By Peter J. Francis, HGPublishing Editor
A demonstrative essay is about how to do something. Here are some ideas for demonstrative essay topics:
In a demonstrative essay, the thesis is very basic. "It is hard to tie one's shoes." "Tying shoes is a step-by-step process." Even when there is not a natural order, a statement which provides the structure for the essay is still a thesis. "There are many different tools needed by automotive mechanics. I will first consider the wrenches."
The key is to break the subject down into bite sized pieces. You are probably being asked to write two or three pages in an essay like this or perhaps up to five pages. But look at how detailed you can get if you are asked for a twenty page or fifty page paper on the topic.
"There are many different tools needed by automotive mechanics. I will first consider the wrenches. There are three types of wrenches: crescent, box and adjustable. The adjustable uses a thumbscrew device to change sizes. The screw is an ancient concept dating back to the Greeks. The reputed originator of the screw was...
This is almost getting into the research essay, but the point is you can provide as much extra information in a demonstrative essay as you need.
The body of the demonstrative essay follows the thesis very closely. Cover the ground thoroughly and try to imagine a person who knew nothing about your topic reading the essay. Look for jargon, words which are only used by people who are knowledgeable about your topic. All jargon should be explained or replaced by less technical language.
Since the thesis is often not much more than an organizing structure for the body of the essay, the conclusion is similarly vague. Often times it is nothing more than an explicit statement that the lesson has ended. "And with the final pull of the shoelace, the shoe is tied."
Clear sentences. If it's a How To essay the sentences should be "Do this... then do that..." If it describes something less linear then it should be clearly organized into different sections. Always make sure your basic punctuation and grammar are correct.
Research essays involve finding information about a topic and evaluating that information. This is often the essay assigned in a history class, or poptical science. You can't fake it here. You will need to read and cite from experts, using APA or MLA style to format your citations.
Persuasive Essays: Taking a stand and using logic to get others to agree. Essentially all essays are about persuading someone to believe your point of view, but the persuasive essay is often assigned in high school, to practice the art of persuasion about current events or controversial topics;
Demonstrative Essays: How to do something. This can be something as simple as how to change a lightbulb to complex instructions on replacing a car motor. Demonstrative essays are the basis for technical writing, and as anyone who has tried to write out the instructions for another person to complete a task, they are very challenging.
Response Essays: Your thoughtful reaction to a work of art. This is an essay where you get to say if you like or not, but it's important to say why. You need to have some kind of standards by which to make a judgment;
Reviews: Your critical analysis of a work of art. This is not so much about whether or not you like it, it's about what it means and how it might relate to other similar works;
Science Lab Reports: Your steps to evaluate a scientific principle or experiment.
Admission Essays are special kind of personal narrative. You want to persuade the admissions officer that you are the right person for their campus.
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