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Guidelines for writing essays

What is an essay

The meaning of the word "essay" comes from the French language and historically goes back to the Latin word exagium (weighing). Literally, the French ezzai can literally be translated as experience, test, attempt, sketch, essay.

An essay is a piece of prose of small volume and arbitrary form, expressing an individual's impressions and thoughts on a particular question or subject, without claiming to be a definitive or exhaustive account of the subject.

Some of the attributes of an essay are:

  • The presence of a specific topic or issue. A work devoted to the analysis of a wide range of problems cannot, by definition, be done in the essay genre.
  • An essay expresses individual impressions and thoughts on a particular subject or issue and does not claim to be a definitive or exhaustive treatment of the subject.
  • as a rule, an essay implies a new, subjectively coloured word about something; such a work can have a philosophical, historical and biographical, journalistic, literary and critical, popular science or purely fiction character.
  • The content of an essay primarily evaluates the personality of the author - his world view, thoughts and feelings.

This genre has become popular in recent years. Today, the essay is offered as an assignment quite often. It is one of the main components of the application package (for admission to an educational institution or employment). An essay competition helps to choose the best ones out of the variety of the best ones!

The aim of the essay is to develop skills such as independent creative thinking and writing your own thoughts.

Writing an essay is extremely useful because it allows the author to learn how to formulate thoughts clearly and competently, structure information, use basic concepts, highlight cause and effect relationships, illustrate experiences with relevant examples, and argue their conclusions.

Structure and outline of the essay

The structure of the essay is based on the requirements for the essay:

  • the thoughts of the author of the essay on the problem are stated in the form of short theses.
  • a thought should be supported by evidence - therefore the thesis is followed by arguments.

Arguments are facts, phenomena of social life, events, life situations and life experiences, scientific evidence, references to the opinion of scientists, etc. It is better to give two arguments for each thesis: one argument seems unconvincing, three arguments may "overload" the statement made in a genre oriented towards brevity and imagery.

Cliché phrases for writing essays

The word "cliché" comes from the French cliche, denoting a stereotype, a pattern in something. A cliche phrase is a kind of formulaic phrase that is often used in conversation or writing. Although many writers recommend avoiding such cliché phrases, they help to formulate thoughts when writing an essay. But it will be better if you do not take the phrase as ready-made, but modify it, preserving the meaning.

The use of certain cliché phrases depends on which part of the essay they are used in.

Clichés in the introduction

In the introductory part of the top essay cliches can come in handy phrases, which often start different works. These could be: "As the author aptly points out...", "It turns out that the idea of...", "Who would have thought that...", "In this work, the author raises the problem...". Make up your own variations on this theme, replacing words with synonyms and changing the word order.

Since the introduction needs to justify the relevance of the problem raised, cliché phrases can also refer to the relevance of the topic. For example, use these variants of cliché phrases: "The problem under consideration is relevant for today's society...", "The problem remains relevant for today's youth...", "It is worth reflecting on...".

Cliché phrases in the main body of the essay

The main part of the essay implies consideration of certain arguments that will support the thesis put forward. Therefore, classical ways of enumeration can be used here: "The options may be as follows...", "First, ... second, ...", "On the one hand, ... on the other hand, ...".

When it comes to the author of a particular work, cliché phrases can help to introduce him, to convey his main ideas without resorting to quotations, and to express one's attitude to his ideas. Options might include: "The author of this work is convinced that...", "One cannot disagree with the author's opinion about...", "The author was right in his statement that...".

The main body of the essay also requires theoretical and practical arguments, referring to other authors and personal experience. The following cliché phrases will help: "As the historian wrote...", "One can define the concept...", "Practice shows that...", "One can observe the following picture...".

Cliché phrases in the conclusion

Since the conclusion implies conclusions for the whole paper, the most common phrases in the conclusion are: "To summarise, ...", "So, the analysis shows that ...", "Thus, ...", "So, the following conclusions are in order...". It also indicates the degree of disclosure of the problem raised: "The problem considered remains open...", "The paper has succeeded in revealing only one aspect of the problem raised...", "The topic is fully disclosed...".

When resorting to boilerplate phrases, try not to use them too often. If your work is full of clichés, the teacher may lower your mark, because the abundance of stereotypical phrases in your work indicates that you have difficulty formulating your own thoughts. This is especially true of essays of an artistic nature, where it is important to demonstrate a purely personal opinion and originality of statements.

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