Hello! I got really bored after analyzing tensors, so I started analyzing something else. This is what came out. I'd really like some feedback.
The odyssey years, as the phrase goes, mean the years of drifting through life without a tangible goal in mind. Rachel, Chandler and Phoebe were depicted to be going through such a phase in the popular sitcom Friends. In fact, most people, except the blessed few, have to deal with it at some point of their lives. It is open to debate as to what causes them to lose the dreams and ambitions they had in their childhood.
As the term implies, people sail through these years without knowing their destination. It is an odyssey through the wilderness of doubts and uncertainties, but one that does not lead to the Promised Land. People change their jobs frequently; take up different courses without knowing whether these will improve their resume and often take up a career which is entirely different from their background. Students experience simultaneous interest and disinterest in their chosen disciplines. The recent trend of taking a "gap year" epitomizes the extent and the gravity of the situation.
So, what are the reasons which make us live our lives like a rudderless boat? The first reason would be an over-dependence on the family. As our each and every want is fulfilled by our parents, we do not feel the need to go in search of one on our own. Secondly, the pressure from our peers motivates us to take up a particular career without giving much thought to its suitability. A third cause, which is more prevalent in countries like India, is the parental pressure. Parents often force children to take up careers which adhere to the social norms (the most common being engineering and medicine). As a result, they soon lose track of their original goals and mechanically work to make their parents happy.
It takes a good deal of self-introspection to come out of this phase. Unlike the adolescent years, these can continue past the middle age. Therefore, it is essential for students and parents to really think about the destination before embarking on the journey. Of course, it helps if you've got Monica, Ross and Joey to guide you.
Hey, Ershad. Is this a complete essay, or just the opening paragraphs?
I guess it is incomplete. It was not a thought up essay. As I said I was really bored, so I started writing about the first thing that came to my mind. I had read somewhere about that particular term a couple of years back.
Anyway, I did think about writing the consequences these years can have on us. But I realized, I didn't have any clue whatsoever and at 22, I am not old enough to write from my own experience. So, I finished it with rather hastily.
So, what did you think of it?
By the way, I've seen you give some great advice for an admission essay. Would you like to take a look at mine too?
Regardless of your young age and lack of experience, as you say, you've put together a very interesting argument that I'd be interested in reading when it's finished. Those 'Odyssey years' are a concept I never heard about, although I've been conscious of it at some level. See, this entire piece of writing that you present is a very good thesis statement that you never develop. It simply needs some support to 'hold water,' so to speak.
Your first two paragraphs explain and define the concept of 'odyssey years,' and that is very important because if you don't, not everyone will understand what your essay is really about. So, that's very good.
Your third paragraph presents three reasons why people are led into this period of their lives. You introduce enough material in this paragraph to write a book if you really wanted to. But, instead, you present a completely new argument in the fourth paragraph, which is about getting out of the 'odyssey years.'
Do you see what I'm trying to say? How people get into that period in their lives and how they get out of it are two large topics that you can write volumes about.
Now, don't get me wrong - you can definitely include all of what you say in the first four paragraphs in one essay. But then, like I mentioned before, those four paragraphs are your thesis statement which implies to the reader that your evidence will be structured in the following manner:
People get into the odyssey years for three reasons.
People can get out of it the following way (or ways):
Way 2, etc.
Hope this helps.
Hey, by the way, Ershad,
How do you post a link in your reply so that it's clickable (the way you did in your previous comment)?
That is some great advice. I had never thought about writing in such a logical way, but I'll do so from now on.
But then, like I mentioned before, those four paragraphs are your thesis statement which implies to the reader that your evidence will be structured in the following manner....I didn't get what you meant. Would you please explain it a bit more?
About the link: Just go to the page that you want others to read; copy the link address from the address bar of your explorer and paste it in any thread you want.
Ershad, You see, your thesis statement should not only state your main point, but also show the reader how you intend to prove that it's true.
Okay, so let's see.
I made three claims A,B and C. Now, my job is to start new paragraphs which provide evidence to support A,B and C.
And what will be those evidences? Examples? Quotes? Research data? (I am asking with respect to this essay)
Then, finally comes the conclusion.
Thanks again, Phil. Great blog, by the way.
P.S. I think your links are not clickable because EF doesn't allow them to be that way. I guess you can only click on EF links.
Exactly - examples, quotes, research. You could include anything that serves to support your points. Just make sure that you keep everything in its place. Here's what I mean: don't discuss B evidence in section A; don't bring up A in section C, and so on. Keep everything in its proper place.
All of this is easier said than done, but once you have practiced a little, you should get a hang of it, and your writing life should become more fun. That's the whole point.
often take up a career which is entirely different from their background. Students experience simultaneous interest and disinterest in their chosen disciplines.
Let's work on this one for a minute... "People ----> take up
That is a rule called "number agreement"
Also, it is okay to have a career that is different from the background; maybe you should use the word incompatible. "incompatible with their backgrounds..."
Here is another place to practice number agreement.
The odyssey years, as the phrase goes, mean the years of drifting through life without a tangible goal in mind. --- you used this: the years -----> mean
That is correct, but this is a tough one because you are referring to a phrase, which is singular. I would do this:
The term "odyssey years" refers to the years of drifting through life without a tangible goal in mind. ''
Phil, this discussion you gave here is excellent. Thanks! I'll add this thread to my collection of "good structure" essays.
One way to achieve the structure Phil describes here would be to put the first 2 paragraphs together as one and move this rhetorical question to the end of that intro paragraph:
So, what are the reasons which make us live our lives like a rudderless boat? ---this can work as a thesis statement.
Then, each body paragraph can be about one of the three points you make, and each should start with a topic sentence
You know, I did ponder for a while as to whether I should put "mean" or "means". But your sentence is better.
I'll try to remember the number agreement.