Robert (gurdonark) wrote,

The Very Old Fashioned Mechanical Five Paragraph Essay (a call to write!)

I like the old five paragraph essay. There are minor regional variations, but the way I learned to write it was the following very mechanical way:

I. Introductory Paragraph
A. Sentence setting forth big picture theme
B. Sentence setting out methodology
C. Sentence reiterating theme

II. Point One
A. Introduce point
B. Discuss point
C. Make conclusion as to point

III. Point Two
A. Introduce point
B. Discuss point
C. Make conclusion as to point

IV. Point Three
A. Introduce point
B. Discuss point
C. Make conclusion as to point

V. Conclusion
A. Set forth what one set out to address
B. Analyze the three points made
C. Draw a general conclusion

I am sure I am not alone in saying that this format essentially made virtually every paper I wrote in a liberal arts class in college achieve an "A" grade.

Now I'm pondering whather to write a November novel this year. I'm leaning against doing so. I think that the most difficult thing about writing a novel is figuring out how to format without really knowing where one is to go.

I propose today a writing exercise which is a liberation from the burdens of creativity, or at least of creativity in the fiction-writing sense. For those who intend to write in November, this will be a warm-up on getting something done quickly. For those who, like me, probably won't write a novel in November, this can be a lesser, worthy, fun thing. For everyone, this can be a way to tell people about something you know in your journal.

Let's be all haiku about it. You must follow the format set forth above. You must not type in the "outline" above, but instead must simply "do" the format. You don't provide an introduction or explanation in the post that this is what you are doing. You just add the word "(essay)" to your title.
If you're the explainy type, you can always explain in another post. You'll do all your research quickly, on google, so that you don't procrastinate doing this essay on basis of the "need to research" excuse. You'll post within three days of getting the assignment, and you'll write without fear, stress or worry.

Here's how to play:

Tell me (a) the profession you have or wish you had;
(b) your favorite writer
(c) your favorite hobby

I'll tell you whether to write about a, b, or c.

Not challenging enough? I'll be delighted to suggest you a more challenging topic if you wish.

But the goal here is not brilliance. The goal here is not stress or worry. The goal here is a quickly written, mechanical, five paragraph essay to delight your friends!

Shall we dance?
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