Generally, an essay is a written or typed nonfictional short story, an academic article, an experiment or even a summarized piece from a book (Kemerling 1). In literature, the meaning of essay is fussier since it is closely associated to most pieces of writing, and can only be differentiated on content or context. It is not easy to classify the genre into which the word essay belongs. However, we can follow the guidance presented by one of the most famous essayist known as Aldous Huxley.Huxley stated that an essay is a tool of literature that people can use to communicate almost everything that exist in life, and later added that by nature, essay is a short a brief piece of writing. In addition, Huxley suggested that essays belong to a genre of literature whose extreme characteristics can be understood clearly and effectively by exploring the three main frames of reference. The first frame is known as autographical or personal; Huxley argued that people belonging to this frame are those who write pieces of personal reflection and autobiographies, which are closely related to anecdote. The second frame of essayist is that of factual or objective literature, essays in this pole are not focused on individual subjects or personal autobiographies, but on are focused on broad literature such as political issues, or scientific facts (Damm 1).These type of frames concentrate on judgment or analysis of fact and making deductions, a feature of most scientific writing. The last frame is a universal summary of fact, this comprises of essayist who mostly deals with immense abstractions, and they are never personal and rarely concentrate on the facts or experience.It is difficult to differentiate a good essay from a wrong one since every writer has some personal objectives that he is attempting to achieve with the literature. Therefore, the quality of an essay depends on the required content, format and content and this may vary from one field to the other. The word essay cannot be empirically determined, hence one can only relay on the quality or content of the essay to judge its value. According to traditional essayist, good essays are those that accommodate the three frame or cuts across personal, factual or scientific, and universal abstractions (Mounsey 102).When the word essay is looked in a French perspective, it means the act of
Crawford, Bridget. What is the Difference between an “Article” and an “Essay”? 4 February 2010. 29 October 2013 <http://www.feministlawprofessors.com/2010/02/what-is-the-difference-between-an-article-and-an-essay/>.
Damm, Cappelen. Four types of essay: expository, persuasive, analytical, argumentative. 2 September 2008. 29 October 2013 <http://access-socialstudies.cappelendamm.no/c319365/artikkel/vis.html?tid=382115>.
Kemerling, Garth. A Dictionary of Philosophical Terms and Names. 12 November 2011. 29 October 2013 <http://www.philosophypages.com/dy/index.htm>.
Klaus, Carl H. Essayists on the Essay: Montaigne to Our Time. University of Iowa Press, 2012.
Mounsey, Chris. Essays and Dissertations. Oxford University Press, 2005.
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