Matt Dorey

A bird is sitting on the grass with a kite

A Little Warning


Consider this a friendly warning. I notice that a lot of traffic to this website comes to two posts: one about The Jungle Book (the animated movie) and one about the Sam Selvon novel "The Lonely Londoners".

Thanks to Jetpack I get to see the Google searches that bring people to these posts and I get the feeling that they are young people looking for essays about both books (even though the post about "The Jungle Book" concerns the film).

Well folks, I can't write your essay for you! You have to do that for yourself. If you're still at secondary school then it is unlikely that your teachers will check whether or not you have plagiarised your essay from the internet. But universities do. And if you keep cheating, you'll be found out eventually.

Think of your own self-respect. Thinking about the books you have read and then putting those thoughts down on paper should be a privilege, not a chore. Try to enjoy it. Most of all, try to express yourself. When you are young you need to find out who you are because no one is going to tell you, no one is going to do it for you.

Reading books you didn't choose and writing essays about them may seem like a complete waste of your time, especially when there are so many other cooler things you could be doing, but you will gain from it. Even if you hate the books, take the opportunity to express yourself. You will not get many chances to do so when essays turn into meetings, or when classrooms turn into factories or shop floors. Use those books as a key to the world around you, as a map guiding you to places you never knew you wanted to go. Don't worry about whether you truly understand: no human truly understands another. Don't worry about being wrong: you can't be wrong for being true to yourself.

Seriously though, don't cheat. Write something for you and write it from the heart. I'm very flattered that you wish to use my ideas and that Google led you here to see them, but there are some things that you really need to do for yourself. Good luck!

Featured image is "WARNING" by Newtown Grafitti, creative commons license. I've applied several filters, mainly to make the image redder and more of a warning!

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