Reading over their own work, these writers will wonder why they ever bothered with the written word to begin with, when they sound so inhuman.A human’s voice is not slotted into bins of seven to eleven sentences apiece.Such an essay form is the very three-partitioned tombstone of human reason and imagination.
Each bite is not food for thought but another dose of the same.
It is like Miss Trunchbull in the Roald Dahl novel, forcing the little boy to eat chocolate cake until he bursts—with the exception that no one on this planet would mistake the five-paragraph essay for chocolate cake.
It would be better to cut one’s toenails, because at least the repetitive task of clipping toenails results in feet more comfortably suited to sneakers, allowing for greater movement in this world.
The five-paragraph essay, by contrast, cuts all mirth and merit and motion from ideas until there is nothing to stand upon at all, leaving reader and writer alike flat on their faces.
Besides teaching college literature courses, I write creatively, and my debut young adult novel comes out in September.
I am joining the debate on the five-paragraph essay in response to because I think high school and college teachers can work together and set up our students for success—and the five-paragraph essay is setting them up for a really tough time in college.I only reference the scene’s reluctant, miserable consumption past all joy or desire.Third, the five-paragraph form flattens a writer’s voice more than a bully’s fist flattens an otherwise perky, loveable face.If we return to the partitioned-plate analogy, foods are separated, but in food, there is a play in blending flavors, pairing them so that the sum is greater than the individual parts. Most people like dessert and anticipate it eagerly.In the five-paragraph essay there is no anticipation, only homogeneity, tedium, and death.Not so for the consumers of the five-paragraph essay, who must move through Point 1, then Point 2, and then Point 3. It is arbitrary force-feeding to the point of indigestion.After the body paragraphs, and if readers have not already expired, they may read the Conclusion, which is actually a summary of the Introduction.Even the most gifted writer cannot sound witty in a five-paragraph essay, which makes one wonder why experts assign novice writers this task.High school students suffer to learn this form, only to be sternly reprimanded by college professors who insist that writers actually say something.Her debut young adult novel, Sometimes We Tell the Truth (Simon & Schuster/Simon Pulse, pub date Sept 6), retells Chaucer’s Canterbury Tales with modern American teens traveling to Washington D. Writing teachers will tell you that the two most important pieces of any composition are always the introduction and the conclusion.