Getting started with essay writing by University of California, Irvine is one course I tried last year. Though I could not complete it, I am trying to finish it in my free time. Here is one of the assignments of this course which is on Coursera.
Compare / Contrast Essay
It has been said , “ Not everything is contained in books.”. Contrast the knowledge gained from experience with the knowledge gained from books.
“ Knowledge gained by experience is far more superior and many times more useful than bookish knowledge. “ – Mahatma Gandhi. Books surely make us more informative by engaging us in different topics. But it is not knowledge. That can be gained only by experience. Experience can be more useful at hand than books as it prepares us for life.
Firstly, the major difference between books and experience is how the information from them is useful. Books tend to play out other people’s experiences for us. They give us vast information on how to perform or not perform certain things. But without real experience the information cannot convert into knowledge. Hence, first hand experience is more useful than books which give us information regarding other people’s experiences.
Secondly, the difference is in the way books spur imagination and experience might not directly do it. The characters and plots are very well in front of us in books. The experiences , though, do not spur imagination. They are , well, reality based thinking. But reality is full of visual treats. This can be converted into literature to spur our imagination. Hence, experience can be used to spur imagination indirectly.
Thirdly, another difference is in the false promises created through books and experience might not. The way in which books spur imagination and spread out things which are not expected creating illusions. Also, they create false hopes and promises to the reader. Experience , on the other hand, is a teacher like no other, not creating false promises and illusions. Thus, the experiences are way better as they do not discourage our hopes in promises
To sum up, the experiences gained in a lifetime is not contained in books. It can be imagined through books but can only be felt and experienced through experiences. First hand experience is more useful than books. Experience can be used to spur imagination in others indirectly. Though books do spur imagination but it cannot be experienced. There are no false promises or illusions made by experiences. Books make us develop hopes which are not fulfilled. Thus, experiences win over books as experience gained is knowledge gained which can be useful in life.