𝐈𝐅 𝐘𝐎𝐔 𝐂𝐀𝐍𝐍𝐎𝐓 𝐖𝐑𝐈𝐓𝐄 𝐄𝐒𝐒𝐀𝐘, 𝐑𝐄𝐀𝐃 𝐓𝐇𝐈𝐒
If you are reading this post, probably you are one of those people who, due to a reason or two, cannot write essay.
Either you have doubts over your writing ability or your grammar. You might have been thinking that you do not have quality ideas or that you need more information to write essays.
But that’s okay. You should not feel alone in this as every CSS aspirant goes through it. It is a process for everyone.
The majority of people fail essay, i.e. around 95 to 98%. Have you ever wondered where the issue lies?
𝗔𝗯𝗼𝘂𝘁 𝗼𝘂𝗿 𝗘𝗱𝘂𝗰𝗮𝘁𝗶𝗼𝗻 𝗦𝘆𝘀𝘁𝗲𝗺:
Of course, you might curse our education system, but today that’s not what we are talking about.
Changing the education system over the next few months is not within our reach, but developing the skill to write an essay sure is.
In today’s post, I will discuss my journey from not being able to write a sentence to securing 47 marks in CSS, the people who fail, and the seven categories of those who cannot write essays.
So before starting our discussion on the issues and roadmap, let me share my experience of essay writing. You might relate to it.
𝗠𝘆 𝗲𝘅𝗽𝗲𝗿𝗶𝗲𝗻𝗰𝗲 𝘄𝗶𝘁𝗵 𝗘𝘀𝘀𝗮𝘆 𝘄𝗿𝗶𝘁𝗶𝗻𝗴:
When I look back at 2009 and see the person I was, it just brings a smile on my face and an overwhelming sense of achievement.
It was the time when I did not know how to write. And I am not speaking about essays.
No, I couldn’t even write a proper sentence, let alone a paragraph.
𝐁𝐞𝐠𝐢𝐧𝐧𝐢𝐧𝐠𝐬 𝐚𝐫𝐞 𝐚𝐥𝐦𝐨𝐬𝐭 𝐚𝐥𝐰𝐚𝐲𝐬 𝐫𝐢𝐝𝐢𝐜𝐮𝐥𝐨𝐮𝐬:
Can you believe the first paragraph that I started was with “the parrot”?
It might look strange and the topic too childish, but that is what it is. Even on that topic, my hand was shaking, and my pen was wobbling.
Therefore, if you are a beginner, never judge your writing with that of those who have been consistently writing. Get inspired, that’s okay, but do not compare your skill with theirs.
Compare today’s writing of yours with your own write up you did yesterday. Do not aim to beat the accomplished; try to outdo yourself first.
𝗞𝗲𝘆 𝘁𝗼 𝘁𝗵𝗲 𝗽𝗿𝗼𝗴𝗿𝗲𝘀𝘀? 𝗪𝗿𝗶𝘁𝗲 𝗲𝘃𝗲𝗿𝘆𝗱𝗮𝘆:
So, how did I start improving?
It was a simple habit. I started writing, day in and day out.
Coming from a government school and being the son of a teacher who had always been like the Mahavir Singh Phogat from Dangal, I had already got a firm grip over tenses and usages. So, that part of writing was already covered.
𝗨𝗻𝗱𝗲𝗿𝘀𝘁𝗮𝗻𝗱 𝘁𝗵𝗲 𝗽𝗿𝗼𝗰𝗲𝘀𝘀 𝗯𝘂𝘁 𝗱𝗼 𝗻𝗼𝘁 𝗴𝗲𝘁 𝗱𝗶𝘀𝘁𝗿𝗮𝗰𝘁𝗲𝗱:
Now I started reading how to write. Although at that time, there was no particular blog or book about writing for CSS, I had to resort to the only credible source at that time, the CSSforum website. It was before the Facebook and WhatsApp boom.
Today, when I see so many Facebook pages and WhatsApp groups and realise that if that had been the case at my time, I would never have passed CSS. So many pages and groups only distract you from your goal. Try to stick to a maximum of three quality pages or groups. Too many cooks spoil the broth.
𝗦𝘁𝗮𝗿𝘁 𝗽𝗿𝗮𝗰𝘁𝗶𝘀𝗶𝗻𝗴 𝗮𝘀 𝘀𝗼𝗼𝗻 𝗮𝘀 𝗽𝗼𝘀𝘀𝗶𝗯𝗹𝗲.
After reading a few posts on how to write, the first thing I did was reading the editorials of DAWN and writing them again in my words. From there, I started reading articles from JWT and tried to write them in my own words.
Although this benefitted me in the beginning, after a few weeks, I wasn’t improving. I had hit the plateau from where I wasn’t growing anymore.
𝗙𝗶𝗻𝗱 𝗮 𝗠𝗲𝗻𝘁𝗼𝗿:
Circumstance and events led me to join the COMEX ACADEMY, where I met my mentor. It was where I correctly learnt how to write essay. More than learning the technicalities of essay, I was given the confidence to write.
See, it is more the confidence that you need than the grip over mechanics of writing stuff. If you have a mentor whose sole focus is to teach you what a paragraph looks like, and does not cater to your human needs of connection, attachment, confidence, and trust, then I would suggest you change your mentor. A right mentor can guarantee you to succeed.
𝗠𝗼𝘃𝗲 𝗮𝗵𝗲𝗮𝗱 𝗶𝗻 𝘀𝘁𝗲𝗽𝘀. 𝗗𝗼 𝗻𝗼𝘁 𝗷𝘂𝗺𝗽.
First, I learnt to write paragraphs. For almost a month, I practised it. I regularly got my stuff checked. The practice made me focus on the things I lacked in.
Then I started writing idea expansions. That was when I thought to myself, “yes, I can do it now”. After two months of writing idea expansion, I wrote my first essay on climate change. I first read extensively about it, made a proper outline and started writing.
I took me four hours to finish it, but I finished it nevertheless. For me, it was a huge jump. I know that essay wasn’t right, but it was enough to give me confidence.
𝗣𝗲𝗿𝘀𝗶𝘀𝘁𝗲𝗻𝗰𝗲 𝗶𝘀 𝘁𝗵𝗲 𝗸𝗲𝘆.
But I did not let the feeling of complacency take over me. Instead, I planned to write one more essay, then one more, then one again, then again. And this way, I wrote around 15 essays before my exam over two years.
Although I do not have those essays with me, I either lost them over this period, or somebody took them from me, but the skill of writing is still with me. For around five years, I had not written anything substantial. But now, I have resumed writing again with the same confidence.
𝗪𝗼𝗿𝗿𝗶𝗲𝗱 𝗮𝗯𝗼𝘂𝘁 𝘄𝗿𝗶𝘁𝗶𝗻𝗴?
You do not need big ideas, nor do you need loads of information, statistics and quotations. I did not use a single quotation or reference in my essay. Unbelievable? It might be, but it is true.
Apart from basic grammar which is essential, you need not worry about sentence structure or the development of your language to perfection.
My whole essay didn’t have a word that was alien to an 8th grader of a government school. Check out all of my blogs, and you will hardly find a word or two which you don’t have an idea about.
My philosophy is to keep your sentences and words simple. Focus more on the flow than on the weight of the words. Write short but crisp sentences. I have seen my friends failing CSS because they resorted to verbosity in their write-ups.
So, the bottom line is that Essay writing is not as difficult as it is often thought. Yes, it has some technicalities which need to be worked out. But do not use it as an excuse to avoid writing. How would you know about the technicalities if you do not write it?
Write on your own, or find a mentor, whatever suits you. But please keep writing.
𝗕𝘆: Respected 𝗗𝗿 𝗞𝗮𝘀𝗵𝗶𝗳 𝗞𝗵𝘂𝗵𝗿𝗼 (𝗣𝗔𝗦, 𝗖𝗦𝗦-𝟮𝟬𝟭𝟮)