Recommended Resource: Interesting Literature.com & how to write an essay

This will be a more unusual ‘recommended resource’ today as it is inspired by a particular blog post read this morning. That said, singing the praises of the blog site called Interesting Literature has been long overdue. I’ve loved this blog for a long time.

I read a lot of blogs and the majority I file simply under ‘blog’. But the email notifications I receive for this site I file under ‘research’ – a place normally reserved for the specialist emails I subscribe to which provide valuable information for my freelance writing.

Essay writing 2Interesting Literature is one of the most fascinating blog sites I’ve come across and is fantastically well-researched. For the writer who loves trivia, if nothing else, the site is well worth signing up for. Here you will find inspiring and little-known facts about writers, when and where expressions first appeared, connections between writers or special events of the year or, as with the post I share today, solid advice on how to write.

So I guess you can tell I really like Interesting Literature and you’d be right. However the post below I share with you here is worth looking at even if you aren’t quite so geeky as I about titbits of information. It’s not very long and, though packed with important information, isn’t a heavy read.

The post is all about writing essays. As a former teacher for 20+ years I spent a lot of time teaching young men and women to write decent academic essays (which they did!) so I can vouch for the veracity of the advice given here. This isn’t a post simply for the academic or undergraduate student though. If you write book reviews or music reviews, for instance as I do, there’s food for thought here to help you write with a little more depth and intelligence. Even simply paying attention to point 2 in the post will give you more to write about and draw your reader deeper into your writing. In fact, it’s hard to see what kind of article or post wouldn’t benefit from the advice given here. If you want to make your writing appear less superficial, this is as good as any a place to go.

Both the post and the site in general then, are great resources. I find almost every post on Interesting Literature inspirational at the least and often a goldmine of information on which I can draw as I write my own essays. The site has certainly made me a more informed writer, if not a better literary craftsman – and for that I’m grateful.

How to Write a Good English Essay

“How do you write a good English Literature essay? Although to an extent this depends on the particular subject you’re writing about, and on the nature of the question your essay is attempting to answer, there are a few general guidelines for writing a strong English essay – just as there are a few guidelines for writing well in any field. We at Interesting Literature call them ‘guidelines’ because we hesitate to use the word ‘rules’, which seems too programmatic. And as the writing habits of successful authors demonstrate, there is no one way to become a good writer – of essays, novels, poems, or whatever it is you’re setting out to write. The French writer Colette liked to begin her writing day by picking the fleas off her cat. Edith Sitwell, by all accounts, liked to lie in an open coffin before she began her day’s writing. Friedrich von Schiller kept rotten apples in his desk, claiming he needed the scent of their decay to help him write. (For most student essay-writers, such an aroma is probably allowed to arise in the writing-room more organically, over time.)

We will address our suggestions for successful essay-writing to the average student of English Literature, whether at university or school level. There are many ways to approach the task of essay-writing, and these are just a few pointers.

Of course, these guidelines are designed to be of interest to the non-essay-writer too – people who have an interest in the craft of writing in general. If this describes you, we hope you enjoy the list as well. Remember, though, everyone can find writing difficult: as Thomas Mann memorably put it, ‘A writer is someone for whom writing is more difficult than it is for other people.’ Nora Ephron was briefer: ‘I think the hardest thing about writing is writing.’ So, the guidelines for successful essay-writing …”

Click on the title above or here to keep reading.

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