10 characteristics of literary essays

An essay is a relatively short text in which ideas are developed from arguments (through analysis, interpretation, or evaluation) on a given topic. This is a subjective method, although strict regarding the quality or authenticity of the information.

It is written in prose, that is, unlike other genres, there is no specific division or structure. This type of article should present your thoughts in the order in which they are most significant for a correct interpretation by the reader. Although there are certain guidelines for writing essays, this type provides a lot of freedom.

10 characteristics of essays

  1. It is as short as a monograph.
  2. It is subjective and personal, although it is based on the rigor of the authenticity of the information.
  3. It allows to publicize a wide variety of topics (politics, ethics, society, etc.).
  4. It is aimed at a general and broad audience.
  5. It presents a free structure (although in general it maintains the introduction at the beginning and a closing at the end).

  6. Personality and rigor: The author of an essay is characterized by writing a subjective text in which he reveals his interpretation of a specific topic that has been previously studied and analyzed. Although a subject is exposed, it is presented under the critical eye of the author, so that, although his points of view are based on certain arguments, they are usually subjective.
  7. The creation of an essay arises from the author's need to criticize, praise or reflect on a specific topic, whether it is his study, field of work or life in general. Therefore, its creation is free, but restricted, so as not to expand too much and lose its objective. By themselves, academic works must respond to a purpose, be it analysis, argumentation, etc., because it can even be a matter of scientific, social, political or cultural communication.
  8. There are different types of tests, the different types that can be carried out according to their purpose are listed below.
    • Argumentative Essays – Present various controversial arguments for a specific topic.
    • Descriptive essays: reveal the characteristics and necessary information about investigations, objects, phenomena, etc.
    • Philosophy essays: propose topics related to ethics and morality.
    • Reflective Essays: Analyze various social, cultural, political, and historical issues.
    • Scientific essays: It is an article that follows the scientific method to propose an article and respond to a single topic of interest.
  9. They generally have reliable support, it is important to have reliable support, but in addition to using different discursive resources, such as quotes, definitions, anecdotes or memories, the author must also present his arguments.

Elaboration of essays

There is no single prescribed structure that can produce an assay that must be strictly followed. The essay can have several structures.

The introduction and conclusions generally follow their order of appearance, but other parts, such as context, rebuttals, biographical information, etc., can be included in one paragraph or as part of a separate section.

To define the best structure for an article, it is useful to think of the different parts as possible answers to a series of questions that the reader may ask, for example:

  • That? It is the first question that the article should answer, preferably after the introduction. What evidence shows the authenticity of the item?

  • As? It must be stated whether the proposed document resists possible rebuttals or objections that readers may question.
  • Because? It includes proof of the author's explanation in a broader context than the one that runs throughout the article.

Based on the responses, the author will be able to organize the content and develop the introduction, development (can be divided into short chapters or subsections, depending on the topic) and conclusions. This will ensure that readers can decode the paper quickly and neatly.

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ENCICLOPEDIA DE CARACTERÍSTICAS (2023) 10 characteristics of literary essays, en 10caracteristicas.com. https://10caracteristicas.com/en/10-characteristics-of-literary-essays/ (Consultado el: 22-09-2023)

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