The best way to learn is by trial and error, but the cheapest way is to watch somebody else make the mistakes.
Make lots of mistakes
Why should writing involve mistakes? Experts calculate that we get things wrong twice as often as we get things right. In other words, to get a hundred things right, we should expect to make two hundred mistakes.
The trouble is that we unconsciously try to stop thinking about anything that seems as if it might be wrong. Any creative person, such as a designer or author, must find some way to overcome the barrier and make lots of mistakes.
Three ways to overcome your fear of mistakes
- Non-stop writing. Write about the subject without thinking about it. You must not stop writing. If you can’t think about something relevant, write that you can’t think of anything relevant, but you expect to think of something soon.If you have an egg timer set it to four or five minutes. Stop at the end of that time. The first few times that you try this technique, it will be a waste of time. Persevere, and you will see good results.
- Bird-nested ideas. Electronic designers sometimes “bird-nest” a prototype by soldering components directly to each other. You don’t trim component leads, so there is a lot of space between components, making it easy to connect a component between any two points, even if they are on opposite sides of the bird’s nest. The name is because of the appearance.
There are two advantages. The designer doesn’t have to think about layout, and there is plenty of space for everything.Bird-nesting your ideas, especially from a brainstorm, has the same two advantages. Place keywords as far away from each other on the page as possible. If you have an apparently irrelevant idea, just dump it anywhere on the page. Remember, the more mistakes you include, the more good ideas you will have.
- Brain maps. You should create one of these before writing any essay.Basically, you put the subject in the center, then draw radiating lines to each idea. You will have ideas grouped logically, which means that it takes more thought for layout than the bird-nested ideas. I would be inclined to use the bird-nested plan to generate ideas, which I would transfer to a brain map before starting my cause and effect essays.
Using your raw ideas
If you have several days to prepare your cause and effect essays, ask friends and relatives for brainstorm ideas. No brainstorm idea is wrong, so all must be written down. In a brainstorm about ways to avoid washing dishes, someone suggested eating the plates. That is how they invented ice cream wafers.
Look at your bird’s nest or brain-map critically once you have finished. Ideas that seemed irrelevant might be irrelevant in fact, or you might spot an interesting connection. Read through all the ideas several times, leaving your mind open to ideas and new connections.
If you are writing cause and effect essays for school, you can enjoy yourself breaking all the rules of political correctness. Even at college, if your lecturer thinks that political correctness is stupid, you can continue to have fun. Otherwise you had better toe the line.
Be prepared to twist all your sentences to use the plural all the time. That way you never have to say his/hers/its instead of theirs. However, English is being corrupted by political correctness, so it is now acceptable to use “their” with a singular noun.
One author said “If I copy from a hundred authors, it is research. If I copy from one author it is plagiarism.” You will be taught what is required in the way of acknowledgement of your sources. In some colleges you will only lose all marks for one essay for plagiarism. In others, you will be expelled.
You are taking a big risk if you buy cause and effect essays from the internet. Is it worth risking the loss of your career just to be lazy?
I can still remember one of my classmates sobbing and crying, and pleading “but it’s the end of my careeer” as he was hustled out of the exam room for cheating.
That is no longer so important. You can start a brilliant freelance career without any references, building up your reputation slowly.
Here is the brain map for this website. I obviously used a computer program, but first, I made a brain map on paper.