January 29, 2008 Archives
This means the Plato selection in the anthology Writing Materials.
This is the large, thin text that is simply called Book.
Write a personal essay (about 750 words) that makes a specific point about your relationship with books.
The whole essay will represent your opinion, so avoid overusing terms such as "I think" or "I feel." Avoid summarizing the plot of your favorite book, or giving a strictly chronological survey of your development as a writer.
A note on "the essay" as a literary genre:
As a means for communicating ideas, as a means of documenting the individual author's attempts to come to grips with an idea, and of being a potential vehicle for the reader to experience a personal intellectual journey, the essay is a relatively new form (closely related to the history of books).The word "essay" comes from a French word meaning "to try," which in turn comes from a Latin word meaning "to sift, to weigh, to separate by getting rid of waste."
An essay, then, is a focused, thoughtful attempt to make a point, by introducing several different ways of solving a problem, and sifting through them in order to support the best alternative. (All this is accomplished through the careful weighing of evidence.)
Think of the essay as a tool for your reader to solve a problem, to make sense of a dilemma, to understand a complex issue -- not merely a vehicle to express your personal thoughts.