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Long essay structure for Eisaku Sato Essay Competition

demographic changes in the world

Hi all,

I just read about an essay competition that still open until March 31, 2017 and would like to join to test my writing skills.

The topic is : "Demography of the world is experiencing a big structural change. While world total population is still growing, increasing number of countries are facing low fertility, rapid ageing and even depopulation. Some are concerned about possible aging before societies become rich. Others are seeing continuing explosion of unemployed youth. Even in rich countries social security system is under pressure and generational conflict is on the rise. How should the United Nations cope with such demographic changes? Discuss the potential role of the UN against this world phenomenon, 'demographic tsunami'."

Essays may be written in either English (maximum 20 pages) or Japanese (maximum 30 pages). All essays should be typed on A4-size paper and include an abstract of up to 2 pages (English) or 3 pages (Japanese). Must include reference notes and a bibliography if other authors' works are cited. Reference notes are not counted in the page limits.

This essay is really really long one for me and I don't know if I can get it finish by the deadline but gonna try my best. However, so far I have only written essay in maximum five paragraphs. So, how to properly divide the contents for essay as long as 20 pages?

Thank so much in advances!

Feb 13, 2017   #2
Messal, the first thing that you have to do is throw away your 5 paragraph essay. That is useless right now. There are a number of steps that you have to take before you can even begin to draft your essay. I'll try to walk you through those parts below. If you follow the instructions I will be providing you with, you should be able to come up with a 20 page essay without too much of a problem.

1. Make sure you understand the discussion that the research essay is asking you to provide. This is not the same as a school research paper that can be accomplished in 5-8 pages. This sort of essay requires a clear understanding of the main topic and sub-topics required in to create an authoritative research.

2. Outline the discussion that you want to use for this essay. The outline should follow an MLA format for your ease in presenting the information in your research as well as the quotes from sources that are required in your essay. You can find samples of this format online.

3. In the outline, start with a thesis statement. This is the overview of the problem you need to respond to and the possible solution or outcome of the research that you hope to achieve.

4. After you make your thesis statement clear in the outline, work on the body of the essay. The succeeding outline form should clearly have headings and sub-headings. Those are the main topics for discussion and the minor, but related topics for discussion. Each major topic must be fully addressed and explained within your essay using your source materials.

5. The completed outline will then help you to get started on writing the essay. Start with the discussion of the thesis statement and an explanation of what a "demographic tsunami" is all about.

The outline will be your lifeline and the method by which you will not be overwhelmed by the topic you are trying to discuss. If you come up with at least 20 topics to discuss (heading plus sub heading), that could come out to one page per topic discussion, along with your thoroughly researched material, writing the 20 page research essay will be a piece of cake for you.

Thank you so much Holt for your valuable inputs!

I would like to restate your comments according to my perception.

The structure should more or less like this:

1. Thesis statement (TS) for introduction of demographic tsunami (what, why, when, how and where it happen)
- Heading 1.1
---Sub heading 1.1.1
- Heading 1.2
--- Sub heading 1.2.1
- Heading 1.3
--- Sub heading 1.3.1
- and so on.

2. TS for solutions for the problem and outcomes I hope to be achieved
- Heading 2.1
--- Sub heading 2.1.1
- Heading 2.2
--- Sub heading 2.2.1
- Heading 2.3
--- Sub heading 2.3.1
- and so on.

3. Ts for UN abilities to carry out the solution successfully.
- Heading 3.1
--- Sub heading 3.1.1
- Heading 3.2
--- Sub heading 3.2.1
- Heading 3.3
--- Sub heading 3.3.1
- and so on.

The writing should follow MLA format. I have checked it out, there are some websites explaining about it.

Do I miss out or misunderstanding anything?

Thank you very much.
Feb 13, 2017   #4
I have only one part for correction in my advice to you. Change the term thesis statement to Abstract as per the instructions of the actual scholarship instructions. They are similar in concept but have a difference in its purpose in your paper. The best way to explain the difference would be as follows:

The abstract summarizes the entire paper, including the conclusion. It comes first in the paper but should generally be written last.
The thesis describes what research you are doing and what you think you will find. It generally goes after the abstract.

The abstract should be at least a single page, as per the requirements of the contest. The rest of the outline format is the same. You should be able to use the format to properly research your paper. You are not required to present the outline in the paper so do not include that in your final presentation. That is only for your guidance and ease in writing.
Messal, in addition to the laudable advice you have been enriched with, I would like you to look closely at the key words in the prompt of the essay. Such key words as world's demography, growing population, low fertility, ageing, explosion of unemployed youth, pressure on social security system, rise in generational conflict, and demographic tsunami could act as templates while creating outline for your discussion, as well as sourcing for research materials that would substantiate your argument. This is because your headings and subheadings should, in one way or the other, relate to these key words. Another important reason for taking this step is that it will help you when outlining the points to answer the two significant questions in the essay prompt.

For instance, if your answer to the question "how should UN cope with such demographic changes" discusses world's banking system, it must be in relation to one or more of these key words. You may discuss a point on ageing in terms of how, in a bid to maximize output, pharmaceutical industries enhance certain food supplements that initiate ageing on individuals in their late 30's or early 50's; then while taking about the role of UN, you might highlight how world policy on drug production could address the issue(note that this example is a hypothetical statement). That way, you will be able to build your outline of discussion in synchrony with the causes and/or results of demographic tsunami as represented in the prompt.

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