Local Authors: The Fine Art of Writing an Essay

Story by Matt Young

Cary, NC – Cary resident Carole L. Hamilton teaches English at Cary Academy. She recently published Anthem Guide to Essay Writing. We can all use help here. And yes, I’m intimidated to write this.

Ms. Hamilton has taken her experiences as a teacher and actual observations in the classroom to provide suggestions on ways writers can develop better writing.

The solutions and suggestions to resolve this universal dilemma include: how to decide what to say, how much detail to provide, how to structure the piece, providing compelling arguments, and how to express ideas boldly. She goes through the writer’s decision thought process on essay type styles: Will it be persuasive? Reflective? Analytical? etc.

She also explores how writers can get themselves prepared to write, avoid plagiarism, develop their own style, and structure easy-to-follow writings.

The book is short (about 200 pages), to-the-point and in an easy to follow “guide” style. I’d give her an “A” for that alone.

“I got one of the essays in the essay book from my daughter who is in her senior year at Wesleyan University. It was also fun contacting old students (well, prior students – they aren’t old!) to get some sample writing from them, too.”

The book is available at the usual sources and is published by Anthem Press.

“In the essay, you had better speak from a region pretty close to the heart or the reader will detect the wind of phoniness whistling through your hollow phrases.” – Scott Russell Sanders (from Ms. Hamilton’s Cary Academy web site).

Carole Hamilton is from Cleveland, Ohio, originally and is one of the founding faculty at Cary Academy from 15 years ago. She received her BA in Comparative Literature from UC Berkeley, and her MA in English from UVa. She told us she loves teaching, and is also the Director of Speech and Debate at CA. When she has some spare time, she plays bridge.

She is currently working on another book – an introduction to literary and cultural theory – to come out next summer.

Ms. Hamilton, please don’t send this back to me marked up in red.