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“Do You Know” Time: What Is An Essay And Its Classifications?

what is an essay

Essays are integral slices of academics, that every one of you will come across at a certain point of time. If you haven’t yet written a good piece of essay, it’s high time you should know the actual meaning, its classifications, and other details. Eventually, the wisdom will help you in scoring better. Before a poor writing pattern affects your grades, take this full-proof essay guidebook into consideration.

So, What Is an Essay?

The first impression it makes is that of just a piece of writing, but you will get a reality check as you proceed further with the sample. By definition, an essay is a club of instances through which you present a proposition or thesis. It is more like a process where you get the chance of validating your opinions, point of views, analyses, simulations, and interpretations.

The sole purpose of academic essays is to evaluate your understanding of a topic. Most of the term papers entail an essay topic and its fate depends on the quality of composition. Successful papers reflect a combination of your understanding, individual research, and materials/notes from academic lectures. If you can preserve the same in your essay, grades will excel automatically.

Normally, universities assign the popular essay topics in question format. If not so, find one of your own. Every topic embraces an integral question or problem. It is a crucial part of your writing process, as essays mainly entertain a discursive-retorting formation. The pattern suggests insertion or arguments, evidence, solutions as in response to the central question. This means the compositions mainly portrays formal third person tone, having exceptions only for a few (reflective essay).

If you need any help with essays, then ask PenMyPaper team of professionals.

Take A Tour to The History

Alike many other French derivations, the term “essay” has been patented from the French conjugation “essayer.” Initially, it meant “to try,” from there “to try on,” and finally, “to assay” giving birth to the term “essay.” Since then, it eventually became a significant part of the global education system.

The first ever essay was written by Michael de Montaigne (1533-1592), a French writer. Inspired by the compositions of Plutarch (whose Moral works were, at that time, getting translated and published Jacques Amyot), Montaigne began his composition in the year 1572. The first edition was published in 1580. It was entitled “Essais” and was issued in two volumes.

Here’s an excerpt from Montaigne’s first essay, which was later translated by Charles Cotton and edited by William Carew Hazlitt (1877) –


The most usual way of appeasing the indignation of such as we have any way offended, when we see them in possession of the power of revenge, and find that we absolutely lie at their mercy, is by submission, to move them to commiseration and pity; and yet bravery, constancy, and resolution, however quite contrary means, have sometimes served to produce the same effect.—[Florio’s version begins thus: “The most vsuallwaie to appease those minds wee have offended, when revenge lies in their hands, and that we stand at their mercie, is by submission to move them to commiseration and pity: Nevertheless, courage, constancie, and resolution (means altogether opposite) have sometimes wrought the same effect.”—] [The spelling is Florio’s D.W.]

Note: First essays in English were composed by Francis Bacon, which was issued in the years 1597, 1612, and 1625. According to the Oxford English Dictionary, the term, “essayist” was first coined (1609) in English by Ben Jonson.

Types of An Essay: 5 Major Classifications

Some essay assignments pop up more regularly than others. In fact, they are quite popular in term papers. Though there are multiple sub-divisions, here you will be introduced to the five major categories. Take a close look at them –

  1. Argumentative Essay – Commonly, it is also referred to as a persuasive essay as it serves the purpose of convincing readers. The underlying idea is to persuade the audience with your point of vision. Develop arguments, and raise counters just to emphasize your opinion.
  2. Expository Essay – It is a broader aspect, having multiple subdivisions. Most popular expository essays are Cause & Effect essay, Problem & Solution essay, Compare & Contrast essay, etc. It follows the method – searching for answers without break.
  3. Illustration Essay  Creating a visual image, in the readers’ mind, of what you are writing is defined by the term “Illustration essay.” It is quite similar to descriptive essays, where the exemplification must include even the minute details, associated with the topic.
  4. Reflective Essay  These essays concentrate more on the candidate’s orientation and attribute. The whole piece is written in first-person and reflects the significant events of your life. It is the perfect medium to prove why you are the best candidate for that post.
  5. College Application Essay – Topics for these essays varies widely, including almost every niche. It acts as a pass to your favourite college so, quality matter to a great extent. Though it is close to the reflective essay, here it is not necessary to bring up events from your life.

Need Help with Essay Writing?

Essay writing includes quite a lot of instructions and guidelines, which a student may not be aware of. Sometimes, the deadline causes trouble. Well, there are many instances when you may need help to write a paper Get in touch with PenMyPaper for urgent help. They will be perfectly ‘writing my paper for me’. Its in-house team is adroit in every aspect and prepares the best drafts for you.

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