If the teacher asks you to write a paper on ethical values and justice, he’s asking you to research those subjects, because it’s very likely that you don’t have a solid grasp of legal matters, but if he asks you to write about children who dress like clowns and perform in the streets of many cities, in front of cars at red lights, then it’s very likely that he’s asking you to write an essay, because unfortunately, many Latin American people are familiar with these kinds of experiences. Essays require that you draw from your own experience.
When writing about these children, you might have your own opinion on their behavior. You’re free to write whether you’re for or against it, saying they’re victims of an unfair society, or you can say that they put themselves at risk if they don’t work. You might want to recount an anecdote, something that happened while they were doing their brief show; you might even want to talk about your feelings, and write that you don’t understand why, but when you see them, you get a knot in your throat, and you don’t know how you can help to solve the problem of the poor human rights in the country.
The essay can include all of these things, but above all, it demands rigor.
Rigor in essays
1. Writing well.
2. Supporting the validity of your opinion:
– Comparing your text to other texts about the same subject.
– Providing an analysis that requires supporting a central hypothesis.
3. Whatever your opinion is, for example, regarding children working in the streets, you have to explain the objective reasons that they got to be in the streets in the first place.
– So, you have to do some research, data compilation and conjunction of opinions.