“What is an Essay?” Are You Sure You Know the Answer?

What is an EssayAny modern student encounters the question of what is an essay during his/her course of education sooner or later.

Usually, this happens in a form of an assignment that the teacher, professor, or any other tutoring staff provides. It is a basic type of academic work that aims to test the student’s both creative and analytical thinking skills and evaluate his/her ability to apply them in a written form. An essay is first of all about expressing one’s opinion or idea about a specific topic and doing so on paper. In order to be able to conduct this form of creative writing, it would be reasonable for one to attempt to define exactly what is an essay.

Essay as a Written Thought

One may find difficulties in seeking the exact definition of what is an essay, however, it could be said for sure that it is a way of expressing the author’s thoughts. While there is no universal definition that would set this type of work within the boundaries of a set of rules, this characteristic clearly resembles its loose nature. One can describe an essay as a short story, a report, a research paper, a journal, or even a media blog article. The beauty of an essay lies in the fact that it can be all of the above, even at the same time.

What Types of an Essay are There?

An essay can take up numerous forms. One of the most recognizable is the academic essay – a short paper, usually 2-3 pages long, which is written as an academic assignment, in order to evaluate the gained knowledge of the student. Some teachers prefer to set fixed criteria for their essays, while some provide the freedom to express one’s opinion on the matter. It all comes down to the educational approach of each tutor. An essay can also take form of a journal review, book summary, self-assessment, movie critique, play analysis, history paper, and many others.

What is the Structure of an Essay?

The common academic essay in most cases is built from three main elements: the introduction, the body, and the conclusion. The introduction is a small paragraph that consists of a summary describing the main theme of what the essay is about. It starts with a hook, designed to catch the attention of the reader, and ends with a thesis that sets the main topic. The body is the main part that consists of most of the text, and the conclusion is a summary which is similar to the introduction, although different in the way it attempts to outline what was gained as a result of the conducted work or research.

Why Write an Essay?

The answers may quite differ, as they are plenty. An essay is commonly chosen as an academic assignment since it allows the student not only to learn how to collect thoughts and knowledge, but to chain them together in a form of creative writing. It is a unique practice that is capable of stimulating one’s both creative and analytical thinking. However, the best part about writing an essay is that the process can be quite enjoyable for the writer him/herself, and can even pass on this joy further to the reader.