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What is an ESSAY

What is an ESSAY

An essay is a piece of writing which provides the author's perspective on some subject or topic. Its length can range from 100 words to 1000 words or maybe more. Essays can be formal and informal.

Formal essays are often written for serious purposes, a great example of a formal essay would be an essay for a school magazine on some serious topic or subject or an essay for a newspaper article however informal essays are characterized by unconventionality and totally depends on an individual's taste. Informal letters are usually used to express one's opinion on a topic with a bit of humor and rambling structure.

Essays have become an inseparable part of formal education in many countries including India. Primary and secondary students are taught well-structured essay formats to ameliorate their writing skills. Essays have also become a way to assess the performance of humanities students during their final exam

History of Essay

This form of literature is not of ancient origin. In the year 1571, the 'essay' was invented by a French philosopher named Montaigne. He called his short and minuscule philosophical writings which were products of the moment by the French word 'assai'. The essay became a good source to deliver one's feelings and share /her own philosophy through them. Essays can be used for different purposes like criticizing someone, and basic observations of daily life.

There are many countries that have included essays in their formal education. Writing essays on a regular basis can help in expanding your knowledge about different things, and it also helps in developing writing skills. According to "Oxford English Dictionary" the person who used the word essayist for the first time was" Ben Jonson". When England was going through the "Age of Enlightenment", polemicists of England used essays as a way to influence their readers. Addison and Steele were one of the most celebrated essayists of the eighteenth century. Essays existed in Japan way before they existed in Europe, they existed by the name "zuihitsu".

What is an ESSAY

Types Of Essays:

The type of essay basically depends upon what the writer wants to convey to his readers. Essays basically have 5 types.

What is an ESSAY
  1. Narrative Essays: These types of essays are written in first person form. These include the essays where the writer is narrating a story. The writer tries to write as vividly as possible so that the writer feels that the events are happening in front of them. If anyone wants to write these types of essays, he could follow the principle "Show, don't tell".
  2. Descriptive Essays: In this type of essay, the writer tries to describe a place, a thing, or even a memory. One way of doing this is to bring not only sight but different senses like touch, smell, and sound into the picture. If the descriptive essay is written in a well-mannered way, then the reader will feel the emotions writer was feeling while writing it. The narrator should try to paint a picture.
  3. Expository Essays: These types of essays don't have emotions. It doesn't have any place for the writer's emotions. It includes facts and statistics. To write this type of essay one should have very extensive knowledge of the subject. Expository essays are further categorized into the following subtopics:
    • Cause and Effect: This type of essay is basically done by connecting cause to its effect by various chains. In this type of essay before coming to the conclusion writer must understand the subject and purpose of the subject. He should see what are the demands of the audience.
    • Compare and Contrast: As the name itself suggests, these types of essays are used to compare 2 things, both the similarities and dissimilarities.
  4. Persuasive Essays: These types of essays are used to influence the reader, to bring him to his side of the argument. The writer has to write arguments from both sides, but the ultimate goal is to convince that writer is right, his arguments carry more weight than the other.
  5. Descriptive Essays: These types of essays are all about sensory details. These types of writings affect the physical senses of the reader. This type of essay is written in a detailed manner so that it appeals to the reader's intellectual, emotional and physical sensibilities.

Format of an Essay:

There is no hard and fast rule about how an essay should look. An essay is all about the thoughts of an individual, so we can't confine it by putting boundaries on it. However, a basic structure is followed, it is to help the writer only. Now let's have a look at that basic structure. It basically tells the reader what they are going to learn about in this essay.

i) Introduction:

This is the start of an essay, so this should look intriguing. Good phrases or some catchy lines related to the subject could be used to attract the reader's mind. The writer can also give the synopsis of his topic in the introduction, about what this essay is going to be and its contents. It is not more than 5-6 lines. Skills like paragraph writing are of great use here. The introduction is a great way to hook the reader/draw and keep his attention. You can also start by giving the definition of the topic to the reader or you can ask a question.

ii) Body:

Writing an essay is like making a sandwich, so the body is the ingredient that helps you make your sandwich delicious. It is placed between the Introduction and the Conclusion. This is the most important part of an Essay; it is the crux. This is not only limited to one or two paragraphs, you can go beyond that and write 5-6 paragraphs to make your essay knowledgeable.

While the body is the most important part, this is also the part where most writers make mistakes. People write in a haphazard manner which leaves the readers confused. So it is very important that before writing you organize your thoughts, pen down the important points in a rough paper, and then start writing. This makes your essay more presentable. We provide most of the information in the body, one of the ways is to write in a systematic flow, for example, if you are narrating a story you should write in chronological order so that the reader can comprehend. The body also provides evidence to prove and influence the reader to accept the writer's point of view.

iii) Conclusion:

This part is the end of the essay. Most writers end by giving moral knowledge of the story. The conclusion looks a lot like the introduction part of the essay, but make sure that its syntax and the word it contains are different from the introductory part. The conclusion gives you a great place, to sum up, your story and argument. It is very necessary to write the conclusion and you should make sure that you didn't leave any hanging threads.

Tips on How to make your Essay a great Essay:

  1. As we know the title is the first thing that a reader sees, so giving a great title to your essay ensures that you have the attention of the reader, it also increases the curiosity of the reader.
  2. The too short essay won't satisfy the reader and too long will bore him, you don't want either of them. Keep your essay of an appropriate/ideal length which is around 500-600 words. You can increase or decrease it according to the subject.
  3. Not all readers have great knowledge of English, so you should try to keep your essay crisp and simple. Complicated and Difficult words ruin the flow of the sentence, avoid doing that.
  4. Avoiding grammatical mistakes is very necessary, otherwise, it distracts the reader. Punctuations and spellings should be used correctly.
  5. Before writing directly you should have a rough work, where the important points are noted, it helps in keeping the flow of your essay. Having a rough draft helps in avoiding mess.
  6. Before diving into the essay you should know its requirements, you should explore as much as you can about the background information of the topic.
  7. Having a thesis statement and the arguments in it help in the formation of the essay. Thesis statement means a single statement which makes it clear on which side the writer is.
  8. After the completion of the task editing and reviewing it is very important, it helps in avoiding stylistic and structural mistakes.

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