Essay reading is a common practice in the world today for anyone who wants to perfect writing. Also, there are many good informative essays written that are interesting to read.
This article analyzes the essay reading practice and accesses the importance and benefits of reading essays.
What is Essay Reading Practice?
Essay reading practice refers to the act of going through essays to identify all the features that the writer used to write it. It is a process that demand the reader to do several things. For essay reading practices to be regarded as complete, as the reader you should:
- Have a pencil in hand to identify all the styles and features that the writer uses in the essay
- Go through the essay quickly searching for the writer’s main idea. Basically, find out what the essay is all about. This is not the time to go into details.
If you encounter vocabularies you have never seen before, circle them for later research.
- If the words you circled are keywords, find their meaning so that the next time you read the essay you get the full meaning.
Include the definitions of the words at the top of the essay so that you can easily refer to them in case you forget the meanings.
- Go through the essay another time. Ensure that you do it slowly so that you notice all the generalizations of the author.
This time take note of the thesis statement, the line of thought, and the structure that is used in the essay. When the thesis is not included in the last part of the introduction paragraph, to identify it you will need to find the generalization that the author is trying to validate.
Also, look for the unifying principle of the essay or the idea that everything in the essay centers on. Remember to fully establish the main point of the writer.
Always take note that the examples the writer gives are not the main idea of the story
- If you are totally convinced that you have found the thesis or the main idea of the essay, underline it. If you have found several statements that show what the essay is all about, do not panic if they all revolve around one point.
After that it’s time to establish the structure of the essay. Note where the introduction begins, where the body paragraphs begin and end, and the conclusion.
Read through the body paragraphs so you grasp all the points that the writer presents to support the thesis. In long essays, you will find a lot of subdivisions of points explaining the main idea.
Ensure that you have separated the main ideas from the minor ones. Long essays also involve some paragraphs with no much meaning. Most of them are illustrative, transitional, or digressive paragraphs.
Label these paragraphs to avoid confusing them with paragraphs that tell more about the thesis.
- In the body paragraph identify each point through the topic sentences. These are the sentences that contain the main idea of the paragraphs.
In paragraphs where the topic is not stated but implied make sure that you notice it. Through the topic sentences you will be able to gather all the main points that the writer used to write the entire essay.
They are the ones that carry the entire meaning of the essay.
- Now that you have cracked what the author is talking about, you should be able to follow through the reasoning of the essay. If you still do not get it try summing up paragraphs as if you are annotating a text book.
Always take note of transitional words such as however, therefore, or finally because they help relay the meaning of the essay better.
- Now that you have completed reading through the essay, at the end of it you can note the thesis statement.
Write notes on why you think the writer wrote the essay and the audience that you think it was directed to and whether they are friend or hostile.
Also, make sure that you identify any assumptions that the writer made on the essay and the gaps that you feel that were not addressed.
- Now that you have fully understood the essay, any other requirements such as rhetorical techniques used by the writer and the tone of the essay should be easily identifiable if you are required to provide them.
The following are the main reasons why you should read essays:
It is through reading examples of well written essays that you understand everything about their writing. You will know how the writers navigate through different topics and are able to organize ideas through the essay and maintain a stellar flow.
Also through reading average or bad essays you can take note of mistakes that you should not commit when writing essays. Therefore, reading essays can be said to be a learning process of how to write essays.
When you read essays, you will take note of how different types of essays are written. For example, descriptive essays are different from argumentative essays and discussion essays.
Therefore, when reading through different kinds of essays you know the format for each that you will use in your writing. You are also able to note the main differences between each type and you are likely to avoid making mistakes when you write your essays.
Through reading essays you gain knowledge on how to structure your essay paragraphs.
You get ideas on how to word topic sentences, how to provide support evidence, and how to conclude the paragraph.
It is through reading essays that you know how to make transitions from one paragraph to another to maintain the flow of your essay.
Also, you understand the specific length that paragraphs range from and how they are balanced to make sure that some ideas are not over explained and others under explained.
When you read essays you are able to understand more about the introduction, body paragraphs and conclusion. First you know how to start essays with catchy phrases to keep the reader hooked, introduce the topic and end the introduction with a thesis statement.
Secondly, you are able to understand the organization of body paragraphs with each main point beginning as the topic sentence of the paragraph.
Lastly, you will be able to learn how to write conclusions using the right words to show that your essay is coming to an end.
When you read essays you understand how to communicate using a piece of writing. You notice that you can use writing to present ideas by introducing them, explaining them and concluding them.
Through reading good essays you are able to understand the best ways you can use to relay information to people through writing.
Essays are directed toward a particular audience. When you read essays you understand how the writer managed to center the essay towards the audience by noting the tone used and the choice of words involved.
You are able to know whether the writer was friendly or hostile to the audience and how he addressed everything towards them.
Most good essays nail all writing techniques. They use good grammar and transitions, they are well punctuated, and written in a catchy attention grabbing language to hook the reader.
By reading these kinds of essays you note all the things that you can now transfer to your writing.
Always note that the more you read essays and practice writing them, the more you become an essay writing pro.
Jessica Kasen is experienced in academic writing and academic assistance. She is well versed in academia and has a master’s degree in education. Kasen consults with us in helping students improve their grades. She also oversights the quality of work done by our writers.