What is an essay?

What is an essay?

An essay is a literary composition, usually in prose. However, literal meaning of the word 'essay' means to attempt. An essay can be written on any subject on earth. Therefore, the subjects of essays are not confined to any specific area. That is why the scope of writing essays is unlimited.

Therefore, an essay is a prose composition. This is an exercise in composition on various subjects divided mainly under following headings—
(a) Personal
(b) Descriptive
(c) Narrative
(d) Reflective
(e) Biographical

How to write an essay?

Introduction is the most important part of an essay as it introduces the readers to the main theme of the composition. A student can write good introduction only if he is clear about the subject he is writing about. He is supposed to have collection of ideas and then selection of the material for a particular subject is the most significant exercise of mind. The ideas must not be rambling. They must be to the point. It is better if a student can illustrate his ideas with facts, figures and examples in short.

Logical Arrangement
However, these ideas must be arranged logically to make a piece of writing effective. For this purpose the essay should be divided into paragraphs dealing with a single idea convincingly. The body of an essay comprises these ideas arranged logically.

Conclusion of the essay is supposed to satisfy the readers and they should be convinced when they have gone through the essay. Abrupt ending leaves the readers dissatisfied. The effect of the whole essay is marred.

Style last but not least, leaves a lasting impression on the readers. It gives insight into the character of the writer. It has not been said in vain that style, is the man". It is better to be direct, simple and precise. The students should not labour under wrong conception that the use of difficult words is rewarding. Unnecessary repetitions and ambiguous language should be avoided at all costs. Therefore, the style of the essay should be natural, concise and clear. Adhere to the length of the essay as is required of you by the examiner. However, an essay is normally 400-500 word long composition.