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I just don't know how to structure the essay about the world I come from!

misheel 2 / 7  
Nov 26, 2008   #1
Hi, I have tried for weeks to write my essay for this prompt: Describe the world you come from - for example, your family, community, or school - and tell us how your world has shaped your dreams and aspirations.

For some reason, whenever i sit down and try to write it, I never get anything done.. I feel like in the back of my mind I know what I want to write.. but I just don't know how to structure the essay!!

kevin02720 - / 14  
Nov 26, 2008   #2
Have you ever seen abstract paintings that are made by tossing splotches of paint onto a giant canvas? Toss a few splotches of paint onto a blank canvas, and you will already see it taking form as a meaningful image -- with unique structure.

When you posted this request for help, you wrote a little essay. You stated your main point: I have tried for weeks to write my essay... and then you explained it in two more sentences.

So, what is this thought in the back of your mind... this idea that you know you want to write about? Can you say it in a single sentence? If so, you can type it and then explain it with a few more sentences. This is the first splotch of paint.

Can you CAPTURE "the world you come from" in a single sentence?" Maybe you can capture it in a single word! What word or phrase captures the experience you have had as you grew up? Can you write a single paragraph about it?

If your life was made into a movie, would it be a comedy or a tragedy? Would it be an action adventure film?

Structuring the essay will be easy after you write a single paragraph. The first paragraph will lead you to a second paragraph, and possibly a story. At the end, go back and tack a great opening paragraph onto the beginning, and then restate that paragraph at the end.

The structure goes like this:

Opening paragraph captures the truth of your life.

Second paragraph introduces the story of a special experience that demonstrates that truth.

Third paragraph includes thoughtful reflection on the story and on the truth about which you are writing.

Fourth paragraph restates that deep truth that your live has taught you, and you give it closure with a few thoughtful sentences.

That structure above is not necessary. Art has no rules. However, if you really need some structure to follow, use that form above.
Good luck!!!
hmirza 2 / 16  
Nov 26, 2008   #3
when is this due? either case don't panic we all have our moments.
i think kevin02720's advice is pretty detailed i can not say it any better but this is something that i personally do and always advise on it.

break the question down, make sure you answer all of them and then worry about how to make it all one big piece.

where do you come from? as in who are you as a person? child of a single parent? honor student? missionary worker? how did all these things make you who you are??

e.g. being a child of a single parent taught me to be responsible etc.

and then how does your past shape your future? e.g. if you come from a poor illeterate family perhaps it taught you to be dedicated and strong willed and makes you aspire to be the first university graduate to make money to provide for your family. or perhaps it taught you to take every oppurunity you can get, taught you the importance of education and so forth.

take a deep breath and take your time organizing what you want to say before you start your paper. brain storm etc...
you know i scribbled on papers for days before i actually got anything solid written.

hope this helps

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