An essay is, by definition, a written piece of academic writing which provide the writer’s argument, but sometimes the definition is somewhat vague, encompassing those of an essay, a research paper, a book, an essay, and even a short story. Essays are traditionally thought of as formal and academic. For example, The New York Times Style Guide advises writers to use “a formal style, including all of the formal rules for styles (including broad and careful use of quotations and quotation marks, proper date formatting, and avoiding technical jargon when possible)”. In this way, one can interpret the essay as being for use only among educated people. However, as we will see below, the essay can be used by almost anyone who has a basic understanding of the language and who uses it to express an opinion.
Essays can be written about nearly anything under the sun, as long as the topic is sufficiently interesting and the essay involves reasonable arguments supporting the point of view that is argued in the essay. Thus, essays can be about religion, politics, art, literature, science, history, philosophy, social issues, personal essays, public speaking, creative writing, travel, fantasy, romance, humorous writings, psychological, philosophical, thriller, pornography, essays on race or sex, essays on nature, essays on food, essays on history, and more. As you can see, there are virtually endless themes that can be explored and written about in the essay arena. These can range from topics that require extensive research to essays that only require a little personal reporting, if the writer is interested in that area of interest.
A classic essay topic is the thesis statement. The thesis statement is the central point of the essay and, like the title, is the focus of the essay itself. Unlike a research paper, where the focus is the actual research performed in support of the conclusion of the argument, the thesis statement is the focus of the writing and, thus, is the focus of the essay itself. The thesis statement in an essay can contain one or more main ideas and can provide a strong point of contention for the writing.
There are two types of thesis statements in essay writing. The first type is a vague or an ambiguous thesis statement that is not supported by any specific or observable evidence. Often, this type of thesis statement relies on vague generalizations and is very hard to defend. The second type of thesis statement is the more definite and often more compelling.
One of the most important parts of the essay is the introduction. The introduction is usually the first paragraph and is usually the most direct statement of the thesis statement in the entire essay. The introduction is extremely important because it captures the reader’s attention right away and gets them interested with the remainder of the essay. The introduction needs to make a strong point in support of the thesis statement in order to support its claim and get the reader interested.
The conclusion is the last paragraph of the essay. The conclusion provides additional background information on the thesis statement and wraps up the essay. The conclusion also reinforces the arguments in the introduction and draws the reader to the next paragraph with the next critical piece of information. When writing an essay, make sure you cover all these areas of interest so the reader will be interested with your writing and will be excited to read through the entire assignment as well.