Concept

Essay

Background

  • Had to write essays in English and Burmese
  • Sometimes only the title is provided
  • Sometimes an outline is also given
  • Studied “Tom Thumb’s Essays”

Characteristics

An essay usually has three (or more) paragraphs

  • Introduction
  • Body (one or more paragraph)
  • Conclusion

An essay for a test / competition may have a length limitation
(e.g. maximum number of words)

Presentation style can vary

  • Descriptive
  • Narrative
  • Argumentative (Logical reasoning)
  • Abstract

I once wrote “My life as a fighter bomber” (trying to bomb the Nazi forces).

Politically Correct?

One writer (some attributed to Sir Winston Churchill) wrote:

An essay should be like a lady’s skirt
Long enough to cover the subject
Short enough to be interesting

In the early days, there was no “political correctness” and “gender sensitivity”.

To lighten the atmosphere, I quoted the tongue-in-cheek definition described above in the “Count Down to the Union” series for SPZP-2000.

A brilliant Sayama Lay (with a foreign doctorate) accused that I was irresponsible and had made fun of women.

Ashin Pannagaveska (Bobby, Myo Tun, A69) wrote :

I remember my sixth standard English teacher, our beloved Headmaster Mr.(later Reverend) Booth’s wife, entered me and a few others into the Essay Writing Competition held by the St. John’s Diocesan Boys’ School + St. Mary’s Diocesan Girls’ School Association. I chose the topic “A Visit to the Zoo” and, to my surprise, won the first prize in the middle school category! Two hardback books, one on Quotations and the other on Synonyms, were awarded in a ceremony held at the Judson Church on Prome Road.Pleasant and proud memories!Another vivid memory is of the essay I chose to write in the GCE ’O’ level English Language exam paper taken at Clifton College in the UK in 1960. The title chosen was “A Book or a Film Read or Seen Recently”. I had a great time writing on my favorite author John Steinbeck’s “Sweet Thursday”, which incidentally, I’ve read at least six or seven times since then!

Categories: Concept

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