A sixth category, pictographic , is insufficient to represent language on its own, but often forms the core of logographies. A logogram is a written character which represents a word or morpheme. A vast number of logograms are needed to write Chinese characters , cuneiform , and Mayan , where a glyph may stand for a morpheme, a syllable, or both— "logoconsonantal" in the case of hieroglyphs. Many logograms have an ideographic component Chinese "radicals", hieroglyphic "determiners".
For example, in Mayan, the glyph for "fin", pronounced "ka", was also used to represent the syllable "ka" whenever the pronunciation of a logogram needed to be indicated, or when there was no logogram. However, such phonetic elements complement the logographic elements, rather than vice versa. The main logographic system in use today is Chinese characters , used with some modification for the various languages or dialects of China , Japan , and sometimes in Korean despite the fact that in South and North Korea , the phonetic Hangul system is mainly used.
A syllabary is a set of written symbols that represent or approximate syllables. A glyph in a syllabary typically represents a consonant followed by a vowel, or just a vowel alone, though in some scripts more complex syllables such as consonant-vowel-consonant, or consonant-consonant-vowel may have dedicated glyphs. Phonetically related syllables are not so indicated in the script. For instance, the syllable "ka" may look nothing like the syllable "ki", nor will syllables with the same vowels be similar.
Syllabaries are best suited to languages with a relatively simple syllable structure, such as Japanese. Other languages that use syllabic writing include the Linear B script for Mycenaean Greek ; Sequoyan ,  Ndjuka , an English-based creole language of Surinam ; and the Vai script of Liberia. Most logographic systems have a strong syllabic component. Ethiopic , though technically an abugida , has fused consonants and vowels together to the point where it is learned as if it were a syllabary.
An alphabet is a set of symbols, each of which represents or historically represented a phoneme of the language. In a perfectly phonological alphabet, the phonemes and letters would correspond perfectly in two directions: a writer could predict the spelling of a word given its pronunciation, and a speaker could predict the pronunciation of a word given its spelling. As languages often evolve independently of their writing systems, and writing systems have been borrowed for languages they were not designed for, the degree to which letters of an alphabet correspond to phonemes of a language varies greatly from one language to another and even within a single language.
In most of the writing systems of the Middle East, it is usually only the consonants of a word that are written, although vowels may be indicated by the addition of various diacritical marks. Writing systems based primarily on marking the consonant phonemes alone date back to the hieroglyphs of ancient Egypt. Such systems are called abjads , derived from the Arabic word for "alphabet".
In most of the alphabets of India and Southeast Asia , vowels are indicated through diacritics or modification of the shape of the consonant. These are called abugidas. Some abugidas, such as Ethiopic and Cree , are learned by children as syllabaries, and so are often called "syllabics".
However, unlike true syllabaries, there is not an independent glyph for each syllable. Sometimes the term "alphabet" is restricted to systems with separate letters for consonants and vowels, such as the Latin alphabet , although abugidas and abjads may also be accepted as alphabets. Because of this use, Greek is often considered to be the first alphabet. A featural script notates in an internally consistent way the building blocks of the phonemes that make up a language. For instance, all sounds pronounced with the lips "labial" sounds may have some element in common.
In the Latin alphabet, this is accidentally the case with the letters "b" and "p"; however, labial "m" is completely dissimilar, and the similar-looking "q" and "d" are not labial. In Korean hangul , however, all four labial consonants are based on the same basic element, but in practice, Korean is learned by children as an ordinary alphabet, and the featural elements tend to pass unnoticed.
Another featural script is SignWriting , the most popular writing system for many sign languages , where the shapes and movements of the hands and face are represented iconically. Featural scripts are also common in fictional or invented systems, such as J. Tolkien 's Tengwar. Historians draw a sharp distinction between prehistory and history, with history defined by the advent of writing.
The cave paintings and petroglyphs of prehistoric peoples can be considered precursors of writing, but they are not considered true writing because they did not represent language directly. Writing systems develop and change based on the needs of the people who use them. Sometimes the shape, orientation, and meaning of individual signs changes over time. By tracing the development of a script, it is possible to learn about the needs of the people who used the script as well as how the script changed over time.
The many tools and writing materials used throughout history include stone tablets , clay tablets , bamboo slats, papyrus , wax tablets , vellum , parchment , paper , copperplate , styluses , quills , ink brushes , pencils , pens , and many styles of lithography. The Incas used knotted cords known as quipu or khipu for keeping records.
The typewriter and various forms of word processors have subsequently become widespread writing tools, and various studies have compared the ways in which writers have framed the experience of writing with such tools as compared with the pen or pencil. A stone slab with 3,year-old writing, known as the Cascajal Block , was discovered in the Mexican state of Veracruz and is an example of the oldest script in the Western Hemisphere, preceding the oldest Zapotec writing by approximately years.
Of several pre-Columbian scripts in Mesoamerica , the one that appears to have been best developed, and the only one to be deciphered, is the Maya script. The earliest inscription identified as Maya dates to the 3rd century BC. In , archaeologists discovered that there was a civilization in Central Asia that used writing c.
An excavation near Ashgabat , the capital of Turkmenistan , revealed an inscription on a piece of stone that was used as a stamp seal. The earliest surviving examples of writing in China—inscriptions on so-called " oracle bones ", tortoise plastrons and ox scapulae used for divination—date from around BC in the late Shang dynasty. A small number of bronze inscriptions from the same period have also survived.
In , archaeologists reported discoveries of isolated tortoise-shell carvings dating back to the 7th millennium BC, but whether or not these symbols are related to the characters of the later oracle-bone script is disputed. The hieroglyphic script was logographic with phonetic adjuncts that included an effective alphabet.
The world's oldest deciphered sentence was found on a seal impression found in the tomb of Seth-Peribsen at Umm el-Qa'ab, which dates from the Second Dynasty 28th or 27th century BC. By the Greco-Roman period, there are more than 5, Writing was very important in maintaining the Egyptian empire, and literacy was concentrated among an educated elite of scribes. Only people from certain backgrounds were allowed to train to become scribes, in the service of temple, pharaonic, and military authorities, resulting in only 1 percent of the population that could write.
The world's oldest known alphabet appears to have been developed by Canaanite turquoise miners in the Sinai desert around the midth century BC. This site was also home to a temple of Hathor, the "Mistress of turquoise". A later, two line inscription has also been found at Wadi el-Hol in Central Egypt.
Based on hieroglyphic prototypes, but also including entirely new symbols, each sign apparently stood for a consonant rather than a word: the basis of an alphabetic system. It was not until the 12th to 9th centuries, however, that the alphabet took hold and became widely used. Over the centuries, three distinct Elamite scripts developed. Proto-Elamite is the oldest known writing system from Iran. In use only for a brief time c.
The Proto-Elamite script is thought to have developed from early cuneiform proto-cuneiform. The Proto-Elamite script consists of more than 1, signs and is thought to be partly logographic. Linear Elamite is a writing system attested in a few monumental inscriptions in Iran. It was used for a very brief period during the last quarter of the 3rd millennium BC.
It is often claimed that Linear Elamite is a syllabic writing system derived from Proto-Elamite, although this cannot be proven since Linear-Elamite has not been deciphered. Several scholars have attempted to decipher the script, most notably Walther Hinz and Piero Meriggi. The Elamite cuneiform script was used from about to BC, and was adapted from the Akkadian cuneiform. The Elamite cuneiform script consisted of about symbols, far fewer than most other cuneiform scripts.
Linear B , the writing system of the Mycenaean Greeks ,  has been deciphered while Linear A has yet to be deciphered. The sequence and the geographical spread of the three overlapping, but distinct writing systems can be summarized as follows beginning date refers to first attestations, the assumed origins of all scripts lie further back in the past : Cretan hieroglyphs were used in Crete from c.
Indus script refers to short strings of symbols associated with the Indus Valley Civilization which spanned modern-day Pakistan and North India used between and BC. In spite of many attempts at decipherments and claims, it is as yet undeciphered.
The term 'Indus script' is mainly applied to that used in the mature Harappan phase, which perhaps evolved from a few signs found in early Harappa after BC,  and was followed by the mature Harappan script.
The script is written from right to left,  and sometimes follows a boustrophedonic style. Since the number of principal signs is about —,  midway between typical logographic and syllabic scripts, many scholars accept the script to be logo-syllabic  typically syllabic scripts have about 50— signs whereas logographic scripts have a very large number of principal signs. Several scholars maintain that structural analysis indicates that an agglutinative language underlies the script.
While neolithic writing is a current research topic, conventional history assumes that the writing process first evolved from economic necessity in the ancient Near East. Writing most likely began as a consequence of political expansion in ancient cultures, which needed reliable means for transmitting information, maintaining financial accounts, keeping historical records, and similar activities.
Around the 4th millennium BC, the complexity of trade and administration outgrew the power of memory, and writing became a more dependable method of recording and presenting transactions in a permanent form. The invention of the first writing systems is roughly contemporary with the beginning of the Bronze Age of the late 4th millennium BC.
The Sumerian archaic cuneiform script and the Egyptian hieroglyphs are generally considered the earliest writing systems, both emerging out of their ancestral proto-literate symbol systems from to BC with earliest coherent texts from about BC.
It is generally agreed that Sumerian writing was an independent invention; however, it is debated whether Egyptian writing was developed completely independently of Sumerian, or was a case of cultural diffusion. Archaeologist Denise Schmandt-Besserat determined the link between previously uncategorized clay "tokens", the oldest of which have been found in the Zagros region of Iran, and the first known writing, Mesopotamian cuneiform. Later they began placing these tokens inside large, hollow clay containers bulla, or globular envelopes which were then sealed.
The quantity of tokens in each container came to be expressed by impressing, on the container's surface, one picture for each instance of the token inside. They next dispensed with the tokens, relying solely on symbols for the tokens, drawn on clay surfaces. To avoid making a picture for each instance of the same object for example: pictures of a hat to represent hats , they 'counted' the objects by using various small marks.
In this way the Sumerians added "a system for enumerating objects to their incipient system of symbols". The original Mesopotamian writing system was derived around BC from this method of keeping accounts. By the end of the 4th millennium BC,  the Mesopotamians were using a triangular-shaped stylus pressed into soft clay to record numbers.
This system was gradually augmented with using a sharp stylus to indicate what was being counted by means of pictographs. Round-stylus and sharp-stylus writing was gradually replaced by writing using a wedge-shaped stylus hence the term cuneiform , at first only for logograms , but by the 29th century BC also for phonetic elements.
Around BC, cuneiform began to represent syllables of spoken Sumerian. About that time, Mesopotamian cuneiform became a general purpose writing system for logograms, syllables, and numbers. Scripts similar in appearance to this writing system include those for Ugaritic and Old Persian. Essays can be written by anyone and can give instructions or advice, can be long or short, serious or funny.
There are currently thousands of essays, and this number is expected to grow. Essays vary in popularity and how much they are followed and referred to. As with WikiProject pages , information pages and template documentation pages , essays have not been formally approved by the community , thus generally have limited status during deliberations see WP:Local consensus for details.
Essays, WikiProject pages , information pages and template documentation pages , do not automatically become policy or guidelines just because they are written. All it takes is one person to write an essay or information page or create a template and its documentation page and there it is.
Unlike a policy or guideline, which requires a clear consensus before it can take effect, and will be in a proposed state until then, an essay does not need consensus to exist; it just is. Rather, following the instructions or advice given in an essay is optional, assuming that this choice be made wisely. Some essays at one time were proposed policies or guidelines, but they could not gain consensus so they were converted into essays. Other pages that began as essays later became policies or guidelines or were tagged as a supplemental essay.
Essays and information pages do not override existing policies and guidelines. They usually serve as addendum to existing ones. Essays do not serve the function of creating new policies or guidelines or rendering existing ones meaningless. As policies and guidelines can have multiple interpretations, essays normally serve to show various interpretations of policies and guidelines that are already being somehow followed.
Essays and information pages are not policy or guidelines that must be followed, but they are likely worthy of consideration. An editor who takes the time to write an essay probably understands the project namespace well enough and has enough knowledge and experience in editing Wikipedia that the essay has been written in good faith. Essays usually are based on reform, gaps one sees must be filled in, or other improvement viewed as necessary in Wikipedia's procedures.
An essay may also provide advice on how to apply a particular policy or guideline to a specific situation. Essays edited by multiple editors might be given extra consideration as this is a clear sign that the viewpoint exists from more than just one editor. The answer is you can't, with any certainty. No essay or information page has any formal status of having more worth than another. As with everything involving Wikipedia:Consensus formation, it mostly comes down to common sense and the cogency of the argument.
A well-reasoned essay grounded in accepted interpretations of policies, guidelines, and procedures is going to be of more practical value that a subjective, rambling rant, or a contrarian viewpoint at odds with the community's general approach to something. An essay that applies already-established consensus in a sensible way is of higher value and influence than one that seeks to change how things are perceived and done.
The primary function of Wikipedia essays — well, the kind that other editors refer to — is to conveniently record frequently used and accepted arguments i. These stats have limited usefulness for essay assessment, for several reasons, most obviously that they are biased toward older essays over recent ones, and they will automatically favor essays on frequent topics of debate over more obscure or technical matters.
There is also a statistical favoring of essays broad in scope and with more specific section shortcuts, than those that narrowly address a particular peccadillo. Essays and information pages, like all other Wikipedia pages, can be edited. They can be expanded, reduced, modified, merged, split, or even deleted if deemed necessary via WP:MfD ; this is extremely rare.
Few essays are protected in any way, allowing them to be edited by IP editors too. All the same, guidelines that apply to editing articles also apply to essays. Essays are not owned ; no special permission is needed to edit them. Good judgment and understanding of their meaning and area s of coverage is strongly encouraged.
Unlike policy and guideline pages, bold edits intelligently made to essays and information pages without a discussion are less likely to be reverted. The expansion of essays and information pages is highly welcome. Before creating an essay it is strongly encouraged that you first attempt to see if an existing essay essentially provides the same message, or addresses a receptive subject matter into which your proposed message can be inserted without awkwardness or conflict.
Some new essays, however, are created resembling other essays as POV forks , which is acceptable in essay writing. Currently, many essays are orphaned. When creating or improving an essay, it is important that you try your best to see that it is not orphaned, and that it does not form a walled garden with several other essays. Since newly created or discovered essay often pertain in one way or another to existing project material, it may be useful to provide links to them from other essays, information pages and relevant policies and guidelines.
See Wikipedia:Drawing attention to new pages for instructions. A question that often arises at deletion discussions is whether or not essays are valid sources on which to base keep or deletion rationales. The outcome of a deletion debate is not determined by counting votes , but by the application of Wikipedia policy and guidelines. So where do essays figure in? Like policies and guidelines, essays may be useful in making a point supporting your position.
The history of the Greek alphabet began in at least the early 8th century BCE when the Greeks adapted the Phoenician alphabet for use with their own language. Several varieties of the Greek alphabet developed. The other variation, known as Eastern Greek , was used in present-day Turkey and by the Athenians, and eventually the rest of the world that spoke Greek adopted this variation.
After first writing right to left, like the Phoenicians, the Greeks eventually chose to write from left to right. Greek is in turn the source for all the modern scripts of Europe. The most widespread descendant of Greek is the Latin script , named for the Latins , a central Italian people who came to dominate Europe with the rise of Rome.
The Romans learned writing in about the 5th century BC from the Etruscan civilization , who used one of a number of Italic scripts derived from the western Greeks. Due to the cultural dominance of the Roman state, the other Italic scripts have not survived in any great quantity, and the Etruscan language is mostly lost. With the collapse of the Roman authority in Western Europe, the literary development became largely confined to the Eastern Roman Empire and the Persian Empire.
Latin, never one of the primary literary languages, rapidly declined in importance except within the Church of Rome. The primary literary languages were Greek and Persian , though other languages such as Syriac and Coptic were important too.
The rise of Islam in the 7th century led to the rapid rise of Arabic as a major literary language in the region. Arabic and Persian quickly began to overshadow Greek's role as a language of scholarship. Arabic script was adopted as the primary script of the Persian language and the Turkish language.
This script also heavily influenced the development of the cursive scripts of Greek, the Slavic languages , Latin , and other languages [ citation needed ]. The Arabic language also served to spread the Hindu—Arabic numeral system throughout Europe. By the 14th century a rebirth, or renaissance , had emerged in Western Europe, leading to a temporary revival of the importance of Greek, and a slow revival of Latin as a significant literary language.
A similar though smaller emergence occurred in Eastern Europe, especially in Russia. At the same time Arabic and Persian began a slow decline in importance as the Islamic Golden Age ended. The revival of literary development in Western Europe led to many innovations in the Latin alphabet and the diversification of the alphabet to codify the phonologies of the various languages.
The nature of writing has been constantly evolving, particularly due to the development of new technologies over the centuries. The pen , the printing press , the computer and the mobile phone are all technological developments which have altered what is written, and the medium through which the written word is produced. Particularly with the advent of digital technologies, namely the computer and the mobile phone, characters can be formed by the press of a button, rather than making a physical motion with the hand.
The nature of the written word has recently evolved to include an informal, colloquial written style, in which an everyday conversation can occur through writing rather than speaking. Written communication can also be delivered with minimal time delay e-mail , SMS , and in some cases, with an imperceptible time delay instant messaging.
Writing is a preservable means of communication. There is no very definite statement as to the material which was in most common use for the purposes of writing at the start of the early writing systems. In the latter case there is this peculiarity, that plaster sic , lime or gypsum was used along with stone, a combination of materials which is illustrated by comparison of the practice of the Egyptian engravers, who, having first carefully smoothed the stone, filled up the faulty places with gypsum or cement, in order to obtain a perfectly uniform surface on which to execute their engravings.
To the engraving of gems there is reference also, such as with seals or signets. The common materials of writing were the tablet and the roll, the former probably having a Chaldean origin, the latter an Egyptian. The tablets of the Chaldeans are among the most remarkable of their remains. In Egypt the principal writing material was of quite a different sort. Wooden tablets are found pictured on the monuments; but the material which was in common use, even from very ancient times, was the papyrus , having recorded use as far back as 3, B.
Writing seems to have become more widespread with the invention of papyrus in Egypt. That this material was in use in Egypt from a very early period is evidenced by still existing papyrus of the earliest Theban dynasties. With the invention of wood-pulp paper , the cost of writing material began a steady decline. Wood-pulp paper is still used today, and in recent times efforts have been made in order to improve bond strength of fibers. Two main areas of examination in this regard have been "dry strength of paper" and "wet web strength".
From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia. The creation and development of permanent, physical records of language. Six of the main historical writing systems left-right, top-bottom : Sumerian pictographs , Egyptian hieroglyphs , Chinese ideograms , Old Persian cuneiform , Roman alphabet , Indian Devanagari.
Age of the human race Recorded history. Earliest records Protohistory Proto-writing. Bronze age Iron age. Axial antiquity Classical antiquity Late antiquity. Africa North America South America. Oceania East Asia South Asia. Southeast Asia West Asia. Africa Americas. Oceania East Asia. South Asia. Early modern Late modern. Modernity Futurology.
See also: List of languages by first written accounts. Main article: Writing system. Accounting tokens. Clay accounting tokens. Susa , Uruk period. Clay envelope and its tokens. Main articles: Recorded history and Early literature. Circa BC. Main article: Proto-writing. Further information: Prehistoric numerals.
See also: History of communication. Further information: History of the alphabet. Main article: Cuneiform script. Main article: Egyptian hieroglyphs. Main article: Proto-Elamite script. Main article: Indus script. Main article: Middle Bronze Age alphabets. Main article: Anatolian hieroglyphs.
Main articles: Chinese writing and Chinese characters. Main article: Mesoamerican writing systems. Main article: History of the alphabet. Main article: Writing material. Writing portal. The same material was largely used by the Assyrians, and many of their clay tablets still remain.
They are of various sizes, ranging from nine inches long by six and a half wide, to an inch and a half by an inch wide, and even less. Some thousands of these have been recovered; many are historical, some linguistic, some geographical, some astronomical.
Bright and Daniels, p. The Cambridge Handbook of Literacy. Cambridge University Press. ISBN Fagan, Charlotte Beck, ed. The Oxford Companion to Archaeology. Oxford University Press. Dreyer , Umm el-Qaab I. Keightley, Noel Barnard.
By Dr Gwendolyn Leick. Reading The Past Cuneiform. British Museum. March A history of reading. OCLC The tokens, enclosed in clay envelopes after being impressed on their rounded surface, were gradually replaced by impressions on flat or plano-convex tablets, and these in turn by more or less conventionalized pictures of the tokens incised on the clay with a reed stylus. That final step completed the transition to full writing, and with it the consequent ability to record contemporary events for posterity" W.
Hallo; W. Simpson The Ancient Near East. New York: Harcourt, Brace, Jovanovich. The World's Writing Systems. An Introduction to the History of History. Records of civilization, sources and studies. New York: Columbia University Press, On Deep History and the Brain. An Ahmanson foundation book in the humanities. Berkeley: University of California Press, Supplement to the Handbook of Middle American Indians, v. Austin: University of Texas Press, The Times Atlas of World History.
Hammond Incorporated. The Origins of Writing. University of Nebraska Press. Beck, , ISBN , p. Pilcher 'Earliest handwriting found? Chinese relics hint at Neolithic rituals', Nature 30 April , doi : Li, X. Antiquity , 77, 31 - 44, China Daily. Retrieved 31 January Ancient Civilizations.
These dates challenge the commonly held belief that early logographs, pictographic symbols representing a specific place, object, or quantity, first evolved into more complex phonetic symbols in Mesopotamia. Archaeological Institute of America. Retrieved 29 February Writing Systems: A Linguistic Introduction.
Stanford University Press. Retrieved 31 October Bromiley June The international standard Bible encyclopedia. Eerdmans Publishing. Krebs; Carolyn A. Krebs December Groundbreaking scientific experiments, inventions, and discoveries of the ancient world. Greenwood Publishing Group. Visual and Written Culture in Ancient Egypt. The early 19th century, in particular, saw a proliferation of great essayists in English— William Hazlitt , Charles Lamb , Leigh Hunt and Thomas de Quincey all penned numerous essays on diverse subjects, reviving the earlier graceful style.
Later in the century, Robert Louis Stevenson also raised the form's literary level. Eliot , tried to explain the new movements in art and culture by using essays. In France, several writers produced longer works with the title of essai that were not true examples of the form. However, by the midth century, the Causeries du lundi , newspaper columns by the critic Sainte-Beuve , are literary essays in the original sense.
As with the novel , essays existed in Japan several centuries before they developed in Europe with a genre of essays known as zuihitsu —loosely connected essays and fragmented ideas. Zuihitsu have existed since almost the beginnings of Japanese literature. Many of the most noted early works of Japanese literature are in this genre. Notable examples include The Pillow Book c. Another noteworthy difference from Europe is that women have traditionally written in Japan, though the more formal, Chinese-influenced writings of male writers were more prized at the time.
The eight-legged essay was needed for those test takers in these civil service tests to show their merits for government service, often focusing on Confucian thought and knowledge of the Four Books and Five Classics , in relation to governmental ideals. Test takers could not write in innovative or creative ways, but needed to conform to the standards of the eight-legged essay.
Various skills were examined, including the ability to write coherently and to display basic logic. In certain times, the candidates were expected to spontaneously compose poetry upon a set theme, whose value was also sometimes questioned, or eliminated as part of the test material. This was a major argument in favor of the eight-legged essay, arguing that it were better to eliminate creative art in favor of prosaic literacy.
In the history of Chinese literature, the eight-legged essay is often said to have caused China's "cultural stagnation and economic backwardness" in the 19th century. This section describes the different forms and styles of essay writing. These are used by an array of authors, including university students and professional essayists. The defining features of a "cause and effect" essay are causal chains that connect from a cause to an effect, careful language, and chronological or emphatic order.
A writer using this rhetorical method must consider the subject , determine the purpose , consider the audience , think critically about different causes or consequences, consider a thesis statement, arrange the parts, consider the language , and decide on a conclusion. Classification is the categorization of objects into a larger whole while division is the breaking of a larger whole into smaller parts.
Compare and contrast essays are characterized by a basis for comparison, points of comparison, and analogies. It is grouped by the object chunking or by point sequential. The comparison highlights the similarities between two or more similar objects while contrasting highlights the differences between two or more objects.
Compare and contrast is arranged emphatically. An expository essay is used to inform, describe or explain a topic, using important facts to teach the reader about a topic. Mostly written in third-person , using "it", "he", "she", "they," the expository essay uses formal language to discuss someone or something. Examples of expository essays are: a medical or biological condition, social or technological process, life or character of a famous person. The writing of an expository essay often consists of the following steps: organizing thoughts brainstorming , researching a topic, developing a thesis statement , writing the introduction, writing the body of essay, and writing the conclusion.
Descriptive writing is characterized by sensory details, which appeal to the physical senses, and details that appeal to a reader's emotional, physical, or intellectual sensibilities. Determining the purpose, considering the audience, creating a dominant impression, using descriptive language, and organizing the description are the rhetorical choices to consider when using a description.
A description is usually arranged spatially but can also be chronological or emphatic. The focus of a description is the scene. Description uses tools such as denotative language, connotative language, figurative language , metaphor , and simile to arrive at a dominant impression.
In the dialectic form of the essay, which is commonly used in philosophy , the writer makes a thesis and argument, then objects to their own argument with a counterargument , but then counters the counterargument with a final and novel argument.
This form benefits from presenting a broader perspective while countering a possible flaw that some may present. This type is sometimes called an ethics paper. An exemplification essay is characterized by a generalization and relevant, representative, and believable examples including anecdotes.
Writers need to consider their subject, determine their purpose, consider their audience, decide on specific examples, and arrange all the parts together when writing an exemplification essay. An essayist writes a familiar essay if speaking to a single reader, writing about both themselves, and about particular subjects. Anne Fadiman notes that "the genre's heyday was the early nineteenth century," and that its greatest exponent was Charles Lamb.
A history essay sometimes referred to as a thesis essay describes an argument or claim about one or more historical events and supports that claim with evidence, arguments, and references. The text makes it clear to the reader why the argument or claim is as such. A narrative uses tools such as flashbacks , flash-forwards , and transitions that often build to a climax. The focus of a narrative is the plot. When creating a narrative, authors must determine their purpose, consider their audience, establish their point of view, use dialogue, and organize the narrative.
A narrative is usually arranged chronologically. An argumentative essay is a critical piece of writing, aimed at presenting objective analysis of the subject matter, narrowed down to a single topic. The main idea of all the criticism is to provide an opinion either of positive or negative implication. As such, a critical essay requires research and analysis, strong internal logic and sharp structure.
Its structure normally builds around introduction with a topic's relevance and a thesis statement , body paragraphs with arguments linking back to the main thesis, and conclusion. In addition, an argumentative essay may include a refutation section where conflicting ideas are acknowledged, described, and criticized. Each argument of an argumentative essay should be supported with sufficient evidence, relevant to the point.
A process essay is used for an explanation of making or breaking something. Often, it is written in chronological order or numerical order to show step-by-step processes. It has all the qualities of a technical document with the only difference is that it is often written in descriptive mood , while a technical document is mostly in imperative mood.
An economic essay can start with a thesis, or it can start with a theme. It can take a narrative course and a descriptive course. It can even become an argumentative essay if the author feels the need. If the essay takes more of a narrative form then the author has to expose each aspect of the economic puzzle in a way that makes it clear and understandable for the reader.
A reflective essay is an analytical piece of writing in which the writer describes a real or imaginary scene, event, interaction, passing thought, memory, or form—adding a personal reflection on the meaning of the topic in the author's life.
Thus, the focus is not merely descriptive. The writer doesn't just describe the situation, but revisits the scene with more detail and emotion to examine what went well, or reveal a need for additional learning—and may relate what transpired to the rest of the author's life. The logical progression and organizational structure of an essay can take many forms. Understanding how the movement of thought is managed through an essay has a profound impact on its overall cogency and ability to impress.
A number of alternative logical structures for essays have been visualized as diagrams, making them easy to implement or adapt in the construction of an argument. In countries like the United States and the United Kingdom , essays have become a major part of a formal education in the form of free response questions.
Secondary students in these countries are taught structured essay formats to improve their writing skills, and essays are often used by universities in these countries in selecting applicants see admissions essay. In both secondary and tertiary education, essays are used to judge the mastery and comprehension of the material. Students are asked to explain, comment on, or assess a topic of study in the form of an essay.
In some courses, university students must complete one or more essays over several weeks or months. In addition, in fields such as the humanities and social sciences, [ citation needed ] mid-term and end of term examinations often require students to write a short essay in two or three hours. In these countries, so-called academic essays, also called papers , are usually more formal than literary ones.
Longer academic essays often with a word limit of between 2, and 5, words [ citation needed ] are often more discursive. They sometimes begin with a short summary analysis of what has previously been written on a topic, which is often called a literature review. Longer essays may also contain an introductory page that defines words and phrases of the essay's topic.
Most academic institutions require that all substantial facts, quotations, and other supporting material in an essay be referenced in a bibliography or works cited page at the end of the text. This scholarly convention helps others whether teachers or fellow scholars to understand the basis of facts and quotations the author uses to support the essay's argument and helps readers evaluate to what extent the argument is supported by evidence, and to evaluate the quality of that evidence.
The academic essay tests the student's ability to present their thoughts in an organized way and is designed to test their intellectual capabilities. One of the challenges facing universities is that in some cases, students may submit essays purchased from an essay mill or "paper mill" as their own work.
An "essay mill" is a ghostwriting service that sells pre-written essays to university and college students. Since plagiarism is a form of academic dishonesty or academic fraud , universities and colleges may investigate papers they suspect are from an essay mill by using plagiarism detection software, which compares essays against a database of known mill essays and by orally testing students on the contents of their papers.
Essays often appear in magazines, especially magazines with an intellectual bent, such as The Atlantic and Harpers. Magazine and newspaper essays use many of the essay types described in the section on forms and styles e. Some newspapers also print essays in the op-ed section.
Employment essays detailing experience in a certain occupational field are required when applying for some jobs, especially government jobs in the United States. Essays known as Knowledge Skills and Executive Core Qualifications are required when applying to certain US federal government positions.
A KSA, or "Knowledge, Skills, and Abilities," is a series of narrative statements that are required when applying to Federal government job openings in the United States. KSAs are used along with resumes to determine who the best applicants are when several candidates qualify for a job.
The knowledge, skills, and abilities necessary for the successful performance of a position are contained on each job vacancy announcement. KSAs are brief and focused essays about one's career and educational background that presumably qualify one to perform the duties of the position being applied for. Like the KSAs, ECQs are used along with resumes to determine who the best applicants are when several candidates qualify for a job.
The Office of Personnel Management has established five executive core qualifications that all applicants seeking to enter the Senior Executive Service must demonstrate. A film essay or "cinematic essay" consists of the evolution of a theme or an idea rather than a plot per se, or the film literally being a cinematic accompaniment to a narrator reading an essay.
The cinematic essay often blends documentary , fiction , and experimental film making using tones and editing styles. Jean-Luc Godard describes his recent work as "film-essays". Brecht was a playwright who experimented with film and incorporated film projections into some of his plays. These are often published online on video hosting services. David Winks Gray's article "The essay film in action" states that the "essay film became an identifiable form of filmmaking in the s and '60s".
He states that since that time, essay films have tended to be "on the margins" of the filmmaking the world.
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