Higher secondary school essays


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For College Students, ’0’ - Level Students & Other Exams (Police Inspector, Sub Inspector ASI, Excise Inspector, Income Tax, etc)
M.A. (English)
22 - URDU BAZAR, LAHORE TEL: 7358997

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- Preface .
Essay-writing is an art which can only be mastered by practice. It is practice that makes the man perfect. Additional vocabulary contributes a major role in the essay writing.

This is the second volume regarding essay-writing, letter-writing and story-writing etc. It is prepared for the students of High Secondary school. This book is specially designed for the students who want to improve their knowledge about certain copies. They have prior information to the giving topics but they want to get more knowledge about the certain topics. I have tried my best to choose the word, which will be proved effective in the vocabulary building. Good and wise suggestions wilt be welcomed

The author

The Art of Essay Writing
”I had learned, too, that the first requisite of good writing is to have an earnest and definite purpose, whether aesthetic or moral, and that even good writing, to please long, must have more than an average amount either of imagination or common sense.” - Russell Lowell in Biglow Papers
1. There are people who have a talent for writing, just as there are people who are born with a gift for music or painting. It is fortunate that we are not all moulded after one pattern, otherwise life would be very monotonous. We sometimes read of men who, at an early age, produced verse, or prose, that is now considered classic. There are others who seem to have no innate ability to write at all. They say: ”We simply cannot do it; we do not know how to start, or how to arrange our thoughts.” So far as people who have no ear for music are concerned, it would be a waste of time and money, as well as a source of continual irritation to themselves, and to others, for them to try to learn music. But essay-writing is an entirely different matter, for it is a natural thing that people should express their thoughts in words; therefore, from Caedmon downwards, many who have imagined that they had no literary ability have come to realise that, with practice it is possible to achieve a reasonable facility in composition. Pope says: -
True ease in writing comes from art, not chance,
As those move easiest who have learned to dance.
There is more than a grain of truth in this couplet. Even the
dullest person can improve under the care and skill of a competent
teacher of English composition.

2. In all probability most of the unfortunate people who read this chapter will have- before them the nightmare of some future examination that it is necessary that they should take, and that involves the writing piece of English prose. They will do well to follow our ’remarks heedfully, and to recollect that a habit of reading good literature is most essential. Although this remark is repeated elsewhere, it is so • important that we take this opportunity of emphasising the point.

3. To begin with, we urge every student to cultivate good handwriting, and to learn how to spell correctly all words of ordinary occurrence. Bad handwriting and incorrect spelling responsible for the failure of very many candidates at English examinations. Remember that the only impression the examiner
studied the use of words until they have become masters of their art. That is to say, constant practise has made them efficient in using the right word in the right place. The less care you bestow upon your composition, the more slipshod it will be As with ?ll other pursuits, practice makes for perfection, and the more dissatisfied you become with your composition, the more likely are you to be on the road to mastery of style and effect . Avoid all Unnecessary Words: Practice in precis writing \q v.) should help you in this respect; but, apart from that, when you have written a piece of composition, go over it critically before you hand it in the anyone for comment, and try to ascertain whether you have expressed /ourself as simply, directly, and forcibly as you are able to do, See if you can find’ one word to take the place of several, and deliberately strike out (as Mark Twain suggests) unnecessary adjectives. Let your thoughts wear as light and easy as garb as you can fashion for them. Remember how David put aside Saul’s cumbrous armour, and went forth armed only with sling and stone. Avoid unjustifiable repetition, and all those forms of clumsiness involved in the use of heavy words, of redundant, tautological pleonastic expressions - unless you have a direct and artistic reason for retaining them. We do not urge you to render your writing colourless, anaemic, or invertebrate - far from that; but we do recommend you to cut out ruthlessly all that is superfluous.

Adapt Style to Subject-matter: Be judicious in your use of words. A man who made a jest at a funera would be regarded as a tactless person. On the other hand, if in the midst of some festivity, anyone introduced a solemn or heavy topic, his remarks would not be received with approval. People would call him a wet blanket. In choice literature we always find harmony in the blend of language and matter. With a literary artist, the words seem of their own accord to adapt themselves to the subject. This is not really so, for, as the old adage says, the highest form of art is to conceal art. One has come across essays on some serious subject in which a slang phrase, or a flippant remark, is suddenly let loose, with much the same effect as if someone had started a riotous music-hall chorus at a meeting of the Royal Statistical Society, or had burst into loud, sarcastic laughter during the reading of the wedding service. As you would feel ashamed to realise that you had been tactless in regard to conduct, so strive to be tactful in the employment of words. Let your language trip merrily in a lightsome theme; let it be duly
solemn when the occasion seems to demand solemnity. Read and study the blend of word and thought in the works of the great masters of style, and employ every artifice that you know of to make your words harmonise with the mood of your composition. This will necessitate a command over vocabulary, as well as the exercise of taste in expression.

10. Have Something to Say: There is only one thing more painful than listening to an inexperienced speaker who has to address to read the writing of a person who is putting down words merely to fill up his pages. It is far better to write a few powerful sentences conveying all the thought that has come to you in connection with a subject, than to ramble on incoherently through page after page to.some inconclusive ending. We earnestly recommend those who find great difficulty in the matter of writing essays, to jot down, just as they occur, all the thoughts and ideas that suggest themselves in connection with the subject of an essay. When these ideas are exhausted, they should be arranged in logical groups, to each of which some suitable heading should be given, and, finally, with the help of this methodically assorted information, the subject should be discussed in the form of an essay. At all events, such a production would possess the merit of being orderly and direct in its arrangement, and it is probable that, with a little practice, a student will become quite an adept in dealing with such groups of thoughts. Read Lecture V in Quiller-Couch’s Art of Writing. It will explain to you very clearly what is meant by jargon. Once you understand what it is, avoid it as you would the plague. It is to be feared that rjiany of us, in these days, succumb to the complaint; but a little healthy tonic, such as a reading of really good prose, helps to ward off the malady and to keep us fit.

11. Things to be avoided: Again, it is well to remember that we are called upon at various times, and in different circumstances, to adapt our conversation to our company. We endeavour to use simple language to children; plain, direct language in giving an order; free, conversational language, when we are speaking to close friends, and so on. There are people who write their essays just as they would utter their thoughts in everyday conversation. This may be advisable at times, but, in general, the language of the essay should be more literary, more copious in its vocabulary, more dignified in the matter of style, and less elliptical than the forms we employ in ordinary speech..Again, do not borrow the sententious style of the sermon on the one hand, or the oratorical style of eminent counsel on the other. These

111styles are both good in their proper place, and for their proper

-purpose, but they are not suitable for the essay, unless
introduced deliberately to illustrate some point. Also, avoid slang
; and those very common words used in vulgar speech’, and that
cut-and-dried, worn-out phraseology known as journalese. The
newspaper reporter has to write up his information rapidly, and
there is a language of the Press which is employed for this
purpose. It should be ruthlessly shunned in any essay that aims
at literary form. Let your yea be yea, and your nay, nay - that is,
use simple, direct, natural language set in sentences that are as
pleasing as you can fashion them, Try to produce an essay that
will be a joy to read, both for the ease of its expression, and the
charm of its matter.
12. We have passed in review certain main points that a student will do well to consider. There are others that will emerge as he makes progress, and develops taste. One caution is necessary both for the aspirant to literary fame and for the person who gains at ease and correctness of expression. Remember that, in one respect, the cultivation of style is like all other arts - it requires perseverance, and constant care.
The best practice for the student is to be found in reading and studying carefully the works, of essayists Goldsmith, Macaufay, Addison, Lamb, Leigh Hunt, De Quincey, Stevenson, Walter Pater, Richard Jefferies, and J. A. Symonds. To these should be added, especially as a corrective to bygone mannerisms, the more modern works of Hilaie §elloc, E. V. Lucas, G. K. Chesterton and Arthur Machen. Of these, G. K, Chesterton is the most difficult, but a discerning study of his peculiar style will give the student many useful hints in regard to manner of attack, presentment, and forcible illustration.

In al! essays (although this is less true of the imaginative kind) there is a necessity for method, arrangement, and restraint. These things are part and parcel of the essay, and our aim should be to find out how to frame the outline that should be the setting of our craftsmanship. As students continue their progress they wi>’ develop their own methods. Assuming that at present you have none, let us offer you a plan that is by no means n£w» but that has often proved helpful to those who have found it difficult to produce a pleasing and satisfactory essay-

13. Take a piece of paper, and, having decided upon your subject, just write down at leisure anytn’ng that comes to mind in
:; connection with that subject. Proceed along these lines until you
have reached the end of your resources, unless your brain is so
fertile of material that there seems a danger of your writing too
;;; long a list! There is no need at this stage to discriminate
between words, or thoughts, or images - put everything down in
a long list. Thus, if the subject were ”Pictures”: -
vi Artists, portraits, Landseer, Narrative, Pictures, Antiquity
;• . of, Modern Tendencies, Futurism, Impressionism,
VY Colours, Raphael, Trees, Schools of Arts, Subjects,
.: Italian, Rembrandt, Foliage, Dutch, Reynolds, Sales, Art
.’.:’••. Galleries, Landscape, British, Turner, Water Colours,
,: •.: Renaissance, French, Brushwork, Oil Painting,
Preservation, Imagination, Choice of Subject,,etc. In the second place, go through your list, and letter or number all those ideas that are logically connected - so many a’s, so many b’s, so many c’s. In all probability you will be able to group them under five or six headings. You will then have five (or six) groups, each containing so many words or phrases suggesting ideas. You might in the matter of ”Pictures” think of titles for those groups: Schools of Art; Development of Landscape Painting; Great English Portrait Painters, etc. These may stand as your paragraph headings, and you can now try to write out the paragraphs along the lines of the ideas you have put down. This practice has the advantage of setting to work people who would otherwise just sit, and nibble the end of a pen.

14. A Few Practical Hints on the Subject of Essay Writing: It will occur to every reader of this chapter that an essay can be s written on almost any topic. Probably that is why the essays is so popular, and so abiding^a part of modern literature. It ranges from a learned disquisition on philosophy to the lightest article in a daily newspaper. Yet, for our purpose, we can group under several headings the essay we are called upon to consider, and allow that classification to stand. We suggest, then, these types of essay as covering most of the more ordinary topics: Scientific & Technical: Those dealing with some special branch of learning.

Historical: Those dealing with some view of the past of man. Biographical: Those dealing with the life and character of a particular person.
Reflective: Those that reveal the writer’s views upon life, etc. Imaginative: Those that step beyond the actual into the realm of imagination.
Critical: Those that examine the merits, or demerits, of a subject.
Sociological: Those dealing with social life and conditions. Philosophical: Those that take a review of human thought and endeavour, Skeleton Notes.
We now give a few specimens of skeleton notes that may be used as framework for essays. Students should remember that, unless such notes are asked for, these headings should not appear on the examination paper. When a house is finished, it is not usual to leave the scaffolding. Further, though at the outset it may be found useful, or even necessary, to build an elaborate framework, students should gradually accustom themselves to work from a limited number of notes; otherwise they will find the time allotted to the essay insufficient. Some text-books ignore this fact, and supply model notes that occupy a whole page of print. A fairly full outline
1. Definition
2. History of:
(a) Known to the Chinese.
(b) Discovered in Europe in the Middle Ages. ------
(c) Invented ascribed to various people.
(d) Originally a wood block.
(e) Movable type invented.
(f) Various materials used for type.
(g) Improvements in presses, (h) Modern developments, (i) Linotype.
0) Newspaper presses, etc.
3. Printing applied to illustrations.
(a) Wood blocks.
(b) Electrotypes.
(c) Etchings, mezzotints, aquatints, steel engravings.
(d) Lithography. .\
(e) Colour prints.
(f) Posters.
(g) Photography in relation to illustrations.

4. Influence of printing on civilisation

(a) Spread of knowledge.
(b) Advantages and disadvantages of dissemination.
(c) Future developments. ”’*
1. Theory of.
2. Beginnings of pioneers.
3. Condition of, at the present day.
4. Instruments.
5. Uses:
(a) National.
(b) Individual
6. Licences, Broadcasting programmes, etc.
7. Possible developments.

1. Definition of

5. History of.
6. Notable examples of.
7. Improvements in method of construction.
8. Unsuitability for modern needs.
1. Liberal Education
In the nineteenth century, educationists in England and elsewhere first raised and discussed the problem of liberal education. In ancient and medieval times, education was differently conceived and planned. Plato taught his philosophical idealism at the Academy; Aristotle lectured on philosophical realism in the walks of the Lyceum whence his disciples were known as the Peripatetics or those who .walked to and fro during their lectures; and Zeno taught Stoicism or ohilosophy of calm and self-possession at the Stoa or colonnade of thens. In the Middle Ages also, the method and the ideal of education were similar in aim; there were schoolmen like Aquinas and Duns Scotus who founded centres or seats of learning where they, like the ancient Greek philosophers - Plato, Aristotle and others

- :aught and expounded their own doctrines and ideas. In modern times, however, the conception and the method of education have en/irely changed. Modern education does not mean training in the learning; it means, on the other hand, organisation of various bits of knowledge, gathered from several sources, to one particular end.

Cardinal Newman defines liberal education as philosophical knowledge or illumination of the intellect. The first point which he urges with great convincingness is that mere knowledge does not constitute liberal education. A person may possess the highest knowledge of Physics or Chemistry, Geology or Botany or Physiology and yet be denied true liberal education. We have found Botanists who have made a special study of different types of fungus; they are called mycologists. There are geologists who have made advanced studies in the structure of stones; they are known as petrologists. Similarly; there might be some who have devoted a whole life to the study of radioactivity in physics, the chemistry of dyes or of tanning, the physiology of glands or the different problems of quantumphysics or vectorial mathematics. But such scholars and scientists do not necessarily possess liberal education. The historian who has spent the best part of his life on the study of minute facts and dates relating, say, the Great Mughals of Indian History will always ’talk shop’ like the scientific specialists. Liberal education is education that liberates the mind; it is education that frees the mind from prejudices and narrowness. In short, it brings light to the mind and awakens the inner powers of the spirit.

Excessive learning is often a bar to liberal education. There are students and scholars who are interested merely in detailed scholarship. Browning has written a beautiful poem entitled, A
Grammarian’s Funeral.
In this poem, he paints the funeral scene of a great scholar of the Renaissance, who was deeply versed in Greek literature. Browning describes, with the cunning of an artist, how the scholar of the Renaissance, even on his deathbed, was thinking of the subtle points of Greek grammar. In this poem, Browning teaches that if knowledge is great, life is infinitely greater; the Grammarian failed to realise this eternal truth. Knowledge in itself is not at all bad, but knowledge in itself is not sufficient; it should be ’moralised’ and applied to life and conduct, otherwise education is not liberal and remains for ever inadequate.
There is another wrong conception of liberal education that is deep-rooted in the minds of many. Most people think that a person who has travelled widely and talks glibly of the West End of London, the Piccadilly society-girl or the latest Parisian fashi®ns in dress or enlivens his talk with smutty stories about the Hollyw©ed stars is- a man of liberal education. True liberal education, as Newman observes, confers on man a quiet mental poise that reaches almost the dignity of Stoic calm. The storm and stress of life, the currents and cross-currents of contemporary politics do not perturb his mind; and he holds balanced views on life’s problems even in the hour of crisis.

Russell, on the other hand, insists on a greater share of science in liberal education; for he believes that if literature and art make one unduly imaginative, a proper training in science give ene a deep sense of the real and the objective. True liberal education, in RusSC’I’s sense, is one that confers on a persfin the capacity to take a detached, impersonal interest in the earth’s problems for the good of man and to^velop a deep faith in the destiny of man.

2, Optimism
There are in the vydrld two types of men who have two distinct attitudes towards life. 5ome men always look to the bright side of life; they are full of hope a.nd are not easily Cpwed by the disappointments and failures in life. Tfrsy are the optimists. T.nere are others who always look to the seamy sitte of life; they are full of disgust with life, they would put wrui.n constructions on every little incident of life and read into it the curse of God. They are the pessimists. An optimist is sometimes defined as one who believes that this world is the best of all possible worlds, while a pessimist is described as one who believes that this world is the worst of ^l pessible worlds.
In every age and in every land, there have been optimists as well as pessimists; in every literature, these two views on life have developed and expressed themselves in different accents. But if we read aright the history of the world, we find that in some nations optimism is the dominant note, while others develop a pessimistic bias. Most philosophers of sub-continent regard the world as essentially evil, life as eternal suffering and recommend different methods of escaping from evil and pain. But then there appeared two great poets, Iqbal in the Punjab and Tagore in Bengal, who always announced in poetical accents their new creed of optimism. ”Salvation lies in the enjoyment of life, not in its renunciation”, says Tagore in one of his poems. Tagore, it is said, has been deeply influenced by the idealism of the Upanishads and the optimism of Robert Browning. Iqbal sings in one of his famous poems:
Life shines forth in the will to conquer
Let your Heaven Within be created from this Earth
For Life is Action.

Iqbal, it has been pointed out, has been profoundly influenced by the philosophy of the great German poet philosopher, Goethe.

The dominant note of European poetry and philosophy is that of optimism; it always triumphs over pessimism and cynicism. The famous German philosopher, Leibnitz was the first to express in philosophical terms the optimistic view of life, and Schopenhauer was the first German .philosopher in the West to build his philo§oed on pessimism. In 1877, James Sully wrote a bonlr, in their

* Pessimism! in which tie discussed optimism and pecne remark that philosophical bearings. He concludes the ingnuencies of the human optimism and pessimism are dfcso-r^^pfift, the former pointing mind and that both are neejgj ’Or ^riing the means to that end.
to an ideal and the latetim’ism tW° k’nds; Rrst’ there is the
in oiupiacent vari^’ of °Ptimism wnich always foolishly . easy, -^nat somethino ^od wi” final|V view on life often say that •••dtever God does ’’e does for the best Secondly, there is the reasoned type r’ optimism, founded on discretion and wisdom, careful consideration of facts and balanced conclusions reached in the end. ,7iie second type of optimism characterises a wise man’s attitucfe towards life.

At the conclusion of the First World War in 1918, when the League of Nations was set up, people became optimistic about the future of the world; they thought that eternal peace would dawn. With the declaration of the Second World War in 1939, people

relapsed into pessimism and lost faith in the League of Nations. Again, with the setting up of the United Nations’ Organisation, the nations of the world, great and small, are in the full tide of faith and hope and optimism. As in international affairs so in private life, optimism alternates with pessimism, hopes with fears, joys with sorrows. Life is, in fact, a long struggle; dark and difficult is the way. The crown of success is at the journey’s end. Optimism and pessimism are, indeed, relative terms; the one cannot exist without something of the other. The buffetings of misfortune drive the weaker minds into pessimism; and the pessimist votes life a failure. But the stronger folks in the world are in the majority, they look facts in the face, weigh them in the balance and at long last develop the reasoned optimism which is to them a source of never-falling strength and inspiration. Suicide is the last refuge of a pessimist; the ideal of making life better and, if possible, best is the optimism’s constant urge as well as aspiration. As Clough sings:

In front, the Sun climbs slow, how slowly, But westward, look, the land is bright.
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