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How to Write an Essay About Flowers
by Francine DuBois

Coach speaks--
"Don’t. Flowers are for sissies, and you're not a sissy boy, are you?
Write about trees if you have to write about nature at all. Better yet,
write about chopping down a tree. Or hunting! That's natural."

Dude speaks--
"Dude, I just thought of an awesome metaphor and it's funny. You can use
it: cross-pollination happens when you don't wash your sheets between
girlfriends. Man, that's so true. If you need to know anything about
grow-lights, I've got a couple, but they're kinda in use. Dude, you
know?"

Mom speaks--
"Anyone can research flowers, but it takes a writer to explain why we
should care. I always like to read something a bit personal; if it was
my project, I'd write about how I was crushed when your father mowed
down the tulips, and that was the first time I had ever paid much
attention to them. It makes me think about all the other things I take
for granted. See, that would be a good essay."

Dr. Williams (Botany) speaks--
"You haven't told me anything about flowers: 'I like the ones that smell
like perfume'? What kind of drivel is that? Listen, if you don't know
who Mendel and Linnaeus are, you're going to fail this course. This
paper shows no grasp of their work. Anyone can sit there and feel
emotions, but it takes a scientist to explain how the flower
exists--tell me how it gets its nourishment, tell me how long it lives,
tell me where it lives, tell me how it reproduces, tell me its place in
the ecosystem. Don't tell me how it makes you feel."

Dr. Collins (English) speaks--
"'In today's society, flowers are popular' is not a thesis statement. I
should get a clear indication both of your stance and a hint at how your
paper will be organized. I get neither. Remember, I want specific
details. Don't be afraid to take risks; this is ultimately too safe and
says absolutely nothing."

Your classmate plagiarizes--
"I wrote about flowers because I wished to write deliberately, to front
only the essential facts of life, and see if I could not learn what it
had to teach, and not, when I came to die, discover that I had not
lived."

Your classmate fails miserably--
"I like flowers. Flowers can smell good and make a room look pretty.
When I give flowers to my girlfriend, she usually thinks that I'm a good
person and makes me dinner. While her cooking is not great, it is free,
and when I tell her that it's good, she usually rewards me in some way.
And that's why I like flowers."

You procrastinate and pray for the sudden death of you, your teacher, or
some distant (preferably across the country) relative.

Francine's Version -- Hezekiah's Version -- Inspiration
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