The purpose of an essay is to encourage students to develop ideas and concepts in their writing with the direction of little more than their own thoughts (it may be helpful to view the essay as the converse of a research paper).
Therefore, essays are (by nature) concise and require clarity in purpose and direction.
Essays are shorter pieces of writing that often require the student to hone a number of skills such as close reading, analysis, comparison and contrast, persuasion, conciseness, clarity, and exposition.
As is evidenced by this list of attributes, there is much to be gained by the student who strives to succeed at essay writing.
This resource begins with a general description of essay writing and moves to a discussion of common essay genres students may encounter across the curriculum.
The four genres of essays (description, narration, exposition, and argumentation) are common paper assignments you may encounter in your writing classes.
Summary: The Modes of Discourse—Exposition, Description, Narration, Argumentation (EDNA)—are common paper assignments you may encounter in your writing classes.
Although these genres have been criticized by some composition scholars, the Purdue OWL recognizes the wide spread use of these approaches and students’ need to understand and produce them.
Although these genres, also known as the modes of discourse, have been criticized by some composition scholars, the Purdue OWL recognizes the wide spread use of these genres and students’ need to understand and produce these types of essays. The essay is a commonly assigned form of writing that every student will encounter while in academia.
Therefore, it is wise for the student to become capable and comfortable with this type of writing early on in her training.