Essays: What the Heck?

An Essay on Writing Essays

Written by Justin Gray

Let it be no surprise that I am a student. I mean, who else would have all the time to actually write something like this. Let’s be honest here; no hardworking, educated, working American would even have time to read this. However, I am strangely tempted to write this. (Yes, I succumb to that little voice in my head, and no, it hasn’t asked me to kill anybody yet)

            Now, correct me if I am wrong, but is it really ever necessary in the real world to write essay? The only time essays are ever written are a) in high school or b) when you are a prolific writer trying to make a few bucks before your next book comes out.

            I have asked many of my teachers several times why we write essays, the only reason I ever get is that it helps improve our essay-writing skills. Now, before I explode and say something I regret, let’s review: THERE IS NO REASON EVER TO WRITE AN ESSAY. Why would we have to practice doing something that has no purpose in this world? “Well,” a teacher would say, “It helps you learn to organize you ideas.” Organize my ideas? Why would I need practice doing that? If I had trouble “organizing my ideas” I would flopping around on the floor like a fish out of water right now. Speaking of which, fish don’t even have trouble organizing their ideas.

            This whole essay-writing thing is very typical for the human race, however. I believe that we are the only species on Earth that kills it’s own members out of spite. Scientist will tell you it is because we are the only “conscious” race, meaning we have logic. Boy, right now unconsciousness seems like bliss. Maybe I am being a bit harsh on the human race because, after all, I am a part of it. (or so I am led to believe)

            So it happens to you. You are forced to write an essay. Most school essays consist of themes like “the nature of friendship” or “compare these two books”, to the dreaded “what I did on my summer vacation”. Why they choose these topics, I do not know, but they are probably the most difficult things to write about. What if I didn’t do anything on my summer vacation? What if I have never had a friend and the only people I have ever been friendly with are the nice boys across the street that my mother hires to keep me company over the summer? The only topic that makes any sense is comparing two books, but how boring can you get?

            So you’ve gotten your assignment and you are racking your brain, trying to figure out how to start. Different methods work for different people, but here’s what I do. Go grab your dictionary off of your shelf, or go to dictionary.com if you are one of those high-tech people. Take a look, peruse if you like, and find some words that are ridiculously obscure and jot them and their definitions down on a piece of paper. Then, fit your opening paragraph around these words. This way, even if your paper has nothing to do with what you were assigned to write about, your teacher would be too busy using her own dictionary to even bother. Plus, you seem like an intellectual. Just make sure that if you are doing a comparison of two books you add the title here and there. Here is an example of an opening paragraph using this method with the books A Tale of Two Cities by Charles Dickens and The Great Gatsby by F. Scott Fitzgerald:


“It is downright rebarbative when a flibbertigibbet exists in such works as A Tale of Two Cities and a equally bete noire piece like The Great Gatsby. Both works exhibit probity about the world, while making humans seem like the sycophant. The both gather afflatus, but don’t have a pellucid storyline. It almost seems like these gravid stories are extremely venal and feature a farrago of people in the process of ratiocination.”


As you see, if you look up the words, this opening makes almost no sense. I believe at one point I said that these pregnant stories are capable of being bought. A teacher, let alone a scholar, would have to check their dictionary at least twice. This is what I like to do, and it works.

Now you have a stunning essay, full of words that will make you seem like the brightest student in your class. Your grades are higher and you can avoid the ridiculous abyss that is writing a well thought out essay. Congratulations.

Essays are evil, we all know that, but there is nothing we can do about them. For as long as things like rap are still popular, essays will be around, it’s just human nature. Hopefully after reading what is perhaps the only necessary essay ever, (irony!) you will have a chance at surviving this horrible and repugnant assignment.