The Age of the Essay

The Web may well make this the golden age of the essay

This is a statement I would have disagreed with before reading through the reading for this week. Most of us probably think of essays as something we only write in school (every year) – usually about that book we studied in english. This reading argues that the ‘real essay’ is not the one are we typically used to. That it doesn’t take a position and then defend it. There is more freedom to a real essay where you are writing for yourself and exploring ideas however at the same time you do have an audience. It is interesting to what really constitutes towards an essay. The essay we write at schools has been inherited from old traditions and academic writing (like college professors).

Relating back to the statement, essays are not restricted to a medium they are about the content so really the web allows us to have more access to the Paul Graham’s idea of the real essay. On the internet there are no restrictions to what you can write about opposed to in a school there is structure and essay topic to always relate back to. Just having that freedom could make it the ‘golden age’ of the essay.


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