Presentation on theme: "Origins of the Essay Derived from the French infinitive “essayer,” meaning to try or attempt Form of writing originated in late 16 th century France and."— Presentation transcript:
Origins of the Essay Derived from the French infinitive “essayer,” meaning to try or attempt Form of writing originated in late 16 th century France and England French statesman Michel de Montaigne wrote Essais, published in 1580 English philosopher and statesman Francis Bacon wrote Essays, published in 1597 The essay evolved into a common polemical tool to express political views by the 19 th century
Definition of an Essay Variously defined, usually in accordance with the context in which it is written The essay has emerged as a major pedagogical tool in modern education Within the educational context, the essay is a concise, focused, structured, and stylistically-formal attempt to convey an objective and informed point of view, perspective, or argument. The relative brevity of the essay remains its most distinguishable feature in relationship to pamphlets, books, and other written forms Published essays can range up to 25,000 words (nearly 100 pages), although a common scholarly publishing limit is 10,000 words (nearly 40 pages) Undergraduate university essays tend to range from 500 to 5,000 words (2 to 20 pages) depending on course level
Types of Written Discourse The nature of the essay can vary in accordance with the context of type of writing: Creative writing Expressive writing Journalistic writing Professional writing Academic writing
Creative Writing Works of fiction novel short story poem play The essay is not a common form in creative writing – mainly non-fictional mode of writing. Essays about works of fiction are commonly referred to as literary essays.
Expressive Writing Non-fictional accounts or stories personal experience personal impression emotional response Essays relying mostly on personal experience and impressions or emotional responses are commonly referred to as personal essays.
Journalistic Writing Factual reporting or personal commentary for general public consumption newspaper magazine internet site While media reports and opinions are commonly referred to as articles and editorials respectively, journalistic essays may occasionally appear, notably in the form of “op-ed” pieces. On the whole, the relative brevity and generality of journalistic writing does not lend itself to essay development.
Professional Writing Informative communication especially geared to the needs and practices of the workplace report brief executive summary memorandum or other correspondence The term "essay" is seldom applied to professional writing. A notable exception may be a statement detailing employment experience or aspirations accompanying job applications in certain occupational fields or contexts.
Academic Writing Formal, non-fictional discourse based on authoritative sources and designed to inform and to stimulate an intelligent audience in a strategically objective manner focused critical perspective specialized research systematic presentation documentation to acknowledge sources The most common use of the essay in university writing assignments
Modes of Written Discourse Description – presents the physical attributes, parts, or setting of a topic, often through a spatial order of development, for the purpose of conveying a personal impression Narration – presents an event, an idea, or a process in a chronological order of development for the purpose of conveying a sense of a progression of action Exposition – explains a particular perspective on a specific topic for the purpose of conveying a clearer understanding of its complexities Argument – attempts to persuade the audience that the writer's point of view on a controversial or debatable issue, perspective, problem, or question is valid (if the assumption is that it may not be) or is the better alternative
Forms of Exposition and Argument Personal response – expresses an informed opinion about a specific topic, based mostly on previous knowledge and experience Synthesis – reaches a new or unique conclusion about a specific topic based on information and perspectives derived from various authoritative sources Critical analysis – systematically investigates the complexities of a specific topic for the purpose of conveying a clearer understanding, a definite judgment, or an interesting interpretation (can be called literary criticism when pertaining to a work of literature) Critical review – systematically evaluates a substantial work such as book, film, play, internet site, musical composition, or video game for the purpose of conveying a clearer understanding, a definite judgment, or an interesting interpretation Research essay / paper – a synthesis or critical analysis of a specific topic based on substantial and authoritative research, usually from specialized sources
Audience (Who is the Reader?) What is the nature and scope of the audience as a discourse community? What is the size of the audience? What is the level of familiarity between writer and audience? What is the expectation of the audience? What is the level of interest within the audience? What is the knowledge of the audience? What is the bias of the audience? What impact does the writer hope to have on the audience?