Essays are written at school, when applying to university, and even when applying for a job. This genre gives the author complete freedom of self-expression, but that's what makes it tricky. Let's find out what makes an essay unique and how to write it correctly. What is an essay and what are the main types
What is an essay?
It is a literary genre in which the author argues on any topic, expresses his opinion on a social, moral or other problem in an individual author's manner of presentation. As a rule, essays are small in size, and the genre is not limited by strict requirements. The appropriateness of the piece depends on what its purpose is.
What kinds of essays are there?
Depending on the subject of the statement, there are these types of essays:
Analytical essay. Designed to critically examine a thesis or phenomenon. It broadcasts the author's opinion on the topic, indicates the side he takes in a controversial issue.
Critical essay. An analysis of someone's work (an article, a film, a work of fine art, etc.). It indicates the strengths and weaknesses of the work, reveals the subtleties of its creation. The author of the essay assumes what the creator wanted to convey to the public, and summarizes whether he or she managed to achieve the goal.
Argumentation Essay. Proves a certain thesis with the help of weighty arguments.
Definition essay. Explains a subject or phenomenon, gives comprehensive information about it. In this case, it is not necessary to prove the usefulness, workability or fidelity of the subject. Within this type, there is an essay-description that tells about the objective characteristics of the subject.
Narrative essay. Describes an event or action. Often it has an informative or entertaining purpose and should interest the reader in what is happening. This type of essay is similar to a short story: it also has a plot, development of events, denouement and conflict.
Comparison essay. A work that draws parallels between a subject and a similar phenomenon. In addition, essays can be objective and subjective. If the author emphasizes his opinion, looks at the problem through the prism of his own values, rather than detached, his work is subjective.
Characteristics of essays
This form of presentation, although considered free, but over the centuries of existence has acquired a number of such features:
Small volume. As a rule, the essay presents a capacious argumentative thought, revealing the topic.
The subject of the essay is one clearly formulated problem or thesis. This form is not designed to explore a wide range of issues and their in-depth analysis. The author of the essay reflects on a rather narrow topic, looking for an answer to a specific question.
Subjectivity of presentation. The author presents his own vision of the issue and finds objective arguments for it. The writer makes no claim to the truth. The essay expresses his personal view.
Novelty. Often the subject of the essay is a topical idea or an ambiguous issue. The author seeks to give a new opinion on the subject.
Free composition. There are no clear requirements for the structure of the essay. The author chooses the order in which to present an idea in order to interest the reader. Simplicity of narration. Although the essay does not have a clear structure, it retains a logical narrative. The author gives argument after argument, which gradually reveals his position.
Structure of the essay
The structure of the essay does not have a clear structure, but its scheme usually includes:
Introduction. This part should set the emotional mood, bring the reader to the issue at hand, interest, encouraging him to read the text to the end.
The main part. At this stage, the author puts forward theses, finds them justifications, thus proving his own point of view.
Conclusion. Summarizing what was said in the main part, the author makes a general conclusion. If the purpose of the introduction is to interest the reader, the conclusion should give integrity to the overall picture, encourage reflection or, on the contrary, leave no doubts about the validity or vitality of the ideas expressed by the author.
Content. The main thing in the essay is the presence of a clearly marked author's "ego" in the reflections on the given topic, the presence of a clearly expressed attitude to the issue of concern. The specific semantic content of the work of this genre is fully determined by its type. Thus, if the subject of reasoning relates to history, then the basis of the essay could be a global reflection on the consequences of revolutions and wars, or the assessment of individual significant events from the perspective of the author. An essay in philosophy can be devoted to a comparison of several conceptual schools, while an essay in literature can be devoted to a critique of a well-known classic novel or a controversial work by a contemporary author, from an unconventional point of view.