Selected Topics in Writing an Academic Paper
IV. Writing an essay
39 IV Writing an essay Keywords: narrative, exposition, argumentation, clarity, assignment The essay is a commonly assigned form of writing that every student will encounter while in academia. Essays can be a rewarding and challenging type of writing and are often assigned either to be done in class, which requires previous planning and practice on the part of the student, or as homework, which likewise demands a certain amount of preparation. Students can avoid the discomfort often associated with essay writing by under- standing some common genres within essay writing. What is an essay? Though the word essay has come to be understood as a type of writing in Modern Eng- lish, its origins provide us with some useful insights. The word comes into the English language through the French inﬂ uence on Middle English. Tracing it back fur- ther, we ﬁ nd that the French form of the word comes from the Latin verb exigere, which means “to examine, 40 test, or to drive out”. Essays are shorter pieces of writing that require the student to acquire a number of skills such as close reading, analysis, comparison and contrast, persuasion, conciseness, clarity, and exposition. The purpose of an essay is to encourage students to develop ideas and concepts in their writing with the direction of expanding on their own thoughts. Therefore, essays are concise and require clarity in purpose and direction; the writing must be deliberate and interesting. A variety of genres can be recognised in essay writing: a) expository,...
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