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What is an Essay?

The term “Essay” (m., n.) is from the lat. Noun exagium derived, which describes on the one hand, the activity of the (-) to the weighing (of objects) and deliberation (in thought), on the other hand, the weight itself.

The text type Essay, today, always, in the English case, has your name of the from exagium emerged frz. Noun “un essai”, attempt, trial, Experiment (for the Verb essayer: to try). Essays can be described as a “thought-experiments”.

Essays, not more usually considered to be 5 – 15 pages.


In the literary letters of the Roman writers Seneca

d. J. and Pliny d. J. (both of 1. Century. n. C.) is one of the precursors

Essays see. The actual founder of the text type Essay, Michel de Montaigne (1533-1592), whose “Essais” since 1572. In his successor, written many of the European authors of Essays.

Today you can distinguish two basic types of Essays:

Essay as a non-fictional literary prose-the kind of text that is in style and thought leadership in a generally understandable way and the informal presentation of Considerations;

Essay as explanatory and argue with the end of text without any literary ambitions, which is particularly widespread in Anglo-Saxon universities.