Sample Essay

Words 1,430

To be able to write you have to be able to speak. They go hand in hand. In the eighth grade I took a speech course and that is where my learning process truly began. We had a journal that we had to write in everyday. We could write about anything and read out our thoughts on a voluntary basis. Each week we had to prepare a speech. I wrote informative speeches, persuasive speeches, how-to speeches, and goodwill speeches. The first time I remember expressing my self creatively was on my persuasive speech. My topic was drug abuse. The first line of any speech, according to my teacher had to be attention grabbing. While browsing through books and the internet I came across my favorite line: “drugs are like chemotherapy without cancer.” I still remember the smile on my teachers face when he heard that line and a felt soothing thud thud thud’s in my heart because I knew that he was scribbling down something positive on the score sheet. I got a 96 on that speech and I still quote that sentence each time I write about drug related issues.

Freshmen year in high school I studied word roots. According my teacher learning the Latin roots to words can make it easier to decode difficult words and spell better. Freshmen year was also the first time I wrote a book review and read Shakespeare. The SAT vocabulary words came in the tenth grade. We had weekly quizzes and group discussions about the novels we were reading. By the eleventh grade I had a hefty vocabulary and it was when I truly learnt to write and express myself. Everything before that was basic sentence construction, using big vocabulary words and putting thoughts down on paper in an organized manner with the exception of my ‘chemotherapy without cancer’ speech in middle school.

Junior year transformed my writing. My teacher told the class not to use ‘beavers’. It took me a week to figure out that she was actually saying ‘BEE VERBS’: am, is, was, are, be, being, been. I wrote an entire essay without a single ‘be’ verb, it was 250 words long and it took 4 days to write. She told the class she learnt to write through mimicry. She would read Theoureau and Emerson and try to imitate their sentence structure and copied their style. I discovered that Theoureau refrained from the ostentatious display of words whereas Emerson constructed sentences that would challenge Einstein. The plethora of writing assignments developed my creative writing and gave me a tool to express my feelings. I learnt how to ‘show’ and not just ‘tell’. She was the first teacher who said that every one has beating heart but the kind that crawls up from the chest to the mind belongs to a ‘pennoisseur’, a pen expert.

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