The essay is a general reflection of philosophical, ethical and aesthetic nature, in which the author shares his reflections with the reader. There are no specific rules of composition. The essay may be critical, it may present the author’s views, it may also oscillate towards a lighter form. Also, its subject matter is not precisely defined – it may concern culture, art, science, politics, social issues, philosophy, etc. The essay may be critical, it may present the author’s views, or it may oscillate towards a lighter form.
It seems that it is easy to write an essay, because it can be “anything”. However, this is not the case at all. Nevertheless, there are some rules, which are mainly a set of guidelines for what should not be done in an essay.
Your paper is supposed to be a subjective statement – you should not try to be objective, but present your own point of view.
The essay is not for moral purposes – you only have to present your opinion, do not try to convince the recipient that you are right.
Your task as an author is not to exhaust the subject or summarize it in any binding way – you are only to outline the problem you are dealing with and make the viewer reflect on it. The subject matter of the essay remains open in a way.
Use literary language. Take care of the richness of language forms, diversify the adjectives used. Essay is a form in which not only what you write about but also the language you use counts.
Before you start writing, consider what cultural references you can use. Refer to books, films, articles, social and cultural events. Include quotations in the text, aphorisms, if you can, use cultural allusions.
EXAMPLE OF ESSAY
I remember a picture from my childhood: a night, a burning fire reflected in the waves of a lake, a bunch of girls and boys in scout uniforms (how many adults I thought they were then!), a glare of fire illuminating their eyes and rosé cheeks. At some point I raised my face and… I was delighted to see the golden dust of the stars right above me. They seemed as close as if they could be picked by hand, just like apples from an apple tree. Between them there were scraps of navy blue velvet – it was the sky.
Some time later my father put his hand on my shoulder and said seriously: “Remember, today is a great day. Yuri Gagarin flew into space. I was too young to associate the mysterious “cosmos” with my beautiful golden-blue sky. Too small also to be aware of all the symbolism of the word “star”.
And yet the ancient Romans used to say: “per aspera ad astra”, which literally translates as “through thorns to stars”. The range of this metaphor has always seemed to me astonishing: thorns are something down-to-earth, stars are an unattainable beauty. How many different things can be found between them! However, it occurred to me that – especially the inhabitants of big cities – we separated ourselves from the thorns with asphalt and concrete, cultivated flower beds, and even by accident we do not happen to step on a spike or tear our clothes against it. It’s just that we don’t have a chance. I think we’ve separated ourselves from suffering in life in the same way – with a wall of indifference, pills to improve mood, to calm down, to raise the level of energy…. Isn’t that the basic reason why we lost sight of the stars? The national bard wrote: “Whoever did not experience bitterness at once will not experience sweetness in heaven. And if we have given up all hardships and sorrows, how can we recognize the state of happiness?
On the other hand, as humanity, we reached for the stars in the literal sense. Flying into space has become something ordinary. And it turned out that stars are cold and far away, the interstellar space is darkness and emptiness; in a word: horror. So is it worth going there also in this metaphorical sense? Maybe beautiful and noble goals are only the illusions of our imagination? Maybe they do not exist – there is only emptiness and the horror of nothingness?
One thing I know for sure: it is our human gaze that gives romantic meaning to distant stars and noble purposes.