Essay Writing Ideas: Think Metaphorically

Essays require the writer to do some critical thinking. With an essay you’re not just delivering some useful information. You need to have a concise argument and then use examples, explanations and facts to back up and support your argument.

It requires critical thinking to understand your topic, explain it and then presenting it in a logical way. Did you know that using metaphors is an excellent way to show that you have critical thinking skills? Metaphors can help to explain and highlight your main supporting points.

What is a metaphor?

A metaphor is one of the figures of speech. It’s used when either a word or group of words is used to describe an action or object that couldn’t normally be applied in a literal sense. It sounds kind of confusing but here are two examples:

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  1. Her mind was a circus of mental illness. (It’s a metaphor because a circus can’t really exist in a person’s head)
  2. She was swimming in a pool of money. (It’s a way of saying she was rich. She never actually got into a swimming pool full of money.)

Strategies to use metaphors

  1. After you’ve completed your research and written down your main ideas, sift through them and choose the ones that will be the topic sentence of each of your paragraphs.
  2. Write down some metaphors you thing could support each main point. Write as many as come to your mind; you can always choose the best ones later.
  3. Now think about your target audience. Which metaphors would appeal to them the most?
  4. Write a sentence or two explaining each main point. Sort them into order to form an outline.
  5. Find some examples to add to each main point, along with the metaphors.
  6. Look over your outline. Keep the metaphors and examples that seem most relevant and pertinent. Toss the rest.
  7. Keep in mind that you shouldn’t use too many metaphors. Your readers will soon get tired of them and they won’t have the same effect anymore.

It’s always good to try some new strategies when writing essays. It can bring a new dimension to your writing. After you’ve finished the final touches on the outline, it’s time to begin writing. Basically you will use the outline as a scaffold and build the essay around it. Just fill in the empty spaces.