|Upon the completion of this unit and doing practices in it, the learners will be able to:
Whenever we need to express an idea elaborately in writing, we opt for the prose form as opposed to poetry. An essay is a loose term for writing in prose, in an effective way to express oneself, allowing the writer to assert his/her opinion on a topic.
Argumentative Essay, Expository Essay, Narrative Essay, Descriptive Essay
Although there are innumerable ways of writing an essay and many different types of essays, we can classify essays into four major types for clarity: Expository, Narrative, Persuasive and Descriptive.
Expository Essay: An expository essay requires the students to explore an idea, communicate factual information, compare and contrast, evaluate, provide a clear and focused explanation of a particular topic.
Narrative Essay: Narrative essays are anecdotal and experiential. It tells a vivid story usually from a particular person’s viewpoint.
Persuasive Essay: A persuasive essay has a strong persuasive argument. It is an attempt to convince the reader of an opinion by walking through a number of logical arguments. The persuasive essay can also be called an argumentative essay as it argues in support of an idea.
Descriptive Essay: A descriptive essay gives a detailed description of something – person, object, experience, place or situation.
|Essays can also be classified into numerous other types like Analytical Essay (reviews of books, movies, situation, or an essay that brings forth some subtle nuances of a topic), Philosophical/Reflective Essay (that discusses some profound issues like life, death, love, truth etc) and Process Essay (that describes how to do something).|
Components of an essay:
Every essay can be divided into three distinct parts: 1) Introduction, 2) Development of an idea, 3) Conclusion.
In smaller essays, the introduction and conclusion can be in a single paragraph each and the development of the idea can be made in many paragraphs.
Example 1: Descriptive Essays
My Favourite Place
How does one find one’s favourite place? It would make sense to say that the place where one finds oneself, their true selves, would be their favourite place. Places often have great influence on people and help them discover or rediscover themselves. My first memories that are very dear to me are of my ancestral home in Alleppey. The house was, I thought, as comfortable as the proverbial mother’s womb. It was surrounded by huge trees, whose branches cast a brilliant shade on the house even in the middle of a sweltering summer.
Nature has a way of luring us into its soothing lap and this beautiful place in Alleppey did the same to me. If the trees captured our hearts at home, just a stone throw away was the vast ocean that beckoned us with its mighty waves. Most evenings we would rush to the sea, to run through its beaches, bury our feet in its wet sands, pick sea shells and dig holes and build sand castles.
On the days when the sea is rough we will all huddle up in the house or splash about in one of the ponds around the house. The ponds were also a relief on the summer days and its cool waters soothed not just our bodies but also our minds. To add to the joy of being in the surroundings were the flock of cousins who thronged the house during vacations. They came from near and far and the joy of being at the beautiful place multiplied manifold in pleasant company.
The aroma of grandmother’s cooking was literally the icing on the cake. It connected to the place not just through the sites and sounds of cooking, but also through the tempting wafts of delicious recipes. All of this makes Alleppey my favourite place. As a child my heart leapt with joy at the thought of the place, and as an adult it still rejoices at the prospect of being in such a beautiful and serene place.
Example 2 : Persuasive Essay
Why are alternative medicines still popular?
Alternative medicines have played a significant role in the healing of diseases for centuries and its rising popularity shows no sign of dying down. The numerous benefits directly linked to alternative medicines have created a wave of interest in them. Alternative medicines include a wide array of treatments which, while understood to be unorthodox, have many advantages over modern forms of medicines. They are capable of achieving health benefits that modern medicines may not be able to achieve. As its practices may not be deemed to be traditional or standard, alternative medicines are often criticized and there are many detractors of these forms of medicines.
Alternative medicines however should not be misunderstood to be quack remedies or medicines for the poor who cannot afford modern medicines. Many people are found to be using alternative medicines because they have understood it to be better alternatives, being less intrusive with less side effects, and are probably in congruence with their orientation towards health and life.
It can be argued that nothing can compete with a standard hospital room with modern equipments and sophisticated tools. But if alternative medicines are not seen as branches that are inimical to modern medicine, they can be understood to be systems that work to improve human health in their own unique way.
The lack of sophisticated equipments in alternative medicines do not render them less effective. In fact, they have their own unique properties and functions in sorting out many health related issues and they have been doing so for hundreds of years.
In India, Ayush is the name for the ministry of alternative system of medicines. The Ministry of Ayush has encouraged education and research in Ayurveda, Yoga, Naturopathy, Unani, Siddha, Sowa Rigpa and Homeopathy. Such attempts will go a long way in ensuring that traditional systems of medicines do not become extinct and that the knowledge that humanity has accrued over the centuries are not lost.
The best thing to do with alternative systems of medicines is not to wish them away but to encourage research and development in it so that it overcomes its short falls and flaws if any and becomes better at helping humanity deal with health challenges better.
Example 3 : Narrative Essay
A Trip to Manasarovar.
Manasarovar is a large freshwater Lake situated in Tibet. It is considered to be a remnant of the Thethys sea. The lake holds religious importance for many groups of people like Hindus, Buddhist and Jains. Because I had heard about the visual splendor that Manasarovar was, I packed my bags and left for the place the first opportunity that I got.
Close to Manasarovar is Mount Kailash, the mountain considered to be the abode of Lord Shiva. The place, of course, is a geological wonder. But for most visitors, it is often part of their spiritual quest. The lake is at a height of 4557 meters above sea level and is unbelievably cold. It was wonderful to see Mansarovar from which the four major rivers Brahmaputra, Ghagra, Sindhu and Satluj originate.
Standing at the edge of the waters one could feel the majestic presence of the six other mountain ranges that surrounded Mount Kailash. Near the lake are many types of herbs and shrubs that have many medical properties. The flora consists of Nagmani flowers, the nettle plant and stinging nettle, among others.
On the way to Manasarovar, we also stop at Gowri Kund and Rakshas Tal. Although the place was cold and one could feel the lack of oxygen weighing one’s body down, it was also exhilarating because of the sheer beauty and magic of the place. I hold the memories of Manasarovar close to my heart and look forward to visiting the place again.
Example 4 : Expository Essay
An expository essay is an essay that explains a topic without presenting the readers with a subjective opinion of the author. Look at this essay on Computers from brittanica.com.
The Beginning of the Computer
A computer might be described with deceptive simplicity as “an apparatus that performs routine calculations automatically.” Such a definition would owe its deceptiveness to a naive and narrow view of calculation as a strictly mathematical process. In fact, calculation underlies many activities that are not normally thought of as mathematical.
Walking across a room, for instance, requires many complex, albeit subconscious, calculations. Computers, too, have proved capable of solving a vast array of problems, from balancing a checkbook to even in the form of guidance systems for robots walking across a room.
Before the true power of computing could be realized, therefore, the naive view of calculation had to be overcome. The inventors who laboured to bring the computer into the world had to learn that the thing they were inventing was not just a number cruncher, not merely a calculator. For example, they had to learn that it was not necessary to invent a new computer for every new calculation and that a computer could be designed to solve numerous problems, even problems not yet imagined when the computer was built. They also had to learn how to tell such a general problem-solving computer what problem to solve. In other words, they had to invent programming.
They had to solve all the heady problems of developing such a device, of implementing the design, of actually building the thing. The history of the solving of these problems is the history of the computer.
Let us now look at the features of a good essay:
- A good essay of the result of careful planning. It presents accurate information and rejects what is redundant.
- A good essay is comprehensive in its vision, yet not verbose and vague.
- It is as objective as possible and even while presenting the author’s own view point, it is not prejudiced or biased.
- The language used in a good essay is appropriate to the content of the essay. Jargons are included only if the essay is intended for a specific group of readers who understand those words.
- A good essay is clear and concise and has an appropriate title.
1. Attempt an essay on the following:
- Population Explosion
- My favourite day in school.
- The movie I liked the most.
- Is reading habit declining in youth?
- How to avoid another pandemic.
- Why empowerment of women is the empowerment of a nation.
- The benefits of eating home-cooked food.
- Today’s youth have exhibited a greater sense of responsibility to nature and the planet.
- Uninvited guests.