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    What is an Essay?

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    An essay is an author’s systematic presentation of their ideas and findings on a particular subject. It could be on a topic related to political manifestos, learned arguments, daily reflections, literary criticism, name it. When you read a well-written essay, you can see the flow of thoughts of the writer.

    Why write an essay? Are essays as necessary as depicted in every level of education you have been through? Below are some benefits and reasons why essays are written;

    • To enable formal documentation of information
    • To help you plan and organize your thoughts on paper
    • To help you with further exploration and evaluation of what you are learning
    • Their elaborate structure aids in clear communication of written information to the reader
    • Equip you with skills like note-taking, critical thinking, the organization of ideas and effective communication

    Types of essays

    Different essayists draft different research papers depending on the disciplines they specialize in. A political analyst, for example, writes a different type of essay from that of college students. The following list is a brief explanation of the main types of essays known. The one you are familiar with depends on what area of study you have majored in.

    Narrative essays

    A narrative essay gives a clear flow of events from the author’s point of view. It is usually written in the first person and in either present or past tense. You will just get the whole story from a well-written narrative thesis.

    Descriptive essays

    In a descriptive essay, one gives a vivid description of their topic. The essayist could be describing a location, community, object or person. As a reader, you are able to get a mental picture of what was explained.

    Compare and contrast essays

    A compare and contrast essay is one where the author gives the similarities and differences of particular subjects in the paper. There is a clear relationship between the subjects of discussion in such an essay, and that comes out clearly in this essay type.

    Argumentative essays

    The aim of an argumentative essay is to convince readers to see things from the author’s point of view. The paper is filled with proven facts only and is used in approaching controversial issues in the society. The language used is very firm. If you write such an essay, be ready for the task of manipulating the thoughts of anybody reading it.

    Persuasive essays

    In this type of essay, the writer has the task of convincing readers that the content of that particular essay is the only right approach. You have to research thoroughly and be persuasive enough to win over as many people as possible. You may write both sides of the story in the essay, but ensure that the side you take makes the most sense.

    Synoptic essays

    Synoptic essays are used in many historical papers. As the recorder of these events, you are also expected to give an overview of your understanding of the different themes used.

    Exploratory essays

    In exploratory papers, the writer gives a nonfiction story written in prose. The readers are confined to one line of thought in this type of essay as there is only one line of interpretation. Usually, there is no specific position the author takes; they simply identify a subject and explore it in all points of view.

    Analytical essays

    An analytical essay is one that gives more than one point of view to the subject of discussion. You analyze an issue from many angles, and mince out all the knowledge there is to tell about that particular topic.

    Review essays

    This type of essay is mainly used by novelists. The writer gives a review of a book or story, including the merits and demerits. You can also discuss the theme and lingual styles used in the book being reviewed.

    Structuring an Essay

    Despite the various types, essays are pretty simple to write. They may not all share the same content, but their outline is similar in all of them. This is regardless of whether you are writing in APA format, in Harvard format or in MLA format.

    Each essay has an introductory part, a body or middle section where the topic is exhaustively discussed, and a concluding segment. The main components of a well-written essay are as follows;

    Introductory segment

    This is the part where you introduce your topic of discussion and give a brief overview of the essay. It is where the topic definition and thesis statement is given. If you want to have many readers, you have to make your introduction very interesting, direct and unique.

    Brief background information

    This is usually written before you get to the main topic of discussion. It is best given in the introductory segment or at the beginning of the body section. This gives the reader a better understanding of your topic.

    Data analysis

    The main part of an essay is data analysis. All the points you need to put across concerning your topic are analyzed in the body section. Without this part in your paper, your essay is incomplete and less useful.


    As you present your argument points in an essay, you should give room for any counterarguments that may arise. State them in your essay and ensure that you give points to make your initial argument more convincing and valid.

    The wrap-up segment

    The conclusion part of any type of essays is where you give a summary of what you have been writing. It is also where you make your thesis statement in relation to how it has been explained in the essay. Without this segment, readers are left hanging.

    An Essay is perfect when…

    As a writer, it is upon you to ensure that your essays are of the best quality. Below are some of the characteristics of well-written essays;

    • An essay is termed readable when the chain of thought is clear, and the paper has a flow from the beginning to the end.
    • Perfect essays are information-sufficient. You will not find some missing information or inadequate data to support a point.
    • There is no fluff in quality essays.
    • Good essays are those that make sense. The proposed topic is sensible, and the supporting points are well stipulated.

    In a Nutshell

    The type of essay you write depends on what makes you write it and the subject you are dealing with. Ensure that you plan before writing: get the most relevant topic and conduct thorough research on it in advance.

    A submitted essay will illustrate your flow of thoughts. This should prompt you to do your best in preparing papers. With proper structuring when writing and evaluation during editing and revision, your essays are going to be outstanding. Your essays are your definition – look good in them.

    This essay was written by a fellow student. You may use it as a guide or sample for writing your own paper, but remember to cite it correctly. Don’t submit it as your own as it will be considered plagiarism.

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    What is an Essay?. (2018, Nov 05). Retrieved from

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