The process work we’re advocating here is multistaged, iterative, messy work.The student may move from the text to questions to freewriting or brainstorming to drafting, then go back to the text and so on, deepening her analysis by asking questions.A little while back, we wrote an essay arguing against killing off the undergraduate essay.
But what we’ve just described is a finalessay -- that is, a product.
And essays don’t emerge, fully formed, like Athena from Zeus’s head.
Compare and contrast essays are taught in school for many reasons.
For one thing, they are relatively easy to teach, understand, and format.
And that means she’ll have to revise and rethink and ask more questions.
She’ll come to her overall claim, introduction and conclusion from her discoveries -- not the other way around.
Some writers argued for the five-paragraph essay or other formulaic models, on the grounds that clear expectations at least give underprepared students something to work with.
Others advocated replacing the essay with more “real-world” forms that would force students to think in fresh ways.
No student (no writer, really) can create such an essay in one draft.
To get there, we tell our students, they’ll need a meaningful, effective, multistep writing .