e’ve posted essays here on the site, but we’ve never taken the time to define what separates an essay from a generic blog post. Is this post itself an essay? How is an essay different from an article? Are my book reviews essays? The context will have some influence on what constitutes an essay, but these days I consider an essay to be a long-form, written analysis or reflection on a particular topic that can be primarily expository, but should have an element of persuasion or assertion. It need not have five paragraphs, it need not have a precisely formatted first paragraph with a thesis as the last sentence, and it need not have all of the points the essay will cover neatly laid out therein.
I've noticed something about my writing recently, a struggle that I've been having but have not fully acknowledged. The problem is this: I'm too focused on the form of the words on the page.