We should redesign essays. Maybe there could be two kinds of essays, one a little more academic than the other. Maybe there already is, isn’t there? But where has it gone? Why aren’t stories seen for their actual informational/learnative potential? Oh, I get it: “Why don’tcha just major in creative writing and call it a day.” Well, I’m not just talking about narrative vs expository (and I’m definitely not talking about persuasive) (definitely am actually), I’m talking about the structure in general – the five paragraph structure.

Read any great writers’ essays and you’ll see. They don’t care. They write. They teach how to write. They are clear without being cliché (although I must admit they are not the best at teaching this). But yeah! JEEZ! Not everything in life is fun, but our schools could try a little harder to encourage creativity in all kinds of writing; they should know by now that Practically-Nobody after college gives a damn about essays and that there are other efficient ways to promote critical analysis. In other words, what we need is a more sustainable essay, essays that regenerates the love of language to the people. High school essays shouldn’t claim to be explaining the unexplainable, it’s disingenuous, and disingenuousity breeds disdain. Now, I know there are probably efficiency reasons for turning the kids into boring-factories, but in the end, any day, I’d rather read and write unrecycled essays that literally test the quality of (not just the topic, but) the person. And furthermore, all essays should receive As. Especially mine.

10 of the Greatest Essays on Writing Ever Written



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