The essay is essential for students to develop typically argumentative thinking operations: infer, deduce, compare, contrast, and analogize. It is not just about making a “writeup”, but about recording on a page the result of a thought process in which ideas – your own or those of others – are subjected to deliberation, analysis, debate, or validation.
Rehearsing is the way we logically exercise judgment to recognize where there is deception in an approach or speech and what are the best reasons to show its cracks. Depriving students of this cognitive tool seems to me not only an academic error but also a setback in the intellectual development of the new generations with very strong implications for that long-awaited coming of age that involves learning to think on one’s own.
When we bring the challenge of writing essays to the classroom, consequently, we are also developing the critical thinking of our students. By asking them to be suspicious, to put in parentheses, to see the fissures in texts or speeches, to not “eat whole” all the circulating information, when we encourage all these actions, what we do is train critical people.
By requiring them to take a position in the essay, to present and defend their thesis, what we are really doing is breaking their passivity or mental drowsiness; because assuming a personal voice is activating the potential of freedom, the nuances of differences: it is discovering the powerful tool of having a strongly supported personal criterion.
This genre is one of the most used in the academic field around the world, because, in it, the author presents, in an analytical and argumentative manner, a certain topic in any area.
What is an essay and what characteristics should it have?
The essay, as a literary figure, has the purpose of giving the author’s position on a given topic, providing in-depth analysis and sufficient arguments to express his point of view. This genre is a written text that allows the author to show a reflection and assessment in three parts: introduction to the topic, development, and personal conclusion. However, in practical educational reality, originality does not prevent the emergence of services such as this argumentative essay writing service.
This type of written document usually has as its starting point a question, in which it is possible to verify the study of a topic or a word (or several) by the author, which is why it is a genre widely used in higher education institutions, and on some occasions, in the last grades of school.
However, the essay has been considered a literary genre on par with the novel, so we can find a wide range of these texts that talk about scientific works, historical events, and artistic movements, among others, to the point that, many of them have been winners of prestigious literary awards.
Keep in mind that, writing an essay, will involve being creative when it comes to answering a question, one that you think no one else has asked, and, from there, developing your text.
What characteristics should an essay have?
Being an academic and scientific written text, the essay must have certain characteristics to be considered as such. Below, we show them to you:
A question as a starting point
The essay aims to answer a central question about a topic, a historical event, or a literary work, relying on arguments, analysis, and reasoning.
It is the first part of the essay. In it, the reader is shown what your analysis will be about.
It is the thick part of the essay. There you must present all your arguments, analysis, and bibliography that will give strength to your central idea.
It is not about you making a value judgment, it is the final part of the essay where you will once again mention to the reader why you raised that central question and why you used those arguments to answer it. Simply put, it is a personal point of view.
Ideas, arguments, and easy reading
The essay is characterized by being a text full of arguments and well-founded ideas, so you should not leave anything to the air or possible interpretations of the reader. In addition to that, your writing should be clear and easy for people to consume.
It should not be heavy text. Try to use examples from everyday life, but do not border on populism.
The academic essay usually has a length of between 500 and 3 thousand words, although no rule forces you to meet this requirement. In short, an essay can be written on 3 pages, up to a 200-page book.
In the end, essays have an important purpose in education, namely helping the writers “express” all their ideas and share them with others in a simple and structured way.