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Word Count: 352
In 1729 when Jonathan Swift wanted to make people aware of the horrible poverty of the Irish he chose the essay as his weapon and wrote A Modest Proposal In that essay he suggested sarcastically that the Irish should sell their children as food His suggestions sounded vaguely practical and reasonable but really criticised the foolishness of those who ignored human values and relied only on scientific ideas Such people had suggested for example that famine was an acceptable way of controlling over-population His essay which provoked outrage helped encourage many people to think carefully about the problem And encouraging thought is what a clear essay does best But to work essays need a clear structure with an eye-catching beginning a middle containing supporting ideas and examples and an end that reinforces the writers ideas A good essay begins with a title and introduction which attracts the readers attention although neither must be misleading The introduction in particular must provide the reader with the general attitude of the writer and outline the course of the discussion often through the inclusion of several points that will be covered Swift captures the readers attention by the contrast between the harmless sounding title and the horrible suggestions he makes about eating children In the body of the essay each idea or sub-argument is developed and supported with examples For example in the case of A Modest Proposal Swift clearly explains at what age boys and girls should be sold for food in order to reap the greatest profits The conclusion of the essay serves to drive home the writers points quite often through a recommendation a prediction or a warning but never just a summary Too often students destroy the impact of their writing by blandly repeating the same points raised a few lines before An essay is a tool that can be used in many ways to inspire to
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