Essay 2 – In this paper you will again write five double-spaced paragraphs for a total of 2 ½ pages. This paper will be about something you would like to do, and it is similar in organization to Essay 1.
What would you really like to do in life? In this paper you will discuss a desire you have (for example, to go to college to study film, or to skip college altogether to work and save money so you can travel the world, or even to get married to the one you love). You will also write about opposition you face (such as parents who say no, you cannot do what you want, or even society that you feel looks down on what you want to do).
You must have both a single desire (with two reasons for the desire) and also opposition. In other words, the general format of this paper is similar to what is proposed in our text, They Say, I say. However, you will reverse They say, I say — to I say, They say.
You must decide first what your desire is…
And two reasons for it…
As an example I have chosen my desire to write a book, and my two reasons for it, to express my experiences and to make money, are given below:
Paragraph 1 – In your first paragraph you will begin by describing yourself in positive ways, for 1/2 of the total paragraph (see below for an example). In the second 1/2 of the same paragraph you will state a desire you have been thinking about: writing a book (or whatever you choose). Then give two reasons for your desire (you have many experiences to express and, for example, you think you can make money by writing). Then raise opposition to your desire (such as opposition from parents or an overall feeling that people say you are not in your right mind to try something so risky), and finish the paragraph by reclaiming your purpose (which is basically disagreeing with the opposition, supporting your original desire).
Here is an EXAMPLE of paragraph 1 (this is single space, but you will, again, double space your paper):
I am a student at Cedar Valley College. I am in my second year and have many interests. In addition to going to school, I work every day from nine to five. I work at a bicycle shop, fixing bikes and selling new bikes. I do not always like the job, but I have to work to support myself. I try to save all of my money. On weekends I am in an intramural football league and take dancing lessons in the evening. I have many friends and sometimes we go out at night. At the end of the night, we go out to breakfast. I also do volunteer work for homeless people in a soup kitchen. On weekends I cook and serve food. In all that I do, however, I think about what I would really like to do, and that is to write a book about my life. One reason I want to write a book is so that I can express all of the problems and happiness I experience on a day-to-day basis. I also want to write a book so that I can make money from the book and be a writer full time, and maybe even become famous. My parents, however, are discouraging me from becoming a writer. They say I am wasting my time, putting my eggs in one basket, and heading for disaster. While there is some truth in what they say, I still disagree with them because, in the end, life is about taking risks and living to the fullest.
Paragraph 2 – In your second paragraph you will restate your first reason for your desire (write a book to express all the problems and happiness), above, and then go into further detail, to describe that reason in more detail. Tell me about some of those personal experiences you want to express. For example, say how you feel the experiences are unique and not expressed elsewhere in things you read. This paragraph, again, like all the others, will be a half a page. If this were my paper, about writing a book, I would start this paragraph: One reason I want to write a book is so that I can express all of the problems and happiness I experience on a day-to-day basis.
Paragraph 3 – In your third paragraph you will restate your second reason for your desire (write to make money), and then go into further detail, to describe that reason in more detail. Tell me about (from the above paragraph 1) some of those reasons for your belief in making money by writing. This paragraph, again, like all the others, will be a half a page. If this were my paper, about writing a book, I would start this paragraph: I also want to write a book so that I can make money from the book and be a writer full-time, and maybe even become famous.
Paragraph 4 – In your fourth paragraph, you will basically be raising objection to your desire (this is the “They say” paragraph). So let’s suppose your parents are the people you feel opposing your desire. Start the paragraph by saying exactly that: My parents feel that it is unrealistic and irresponsible of me to try and be a writer and not go to college. Say in additional sentences (just a few) just what these parents are saying, in detail. After those additional sentences, you must now win back your point of view, and you will use this sentence: While there is some truth in what my parents have to say, I have to disagree and say that their arguments are not sound (which means the arguments are not perfect). And then say why, specifically, you disagree with their statements. Remember, you don’t have to win everything. You can say things like – there is no arguing with the fact that I am taking a big risk, but I want to try to do what I want and write, and if I fail at least I tried, and I am young enough to still go back to college.
Paragraph 5 – This is your summary paragraph. In this, your fifth, and final, paragraph, you will start by writing, In conclusion, or In summary, and then restate the main points of your essay, that is, your two reasons for wanting to be a writer. Also briefly mention the opposition you face, and how you feel you can overcome that opposition. Close by writing sentences about how much better you will be and feel, as a person, by doing what you really want to do for once in your life, and how all life is a risk, even living safely.
So what do you want to do in life, if you could really do what you wanted, reasonably speaking, and what are your two reasons for wanting to do that thing, and who gives you opposition – even if the opposition is in your mind – to your desire?