Essay DNA

Lighthouse DNA / Art by `bosniak / via deviantArt

Last month, I posted my thoughts on the difference between organization and transitions as elements of good writing. In that post, I mentioned them as the bones and cartilage of writing, but what about the rest of the other essay elements?

An essay’s content — at least for me — is a no-brainer. We usually say meaty discussions, so it just stands to reason that we can equate it to muscles.

On the other hand, I had a hard time thinking of a bodily counterpart for the thesis statement. I toyed with the idea that it could be the essay’s brain; it’s a logical choice, after all. The brain dictates what the body does, which is like the thesis statement. However, the brain cannot dictate how the bones or the muscles should grow, a direct contrast with the thesis statement, which has more capabilities.

I’ve thought about this for several days, and after a particularly long commute, I’ve come to a conclusion: the thesis statement is the DNA of an essay. Considering that the thesis statement dictates what details to include and how to put them together, its a direct parallel to the role of the DNA that dictates how each body part should grow whether the growth is normal or not.

I’m happy that I’ve come to that realization, but I’m still in the testing phase of this metaphor. To me, it sounds logical, but I’d like to offer it up to you. Would this thesis statement/DNA comparison withstand the scrutiny of my smart readers? I’ll let you be the judge; the comment form will be our court.

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One thought on “Essay DNA

  1. Pingback: Pondering and Praying « The Velociwritetor

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