What is an essay?

Your thoughts on the topic are in focus – and the topic is clearly in the assignment form (by ‘Write an essay on x’). Do not analyze a text or discuss with others, but examine, reflect on a topic

Your experience or perception of the topic is at the center. It is not your attitude (that is the chronicle) of a subject, but your experience or perception

The essay is characterized by

study, reflection and reflection based on a fundamental wonder: Why are criminals so popular today? Why is death taboo in children’s books and movies? Why are so many contemporary books and films anchored in a geographical location?

  • independent thinking. It is YOUR thinking, not others
  • not to arrive at definitive answers
  • investigative, wonder, reflection – not having the answer and not arguing the answer
  • personal considerations, the essay reflects your process of recognition
  • fewer ‘rules’; setting up an outline for an essay is not easy. You write on a flow, a process of recognition, a guided tour of your thoughts on the subject.

move from wonder to wonder – use open-ended questions as a generator to advance in your reflection.
observations in the concrete, which form the background for reflections on the abstract, general, general level (generalizations). The text publisher must be linked to the topic – it is the topic that is the focus and not the text. The text is used as an example or a starting point.
that one explicitly draws attention to the inclusion of the text as part of its reflection. Starting point in text (image or text).

What not to do

  • do not explain the point of view of the text or analyze its how, but link the text to the topic.
  • Don’t be private, but personal …

Processed into an essay


Rewrite the assignment wording so that it is clear to you what the topic is and what you need to get into.
brainstorm on the subject. Find angles. Use hv words to search the topic and find angles.

Read the text and consider what angles it can give on the topic.
Also think about thematic themes (contradictions, contrasts) to which the subject is linked (freedom of expression, human need for good to win over evil, the possibilities and limitations of language).
Make a mind map focusing on defining the observations in the concrete and abstract points.

Dispostion for essay

introduction – do not already enter the text here, but start your wonder, possibly based on a personal experience. Your writing time is exactly where you sit and write and is not an invented / fictional writing time
The main section contains your essential points and moves from the concrete to the abstract


Feel free to present a concrete experience that you yourself have been or could imagine happening that is related to the topic. Connect this concrete experience to something general on the subject. Use the concrete to say something general, general.

If a term needs to be defined then do it early in the essay.

The movement between the concrete and the general / abstract can be done by describing the concrete (and the text) that you can use to make an indication of how it is generally, in general. And back again in the concrete to seek new possible avenues. It does not have to be concrete – abstract – concrete – abstract in consistent movements, but may be mixed more something like concrete – abstract – other abstract – concrete – abstract.

From wonder to new wonder to new wonder. It should not be: and now for something completely different, but be a new wonder ‘naturally’ born of the previous wonder and abstraction. It is a process of recognition, where you work just like in a maze, searching for roads that turn out to be nothing.

Include the text for a point that the text has on the topic. You should not explain the text, but use a point from it as a starting point for your reflection. Please get around the text within the first page and a half, but that is not a requirement.

Incorporate your cultural knowledge of literature, film, philosophy, art – show yourself as the universally educated, gifted human who is immersed in the cultural fabric you are.

  • Afslutningem
  • an open ending
  • the reader should like to think further
  • like to ask a question
  • and like to reach a high level of abstraction with the question

Linguistic Characteristics of Essay

  • open, ‘insecure’ connecting wordings: ‘it points in the direction of’, ‘this may indicate’, ‘therefore, one might think’, ‘on the other hand, so’, ‘I think’, ‘maybe’
  • the use of metaphors and clichés
  • returns to a pervasive example or metaphor (creates red thread)
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