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Essay on : A Day Without Rules (450 words)
A day without rules essay.
Imagine a world where rules and regulations suddenly ceased to exist. What would a day without rules be like? While the idea might initially sound liberating, delving deeper reveals a complex tapestry of consequences that could reshape society as we know it. In a world governed by laws, rules provide structure, order, and a sense of security. However, a day without rules would challenge the very fabric of our existence and test the boundaries of human behavior.
At first glance, the idea of a day without rules might seem exciting. People might experience a temporary sensation of freedom and abandon, releasing themselves from the constraints of societal norms. But this unbridled freedom could quickly lead to chaos and uncertainty. Without traffic rules, streets might become chaotic and dangerous, jeopardizing lives and property. Social interactions could devolve into conflicts, as there would be no guidelines to mediate disputes or ensure mutual respect.
The absence of rules could also affect economic systems. Businesses operate within a framework of regulations that ensure fair competition, consumer protection, and ethical practices. Without these regulations, the market might become a lawless battleground, where unethical practices prevail, and consumers are left vulnerable to exploitation. Investments and financial transactions could become risky endeavors, hindering economic growth and stability.
One of the most profound impacts of a day without rules would be on public safety and health. Regulations that govern food safety, healthcare, and environmental protection play a crucial role in safeguarding human well-being. Without these rules, the risk of contaminated food, unregulated medical procedures, and environmental degradation could skyrocket, leading to dire consequences for individuals and the planet.
On a societal level, the absence of rules could expose marginalized groups to even greater vulnerability. Laws and regulations often exist to protect the rights and dignity of all individuals, regardless of their background. Without these protections, discrimination, prejudice, and injustice could run rampant, further deepening social divides and eroding trust within communities.
While the idea of a day without rules might spark creative thinking and innovation in some areas, it’s important to recognize that innovation can thrive within the boundaries of responsible regulations. Regulations often challenge individuals and industries to find innovative solutions that meet the needs of society while respecting ethical and environmental considerations.
In conclusion, a day without rules might initially appear as an opportunity for unfettered freedom, but the consequences would likely be far-reaching and undesirable. Rules and regulations serve as the backbone of a functional society, ensuring order, safety, and fairness. While questioning and revising rules can be valuable for progress, a complete absence of rules would likely lead to chaos, endangering lives, economies, and the very foundations of civilization.
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What a Day Without Rules Looks Like
My children said, “Sleep in tomorrow, Mum. You’re overtired. You haven’t had much sleep in the last 48 hours.” So I slept in.
When I got up, the kitchen was deserted. Everyone had had breakfast, washed the dishes, cleaned up, and disappeared. I found myself some cereal and made a cup of tea, and then went back to the warmth of my bed to enjoy my breakfast. Gemma-Rose (9) discovered me a short time later.
“Mum! You’re awake. I was waiting for you to wake up so I could make you some porridge.”
“Perhaps you can make some pikelets for morning tea instead,” I suggested. My youngest daughter smiled.
When I’d showered and dressed, I went in search of everyone else. “What are you all doing?”
Sophie (12) smiled. “I’ve been educating myself. I’ve written a blog post about my sewing. Can I show you?”
The house was clean and tidy. There was even washing on the line.
“The basket wasn’t quite full,” said Charlotte (15), “but I decided to do some washing anyway. If I’d left it until tomorrow, the basket would have been overflowing.”
I joined the younger girls in the family room, where we worked on our own projects for some time. Mid-morning Gemma-Rose made a batch of pikelets, and then everyone appeared to eat them. When we’d licked the last of the syrup-coated crumbs off our lips, we headed back to work.
“Shall we have lunch?” Imogen asked about 12.30 pm.
“Informal or at the table?”
“What do you think? Informal?”
“Yes. Sounds good.”
Imogen and Charlotte collected the orders, and they made lunch. Everyone helped clean up afterwards. Then it was back to reading and writing and piano practices.
“Have we decided what we’ll have for dinner?” asked Sophie mid-afternoon.
“I’ll make potato and red pepper soup,” I offered.
“No, you won’t,” said Imogen. “You’re tired. I’ll do it.” I didn’t protest.
When I noticed the shade overtaking the garden, I snuck outside and brought in the washing. Good thing someone was playing the piano, otherwise, the girls might have heard the pegs falling into the bucket, and I wouldn’t have been allowed to do this job on my own.
Soon Imogen will start preparing the dinner. I will wash the afternoon tea dishes. Someone will set the table for dinner. Andy will arrive home from school. Callum might make it back from his day out in time to eat with us. If he doesn’t, we’ll put his dinner aside for him to eat later. Duncan will appear from his bedroom where he’s been studying all day. We’ll chat around the table, swapping news. Then everyone will help wash and dry the dishes by hand.
After dinner, the girls will play a computer game or watch a DVD or read a book. Perhaps we’ll sit together in the family room and chat while we enjoy the warmth from the gas heater.
About 8.00 pm, Sophie will say, “We’d better get ready for bed,” and then she and Gemma-Rose will head off to the bathroom.
I will say, “Do you want me to tuck you into bed now or do you want to read for a while?”
If the girls say, “We’d like to read,” and then I don’t arrive at the right time to turn off the light, Gemma-Rose will come looking for me. “We’re tired. Can you come and say goodnight to us, please? We want to go to sleep.” They like a proper kiss and hug before closing their eyes.
About 8.30 pm, Charlotte will appear saying she is tired and is going to bed. She might read before turning out the light. Imogen might join her, but then again she might stay up chatting to Andy, or they could watch a DVD together. I have no idea when the boys will go to bed because I will have headed off to my bed long before they start to think about sleep.
Our day looks very ordinary, doesn’t it? We completed the chores. Everyone was helpful and considerate. We all worked and ate meals together. We made a few quick decisions that were mutually acceptable. The girls will go to bed at a reasonable hour. So will I. Nothing interesting at all about our day. Just a quiet, peaceful day.
A day without rules? It’s not as exciting or as wild as it sounds. Or maybe it is. It depends on how we look at it. Each day everyone is willing to work together and to help each other so that life runs smoothly and is productive. And we do this without the help of rules. I think that’s rather exciting after all. Maybe you think so too!
Image: totally random and nothing to do with the topic. I added something interesting to liven up this ordinary post.
PS: Sleeping in late isn’t typical, but then again, not having hardly any sleep in 48 hours isn’t typical either! Everything else is pretty much normal.
There are more stories about parenting responsibly without rules in my book Radical Unschool Love !
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I didn't find it boring, sounds like the perfect day to me 🙂
I like the photo too. He's very cute.
I love quiet days, where we can stay home and just be together. I'm quite happy living a 'boring' life. Glad you like the photo!
Slightly off the topic but I was wondering how you get "Andy and Me time"? I find one of the reasons I ask my girls to head off to bed some nights (they have a suggested bed time but we don't strictly enforce it) is for time alone for me (man they can talk!) or simply for some quiet time with Iain. I find he enjoys the time alone with me (don't get me wrong ADORES his girls and spends time everyday playing with them) but he really likes to have time alone, just with me, which two little girls don't quite get yet … lol
BTW please feel free to not answer this, feel a bit rude asking but I just find this is one area I have to juggle sometimes. I can sometimes find myself putting my girls needs ahead of my mans and need to remind myself now and then to keep "stoking the relationship fire" … lol
There's no problem asking this question! I think you are so right: 'my man and me' time is very important. Andy and I always spend an hour together alone after dinner, so we can chat and catch up with the day's news. We can always retreat into our bedroom if the kids insist on hanging around, but usually we just say we need a little quiet time. We don't wait until the kids have gone to bed to have time together, because I am an early to bed person. Andy usually works to a late hour, preparing school lessons, and I couldn't possibly manage to stay awake until he is ready to go to bed. Not ideal but just the way it is.
We always make sure we have time alone at the weekends. Every Saturday afternoon we'll go somewhere together, maybe have lunch out or coffee. We take time on Sundays to sit and chat. Our children get plenty of time with dad so they are happy to go off and let me have him to myself. Actually, they sometimes say to Andy, "You need to take Mum out for coffee." They recognise it's important. Maybe as your girls get older they will 'get it' too!
I'm glad the girls helped you have some rest xxx
I was spoilt! I hope you get some similar rest tomorrow. I imagine you need it!
Oh to have such order and self-motivation/discipline in my home. Inspiring.
I wrote this post as one in a series. We were discussing the need or otherwise for rules, in order to encourage order and discipline in our children. Of course I have also had many disorganised days in our years of homeschooling. I hope you will read my posts about tired mothers and difficult days (there's a label in the side-bar) so you get a balanced picture. Inspiring… maybe. But I wouldn't want to give anyone the impression that we live a perfect life. Typical days change over time. At the moment life is very easy compared to when we had little children in the family. We just persevered through the more difficult times and yes, life has ended up relatively tranquil! I'm sure that's the way it is for many long term homeschoolers.
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I'm Sue Elvis, an Australian author, blogger, podcaster, and Youtuber. I love writing and speaking about unschooling, parenting and family life. I’m passionate about unconditional love.
I’ve written three unschooling books, Curious Unschoolers , Radical Unschool Love , and The Unschool Challenge , and three children’s novels. You'll find my books on Amazon!
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A Day Without Rules
September 4, 2017 by D. A. Wolf 3 Comments
It wasn’t just about six weeks of dieting, or the rigorous discipline required of a new project, or the usual activities of daily life that require paperwork and phone calls and more paperwork and more phone calls. It was a whole host of things coming together all at once; I needed a day without rules. And this past weekend, I took it.
I put down my proverbial pen. I shed the constraints of a drag-on diet. I allowed my mind to wander, old movies to amuse me, and some of my favorite books to find their way back into my hands.
How Do You Relax?
What about you? When you feel yourself on the edge of a dense, pressing excess of Things To Do though you know you need to refuel and re-center, then what?
Do you call a few friends and coordinate an impromptu get-together? Do you grab a map — yes, an actual paper map — and head off down the road for a spontaneous adventure?
Do you allow yourself a walk through nature? Would you prefer to meander in the mall? Are you happier taking to the crowded city to enjoy the pulse of its population and the aromas of its food trucks?
Might you, like me, curl up in the quiet somewhere to take solace in stories of unusual characters and faraway places?
Doesn’t the way that you take time for yourself change based on where you are and with whom? Isn’t your “day without rules” different at age 25 than it would be at age 35, or for that matter, 15 or 65? What is the compelling reason that you need your day off, and doesn’t that reason direct you toward a varied Rx for how to spend it?
If you manage to take your day without rules because stress is crushing you, won’t you be more efficient, more effective, and more productive after a genuine break from your norm? Aren’t you, well… nicer? Happier? Refueled?
Some of us pride ourselves on very old school, much lauded, typically American “work ethic” values: focus, determination, persistence. And discipline? As an independent worker, if you don’t have discipline — self-discipline — you can forget it. You must be able to effectively (and naturally?) create structure within which to work where no such imposed structure already exists.
Fortunately, that’s never been a problem for me. On the contrary; if anything, the opposite is more of a struggle. Discipline has been part of my life since… well, as long as I can remember. Consequently, casting the day’s and the week’s checklist out of my consciousness (and off my nagging virtual desk), even for a few hours, is nearly impossible.
Of course, for anyone who has read about, watched on the news, or is living through the recent devastation of hurricane Harvey (or any other monumental life event), the usual daily challenges pale in complexity and need. Tumultuous external events, especially disasters, remind us how much we depend on each other, how much we take for granted, and how precious are our most fundamental gifts — loved ones, health, home, community.
Perspective Is Found When We Step Back
Sometimes, we just need to take a step back, to reassess, to give ourselves a day or even two without rules. We need to set aside the bills, the phone calls, the reading group assignment; we need to nix the newspaper, the weekend visit to an irritating aunt, the housework in a space that is already clean enough. We need to can the calorie counting (yes, just eat the ice cream), the three-mile run, and run to a quiet corner in the apartment or the house instead — to settle in with Frank Sinatra or Frank Langella, or maybe Fanny Price.
We need our angst-easing albums, our campy favorite films, our familiar words in novels that give us consistent comfort. There is little, really, that can’t be put away for an afternoon or an evening now and then — in favor of something that refills the well.
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September 4, 2017 at 4:16 pm
Being without rules is a break only if 99.9% of the time you live with rules. Not everybody is like that or has that discipline. I’m more like you–routine orients me, work fulfills me, the three-mile run is no pleasure but going up stairs without panting is…. To me, a break, a day without rules, is probably reading all day, especially a really good novel that isn’t going to teach me anything.
September 4, 2017 at 8:00 pm
Relaxing with a glass of red wine ? and tuning into the silliness of Bachelor in Paradise on ABC 7pm central time, after a long weekend cleaning debris, climbing ladders trimming palm trees and repairing house damage of Hurricane Harvey!
September 12, 2017 at 9:42 am
Well….. Outlander has returned to STARZ, so I have my guilty pleasure back to help me relax. Glass of wine and gripping historical fiction! Perfect. Whether we call them “rules,” “obligations” or “expectation,” to feel overwhelmed by them serves the opposite goal from what they are intended. Order and discipline in life is necessary but there is no shame in ditching it all for a short time if we believe it’s necessary to mentally regroup and refresh. Well said, my friend. xo
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Could we live in a world without rules?
Professor of Behavioural Science, Warwick Business School, University of Warwick
Nick Chater receives funding from ESRC. He is a member of the UK Committee on Climate Change, and a director of DecisionTechnology, Ltd. He is the author of The Mind is Flat (2018) Penguin/Yale University Press.
University of Warwick provides funding as a founding partner of The Conversation UK.
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I’m in my late twenties and I’m feeling more and more constrained by rules. From the endless signs that tell me to “stand on the right” on escalators or “skateboarding forbidden” in public places to all those unwritten societal rules such as the expectation that I should settle down, buy a house and have a family. Do we really need all these rules, why should I follow them and what would happen if we all ignored them? Will, 28, London
We all feel the oppressive presence of rules, both written and unwritten – it’s practically a rule of life. Public spaces, organisations, dinner parties, even relationships and casual conversations are rife with regulations and red tape that seemingly are there to dictate our every move. We rail against rules being an affront to our freedom, and argue that they’re “there to be broken”.
But as a behavioural scientist I believe that it is not really rules, norms and customs in general that are the problem – but the unjustified ones. The tricky and important bit, perhaps, is establishing the difference between the two.
A good place to start is to imagine life in a world without rules. Apart from our bodies following some very strict and complex biological laws , without which we’d all be doomed, the very words I’m writing now follow the rules of English. In Byronic moments of artistic individualism, I might dreamily think of liberating myself from them. But would this new linguistic freedom really do me any good or set my thoughts free?
This article is part of Life’s Big Questions The Conversation’s new series, co-published with BBC Future, seeks to answer our readers’ nagging questions about life, love, death and the universe. We work with professional researchers who have dedicated their lives to uncovering new perspectives on the questions that shape our lives.
Some – Lewis Carroll in his poem Jabberwocky , for example – have made a success of a degree of literary anarchy . But on the whole, breaking away from the rules of my language makes me not so much unchained as incoherent.
Byron was a notorious rule breaker in his personal life, but he was also a stickler for rhyme and meter . In his poem, When We Two Parted , for example, Byron writes about forbidden love, a love that broke the rules, but does do so by precisely following some well-established poetic laws. And many would argue it is all the more powerful for it:
In secret we met In silence I grieve, That thy heart could forget, Thy spirit deceive. If I should meet thee After long years, How should I greet thee?– With silence and tears.
Consider, too, how rules are the essence of sport, games and puzzles – even when their entire purpose is supposedly fun. The rules of chess , say, can trigger a tantrum if I want to “castle” to get out of check, but find that they say I can’t; or if I find your pawn getting to my side of the board and turning into a queen, rook, knight or bishop. Similarly, find me a football fan who hasn’t at least once raged against the offside rule.
But chess or football without rules wouldn’t be chess or football – they would be entirely formless and meaningless activities. Indeed, a game with no rules is no game at all.
Lots of the norms of everyday life perform precisely the same function as the rules of games – telling us what “moves” we can, and can’t, make. The conventions of “pleases” and “thank yous” that seem so irksome to young children are indeed arbitrary – but the fact that we have some such conventions, and perhaps critically that we agree what they are, is part of what makes our social interactions run smoothly.
And rules about driving on the left or the right, stopping at red lights, queuing, not littering, picking up our dog’s deposits and so on fall into the same category. They are the building blocks of a harmonious society.
The call of chaos
Of course, there has long been an appetite among some people for a less formalised society, a society without government, a world where individual freedom takes precedence: an anarchy.
The trouble with anarchy, though, is that it is inherently unstable – humans continually, and spontaneously, generate new rules governing behaviour, communication and economic exchange, and they do so as rapidly as old rules are dismantled.
A few decades ago, the generic pronoun in written language was widely assumed to be male: he/him/his. That rule has, quite rightly, largely been overturned. Yet it has also been replaced – not by an absence of rules, but by a different and broader set of rules governing our use of pronouns .
Or let’s return to the case of sport. A game may start by kicking a pig’s bladder from one end of a village to another, with ill-defined teams, and potentially riotous violence. But it ends up, after a few centuries, with a hugely complex rule book dictating every detail of the game. We even create international governing bodies to oversee them.
The political economist Elinor Ostrom (who shared the Noble Prize for economics in 2009) observed the same phenomenon of spontaneous rule construction when people had collectively to manage common resources such as common land, fisheries, or water for irrigation.
She found that people collectively construct rules about, say, how many cattle a person can graze, where, and when; who gets how much water, and what should be done when the resource is limited; who monitors whom, and which rules resolve disputes. These rules aren’t just invented by rulers and imposed from the top down – instead, they often arise, unbidden, from the needs of mutually agreeable social and economic interactions.
The urge to overturn stifling, unjust or simply downright pointless rules is entirely justified. But without some rules – and some tendency for us to stick to them – society would slide rapidly into pandemonium. Indeed, many social scientists would see our tendency to create, stick to, and enforce rules as the very foundation of social and economic life .
Our relationship with rules does seem to be unique to humans. Of course, many animals behave in highly ritualistic ways – for example, the bizarre and complex courtship dances of different species of bird of paradise – but these patterns are wired into their genes, not invented by past generations of birds. And, while humans establish and maintain rules by punishing rule violations , chimpanzees – our closest relatives – do not. Chimps may retaliate when their food is stolen but, crucially, they don’t punish food stealing in general – even if the victim is a close relative .
In humans, rules also take hold early. Experiments show that children , by the age of three, can be taught entirely arbitrary rules for playing a game. Not only that, when a “puppet” (controlled by an experimenter) arrives on the scene and begins to violate the rules, children will criticise the puppet, protesting with comments such as “You are doing that wrong!” They will even attempt to teach the puppet to do better.
Indeed, despite our protests to the contrary, rules seem hardwired into our DNA. In fact, our species’ ability to latch onto, and enforce, arbitrary rules is crucial to our success as a species . If each of us had to justify each rule from scratch (why we drive on the left in some countries, and on the right in others; why we say please and thank you), our minds would grind to a halt. Instead, we are able to learn the hugely complex systems of linguistic and social norms without asking too many questions – we simply absorb “the way we do things round here”.
Instruments of tyranny
But we must be careful – for this way tyranny also lies. Humans have a powerful sense of wanting to enforce, sometimes oppressive, patterns of behaviour – correct spelling, no stranded prepositions, no split infinitives, hats off in church, standing for the national anthem – irrespective of their justification. And while the shift from “This is what we all do” to “This is what we all ought to do” is a well-known ethical fallacy , it is deeply embedded in human psychology.
One danger is that rules can develop their own momentum: people can become so fervent about arbitrary rules of dress, dietary restrictions or the proper treatment of the sacred that they may exact the most extreme punishments to maintain them.
Political ideologues and religious fanatics often mete out such retribution – but so do repressive states, bullying bosses and coercive partners: the rules must be obeyed, just because they are the rules.
Not only that, but criticising rules or failing to enforce them (not to draw attention to a person wearing inappropriate dress, for example) becomes a transgression requiring punishment itself.
And then there’s “rule-creep”: rules just keep being added and extended, so that our individual liberty is increasingly curtailed. Planning restrictions, safety regulations and risk assessments can seem to accumulate endlessly and may extend their reach far beyond any initial intention.
Restrictions on renovating ancient buildings can be so stringent that no renovation is feasible and the buildings collapse; environmental assessments for new woodlands can be so severe that tree planting becomes almost impossible; regulations on drug discovery can be so arduous that a potentially valuable medicine is abandoned. The road to hell is not merely paved with good intentions, but edged with rules enforcing those good intentions, whatever the consequences.
Individuals, and societies, face a continual battle over rules – and we must be cautious about their purpose. So, yes, “ standing on the right ” on an escalator may speed up everyone’s commute to work – but be careful of conventions that have no obvious benefit to all, and especially those that discriminate, punish and condemn. The latter can become the instruments of tyranny
Rules, like good policing, should rely on our consent. So perhaps the best advice is mostly to follow rules, but always to ask why.
To get all of life’s big answers, join the hundreds of thousands of people who value evidence-based news by subscribing to our newsletter . You can send us your big questions by email at [email protected] and we’ll try to get a researcher or expert on the case.
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How to Write an Essay
Last Updated: September 21, 2023 Fact Checked
This article was co-authored by Christopher Taylor, PhD and by wikiHow staff writer, Megaera Lorenz, PhD . Christopher Taylor is an Adjunct Assistant Professor of English at Austin Community College in Texas. He received his PhD in English Literature and Medieval Studies from the University of Texas at Austin in 2014. There are 18 references cited in this article, which can be found at the bottom of the page. This article has been fact-checked, ensuring the accuracy of any cited facts and confirming the authority of its sources. This article has been viewed 7,855,239 times.
An essay is a common type of academic writing that you'll likely be asked to do in multiple classes. Before you start writing your essay, make sure you understand the details of the assignment so that you know how to approach the essay and what your focus should be. Once you've chosen a topic, do some research and narrow down the main argument(s) you'd like to make. From there, you'll need to write an outline and flesh out your essay, which should consist of an introduction, body, and conclusion. After your essay is drafted, spend some time revising it to ensure your writing is as strong as possible.
Understanding Your Assignment
- The compare/contrast essay , which focuses on analyzing the similarities and differences between 2 things, such as ideas, people, events, places, or works of art.
- The narrative essay , which tells a story.
- The argumentative essay , in which the writer uses evidence and examples to convince the reader of their point of view.
- The critical or analytical essay, which examines something (such as a text or work of art) in detail. This type of essay may attempt to answer specific questions about the subject or focus more generally on its meaning.
- The informative essay , that educates the reader about a topic.
- How long your essay should be
- Which citation style to use
- Formatting requirements, such as margin size , line spacing, and font size and type
Christopher Taylor, PhD
Christopher Taylor, Professor of English, tells us: "Most essays will contain an introduction, a body or discussion portion, and a conclusion. When assigned a college essay, make sure to check the specific structural conventions related to your essay genre , your field of study, and your professor's expectations."
- If you're doing a research-based essay , you might find some inspiration from reading through some of the major sources on the subject.
- For a critical essay, you might choose to focus on a particular theme in the work you're discussing, or analyze the meaning of a specific passage.
- If you're having trouble narrowing down your topic, your instructor might be able to provide guidance or inspiration.
Planning and Organizing Your Essay
- Academic books and journals tend to be good sources of information. In addition to print sources, you may be able to find reliable information in scholarly databases such as JSTOR and Google Scholar.
- You can also look for primary source documents, such as letters, eyewitness accounts, and photographs.
- Always evaluate your sources critically. Even research papers by reputable academics can contain hidden biases, outdated information, and simple errors or faulty logic.
Tip: In general, Wikipedia articles are not considered appropriate sources for academic writing. However, you may be able to find useful sources in the “References” section at the end of the article.
- You might find it helpful to write your notes down on individual note cards or enter them into a text document on your computer so you can easily copy, paste , and rearrange them however you like.
- Try organizing your notes into different categories so you can identify specific ideas you'd like to focus on. For example, if you're analyzing a short story , you might put all your notes on a particular theme or character together.
- For example, if your essay is about the factors that led to the end of the Bronze Age in the ancient Middle East, you might focus on the question, “What role did natural disasters play in the collapse of Late Bronze Age society?”
- One easy way to come up with a thesis statement is to briefly answer the main question you would like to address.
- For example, if the question is “What role did natural disasters play in the collapse of Late Bronze Age society?” then your thesis might be, “Natural disasters during the Late Bronze Age destabilized local economies across the region. This set in motion a series of mass migrations of different peoples, creating widespread conflict that contributed to the collapse of several major Bronze Age political centers.”
- When you write the outline, think about how you would like to organize your essay. For example, you might start with your strongest arguments and then move to the weakest ones. Or, you could begin with a general overview of the source you're analyzing and then move on to addressing the major themes, tone, and style of the work.
- Point 1, with supporting examples
- Point 2, with supporting examples
- Point 3, with supporting examples
- Major counter-argument(s) to your thesis
- Your rebuttals to the counter-argument(s)
Drafting the Essay
- For example, if you're writing a critical essay about a work of art, your introduction might start with some basic information about the work, such as who created it, when and where it was created, and a brief description of the work itself. From there, introduce the question(s) about the work you'd like to address and present your thesis.
- A strong introduction should also contain a brief transitional sentence that creates a link to the first point or argument you would like to make. For example, if you're discussing the use of color in a work of art, lead-in by saying you'd like to start with an overview of symbolic color use in contemporary works by other artists.
Tip: Some writers find it helpful to write the introduction after they've written the rest of the essay. Once you've written out your main points, it's easier to summarize the gist of your essay in a few introductory sentences.
- For example, your topic sentence might be something like, “Arthur Conan Doyle's Sherlock Holmes stories are among the many literary influences apparent in P. G. Wodehouse's Jeeves novels.” You could then back this up by quoting a passage that contains a reference to Sherlock Holmes.
- Try to show how the arguments in each paragraph link back to the main thesis of your essay.
- When creating transitions, transitional phrases can be helpful. For example, use words and phrases such as “In addition,” “Therefore,” “Similarly,” “Subsequently,” or “As a result.”
- For example, if you've just discussed the use of color to create contrast in a work of art, you might start the next paragraph with, “In addition to color, the artist also uses different line weights to distinguish between the more static and dynamic figures in the scene.”
- For example, if you're arguing that a particular kind of shrimp decorates its shell with red algae to attract a mate, you'll need to address the counterargument that the shell decoration is a warning to predators. You might do this by presenting evidence that the red shrimp are, in fact, more likely to get eaten than shrimp with undecorated shells.
- The way you cite your sources will vary depending on the citation style you're using. Typically, you'll need to include the name of the author, the title and publication date of the source, and location information such as the page number on which the information appears.
- In general, you don't need to cite common knowledge. For example, if you say, “A zebra is a type of mammal,” you probably won't need to cite a source.
- If you've cited any sources in the essay, you'll need to include a list of works cited (or a bibliography ) at the end.
- Keep your conclusion brief. While the appropriate length will vary based on the length of the essay, it should typically be no longer than 1-2 paragraphs.
- For example, if you're writing a 1,000-word essay, your conclusion should be about 4-5 sentences long.  X Research source
Revising the Essay
- If you don't have time to spend a couple of days away from your essay, at least take a few hours to relax or work on something else.
- Excessive wordiness
- Points that aren't explained enough
- Tangents or unnecessary information
- Unclear transitions or illogical organization
- Spelling , grammar , style, and formatting problems
- Inappropriate language or tone (e.g., slang or informal language in an academic essay)
- You might have to cut material from your essay in some places and add new material to others.
- You might also end up reordering some of the content of the essay if you think that helps it flow better.
- Read over each line slowly and carefully. It may be helpful to read each sentence out loud to yourself.
Tip: If possible, have someone else check your work. When you've been looking at your writing for too long, your brain begins to fill in what it expects to see rather than what's there, making it harder for you to spot mistakes.
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- ↑ https://www.yourdictionary.com/articles/essay-types
- ↑ https://students.unimelb.edu.au/academic-skills/resources/essay-writing/six-top-tips-for-writing-a-great-essay
- ↑ https://owl.purdue.edu/owl/general_writing/common_writing_assignments/research_papers/choosing_a_topic.html
- ↑ https://writingcenter.fas.harvard.edu/tips-reading-assignment-prompt
- ↑ https://library.unr.edu/help/quick-how-tos/writing/integrating-sources-into-your-paper
- ↑ https://advice.writing.utoronto.ca/researching/notes-from-research/
- ↑ https://writingcenter.fas.harvard.edu/pages/developing-thesis
- ↑ https://writingcenter.fas.harvard.edu/pages/outlining
- ↑ https://lsa.umich.edu/sweetland/undergraduates/writing-guides/how-do-i-write-an-intro--conclusion----body-paragraph.html
- ↑ https://owl.purdue.edu/owl/general_writing/academic_writing/essay_writing/argumentative_essays.html
- ↑ https://writingcenter.unc.edu/tips-and-tools/transitions/
- ↑ https://lsa.umich.edu/sweetland/undergraduates/writing-guides/how-do-i-incorporate-a-counter-argument.html
- ↑ https://www.plagiarism.org/article/how-do-i-cite-sources
- ↑ https://writingcenter.unc.edu/tips-and-tools/conclusions/
- ↑ https://www.utsc.utoronto.ca/twc/sites/utsc.utoronto.ca.twc/files/resource-files/Intros-Conclusions.pdf
- ↑ https://owl.purdue.edu/owl/general_writing/the_writing_process/proofreading/steps_for_revising.html
- ↑ https://open.lib.umn.edu/writingforsuccess/chapter/8-4-revising-and-editing/
- ↑ https://writing.ku.edu/writing-process
About This Article
If you need to write an essay, start by gathering information from reputable sources, like books from the library or scholarly journals online. Take detailed notes and keep track of which facts come from which sources. As you're taking notes, look for a central theme that you're interested in writing about to create your thesis statement. Then, organize your notes into an outline that supports and explains your thesis statement. Working from your outline, write an introduction and subsequent paragraphs to address each major point. Start every paragraph with a topic sentence that briefly explains the main point of that paragraph. Finally, finish your paper with a strong conclusion that sums up the most important points. For tips from our English Professor co-author on helpful revision techniques, keep reading! Did this summary help you? Yes No
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13 Rules for Writing Good Essays
To write a good essay, you have to make your message clear..
Posted March 7, 2018 | Reviewed by Jessica Schrader
To write a good university essay you have to make your message clear. This means organizing your key points, supporting them with a series of evidence-based arguments, and wrapping it all up at the end so the reader knows what they've learned. To do this well, you need to take the reader's perspective. If you can see what might trip them up as they read your work, then you can avoid pitfalls that will confuse or bore them. Here are some tips to help you avoid the easy pitfalls. Once understood, these rules can be broken. But if you're unclear on how to approach your writing, these tips can help.
1. Your opening paragraph should clearly describe what you are going to discuss in the essay. These three things are vital: What’s the thesis (or problem), why is it important, and how are you going to address it? If you have each of those items in your opening paragraph your reader will know what they are reading, why they are reading it, and what they can expect to get out of it.
2. Organize the essay so that it covers a set list of subtopics that each support your main thesis. If it's a long essay, you should break it up into sections with headings that focus on specific subtopics. Introduce these topics in the opening paragraph of the essay (see 1 above). Overall, you want to organize information so it is easy to understand and remember.
3. Start paragraphs with opening sentences that explain what the paragraph is going to say. Then write sentences that follow one from the other and are easy to read. Avoid paragraphs that are too long, that read like lists, or that have no main thesis. Summarize complex paragraphs with concise sentences that explain what the paragraph said.
4. Create transitions between paragraphs so that one paragraph follows from the next. You are trying to make it all easy to understand for your reader. The more organized your writing, the more clearly you will understand and communicate your own ideas.
5. Make your sentences work. Avoid long sentences. When in doubt, break long sentences into smaller sentences. Avoid sentences that are repetitive and don't provide new information. Throw away weak and empty sentences ("Angioplasty is an important procedure." "Emotions are a central element in people's lives."). Sentences also need to be crystal clear. You can check for clarity by making sure they read well. Read them out loud to yourself or have someone else read them out loud to you.
6. Explain novel terms (jargon) when you introduce them . Don’t assume your reader knows what terms mean. Avoid jargon except where it communicates key concepts. Imagine the reader knows less about the topic than you do.
7. In science writing, you can use synonyms for key concepts only when you are first explaining them. After that, use the same word every time to refer to the idea. For example, you might want to write, 'affect,' and then 'emotions,' and then 'feelings.' If you use different words every time you refer to an idea, your reader will get confused. Define a term and then use it consistently.
8. Be careful when you use words like ‘this’ or ‘that’ or ‘their’ or ‘those’ or 'these' or 'they.' These words are often not as tightly connected to what they reference as you think. Check every one of them and see if you can rewrite it more clearly. When you use *these* words carelessly, your reader will need to think more to understand what you are referring to. *That* will break the flow and make it harder to understand what you're actually try to say. *They* (the readers) won't know who you're referring to. By simply stating what you are referring to specifically, you make your writing clear. It is better to be repetitive than unclear.
9. Use concrete information. Concrete information is powerful, is appealing, it is easier to understand, and it sticks in people's memory . Concrete information includes things like examples, statistics, quotes, facts, and other details. The more sentences that go by without communicating new concrete information or ideas that develop your thesis, the more likely your reader is to get bored .
10. If you have an interesting idea, check to see if someone else has already had it. If they have, cite them. Chances are someone has at least hinted at your clever insight, and you can use them as a springboard to say something even more interesting. This will demonstrate scholarship and an understanding of the broader context.
11. Make sure everything is relevant. Don’t include random facts that are not relevant. Don't include extra words that you don't need ("actually," "very," "in many ways," "the fact that"). Don't include paragraphs that have lots of cool facts if they aren't related to your central thesis. These slow down your reader and confuse them because they expect to hear content that is related to your theme. After you write a first draft (where you are just trying to get ideas down on paper), see what you can cut out to focus your argument on what matters.
12. The very best essays provide their own critique. End with something like this before the final summary: Provide criticism of your key point (appropriately referenced). Then provide criticism of the criticizer that you referenced (with another reference). If you can do this well, then in most instances you will have demonstrated thorough understanding of the issues. After this, provide your conclusion.
13. In the conclusion, take a position, make a prediction, or propose some future actions (an experiment, an implication, a new question to be addressed, etc). Summarize your thesis and the evidence you’ve provided in a concise way without being wishy-washy.
You might also be interested in my top 10 job interview tips or top 10 science-based study skills.
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- How to structure an essay: Templates and tips
How to Structure an Essay | Tips & Templates
Published on September 18, 2020 by Jack Caulfield . Revised on July 23, 2023.
The basic structure of an essay always consists of an introduction , a body , and a conclusion . But for many students, the most difficult part of structuring an essay is deciding how to organize information within the body.
Table of contents
The basics of essay structure, chronological structure, compare-and-contrast structure, problems-methods-solutions structure, signposting to clarify your structure, other interesting articles, frequently asked questions about essay structure.
There are two main things to keep in mind when working on your essay structure: making sure to include the right information in each part, and deciding how you’ll organize the information within the body.
Parts of an essay
The three parts that make up all essays are described in the table below.
Order of information
You’ll also have to consider how to present information within the body. There are a few general principles that can guide you here.
The first is that your argument should move from the simplest claim to the most complex . The body of a good argumentative essay often begins with simple and widely accepted claims, and then moves towards more complex and contentious ones.
For example, you might begin by describing a generally accepted philosophical concept, and then apply it to a new topic. The grounding in the general concept will allow the reader to understand your unique application of it.
The second principle is that background information should appear towards the beginning of your essay . General background is presented in the introduction. If you have additional background to present, this information will usually come at the start of the body.
The third principle is that everything in your essay should be relevant to the thesis . Ask yourself whether each piece of information advances your argument or provides necessary background. And make sure that the text clearly expresses each piece of information’s relevance.
The sections below present several organizational templates for essays: the chronological approach, the compare-and-contrast approach, and the problems-methods-solutions approach.
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The chronological approach (sometimes called the cause-and-effect approach) is probably the simplest way to structure an essay. It just means discussing events in the order in which they occurred, discussing how they are related (i.e. the cause and effect involved) as you go.
A chronological approach can be useful when your essay is about a series of events. Don’t rule out other approaches, though—even when the chronological approach is the obvious one, you might be able to bring out more with a different structure.
Explore the tabs below to see a general template and a specific example outline from an essay on the invention of the printing press.
- Thesis statement
- Discussion of event/period
- Importance of topic
- Strong closing statement
- Claim that the printing press marks the end of the Middle Ages
- Background on the low levels of literacy before the printing press
- Thesis statement: The invention of the printing press increased circulation of information in Europe, paving the way for the Reformation
- High levels of illiteracy in medieval Europe
- Literacy and thus knowledge and education were mainly the domain of religious and political elites
- Consequence: this discouraged political and religious change
- Invention of the printing press in 1440 by Johannes Gutenberg
- Implications of the new technology for book production
- Consequence: Rapid spread of the technology and the printing of the Gutenberg Bible
- Trend for translating the Bible into vernacular languages during the years following the printing press’s invention
- Luther’s own translation of the Bible during the Reformation
- Consequence: The large-scale effects the Reformation would have on religion and politics
- Summarize the history described
- Stress the significance of the printing press to the events of this period
Essays with two or more main subjects are often structured around comparing and contrasting . For example, a literary analysis essay might compare two different texts, and an argumentative essay might compare the strengths of different arguments.
There are two main ways of structuring a compare-and-contrast essay: the alternating method, and the block method.
In the alternating method, each paragraph compares your subjects in terms of a specific point of comparison. These points of comparison are therefore what defines each paragraph.
The tabs below show a general template for this structure, and a specific example for an essay comparing and contrasting distance learning with traditional classroom learning.
- Synthesis of arguments
- Topical relevance of distance learning in lockdown
- Increasing prevalence of distance learning over the last decade
- Thesis statement: While distance learning has certain advantages, it introduces multiple new accessibility issues that must be addressed for it to be as effective as classroom learning
- Classroom learning: Ease of identifying difficulties and privately discussing them
- Distance learning: Difficulty of noticing and unobtrusively helping
- Classroom learning: Difficulties accessing the classroom (disability, distance travelled from home)
- Distance learning: Difficulties with online work (lack of tech literacy, unreliable connection, distractions)
- Classroom learning: Tends to encourage personal engagement among students and with teacher, more relaxed social environment
- Distance learning: Greater ability to reach out to teacher privately
- Sum up, emphasize that distance learning introduces more difficulties than it solves
- Stress the importance of addressing issues with distance learning as it becomes increasingly common
- Distance learning may prove to be the future, but it still has a long way to go
In the block method, each subject is covered all in one go, potentially across multiple paragraphs. For example, you might write two paragraphs about your first subject and then two about your second subject, making comparisons back to the first.
The tabs again show a general template, followed by another essay on distance learning, this time with the body structured in blocks.
- Point 1 (compare)
- Point 2 (compare)
- Point 3 (compare)
- Point 4 (compare)
- Advantages: Flexibility, accessibility
- Disadvantages: Discomfort, challenges for those with poor internet or tech literacy
- Advantages: Potential for teacher to discuss issues with a student in a separate private call
- Disadvantages: Difficulty of identifying struggling students and aiding them unobtrusively, lack of personal interaction among students
- Advantages: More accessible to those with low tech literacy, equality of all sharing one learning environment
- Disadvantages: Students must live close enough to attend, commutes may vary, classrooms not always accessible for disabled students
- Advantages: Ease of picking up on signs a student is struggling, more personal interaction among students
- Disadvantages: May be harder for students to approach teacher privately in person to raise issues
An essay that concerns a specific problem (practical or theoretical) may be structured according to the problems-methods-solutions approach.
This is just what it sounds like: You define the problem, characterize a method or theory that may solve it, and finally analyze the problem, using this method or theory to arrive at a solution. If the problem is theoretical, the solution might be the analysis you present in the essay itself; otherwise, you might just present a proposed solution.
The tabs below show a template for this structure and an example outline for an essay about the problem of fake news.
- Introduce the problem
- Provide background
- Describe your approach to solving it
- Define the problem precisely
- Describe why it’s important
- Indicate previous approaches to the problem
- Present your new approach, and why it’s better
- Apply the new method or theory to the problem
- Indicate the solution you arrive at by doing so
- Assess (potential or actual) effectiveness of solution
- Describe the implications
- Problem: The growth of “fake news” online
- Prevalence of polarized/conspiracy-focused news sources online
- Thesis statement: Rather than attempting to stamp out online fake news through social media moderation, an effective approach to combating it must work with educational institutions to improve media literacy
- Definition: Deliberate disinformation designed to spread virally online
- Popularization of the term, growth of the phenomenon
- Previous approaches: Labeling and moderation on social media platforms
- Critique: This approach feeds conspiracies; the real solution is to improve media literacy so users can better identify fake news
- Greater emphasis should be placed on media literacy education in schools
- This allows people to assess news sources independently, rather than just being told which ones to trust
- This is a long-term solution but could be highly effective
- It would require significant organization and investment, but would equip people to judge news sources more effectively
- Rather than trying to contain the spread of fake news, we must teach the next generation not to fall for it
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Signposting means guiding the reader through your essay with language that describes or hints at the structure of what follows. It can help you clarify your structure for yourself as well as helping your reader follow your ideas.
The essay overview
In longer essays whose body is split into multiple named sections, the introduction often ends with an overview of the rest of the essay. This gives a brief description of the main idea or argument of each section.
The overview allows the reader to immediately understand what will be covered in the essay and in what order. Though it describes what comes later in the text, it is generally written in the present tense . The following example is from a literary analysis essay on Mary Shelley’s Frankenstein .
Transition words and phrases are used throughout all good essays to link together different ideas. They help guide the reader through your text, and an essay that uses them effectively will be much easier to follow.
Various different relationships can be expressed by transition words, as shown in this example.
Because Hitler failed to respond to the British ultimatum, France and the UK declared war on Germany. Although it was an outcome the Allies had hoped to avoid, they were prepared to back up their ultimatum in order to combat the existential threat posed by the Third Reich.
Transition sentences may be included to transition between different paragraphs or sections of an essay. A good transition sentence moves the reader on to the next topic while indicating how it relates to the previous one.
… Distance learning, then, seems to improve accessibility in some ways while representing a step backwards in others.
However , considering the issue of personal interaction among students presents a different picture.
If you want to know more about AI tools , college essays , or fallacies make sure to check out some of our other articles with explanations and examples or go directly to our tools!
- Ad hominem fallacy
- Post hoc fallacy
- Appeal to authority fallacy
- False cause fallacy
- Sunk cost fallacy
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The structure of an essay is divided into an introduction that presents your topic and thesis statement , a body containing your in-depth analysis and arguments, and a conclusion wrapping up your ideas.
The structure of the body is flexible, but you should always spend some time thinking about how you can organize your essay to best serve your ideas.
An essay isn’t just a loose collection of facts and ideas. Instead, it should be centered on an overarching argument (summarized in your thesis statement ) that every part of the essay relates to.
The way you structure your essay is crucial to presenting your argument coherently. A well-structured essay helps your reader follow the logic of your ideas and understand your overall point.
Comparisons in essays are generally structured in one of two ways:
- The alternating method, where you compare your subjects side by side according to one specific aspect at a time.
- The block method, where you cover each subject separately in its entirety.
It’s also possible to combine both methods, for example by writing a full paragraph on each of your topics and then a final paragraph contrasting the two according to a specific metric.
You should try to follow your outline as you write your essay . However, if your ideas change or it becomes clear that your structure could be better, it’s okay to depart from your essay outline . Just make sure you know why you’re doing so.
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How To Write An Essay: Beginner Tips And Tricks
Many students dread writing essays, but essay writing is an important skill to develop in high school, university, and even into your future career. By learning how to write an essay properly, the process can become more enjoyable and you’ll find you’re better able to organize and articulate your thoughts.
When writing an essay, it’s common to follow a specific pattern, no matter what the topic is. Once you’ve used the pattern a few times and you know how to structure an essay, it will become a lot more simple to apply your knowledge to every essay.
No matter which major you choose, you should know how to craft a good essay. Here, we’ll cover the basics of essay writing, along with some helpful tips to make the writing process go smoothly.
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Types of Essays
Think of an essay as a discussion. There are many types of discussions you can have with someone else. You can be describing a story that happened to you, you might explain to them how to do something, or you might even argue about a certain topic.
When it comes to different types of essays, it follows a similar pattern. Like a friendly discussion, each type of essay will come with its own set of expectations or goals.
For example, when arguing with a friend, your goal is to convince them that you’re right. The same goes for an argumentative essay.
Here are a few of the main essay types you can expect to come across during your time in school:
This type of essay is almost like telling a story, not in the traditional sense with dialogue and characters, but as if you’re writing out an event or series of events to relay information to the reader.
Here, your goal is to persuade the reader about your views on a specific topic.
This is the kind of essay where you go into a lot more specific details describing a topic such as a place or an event.
In this essay, you’re choosing a stance on a topic, usually controversial, and your goal is to present evidence that proves your point is correct.
Your purpose with this type of essay is to tell the reader how to complete a specific process, often including a step-by-step guide or something similar.
Compare and Contrast Essay
You might have done this in school with two different books or characters, but the ultimate goal is to draw similarities and differences between any two given subjects.
The Main Stages of Essay Writing
When it comes to writing an essay, many students think the only stage is getting all your ideas down on paper and submitting your work. However, that’s not quite the case.
There are three main stages of writing an essay, each one with its own purpose. Of course, writing the essay itself is the most substantial part, but the other two stages are equally as important.
So, what are these three stages of essay writing? They are:
Before you even write one word, it’s important to prepare the content and structure of your essay. If a topic wasn’t assigned to you, then the first thing you should do is settle on a topic. Next, you want to conduct your research on that topic and create a detailed outline based on your research. The preparation stage will make writing your essay that much easier since, with your outline and research, you should already have the skeleton of your essay.
Writing is the most time-consuming stage. In this stage, you will write out all your thoughts and ideas and craft your essay based on your outline. You’ll work on developing your ideas and fleshing them out throughout the introduction, body, and conclusion (more on these soon).
In the final stage, you’ll go over your essay and check for a few things. First, you’ll check if your essay is cohesive, if all the points make sense and are related to your topic, and that your facts are cited and backed up. You can also check for typos, grammar and punctuation mistakes, and formatting errors.
The Five-Paragraph Essay
We mentioned earlier that essay writing follows a specific structure, and for the most part in academic or college essays , the five-paragraph essay is the generally accepted structure you’ll be expected to use.
The five-paragraph essay is broken down into one introduction paragraph, three body paragraphs, and a closing paragraph. However, that doesn’t always mean that an essay is written strictly in five paragraphs, but rather that this structure can be used loosely and the three body paragraphs might become three sections instead.
Let’s take a closer look at each section and what it entails.
As the name implies, the purpose of your introduction paragraph is to introduce your idea. A good introduction begins with a “hook,” something that grabs your reader’s attention and makes them excited to read more.
Another key tenant of an introduction is a thesis statement, which usually comes towards the end of the introduction itself. Your thesis statement should be a phrase that explains your argument, position, or central idea that you plan on developing throughout the essay.
You can also include a short outline of what to expect in your introduction, including bringing up brief points that you plan on explaining more later on in the body paragraphs.
Here is where most of your essay happens. The body paragraphs are where you develop your ideas and bring up all the points related to your main topic.
In general, you’re meant to have three body paragraphs, or sections, and each one should bring up a different point. Think of it as bringing up evidence. Each paragraph is a different piece of evidence, and when the three pieces are taken together, it backs up your main point — your thesis statement — really well.
That being said, you still want each body paragraph to be tied together in some way so that the essay flows. The points should be distinct enough, but they should relate to each other, and definitely to your thesis statement. Each body paragraph works to advance your point, so when crafting your essay, it’s important to keep this in mind so that you avoid going off-track or writing things that are off-topic.
Many students aren’t sure how to write a conclusion for an essay and tend to see their conclusion as an afterthought, but this section is just as important as the rest of your work.
You shouldn’t be presenting any new ideas in your conclusion, but you should summarize your main points and show how they back up your thesis statement.
Essentially, the conclusion is similar in structure and content to the introduction, but instead of introducing your essay, it should be wrapping up the main thoughts and presenting them to the reader as a singular closed argument.
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Steps to Writing an Essay
Now that you have a better idea of an essay’s structure and all the elements that go into it, you might be wondering what the different steps are to actually write your essay.
Don’t worry, we’ve got you covered. Instead of going in blind, follow these steps on how to write your essay from start to finish.
Understand Your Assignment
When writing an essay for an assignment, the first critical step is to make sure you’ve read through your assignment carefully and understand it thoroughly. You want to check what type of essay is required, that you understand the topic, and that you pay attention to any formatting or structural requirements. You don’t want to lose marks just because you didn’t read the assignment carefully.
Research Your Topic
Once you understand your assignment, it’s time to do some research. In this step, you should start looking at different sources to get ideas for what points you want to bring up throughout your essay.
Search online or head to the library and get as many resources as possible. You don’t need to use them all, but it’s good to start with a lot and then narrow down your sources as you become more certain of your essay’s direction.
After research comes the brainstorming. There are a lot of different ways to start the brainstorming process . Here are a few you might find helpful:
- Think about what you found during your research that interested you the most
- Jot down all your ideas, even if they’re not yet fully formed
- Create word clouds or maps for similar terms or ideas that come up so you can group them together based on their similarities
- Try freewriting to get all your ideas out before arranging them
Create a Thesis
This is often the most tricky part of the whole process since you want to create a thesis that’s strong and that you’re about to develop throughout the entire essay. Therefore, you want to choose a thesis statement that’s broad enough that you’ll have enough to say about it, but not so broad that you can’t be precise.
Write Your Outline
Armed with your research, brainstorming sessions, and your thesis statement, the next step is to write an outline.
In the outline, you’ll want to put your thesis statement at the beginning and start creating the basic skeleton of how you want your essay to look.
A good way to tackle an essay is to use topic sentences . A topic sentence is like a mini-thesis statement that is usually the first sentence of a new paragraph. This sentence introduces the main idea that will be detailed throughout the paragraph.
If you create an outline with the topic sentences for your body paragraphs and then a few points of what you want to discuss, you’ll already have a strong starting point when it comes time to sit down and write. This brings us to our next step…
Write a First Draft
The first time you write your entire essay doesn’t need to be perfect, but you do need to get everything on the page so that you’re able to then write a second draft or review it afterward.
Everyone’s writing process is different. Some students like to write their essay in the standard order of intro, body, and conclusion, while others prefer to start with the “meat” of the essay and tackle the body, and then fill in the other sections afterward.
Make sure your essay follows your outline and that everything relates to your thesis statement and your points are backed up by the research you did.
Revise, Edit, and Proofread
The revision process is one of the three main stages of writing an essay, yet many people skip this step thinking their work is done after the first draft is complete.
However, proofreading, reviewing, and making edits on your essay can spell the difference between a B paper and an A.
After writing the first draft, try and set your essay aside for a few hours or even a day or two, and then come back to it with fresh eyes to review it. You might find mistakes or inconsistencies you missed or better ways to formulate your arguments.
Add the Finishing Touches
Finally, you’ll want to make sure everything that’s required is in your essay. Review your assignment again and see if all the requirements are there, such as formatting rules, citations, quotes, etc.
Go over the order of your paragraphs and make sure everything makes sense, flows well, and uses the same writing style .
Once everything is checked and all the last touches are added, give your essay a final read through just to ensure it’s as you want it before handing it in.
A good way to do this is to read your essay out loud since you’ll be able to hear if there are any mistakes or inaccuracies.
Essay Writing Tips
With the steps outlined above, you should be able to craft a great essay. Still, there are some other handy tips we’d recommend just to ensure that the essay writing process goes as smoothly as possible.
- Start your essay early. This is the first tip for a reason. It’s one of the most important things you can do to write a good essay. If you start it the night before, then you won’t have enough time to research, brainstorm, and outline — and you surely won’t have enough time to review.
- Don’t try and write it in one sitting. It’s ok if you need to take breaks or write it over a few days. It’s better to write it in multiple sittings so that you have a fresh mind each time and you’re able to focus.
- Always keep the essay question in mind. If you’re given an assigned question, then you should always keep it handy when writing your essay to make sure you’re always working to answer the question.
- Use transitions between paragraphs. In order to improve the readability of your essay, try and make clear transitions between paragraphs. This means trying to relate the end of one paragraph to the beginning of the next one so the shift doesn’t seem random.
- Integrate your research thoughtfully. Add in citations or quotes from your research materials to back up your thesis and main points. This will show that you did the research and that your thesis is backed up by it.
Writing an essay doesn’t need to be daunting if you know how to approach it. Using our essay writing steps and tips, you’ll have better knowledge on how to write an essay and you’ll be able to apply it to your next assignment. Once you do this a few times, it will become more natural to you and the essay writing process will become quicker and easier.
If you still need assistance with your essay, check with a student advisor to see if they offer help with writing. At University of the People(UoPeople), we always want our students to succeed, so our student advisors are ready to help with writing skills when necessary.
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Why Rules Are Important (Essay/Paper Sample)
Table of Contents
Why is it important to follow rules? Many of us turn away when the topic of conversation shifts to this. Whether it’s discomfort, fear, or stress, we need to address our negative connotations of these and remind ourselves that the rules in our life are not there to restrict us or make us miserable.
The custom essay below navigates the tricky topic of following rules and considers the many ways that abiding by them enables us to flourish.
For your own custom essay on this topic, consult with us so we can share with you our essay writing services .
Why Rules Are Important Essay
Rules refer to set guidelines that have been put in place in different countries and communities and have been accepted by all.
There are different types of policies, each of which is applied uniquely in the context of that country. The nuances reflect each culture’s set of beliefs about, policies, traditions, relationships, and governance.
There are various ways in which breaking these policies are approached, each with corresponding sets of penalties or consequences. Thus, policies are a useful tool in guiding and monitoring the interactions and relationships of humans in society.
Why Should People Obey Rules?
First, rules are important because they tend to protect weaker or more vulnerable populations who might be put at a disadvantage. When these are applied the right way, they provide a stable environment for people to co-exist, which leads to peace and development.
The process of establishing policies always identifies the direction in which the society is going. For example, policies in schools or any institution promote trust, fairness, and discipline in a bid to improve their students’ academic performance.
Second, rules are important because it is through them that law and order are maintained in any institution or country. As such, mandates in each country take into consideration the unique culture and heritage of the nation, as well as their revered customs and practices. They ensure that these are honored and respected in the process.
When people fail to follow policies, they need to face the consequences of their actions. While some penalties are minimal such as community service, others mirror the heaviness of the crime, which may include indefinite jail time.
Most people adhere to policies for fear of getting punished, but more importantly, to ensure their own safety. For example, if you don’t want to get hit by a speeding car, you need to follow traffic light regulations and only cross when the pedestrian light turns green. Until then, you have to wait for the countdown to finish.
As a way of maintaining these policies, many countries have decided to turn them into laws because they maintain the safety of their people and promote the well-being of society overall. There are also times when policies are adjusted when they don’t seem to be as effective. Sometimes, people may give feedback when these mandates restrict or interfere with their quality of life. Curfews, for instance, have a good goal in mind. However, to some people, they can seem limiting and mentally challenging.
All rules and regulations have the same purpose, which is to protect the lives of individuals and cultivate a society with good relationships. These mandates guide people by differentiating right from wrong. There are also many ways in which some of these policies are enforced on the people.
A country may employ some individuals to help enforce these policies. For instance, there are policemen who ensure peace in their assigned localities, and lawyers who prosecute rule-breakers and defend victims. In this way, implementing rules and regulations are supported by a network of professionals whose areas of expertise help carry the load.
In addition, apart from institutional rules, one may have his or her own personal policies at home and in life. Of course, people are not legally bound to follow their own rules, but they reflect their core values and convictions in life. To be truly authentic is to make it one’s aim to live by these personal rules. For instance, if you value your performance at work as well as your health, you will make it a point to sleep at a certain time to wake up refreshed.
At the end of the day, I maintain my stance on the importance of rules and regulations. While they don’t need to control or consume our lives, they provide a stable structure for society to function honorably. I just wish, however, that our authorities would always make it a point to review these policies on a regular basis to see if there are any that need to be updated to our present context.
Rules do not curtail people’s freedoms – they facilitate them with boundaries so that these freedoms are enjoyed without compromising other people.
Why Are Rules And Regulations Meant To Promote Discipline
Think about these questions How many devastating accidents happen each day because of breaking rules? How many lives are put at risk every hour because people don’t follow traffic rules? How many serious misunderstandings take place because people disrespect the laws of that particular nation?
These questions are meant to help us reflect on how regulations protect society from self-destructive habits. While we mostly perceive different rules as very negative things that ruin our day, rules are important because they provide a solid foundation and structure to our ways of life.
Imagine if everyone just did whatever they wanted to do without considering how it would affect other people. If we solely focused on our desired results without considering the moral dilemma that may sometimes accompany them, then it would be close to impossible to maintain order.
We need guidelines that we can all agree with to live harmoniously with one another. Policies always have the greater good in mind and that’s why we need them. Without a system in place, society would fail to be a place of growth for its citizens and no person will act in good conduct.
10 reasons why rules are important
- They make sure that everyone is equal, and no particular group is favored over another.
- They help society avoid chaos by ensuring that everyone goes through the same standard process to achieve something.
- They promote ownership and accountability through consequences.
- They bring together people and get them on a shared consensus despite their differences.
- They keep the well-being of society as a whole in mind.
- They don’t fixate on a specific norm but consider various local contexts and the ways a nation’s values and principles can be applied.
- They encourage a good relationship between the government and its people.
- They facilitate good and respectful conduct in public spheres.
- They take into consideration different situations and provide legal ways to address each one.
- They safeguard the community and its unique heritage and traditions.
Why are rules important for students?
School policies are important because they provide a safe space for students to maximize their education. It also protects the academic community by establishing boundaries for both learners and teachers. It enables educators to care for those under their wing with the utmost care. It allows relationships to form and be well-developed, which enhances the learning environment. It provides a platform for learners to expand their knowledge, which increases their chances of future success. School regulations keep in mind the total growth of the child and establish healthy ways in which it can be nurtured.
The librarian who couldn’t take it anymore
She loved books. and in a time of spreading book bans in public schools, that’s why this florida librarian had to quit..
Photographs by Thomas Simonetti
Deep Reads features The Washington Post’s best immersive reporting and narrative writing.
KISSIMMEE, Fla. — It was her last Monday morning in the library, and when Tania Galiñanes walked into her office and saw another box, she told herself that this would be the last one.
Inside were books. She didn’t know how many, or what they were, only that she would need to review each one by hand for age-appropriate material and sexual content as defined by Florida law, just as she’d been doing for months now with the 11,600 books on the shelves outside her door at Tohopekaliga High School.
Last box, and then after this week, she would no longer be a librarian at all.
She heard the first-period bell ring, 7:15 a.m. She’d wanted to get to the box right away, but now she saw one of the school administrators at her door, asking whether she’d heard about the latest education mandate in Florida.
“What’s the name of this thing?” he said. “Freedom Week?”
She exhaled loudly. “Freedom Week.”
“Oh, good,” he said. “You know about this.”
Yes, Tania knew about it. It was one more thing the state had asked of them, a mandatory recitation of parts of the Declaration of Independence “to reaffirm the American ideals of individual liberty,” along with something else she had heard from the district. “They asked us to please not celebrate Banned Books Week,” Tania said.
She was tired. Her husband was always reminding her: Tania, you have no sense of self-preservation. She had thought about pushing back against the district, had imagined putting up posters all over the walls from the American Library Association celebrating “freedom to read,” a final act before her last day on Friday. But even if she did put up the posters, who would be there to see them once she left? The library would be closed after this week, until they found someone to take her place.
Tania had planned to spend the rest of her career in the Osceola County School District. She was 51. She could have stayed for years at Tohopekaliga, a school she loved that had only just opened in 2018. The library was clean and new. The shelves were organized. The chairs had wheels that moved soundlessly across the carpet. The floor plan was open, designed by architects who had promised “the 21st century media center.”
That was before the school board meeting on April 5, 2022, when Tania watched parents read aloud from books they described as a danger to kids. It was before she received a phone call from the district, the day after that, instructing her to remove four books from her shelves. It was before a member of the conservative group Moms for Liberty told her on Facebook, a few days later, that she shouldn’t be allowed anywhere near students. It had been 18 months since then. Nine months since she had taken Florida’s new training for librarians, a mandatory hour-long video, and heard the state say that books in the library must not contain sexual content that could be “harmful to minors” and that violating this statute would result in a third-degree felony. “A crime,” the training had said. “Districts should err on the side of caution.” It had been seven months since she began collecting Florida’s laws and statutes in a purple folder on her desk, highlighting the sections that made her mad, and also the ones that could get her fired. Six months since she broke out in hives, since eczema crept up the side of her face, since she started having trouble sleeping and got a prescription for an anti-anxiety medication. Five months since she stood in her house crying and her husband said it wasn’t worth it anymore. He could work two jobs if he had to. “You need to quit,” he’d told her. Six weeks since the start of another school year. Five weeks since she had given her notice.
And sometime in the middle of all that, as she showed up every weekday at 7 a.m. and tried to focus on the job she had signed up for, which was, she thought, to help students discover a book to love, Tania could feel something shifting inside her 21st-century media center. The relationships between students and books, and parents and libraries, and teachers and the books they taught, and librarians and the job they did — all of it was changing in a place she thought had been designed to stay the same.
A library was a room with shelves and books. A library was a place to read.
Now the library, or at least this library, was a place where a librarian was about to leave. Tania took the first book out of the box. It had been sent over by a teacher who, like teachers throughout the school, was concerned that the books inside her classroom might be in violation of the law. She looked at the title: “Music for Sight Singing.” She took out another. “30 Songs for Voice and Piano.” She took out another. “Star Wars: A Musical Journey, Easy Piano.”
There was no sexual content to review here. Barely any content at all. She was looking at sheet music.
It should have been absurd, kneeling over a box of music she couldn’t read, sent over by a music teacher who wasn’t sure what she was allowed to have in her classroom. But now the library was a place where things like this happened.
The books went back in the box. The box went on a cart. Tania asked one of her student assistants to return it to the teacher’s classroom, and then she walked to her desk and to the purple folder.
Inside, there were printouts of 79 pages of Florida law and statute that told her how to think about what students should and should not read. One law made it easier for people to challenge books they believed contained sexual conduct or age-inappropriate material. Another defined that term, “sexual conduct,” in layer upon layer of clinical specificity.
When she had decided to become a librarian almost 10 years ago, it was for a simple reason: She loved to read. Now she watched as the work she did at a high school in Central Florida became part of a national debate. There were fights going on over democracy and fascism. There were parents and school board members arguing on social media and in meetings. Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis (R) wasn’t just passing laws but using them to run for president. To Tania, the pure act of reading was becoming more and more political, and as a result, she had to spend much of her time reviewing the books on her shelves — not to suggest one to a student but to ask herself whether the content was too mature for the teenagers at her school. Then she had moved on to the books in each teacher’s classroom, because as of this year, the state considered those books to be part of the library, too.
All of this took time. The librarian’s job was expanding even as she felt it was shrinking to a series of rote tasks: She would copy a book’s ISBN number into a peer-review database. She would decide whether to mark it with the thumb-size red sticker, provided to her by the district, that read “M” for “mature.” If a book wasn’t listed in a database, she would review it by hand, and then she would start again with the next book. In those hours, the job became a series of keystrokes, and she began to feel more like a censor than a librarian.
It wasn’t just Tania doing this. It was more than 1,400 librarians in all of Florida’s 67 counties, each district interpreting the law in its own way. In the panhandle, Escambia County had instructed its schools to close parts of their libraries entirely until every book on every shelf had been reviewed for sexual content. In Charlotte County, near Fort Myers, schools were told to remove any books with LGBTQ characters from elementary and middle school libraries.
Tania saw the headlines in other states, too: A new law in Iowa to prohibit library materials that include “depictions of a sex act.” A new plan in Houston to convert parts of some public school libraries into discipline centers for misbehaving students. Meanwhile, in Tania’s county, the public library had just eliminated late fees, as a means of attracting more readers. That was the whole idea, Tania had thought. But in schools, the whole idea was getting lost somewhere. Or at least that’s what she wanted to convey in January, when she wrote an email to the Florida Department of Education. She had just taken its mandatory library training. “Have we forgotten that students should be reading for pleasure?” she wrote.
It was about a month later that Tania started talking to another librarian, Erin Decker, about leaving the profession. Erin worked at a middle school and had an idea to open an independent bookstore. They didn’t know much about running a business. But then a crystal shop in downtown Kissimmee was closing, and they were putting in an application on the lease. And now, slowly, Tania was telling people at school about her decision.
“You’re leaving?” one of her favorite students asked her, dropping by between classes.
Tania put her hands on his shoulders. “Listen. Listen, my darling.”
He started to speak again, but Tania stopped him.
“This a good thing, all right?”
The first library Tania ever saw was the one at Academia Menonita, her school in San Juan, Puerto Rico. It wasn’t a big library, more of a room on the second floor, above the kindergarten classroom, up a steep set of stairs, where the librarian sat at her desk against the back wall, positioned where she could see everybody, anywhere in the room.
The school was Mennonite, and conservative. There was no dancing. The Mennonite parents didn’t drink. But there was never censorship. The library had an aspect of calm, an expanse that opened itself up to Tania every time she entered. She saw books in English and Spanish and shelves of novels. “This is what the world is like,” she remembered thinking.
In fourth grade, she discovered Judy Blume. “Are You There God? It’s Me, Margaret” taught her about menstruation. In sixth grade, she read “Deenie” and learned about masturbation. In seventh grade, she read “Tiger Eyes” and learned about physical intimacy. In high school, the books became more mature. She read “One Flew Over the Cuckoo’s Nest” and began to understand mental illness. She read a book about the serial killer Ted Bundy, “The Stranger Beside Me,” and imagined the dangers that might await her once she left home for college. On the cover, a picture of Bundy’s eyes, seeming to glow in the dark, scared her so much that when she finished the book, she threw it away.
Twenty years later, she was married, a mother of two daughters, and decisions about reading became personal in a new way. Her kids were in middle school, reading “Twilight,” and Tania asked them to hold off on the last book in the series, the one with a wedding-night scene, until they got to high school. A few years later, she became a librarian in a middle school, her first library job, and began making decisions about what was appropriate not just for her daughters but also for hundreds of students. She ordered a book for the library called “The Summer of Owen Todd,” a young-adult novel about an 11-year-old boy who is sexually assaulted by an older man, and she started having reservations. Would she want her kids to read it? There had to be a different way of thinking about it. What if there was a student here, right now, who was sexually assaulted by an adult they were told to trust? What if this book could help them? The book went back on the shelf.
“This is what the world is like,” she had thought as a student at Academia Menonita, and sometimes, when she asked herself what a library was, she wondered how she could give her students the feeling that she had been given, climbing the stairs to the second floor.
Now, 19 10th-graders at Tohopekaliga High School walked through the doors. “Okay, everybody, we’re here because you’re going to learn some very important things about the library,” said their teacher, Carmen Lorente.
Tania pointed to the left side of the room. Classics, dystopian, fantasy, historical fiction, horror, humor. She pointed to the right. Mystery, realistic fiction, romance, sci-fi, sports, supernatural. And over there — far corner of the room — 153 graphic novels. She kept going. Nonfiction, careers. 11,600 books, 6,000 e-books.
A boy yawned. Another slumped in his chair, forehead on his laptop, eyes shut. “I’m gonna let you guys explore now,” Tania said, but no one moved. At a table in the back, a girl held up a compact mirror and applied lip gloss. Slowly, four kids walked to the graphic novels. Alone, a girl walked to the romance shelf. At Lorente’s urging, a group of students walked to the careers section and stood in silence until one of them took a cookbook from the shelf.
“Miss,” one of the 10th-grade boys told his teacher, “I can’t read.”
“You can read.”
“It gives me a headache.”
“You can read,” Lorente said. “It’s just the mind-set.”
“Any questions on how to find a book?” Tania asked.
“Guys, get up. Walk around,” Lorente said. “Look at books. It’s not a chitchat session. You need to be up and actively looking at books.”
She saw a girl leaning against a table and pointed to the shelf at hip level behind her. “I challenge you to pick up a book,” Lorente said. “Any book. And read it and see what happens.”
“Oh, I can pick up a book,” the girl replied. She walked to the realistic fiction section, put her index finger on the spine of a novel, pulled it halfway from the shelf, then released it back into place. “See? I picked up a book.”
“No, pick it up and read it,” Lorente said. “What kind of things do you like? Fantasy? Historical fiction?”
“Nothing. I like nothing.”
The bell rang. The conversation about reading was over.
“They’re good kids,” Lorente told Tania, but Tania didn’t need to be told. She thought of the other students who were already past the tour she had just given: The girl who had read and returned three books already this week. The boy who had pointed to the cover of “Dear Martin,” a young-adult book about police profiling, and had said to Tania, “This kid looks like me.”
Now the library was quiet again. Somewhere else in the school, interviews were going on for her replacement. Three candidates were coming in. The principal had asked Tania to send him interview questions. She emailed her district supervisor for ideas and received a document in her inbox, the list of questions they kept on file.
“What do you see as the role of the librarian in the school setting?”
“What kind of library attracts students, staff and parents?”
Nothing about the laws, nothing about reviewing books, nothing about book bans at all. Tania scrolled through the questions and added one more. “What is your stance on Censorship?” she wrote, though she had no way of knowing whether it would be asked, or how the next librarian might answer.
She returned to her desk and called Erin, whose last day was also on Friday.
“I was just thinking about you,” Erin said. She told Tania what her day had been like — sick teachers, being called on to supervise sixth-grade lunch. “And sixth-graders, oh my God. I’m just gonna put this out there: It was corn dog and banana day. Sixth-grade boys. But I was thinking, I’m going to miss these kids, even though I hate lunch duty.”
“And I was like, ‘I wonder if Tania is feeling all the emotions like I am this week?’” Erin said.
“Actually, yes,” Tania said, “I am.”
“Hey, sweetie,” she said as the students walked past her.
It was her last day.
“Hi, guys. Remember — no electronics.”
“Hi, guys. Remember — no food, no open containers, no cellphones.”
They nodded. They smiled. They walked past her.
Did they know she was leaving?
Now the room was full, and Tania said, loud enough for everyone to hear, “Today’s my last day, so check out everything you need.”
“If you’re going to check out a book, do it today and do it in the next five minutes,” she said again.
“Do you want to check out more than one book?” she asked a student carrying a graphic novel to the circulation desk. “This is my last day, and my replacement won’t start for a while.” He turned around and came back with five more.
“Are you really leaving?” another boy asked.
“Yes,” Tania said.
She tried to think of a simple answer.
“I’m opening a bookstore,” she said.
So they knew she was leaving, but did they know why? Did they know what was happening in Florida? Some of the students may have, because their parents had asked the school to restrict their access to the library. There were three students at Tohopekaliga who had no library access at all. Last year, there were 45 students with restricted access. They weren’t allowed to check out any of the books Tania had labeled “M” for mature. This year, the number was higher: 84 kids.
Now she recognized one of them walking toward the circulation desk, a girl with a graphic novel tucked under her arm.
She scanned the student’s ID. “Limited Access,” she saw on the screen. Tania checked the front cover of the book, then the back, then the spine. No “M” sticker.
“Okay, sweetie,” she said, and the girl walked to a couch and began to read.
It was the last book she checked out. The bell rang. Tania watched as the girl walked out of the library, the book still in her hand, one finger holding her place.
A few hours from now, she would have a conversation with Erin about this strange day.
“I didn’t cry until I turned my keys in,” Erin would say.
“They gave me a card and flowers, and that’s when I cried,” Tania would say.
They would tell each other about the gifts people had made for them, the cards, the flowers, the cake, the lemon meringue pie. Last first period, last lunch period. Erin would tell Tania that her assistant principal asked her three times whether she had changed her mind about leaving. Tania would say her assistant principal asked her to say something on the systemwide radio, and what she said was “Mrs. G signing off. Media center closed until further notice.” They would sit in the store they had just leased, the crystal shop in Kissimmee that was becoming a bookstore. There were no books yet on the shelves, but there would be soon. Every book they could afford. Any book at all.
“So, how do you feel?” Tania would ask Erin, because it had been hard to pin down, the feeling that she had as she left Tohopekaliga High School for the last time.
She had wanted to leave on her own terms. But as she walked out, she wasn’t sure that was what she had done.
Lights out. Doors locked.
This 21st-century media center was now closed and would remain so until a new librarian walked in and saw what awaited: 11,600 books on the shelves, and, on the desk, one purple folder containing 79 pages of Florida laws and a short note from the previous librarian.
“You might find this helpful,” it read.