Blog entry by Kaitlyn Bishop
It is possible to identify some general characteristics (features) of the genre, which are usually listed in encyclopedias and dictionaries:
There are, of course, no rigid boundaries. The volume is between three and seven pages of computer text. For example, at Harvard Business School, essays are often written in just two pages. In Russian universities, it is allowed up to ten pages, though, of typewritten text.
Specific topic and an emphatically subjective interpretation of it
The topic of an essay is always concrete. It cannot contain many topics or ideas (thoughts), and reflects only one option, one thought. And develops it. It is the answer to one question.
Free composition is an important feature of the genre
Researchers note that the essay by its nature is arranged in such a way that it does not tolerate any formal frameworks. It is often constructed contrary to the laws of logic, is subject to arbitrary associations, and is guided by the principle of "paperhelp.org reviews".
Informality of narration
The author of such a work is important to establish a trusting style of communication with the reader; to be understood, he avoids intentionally complicated, unclear, overly strict constructions. Researchers note that a good essay can be written only by someone who is fluent in the topic, sees it from different angles and is ready to present the reader with a not exhaustive, but multidimensional view of the phenomenon that became the starting point of his thoughts.
Tendency to paradoxes
The essay is meant to surprise the reader (listener) - this, according to many researchers, is its mandatory quality. The starting point for reflection, is often an aphoristic, vivid statement or paradoxical definition, literally colliding seemingly indisputable, but mutually exclusive statements, characteristics, theses.
Internal semantic unity
Perhaps this is one of the paradoxes of the genre. Free in composition, subjectivity-oriented, the work has, at the same time, an inner semantic unity, i.e. the coherence of the key theses and statements, the inner harmony of arguments and associations, the consistency of those judgments in which the author's personal position is expressed.
Orientation on colloquial speech
At the same time, it is necessary to avoid using slang, formulaic phrases, abbreviated words, and an overly frivolous tone. The language used in writing should be taken seriously.
It is important to determine (grasp) the topic, desired length, and purpose of each paragraph.
Start with the main idea or a vivid phrase. The goal is to grab the reader's (listener's) attention immediately. Comparative allegory is often used here, where an unexpected fact or event is linked to the main topic.