Wednesday, May 14, 2008

Five-Paragraph Essays

I don’t usually blog about teaching and I have no intention of starting. Nonetheless, in honor of the end of spring term, I wanted to share this lovely little parody from the current issue of College Composition and Communication. The whole piece, five paragraphs long, is worth a look if you can get yourself to a research library database (CCC 59.3, Feb. 08, 524-5). Xerox it. Paste it on your door. Distribute it widely amongst all the young writers you know.
My Five-Paragraph-Theme Theme
Ed White
Since the beginning of time, some college teachers have mocked the five-paragraph theme. But I intend to show that they have been mistaken. There are three reasons why I always write five-paragraph themes…”

Ah! Music to my ears.

Years ago, an undergraduate humor magazine at Harvard published a parody of the compare/contrast essay by “Duffy Sasser.” Now that was choice satire. It compared Hamlet to Romeo and Juliet contending that they were similar in that they were both plays, with characters, in five acts, by Shakespeare, that ended with characters dying, and had the theme of time and death but that they were different in that one was set in Denmark the other in Italy…

Sadly, I lost my copy of that, but if any one can dig it up for me, I’ll be very grateful!

In the meantime, happy essay writing….!

5 comments:

Sandra said...

You are very kind! I'm wondering though whether a change to 'essais' would be too late or indeed pretentious!

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Nigel Beale said...
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