Furthermore, Huxley argues that "essays belong to a literary species whose extreme variability can be studied most effectively within a three-poled frame of reference". These three poles or worlds in which the essay may exist are:. Huxley adds that the most satisfying essays " The word essay derives from the French infinitive essayer , "to try" or "to attempt".
In English essay first meant "a trial" or "an attempt", and this is still an alternative meaning. The Frenchman Michel de Montaigne — was the first author to describe his work as essays; he used the term to characterize these as "attempts" to put his thoughts into writing, and his essays grew out of his commonplacing. For the rest of his life, he continued revising previously published essays and composing new ones.
Francis Bacon 's essays , published in book form in , , and , were the first works in English that described themselves as essays. Ben Jonson first used the word essayist in English in , according to the Oxford English Dictionary. In France, Michel de Montaigne 's three volume Essais in the mid s contain over examples widely regarded as the predecessor of the modern essay.
In the 18th and 19th centuries, Edmund Burke and Samuel Taylor Coleridge wrote essays for the general public. The early 19th century, in particular, saw a proliferation of great essayists in English — William Hazlitt , Charles Lamb , Leigh Hunt and Thomas de Quincey all penned numerous essays on diverse subjects. In the 20th century, a number of essayists tried to explain the new movements in art and culture by using essays e.
Whereas some essayists used essays for strident political themes, Robert Louis Stevenson and Willa Cather wrote lighter essays. As with the novel , essays existed in Japan several centuries before they developed in Europe with a genre of essays known as zuihitsu — loosely connected essays and fragmented ideas.
Zuihitsu have existed since almost the beginnings of Japanese literature. Many of the most noted early works of Japanese literature are in this genre.
Notable examples include The Pillow Book c. Another noteworthy difference from Europe is that women have traditionally written in Japan, though the more formal, Chinese-influenced writings of male writers were more prized at the time.
This section describes the different forms and styles of essay writing. These forms and styles are used by an array of authors, including university students and professional essayists. The defining features of a "cause and effect" essay are causal chains that connect from a cause to an effect, careful language, and chronological or emphatic order. A writer using this rhetorical method must consider the subject , determine the purpose , consider the audience , think critically about different causes or consequences, consider a thesis statement, arrange the parts, consider the language , and decide on a conclusion.
Classification is the categorization of objects into a larger whole while division is the breaking of a larger whole into smaller parts. Compare and contrast essays are characterized by a basis for comparison, points of comparison, and analogies. It is grouped by the object chunking or by point sequential. The comparison highlights the similarities between two or more similar objects while contrasting highlights the differences between two or more objects.
Compare and contrast is arranged emphatically. Descriptive writing is characterized by sensory details, which appeal to the physical senses, and details that appeal to a reader's emotional, physical, or intellectual sensibilities. Determining the purpose, considering the audience, creating a dominant impression, using descriptive language, and organizing the description are the rhetorical choices to consider when using a description.
A description is usually arranged spatially but can also be chronological or emphatic. The focus of a description is the scene. Description uses tools such as denotative language, connotative language, figurative language , metaphor , and simile to arrive at a dominant impression. In the dialectic form of the essay, which is commonly used in philosophy , the writer makes a thesis and argument, then objects to their own argument with a counterargument , but then counters the counterargument with a final and novel argument.
This form benefits from presenting a broader perspective while countering a possible flaw that some may present. This type is sometimes called an ethics paper. An exemplification essay is characterized by a generalization and relevant, representative, and believable examples including anecdotes. Writers need to consider their subject, determine their purpose, consider their audience, decide on specific examples, and arrange all the parts together when writing an exemplification essay.
An essayist writes a familiar essay if speaking to a single reader, writing about both themselves, and about particular subjects. Anne Fadiman notes that "the genre's heyday was the early nineteenth century," and that its greatest exponent was Charles Lamb.
A history essay sometimes referred to as a thesis essay describes an argument or claim about one or more historical events and supports that claim with evidence, arguments, and references. The text makes it clear to the reader why the argument or claim is as such. A narrative uses tools such as flashbacks , flash-forwards , and transitions that often build to a climax. The focus of a narrative is the plot. When creating a narrative, authors must determine their purpose, consider their audience, establish their point of view, use dialogue, and organize the narrative.
A narrative is usually arranged chronologically. An argumentative essay is a critical piece of writing, aimed at presenting objective analysis of the subject matter, narrowed down to a single topic. The main idea of all the criticism is to provide an opinion either of positive or negative implication. As such, a critical essay requires research and analysis, strong internal logic and sharp structure. Its structure normally builds around introduction with a topic's relevance and a thesis statement , body paragraphs with arguments linking back to the main thesis, and conclusion.
In addition, an argumentative essay may include a refutation section where conflicting ideas are acknowledged, described, and criticized. Each argument of argumentative essay should be supported with sufficient evidence, relevant to the point. An economic essay can start with a thesis, or it can start with a theme.
It can take a narrative course and a descriptive course. It can even become an argumentative essay if the author feels the need. If the essay takes more of a narrative form then the author has to expose each aspect of the economic puzzle in a way that makes it clear and understandable for the reader. A reflective essay is an analytical piece of writing in which the writer describes a real or imaginary scene, event, interaction, passing thought, memory, or form — adding a personal reflection on the meaning of the topic in the author's life.
Thus, the focus is not merely descriptive. The logical progression and organizational structure of an essay can take many forms. Understanding how the movement of thought is managed through an essay has a profound impact on its overall cogency and ability to impress. A number of alternative logical structures for essays have been visualized as diagrams, making them easy to implement or adapt in the construction of an argument.
In countries like the United States and the United Kingdom , essays have become a major part of a formal education in the form of free response questions. Secondary students in these countries are taught structured essay formats to improve their writing skills, and essays are often used by universities in these countries in selecting applicants see admissions essay.
In both secondary and tertiary education, essays are used to judge the mastery and comprehension of the material. Students are asked to explain, comment on, or assess a topic of study in the form of an essay. In some courses, university students must complete one or more essays over several weeks or months.
In addition, in fields such as the humanities and social sciences, [ citation needed ] mid-term and end of term examinations often require students to write a short essay in two or three hours.
In these countries, so-called academic essays also called papers , are usually more formal than literary ones.
Longer academic essays often with a word limit of between 2, and 5, words [ citation needed ] are often more discursive. They sometimes begin with a short summary analysis of what has previously been written on a topic, which is often called a literature review. Longer essays may also contain an introductory page that defines words and phrases of the essay's topic. Most academic institutions require that all substantial facts, quotations, and other supporting material in an essay be referenced in a bibliography or works cited page at the end of the text.
This scholarly convention helps others whether teachers or fellow scholars to understand the basis of facts and quotations the author uses to support the essay's argument and helps readers evaluate to what extent the argument is supported by evidence, and to evaluate the quality of that evidence. The academic essay tests the student's ability to present their thoughts in an organized way and is designed to test their intellectual capabilities.
One of the challenges facing universities is that in some cases, students may submit essays purchased from an essay mill or "paper mill" as their own work. An "essay mill" is a ghostwriting service that sells pre-written essays to university and college students. Since plagiarism is a form of academic dishonesty or academic fraud , universities and colleges may investigate papers they suspect are from an essay mill by using plagiarism detection software, which compares essays against a database of known mill essays and by orally testing students on the contents of their papers.
Essays often appear in magazines, especially magazines with an intellectual bent, such as The Atlantic and Harpers. Magazine and newspaper essays use many of the essay types described in the section on forms and styles e.
Your essay should have a serious tone, even if it's written in a light or lyrical style. Analyze how your essay flows. Does each sentence lead smoothly to the next?
Does each paragraph flow logically to the next? Although you can analyze your essay by reading through it, it's helpful to make a reverse outline, working from your essay to outline your thoughts. When events happen in sequence: I first started to realize that I was in the minority when I was in middle school My realization was confirmed when I proceeded to high school. If sentences elaborate on each other: Plants need water to survive A plant's ability to absorb water depends on the nutrition of the soil.
When an idea contrasts with another idea: Vegetarians argue that land is unnecessarily wasted by feeding animals to be eaten as food Opponents argue that land being used for grazing would not be able to be used to create any other kind of food. If you're relaying a cause and effect relationship: I will be the first person in my family to graduate from college I am inspired to continue my family's progress through the generations.
When connecting similar ideas: Organic food is thought to be better for the environment. Cut information that's not specifically related to your topic. You don't want your essay to ramble off-topic. Any information that doesn't directly or indirectly support your thesis should be cut out. Have someone read your paper aloud to you. Your ears are sometimes better than your eyes at picking up mistakes in language.
The essay should sound like it has a good flow and understandable words. As an alternative, you can record yourself reading it aloud and play it back. Rewrite any problematic body passages. If needed, rearrange sentences and paragraphs into a different order.
Make sure that both your conclusion and introduction match the changes that you make to the body. Compose your essay with a clear purpose. A persuasive essay is designed to sway the reader to adopt your point of view about a topic.
This means it's important that your views are expressed in a clear, concise manner, which allows the reader to understand your argument.
These are good examples of persuasive essay topics you might write about: Whether governments should or should not fund embryonic stem cell research. Whether love is a virtue or a vice. Why Citizen Kane is the best movie of the 20th century. Why American citizens should be forced to vote. Write your essay as though you are conducting a debate. When you speak in a debate, you introduce your topic, list your evidence and draw a conclusion for the people who are listening.
A persuasive essay has a similar structure. Collect facts from good sources to justify your opinions. Support your argument with reasoned facts. A well-written essay is great, but a well-argued essay is undeniable.
In addition to doing research, you can perform empirical experiments including taking surveys, doing interviews or conducting experiments. Survey results or interviews could be great pieces of information to start your essay with. Tell a story about the facts. Don't just list the facts; tell a story! How would you like to be one of those wrongfully-convicted inmates? Present the other side of your argument and use logic and facts to show why the other side's opinion is either inaccurate or not up-to-date.
You're showing the reader you are unbiased and considered the other arguments, but you concluded that your argument is the best. Time after time, evidence has disproved this theory. The death penalty, in fact, does not act as a deterrent to crime: Tie all your ideas together in a gripping conclusion. Be sure to stress your thesis, or what you are arguing for or against, one last time. Use some of the information you have discussed, or a story you've saved, to color your conclusion a little bit.
Choose a subject for your essay. You'll be investigating a topic and presenting your viewpoint about the topic based on evidence. Research papers usually fall under this category of writing. For example, you could write an expository essay arguing that embryonic stem cell research can lead to cures for spinal cord injuries and illnesses like Parkinson's or diabetes.
Expository essays differ from persuasive essays because you aren't stating an opinion. You're stating facts that you can back up with research. Select your strategy and structure. Some common strategies and structures for expository writing include: Definition essays explain the meaning of terms or concepts.
Classification essays organize a topic into groups starting with the most general group and narrowing down to more specific groups. In this type of essay, you'll describe either the similarities and differences or both between ideas or concepts. These essays explain how topics affect each other and how they are interdependent.
How-to essays explain the steps required for completing a task or a procedure with the goal of instructing the reader. Keep your views unbiased. Expository essays aren't about opinions. They are about drawing a conclusion based on verifiable evidence.
You might even find that, with new information, you'll have to revise your essay. If you started out writing about the scarcity of information regarding global warming, but came across a bunch of scientific evidence supporting global warming, you at least have to consider revising what your essay is about. Use the facts to tell the story. The facts will tell the story itself if you let them.
Think like a journalist when writing an expository essay. If you put down all the facts like a reporter, the story should tell itself. Don't mess with structure in expository essays. In narrative essays, you can twist and turn the structure to make the essay more interesting.
Be sure that your structure in expository essays is very linear, making it easier to connect the dots. Tell your story vividly and accurately. A narrative essay recounts an incident that either you or others have experienced. In a narrative essay, you could describe a personal experience in which embryonic stem cell research could have helped you or someone you love conquer a debilitating condition.
Include all of the elements of good storytelling. You'll need an introduction, setting, plot, characters, climax and conclusion. How are you going to set the story up? Is there something useful or important here that gets mentioned later on? Where the action takes place.
What does it look like? Which words can you use to make the reader feel like they are there when they read it? The meat of the story, the essential action. Why is the story worth telling? Who's in the story. What does the story tell us about the characters? What do the characters tell us about the story? The suspenseful bit before anything is resolved. Are we left hanging on the edges of our seat? Do we need to know what happens next? What does the story mean in the end? How have things, people, ideas changed now that the end is revealed?
Have a clear point of view. Most narrative essays are written from the author's point of view, but you can also consider other perspectives as long as your point of view is consistent. Utilize the pronoun "I" if you are the narrator.
In a narrative essay, you can use first person. However, make sure that you don't overdo it. In all essays, you sound more authoritative if you state facts or opinions in third person. You're telling a story, but the purpose of the story is to make a specific point.
Introduce your main idea in your thesis statement, and make sure that all of your story elements tie back to your thesis statement.
What did you learn? How is your essay an exploration of the things that you learned? How have you changed? How is the "you" that started the essay different from the "you" now? Related to, but different from, the "what did you learn? Choose your language carefully. You will use words to evoke emotions in your reader, so choose your words deliberately. Essay Help Essay Template. Sample Tess of the d'Urbervilles Essay. Start with a great fact, story, or compelling idea, then grow from there.
If you're stuck, many writers save their intro until the end, once they know the actual direction and evidence in the rest of the essay. Not Helpful 27 Helpful Not Helpful 18 Helpful Try to start with something intriguing and promising. Questions can be really effective for an introduction. Not Helpful 22 Helpful It depends on what the topic is about.
Normally all essays have an Introduction, paragraphs explaining the most important things about the theme about 2 or 3 , and a conclusion.
Not Helpful 26 Helpful You don't have to conclude the body paragraph in any particular way. That's what the conclusion paragraph is for. Not Helpful 24 Helpful What can I do if I have to write an essay for an exam and can't do research for it?
Know the topic well before hand. Though the essay question could vary widely, know the historical context of events related to the class. You will likely be given a document, or several, to respond to, so you will have some resources available. However it is necessary to know the historical context of the event the documents talk about, so you can interpret them correctly and provide contextualization in your essay.
Contextualization is telling what led up to an event, and is often helpful to explain why things happened and understand the mindset of the time period. Not Helpful 21 Helpful Research several sides of the topic and form an opinion. Introduce the various arguments about it, both for and against your view. Summarize the concepts, and statenwhy you believe what you believe. Not Helpful 5 Helpful Unless your teacher says otherwise, use 12pt Times New Roman font and remember to double-space your essay.
Some teachers will prefer 10pt font, but still request double-spacing. Not Helpful 36 Helpful You can either tell a story about a moment in your life when you learned something valuable about yourself or just tell the story of your life from beginning to end.
Not Helpful 25 Helpful Read the proverb several times, looking at the tone, voice and intended audience. Dissect the proverb, thinking about the intended meaning, and historical context. Write everything down and arrange it inside the structure of the essay in a way that flows and makes sense to you. Not Helpful 9 Helpful How to write an essay on a theme of a novel for literature? Answer this question Flag as Include your email address to get a message when this question is answered.
Already answered Not a question Bad question Other. Quick Summary If you need to write an essay, start by gathering information from reputable sources, like books from the library or scholarly journals online. Did this summary help you? Tips Don't rush everything, but also don't take too long to write your essay. Think about the main ideas as a priority before tackling the less important parts. Do not divert your attention to other things while writing an essay.
Make your essay interesting, so that people understand and take a keen interest in it. Don't wait until the last minute to write your essay!
You need to give yourself enough time to thoroughly follow the steps above. Otherwise, you could end up rushing through the work and find yourself with a poorly-written essay.
Don't procrastinate or you will find no time to finish it. Always be on the lookout for interesting information to add. Google is a good place to start your search. Refer to all illustrations and diagrams as Figure 1, 2, 3, etc. You can refer to tables and charts as Table 1, 2, 3, etc. Photos can be referred to as Photo 1, 2, 3, etc. Avoid including a figure that you do not specifically mention in the body of the essay. Ask for help at the start if you don't understand, don't leave it to the last minute to ask for help.
Making columns of point-form lists. Making a comma-spliced list inside a paragraph. Using et cetera etc. When teachers see "etc. This gives you a good point to look for ideas, rather than being reliant on memory and risking losing useful points.
Starting and ending can help the most Don't rush, but make sure you are very clear and your essay makes sense.
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For some, writing an essay is as simple as sitting down at their computer and beginning to type, but a lot more planning goes into writing an essay successfully. If you have never written an essay before, or if you struggle with writing and want to improve your skills, it is a good idea to go. Writing Essays When some students hear the word “essay” they may feel a little intimidated, but writing an essay doesn’t have to be scary at all. Essays take many forms, from answering a question on an exam to drafting a formal persuasive piece.