A concise genre of nonfiction writing that explores an idea or argues a point
Each of the following is a sentence from an essay that expresses a central idea or argument. The third example is an actual thesis statement from an eighth grader's literary essay on Romeo and Juliet.
1. To one who lives in the snow, and watches it day by day, it is a book to be read.
--from "Snow" by John Haines
2. My first lesson in how to live as a negro came when I was quite small.
--from "The Ethics of Living Jim Crow" by Richard Wright
3. Although Rosaline and Juliet are two different women, Romeo falls in love with them for the same reasons.
--from "Beauty, Power, and Goddesses: Romeo's Pattern of Love" by Shea Kelley
The following descriptions of some of the essay types that are assigned at Brookwood are partially adapted from the Purdue Online Writing Lab (OWL):
Expository Essays: The expository essay is a genre of essay in which a student investigates an idea and draws on evidence to expound upon the idea. Unlike an argumentative essay, an expository essay may assert a thesis that does not invite counter-argument. Its purpose is to illuminate rather than to persuade.
Descriptive Essays: The descriptive essay is a genre of essay that asks the student to describe an object, person, place, experience, emotion, situation, etc. This genre encourages the student’s ability to connect the object of the description with ideas or emotions it calls to the reader’s mind. It allows for more artistic freedom than some other essay genres.
Argumentative Essays: The argumentative essay is a genre of writing that requires the student to investigate a topic, collect, generate, and evaluate evidence, and establish a position on the topic in a concise manner. A persuasive essay, such as one that takes a stance on a social issue, is one common kind of argumentative essay.