Essay became popular as a piece of writing a long time ago. It evolved from a philosophical research of Renaissance scholars into a publicistic genre during the times of revolutions and, finally, crept into schools and universities turning into an academic writing tool. American students are familiar with essays as a way of getting grades and credits.

Europeans think of it more as of a journalistic and literary work. But essay is, by no means, one of the most popular types of writing.

Essay writing as a genre has a lot of masks that it puts on to withstand the requirements set by a certain situation and task. In other words, there are many essay styles. The most basic way of differentiating them is to divide essay writings into academic and publicistic groups.

Publicistic Essays

Publicistic essays were extremely popular at those times when journalism in European countries reached the point when newspapers finally became periodic. The word “essay” itself was first mentioned in the works of Michel de Montaigne, a French philosopher. He wrote a big two-volume book called “Essais”, in which the essay writer explained his vision of this genre as a short subjective treatment of a given topic. Montaigne preferred to use a free writing style to intrigue his readers. This style was later used by his followers and the genre itself served literary, critical, historical and biographical purposes, as well as newspaper stories. Another French writer, Voltaire, is known for his brilliant philosophical essays that were hated by the Church, but loved among sophisticated readers.

Today essay writing is among the few genres that are left in a publicistic arsenal. In the world that turned towards global information and analysis, individual literary writing is not in big favor. Still, a publicistic essay is a way of expressing a point. This point has to be controversial, and it has to be the writer’s position on a certain problem. A publicistic essay does not have a certain structure. It is more of free writing, stream of conscious with little factual backing. A publicistic essay has to appeal to feelings.

Academic Essays

Academic essay writing is opposite to publicistic. It has to be strictly logical and perfectly organized. Lots of websites offer their guidelines for essay writing and the reason for this is simple: essay, as an academic tool, is a kind of a pattern into which students put their thoughts and beliefs. Academic essays serve many purposes and subjects. They can be written both on humanities and scientific topics, for an overall grade and for admission. This is why they have so many sub-genres, which correspond to a level of academic demands.

High School Essays

High school essays are the most basic type of essay writing. They are also known as five-paragraph essays, because they have a certain structure: one paragraph for an introduction, three - for the development of an idea, and the last, fifth paragraph, to conclude. High school essays are extremely important. They teach students the basic rules of writing and prepare them for a college, where essays are in big favor among tutors and professors. Being easy to understand and having a clear structure, five-paragraph essays are a quick way to teach students to generate their thoughts and state them briefly and clearly on the paper.

College Essays

College essays are the next step in writing. These have more demands. A five-paragraph structure becomes just a symbolic plan to follow. Usually, college essay papers usually have topics that are too big to fit into a small frame. This is why introduction and conclusion are still required elements, while main paragraphs may vary in size and number, fulfilling the essential: to develop a topic properly. College essays fall into many categories, beginning from an admission essay that plays an important role in a life of any student and stopping at... hard to say at which point. Essay papers can be deductive, narrative, compare-and-contrast, analytical, descriptive, or expository – you name it. But they have more requirements in terms of stylistic as well as in organizational means. First of all, academic essay papers have to be longer in size than simple high school writings. Any of them must have a sophisticated chain of argumentation, non-biased language, a strong thesis statement, a clear writer’s position, and an original position on any of the existing problems.

Admission Essays

MBA admission essays are a way to succeed in a highly competitive world of business. These are sometimes even harder than college admission essays, because they require you to show all your skills, including career goals, desire to be successful, uniqueness and experience, as well as the ability to manage difficult business situations. In other words, when writing an MBA admission essay, you have to sell yourself to the committee to be admitted. An admission essay has to be grammatically correct, personalized, and written as naturally and concisely, as it is possible. The best way to achieve success is to devote essay writing to something you are really passionate about. Admission committee is not looking for cynicism and disappointment. It is interested in optimistic people who set their goals to achieve success. This is why your MBA essay paper has to convey a positive message.

Americanism Essays

While previous five groups are familiar to both European and American students, there is the sixths, separate group of essays that is popular only among the American audience. This last category is commonly used in competitions between school students, or like an extra-credit option. Americanism essays are the embodiment of the all-time famous American on paper. This type of assignment offers students to share their thoughts on why they are proud to be the citizens of the USA, what their expectations are, and how much they are ready to commit and sacrifice for the sake of their nation. This kind of essay writing is often offered when it comes to winning a scholarship. And it only sounds easy to complete. Imagine how original you should be to write about something that is 200 years old and is discussed all over the world.

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