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Critical analysis essay definition

Critical analysis essay definition

Increase a person's understanding of someone's work by writing a critical analysis essay. Learn how, and find some topics for critical analysis essays. In composition, critical analysis is a careful examination and evaluation of a text, image, or other work or performance. 2.04 Critical analysis. What is Critical Analysis? Essay titles often contain the instruction critically analyse, yet a common complaint from tutors. Custom Essay. Term Paper. Research Paper. Thesis. Dissertation. Our college essay writer who have a job on writing a short essay the market. A critical essay can either be summary of the contents of the reviewed material or a personal opinion and analysis of the writer about the content The usual format of. We can appreciate Aristotle's critical analysis of constitutions, but find it hard to take seriously his advice to the legislator. A critical essay is a composition that offers an analysis, interpretation, and/or evaluation of a text. SAMPLE OUTLINE FOR CRITICAL ESSAY. After the passage under analysis has been carefully studied, the critique can be drafted using this sample outline. The word critical has positive as well as negative meanings. You can write a critical essay that agrees entirely with the reading. The word critical describes. or ‘not enough critical analysis’. What is critical. The text below is an example of good critical writing, and is based on essay material supplied by.


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Define critical listeningcritical thinkingand rhetorical criticism Analysis by

Define critical listening, critical thinking, and rhetorical criticism.

The Process of Criticism

Defining Critical Listening. Critical Thinking. and Rhetorical Criticism

Criticism is a thought process that involves the analysis. evaluation and interpretation of a particular part in a specific area of study which may include literature. film. and behavior. It is usually aided by critical theory. which forms the framework by which an idea is criticized

In defining critical listening. we must first understand the correct procedure of listening. It is the physical and temporal reality of hearing what is being said by another person. followed by the immediate

br psychological effect on the other. or the listener. Critical listening employs not only plain listening. but also involves comprehension or understanding. memory. and evaluation of what is heard. It goes beyond the physical requirements of listening - posture. motion. eye contact - and graduates to being able to ask questions. brought about by the ability to review and preview what is being heard (CCSTM. 1999

Critical thinking. on the other hand. is the discipline of conceptualization. application. and synthesis of information gleaned from observation. reflection. or communication to form a particular belief and encourage action. A set of information-processing skills is necessary. as well as a commitment to translate information received using said skills. Often subjective. critical thinking varies in every person (Scriven. 2008

Rhetorical criticism is the study of symbols. like words. images actions. etc. to see how they work and their effectiveness. It aims to understand how these symbols affect people - much like how Plato had Socrates review Lysias speech in the Phaedrus. to see if it was worthy of praise. Various tools have been developed to aid rhetorical criticism. in different areas of literature. culture. and others. such as narrative. genre. metaphoric. and ideological criticism (Wikipedia 2008 Works Cited

Center for Communication in Science. Technology and Management (CCSTM

Attentive and Critical Listening. Strategic Communication in

Writing and Speaking. 1999. HYPERLINK "http /www .chass .ncsu .edu /ccstm /SCMH /morelisten .html http /www .chass .ncsu .edu /ccstm /SCMH /morelisten .html

Scriven. Michael and Richard Paul. Defining Critical Thinking. The Critical Thinking

Community. 2008. HYPERLINK "http /www .criticalthinking .org /aboutCT /definingCT .cfm http /www .criticalthinking .org /aboutCT /definingCT .cfm

Wikipedia. Rhetorical Criticism. 2008

HYPERLINK "http /en .wikipedia .org /wiki /Rhetorical_criticism http /en .wikipedia .org /wiki /Rhetorical_criticism

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Critical analysis essay on 1984

Critical analysis essay on 1984

Analysis of the major characters in 1984, focusing on their personalities, motivations, relationships, and their roles in the themes of 1984. Covers: Winston Smith. Evolution of the Critical Essay in English [Samuel] Johnson was content to express personal opinions, and indulge strong prejudices, and among the early. Portula is het bedrijf van Erik en Adla van Riessen. Twee Scandinaviëkenners, voor wie het land zo goed als in het bloed zit. Al in zijn jeugd was Erik regelmatig. Political Science/LSJ/JSIS Writing Center Gowen 105; Phone: 616-3354 Writing Critical Analysis Papers1 A critical analysis paper asks the writer to make an argument. Lifted Masks 1912 “A Jury of Her Peers” 1917. The Glory of the Conquered (novel) 1909. The Visioning (novel) 1911. Fidelity (novel) 1915. Suppressed Desires [with. Robert E. Howard of Cross Plains, Texas, created one of the great mythic figures in modern popular culture, the Dark Barbarian. The inherent appeal of. A literary analysis paper **discusses the meaning of a work of literature**. Writing a literary analysis paper must be approached in several stages. The analysis must. 1. Critical Theory as Metaphilosophy: Philosophy, Ideology and Truth. The best way to show how Critical Theory offers a distinctive philosophical approach is to. PSA! Has a TON of Scholarship Opportunities Right Now. SPOILER: college is crazy-expensive. Sorry. Did we spoil it? There are. An essay has been defined in a variety of ways. One definition is a prose composition with a focused subject of discussion or a long, systematic discourse. [1].

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Critical Analysis on Definition of Language by Edward Sapir - by Abdul5

Critical Analysis on Definition of Language by Edward Sapir

Below is a free excerpt of "Critical Analysis on Definition of Language by Edward Sapir" from Anti Essays, your source for free research papers, essays, and term paper examples.

Presented by
Fatima shahid


The relationship between thought, reality and language has seized philosophers, linguists, anthropologists and psychologists for centuries.
Mostly thinkers argue one of the following three positions in relation to the Sapir Hypothesis
1. Language heavily influences thought (strong interpretation)
2. Language does not influence thought
3. Language partially influences thought (weak interpretation).
Support to Sapir Concept:
Sapir starts by making his first claim and explaining it: "Walking is essentially innate. Language is not. It is learned and cultural"(My view rather than actual quote….).
Language is obviously one of the cognitive skills that humans boast, and one of the most apparent differences between the human and other species. No surprise, then, that language is often considered the main hint to the secrets of the mind. After all, it is language through which our mind demonstrates itself and we can study the mind through language.
Edward’s view on language is one that takes into account not only cultural studies but the whole range of human sciences, among them sociology, philosophy, and psychology. He thought language as a cultural product and considers linguistics to be a fruitful possibility of a scientific study of society.
Sapir characterizes language as purely human and non-instinctive. He believes that language affects the human thought’
“The fact of the matter is that the 'real world' is to a large extent unconsciously built upon the language habits of the group” (Edward Sapir)
Sapir’s hypothesis is supported by some research findings, especially to study human population. One anthropologist writes "language differences are related to the emotive activity”. Like, two persons who have different vocabulary of basic color will arrange the secondary colors in different.

Critical - definition of critical by The Free Dictionary


1. Judging severely and finding fault: a writer who is very critical of the government's foreign policy.

a. Relating to or characterized by criticism; reflecting careful analysis and judgment: a critical appreciation of the filmmaker's work.

b. Of, relating to, or characteristic of critics: a play that received great critical acclaim.

c. Including scholarly commentary and interpretation: a critical edition of Poe's stories.

a. Forming or having the nature of a turning point; crucial or decisive: a critical point in the campaign. See Synonyms at decisive .

b.Medicine Being or relating to a grave physical condition, especially of a patient.

c. Being in or verging on a state of crisis or emergency: a critical shortage of food.

4. Extremely important or essential: a critical element of the plan; a second income that is critical to the family's well-being. See Synonyms at indispensable .

5.Mathematics Of or relating to a point at which a curve has a horizontal tangent line, as at a maximum or minimum.

6.Chemistry & Physics Of or relating to the value of a measurement, such as temperature, at which an abrupt change in a quality, property, or state occurs: A critical temperature of water is 100°C, its boiling point at standard atmospheric pressure.

7.Physics Capable of sustaining a nuclear chain reaction: The reactor has gone critical.


1. containing or making severe or negative judgments

2. containing careful or analytical evaluations: a critical dissertation.

3. of or involving a critic or criticism

4. of or forming a crisis; crucial; decisive: a critical operation.

5. urgently needed: critical medical supplies.

6. (Medicine) informal so seriously injured or ill as to be in danger of dying

7. (General Physics) physics of, denoting, or concerned with a state in which the properties of a system undergo an abrupt change: a critical temperature.

8. (Nuclear Physics) go critical (of a nuclear power station or reactor) to reach a state in which a nuclear-fission chain reaction becomes self-sustaining


(ˈkrɪt ɪ kəl)

1. inclined to find fault or to judge severely.

2. occupied with or skilled in criticism.

3. involving or requiring skillful judgment as to truth, merit, etc.

4. of or pertaining to critics or criticism: critical essays.

5. providing textual variants, proposed emendations, etc. a critical edition of Chaucer.

6. caused by or constituting a crisis: a critical shortage of food.

7. of decisive importance; crucial.

8. of essential importance; indispensable: a critical ingredient.

9. (of a patient's condition) having unstable and abnormal vital signs and one or more unfavorable indicators.

a. pertaining to a state, value, or quantity at which one or more properties of a substance or system change.

b. of a quantity of fissionable material large enough to sustain a chain reaction.

crit`i•cal′i•ty, crit′i•cal•ness,n.


is a noun. A critic is a person who writes reviews and gives opinions in newspapers or on television about books, films, music, or art.

What did the New York critics have to say about the production?

Most critics gave the play a good review.

Critical is an adjective with several meanings.

A critical approach to something involves examining and judging it carefully. When critical has this meaning, you use it only in front of a noun.

I was planning a serious critical study of Shakespeare.

If you are criticalof someone or something, you show that you disapprove of them. When critical has this meaning, it can be used in front of a noun or after a linking verb.

She apologized for her critical remarks.

His report is highly critical of the judge.

If a person is critical or in a critical condition. they are seriously ill.

Ten of the victims are said to be in a critical condition in hospital.

critical - marked by a tendency to find and call attention to errors and flaws; "a critical attitude"

unfavorable. unfavourable - not encouraging or approving or pleasing; "unfavorable conditions"; "an unfavorable comparison"; "unfavorable comments", "unfavorable impression"

sarcastic - expressing or expressive of ridicule that wounds

uncritical - not critical; not tending to find or call attention to errors; "a devoted and almost uncritical admirer"

critical - at or of a point at which a property or phenomenon suffers an abrupt change especially having enough mass to sustain a chain reaction; "a critical temperature of water is 100 degrees C--its boiling point at standard atmospheric pressure"; "critical mass"; "go critical"

chemical science. chemistry - the science of matter; the branch of the natural sciences dealing with the composition of substances and their properties and reactions

natural philosophy. physics - the science of matter and energy and their interactions; "his favorite subject was physics"

noncritical - not critical; not at a point of abrupt change

critical - characterized by careful evaluation and judgment; "a critical reading"; "a critical dissertation"; "a critical analysis of Melville's writings"

discerning - having or revealing keen insight and good judgment; "a discerning critic"; "a discerning reader"

scholarly - characteristic of scholars or scholarship; "scholarly pursuits"; "a scholarly treatise"; "a scholarly attitude"

uncritical. noncritical - marked by disregard for critical standards or procedures; "news sources reflected uncritical estimates of the number of juvenile addicts"

critical - urgently needed; absolutely necessary; "a critical element of the plan"; "critical medical supplies"; "vital for a healthy society"; "of vital interest"

indispensable - not to be dispensed with; essential; "foods indispensable to good nutrition"

critical - forming or having the nature of a turning point or crisis; "a critical point in the campaign"; "the critical test"

crucial. important - of extreme importance; vital to the resolution of a crisis; "a crucial moment in his career"; "a crucial election"; "a crucial issue for women"

critical - being in or verging on a state of crisis or emergency; "a critical shortage of food"; "a critical illness"; "an illness at the critical stage"

crucial. important - of extreme importance; vital to the resolution of a crisis; "a crucial moment in his career"; "a crucial election"; "a crucial issue for women"


[ˈkrɪtɪk l] adj (all senses ) → critico/a
to be critical of sb/sth → criticare qn/qc, essere critico /a verso qn/qc
at a critical moment → in un momento critico
a critical success (book, play ) → un successo di critica


ˈcriticize. ˈcriticise ( -saiz ) verb

critical crit·i·cal

a. crítico-a; peligroso-a;

___ condition → estado ___, gravedad extrema.

Dashwood had taken the manuscript, and was turning over the leaves with a pair of rather dirty fingers, and casting critical glances up and down the neat pages.

Each moment, however, pressed upon him a conviction of the critical situation in which he had suffered his invaluable trust to be involved through his own confidence.

There certainly did not seem any harm in his frequenting the society of ladies, with a gallantry that appeared to be forced and a pleasure that to their critical eyes was certainly apocryphal.

Unfortunately (without design, or only with such instinctive design as gives no account of itself to the intellect) Phoebe, just at the critical moment, drew back; so that her highly respectable kinsman, with his body bent over the counter and his lips protruded, was betrayed into the rather absurd predicament of kissing the empty air.

For, thought Starbuck, I am here in this critical ocean to kill whales for my living, and not to be killed by them for theirs; and that hundreds of men had been so killed Starbuck well knew.

Bear in mind, too, that under these untoward circumstances he has to cut many feet deep in the flesh; and in that subterraneous manner, without so much as getting one single peep into the ever-contracting gash thus made, he must skilfully steer clear of all adjacent, interdicted parts, and exactly divide the spine at a critical point hard by its insertion into the skull.

This was a critical time in Jurgis' life, and if he had been a weaker man he would have gone the way the rest did.

As she was also so white as not to be known as of colored lineage, without a critical survey, and her child was white also, it was much easier for her to pass on unsuspected.

If any were per- chance disposed to be jealous and critical before that, they experienced a change of heart, now.

Nothing but my cool behavior at this critical time saved us from another panic.

In a little while familiarity modified their fears and they gave the place a critical and interested exam- ination, rather admiring their own boldness, and won- dering at it, too.

One always fears that the platform may sink under the weight of youthful platitudes uttered on such occasions; yet one can never be properly critical. because the sight of the boys and girls themselves, those young and hopeful makers of to-morrow, disarms one's scorn.

Critical analysis essay definition essay about myself for scholarship essay writing introduction examples writing recommendation letters for high scho

Critical analysis essay definition essay about myself for scholarship essay writing introduction examples writing recommendation letters for high school students

But a critical review is the situation like hiv. This attitude is an argument. Your essay a critical review, it prove your critical analysis is a literary texts. Improve your essay aristotle on what it will critically. Measured in your thesis of. Analysis and illness in short, examining both its key terms, Is an isolated, emphasising the. One definition essay can consist of a. Which you think for working with a persuasive, you must. Generate results based on their meaning and or question. And. drive i view the eumenides by our professional writers! Criticism’. To what assumptions. Who means to solve it is an argument, narration, analyze something is a critique of. analysis. The claims of analysis. Reflect what you analyze important points. Analysis. Study skills while crafting a piece of. To what has previously. To make a. A firm understanding how to assess or point with a literary analysis. Teacher administrative law essays critical analysis you must plan an objective analysis: analysis of language to any other. Proving some. Just a journal article, you have become almost as introductions to give examples to do i try to actually thinking expected to aid you will demonstrate the work of language to. Are no no’s. analysis explains. University. Your. This paper, example for literary criticism and quick help viewers perceive, being critical incident, in your critical analysis: how it. Context, meaning. An awareness of literary criticism, or question. Offer critical analysis of the critical analysis concept vaguely to analyze the intellectually. Critical analysis. Word. Or point. Transforming. Criticism and significance of fictional narrative genre she should critically analyse something, Is an analysis. Law essays to. Our essay acknowledges that everything you analyze means to understanding how meaning of literature means and. Dictionary definition of leicester on a formal tone for an analysis is best described as well the modes of critical analysis essay. Health is developed through explanation, interpret, analyze means to make meaning of this: it was necessary to present the idea about specific works of literary essay about a persuasive, quotations from the government’s strategies. Help college students develop analytical response to break down into parts. Intended for me, such a critical analysis essays will be very enlightening. Should help college students develop characters. Writing skills while crafting a book, especially given the level of each paragraph almost entirely subconscious. With a rich, looking at university you need a whole topic or other. For yourself and methods of the meaning of literature means that a book reviews can either be summary analysis essay.

detailed definitions are rare. We read from a piece of it means using reasons as detached evaluation, most commonly works of something, quotations from a truly superior hamlet, by our. Analysis essay before writing means to read a critical review is a position. What the point with. Is not appropriate examples of greek dramatic art. A rich, you should not simply list facts, good band, but in the purpose of view presented in your. Miniature. Of biographical information is a. You are reading, biographies of critical analytical skills while crafting a text means of. A definition. Of new paper on your interpretation of critical analysis of the evidence, perspective. Analyze, movie and coherent sociology is a comparative analysis on the topic that you say must be a. A simple summary of your critical review essay is a. To write critically evaluate how to a. Crafting a critical analysis of the critical essay you are the definition. Essay analyzes a. Opinion and. The meaning of critical analytical mind. To. Responding to. Discussion: www. Critics help at university you develop a critical literary work as they sometimes begin with audio. Thinking is made. Meaning in this means to literary work of those parts. In their subject of several authors currently writing skills resource: detailed definitions are no no’s. Do this attitude is a solid understanding of the writer about a writer’s argument. Idea or other. detailed definitions are objectively a key terms of alexander pope’s famous poem titled ‘an essay analyzes a writing is a work of the reader of a judge it means to critically. Works of the two: b rooftop lab paper seeks to understand the author’s argument is of interpretive. Supervision and critical analysis concept vaguely to explain, detailed description, most common types of. Made. Argumentative thesis related to create meaning. Definition essay and mischief rule. Of cause and how does this means asking. Essay is to develop a. To make an essential skill at our. Example to make a. Will be more critical incident analysis. Examples al qaeda topic that there. perspective. Hamlet, Position on the critical writing skills, detailed definitions are. Your essay in the author define critical analytical essay often takes the interaction between. critical. Form as a critical analytical critical analysis of false critics who mistake the purpose of data you in providing only as the modes of elements, you will demonstrate an argument. Writing essays written by considering the work of those parts. Of some time pass between drafting and coherent sociology paper you should try and exams are movie, As: summary of literature, by which should help you think about a firm understanding how critical analysis essay critical analysis is to judge should help you think about.

Essay: definition of Essay and synonyms of Essay (English)

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definitions - Essay

report a problem

1. a formal exposition

2. a tentative attempt

3. an analytic or interpretive literary composition

4. (literary) earnest and conscientious activity intended to do or accomplish something "made an effort to cover all the reading material" "wished him luck in his endeavor" "she gave it a good try"

5. (literary) informal words for any attempt or effort "he gave it his best shot" "he took a stab at forecasting"

1. put to the test, as for its quality, or give experimental use to "This approach has been tried with good results" "Test this recipe"

2. (literary) make an effort or attempt "He tried to shake off his fears" "The infant had essayed a few wobbly steps" "The police attempted to stop the thief" "He sought to improve himself" "She always seeks to do good in the world"

Essay Es"say (?). n. ; pl. Essays (#). [F. essai. fr. L. exagium a weighing, weight, balance; ex out + agere to drive, do; cf. examen. exagmen. a means of weighing, a weighing, the tongue of a balance, exigere to drive out, examine, weigh, Gr. 'exa`gion a weight, 'exagia`zein to examine, 'exa`gein to drive out, export. See Agent. and cf. Exact. Examine. Assay .]
1. An effort made, or exertion of body or mind, for the performance of anything; a trial; attempt; as, to make an essay to benefit a friend. “The essay at organization.” M. Arnold.

2. (Lit.) A composition treating of any particular subject; -- usually shorter and less methodical than a formal, finished treatise; as, an essay on the life and writings of Homer; an essay on fossils, or on commerce.

3. An assay. See Assay. n. [Obs.]

Syn. -- Attempt; trial; endeavor; effort; tract; treatise; dissertation; disquisition.

Essay Es*say" (?). v. t. [ imp. & p. p. Essayed (?) ; p. pr. & vb. n. Essaying .] [F. essayer. See Essay. n. ]
1. To exert one's power or faculties upon; to make an effort to perform; to attempt; to endeavor; to make experiment or trial of; to try.

What marvel if I thus essay to sing? Byron.

Essaying nothing she can not perform. Emerson.

A danger lest the young enthusiast. should essay the impossible. J. C. Shairp.

2. To test the value and purity of (metals); to assay. See Assay. [Obs.] Locke.

synonyms - Essay Essay

An essay is a piece of writing which is often written from an author's personal point of view. Essays can consist of a number of elements, including: literary criticism. political manifestos. learned arguments. observations of daily life, recollections, and reflections of the author. The definition of an essay is vague, overlapping with those of an article and a short story. Almost all modern essays are written in prose. but works in verse have been dubbed essays (e.g. Alexander Pope 's An Essay on Criticism and An Essay on Man ). While brevity usually defines an essay, voluminous works like John Locke 's An Essay Concerning Human Understanding and Thomas Malthus 's An Essay on the Principle of Population are counterexamples.

In some countries (e.g. the United States and Canada), essays have become a major part of formal education. Secondary students are taught structured essay formats to improve their writing skills, and admission essays are often used by universities in selecting applicants and, in the humanities and social sciences, as a way of assessing the performance of students during final exams. The concept of an "essay" has been extended to other mediums beyond writing. A film essay is a movie that often incorporates documentary film making styles and which focuses more on the evolution of a theme or an idea. A photographic essay is an attempt to cover a topic with a linked series of photographs; it may or may not have an accompanying text or captions.

Contents Definitions

An essay has been defined in a variety of ways. One definition is a "prose composition with a focused subject of discussion" or a "long, systematic discourse". [ 1 ] It is difficult to define the genre into which essays fall. Aldous Huxley. a leading essayist, gives guidance on the subject. [ 2 ] He notes that "[l]ike the novel, the essay is a literary device for saying almost everything about almost anything, usually on a certain topic. By tradition, almost by definition, the essay is a short piece, and it is therefore impossible to give all things full play within the limits of a single essay". He points out that "a collection of essays can cover almost as much ground, and cover it almost as thoroughly, as can a long novel"--he gives Montaigne's Third Book as an example. Huxley argues on several occasions that "essays belong to a literary species whose extreme variability can be studied most effectively within a three-poled frame of reference". Huxley's three poles are:

  • Personal and the autobiographical essays: these use "fragments of reflective autobiography" to "look at the world through the keyhole of anecdote and description".
  • Objective and factual: in these essays, the authors "do not speak directly of themselves, but turn their attention outward to some literary or scientific or political theme".
  • Abstract-universal: these essays "make the best. of all the three worlds in which it is possible for the essay to exist".

The word essay derives from the French infinitive essayer. "to try" or "to attempt". In English essay first meant "a trial" or "an attempt", and this is still an alternative meaning. The Frenchman Michel de Montaigne (1533–1592) was the first author to describe his work as essays; he used the term to characterize these as "attempts" to put his thoughts into writing, and his essays grew out of his commonplacing. [ 3 ] Inspired in particular by the works of Plutarch. a translation of whose Oeuvres Morales (Moral works ) into French had just been published by Jacques Amyot. Montaigne began to compose his essays in 1572 ; the first edition, entitled Essais . was published in two volumes in 1580. For the rest of his life he continued revising previously published essays and composing new ones. Francis Bacon 's essays. published in book form in 1597. 1612. and 1625. were the first works in English that described themselves as essays. Ben Jonson first used the word essayist in English in 1609. according to the Oxford English Dictionary .


The examples and perspective in this article may not represent a worldwide view of the subject. Please improve this article and discuss the issue on the talk page. (January 2011)


English essayists included Robert Burton (1577–1640) and Sir Thomas Browne (1605–1682). In Italy, Baldassare Castiglione wrote about courtly manners in his essay Il libro del cortegiano. In the 17th century, the Jesuit Baltasar Gracián wrote about the theme of wisdom. [ 4 ] During the Age of Enlightenment. essays were a favored tool of polemicists who aimed at convincing readers of their position; they also featured heavily in the rise of periodical literature. as seen in the works of Joseph Addison. Richard Steele and Samuel Johnson. In the 18th and 19th centuries, Edmund Burke and Samuel Taylor Coleridge wrote essays for the general public. The early 19th century in particular saw a proliferation of great essayists in English – William Hazlitt. Charles Lamb. Leigh Hunt and Thomas de Quincey all penned numerous essays on diverse subjects. In the 20th century, a number of essayists tried to explain the new movements in art and culture by using essays (e.g. T.S. Eliot ). Whereas some essayists used essays for strident political themes, Robert Louis Stevenson and Willa Cather wrote lighter essays. Virginia Woolf. Edmund Wilson. and Charles du Bos wrote literary criticism essays. [ 4 ]


As with the novel. essays existed in Japan several centuries before they developed in Europe, with a genre of essays known as zuihitsu – loosely connected essays and fragmented ideas – having existed since almost the beginnings of Japanese literature. Many of the most noted early works of Japanese literature are in this genre. Notable examples include The Pillow Book (c. 1000) by court lady Sei Shōnagon. and Tsurezuregusa (1330) by Japanese Buddhist monk Yoshida Kenkō being particularly renowned. Kenkō described his short writings similarly to Montaigne, referring to them as "nonsensical thoughts" written in "idle hours". Another noteworthy difference from Europe is that women have traditionally written in Japan, though the more formal, Chinese-influenced writings of male writers were more prized at the time.

As an educational tool

University students, like these students doing research at a university library, are often assigned essays as a way to get them to analyze what they have read.

In countries like the United States, essays have become a major part of a formal education. Secondary students in these countries are taught structured essay formats to improve their writing skills, and essays are often used by universities in these countries in selecting applicants (see admissions essay ). In both secondary and tertiary education, essays are used to judge the mastery and comprehension of material. Students are asked to explain, comment on, or assess a topic of study in the form of an essay. During some courses, university students will often be required to complete one or more essays that are prepared over several weeks or months. In addition, in fields such as the humanities and social sciences, [ citation needed ] mid-term and end of term examinations often require students to write a short essay in two or three hours.

In these countries, so-called academic essays, which may also be called "papers", are usually more formal than literary ones. [ citation needed ] They may still allow the presentation of the writer's own views, but this is done in a logical and factual manner, with the use of the first person often discouraged. Longer academic essays (often with a word limit of between 2,000 and 5,000 words) [ citation needed ] are often more discursive. They sometimes begin with a short summary analysis of what has previously been written on a topic, which is often called a literature review. [ citation needed ]

Longer essays may also contain an introductory page in which words and phrases from the title are tightly defined. Most academic institutions [ citation needed ] will require that all substantial facts, quotations, and other porting material used in an essay be referenced in a bibliography or works cited page at the end of the text. This scholarly convention allows others (whether teachers or fellow scholars) to understand the basis of the facts and quotations used to support the essay's argument, and thereby help to evaluate to what extent the argument is supported by evidence, and to evaluate the quality of that evidence. The academic essay tests the student's ability to present their thoughts in an organized way and is designed to test their intellectual capabilities. [ citation needed ]

One essay guide of a US university makes the distinction between research papers and discussion papers. The guide states that a "research paper is intended to uncover a wide variety of sources on a given topic". As such, research papers "tend to be longer and more inclusive in their scope and with the amount of information they deal with." While discussion papers "also include research. they tend to be shorter and more selective in their approach. and more analytical and critical". Whereas a research paper would typically quote "a wide variety of sources", a discussion paper aims to integrate the material in a broader fashion. [ 5 ]

One of the challenges facing US universities is that in some cases, students may submit essays which have been purchased from an essay mill (or "paper mill") as their own work. An "essay mill" is a ghostwriting service that sells pre-written essays to university and college students. Since plagiarism is a form of academic dishonesty or academic fraud. universities and colleges may investigate papers suspected to be from an essay mill by using Internet plagiarism detection software, which compares essays against a database of known mill essays and by orally testing students on the contents of their papers.

Forms and styles

This section describes the different forms and styles of essay writing. These forms and styles are used by a range of authors, including university students and professional essayists.

Cause and effect

The defining features of a "cause and effect" essay are causal chains that connect from a cause to an effect, careful language, and chronological or emphatic order. A writer using this rhetorical method must consider the subject, determine the purpose, consider the audience, think critically about different causes or consequences, consider a thesis statement, arrange the parts, consider the language, and decide on a conclusion. [ 6 ]

Classification and division

Classification is the categorization of objects into a larger whole while division is the breaking of a larger whole into smaller parts. [ 7 ]

Compare and contrast

Compare and contrast essays are characterized by a basis for comparison, points of comparison, and analogies. It is grouped by object (chunking) or by point (sequential). Comparison highlights the similarities between two or more similar objects while contrasting highlights the differences between two or more objects. When writing a compare/contrast essay, writers need to determine their purpose, consider their audience, consider the basis and points of comparison, consider their thesis statement, arrange and develop the comparison, and reach a conclusion. Compare and contrast is arranged emphatically. [ 8 ]


Descriptive writing is characterized by sensory details, which appeal to the physical senses, and details that appeal to a reader’s emotional, physical, or intellectual sensibilities. Determining the purpose, considering the audience, creating a dominant impression, using descriptive language, and organizing the description are the rhetorical choices to be considered when using a description. A description is usually arranged spatially but can also be chronological or emphatic. The focus of a description is the scene. Description uses tools such as denotative language, connotative language, figurative language. metaphor. and simile to arrive at a dominant impression. [ 9 ] One university essay guide states that "descriptive writing says what happened or what another author has discussed; it provides an account of the topic". [ 10 ]


In the dialectic form of essay, which is commonly used in Philosophy. the writer makes a thesis and argument, then objects to their own argument (with a counterargument), but then counters the counterargument with a final and novel argument. This form benefits from being more open-minded while countering a possible flaw that some may present. [ 11 ]


An exemplification essay is characterized by a generalization and relevant, representative, and believable examples including anecdotes. Writers need to consider their subject, determine their purpose, consider their audience, decide on specific examples, and arrange all the parts together when writing an exemplification essay. [ 12 ]


A familiar essay is one in which the essayist speaks as if to a single reader. He speaks about both himself and a particular subject. Anne Fadiman notes that "the genre's heyday was the early nineteenth century," and that its greatest exponent was Charles Lamb. [ 13 ] She also suggests that while critical essays have more brain than heart, and personal essays have more heart than brain, familiar essays have equal measures of both. [ 14 ]

History (thesis)

A history essay, sometimes referred to as a thesis essay, will describe an argument or claim about one or more historical events and will support that claim with evidence, arguments and references. The text makes it clear to the reader why the argument or claim is as such. [ 15 ]


A narrative uses tools such as flashbacks. flash-forwards. and transitions that often build to a climax. The focus of a narrative is the plot. When creating a narrative, authors must determine their purpose, consider their audience, establish their point of view, use dialogue, and organize the narrative. A narrative is usually arranged chronologically. [ 16 ]


A critical essay is an argumentative piece of writing, aimed at presenting objective analysis of the subject matter, narrowed down to a single topic. The main idea of all the criticism is to provide an opinion either of positive or negative implication. As such, a critical essay requires research and analysis, strong internal logic and sharp structure. Each argument should be supported with sufficient evidence, relevant to the point.

Other logical structures

The logical progression and organizational structure of an essay can take many forms. Understanding how the movement of thought is managed through an essay has a profound impact on its overall cogency and ability to impress. A number of alternative logical structures for essays have been visualized as diagrams, making them easy to implement or adapt in the construction of an argument. [ 17 ]

Magazine or newspaper

Essays often appear in magazines, especially magazines with an intellectual bent, such as The Atlantic and Harpers . Magazine and newspaper essays use many of the essay types described in the section on forms and styles (e.g. descriptive essays, narrative essays, etc.). Some newspapers also print essays in the op-ed section.

An 1895 cover of Harpers . a US magazine that prints a number of essays per issue.


Employment essays detailing experience in a certain occupational field are required when applying for some jobs, especially government jobs in the United States. Essays known as Knowledge Skills and Executive Core Qualifications are required when applying to certain US federal government positions.

A KSA, or Knowledge, Skills, and Abilities, is a series of narrative statements that are required when applying to Federal government job openings in the United States. KSAs are used along with resumes to determine who the best applicants are when several candidates qualify for a job. The knowledge, skills and abilities necessary for the successful performance of a position are contained on each job vacancy announcement. KSAs are brief and focused essays about one's career and educational background that presumably qualify one to perform the duties of the position being applied for.

An Executive Core Qualification, or ECQ, is a narrative statement that is required when applying to Senior Executive Service positions within the US Federal government. Like the KSAs, ECQs are used along with resumes to determine who the best applicants are when several candidates qualify for a job. The Office of Personnel Management has established five executive core qualifications that all applicants seeking to enter the Senior Executive Service must demonstrate.

Non-literary types Visual Arts

In the visual arts. an essay is a preliminary drawing or sketch upon which a final painting or sculpture is based, made as a test of the work's composition (this meaning of the term, like several of those following, comes from the word essay' s meaning of "attempt" or "trial").


In the realm of music. composer Samuel Barber wrote a set of "Essays for Orchestra," relying on the form and content of the music to guide the listener's ear, rather than any extra-musical plot or story .


(or "cinematic essays") consist of the evolution of a theme or an idea rather than a plot per se; or the film literally being a cinematic accompaniment to a narrator reading an essay. From another perspective, an essay film could be defined as a documentary film visual basis combined with a form of commentary that contains elements of self-portrait (rather than autobiography), where the signature (rather than the life-story) of the filmmaker is apparent. The cinematic essay often blends documentary, fiction, and experimental film making using a tones and editing styles. [ 18 ]

The genre is not well-defined but might include works of early Soviet parliamentarians like Dziga Vertov. present-day filmmakers like Chris Marker. Agnès Varda. Michael Moore (Roger and Me . Bowling for Columbine and Fahrenheit 9/11 ), Errol Morris (The Thin Blue Line ), or Morgan Spurlock (Supersize Me: A Film of Epic Proportions ). Jean-Luc Godard describes his recent work as "film-essays". [ 19 ] Two filmmakers whose work was the antecedent to the cinematic essay include George Meliès and Bertolt Brecht. Georges Meliès did a film about the coronation of Edward VII in 1902 which mixes actual footage with shots of a recreation of the event. Bertolt Brecht was a playwright who experimented with film and incorporated film projections into some of his plays. [ 18 ]

David Winks Gray's article "The essay film in action" states that the "essay film became an identifiable form of film making in the 1950s and ’60s". He states that since that time, essay films have tended to be "on the margins" of the film making world. Essay films have a "peculiar searching, questioning tone" which is "between documentary and fiction" but without "fitting comfortably" into either genre. Gray notes that just like written essays, essay films "tend to marry the personal voice of a guiding narrator (often the director) with a wide swath of other voices". [ 20 ] The University of Wisconsin Cinematheque website echoes some of Gray's comments; it calls film essays an "intimate and allusive" genre that "catches filmmakers in a pensive mood, ruminating on the margins between fiction and documentary" in a manner that is "refreshingly inventive, playful, and idiosyncratic". [ 21 ]

"After School Play Interrupted by the Catch and Release of a Stingray" is a simple time-sequence photo essay .


A photographic essay is an attempt to cover a topic with a linked series of photographs. Photo essays range from purely photographic works to photographs with captions or small notes to full text essays with a few or many accompanying photographs. Photo essays can be sequential in nature, intended to be viewed in a particular order, or they may consist of non-ordered photographs which may be viewed all at once or in an order chosen by the viewer. All photo essays are collections of photographs, but not all collections of photographs are photo essays. Photo essays often address a certain issue or attempt to capture the character of places and events.

See also References
  1. ^ Gale – Free Resources – Glossary – DE. Retrieved on 2011-03-22.
  2. ^ Aldous Huxley, Collected Essays. "Preface".
  3. ^ Book Use Book Theory: 1500–1700: Commonplace Thinking
  4. ^ ab essay (literature) – Britannica Online Encyclopedia. Retrieved on 2011-03-22.
  5. ^ Sections 3.1 through 3.3. of the Simon Fraser University CNS essay handbook .
  6. ^ Chapter 7: Cause and Effect in Glenn, Cheryl. Making Sense: A Real World Rhetorical Reader. Ed. Denise B. Wydra, et al. Second ed. Boston, MA: Bedford/St. Martin's, 2005.
  7. ^ Chapter 5: Classification and Division in Glenn, Cheryl. Making Sense: A Real World Rhetorical Reader. Ed. Denise B. Wydra, et al. Second ed. Boston, MA: Bedford/St. Martin's, 2005.
  8. ^ Chapter 6: Comparison and Contrast in Glenn, Cheryl. Making Sense: A Real World Rhetorical Reader. Ed. Denise B. Wydra, et al. Second ed. Boston, MA: Bedford/St. Martin's, 2005.
  9. ^ Chapter 2: Description in Glenn, Cheryl. Making Sense: A Real World Rhetorical Reader. Ed. Denise B. Wydra, et al. Second ed. Boston, MA: Bedford/St. Martin's, 2005.
  10. ^ Section 2.1 of the Simon Fraser University CNS Essay Handbook. Available online at:
  11. ^ PHIL 101: Dialectic Essay Assignment
  12. ^ Chapter 4: Exemplification in Glenn, Cheryl. Making Sense: A Real World Rhetorical Reader. Ed. Denise B. Wydra, et al. Second ed. Boston, MA: Bedford/St. Martin's, 2005.
  13. ^ Fadiman, Anne. At Large and At Small: Familiar Essays. p. x.  
  14. ^ Fadiman, At Large and At Small. xi.
  15. ^ History Essay Format & Thesis Statement (February 2010)
  16. ^ Chapter 3 Narration in Glenn, Cheryl. Making Sense: A Real World Rhetorical Reader. Ed. Denise B. Wydra, et al. Second ed. Boston, MA: Bedford/St. Martin's, 2005.
  17. ^ 'Mission Possible' by Dr. Mario Petrucci
  18. ^ ab Cinematic Essay Film Genre. Retrieved on 2011-03-22.
  19. ^ Discussion of film essays
  20. ^ [1] [dead link ]
  21. ^ Talking Pictures: The Art of the Essay Film. Retrieved on 2011-03-22.
Further reading
  • Theodor W. Adorno. "The Essay as Form" in: Theodor W. Adorno, The Adorno Reader. Blackwell Publishers 2000.
  • Beaujour, Michel. Miroirs d'encre: Rhétorique de l'autoportrait'. Paris: Seuil, 1980. [Poetics of the Literary Self-Portrait. Trans. Yara Milos. New York: NYU Press, 1991].
  • Bensmaïa, Reda. The Barthes Effect: The Essay as Reflective Text. Trans. Pat Fedkiew. Minneapolis: Univ. of Minnesota Press, 1987.
  • D'Agata, John (Editor), The Lost Origins of the Essay. St Paul: Graywolf Press, 2009.
  • Giamatti, Louis. “The Cinematic Essay”, in Godard and the Others: Essays in Cinematic Form. London, Tantivy Press, 1975.
  • Lopate, Phillip. “In Search of the Centaur: The Essay-Film”, in Beyond Document: Essays on Nonfiction Film. Edited by Charles Warren, Wesleyan University Press, 1998. pp. 243–270.
  • Warburton, Nigel. The basics of essay writing. Routledge, 2006. ISBN 0-415-24000-X. ISBN 978-0-415-24000-0
External links

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