Saturday, January 28, 2006

If you've read Elie Wiesel's memoir Night: what is the classic Trudeau-guidelines opening for the essay?

Yarmulke boy
Originally uploaded by jennie.
Reading the Oprah-recommended memoir Night this weekend, with considerable curiosity.

On page 2 there is what I would consider the perfect Trudeau-style opening. It's when Moshe and Elie have their first philosophical discussion: "He explained to me with great insistence that every question possessed a power that did not lie in the answer."

Education is all about questions. And when you get to secondary school, maybe earlier, you learn that the answers to many questions are not neatly forthcoming.

Which is why it's virtuous to open your essay with a question. Choose the question cannily and you will draw your reader into the world of your essay.

Blessed are the questioners.

How many pages are there, approximately, in this notable book which won the Nobel Prize?
a) 100 b) 200 c) 300 d) 500.

Answer: 100 not-large pages.

Remember, I will be happy to help you with your 1000-word essay for the national essay contest.

And give you bonus points!

See Wiesel's bio at

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