According to history, the origin of essay writing goes as far as the 16th century and was part of a self-portrayal done by Michel de Montaigne. The term ‘essay’ was adopted from the French word, “essayer”, which was adopted from the Latin word “exagium” which means to present one’s case. So, essays are pieces of writing that represent one’s side of an argument or one’s experiences.
Having briefly discussed the history of essay writing, let’s proceed to look at the meaning of essay writing
What Is Essay Writing?
Essay writing is essentially a piece of writing in which a writer discusses a selected topic from his perspective. It is similar to a story or an article although there are some differences among the three forms of writing. Furthermore, an essay can be formal as well as informal.
Formal essays are generally academic in nature and tackle critical topics while informal essays are more personal and can often have humorous elements. The art of essay writing allows individuals to express their thoughts, ideas, and opinions while also providing evidence, analysis, and support for their claims.
Types Of Essay Writing
The type of an essay depends on what message the writer intends to convey to his reader, the writing structure, and the use of tenses. Hence, we can classify types of essay writing into five general categories:
Narrative Essay Writing
As the name implies, narrative essays are employed by writers to narrate an incident or tell a story. The major aim of the essay is to present the event or story in such a way that the reader can relate to the happenings mentioned by the writer. Therefore, narrative essay writing must be vivid and real as possible.
Descriptive Essay Writing
Here, the writer describes a place, an object, an event or even an experience. However, it is not just plainly describing things or events. The writer must be able to paint a picture in the mind of the readers through his words. One clever way to do this is to evoke the senses of the reader by not only relying on sight but also involving other senses of smell, touch, sound, and so on. A well-written descriptive essay should make the reader feel the emotions of the writer.
Expository Essay Writing
In this type of essay writing, a writer presents a balanced study of a topic. To write such an essay, the writer must have real and extensive knowledge about the subject. It is completely based on facts, statistics, examples etc. Expository essays can be further subdivided into contrast essays, cause-and-effect essays, and many more.
Here the purpose of the essay is to get the reader to your side of the argument. A persuasive essay is not just a presentation of facts but an attempt to convince the reader of the writer’s point of view. Both sides of the argument have to be presented in these essays but the ultimate aim is to persuade the reader that the writer’s argument carries more weight.
This type of essay writing is similar to a persuasive essay but the major difference is that an argumentative essay is primarily based on facts and credible evidence, unlike a persuasive essay which is based on the emotions of the writer. Hence, they both present a specific point of view and aim to convince, but differ in how the points are passed to the reader.
Format Of An Essay
There is actually no substantive format for how an essay should be written. However, there is a basic structure that is generally followed when writing essays. So, let us take a look at the basic format of an essay:
- Introduction: This is the first paragraph of your essay and where you introduce the topic for the very first time. Generally, it is not very long, about 4-6 lines. You can also give a brief summary of your essay in the introductory paragraph. Moreover, there are several ways to get creative in the introduction of an essay so as to draw the writer’s attention. It could be an intriguing question, a proverb, statistics, or facts to make the reader become interested in your essay write-up.
- Body: This is the main section of the essay and thus, the most vital content of essay writing will be here. This need not be confined to a paragraph. It can actually extend to two or more paragraphs according to the content. It is important to organize your thoughts and content as a writer which is a common mistake among writers. Disorganized content confuses the readers. Ensure that the body of your essay is written in a flow that the reader can comprehend.
- Conclusion: This is the last paragraph of the essay. It is a final summary of the essay and gives an overview of the essay from the introduction to the body.
Tips For Writing A Good Essay
Here are some basic tips for writing a good and readable essay:
- Give your essays an interesting and appropriate title. It will help draw the attention of the reader and make them curious.
- Keep your language simple and crisp. Unnecessary complicated and difficult words break the flow of the sentence.
- Do not make grammar mistakes, use correct punctuation and spelling. If this is not done, it will distract the reader from the content
- Before writing the essay, organize your thought and plot a rough draft. This way, you can ensure the story will flow and not deliver an unorganized mess.
- Your conclusion is your chance to leave a lasting impression. Recap your main points, reinforce your thesis, and provide a sense of closure.
- How do I structure an essay?
Basically, an essay write-up consists of three parts; the Introduction part which presents the context and thesis statement, the Body which consists of the main points of an essay writing, and the Conclusion segment which summarizes all the points and gives a feel of closure.
2. What is it called when you start an essay writing with a quote?
It is called a hook which is done to grab the reader’s attention so that they read on till the last sentence. It could be in the form of a question also.
3. How do I make my essay more engaging?
Using a HOOK helps draws the reader’s attention, it could be a quote, a thought-provoking question, or intriguing examples to captivate your reading audience.
4. What is the thesis statement of an essay?
The thesis statement is a clear, one-sentence explanation of your position that leaves no doubt in the readers’ minds about which side you are on.
5. How do I consider a topic for my essay?
Go for one that interests you and is meaningful to your audience.
As a beginner, understanding the nook and cranny of essay writing might seem impossible. However, with constant practice and studying different essays, you will become a master in no time. Endeavour to pick up a pen once you have gone through the article and see if you can utilize our tips.
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