The average essay is 1,000 to 1,500 words long. What, though, are these words about? There is a plethora of different types of essays ranging from classification to rhetorical analysis. AP Junior Language and Composition (APLAC) is a writing-intensive English language course offered to high school juniors. In this class, one learns to master the writing process for various essay types. Among these kinds of writing are definition essays, rhetorical analysis essays, description essays, style emulation essays, research papers, and classification essays. Some of these are so herculean in difficulty a Faustion bargain may be necessary to gain the writing prowess required to properly execute the assignment; others are a piece of cake.
Easily one of the most difficult types of essays, the prompt of a definition essay is to define what one feels a particular word means, or to describe words used within your own family that are not commonly used in other families, in essay form. In essence, one is supposed to use one thousand extra words to state the meaning of a single word.
Definition essays require much deep thought and concentration. Defining a single term with so many words is nearly impossible without a true desire to define the word. There is one trick to successfully completing a definition essay. One can define the difference between two words. By doing this, one can first define each of the words being compared separately, then continue by defining the difference between the two previously defined words. Finding loopholes throughout the requisites of prompts will often reduce the atrocious anguish suffered when writing in APLAC. To accomplish this one must still truly have a purpose when writing. Should one fail to choose words which can be contrasted, one should select a word with a connotative meaning or a word that is often misused. This, though, will not divide the thousand word minimum as the difference between words would. One must still pen, with much difficulty, an entire thousand-word essay on the subject of a sole term. If one were to choose to define familial words or phrases, one must clearly explain the origins of said words or phrases and what they are now used to mean. For example one could explain the meaning behind the word "swashbuckling" as it is used in one's family as a substitute for "cool" or "awesome." Answering the prompt in this way requires either a family that actually engages in the act of communicating with one another (in a clever and unique way, no less) or an exceptionally creative imagination.
Definition essays are, clearly, extremely difficult and time consuming. However, once one has completed this assignment, one is left with newfound joy when assigned nearly any other type of essay in place of such a tragically finicky prompt.
Rhetorical Analysis Essays
Rhetorical analysis essays are fairly simple. These essays focus on the way an author writes in a certain piece. For example, if one were to read a passage containing a line such as "Long, was the hall," one could note that the author used inversion, possibly to emphasize the enormous length of the hall. One must surely not entertain the possibility that the author meant quite simply that the hall had a great length. The author most assuredly utilized such a technique to emphasize the length of said hall. Furthermore, if a passage being analyzed uses a peculiar diction or a special syntax, one may evaluate the use of this and analyze what effect this adds to the passage, because, of course, the use of "ain't" was meant to symbolize something greater, not just a redneck's ungrammatical speech. Rhetorical analyses are often used as timed write assignments to gauge a student's ability to read and comprehend, analyze effectively, and write well in a short period of time. Such essays are typically five paragraphs long, with a body paragraph for each element of the author's writing being analyzed. The writing process for rhetorical analyses is quite simple once one has found the elements to be dissected.
To write such a piece, one must first read and annotate a passage. Typically passages used for analysis are fairly short but contain heavy amounts of figurative language and various writing techniques such as polysyndeton, anaphora, anadiplosis, and allegories. This type of essay pressures one to think hard about what the proper names of the rhetorical devices used are. For example, a well written rhetorical analysis essay might use the term chiasmus instead of saying something along the lines of "the use of a part of a thing to refer to the whole." Certainly, describing the type of language tool used instead of naming it with its designated term would ruin the essay as a whole, just as a biologist calling a "Pan troglodyte" a chimpanzee would cause their credibility to crumble. Rhetorical analysis essays are concise and contain no fluff, because the strenuous assignment leaves no time for students to worry about the nonessential portions of their writing.
This type of essay does not require nearly as much effort as the definition essay; however, one must still carefully read the passage being analyzed to catch the many rhetorical devices used. Rhetorical analysis essays are the least challenging type of essay assigned in APLAC, which is truly saying something considering the amount of effort that must be put into them.
Description essays are the second simplest species of essay. The purpose of a description essay is to paint a vivid image in the reader's mind using imagery to describe a particular place or thing. One could describe, for example, one's favorite seat in the coffee shop, or one's bedroom. This type of writing is phenomenal practice for engaging an audience's imagination. These
essays are basically just a few nouns surrounded by adjectives.
A reliable way of determining if an essay is a description essay is based on the length of the description of trivial details. For example, an essay that describes all the cracks in the floorboards and all the dust particles floating and coating the furniture of a room in three sentences is uncontestably not a description essay. An essay describing the same frivolous peculiarities in three hundred words, though, is most definitely an example of a description essay.
Though they may seem effortless to author at first, description essays require immense amounts of patience. These essays are nevertheless only mildly frustrating compared to other specimens.
Style Emulation Essays
Style emulation essays are incredibly difficult to write. Many a tear will be shed and many a hole will be made in the wall throughout the duration of one's ill-fated attempt to successfully mirror another's personal style. These are second in hardship only to classification essays. Style emulation essays ask that one copy an author's distinct writing style. Being forced to utilize another author's unique voice creates a colossal dilemma for most writers, who are used to writing in only their own fashion. What better way to start off the year and get a feel for a new student’s expressive voice than by asking said student to use another's mannerisms in writing? Were the imitation of another's voice not enough to cause any normal student to tumble into an abyss of despair, the enormous magnitude of writing that must be read to truly understand a writer's style would surely push those few abnormal students over the brink.
Style emulation essays are written after reading copious amounts of work written by the author one is futilely attempting to imitate. One must search for unique techniques used repeatedly by the author. Then one endeavors to use such idiosyncrasies in one's own writing. These essays frequently sound rather goofy and as if the word choice is forced or exaggerated, oftentimes lending the unfortunate student assigned a style emulation essay an air of condescension and pretentiousness.
Research papers are most likely familiar to anybody who has attended school past the sixth grade. These essays are about one's opinion on a matter, with supporting research referenced. A research paper could be about why school shouldn't start until 8:30 in the morning, or about how much taxpayer money the government squanders each year on welfare and medical programs. If there are any valid sources pertaining to a subject, a research paper can be written about said subject. These papers are typically a minimum of five pages. Research papers have works cited pages, often annotated, enabling others to effortlessly access the original source used in the essay. Regrettably, this requirement raises the stakes when fabricating one's sources.
The writing of a research paper is simple and straightforward, but the researching portion is exorbitantly difficult. One must first find sources deemed appropriate by teachers. Subsequently, one must properly cite these sources according to MLA citation rules. The real difficulty faced in the creation of an essay of this type is the excessive length. Research papers are expected to be rather lengthy, causing much enmity in the lives of students. All in all, research papers belong in the Seventh Circle along with the Minotaur and violent sinners.
Classification essays are by far the most difficult and agitating type of essay to write. No other assignment causes as much animosity in the innocent lives of students delegated a paper. The prompt of a classification essay is to cleverly classify different types of the same concept. For example, one could classify different types of cars or different types of students. On the surface, this prompt seems simple enough. Once one begins trying to write, though, one will soon realize just how deleterious it truly is to one to formulate a classification essay worthy of an AP level class.
Choosing the topic to classify far surpasses the other demanding components of the writing process of an essay of this type in pure difficulty. Instead of just classifying different types of yogurts, one must have an overall deeper point to make. One cannot simply state and describe the various types of pencil lead; however one could characterize the people using the differing sizes of graphite in their pencils. Obviously, this raises the task of writing a classification essay from merely difficult like the other types of essays to an arduous level. Ultimately, classification essays are the most formidable type of essays one could ever try to compose.
Though throughout the course of APLAC many types of essays are assigned, classification essays are the most challenging breed. Research papers, definition essays, description essays, and style emulation essays fall miles short of the level of difficulty set forth in a classification essay. Nothing compares to the adversity presented to one assigned a classification essay.