Which websites have good sample essays

What is an essay?

The term "essay" (m., Also n.) Is from the Latin noun exagium derived, which on the one hand describes the activity of (weighing) (of objects) and weighing (in thought), on the other hand the weight itself.

The text type Essay, nowadays always written in English, got its name from that exagium derived French noun "un essai", which Trial, trial, experiment means (to the verb essayer: try). Essays can be written as "Thought Experiments" describe.

Essays are usually no more than 5-15 pages.


In the literary letters of the Roman authors Seneca
d. J. and Pliny the Elder J. (both 1st century AD) can be precursors of the
See essays. The actual founder of the text type essay is Michel de Montaigne (1533-1592), whose "Essais" were written since 1572. Many European authors wrote essays in his successor.

You can today two basic types of the essay distinguish:

  1. Essay as non-fictional literary prose text typewhich is generally understandable in terms of style and line of thought and serves to present ideas in an informal manner;
  2. Essay as explanatory and argumentative text type without literary ambitions, which is particularly widespread in Anglo-Saxon universities.

The first basic type is described below. It goes back to Montaigne.

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Topics and structure

Essays are written on any topic.

Like discussions, essays usually have one three-part structure:


  • Observation, amazement, surprise, alienation, anger of the author (reason for writing)
  • Question


  • Subjectively shaped presentation, but clear, comprehensible argumentation
  • not new facts, but new perspectives
  • Illustration through examples, quotations, etc.
  • often erratic-associative thought leadership, digressions and digressions

  • no claim to complete coverage of the topic
  • Ratings


  • Repetition of the question
  • Résumé; often: not one solution, but several possible solutions (see meaning of the term essay!)
  • Checking the arguments, etc.

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Relationship with the reader

Essays create a relationship with the reader in a special way:

  • The author appears as arguing and judgmental self that does not want to convince the reader, the "you", but wants to encourage their own reflections.
  • Curiosity and interest of the reader are not only awakened in the introduction, but also maintained throughout the body in various ways.
  • Reader loyalty in the main part: largely renouncing scientific relevance (not: footnotes, source analysis, secondary literature, classification system, etc.); Ingenuity; Variety; Unpredictability; often irony and provocation.
  • Stylistic diversity


Important linguistic features of the essay are:

  • high expectations, different linguistic levels (e.g. poetic, reportage-like, scientific, everyday language) - nevertheless comprehensibility
  • rhetorical medium: rhetorical question (addressing the reader!), alliteration, repetitive figures, allusions, metaphors
  • Subjunctive I and II
  • Modal particle (Particles for shading and relativizing statements): only, actually, in a sense, maybe, just, maybe, maybe, yes, certainly, certainly, well, stop, even, yes i.a. m.

  • restrictive subordinate clauses ( just that, except that) and concessional (conceding) subordinate clauses ( although, although, although, although, if also)
  • Questions
  • Quotes


  • Essays can be written as "Thought Experiments" describe.
  • they consist of Introduction, main part and conclusion.
  • Essays aim to make the reader think.
  • Linguistic features are e.g. B. a high linguistic standards as well as the use of rhetorical stylistic devices.


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