What is an essay, how to write it and from whom to take an example
Today we want to talk about a very popular literary and journalistic genre – essay. What is it, how can you write a good essay, what examples can be found in the literature in order to understand how this should ideally be.
Essay – what is it and the history of the formation of the genre
The essay is a small epic genre of literary creation, which was influenced by two styles: artistic and publicistic. According to its tasks, it is to the journalism, in the form of execution it resembles a full-fledged work of art (like a novelty).
To understand the nuances, understand what an essay is and learn how to write an essay yourself, you need to turn to history.
The need for a new form of communication with the reading public arises when no old form solves the problems facing society. Writers of the past formed public opinion, they listened to their words, they were called “the rulers of thoughts.”
The first experiments of literary creativity arose in the bosom of the church and were anonymous. The chronicles, the lives of saints, parables and teachings concerned the inner life of man and received the name of spiritual literature. On the border of the XVI-XVII centuries, the first author’s works appeared, literature became secular.
In the XVIII century, reading became a fashionable hobby of the educated nobility. However, the enlightened part of society in the face of writers could not help but notice: the noble elite is in a state of moral decay, numerous problems appear: social inequality, licentiousness, the cult of power and money, self-centeredness, imitation. It is time to declare sore loudly.
The role of the horn, directed directly into the soul of the secular reader, took the essay. Originating in the UK, this genre quickly “moved” to newspapers and magazines in France, and then in other European countries.
Types of essays – portrait, travel, problem
For more than 300 years of its existence, the essay has not lost its meaning. There are new varieties of it. He deeply took root in modern life and a scattering of new forms of “bloomed” in the Internet culture.
The canonically essay is divided into 3 types:
There are also essay-investigation, reportage, historical, philosophical, local history, memoir, judicial essay and others.
A portrait essay tells about the fate of a person in the context of his epoch and environment, travel describes road impressions, problematic – touches upon acute social issues selected by the author for discussion and resolution.
Signs of the genre
Here are the “tips” that will help you understand that we have an essay, and not an essay, a short story (what is this?), A quarterly report or a story:
- installation on authenticity (even if elements of fiction are used in the essay, they are based on real, documented data);
- the presence of the narrator or the character-observer, who sets out and analyzes the events occurring with him;
- clear structure;
- a single plot;
- objectivity of the presentation of the material;
- bright, figurative language, rich vocabulary, attracting the attention of rhetorical figures.
The peculiarity of this genre is that its structure does not change. It necessarily contains:
- introduction, in which the statement of the problem was voiced;
- the main part describing specific facts;
- conclusion, suggesting possible ways out of the problem situation.
It is possible to complete the presentation of a thought both by direct and indirect appeals to the reader, containing a call to perform or not to perform certain actions.
How to write an essay
To write a good essay, you need to take a few important steps.
Step 1. Read the essays, released from the pen of famous writers.
Step 2. Collect facts: visit the place about which the story will go, gather information in libraries, archives, private collections, talk with eyewitnesses of the events described.
Step 3. Align information by matching different sources. Since an essay is a work with a reliance on accuracy, it is impossible to give a subjective assessment without introducing the reader with objective data. He must draw conclusions about the problem himself.
Step 4. Create a hero who “animates” with his presence the plot or the leading thread of the story. In most essays, the narrator himself becomes such a hero.
Step 5. To think over the main idea of the work, to formulate an appeal to the reader.
Step 6. If the essay is dedicated to combating any manifestation of evil, for example, depending on gadgets (what is this?), You need to describe this dependence in the language of images. Say, to present it in the form of a sprint, choking its pale green tentacles from continuous sitting over the screens of teenagers.
After the work on the text is completed, read the essay as if it was written by your friend. Reading you captured? Is the main part “catchy”? Did you personally want to participate in solving the problem?
If yes, everything is fine. If not, cut down the text ruthlessly, give more living stories, quote the characters verbatim. The lethargy and dryness of the descriptive moment are unforgivable – be closer to life!