Not the most pleasant topic for those who find it difficult to write an essay on a certain topic.
But in fact, it’s not so terrible, because the essay should express exclusively your opinion on an issue or topic, well, sometimes you can also attach your favorite quotes or criticism from experts. So let’s get to what’s worth doing as soon as you realize you need to write an essay.
Signs of an essay
You can identify some general signs (features) of the genre, which are usually listed in encyclopedias and dictionaries:
- Small volume.
There are, of course, no rigid boundaries. Essays range from three to seven pages of computer text. For example, at Harvard Business School, essays are often written in just two pages. In Russian universities, essays of up to ten pages are allowed, though in typewritten text.
- A specific topic and emphatically subjective treatment of it.
The topic of the essay is always specific. An essay cannot contain many topics or ideas (thoughts). It reflects only one option, one thought. And develops it. It is an answer to one question.
- Free composition is an important feature of an essay.
Researchers note that an essay by its nature is arranged in such a way that it does not tolerate any formal frameworks. It is often constructed contrary to the laws of logic, is subject to arbitrary associations, is guided by the principle of “Everything in reverse”.
- Nonchalance of narration.
The author of an essay needs to establish a trusting style of communication with the reader; to be understood, he or she avoids intentionally complicated, unclear, overly strict constructions. Researchers note that a good essay can be written only by someone fluent in the topic, sees it from different angles, and is ready to present the reader with a not exhaustive, but multidimensional view of the phenomenon that became the starting point of his thoughts.
- A tendency to paradoxes.
The essay is designed to surprise the reader (listener) – this, according to many researchers, is its mandatory quality. The starting point for the reflections embodied in the essay is often an aphoristic, vivid statement or paradoxical definition that literally collides seemingly indisputable, but mutually exclusive statements, characteristics, theses.
- Internal semantic unity.
Perhaps this is one of the paradoxes of the genre. Free in composition, focused on subjectivity, the essay, at the same time, has an internal semantic unity, i.e. the coherence of the key theses and statements, the internal harmony of arguments and associations, the consistency of those judgments in which the personal position of the author is expressed.
- Orientation on colloquial speech
At the same time, it is necessary to avoid the use of slang, formulaic phrases, abbreviated words, and an overly frivolous tone in essays. The language used when writing an essay should be taken seriously.
So, when writing an essay, it is important to define (grasp) its topic, determine the desired length and purpose of each paragraph.
Start with the main idea or a vivid phrase. The task is to immediately capture the attention of the reader (listener). A comparative allegory is often used here when an unexpected fact or event is linked to the main topic of the essay.
Universal essay outline
Explain to yourself how you feel about the topic. Here’s an example: How do you feel about cheating on one of your partners? Is it normal, in terms of your perception of the world? Think about whether it’s right or immoral, and start writing gradually, from point to point:
- Formulating your position. Formulate your position and, if you think you should, write it in a short phrase: “I think …… because……. And I think it’s worth…..” You can use more than just this template to write your opinion on an issue, come up with something that reflects your position. The main thing – do not go into an excessive set of words, which you then do not understand. Everything should be short and clear, even to someone who is not on the subject.
- If you identify the topic and your opinion, you can proceed to the introduction. In general, it is considered the most difficult, because the introduction is like a name for the ship, as you name it, so it will sail, with the text as well. You shouldn’t, of course, get hackneyed templates from the category: “In a galaxy far, far away…” or “Long have people been…”. It’s boring, and you yourself will be bored reading it, although your thoughts are probably worth a normal and uncluttered word form. The easiest way to start is to ask, “Is cheating acceptable in today’s society or not?” And then you can answer as you think and at the same time apply your short answer, which was written above. You can also use some personal experience in the introduction. Why not, it will give confidence to you that you are on topic, and to the reader that you are not going to read him a moral about what is right, because it is right.
- The main body of the story should be about the topic. In the introduction, you outline the boundaries, and in the main body, you go deeper and show the position down to the grits with expert opinions and splashes of personal experience.
- In the conclusion, you blunt the corners and in this case give your essay form and finality. In fact, you say all the same things you said in the beginning, but as if from the side of the beholder. For example: “I believe that cheating on each other is ….., but it’s up to everyone how they will deal with their other half, etc.” The conclusion gives the reader to reflect on the topic themselves afterward while accepting your position and forming an opinion on the issue.
- Define a good headline.
A sample essay about cinema is located right here. You can find the signs and characteristics of the genre in a selection of all journalistic genres.
Stylistics of the work
Language and artistic means of the essay is an important part of the work, which is worth talking about in more detail:
- Supporting your opinion with facts from life, books, movies, and even biographies of famous personalities can be a great argument and give the work a semantic value.
- Low volume. You should not forget this, because if you were writing a dissertation and a research paper, you would be wrong about the section. With essays, however, the case is this: you do not need to write a small essay of more than 5 pages, albeit in large handwriting. About 10 sentences in the introduction, about 20 in the main body, and 5 in the conclusion will be enough. Doesn’t seem to be enough? That brings us to another criterion.
- Subjectivity and simplicity. Even your complex thoughts can be explained clearly and understandably. The essay is not a scientific paper, but your view of the problem, additionally structured for the general public. In this work, everything should be subjective and short.
Stylistically, your essay should be written in your own language, of course, profanity is not particularly welcome, and yes and a set of clericalisms your essay should not become. Write simply and without the words that only you or a narrow circle of people possess. If your essay will be full of scientific terms, explain them briefly and clearly, without rants and lyrical digressions. For this, your readers will mentally say “thank you,” because not everyone wants to look in the dictionary.
How to learn quickly?
Learning to write an essay is not difficult if you are interested in knowing how to write it.
First, read those authors who are good at them, then you will have a rough idea of what it is. It’s better to learn from those who already know how to write them. Writers of varying magnitude will help you.
Second, practice and read them to your loved ones or your Russian or literature teachers. You should listen to any criticism and make adjustments from your own bell tower.
The third point: form your own opinion and study the question that bothers you more deeply, then it will be easier for you to write and you will feel more confident.
How do you write an essay? With pleasure, if you are excited about the subject and are ready to put your thoughts on paper. Good luck with your writing!