I finished the Bodhidharma essay at 8:05 this morning after getting up shortly after 6 to work on it because last evening I realized that I would never get a concluding paragraph using the last page I had at that point. I needed to go in a slightly different direction. In short, I had to bring the ending back around to the beginning.
The big problem with writing essays, as I see it, is staying on task. At the end of the essay, you have to be writing about the same thing you were writing about at the beginning of the essay. You really can't meander. This, my little lads and lasses, is why topic sentences were invented. Also transitional sentences. If you're going all formal, the topic sentences for each paragraph should link you back to your thesis statement. If you're going more personal essay/creative nonfictionish, transitional sentences between paragraphs will at least keep you linked to the thought that came before so you don't wander off.
Thank God I remembered that around eight o'clock last night.
To bring this essayish post ending back to the beginning, I will conclude with the thought that you can learn to stay on task from writing essays.
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