Thursday, 30 September 2010

How to Write an Essay: Part 2

To Read Part 1: Click Here

The art of writing an essay or a thesis, or anything more elaborate, is fixed in the truth that writing is a means of communication between man and man. Therefore every good essay is written in collaboration. The collaborators are the writer and the reader. It is true that the reader is not present in flesh when the essay is written. But unless the essayist has dramatized his reader and has, so to speak, domiciled him in his mind from the moment he puts pen to paper, he will fail. Why does so and so bore you to death when he talks? He has, at least, the advantage, or the misery, of seeing you before him, but although he sees your body he does not see into your mind. He talks and talks, and nothing said. It is the tactile apprehension of the reader's mind that matters. A man ought to know when he is becoming vague or tiresome. The art of conversation is mainly the art of listening. When you have listened you may deliver your punch. It is the same in essay-writing: you must be sensitive to your reader's mood and patience. And you must get your message "over the footlights."

To be continiued.