What is an Essay?
Before writing an essay it is important to understand what exactly is an essay. Also, it is very important to understand what an essay should be when you write one.
“an essay is an attempt or effort”Oxford Dictionary
It is a piece of writing (short and concise) on a particular subject. If we look at these definitions from writing perspective than the later one makes more sense. So, an essay is just an attempt to write on a specific topic.
Why are essays important?
The importance of essays usually comes from the fact that these are widely employed by educational institutions and employers as tools to judge the analytical writing skills of students or candidates.
Quite commonly, candidates of the Civil Services recruitment exams (CSS/IAS/IPS) have to write an essay during the exams. Furthermore, essays provide examiners with the opportunity to judge writing skills of a person. However, you might be wondering how an essay can be used to judge other abilities of the candidates. Surely, you will understand all the aspects by the time you read this article completely.
Characteristics of an Essay
The first and the most important thing after the topic selection is the focus of an essay. An essay must be focused on one aspect of the topic. This means that you have to narrow down the topic to a particular statement called a Hypothesis which can be proved or disproved with arguments.
An essay must be objective and free from your personal preference and bias. Try not to write in first person. Also, it is important to analayze both positive and negative aspects of the topic if asked for analysis.
An essay must be organized in a logical order. This means all what you write (sentences, paragraphs, arguments etc.) should be in an order which makes it easier for the reader to understand. The reader should not read it more than one time to understand it.
Essay is the depiction of your thoughts and ideas about a particular topic. While this is true, it is also possible that some of your ideas are derived from the common perceptions and shared school of thought. For example, it is quite possible that you are inclined towards the ideas of a popular analyst or writer. However, it is highly advised not to copy someone’s ideas but to develop your own understanding. You can support your own ideas with the fact that popularly known political analysts also think the same way. It’s essentially the same thing but is a different approach of looking at
Make sure that you do your research on the topic very well. It means you might have to read a lot of books, articles, newspapers, and blogs and even watch talk shows. If it is a common topic make sure you know the history, current happenings and the predicted future of that topic. Also, make sure to develop your own opinion on the topic. This is extremely important and the examiners are particularly looking for this in your essay.
Often it has been noticed that when students or candidates are asked to write an essay in English, they immediately think of it as a test of English. They try to use a lot of idiomatic terms and difficult or classy English vocabulary to impress the examiner. This assumption, however, is not entirely true. Although English language is the medium through which you are communicating with the reader, using difficult language would reduce chances of a reader to understand it completely. It is therefore important and wise to use vocabulary which is simple and easier to understand. Try to use words which are simple yet meaningful. Using of one-words is recommended so that the writer of an essay can communicate the message to the reader in less number of words hence less chances of confusion.
“Brevity is the soul of wit”William Shakespeare
\r\nWhen you are writing an essay, it is important that whatever your write can communicate effectively in as simplistic manner as possible. However, it does not mean that you take a lot of lines to explain or use complex sentences for that. Instead of that you should write in way that uses the minimum possible sentences to explain without repeating the idea.
To communicate your ideas successfully, it is important that whatever you write should be complete in its sense. The idea should not lack necessary information. It should not confuse the reader and must not create false impressions of what you were originally intending to convey. Therefore, the completeness is very important and while writing an essay it is very important that you write an essay with brevity but not missing any important information.
While doing everything stated above, do not forget about the correctness of your ideas. Make sure that you only convey ideas which are correct and factual.
Suggested weightage of the contents of an essay
|Use of literature||25%|