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An Excursion Essay

Excursions are a must, especially for students. They have a great educational value. That is why schools often organize excursions for the students. Apart from educating students and exposing them to various experiences, it is a great means of recreation. It is the day all students wait for eagerly.

My class was taken on an excursion last month. A bus was arranged. We sat in it and it took us to all the places we had to see. We were all very happy. We sang on our way and the bus speeded through various towns and villages. The sound of the horn was a constant irritant but we could tolerate it because we were too busy having a good singing session in the bus. We were going to Agra from Delhi.

The bus stopped on the way at a restaurant. We all got off the bus to have some refreshments. Our teachers had to take good care of us lest any body got lost. After half an hour we were on our way again. Many of my friends started feeling a little sleepy and tired.

Soon we reached Agra. We formed a line and entered the guest house where our stay had been arranged. We were to see Fatehpur Sikri and the Taj Mahal and leave for Delhi the following day. We left our luggage in the guest house, freshened up and were on our way to see the Taj Mahal. When I first set my eyes on the Taj Mahal, I was speechless. It is rightly called one of the wonders of the world. A white marble dream was before our eyes. Many students began to click cameras. I took a closer look at the work done on the marble. The inlay work which is a special feature with the artisans of Agra was visible on the walls of the Taj Mahal.

We sat down on the grass and played some games again. All this time we had the beautiful Taj in view. Time and again I would look up to glance at it. I could not resist walking around it several times. It took me long to thoroughly absorb the beauty of this masterpiece.

We left for Fatehpur Sikri after that; it was a great experience to sec the tombs of the ancient Mughal Kings and Queens. History suddenly came alive. I asked my teacher several questions to satisfy my curiosity about various details. It was a memorable trip.

We drove back home but the return journey was filled with a bit of sadness. It was the end of great two days in my school life.


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1. Understand your goals

Whether you are writing a personal statement for a college or graduate school application, or an essay for a high school or college class, your assignment will have specific goals. Before you begin to write, review these goals. Clearly understanding your objective is essential when working with a shortened timeline.

2. Choose a topic

Under normal circumstances, you might devote several days to brainstorming a promising topic, and then you might write a detailed outline before writing and revising your essay over a week or two. When you are on a tight schedule, this is not possible.

So—write down the first three or four ideas that occur to you. If you cannot think of an appropriate topic, ask a parent or a friend to review the assignment with you. Do not spend more than 10 or 15 minutes on this part of your essay, as the execution ultimately matters more than the idea itself.

In addition, do not stress yourself about selecting the “perfect” topic. Without a topic, you will have no essay to turn in, and any essay is better than no essay. (It naturally follows that any topic is also better than no topic at all.)

3. Set deadlines

Establishing deadlines for a one-day essay is key. Budget 5-10 minutes for brainstorming, 15-20 minutes for creating an outline, and several hours for writing. You can also set aside an hour for feedback and review, and another hour for any necessary revisions. You should also allow for an hour-long break to recharge your mind. Finally, plan to submit your essay several hours before the deadline. A schedule with some flexibility will allow you to adapt to any unforeseen complications.

4. Arrange for reviewers in advance

Whenever possible, arrange for reviewers (such as your parents or friends) first thing in the morning, and let them know when they can expect a draft. When your deadline is in several days or weeks, you have the luxury of finding reviewers after you have finished your draft. With a shorter deadline, you will not have this ability. Be clear on the short turnaround time to ensure as smooth a review period as possible.

5. Outline your essay

There are many resources that can advise you on how to write a wonderful essay, but the purpose of this article is to shape that advice to the demands of a very short timeline. This includes resisting the urge to abandon the outline. Having an outline is even more important for a one-day essay than for a week-long project with a similar word count. A strong outline will keep your essay focused and organized from the start—which is critical when time constraints will limit your rewrites.

Your outline should not be detailed, and it should take no more than 15 or 20 minutes to complete. Determine your hook (see below for more information), and then jot down the threads that connect this moment to your central argument or idea.

6. Stay organized

When you are under pressure, your tendency may be to start writing and to see where your essay goes. Try instead to use a brief anecdote or emotional impact statement (i.e. the “hook” in your opening paragraph) to set the stakes for your essay. This is essentially your opportunity to state why your argument or idea is worth your reader’s attention.

Finally, remember that “perfect is the enemy of good.” Manage your expectations. Your goal should be to write a good essay, not a perfect one. If you have a compelling hook and a well-organized flow of ideas, check your writing for errors, and then send it in.

Brian Witte is a professional SAT tutor with Varsity Tutors, a live learning platform that connects students with personalized instruction to accelerate academic achievement. He earned his Bachelor of Science from the University of Washington and holds a Ph.D. from The Ohio State University

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