Although it may be only in school that you are asked to write a specifically descriptive essay, description is an important element in many kinds of writing. Description embedded in an argument paper, for example, may be intended to make a position more persuasive. However, in this TIP Sheet we will discuss the descriptive essay as it is commonly assigned by instructors as an exercise in organizing sensory information and choosing vivid details.
An essay has been defined in a variety of ways. One definition is a "prose composition with a focused subject of discussion" or a "long, systematic discourse". Aldous Huxleya leading essayist, gives guidance on the subject. Furthermore, Huxley argues that "essays belong to a literary species whose extreme variability can be studied most effectively within a three-poled frame of reference".
These three poles or worlds in which the essay may exist are: The personal and the autobiographical: The essayists that feel most comfortable in this pole "write fragments of reflective autobiography and look at the world through the keyhole of anecdote and description". The objective, the factual, and the concrete particular: The essayists that write from this pole "do not speak directly of themselves, but turn their attention outward to some literary or scientific or political theme.
Their art consists of setting forth, passing judgment upon, and drawing general conclusions from the relevant data". In this pole "we find those essayists who do their work in the world of high abstractions", who are never personal and who seldom mention the particular facts of experience.
Huxley adds that the most satisfying essays " In English essay first meant "a trial" or "an attempt", and this is still an alternative meaning. The Frenchman Michel de Montaigne — was the first author to describe his work as essays; he used the term to characterize these as "attempts" to put his thoughts into writing, and his essays grew out of his commonplacing.
For the rest of his life, he continued revising previously published essays and composing new ones. Francis Bacon 's essayspublished in book form in, andwere the first works in English that described themselves as essays. Ben Jonson first used the word essayist in English inaccording to the Oxford English Dictionary.
History The examples and perspective in this article may not represent a worldwide view of the subject. You may improve this articlediscuss the issue on the talk pageor create a new articleas appropriate. January Learn how and when to remove this template message Europe English essayists included Robert Burton — and Sir Thomas Browne — In France, Michel de Montaigne 's three volume Essais in the mid s contain over examples widely regarded as the predecessor of the modern essay.
In the 18th and 19th centuries, Edmund Burke and Samuel Taylor Coleridge wrote essays for the general public. The early 19th century, in particular, saw a proliferation of great essayists in English — William HazlittCharles LambLeigh Hunt and Thomas de Quincey all penned numerous essays on diverse subjects.
In the 20th century, a number of essayists tried to explain the new movements in art and culture by using essays e.
Whereas some essayists used essays for strident political themes, Robert Louis Stevenson and Willa Cather wrote lighter essays. Zuihitsu As with the novelessays existed in Japan several centuries before they developed in Europe with a genre of essays known as zuihitsu — loosely connected essays and fragmented ideas.
Zuihitsu have existed since almost the beginnings of Japanese literature. Many of the most noted early works of Japanese literature are in this genre. Notable examples include The Pillow Book c. Another noteworthy difference from Europe is that women have traditionally written in Japan, though the more formal, Chinese-influenced writings of male writers were more prized at the time.
Forms and styles This section describes the different forms and styles of essay writing.How to Write an Essay.
In this Article: Article Summary Writing Your Essay Revising Your Essay Writing a Persuasive Essay Writing an Expository Essay Write a Narrative Essay Essay Help Community Q&A Throughout your academic career, you will often be asked to write essays.
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TIP Sheet WRITING A DESCRIPTIVE ESSAY. The aim of description is to make sensory details vividly present to the reader. Although it may be only in school that you are asked to write a specifically descriptive essay, description is an important element in many kinds of writing.
More than many other types of essays, descriptive essays strive to create a deeply involved and vivid experience for the reader. Great descriptive essays achieve this affect not through facts and statistics but by using detailed observations and descriptions.
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