No matter what the essay you are writing is about, English teachers look for certain elements of a great writer in your paper. I interviewed two Kenston High School English teachers, Ms. Joyce and Mr. Ray, to find out what exactly they are critiquing in an essay.
What is one pet peeve you have when it comes to your students’ writing?
Ms. Joyce explained, “Students do not take the time after writing to read what they just wrote. If students took the time to read their piece to themselves, they could eliminate errors before a teacher grades the paper.”
Mr. Ray stated, “Use of too many pronouns.”
When grading a paper, what do you love seeing?
Ms. Joyce expressed, “As I grade, I like to “hear” the student’s voice in the piece. Also, a teacher can also pick up on the time and effort the student has put in a writing assignment because there is depth of thought that will not be present in a paper that has been created at the last minute.”
Mr. Ray likes seeing “That the student made corrections/improvements from the rough draft.”
In your opinion, what is the most important part of an essay?
Ms. Joyce believes, “The most important part of the essay, to me, is the thesis statement because it essentially gives the writer a direction in which to write and gives the reader a road map of the writing.”
Mr. Ray claims, “The first paragraph, in all writing assignments” is most important.
Do you have any books you would like to recommend? If so, what book(s)?
Ms. Joyce offers, “Pride and Prejudice, To Kill a Mockingbird, The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo, and The Perks of Being a Wallflower.”
Mr. Ray suggests, “The Count of Monte Cristo and Boys Life by McCammon.”
If you could teach another subject, what subject would you choose?
Ms. Joyce admits she would like to teach “History or culinary arts/home economics.”
Mr. Ray decides he would be best at “History.”
Most teachers look for similar pieces in an essay. However, they do favor certain areas. To perfect your English paper, ask your teacher what they look for in an assignment.