How to write an essay

The dictionary of the Royal Academy defines it as a “Written in which an author develops his ideas without having to show the learned apparatus (person who knows with amplitude the documents relative to a science or art)”. Thus, the essay is a writing where ideas are developed, without showing a wide knowledge on the subject, but this does not imply the lack of rigor in the exposition of ideas. It is considered, given the nature of the essay, that this should be brief, because by the low knowledge, would not have the apparatus or extension that would require a compendium on the subject, but that tries to structure a subject in a concrete way. Another point of view, argues that an essay implies the defense of the author’s point of view on a topic, where the idea is to ramble, from a critical and reflective perspective on a particular topic. This perspective, although it is not wrong, forgets to clarify that this point of view must be properly supported and not be a string of statements without support or mere speculation on facts.

Thus, to generalize an essay is a brief writing where the author exposes and supports his interpretation on a topic, through structured ideas, in a free, but clear way for his readers and with the purpose of showing his handling of the general knowledge that Has on the subject the most complete way possible.

Given the variety and complexity of the definitions presented above, classifying essay types is very useful in understanding how to approach writing.

Essays have a variety of approaches that can be classified via the use of two elements: objectivity and the use of literary techniques and forms. In each of them there is a dyadic relationship.

In the first, the struggle between objectivity and subjectivity, refers to the use of tools, quotes and references to facts or authors that support the statements or approaches. In one essay there is no definite style, but many according to the purpose and style of the essayist.

The second criterion reviews how the techniques and literary forms used in the essay to support the goal and its development are closer to pure literature or scientific support. In the literary frontier, the essay is based more on the variety, thematic freedom and the imagination from an artistic perspective, being more a problem of form than background, but without forgetting the latter. In the scientific frontier, it starts from a scientific reasoning, that does not leave aside the imaginative capacity, but that is based on the precepts of the logic. This essay explores reality in more depth, in search of an approximation to the “truth” of things.

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