What is the most well-known, legalised torture device utilised in schools in current times? Essay writing! Nearly every English writing class exhibits some form of instruction on writing these oh-so-dreadful explanatory essays and argumentative papers. It is no secret that many students find essay writing to be dull, tiring, and useless, moving them to question if, or why essay writing is important. Are essay-writing skills useful at all? Unequivocally, the skill of essay writing is essential and one of the most influential and beneficial skills one can learn.

Essay writing teaches individuals to organise their arguments in a proper manner. In essence, every statement is an argument, arguing an idea or belief that the speaker is attempting to prove or support. Essay writing equips individuals with the skill of effectively introducing an idea, and choosing methods of support they should utilise to formulate a convincing argument; improving the ability to explain one’s thoughts in an understandable and convincing manner is the sole purpose of writing essays. By practicing writing essays, people imprint in their minds a general structure for presenting ideas, building a foundation for successful argumentation and coherent, logical presentation of concepts. Some may claim that “copying” the typical essay format results in unoriginal arguments, yet they fail to recognise the true purpose of following such a structure. In the real world, individuals do not present every thought in the form of a five-paragraph essay; this model is only a template to guide a person’s thoughts and aid them in presenting a logical arrangement of ideas. Repeatedly writing essays trains the brain to automatically present ideas and supports in the best way possible. Cohesive explanations and rational placement of concepts are a skill essential in all careers, and essays are the perfect tools to sharpen these skills and better prepare individuals for their future careers.

Essay writing also teaches individuals how to effectively support well-thought-out claims. By writing multiple essays, individuals learn to choose the most compelling evidence to support an argument. Research essays are especially useful, as they train the mind to search for the most credible, correct, and useful information and incorporate it in such a way that will leave the audience convinced of the speaker’s claim. Choosing useful evidence to prove a claim is an essential skill in all areas of life, as it helps individuals better argue their ideas and choose supports that will enhance their claim or idea. Knowing how to select key points to argue a claim and understanding the best way to present an idea will help individuals successfully formulate convincing arguments in their future.

Some may assert that essay-writing skills are most useful to those pursuing careers in writing or language only, however, this is false. Writing essays and essay outlines teaches people to think smarter. Rather than writing simple, one-sentence responses to a prompt, essays push individuals to delve into the subject matter and explore topics more in-depth. Repeating the exercise of writing essays trains the brain to think beyond the superficial meaning of concepts, improving analytical skills, and pushing individuals to learn more. This teaches critical thinking, and forces the mind to consider the issue, claim, or concept from different standpoints, and, most importantly, to understand and refute opposing views. Writing essays also allows individuals to practice condensing a plethora of material into a shorter, concise finished product that is not overwhelming and is easy to understand. Through this practice, people learn to expand a topic and explore all of its meanings, as well as convey a complex and multifaceted subject in a simpler, better manner. Polishing these skills helps prepare individuals for real-world scenarios such as providing an explanation for a concept, or giving a presentation about a topic, or even having a discussion about a certain subject matter. Essay writing is not difficult to learn, but difficult to master. Without a doubt, the skills individuals learn from essay writing are among the most significant skills one can obtain in their youth.