what should you know about essays? Here are ten interesting key facts to discover before writing your next essay:
Students were writing essays in ancient times.
As far back as Greek and Roman times, students were writing essays of a sort as part of their homework assignments. An essay about Greco-Roman mythology traditionally ascribed to a writer called Hyginus is believed to be a student’s homework assignment from nearly two thousand years ago. While it’s not exactly like the essays of today, since it’s mostly summary with little analysis, it shows that students were writing papers long before the advent of the modern essay.
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Michel de Montagne was the master of essays.
The modern essay traces its roots to the French author Michel de Montagne who perfected the essay form in the 1600s. His essays are reflections and analyses on various themes but are not exactly the same as the kinds of analytical research papers that modern students write. Nevertheless, his essays are an important step in the development of the essay form.
Student essays used to be called “themes.”
Less than a century ago, short essays were usually called “themes” because an instructor would assign a topic, called a theme, and students would need to write on that theme. You can see the use of the word “theme” to mean “essay” in the classic Christmas movie A Christmas Story, where the main character, Ralphie, writes a theme on a Red Ryder BB gun after his teacher assigns a paper on what students want for Christmas.
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The number of essays students write is growing.
The number of essays students are asked to write has been growing in recent years. There are two factors driving the trend toward more essays. The first is the trend toward online learning, which has driven instructors to assign more essays and other written work to compensate for the lack of in-person classroom discussion. The second factor is the rise of rubrics and accessibility requirements. Because essays are considered accessible, they do not require special rubrics or multiple versions of an assignment to accommodate diverse needs. Consequently, for harried instructors, they are the easiest task to assign and required the least additional effort to grade.
Students lack essay writing skills.
Over the past two decades, a growing number of instructors at the college level cite a lack of college-level writing skills as the biggest weakness of incoming college students. A key reason for this is that students entering college arrive without formal training in college-level writing from high schools that focus mostly on state multiple-choice exams. A majority of colleges now report that the vast majority of their freshmen need either introductory or remedial writing courses to be ready for college-level writing.
You can buy professional essay help online.
Many students are turning to professional online essay writers to deliver custom-written academic papers online. Students are under enormous pressure to write papers, and many students need additional help from someone they can pay to complete their essays. Paper writing services like Write My Paper Hub can match students with professional writers who can help them to achieve their essay goals by providing professionally produced custom writing to serve as a model for the student’s own work. This helps students to develop their writing skills and ensure that they make the grade on their toughest essay tasks.
Writing essays can help you find a job.
And, no, not a job writing essays. Writing essays gives you the skills and knowledge to construct a compelling argument and express yourself clearly and effectively. These skills are transferable from essay writing to the types of writing you will do in the business world, including CVs/resumes, cover letters, and memos. Employers are looking for these kinds of skills and cite writing as a key skill for employees.
Essay writing makes you more persuasive.
Writing essays can improve your ability to persuade others. When you develop your skills in the art of persuasion by crafting effective arguments in an essay, you will be able to transfer those skills toward other aspects of life where you need to use facts, evidence, and emotions to persuade an audience, such as public speaking, interpersonal communication, and even conflict management.
Researchers have investigated whether essays turn students off learning.
Some studies have found that when students are assigned essays that are graded by rote with little room for individuality or creativity, it can actually make students less likely to enjoy learning and to want to pursue higher academic levels or an academic career.
Writing centers can encourage writing—if they are staffed by peers.
Research finds that when students help each other with their essays, rather than faculty or staff, students become more deeply engaged with essay writing and are more likely to want to become authors and continue writing on their own, even when they are not required to.
How You Can Use Essay Writing Facts Practically
You may be thinking — and how am I supposed to use this information? How can the facts about essay writing help me in my daily academic life? First of all, from our point of view they are pretty inspiring. At least you feel that you are not doing it for nothing. Second, you can go back in history and look for essay guides and rules used by students and writers from centuries ago. Surprisingly, you can find true jewels there.
Third, you may feel additional motivation when knowing how essay writing now helps you with your work in the future. In the end, knowing more about something you are doing almost on a daily basis as a student is not a bad idea. We do hope this article was useful and will help you to stay inspired and motivated, write better essays and apply essay writing skills in other fields.