How to write an essay – what is it, a definition, an example

What is an essay – definition

The essay is a statement from the borderline of literature, a kind of short scientific dissertation, but using means characteristic of poetic prose, such as associations, paradoxes, digressions, quotes, emotionally vocabulary. It presents a viewpoint writing on a selected topic (journalistic, scientific, philosophical and critical essay).

Features and rules of creation

The essay is a subjective form of expression – in the course of reflections, one should present their own point of view.

The writer’s goal is not only to present the facts, but also to catch the reader’s attention, surprise him. The author should take care of an intricate style that testifies to knowledge and eloquence. It can use the means of literary [removed]irony, metaphor, exaggeration, periphery, repetition, etc.), aphorisms, quotes, digressions.

Construction and scheme

The essay is characterized by a loose composition and a relatively small volume. Basically, it has a three-part structure, but with the freedom to present content.

1. Introduction presents the context of the entire statement – it may contain insights on the event (political, scientific, sports – the range of topics is wide) or the text of culture (books, performance, film, poster, etc.). The author can enter a quote, quote an anecdote, ask a question.

2. The expansion serves to analyze the problem and presentation of the author’s thoughts, his feelings and associations. It is important to remember that the essay is a subjective statement – you should emphasize your own position, using the original “I” (eg in my opinion, I think) and presenting your own views.

3. The ending does not necessarily have to include a conclusion or a conclusion. You can close the text with a quote, an anecdote, a question indicating the multitude of solutions to the problem.

Useful phrases and vocabulary

vocabulary emphasizing own point of view – in my opinion, in my opinion, I think, I think, I am convinced / I think it is important, I want to notice, in my opinion, I do not doubt proposal for starting the argument – let’s say, let’s suppose, let’s imagine, let’s think about it, let’s think about it, let’s remember, recently heard, recently discovered, I was last witness


Examples of literary essays:

  • Mieczysław Brahmer, “Leonardo – a man who is not educated”
  • Gustaw Herling-Grudziński, “Seven death of Maxim Gorky”
  • Jan Kott, “Greek Tragedy and absurd”
  • Aleksander Świętochowski, “Dumania pessimist”
  • Tadeusz Żeleński (Boy), Sample philosophical essays:
  • Erich Fromm, “Have or be?”
  • Leszek Kołakowski, “Theses about hope and hopelessness”
  • Leszek Kołakowski, “Jesus ridiculed. An apologetic and skeptical essay “
  • John Ralston Saul, “Volunteer Basterds: The Dictate of Reason in the West”
  • Karol Wojtyła, “On the humanism of Saint. John of the Cross”

Scientific essay

The scientific (academic) essay in terms of content and form approaches the treatise, the thesis. It enables (in the course of argumentation) the analysis of the formulated research problem through references to selected scientific papers, theories and concepts. It ends with the formulation of conclusions.

In contrast to the informal essay, he strives to present his thoughts on the basis of chronological or thematic order in an exhaustive way, that is, presenting all possible points of view.

An interpretative essay

The type of essay characterized by a subjective point of view and creative inventiveness. The author, whose task is to interpret the text of culture, puts forward the thesis, and then presents the arguments, referring primarily to their experiences and knowledge, but also to feelings. It is usually devoted to one song or a comparison of two literary works.