Avoid Oversimplifying in Essays

A key tendency when arguing definitions is to oversimplify inherently complex issues.  Some of the claims so far seems scattered in that there are several reasons but they aren’t being shown to fit the claim.  The body paragraphs aren’t being transitioned among or connected to the claim.  Let’s try and tighten up the coherence so that the flow is allowed while also letting readers know how each reason helps prove the claim.

All this can be done without resorting to the use of you or I.  Remember that informed readers’ ideas are being challenged to a greater or lesser extent by the claims, so those must be provable.

Some people are finding success in showing the conditions under which something works.  That can seem fairly obvious as a move, though, so make sure that if you do this you are following up by locating arguable areas.  For instance, if I were trying to modify an author’s idea of the evolution of morals and tried showing that Stalin’s killing of millions of his people was immoral (easy enough), I might do well to connect that to other atrocities.  The fact that Stalin did this to his own countrymen might be something to talk about.  The problem with equating evil like Stalin with Hitler’s actions could be covered and its difficulties discussed.  My point is that the details can be occasions for you to comment, to point out the ways definitions prove useful.

My fear is that, for too many years, most writers have gotten just to point out ideas as stand-ins for actually analyzing their aspects.  There’s a definition for this: passive writing!  So let us comment carefully and as thoroughly as we can to earn points and alter readers’ ideas.