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Can you paste a paragraph as an example?
Question - Write a composition stating the simple joys, hardships, and family life of a factory worker or a farm worker. Answer - "Poverty is romanticised only by fools." - J.K, Rowling. Thus, people like us who site in buildings all day in comfort of air conditioners, servants, machines that give us access to the world; and yet complain of the stress at work, of the degradation of moral values and wish to go back to county life and farming have no right to do so. Yes, we have no rights to talk highly of the life of a poor farm worker, for he suffers more than we do, endures those hardships, and learns about himself, but nothing more. ( Comment - Now that I look back on it, it seems like the introduction lacks a thesis that fits the question. ) The farmer worker owns no land - if he does own land, it is not fit to be called land; such is its fertility and size. Such a condition in his life was brought because he was and still is plagued by overpopulation; by people like us who sit in our offices miles and demand for good healthy crops to eat. His mother bore ten sons, hoping they'd be enough for raising the family's economic condition and help in farming (and thus be enough for society). The sons only grew up to quarrel over that one piece of land they had, and so the farm worker ended up having no land in the process.He goes to work on the land of his brothers in hope for a little money. The farm worker's wife goes with him too, and so does his eldest child, who knows their desperate need for money; leaving behind his dreams of becoming an engineer in the process. His dream is however pursued by his three younger brothers who march to a government school ten kilometres away, wearing their father's money - their uniforms. But that is the only expense they burden the family with, and they'd pay it back when they grew up and worked as expected. His three younger sisters quench their dreams to cook whatever cookable, edible item there is in the house - sometimes there is watery rice on the menu, sometimes nothing at all. And so every member of the family works towards what they hope would be a good future for them and their family. However these gigantic duties are not their only burdens. They have expectations as well - the father must buy gold for his daughters' marriages, the mother must call on and praise all their well-off relatives, the sonfs must do maximum work for minimum wage, and the daughters must do nothing to be the good housewife. Poverty may be romanticised only by fools, but that doesn't mean poverty doesn't have its joy, for there are lots of small, simply joys a farm worker gets. When the sons bring home news of their first class marks, when the daughters send off their father to work with the solemn love of a woman, when the wife gives her hard-earned money and when he realises himself he's managed to give life for his family somehow; the farmer will be satisfied and dwell a little in a moment of joy - and so will the family. And there will be the festivals, where the happy, excited spirit infects everyone and their real burdened state is forgotten for a second. And though the family may not have new clothes themselves, the children will run through the fields with a joy that seems intoxicated, and the family will smile together. ( Comment-I really failed at answering precisely. Dang. I just didn't realise it at the time of writing. How do you stick to the thesis while you're writing?)
Your comment in the first paragraph is correct. You failed to formulate a good thesis statement that addresses the question and therefore your essay not only wanders a bit, but also does not really answer the question. The question asks you to discuss the joys, hardships, and and family life of these groups of people and you spend the whole essay discussing their hardships. You need to form a good thesis statement that will cover the entire question and this is not too hard. I'll show you how.
The first thing you need to do is form an opinion on the topic. It really does not matter if you agree with the opinion or not as long as you can form a coherent argument for it. So lets start by doing that. What is your opinion on this topic? (just one sentence. don't elaborate on it at this point)
lol i dont think i'll elaborate on anything after i realised how FAIL my essays are :P but this isnt an argumentative essay, so why should there be an opinion? what opinion do you mean, anyhow?
(i guess, if this is what you meant )my opinion is that farmers live the life of a man, joys and hardships, ups and downs, etc.
I'm not saying that it has to be an argumentative essay, but in order to write a coherent essay you must have a purpose. To answer the question is not going to cut it where purpose is concerned. You have to be able to aim your thoughts. I assume that this question is based on material that you have read about. Recall that material and form an opinion. If you don't like the word opinion, we can use the word point. You have to make a point in your essay. That is what your instructor is saying you lack. So what is the point that you want to convey based on what you have read? Farmers live the life of a man is far too broad for a short essay. Here are some examples of opinions or points: Farmers live a hard life. Farmers have a rich family life. Farmers have many joys.
OH. I geddit. I want to convey that most farmers live a hard life that is filled with little joys, ( while only a few make it big). (And no, we haven't read material based on this, it's a general essay question).
P.S. do all kinds of writing have purposes? Even narrative essays where you're asked to narrate out an incident that made you change in some way or the other? I never realised such things lol .
ALL writing has to have a purpose. Not only that you should know what that purpose is before you even write a single word. This and knowing your audience are the two most important things to consider before you start to write.
Ah. :) What about children's writing? The only purpose they seem to have is to build their reading skills. "Look at Spot. See Spot run. "
eh never mind. that was a dumb question lol.
but i have another important one - how can i decide the purpose of the essay in the exam/assignment? Hasn't the purpose already been given? "...... stating the simple joys, hardships, and family life of a factory worker or a farm worker. ". Am I not bound by the question to recognise that the farmer has joys and hardships, and my purpose is to only bring them out in the essay?
Well, yeah even that. The writer that writes those books knows his audience are children and his purpose is to educate. Therefore, he uses simple language to tell a simple story, but the story still has a point. It still follows a theme to it's conclusion as simple as it may be. He doesn't just put down a bunch of random thoughts.
Yes you want to address that question, and that is your ultimate purpose, but you have to focus your thoughts in one direction and follow that direction to it's conclusion.
If you believe that the farmer leads a hard life you have to state that in your thesis statement and then support it throughout your essay.
The easiest way to do this is to include in your thesis statement the ideas that support your opinion. So you said that you believe most farmers live a hard life. So what is the strongest argument that supports this belief?
Just one sentence
lol. um, the strongest argument that supports this belief is that their occupation depends on weather and land, which are very unpredictable elements.
Ok their occupation depends on unpredictable elements. What is the second strongest argument that supports the statement that farmers lead a hard life?
Believe me I'm going somewhere with this.
second - lack of machinery ( in India, at least) and bad government policies.
are you going on to say that all these arguments should be written out in the form of a paragraph, and i explain each such point, and in the end i tie it down all together to my thesis again?
No we are going to use these arguments to create a focused thesis statement. Okay. So your second argument actually contains two arguments, so Ill just pick one at random. they have to deal with bad government policies. Now we need one more thing. What is one argument that would refute your view that farmers lead a hard life?
This may be hard, but it does not have to be a strong argument.
They have a rich family life as an example.
oh. the opposing view would be that they live simply - no sophisticated technology, no socialising problems, no dressing up etc. I'm not sure if that's one whole single point, though.
they live a life without complications
So we have: Farmers lead a hard life their occupation depends on unpredictable elements they have to deal with bad government policies they live a life without complications
From this we can generate a variety of thesis statements: Even though their lives are less complicated, farmers lead hard lives because their occupation depends on unpredicable elements and they have to deal with bad government policies. OR Farmers lead a hard life because they have to deal with bad government policies. OR While farmers lead a hard life, it is a life less complicated by technology.
Those are just a few examples.
Once you have a thesis statement write your essay with the statement in your mind. Do not stray from it. For example: using the above examples, let's say you chose "Farmers lead a hard life because they have to deal with bad government policies." You would want to stick to that thesis speaking about everything from the perspective that bad govt. policies make a farmers life hard.
Now you can apply this to any topic with any parameters. So the question asks you to discuss the simple joys, the hardships, and family life of the farmer. So going though the same process I could come up with: Despite the hardships that farmers face, their rich family life brings them simple joys that many do not know. Or something similar.
I see. I really hope this is not offensive, but is there a way to use thesis statements without it seeming like they are there? Using thesis statements the way they have been used seems cliched and boring to me -personal opinion - and bother me if they are there. I know they are the essential core of an essay, but isn't there some way to put a thesis statement into essay as though they are a part of the flow of words? "Farmers lead a hard life because so and so ..." or in an essay about stereotyping, "rejudgments are harmful because they limit the lives of the stereotyped individual and the person doing the stereotyping.”- such thesis seem to just glare the whole essay out. I understand that may be their exact purpose, to bring out the point you're making, but can't it be made in a subtler, non glaring, natural way?
And, this essay involves writing about two contrasting aspects - joys and hardships. And having a purpose in this essay would mean choosing either right? So how do you write about the other at the same time?
A thesis statement has to be clear and definitive because a) they are what drives the essay and b) in college most instructors are going to return your paper with "Where is your thesis statement" on it. There are no rules against writing about contrasting elements. Take my above example: Despite the hardships that farmers face, their rich family life brings them simple joys that many do not know. With this as my thesis statement I would discuss the hardships (who what where why how) and then counterpoint with a discussion of their rich family lives and simple joys (again: who what where why how).
Oh. ok then. so thesis statements are like norms to follow, kind of? Seems that way, lol. Do you think the use of thesis statements could be broken somehow in the future? That one little sentence bugs me lol.
Well, I'm just coming from the perspective of one who has written hundreds of academic papers and essays. The thesis is your purpose. it is the point you are trying to make. It is the introduction to the reader what exactly you are going to talk about. Without it your audience has no idea what you are going on about and are likely to put it down without finishing reading it. With the thesis statement in their head, they know where the essay is going and are likely to keep reading even if they are not fully in agreement with what you are saying.
oh. thanks a bunch!
P.S. how do authors use one "purpose" to write an entire novel?
Creative writing is slightly different from academic writing. A novelist's ultimate purpose is to invoke thought and emotion through the use of concrete imagery, but the fiction writer still has to know where they are going. Every scene they write, every line of dialog they create has to be leading to their climax. Therefore, the climax is the point of the story/novel and is analogous to the thesis of an essay or academic paper.