Posted on April 8, by Scott Alexander I. I have a huge bias against growth mindset. More on Wikipedia here. Social psychology has been, um, very enthusiastic about denying that result.
I have been studying this essay for years. I consider it one of the most significant pieces of writing ever written.
I once typed the whole essay word for word and printed it out on my computer as a booklet. I looked up all the words I didn't know, and made footnotes of definitions for each word on the page and there were a lot of them.
I put the essay on tape and listened to it over and over while driving. And I tried to apply it to my life. Then, to understand it even more deeply, I went over it line by line, trying to write what Emerson was saying in my own words. That rewrite project is what follows.
I do not feel I'm a better writer than Emerson.
I love his writing. I think it's very powerful. Some of his sentences were so well-said, I included them in this translation just because I didn't want to leave them out. My motivation for translating it came from an entirely different source. The idea was inspired by a Cliff Notes. I had always considered Cliff Notes as a kind of cheating.
If you didn't want to read the real book, you could read a condensed version that tells you everything you need to know to pass a class. Then one day I saw the movie Henry V. I really liked it but I only understood about half of what was being said.
They were speaking English, but three things were hindering my understanding: English was spoken differently back then. They commonly used words we are now unfamiliar with.
Shakespeare was a poet, so he often inverts sentences and uses unusual phrases in order to make things sound poetic. They were speaking with an English accent. Emerson's essay is difficult for a modern American today for the first two reasons.
Emerson used words that, although I can find them in a dictionary, I've never heard anyone say. And he was a poet, so some of his phrases were meant to be savored rather than read only for their direct meaning. They explained terms and phrases I didn't know.
I remember, for example, the phrase, "throwing down a gage. It is an archaic term that means throwing gloves at the feet of someone, which back then meant you were challenging the person to a duel.
I could have watched Henry V fifty times and not ever figured that out. But after I learned it, I understood better what was going on when I watched the movie again. That's what I hope happens after you read my translation.
I hope you go back and enjoy Emerson's original and eloquent essayand understand it better, and really appreciate his creative, powerful prose. Whenever I read something truly original, I get a feeling.How to Begin an Essay. In this Article: Article Summary Essay Template and Sample Essays Laying the Roadmap for Your Essay Tailoring Your Introduction to Your Essay Using Introduction Writing Strategies Community Q&A The opening of an essay is very important, as you need to grab the reader's attention.
Additionally, you need to set up the rest of the essay in terms of tone and content. How to Write a Narrative Essay. In this Article: Article Summary Choosing a Good Topic Writing a Draft Revising Your Essay Sample Essay Community Q&A Narrative essays are commonly assigned pieces of writing at different stages through school.
Like any story, they have a plot, conflict, and characters. Six steps to writing a good TOK essay: A student guide. 1. SELECT A TITLE FROM THE LIST PROVIDED BY THE IB.
Do not instantly seize upon a title that . THE FOLLOWING IS Ralph Waldo Emerson's essay, Self-Reliance, translated into modern English.I have been studying this essay for years. I consider it one of . These questions touch on one of the foundations of effective writing—clarity.
Excessive wordiness (often caused by passive constructions) can confuse readers and require them to spend more time trying to understand your sentences rather than your ideas. The short essay ( pages), typed and double-spaced, is an excellent way to demonstrate your ability to condense a great deal of material into what is essentially a compact essay.
A short essay is not a research essay and should not be treated as such.