The term essay goes back to the Middle Latin word exagium, which translates roughly as sample or trial. This translation reflects quite well what an essay is about. An essay is a treatise in which the author’s engagement with the respective topic is in the foreground.
Question and perspectives
An essay is characterized by the experimental way in which the author approaches the question, for example by looking at it from different perspectives. However, it is not the actual considerations that are decisive, but rather their development, in which the author lets the reader participate.
In other words, this means that an essay is the attempt to deal with a critical, discussing, comparative, grounding and testing question. In schools, students rarely learn how to write an essay.
This may be because an essay is very subjective and thus difficult to compare with other works. In addition, an essay is characterized by a rather small extent and unlike a housework usually only covers about five to ten pages. On the other hand, essays can certainly be required in the course of studies and in some of the courses.
Instructions and tips to write an essay
At the latest then the question arises, how an essay is written, which tips apply and whether it is not a kind of general essay writing instructions. As for almost any paperwork there is of course also an essay for a guide in the sense of a guide.
However, since the tutorial merely consists of an essay being divided into an introduction, a main part and a conclusion, it is probably more helpful to first point out what is important when writing an essay.
An essay is a scientific work
But unlike a classical scientific work, an essay does not have to sound stylistically strictly scientific. This means that the author has to find a middle ground between a bloated, stilted, cumbersome scientific language and a loose, colloquial tone.
It is important, therefore, that the author writes in his own fresh and easy language, but still makes precise statements. In addition, the author can and should use the first person form, because he finally describes his opinion and his thoughts.
The reasoning in an essay must follow a common thread.
The limited scope makes it necessary to distinguish between the important and the unimportant and to omit individual details, but nevertheless the actual line must be preserved. It is also crucial to actually deal with the problem.
This means that aspects should not only be described and arguments should not only be strung together. Rather, it is about developing different thoughts, taking different perspectives, discussing, comparing, justifying and examining them.
Formally, an essay is divided into an introduction, a main part and a conclusion.
Unlike other scientific papers, however, it is important for an essay that the structure of the text be consistent, so that it remains recognizable even if there were no headings.
Although individual sections, paragraphs and headings contribute to a clear look, they do not replace the structuring of the text with linguistic means. For this reason, an essay often omits subheadings and occasionally uses only numbers instead of headings.
The purpose of the introduction is to arouse the reader’s interest in the present text. After a most interesting and meaningful introductory sentence, which may contain, for example, a metaphor, a quote or a pun, the reader is tuned to the following work.
For this purpose, the question is formulated in their own words, it can also be described which phenomenon is explained, which issues are at stake, which existing opinion is discussed or which texts are discussed. In addition, the author should point out the reader’s own attitude and the core message of his essay.
The main part then deals with theses, examples and one’s own reasoning. It is important not to deal too much with details, but to condense, analyze and substantiate the statements with examples. Quotations should only be used if a certain choice of words is very important, otherwise the author should work with his own words if possible.
The final section summarizes the main points of the argumentation, but should not simply repeat, but also condense. In addition, the author can point out here to new questions or approaches that have emerged from the treatise. In addition, the author can conclude his essay with an interesting final sentence, which encourages the reader to continue to occupy himself with the topic and to make his own thoughts about it.