When I remember the good old school days, one thing that comes to my mind is the writing of the essays. Every time we approached vacation the language teacher would ask us to write about our plans about how we would spend our vacation. And again write about how we spent it post-vacation. This was the case for the festivals too. Not to mention the exam time when we had to write an essay on a given list of choice.
In general the essay would consist of the topic sentence, introductory paragraph, supporting paragraphs and conclusion. The conclusion/moral was the necessary or rather the compulsory part of the essay/story. Every story was to have to have the moral as if it was the necessary evil. Akshar writes more about the moral of the story here.
In his article on the age of the essay, Paul Graham reflects on the way essay has been written for ages- detailing the way we have come to write the essay, while also talking about what an essay really is.
Paul rightly points out that writing an essay has become synonymous to writing about English literature and symbolism in Dickens, rather than taking an imaginative ride with the author and enjoying it.
He also says that the reader should find something interesting and should surprise the reader (and to some extent the author himself). This will make the reader feel that he/she has got/learnt something and would make him/her come back to read more.
Drawing a conclusion is not necessarily the part of the essay. I would say its better to let reader draw his own conclusion, rather than forcing the author’s one.
The Internet has provided the immense opportunity for the common man to write about their views/opnions and essays. Certainly the blogs have provided a good platform for it.
My blog post is one such an essay. Now this is surprising even for me-I didn’t realize it when I started writing this post:)