Writing Essays



An essay means a piece of composition on a topic. The definition of it literally varies from person to person but the entire semanticity of different definitions, to some extent, seems to be similar. Oxford Advanced Learner's Dictionary defines essay as a "piece of writing usualy short and non prose, on any one subject".

The essay is a long piece of composition on a theme or subject. It is contained that is, it has a beginning, a middle and an end. The beginning usually introduces the subject in general forms. The middle of the essay develops the theme and presents the writer's thought on it. Then the essay is brought to a close in a suitable concluding passage" (Narayanaswami 2000).


Doctor Johnson defines an essay as "a loose sally of the mind: an irregular indigested piece, not a regular and orderly composition. Literally the word means an attempt or an experiment. An essay is also regarded as a literary composition on any subject usually in prose and short".


Etymology says the word 'essay' has been derived from the French word ├ęssai" which means trial or attempt. Montaigue is known as the first man to write the essays; then the system of writing essays started and spread all over the world.

It can be on the basis of the aforementioned definitions, concluded that an essay is a self-contained piece of writing in prose on a theme or subject.


Essays can be either literary or non-literary on any subjects or topics. The essays can be categorized as literary and non-literary on the basis of the following criteria:


1. the style of presentation,


2 language form and wording,


3. the nature of the theme they deal


4. the purpose of writing.

The main purpose of writing the literary essays is to provide pleasure to the readers. On the other hand, the purpose of writing the non-literary ones is to 'get' something done or to push world in a certain direction.

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