Essay Ideas and Types
An essay can be formal as well as informal based on the essay ideas and essay topics that the writer plans to undertake. Essay is derived from the French word, ‘essayer’. The word essayer means to attempt or to try. It is the short composition based on the single subject matter, and most of the time gives the personal opinion of the writer. In the Oxford dictionary, it is described as a short piece of composition on a particular subject. Michel de Montaigne was the first author to describe his works as essays. An essay is a piece of composition that provides author’s own argument. Essay topics and essay ideas mostly deal with learned arguments, observation of daily life, recollections, and reflections of the writer.
In the present scenario, essential essay topics encompassing strong essay ideas have become a significant part of formal education. Students are taught structured essays to improve their writing and analytical skills. Formal essays are academic in nature and cover essay ideas and essay topics related to a particular discipline. The essay ideas and the essay topics are of more serious nature with a specific purpose, whereas informal essays are more personal. The essay ideas and the essay topics are more of general nature, having personal elements, humor, and a rambling structure. The three poles argued by Huxely, in reference to the essay ideas are:
The personal and the autobiographical: The essay ideas that are included are reflective autobiographies, stories, and descriptions.
The objective, factual, and concrete: The essay ideas from this viewpoint are the essayists do not speak directly, rather turn the essay ideas to some literary, scientific, or political theme. It consists of passing judgment and drawing the overall conclusion from the relevant date.
The abstract-universal: Essayists who work in the world of high concepts.
Functions of an Essay
The function of the essay completely depends on the essay ideas and the subject matter that the writer wants to focus on. The essay ideas can be based on whether the writer wants to inform, persuade, or describe. The essay enhances the analytical and intellectual abilities of both the writer and the readers. Based on the topics to write about, it helps in evaluating and testing the writing skill of the writer and allowing the writer to think and respond to an issue. Thus, essay ideas also help in the development of concepts and skills, like analysis, conciseness, persuasion, and comparison and contrast.
Characteristics of an Essay
The essay ideas not only reveal the overall knowledge of the broader subject but also reveal the writer’s insight into a particular aspect of the subject. Some of the characteristics of the essay in the context of topics to write about are:
Narrowing a topic
Selecting a topic among a number of essay topics can be a daunting task. Selecting a topic form a range of essay topics that allows the writer to explore helps in presenting an impressive and impactful essay.
The writer needs to develop strong and clear essay ideas based on which the thesis statement. The thesis statement should be in itself a complete statement of the essay ideas and the essay topics. Essay ideas and the essay topics help in picking out the thesis statement and compose it accordingly. Topics to write about and researching helps to develop the thesis statement.
Write on a topic
Based on the topics to write about and how much can one cover depends on the essay ideas, essay topics, and the size of the essay. A standard of 1500 consisting of an introduction, two-three paragraphs, and a conclusion is generally recommended. Each paragraph should have a focus on related essay topics that relate and supports the thesis statement in conjunction with the related essay ideas. Paraphrasing and quotes must have proper citations.
Introduction and conclusion
Once deciding on the topics to write about, the introduction introduces both the broader subject and the specific essay topics having relevant essay ideas. Essay ideas should engage the readers and elicit interest in the reader to keep reading the essay ideas that have been put into. The concluding paragraph should briefly recap the essay ideas and the essay topics. Reiterating the thesis statement should also be included in the concluding paragraph.
Types of Essay
There are various types of essays. The type of essay depends on what the writer wants to convey to the audience. The essay ideas and essay topics decide the kind of essay that the writer undertakes. The topics to write about becomes the base for the writer to select the type of essay that one wants to start. All kinds of essay have some role, function, and goals that they convey to the audience.
Different types of essays reveal the breadth and depth of the essay topics and essay ideas. Deciding on the issues to write about and the type of essay teaches a more transparent formulation of thoughts and also aids in arranging essay ideas in a strict logical sequence. While working on the topics to write about, essay ideas, and essay types, one must consider the following things.
- One should have a deep understanding of the essay topics, thus identifying the major and the minor information to be included when deciding on the topics to write about.
- Generalizing the basic points of the essay ideas from several sources. As a result, the text sounds more voluminous, more impressive, and convincing.
- When deciding the topics to write about, the text should be original and extensively researched with supporting facts.
- Supporting the statements with illustrative material by the most striking examples from numerous sources that best reveals the essay topics and essay ideas. It indicates the awareness, outlook, and the preparation of the writer.
- After determining the topics to write about, the writer, by comparing the views of the various authors, can express his own opinion, thus creating a more impactful work.
Scientists and writers classify different types of essays. Selecting a type of essay depends on the topics to write about. Each essay type has its own idea, characteristics, and author’s ability to disclose the theme correctly according to the type. There are ten types of essays that are as follows:
- Descriptive Essay
This type of essay aids in describing the details of the essay topics. It can be on the basis of any object. The writer describes the object, place, or person to form a living image in the mind of the readers. Every detail counts in this type of essay.
- Definition Essay
The ultimate aim is to focus on the definition of the essay topics. It focuses on explaining things on a higher level than what dictionaries do, when in the context of deciding on the topics to write about. It defines the topics concretely and abstractly.
- Compare and Contrast
In connection with the topics to write about, this type of essay focuses on the differences and the similarities between two events, objects, ideas, etc. The audience should be able to get a clear understanding of the things that are common and the things that are different. To present a clear understanding, the writer should be well informed about both the subject.
- Narrative Essay
It presents the summary of events in sequential order. The essay aims at telling stories about a certain event. When deciding on the topics to write about, the writer is free to express the personal attitude towards the essay topics. It is usually written with the usage of the word I frequently.
- Process Essay
It explains a certain process in order. The essay topics are more similar to a cause and effect essay topics. This type of essay requires the same level of understanding of the topics as in cause and effect essay topics. It, at times, resembles the manual in which the instruction is written to do something. It contains a description of a particular action.
- Argumentative Essay
The aim of this essay is to persuade readers to take the writer’s viewpoint. It aims at manipulation of the reader’s thoughts.
- Critical Essay
It describes the weak and strong features of an object. The writer analyzes and evaluates the text, which is supported by the evidence.
- Expository Essay
It specifies the direction and instructs how to complete a task or the actions that need to be performed. It is the estimation of the subject form the writer’s point of view.
- Persuasive Essay
The aim is to prove a statement. By selecting and providing examples helps in proving the words of the writer. The topics to write about in this kind of essay are mostly relevant in the current scenario.
- Cause and Effect Essay
Cause and effect essay topics focus on the sequence of events and the results of it. Cause and effect essay topics focus on some study that shows what caused a particular outcome. Cause and effect essay topics require inducing a connection between the reasons for a particular event. To write ideal cause and effect essay topics, one should study the works on a similar cause and effect essay topics to have a better understanding.
Cause and effect essay topics focus on situations and try to respond to the question of why or what is the result. Cause and effect essay topics aim at organizing and discussing ideas. Paragraphs in cause and effect essay topics can be organized in chronological order. While writing on cause and effect essay, topic points can be presented on the basis of emphasis, form most important to the least important one.
One of the key cause and effect essay topics can be ‘why people snore’. Other cause and effect essay topics can include ‘how television changes our lives’ and ‘effects of lack of sleep’. These are some of the examples of cause and effect essay topics. Thus, the kind of essay ideas and the essay topics determine the type of essay that is to be undertaken by the writer.