To most people the word “essay” connotes with it a writing kind that is expected to be churned out by student for their high school, college and the English language tests fashioned by EFL and ESL. In such essays, students are required to present to present the ideas of other people, and evaluate or argue for or against the ideas so presented impartially. This is a far cry from the majestic writing form pursued by Lamb, Hazlitt amongst many others. A characteristic feature of the essay thrust upon students these days is that the author remains anonymous and avoids referring to himself as far as practically applicable.
The form made its first appearance during the late periods of the 16th century with the highly regarded and one of the early practitioners of the form, Montaigne, a Frenchman. He came out with the notable and large collections of essays or attempts in the year 1580. As matter of irony these sorts of essays are distinguished by their personal tone.
The curious form of the essay may be a bit demystified by an examination of its etymological origins. It is derived from a French word which translates to “try”. Thus an essay was primarily meant to serve as a vehicle of an attempt to clear out or persuade the reader to follow a personal line of thought. Essays are more of an illuminated piece that bears in mind that the point of view illustrated is dependent on the understanding that is achieved through experience.
Hazlitt severely criticizes approaching the essay from a scholarly point of view in his noted essay “On the ignorance of the learned” and is all for the opinion voiced by personal experience. To Hazlitt the essay remained a form to be practiced for the expression of truths in an unscholarly fashion originating from genuine experience.
In its early days the essay also allowed its patrons to use a language that is closer to actual conversations. In this context one cannot but recollect “Happiest Days” an outstanding essay of literary beauty on childhood written Gail Hamilton. In it she directly addresses the reader as you, which if used by a student of today is of considerable shock to his teacher.
The vigorous style as practiced by famed essay writers continues till date. One may still find practitioners who still consider the form with as sanctity as an art form. Students however, often consider essay writing a daunting task. However, thanks to PenMyPaper and the easy access to information that it has become much less daunting.
One still needs to play by the rule of the powers that be if one has to stay in the world and survive and students still can find enough resources should they Google “essay writing help”, as is said in today’s words, essay writing service online free.
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