Need help: Japanese short essay


#1

I have to practice writing short essays, around 10-20 sentences, about whatever (what’s my favourite X/Y/Z, why learn a new language, my dream, etc.), in Japanese.

I was wondering if you have any tips (structure, key sentences, common mistakes, things to look out for). Thank you in advance!


#2

When planning your essay in English, make sure to make a “kindergarten level” version of your essay before translating. Depending on your writing ability, it’s tempting to craft a nice looking essay then try to translate it, but this is setting you up for disaster if your Japanese grammar level doesn’t match. This a huge struggle for my Japanese students when trying to write English essays.

It’s much easier to chop long, multi-clause sentences, translate each of them, then sprinkle details and combine sentences once they are in Japanese. Japanese sentences combine together more comfortably by verbs, while English sentences combine more comfortably using conjunctions and prepositions. Since Japanese sentences can much more appropriately omit information, having a higher number of lower density sentences will turn out much better than one would expect.


#3

Don’t translate anything. Write at your level of Japanese, creatively using the grammar patterns and vocab you are learning/have learned.