“Elements of the Academic Essay”

Reading Gordon Harvey’s “Elements of the Academic Essay” this weekend, was a very helpful article for helping me to better understand the best way to write an academic essay for our first assignment on Frankenstein. From reading this article I got that the most important part of the academic essay is your thesis. Every point that Gordon Harvey lists as the elements of the academic essay all refer back in some way to the thesis. It is, as if his own article is an academic essay. It runs smoothly and is very detailed and always points back to the thesis statement.

I think that this checklist of elements however, can be applied to any kind of writing not just for academic essays because when writing even for our own pleasure, one always has these elements that Harvey lists, such as a motive and an audience in mind. I think that all of these elements that Harvey lists come to us naturally as writers. As if it were something that were a part of us.

The element that comes the easiest to me is reflecting. I think that reflecting is a very important part of the essay as it helps you keep your reader grounded in your argument and not loose sight of what you are trying to prove by always taking time to refer back to it in order for the reader to understand it. Again, I think that reflecting is another element that can be used in any type of writing especially in types such as creative writing.

I am sure that many authors used similar elements such as these of the academic essay to write their own works or texts. Do you think that all of these elements that Gordon Harvey lists for the academic essay, can also be used in other styles of writing?

Is Writing a Function to Enslave?

In Writing by Barbra Johnson she discusses logocentrism which is “words and language as a fundamental expression of external reality. It is a negative term used to turn down western thought.” She also mentions graphocentrism as a term used to describe the male sex as a dominate one. It is a term that is used to oppress those who are not European. She brings up the fact that the reason as to why European culture had power was because they knew how to read and write.  Having previously read The narrative of the Life of Fredrick Douglas,An American Slave, Written by Himself there is an understanding of the power reading/writing has on an individual and the world around them. Fredrick Douglas was a black slave who fought slavery because his white slave owner wanted  to oppress him as a slave who did not know how to read or write. Once Fredrick Douglas learned to read the newspaper he realized there were free slaves in the north he knew he could fight slavery as well. There is a contrast between Levi Strauss’s theory and Fredrick Douglas’s ideas but, unlike Strauss Douglas does not believe that the function of writing is simply used as a way of enslavement but, the way in which one is controlled in not learning how to write. Barbra brings up an excellent point and mentions ” What is needed is not less writing but more consciousness of how it works.” What I think Barbra Johnson is trying to state here is that there is an importance in writing that comes with control and the power words have on paper.

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