Why is it so difficult to write essays

Writing an essay as an interesting challenge

In the university, an essay is seen as a mixture of term paper and discussion. It follows a clear structure and deals with a clearly defined topic, question or problem. In comparison with other types of text, it is noticeable that an essay contains a personal opinion and often looks at the topic from a subjective point of view.

At the university, students learn to write essays, especially in humanities subjects. This requires some practice, as the essay follows clear rules in terms of structure and content, which the author must be familiar with. In any case, it is a treatise that - roughly circumscribed - has a “witty content” and discusses it very briefly, but nevertheless in a demanding manner. The aim of the essay is to discuss a specific topic or problem, to reflect and justify the opinion of the author and to give the reader food for thought regarding the topic under discussion. The essay follows clear rules and has a clear structure, which is why these are briefly explained below.

The introduction

The introduction serves as an introduction to the topic to be treated. It makes sense to explain why this topic was chosen and what problems are associated with it. In this context, it can be helpful to take up current events. Such “hooks” generally make it much easier to get started with the topic to be treated and help the reader to understand the problem and to create concrete references to the world in which it lives.

  • Determine the topic and explain the problem

The topic can either be chosen freely or is given by the lecturer. An essay always deals with a problem, an empirical or scientific problem, a controversial issue or similar circumstances. As a student, you have a wide range of possible topics at your disposal. You should choose the content of your essay wisely. The topics that interest you should be considered. If the subject is given by the lecturer, you will of course have to come to terms with him.

As a rule, the choice of topic is justified in the introduction. How you do this is entirely up to you - anecdotes or other amusing explanations for taking up the topic are also possible. The purpose of the introduction should be to encourage the reader to read your essay.

The main part

This part represents the heart of your essay and in this you deal with the topic explained at the beginning. It comprises three to five logically understandable arguments about the thesis. To do this, you should explain important statements and definitions that are related to your topic - make sure you take several perspectives and do not insist on a single point of view.

The aim of the main part is to justify and / or substantiate positions or theses. You should not only analyze your own assumptions, theses and opinions, but also those of other people - those of scientists who have dealt with the topic. Ultimately, it is irrelevant which point of view you take, as long as you can back it up with examples and reasons. For this it is of course of great importance to mention prevailing opinions and to view them critically. Do not forget that an essay should only contain the agreed number of words and that you should keep all the details necessary for the argumentation.

  • Look at the topic from multiple perspectives

The aim of the essay is not to make a scientifically founded statement, but to look at the topic from several perspectives and to justify the ultimately chosen point of view logically and conclusively. Ultimately, this aims to familiarize the reader with the chosen topic and to give him food for thought. If, after reading your essay, the reader continues to deal with the topic presented, you have achieved your goal.

Many students find it difficult to justify their own thoughts and to explain them logically. This can be achieved by structuring your own thoughts and then looking at them from a neutral point of view. Mind maps and similar structuring methods are very helpful for this - they show connections between individual thoughts and opinions. It is advisable to create such a mind map before you start working on your essay.

The end

The final part is not intended to re-enumerate the aforementioned arguments. Rather, an opinion should be written on the chosen topic. However, you should make sure that this is not a conclusive statement. Much more, it should be weighed up and reveal further questions that arise from your essay. Please remember that you want to encourage the reader to occupy themselves with the topic. It is not expedient to make a definitive statement like "XY means Z.". Instead, try to make a balance based on the considerations in the main part - "Based on X and Y, it follows that Z and A are related to B, which, however, needs to be discussed further." Of course, it is not enough to replace the variables with aspects of your topic.

Tips for writing an essay

  • No subheadings

No subheadings are used in an essay and the individual sections are separated from one another by paragraphs. The content is not divided into several sections. Your essay should therefore consist of only three sections - introduction, main part and conclusion.

In contrast to most scientific papers, sources are not given in footnotes. It is sufficient to create a bibliography and sources. Nevertheless, foreign ideas, thoughts and statements should be clearly marked as such. Indirect speech is used for this and direct speech is out of place in an essay.

  • No logical structure of the arguments

The arguments mentioned in the main part should be structured logically and not follow one another at random. Create a logical and comprehensible transition between the arguments, all opinions and thoughts should be supported by the arguments mentioned.

Writing an essay creates work. However, it is also an activity that can be very enjoyable, as the personal opinion can be expressed and explained. For this reason, essays are very popular with students - they offer space for subjectively dealing with exciting topics and train the argumentative skills of the students. So that you don't lose the joy of writing essays, you should set a schedule. An essay that has to be written in the shortest possible time, because the deadline is looming, will not be of good quality - and will not bring joy to the writer.

An essay should be understandable, but the language shouldn't be banal - it has to stand out from everyday language. You can use a variety of linguistic means to support the expressiveness of your arguments. The use of such stylistic devices enhances your essay enormously and creates real reading pleasure in the reader. It also helps to illustrate your thoughts, theses and reasons.