What is the difference between writing essays and being an essayist?
It’s like the difference between playing hockey and being a hockey player, or acting in a play and being an actor. The former is a thing you do, while the latter is a thing you are.
I want all of you to be essayists.
At this point, you might being asking yourself, “what is an essayist?” Good question, self.
For now, I need you to step away from the structures you have learned so far. Keep the bit about the thesis, but don’t worry about putting it in the introduction. Topic sentences might be handy, too, but only insomuch as they help you focus your thinking. Oh? And that objective voicelessness that we ask you to adopt when you write literary essays? Put that away for another time; instead, imbue each sentence with your voice.
The best definition I have seen of the kind of essay you will write is this:
That’s all a great essay is: a virtuoso performance of care.
– Lucas Mann
Here is how I’d like you to proceed:
- open the article in the Edge browser
- read the article To Write a Good Essay, Think and Care Deeply. You can start reading from the sentence “Lucas Mann: When I first encountered J.R. Ackerley’s My Dog Tulip…”
- Using the highlighting and comment tools, identify:
- examples of either author’s voice
- moments when the author’s care is evident
- two sentences that are beautifully constructed (use the comment tool to explain your thinking)