The essay is a literary genre characterized by allowing the expression of a particular subject under a free and personal format. Often the authors carry out these essays in order to show some opinion or idea of their own, and avoiding having to worry about clinging to a rigid pre-established drafting structure or under the obligation to document it comprehensively.
Definition of essay in the RAE dictionary
What is an essay?
In the Dictionary of the Royal Academy, the term is defined as a writing in which an author develops his ideas without having to show the learned apparatus
There are three denominations that can lend themselves to some confusion and are:
– The expository essay
– The argumentative essay
– The critical essay
Even when we make these three classifications, it is always the same kind of work. Such expressions are often used in certain con essays, especially in academia, either in high school or college.
For example, with the expression of critical essay, we want to emphasize that it is a writing in which the most important thing is what the author thinks, his criticism. Referring to an essay, we are talking about an exposition of ideas, based on arguments, which is both expository and argumentative, and at the same time critical, since it is judging a certain issue.
Characteristics of an essay
Main aspects of an essay.
Because it is an essentially free literary genre, it would be difficult to determine limits or unique characteristics to write an essay but we can still summarize its main characters in the following list: – Thematic freedom – Personal or friendly style in writing – Can include quotations or references – Without a defined structure, the author chooses the order in which he develops his argument – Its extension depends on the author – Generally aimed at a wide audience. See in more depth the parts that make up an essay here.
History of the condensation genre.
The sixteenth-century French author, Michel De Montaigne, is considered to be the creator of the essayist style. The French writer was the first to call his writings by that name. They were characterized by expressing in a free way the thinking of its author. Perhaps for this reason the maxim of the well-known Spanish essayist Jose Ortega y Gasser, The essay is the science, but the explicit essay, serves to perfectly exemplify the essence of this genre.
How to Write an Essay
Choice and delimitation of the topic
Writing an essay always implies a personal expression of the author in his ideas. While there is no method to follow or precise rules, it is possible to take into account some guidelines and suggestions, especially in the cases of people who for the first time want to enter the essay style.
The first thing that we must have in clear to begin is to realize in a correct way the choice and delimitation of the subject to treat.
Parts of an essay
Organizing the parts of an essay depends on its author. In most of them the classic division of:
Introduction to the essay: It presents the theme and the way in which it will be approached by the author. To attract the interest of the reader you can present an interesting fact, surprising information, a quote that invites reflection, an intriguing paradox, the explanation of a rare term, a brief (real) narration / anecdote, a provocative question.
For example: Tine Wilson once said: “The great mystery for philosophy is the problem of being.” If the philosophers have not agreed on this problem, it means that we are faced in this work with the theme that keeps philosophical thought alive ?.
Learn more about the steps to write the introduction of an essay
Development of the essay: It is the main content, it contains the arguments of the subject. It develops the aspects indicated in the introduction. It is a very important section of the essay as it demonstrates the capacity of organization and argumentation of the writer. More details on the steps to write the development of an essay
Conclusion of the essay: A final part to summarize what the essayist wanted to convey with his work. If your essay was long and complex, sometimes difficult to follow, in the conclusion capitulate your ideas in a clear and summarized way. You are interested in having your readers understand the message you are trying to communicate. However, if your essay was short and simple, do not insult your readers by mentioning again the ideas they already understood.
More about the steps to correctly write the conclusion of an essay
Types of essays
The variety of styles used in the essays and the subjects they deal with depend heavily on the writer. Although the task of writing an essay on a particular subject can sometimes be assigned for work or study purposes, the way of writing it is always personal.