The Purpose of an Essay

The Free Cozy Grammar Newsletter with Marie Rackham and Thomas Hitoshi Pruiksma

In the Basic Cozy Essay Course, Marie distinguishes between the format of an essay and the purpose of an essay.

The format of an essay is the technique of the essay, the simple building blocks with which it is made. In her course, Marie teaches a simple but powerful technique that can be use to write all sorts of essays. (If you missed our newsletter about the secret of a basic essay format, take a peek here!)

The purpose, on the other hand, is the reason why any particular essay is being written. This reason might be to make a point, tell a story, review a book, or compare two pieces of literature, for instance.

Each of these purposes leads to a different style of essay, even though the same basic format can be used to write all of them effectively.

In our first free excerpt this month, from the conclusion to the Basic Cozy Essay Course, watch how Marie explains this difference and the different lengths that each style or purpose may have.

Here's a complete list of the different styles of essays that Marie mentions in her workbook.

Click on each of style or purpose below to see its definition.

In the final section of the workbook for the Basic Cozy Essay Course, we've included a sample essay for each style or purpose, complete with a description of how it uses our basic essay format.

How To Learn More About Writing Essays

As Marie suggests, having a basic essay format can be extraordinarily useful for writing a variety of different styles of essays, each tailored to a different purpose.

In addition to the essays she and I walk our students through in the Basic Cozy Essay Course, I also recommend reading essays from three different writers as a way to continue learning more about this surprisingly powerful form of writing.

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