The Value of Essay Writing Skills

By eLearning Inside
October 29, 2020

Writing education, a precursor to the literary teachings of advanced high school classes and a variety of college majors or electives, begins in kindergarten. Children learn the alphabet, they learn to read, and practice their penmanship on papers with lines that have been divided like roads. Then they learn to string letters and words together into a sentence, a paragraph — pages upon pages every day till every student knows the difference between a run-on and a sentence fragment. And then, only upon completion of this task, they learn to write essays.

Learning and Unlearning How to Write an Essay

They learn the five paragraph method; they have it etched into their minds till it becomes an instinct. Then, with little warning, they are finally plopped into high school, and promptly told that they should never turn in a five paragraph essay again. Most students shift to four paragraph essays. True overachievers shift to six. But: if students are not taught the basics, it becomes impossible to shed the rudimentary elements of essays and adapt to the written communication formats demanded by new instructors and careers.

Learning to write essays, research papers, APA or MLA outlines, lab reports, resumes, and even scholarship essays all exist as extensions of those fundamental skills established in the classical five paragraph format. Organization, an art rarely mastered or even handled by high schoolers, is taught in the internal structures of body paragraphs. Rhetoric and skills in sales, bargaining, and debate are extensions of the most basic ideals of a persuasive essay.

The intertextuality and evaluation of credibility required to understand news sources and write research papers is developed through the citations and reasoning taught in explanatory essays. Continually, those are simply a small portion of the disciplines taught alongside essay writing, and do not include the most vital part of writing education.

Without a way to convey information, progress of knowledge and technology cannot occur. Though, perhaps, the traditional essay format is not used to communicate the type of revolutionary and instrumental data of modern progression generally seen in research professions, it can still instill a symbolic importance to those texts. Without records, stories, and evidence all events fade into fiction or the forgotten realms of the past. Lost information, as valuable as it might have been before, rarely has the vast repercussions of impossibilities and noble prize winning papers.

The Big Picture

For better or worse, if untold and unenduring, knowledge can become irrelevant. Essays, though not the best method nor the proffered by many, are still a necessary method of this record keeping and communication. They are evidence that someone knew, or read, or did something, and that information, as flimsy or sloppy as it may be, was gained and exchanged. They are the first taught basis to a simple exclamation that someone existed, that they thought and that their lungs were full of breath— their head formed words and that as irrelevant as it might have been, they made something.

An essay’s true value lies only in its ability to be built upon and improved upon. As anything that prevails must change, it is a system that can, and perhaps should, be improved, but currently suffices. It teaches application of creativity and thought, along with rational or chronological reasoning. It stands as documentation of life and learning, and from kindergarten to college, never wavers in its dominance of the American classroom. For these reasons, and infinitely more, essays and the instructions that teach them, will never cease in importance, and any career chosen will require them. If only to send a text or write a resume. Any written skill requires a discipline taught by the essay.

Featured Image: Alejandro Escamilla, Unsplash.


    • Mike — you know not what you speak of, my friend. Kaplan University has been the leader in online education and learning technology for a number of years. As with all learning institutions, there are some dark moments and therefor some disgruntled students – who follow a career path to only find out that they made poorly in formed choices. The degree is as REAL and as VAID as the one you received from Purdue. The Higher Learning Commission – the SAME one that accredits YOUR degree from Purdue University, would not give them accreditation if the school did not meet or exceed their standards. Purdue University Global will adhere to the same collegiate standards as Purdue University does and probably more – considering the wild criticism people like you impose they have to be.

  1. Kaplan is and has been a school unrealistic expectations for students! Highly upset with Kaplan because my educational purposes were not in the best interest of the school! I have outstanding balance of 53,000 only to be unable to complete my degree and too, the admission department explained to me, the school woul give me a certificate! Wth! Personally I had “no idea,” the school degree plan in child and family welfare had changed to adolescent and youth administrative! That simply means I waste money and Kaplan stole money because I would have never attended Kaplan under those measurements! I’m contacting the educational department and explain to them, the classes Kaplan charged me for were a complete waste because I did not need the classes and to think my education has been placed on because of Kaplan University! I’m taking a stand because I was not an average student, above average while attending Kaplan! All that did read will read more about me in the near future because I am going to show this school up!