charliesmum: (zombie shakespeare)
charliesmum ([personal profile] charliesmum) wrote2015-10-20 10:11 am

On Defense of Essay Writing

My BFF's daughter asked for my help on an essay she has to write for her college class. This is a class she had to take because her writing skills didn't pass the wonderful standardised testing students have to take (eye-roll). She already failed it once.

I'm only pointing that out because I kind of helped her by adding to her essay, instead of telling her to do it herself, and some people think I shouldn't have done that, as she needs to learn to do it herself. Which - yeah, probably, but I was helping her via TEXT mostly, which is not the most conducive way to tutor someone, she was right up at her deadline, and I felt kind of responsible, having been the one who gave her the essay topic in the first place.

In her defense (and mine), she did what she was supposed to. She had an opening paragraph, three main points that she proved with examples, and she sited her references. What she didn't do was expand on her points enough. Mostly what I did was add to what she had so her points were stronger.

If there was more time I might have just said 'you need to expand on this, here are some ideas' but there wasn't. And truth be told I had a blast working on it. I love writing essays. I'm pretty good at it. I used to help my sisters when they were in college, and they turned out okay, so I don't really think I've robbed anyone of their education.

The topic was 'Romeo and Juliet was not a love story'. Her three points were 'Romeo was more in love with love than anything', 'Juliet was too young to really get love' and 'the whole thing took less than a week'. Also I told her to point out that Shakespeare very deliberately made a point of the timeline in order to show how impulsive R & J were. Which is totally true. The time of day is mentioned in the beginning of the play, and then it's emphisised that it's Monday the day Tybalt is killed. Which was basically the day after R & J met. It's really fascinating when you read the play with that in mind.

I'm rather hoping her teacher is impressed with the topic, because I don't think it's one that many people get. And now SHE knows, so she did learn something, actually, thank you very much.