From Longman Dictionary of Contemporary Englishessayes‧say1 /ˈeseɪ/ ●●● S3 noun [countable] 1 SEa short piece of writing about a particular subject by a student as part of a course of studyessay on/about an essay on Bernard Shaw2 ALa short piece of writing giving someone’s ideas about politics, society etcessay on Rousseau’s ‘Essay on the Origin of Languages’3 formalTRY TO DO OR GET something an attempt to do somethingCOLLOCATIONS – Meanings 1 & 2verbswrite/do an essayI’ve got a 3,000 word essay to write before Friday.give in/hand in an essayHalf the class failed to hand in their essay on time.mark an essay British English, grade an essay American English:I went home knowing that I still had a pile of essays to mark.read an essayDid you read her essay on ‘The Waste Land’?ADJECTIVES/NOUN + essayan English/history/politics etc essayHe got a good grade for his English essay.a critical essay (=one that judges how good a book, writer etc is)The anthology contains critical essays by Kael, Graham Greene and others.an academic essayMature students often need practice writing academic essays.a literary essayIn a literary essay, you should explore the meaning and construction of the text.essay + NOUNan essay questionWe practised essay questions from previous exam papers.an essay titleYou will find a list of essay titles on the notice board.an essay topicStudents will be given six essay topics, from which they must choose two.phrasesa collection of essaysShe published a collection of essays on philosophy. THESAURUSessay a piece of writing written by a student as part of a course of studyWe had to write an essay about the environment.Have you handed in your essay yet?paper an essay written by a someone who has studied a subject as part of their research. Paper is also used about an essay that you have to write for a class at school, especially in American EnglishThe professor has published over forty scientific papers on diseases of tropical cropsAt the beginning of the school year we had to write a paper about our interests.dissertation a long essay written as part of a university degreeIn the third year of their course, students have to write a 10,000 word dissertation on a topic that has been approved by their tutor.thesis a very long essay that is part of an advanced university degree such as a master’s degree or a doctorateHe wrote his doctoral thesis on the literature of the English romantic movement.
Examples from the Corpusessay• An essay differs in form from a poem.• Exercises were devised to help students test their comprehension of the materials either by essay or by solving concrete problems.• But you should begin a history essay long before you are faced with actually writing it.• Secondary sources for A level essays will probably be the work of historians.• These moral essays advanced other theories in harmony with sentimental comedy.• Winship's essay also draws attention to the increasing fragmentation of the body within recent commercial photography.• This original paperback includes stories, essays and poems that celebrate motherhood.• It sounded fascinating so I decided to find the book to write this essay.essay on/about• She won her place after impressing the charity with an essay about herself and how she could benefit others.• an essay on democracy and education• His main essays on social policy have recently been put together in a single volume.• I could write a whole new essay about my divorce right now.• A collection of essays on the political, economic, and cultural aspects of democratization.• Their friendship had been sealed in second grade when the entire class was asked to write essays on their fathers.• There was no money to be made writing essays on Spinoza, but a successful novel could make one rich.• Instead of learning physics I wrote essays on the Rolling Stones and the Band.essayes‧say2 /eˈseɪ/ verb [transitive] formalTRY TO DO OR GET something to attempt to do something→ See Verb table
Examples from the Corpusessay• He swayed to the music and essayed a little dance step.• Shan't you essay any alteration in your finances?Origin essay1 (1400-1500) Old French essai, from Late Latin exagium “act of weighing”