However, students can avoid the discomfort often associated with essay writing by understanding some common genres.
Before delving into its various genres, let’s begin with a basic definition of the essay.
" "No man is an island" and, as such, he is constantly shaped and influenced by his experiences.
People learn by doing and, accordingly, learn considerably more from their mistakes than their success.
You see, the conventions of English essays are more formulaic than you might think – and, in many ways, it can be as simple as counting to five.
Though more advanced academic papers are a category all their own, the basic high school or college essay has the following standardized, five paragraph structure: Paragraph 1: Introduction Paragraph 2: Body 1 Paragraph 3: Body 2 Paragraph 4: Body 3 Paragraph 5: Conclusion Though it may seem formulaic – and, well, it is - the idea behind this structure is to make it easier for the reader to navigate the ideas put forth in an essay.
The purpose of an essay is to encourage students to develop ideas and concepts in their writing with the direction of little more than their own thoughts (it may be helpful to view the essay as the converse of a research paper).
Therefore, essays are (by nature) concise and require clarity in purpose and direction.
Despite the fact that, as Shakespeare said, "the pen is mightier than the sword," the pen itself is not enough to make an effective writer.
In fact, though we may all like to think of ourselves as the next Shakespeare, inspiration alone is not the key to effective essay writing.