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How do I write an essay on the famous William James proverb "The deepest craving of...

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sweetgiggles | Student, Grade 10 | (Level 1) Salutatorian

Posted March 3, 2012 at 9:22 PM via web

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How do I write an essay on the famous William James proverb "The deepest craving of human nature is the need to be appreciated"?

criticism of people, human nature........

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e-martin | College Teacher | (Level 1) Educator Emeritus

Posted March 4, 2012 at 12:37 AM (Answer #1)

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The answer to this question may largely depend on how long your essay is going to be, however there are a several natural ways to organize your thoughts on this topic.

These seem like the primary questions to address, which can help to organize your essay: Why did James say this? What does it mean? And is it true?

  • First, if you have read any William James you can tie this proverb to one of his works or one of his ideas to help attach the idea of the proverb to the man himself and offer some context.
  • You will definitely want to offer a re-phrasing or definition of the proverb to sharpen its meaning and offer your own interpretation.
  • You might suggest some other deep human needs that could also be considered "the deepest craving of human nature" and discuss how they relate, connect, or contradict the need to be appreciated.
  • If you can think of an example that demonstrates this deep craving, that could work nicely in a second paragraph or a conclusion.

These questions may help you to develop your thoughts on the proverb: Is the need to be appreciated the same as a need for security? Is it the same as a need to be loved? Is it related to success and ego or related to emotions and empathy?



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