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What is an essay?


An essay is an extended piece of writing that presents and supports a thesis or proposition. The word ‘essay’ derives from the Latin word ‘exagium’, meaning the presentation of a case.

When you write an essay you are making a case for the validity of a particular point of view, analysis, interpretation, or set of facts or procedures.

There are many types of essays…

  • argumentative,
  • descriptive,
  • synoptic,
  • analytical,
  • exploratory,
  • review,
  • and so on

… but they all have the common objective of presenting and defending a topic and a stance to the reader.


Consequently, essays all rely not only on the validity of the facts they communicate but also on the selection, critical evaluation, organisation, and presentation of these facts.



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