Both words mean a text that presents the author’s point of view on a certain matter or phenomenon. However, it is common to call it literary and scientific texts dealing with serious philosophical, social or artistic topics. Such a text, apart from externalizing the author’s opinion, should also have aesthetic value.
Essay also means that, but this is simply a presentation of your own opinion on a given topic, for example in schools. Such essay has a function primarily a usable and more ossified structure. In English, the word “dissertation” is more suited to such a definition. Just like a essay, essay is rather a formal form (sic!), Although not overly – certainly less formal than a report.
The main purpose of the essay may be to express a sentence or summarize the discussion on a topic. The opinion you express – whether you will be for or against – will not have any impact on your assessment. “How” is checked, not “what”.
And now a quick repetition of the English language – what structure has the essay? I say (whispering):
Similarly with essay on the exam:
- Introduction (introduction)
- Body (developed)
- Conclusion (ending)
Let’s not settle on a small one. What should be found in each part? Taking into account the number of words allowed on the exam – maximum 260 – not much. You can exceed the maximum number of words allowed by 10%, above this number the examiner will simply stop checking the text at the point where you exceed the number of words allowed. And what words are taken into account? All, including all a, an, the and if. You must therefore be content to follow all the instructions in the subject, and at the same time organize the text well and show off the richness of the language (more about the requirements for the texts in the article Discovered the secret examiners – now they hate it!). However, in order to preserve the form of a typical English-language essay, I propose such a scheme:
- introduction Eye-catching opening
- Topic sentence
body Argument 1 development using different words than in the introduction + reason(s) / example(s)
Argument 2 development using different words than in the introduction + reason(s) / example(s)
conclusion Recapping all the arguments WITHOUT reasons and examples (possibly different words than earlier)
Food for thought
But why such a scheme, and not another one, Sensei? Every essay must have an introduction, development and ending. What will be found in them and in what order is less important, if you follow all the commands from the content of the task, because they force argumentation, so use the form of the essay. Using one proven scheme, you can focus on other important aspects of writing, such as links between sentences and boasting the richness of a language wallet. First things first.
Eye-catching opening – somehow you have to start this essay. The principle for each text is that you must encourage the potential reader to continue. This is no different in the case of the essay. You can start with a reference to a game, book or movie, or some interesting or funny quote from a known person. It does not have to be 100% correct, no one will check it. And what about the fact that it’s quite kitschy opening? It is a language test, not a substantive exam. I repeat: “how” is checked, not “what”.
Topic sentence – a key phrase in the essay describing the topic. With it, as clearly as you can, you define here what you will write about and what your opinion is about it. You can paraphrase the given topic et voila!
Here you present your arguments again in other words than in the introduction. You also support them with relevant examples. You can use the hints from the task content, you can reach for your own experience. Each argument along with the envelope must be included in a separate paragraph.
Recapping all the arguments WITHOUT claims and examples (possibly different words than earlier) – you summarize what you have written.
Food for thought – it is good to end some general conclusion on a given topic in order to give the reader a thought for the text.
Short, sharp and sweet – short, simple and on the subject. Although patterns are undoubtedly the killers of creativity, you can bake a tasty cake in this form. Here is an attempt to attack the subject of an essay taken straight from the example sheet on the Cambridge University website.
For those who have not yet made it through the instructions for creating a report reminder: this is a text that contains good language usage. This is a text of dubious quality or just a suggestion as to how it could have been written better. This, on the other hand, is a mistake that will negatively affect your scoring.
- You must answer this question. Write your answer in 220 – 260 words in an appropriate style.
This is just an example of an essay, thanks to which you will get acquainted with the structure of the genre. You will not learn to write on this one example, you have to save yourself (a) a lot of paper under the supervision of a specialist who knows the requirements.
Last but not least, the right organization of the text, linking the sentences together to form a coherent text are crucial. To achieve this, it is worth to learn at least a few binders for different occasions. The vast majority of them can be used at the beginning of a sentence (followed by a comma).
Of course, I encourage you to learn as many words and expressions as possible, to study how to use them and try them in practice under the guidance of a competent teacher. These below are enough for a good start. I tried to create a mix of short and popular and less common people that you could shine on the exam. All examples of use come from the English-English Oxford dictionary.