The word "essay" came into the Russian language from French and historically goes back to the Latin word exagium (weighing). The French ezzai can be literally translated with the words experience, trial, attempt, sketch, essay.
An essay is a prose work of small volume and free composition, expressing individual impressions and thoughts on a particular subject or issue, and knowingly does not claim to be a determining or exhaustive treatment of the subject.
L.P. Krysin's "Explanatory Dictionary of Foreign Words" defines an essay as "an essay treating some problems not in a systematic scientific form, but in a free form.
"The Great Encyclopedic Dictionary" gives this definition: "An essay is a genre of philosophical, literary-critical, historical-biographical, and publicistic prose, combining an emphasized individual position of the author with a relaxed, often paradoxical narration, oriented to colloquial speech."
"The Concise Literary Encyclopedia" specifies: uk essays reviews is a prose work of small length and free composition, treating a private subject and presenting an attempt to convey individual impressions and considerations connected in one way or another with it."
Some signs of an essay are:
The presence of a specific theme or question. A work devoted to the analysis of a wide range of problems, by definition, cannot be performed in the essay genre.
an essay expresses individual impressions and considerations on a particular subject or issue and does not claim to be a defining or exhaustive treatment of the subject.
as a rule, an essay implies a new, subjectively colored word about something, such a work may have a philosophical, historical and biographical, journalistic, literary and critical, popular science or purely fiction character.
in the content of an essay the author's personality - his or her worldview, thoughts and feelings are evaluated first and foremost.