The Correct Way to Write an Essay
Essays and other written assignments are a tool to help you, the Warrant Officer Candidate (WOC), improve yourself and learn from your experiences and mistakes. Cadre will grade your essays for format, grammar and content. This sample composition is an example containing correct format, grammar and content for the candidates of the 1st Warrant Officer Company. Use this example as a guide only in preparing essays. Following the assigned document format is critical to success. Improperly formatted essays often indicate an inability to follow simple instructions. Failure to follow instructions in a technical manual could result in the damage/destruction of equipment and/or injury/death to personnel. Failure to follow proper essay format will result in the essay being returned to you for correction and resubmission. Begin your essay by placing pertinent essay information at the top of the first page. Six inches from the left side of the paper and centered between the top of the page and essay title, write the following: The rank and name of the cadre member who assigned the essay; WOC (your name); total number of words within the essay; and the date. See the top of the page for the correct format. Place the title of your essay on the first page only. Center the title of the essay on the first line. Capitalize the first letter of each word in the title. Begin the body of the essay on the fourth line. Each page must have a one-inch margin on all sides. Hyphenate words as necessary to ensure that margins appear as even as possible. Indent each paragraph and do not skip lines between paragraphs. Center the page number of the second page and any subsequent pages one inch from the bottom of the page. Flag and staff all ones (1) and slash all zeros (0) for hand written essays. When a second or subsequent page is needed, begin on the third line from the top of the page. Ensure that there are at least two complete sentences on the final page. On the fifth line down from the last line of your essay, place the left edge of your signature block at the center of the page. Hand written essays will be on standard issue, ruled notebook paper with a black ink pen. Print hand written work and ensure that it is neat and legible. If you make a mistake begin again or be prepared to accept the consequences. Write your essay using proper grammar and composition. Do not mix writing styles. If you begin in the first Person, do not change to second or third person within the same essay. Use proper subject/verb agreement. Speaking your sentences aloud before writing them will help you to avoid common mistakes. Check for spelling errors and always proofread before submitting essays.
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Above all else, proper content is essential in written assignments. A hastily written essay that has no logical flow or thought process serves little purpose. “Lessons learned” or your thoughts and beliefs about the subject of your essay are conveyed in the content of the essay. Good essays include an opening paragraph, body, and a summarizing or closing paragraph. Ensure that your essays include these elements. As a Warrant Officer, it is imperative to have effective writing skills. During your career as a Warrant Officer, you will often find that writing is essential to accomplishing your missions. Take the opportunity now to improve your writing skills.
John Q. Jones JOHN Q. JONES WOC, USA Class 05-06
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