So you have your book, the formatting is complete and you know the word count for the essay. Half the battle is won regarding writing this essay. Basically, you would begin your essay introducing the book.
Introduce the quotein the correct manner and make sure you mention the name of theauthor. A good way to introduce a quote is: John F Kennedy once madea profoundly patriotic statement. He said, "Ask not what yourcountry can do for you: ask what you can do for your country."
Looks at the problem of selfhood in Emerson's essay and relates that to relevance today, especially in religious belief in our increasingly-secular age.
A short essay, some selections from the essay, and some excellent questions for thinking about Emerson's ideas.
A short introduction to American culture about 1841, looking at Emerson's essay and its relationship to ideas of democracy, culture and the masses.
A Unitarian Universalist minister muses about the position of Emerson in that faith today, where he's often considered a "prophet of religious liberalism." - about the book and its author
- by Bryan Caplan - Kristen Rosenfeld - Piper S.
Some listed here may now be out of print or unavailable. (Sacks)
Ralph Waldo Emerson's essay "Self-Reliance" is often the first or only exposure students get to Emerson's thought. Here are some resources to help understand this essay:
An essay introducing the background and context of Transcendentalism, for help in understanding where Emerson's ideas came from.
From Emerson himself, with some dictionary and other simple definitions listed as well.
Basic information on Transcendentalism - links to the two items above plus more.
- HTML searchable copy of the text at
Ann Woodlief's excellent introduction to the Emerson essay, Self-Reliance.
An article by Alfred I.
Everybody knowsthis, so do not use them in your college essays. Your teachers willimmediately mark your grade lower even if the content after the quoteis above average.
Find a quote thatcan surprise your audience. It could be said by someone who is leastexpected to say such a thing or use a quote and then choose tocontradict it. Essentially, you must try to create a surprise elementfor your reader.
So, if you were assigned a 500-word essay, using , then you would need to use a Times New Roman, 12-point font, with a one-inch (all around) page margin and double space throughout the essay.
Find that quote willstrike a chord in your readers' hearts. This means you have to knowyour target audience well. Think whether your readers will know theauthor of the quote well or do you need to provide some additionaldetails of his or her background. Unless you want to contradict it,do NOT use a quote that can offend your audience.
You may consider opening the second paragraph with a quote from the book or something that really stood out thematically to you as a reader. Here is another example of a leading sentence that you would start out your second paragraph with.
Provide the contextof the quote. In the above example of John F Kennedy's quote, youcan clearly understand the context under discussion is patriotism.
Instead of simplysaying "X said this" or "Y said that," you can use differentverbs and phrases to introduce your quotes depending on the natureand tone of the quote. Each word or phrase has its own nuance and ifused correctly will let the reader know what tone your essay is goingto take. Here are some of the verbs and phrases to introduce quotes:
Is starting acollege essay with a quote wrong? I would say no! It is perfectlyfine to start a college essay with a quote provided it fits reallywell into your essay. This article gives you some insights on how tostart a college essay with a quote.
Emerson's essay urges us to take our ideas seriously, not lightly. Does your idea resonate with your innermost voice of reason and conscience? It's worth thinking about these quotes.
While starting youressay with a surprise quote is fine, avoid using too many of them inyour essay. Your essay should reflect your feelings, experiences, andlearning. Filling it with quotes of other people gets across amessage that either you are disinterested or you do not knowanything. Neither of these reasons is good for your grades.
A college essayreflects not just your understanding of the subject but also yourpresentation, writing, and convincing skills. Great and relevantquotes can add immense value to your essay and clichés andirrelevant quotes can significantly diminish the value of your essay.