Among the various definitions of “essay”, the clearest one is that of Frederick Crews Professor of English at the University of California which states “a fairly brief piece of nonfiction that tries to make a point in an interesting way” (Tagg. Web). It means a piece of…
Either way it is prudent and sometimes demands of the situation to produce objective and verifiable evidence to bring the point home for the readers. The facts should have permanence and universality and pass the test of time.
The assertions you are making, the information, news and opinion you are giving, the facts, data and revelations you are presenting are all your ‘claims’ that needs be properly supported with objective evidence. Maxine C. Hairston says, “we all use another common thought pattern, that of assertion and support. We do that when we make a claim, and then back it up with reason”. (p57). Backing and supporting is done by citing authorities and studies in a manner to be understood and accepted by to the readers. You are obliged to adapt a tune and style appealing to the readers and entice them to a willing suspension of disbelief as stated by Coleridge in his Biographia Literaria..
Supporting your claim is important because “Professors are skeptical who expect authors to back their claims with evidence and rational arguments. As you draft your paper, try to anticipate at what points your readers might ask “How do you know?” or “What evidence do you have for that statement?” (Hairston, p5).
Giving a universal appeal and acceptance to a piece of composition, the “claims” in an essay must therefore be supported by objective and verifiable evidences, otherwise the essay will turn into fiction or a fairy tale and would not appeal to the reason of the readership. The writer must therefore know his “claims” and must know the answer to question like “how do you know?” or “how can you claim?” An essay should hold the reader’s attention and have sublimity which comes with authentication of the facts narrated in the essay. The facts narrated should be universal and not limited in scope only known and understood in a local culture. They should also pass the test of ...
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