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Where Good Writers Become Great Writers

A Writer’s Super-Power: If you can support your opinion, you’re right!

September, 2023: Recently, a student wrote an essay about Cleopatra of Egypt, noting  many of the accomplishments of the great queen: Cleopatra could speak at least seven languages including Greek, Egyptian and Latin.  She reformed the monetary system and traded with Eastern nations which vastly increased Egypt’s wealth.  She allied Egypt with Rome, preventing Egypt from becoming a conquered nation.  She was interested in science and medicine and researched and conducted experiments (although many were cruel and unethical ones).  She wrote about her findings and on other topics in several books. In her quest for the Egyptian throne, she eliminated at least two of her siblings.

And it came to be, after uncovering all of this information and finishing her essay, that this student asked: Was Cleopatra a good person or a bad person? And the answer was one of perspective: Had you been a subject who benefitted from Egypt’s growth under Cleopatra’s rule, you would have admired her. Had you been one of her siblings, you would have felt differently. For the essay writer, the thesis is as strong as the evidence that supports it. The final conclusion, representing everything the writer has learned about and thought about, is the writer’s creation.

In another example of drawing a conclusion based on original thinking, another student recently struggled with finishing up an essay on Anubis, the ancient Egyptian god of mummification.  Feeling that she was done, we talked about what she had learned in the course of her work.  As she realized that the Egyptians went to all the trouble of creating mummies so that their bodies could continue to exist in a hoped-for Afterlife, her conclusion became this:

Even though he might have been thought of as a dark god, death is really a large part of life.  Because the dead can live in your heart, you never really lose anyone.  The ancient Egyptians hoped for a life after death and created a culture based on that hope.

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