What is an essay?



An essay is a classic task for all students. This academic paper is meant to describe, confirm or deny the exact thesis statement. There is no only one right answer for your conclusions, as in Math or other exact sciences. If the author can substantiate his position, then no one will argue with him.

The word ‘an essay’ came from Latin ‘exagium’ and means the presentation of the case. So, in your paper, you use logic sentences to build paragraphs and share information with other people. In most cases, essay writer tries to persuade readers in something with his paper.

Essay writing may seem simple and fast until you start this task for the first time. The author will face different types of essays, new writing styles, and other papers’ particularities. Let’s make all these facts clear for your sake.

Types of essays

Your task assignment is your best friend for that time you should prepare the paper. Usually, it contains all rules and requirements, including the type of essay. So be attentive and read it several times to make sure you haven’t missed important information. The first stage to clear up is the type of paper.

In general, there are a lot of academic essays. You will face so many essay types with own particularities, so don’t ever get confused with numerous requirements. They may be a little similar or a little different, but each paper requires an individual approach. So, start with the brief acquaintance with the main types of essays:

  • argumentative essay (you share arguments to confirm own position);
  • contrast and compare essay (you find similarities and differences in 2 subjects);
  • descriptive essay (you describe object or event);
  • analytical essay (you need to analyze in your paper);
  • exploratory essay (you describe the problem without supporting a thesis);
  • persuasive essay (you try to persuade readers in something);
  • review essay (you make the general overview of something).

You can write synoptic, narrative, argumentative, analytical, and other type of essay. Just remember to keep rules and use proper essay format (APA, MLA, or other).

Essay format

The essay format influences on its view and writing elements. Be sure, that the professor will check the relevance of your content to the proper writing style. Here are the most popular formats for college essays:

  • APA created by the American Psychological Association for students in political science, anthropology, and business;
  • MLA created by the Modern Language Association for human sciences. It means standard rules, so students like it for simple requirements;
  • Chicago/Turabian created by Kate L. Turabian, who made it for the University of Chicago. This style is usually used for humanities.

Usually, the length of a custom research paper is very custom. Sometimes your task assignment includes exact requirements to the number of pages, and sometimes it doesn’t. But you should use the rule: your essay must contain everything that needs to be shared and nothing that doesn’t need to be shared’. Also, the writing style influences the number of pages in your essay.

Essay structure

You remember that there are a lot of different essay types, so the structure of each paper will be unique. But in general paper writers need to keep the classic format:

  1. Start with an introduction. You need to present your topic and its meaning, share the main problem and thesis statements. The main aim at this stage is to encourage readers and make them exciting for further reading.
  2. Develop the topic in the body. The author has previously collected great arguments, so he starts to share them. Your arguments allow you supporting or denying facts, making the essay exciting and relevant to your topic and task assignment.
  3. Explain the results in the conclusion. Let yourself make the final findings. Remember, this part should not contain any new facts and ideas. So, keep your conclusion to be a summary and a place with the final word to your audience.

Your essay structure must include answers to potential questions. So, imagine that you are asked with questions ‘why’, ‘what’, ‘how’, etc. Such an approach will help you to describe your topic and avoid twisted narration.


So even freshmen know that a good essay requires great attention and effort. If you are new in this field, then you can rely only on luck or professional help in essay writing. But with getting more experience you will become more and more skillful. Such skills will be very precious, because you can use them in the further academic papers, for instance, for university essay, application essay, capstone project, dissertation, and so on.

Writing an essay gives students great transferable skills. Among them are the following:

  • to read a lot and make notes;
  • to think and develop own critical thinking;
  • to improve own skills in argumentation;
  • to develop conclusions.

Professors use essays to check your knowledge all the time. That’s why wise students aspire to be prepared for everything. They need to read a lot, practice with writing in APA and MLA, get new knowledge. Such an approach will give you not only great skills in writing but also self-confidence. So get prepared for your future writing processes!