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How to Write an Essay on Disrespect

by Cat Reynolds, Demand Media

    Disrespectful behavior comes in many forms can have serious consequences. Bullying, pointing, name-calling, lying about someone, laughing at someone or speaking in a disrespectful manner to someone are all ways of being disrespectful. So is damaging other people's property. Disrespect hurts people's feelings, at the very least, and disrespectful conduct will also tarnish the reputations of perpetrators and cause others to lose faith in them. In fact, there are so many forms of disrespect, and so many real-world examples of it all around us, that this type of essay may well be one of the easiest ones to write about.

    Step 1

    Define and discuss disrespect in the first paragraph, but avoid using a dictionary definition. Consider comparing disrespect to respect as a way to explain what it is. Alternatively, open with an anecdote, a little story about an incident involving disrespect. If you open with an anecdote, define and discuss disrespect in the second paragraph.

    Step 2

    End the defining paragraph with a one-sentence thesis statement in which you declare a position. It might be a moral position on confronting disrespect in your day-to-day life, or you might argue that not everything people think of as disrespect really is disrespect, for example.

    Step 3

    Develop the essay with a discussion of the possible outcomes of disrespectful acts. Some of the outcomes will include negative consequences that affect both the person who acted disrespectfully and the person who was treated disrespectfully. Use real-life examples that you have witnessed or read about. Devote a paragraph or more to each example, followed by one or more paragraphs that cover the possible outcomes.

    Step 4

    Continue to develop the essay with a discussion of respectful acts and their outcomes. Again, use real-life examples that you have seen or read about, and devote two or more paragraphs to each example and its outcomes.

    Step 5

    Add another main point, a discussion of ways to promote respect and discourage disrespect. You will need to devote at least two or three paragraphs to this section.

    Step 6

    Conclude the essay in the last paragraph. Reiterate your thesis statement with summary remarks that tie in main points of the essay.

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    Tip

    • Proofread your essay before showing it to other people. Often reading your work aloud will help you to catch errors or hear passages that don't make sense yet. Revise as necessary.

    Warning

    • If you use examples that you read about, make sure to cite your sources.

    About the Author

    Cat Reynolds has written professionally since 1990. She has worked in academe (teaching and administration), real estate and has owned a private tutoring business. She is also a poet and recipient of the Discover/The Nation Award. Her work can be found in literary publications and on various blogs. Reynolds holds a Master of Arts in writing and literature from Purdue University.

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