How to write an essay is a difficult question.
Much has been written and said about the main components of an essay, its purpose and functions, and the principal criteria of quality writing. However, it seems that standardization and essay writing are incompatible. Writing is entirely about inspiration, and any conventions or rules severely limit writers in their self-expression opportunities. An essay must have an introduction, body, and conclusion. An essay must introduce the topic and lead the reader through the rising act to culmination, and again through the falling act to a conclusion. An essay is expected to be logical, but is there any logic in writing? Based on the thoughts and ideas of Alma Luz Villanueva, an essay is a complex product of the writer’s thought which has a central theme and numerous characters and ideas, fighting and competing to produce a fluent, coherent, and logical piece of writing, which exemplifies an act of transforming energy into matter. Students and young writers are used to believe that an essay must always rely on a simple and comprehensible structure, which necessarily includes an introduction, a body of the paper, and a conclusion.
Students are taught to write their essays in a logical and fluid manner. Outlines help to present complex ideas in an easy-to-understand format. The main components of an essay usually include a brief introduction to the topic, a rising act and culmination, as well as a falling act and a conclusion.
This is particularly the case of fiction and creative writing. Here students are compelled to follow a predetermined sequence of writing actions, which helps them to earn them good grades but does not always make their papers interesting and fascinating. The fact is that writing and rules are not always compatible. An essay must have an introduction, body, and conclusion, but writing is not merely about structuring.
Writing is about inspiration. It is an act of transforming energy into matter (Villanueva 85).It is like giving birth to a child or dreaming awake (Villanueva 85). It is a complex product of the writer’s thought, which does have a central theme and characters fighting and competing with one another and creating a full, multidimensional picture of the world. The main components of an essay, including introduction, body, and conclusion serve the purpose of logical writing. They create a structured and fluent vision of the surrounding reality. Simultaneously, they may disserve quality writing, as they make the process of writing fully conventional and absolutely uninteresting. The act of writing is often unexpected.
It is unexpectedness that makes writing so fascinating. That was how Alma Luz Villanueva wrote her first novel: she allowed her characters to reveal themselves in their own voice (84). They do so without betraying the central theme, or the vision, of the writer (Villanueva 84). Characters play with the writer’s vision of the world. The central theme remains unchanged; but characters have relative freedom of participation and performance. The central theme guarantees fluidity of the essay. The central theme also imposes some limitations on how characters reveal their egos.
Therefore, the central theme is the main component of any essay that also serves the purpose of quality, interesting and fascinating writing. The need to remain within the boundaries of the central theme also justifies the need for creating an outline. An outline is a brief and comprehensive set of ideas discussed in an essay. Villanueva recognizes that an essay is always a logical sequence of ideas and acts (84). The magic of the writing process is a unique combination of wonder and terror (Villanueva 84). An outline makes possible even the most difficult sequences (Villanueva 84).
An outline makes possible to continue the writing process with fluidity (Villanueva 84). An outline helps writers to pursue logic and coherence in writing. Unfortunately, the idea that writing is entirely about outlines and boundaries is misleading. No one can fully explain what writing an essay means.
Each and every writer has his (her) own model of writing essays. Villanueva claims and teaches her students that writing is an act of transforming energy into matter (85). It is a leap of faith – a question that warrants an answer (Villanueva 84). It is a magic of terror and wonder (Villanueva 84). Writing an essay is almost the same as giving birth to a child (Villanueva 85). However, a woman cannot give birth to a child, unless she has a basic understanding of what it is. A woman always imagines its birth (Villanueva 85).
Likewise, a writer always imagines his (her) essay. The central theme is probably the most relevant element of an essay that creates a foundation for developing its structure, with an introduction, and rising and falling acts, a culmination and logical conclusion. The central theme drives the thought and creates the boundaries of knowledge. It reinforces the sense of fluidity and coherence within a piece of writing. It is through the central theme that writers transform their energy into matter – a readable and comprehensible essay that leads readers through fascinating ideas and characters to a logical but always unexpected end.
An essay is a complex product of the writer’s thought which has a central theme and numerous characters and ideas, fighting and competing to produce a fluent, coherent, and logical piece of writing that exemplifies an act of transforming energy into matter. An essay is always a logical sequence of ideas and acts. The central theme drives the thought and creates the boundaries of knowledge. It is through the central theme that writers transform their energy into matter – a readable and comprehensible essay that leads readers through fascinating ideas and characters to a logical but always unexpected end.
Villanueva, Alma Luz. “Leaps of Faith.”