Best Quotes About Essay

I won't say ours was a tough school, but we had our own coroner. We used to write essays like: What I'm going to be if I grow up. -Lenny Bruce

A good essay must have this permanent quality about it; it must draw its curtain round us, but it must be a curtain that shuts us in not out. -Virginia Woolf

A revolution is not a dinner party, or writing an essay, or painting a picture, or doing embroidery. -Mao Zedong

I was uncomfortable writing fiction. My love was the personal essay, rather than the novel. -Alain de Botton

To love is to believe, to hope, to know; Tis an essay, a taste of Heaven below! -Edmund Waller

The point of the essay is to change things. -Edward Tufte

I just finished writing an essay about William Maxwell, an American writer whose work I admire very much. -Donna Tartt

There are some fine books and essays about that. Lewis Hyde has written about alcoholism and poets and the role that society gives its writers – encouraging them to die. -Sharon Olds

The essays are different because ultimately it's things I'm interested in, and I'm really just writing about myself and using those subjects as a prism. -Chuck Klosterman

The essays are very solipsistic and self-absorbed, I'm totally conscious of that. To me, book writing is fun, and I basically just write about things that are entertaining to myself. -Chuck Klosterman

Why, in such a case, should the performer essay any sort of considered approach at all? -Brian Ferneyhough

I love to run smart essays and commentary. But it doesn't replace the other kind of reporting. -Tina Brown

I'm trying to put more elements of the essay into my writing. -Ryszard Kapuscinski

I remember when an editor at the National Geographic promised to run about a dozen of my landscape pictures from a story on the John Muir trail as an essay, but when the group of editors got together, someone said that my pictures looked like postcards. -Galen Rowell

Maybe I will write a memoir, perhaps I'll do some essays, or maybe I will write a mystery story. -David Herbert Donald

The essays in The Great Taos Bank Robbery were my project to win a Master of Arts degree in English when I quit being a newspaper editor and went back to college. -Tony Hillerman

I think the pattern of my essays is, A funny thing happened to me on my way through Finnegans Wake. -Leslie Fiedler

What I'm exploring right now is the subject of my own mortality. It's an area that I'm curious about, and I'm researching it to see if there's a photographic essay in it for me. If images don't start to come, I'll go to something else. -Leonard Nimoy

I sort of was good at writing essays. I was never very good at mathematics, and I was never very good at algebra. I loved science, but I wasn't sure of it. -Diane Cilento

One would think that in writing about literary men and matters there would be no difficulty in finding a title for one's essay, or that any embarrassment which might arise would be from excess of material. I find this, however, far from being the case. -James Payn

To spend this particular year reading essays to Dennis Robertson as one's supervisor, and, simultaneously, enjoying membership of the group round Keynes was indeed an intellectual treat. -James Meade

In high school, I won a prize for an essay on tuberculosis. When I got through writing the essay, I was sure I had the disease. -Constance Baker Motley

The essayist has to follow a certain intellectual pattern. The novelist has the advantage of using fantasy, of being subjective. -Manuel Puig

In effect I am not a novelist, but rather a failed essayist who started to write novels because he didn't know how to write essays. -Jose Saramago

I am a better novelist than a poet, playwright, or essayist. -Jose Saramago

I'm most suspicious of scripts that have a lot of stage direction at the top of the page… sunrise over the desert and masses of… a whole essay before you get to the dialogue. -Anthony Hopkins

I'm older than my sister so I started writing first. I started writing at school. I was always top of my class in composition, essays, English Lit and all of that. -Joan Collins

I don't like writing essays or theory. -Adrian Mitchell

Someone who can write aphorisms should not fritter away his time in essays. -Karl Kraus

I'm a disciple of Raymond Chandler, who said in his essays that there's a quality of redemption in anything that can be called art. -Michael Connelly

I've published one book before, and now I'm writing a book of essays and stories about life in Tokyo. And I have one book coming out in May in Germany, about fitness. -Franka Potente

Drama school is fundamentally practical. I didn't write any essays, so I came out with a BA honors degree in acting. -Emilia Clarke

From lies to forgeries the step is not so long, and I have written technical essays on the logic of forgeries and on the influence of forgeries on history. -Umberto Eco

Fiction and essays can create empathy for the theoretical stranger. -Barbara Kingsolver

What a writer can do, what a fiction writer or a poet or an essay writer can do is re-engage people with their own humanity. -Barbara Kingsolver

I am waiting impatiently for the day when beleaguered, like-minded academics can order James Wolcott's collected essays for their classes. -Camille Paglia

My high-school papers, my college-application essays, read like Norman Mailer packed in a crunchy-peanut-butter sandwich. -James Wolcott

Sometimes I read reviews, and without exception I will read critical essays that are sent to me. The critical essays are interesting on their own terms. -Joyce Carol Oates

Criticism is, for me, like essay writing, a wonderful way of relaxation; it doesn't require a heightened and mediated voice, like prose fiction, but rather a calm, rational, even conversational voice. -Joyce Carol Oates

For TV you also get those pre-interviews when researchers ask you what you're going to say. The pre-interview drives me insane. If they've already decided the outcome, why don't I just hand in an essay? Maybe if we talk we'll find something out. I'd rather just have an awkward pause. -Jarvis Cocker

I won a Marshall scholarship to read philosophy at Oxford, and what I most wanted to do was strengthen public intellectual culture – I'd write books and essays to help us figure out who we wanted to be. -Reid Hoffman

For me, writing essays, prose and fiction is a great way to be self-indulgent. -Diablo Cody

The primary thing I should do, apart from being a good husband, brother, son, and friend, is to be a citizen activist. But I'm afraid it takes away from the writing. Not that anything depends on whether I put an essay in 'The Nation' or not. But you want to participate. -Tony Kushner

I don't write political plays in the sense that I'm writing essays that are kind of disguised as plays. I would really defy anyone to watch any of my plays and say 'Well, here's the point.' -Tony Kushner

I like English, and I like writing essays, and that kind of stuff. -Abigail Breslin

It's funny. People often compare me to other humor essayists. They're usually quite nice comparisons; I will accept those gladly. But I am always sort of appalled at the idea of being lumped with other, more chick-y female writers. And the truth is probably that neither comparison is accurate. -Sloane Crosley

I don't really think of my essays as being about myself. I know it sounds insane, but I just don't think of them as a memoir. They're essays; they're not an autobiography. -Sloane Crosley

I thought I was going to write fiction but I fell backwards into non-fiction. It started when I got locked out of two apartments in one day and I told the story to some friends, one of whom worked in the 'Village Voice' and asked me to turn it into an essay. -Sloane Crosley

I think it's hard to have a full-time job and write fiction, but for essays, you need to be in the world. -Sloane Crosley

I still have some of my old University essays, and I do still have my drawing book from primary year seven. -Iain Banks

Many good poets are really essayists who write very short essays. -Nicholson Baker

E.B. White's essays are the best things I've read about Maine – especially the one in which he's not sure if he can go out sailing any more in his sloop. -Nicholson Baker

For me, playwriting is and has always been like making a chair. Your concerns are balance, form, timing, lights, space, music. If you don't have these essentials, you might as well be writing a theoretical essay, not a play. -Sam Shepard

I'm interested in so many different things and I'd like to cover a lot of territory. I'm trying to see my show as the Sunday 'Times.' You have the Arts & Leisure section, you have the Op-Ed page, you have the Book Review… even the Style section has those wonderful essays about relationships. -Joy Behar

The most important thing when starting out with essay writing is to find a voice with which you're comfortable. You need to find a persona that is very much like you, but slightly caricatured. -Anne Fadiman

Oddly enough, my favorite genre is not fiction. I'm attracted by primary sources that are relevant to historical questions of interest to me, by famous old books on philosophy or theology that I want to see with my own eyes, by essays on contemporary science, by the literatures of antiquity. -Marilynne Robinson

My cure for writer's block is to step away from the thing I'm stuck on, usually a novel, and write something totally different. Besides fiction, I write poetry, screenplays, essays and journalism. It's usually not the writing itself that I'm stuck on, but thing I'm trying to write. So I often have four or five things going at once. -Jess Walter

For me, movies and television are interesting because they are the dominant storytelling form of our time. My first love will always be fiction, and especially novels, but I'm a writer… I write poetry and essays and criticism and I'd love to write a whole play, and sometimes I even write scripts. -Jess Walter

I can't speak for readers in general, but personally I like to read stories behind which there is some truth, something real and above all, something emotional. I don't like to read essays on literature; I don't like to read critical or rational or impersonal or cold disquisitions on subjects. -Laura Esquivel

Philosophy wasn't about facts, it was about ideas. My first essay title was something like: 'How can you know what other people are thinking?' I thought, 'Wow, what an amazing thing.' I really thought deeply for the first time. -Sophie Kinsella

The essay is one of my favourite forms of writing, and I feel like what's inside is really personal, more so than with shorter pieces. -Stephanie Pearl-McPhee

I started work on my first French history book in 1969; on 'Socialism in Provence' in 1974; and on the essays in Marxism and the French Left in 1978. Conversely, my first non-academic publication, a review in the 'TLS', did not come until the late 1980s, and it was not until 1993 that I published my first piece in the 'New York Review.' -Tony Judt

I am careful about fiction. A novel is not a tract or an essay. If I want to write about land reforms, or Hindu-Muslim relations, or position of women, I can do it as it affects my characters as in 'A Suitable Boy.' I could only write about issues specifically through essays. But I'll do that only if I have something worthwhile to say. -Vikram Seth

I write essays to clear my mind. I write fiction to open my heart. -Taiye Selasi

When I was ten, I wrote an essay on what I would be when I grew up and said I would be a professional soccer player and a comedian in off season. -Will Ferrell

I read Carver. Julio Cortazar. Amis's essays. Baldwin. Lorrie Moore. Capote. Saramago. Larkin. Wodehouse. Anything, anything at all, that doesn't sound like me. -Zadie Smith

When topics are complex and meaty, don't create a never-ending email thread. It's amazing how much time people waste composing and reading carefully-worded essays, when a 5 minute in-person chat would resolve the whole thing. -Justin Rosenstein

Men there have been who have done the essayist's part so well as to have earned an immortality in the doing; but we have had not many of them, and they make but a poor figure on our shelves. It is a pity that things should be thus with us, for a good essayist is the pleasantest companion imaginable. -William Ernest Henley

Essayists, like poets, are born and not made, and for one worth remembering, the world is confronted with a hundred not worth reading. Your true essayist is, in a literary sense, the friend of everybody. -William Ernest Henley

I truly believe that writing is a continuum – so the different genres and forms are simply stops along the same continuum. Different ideas that need to be expressed sometimes require different forms for the ideas to float better. I don't write essays as often as I should. -Chris Abani

I love essays, but they're not always the best way to communicate to a larger audience. -Chris Abani

Fiction and poetry are my first loves, but the really beautiful lyrical essay can do so much that other forms cannot. -Chris Abani

It takes me forever to actually finish something like a ten-page essay. But, when I do, I usually love what they are. It's a complicated relationship. -Chris Abani

For all the power of video and film, I am not giving up my pen. I am just much more likely to try to link essays to webcasts or videos. The best way for these two media to move forward, to inform and make change, is in tandem; together they are more than the sum of their parts. -Naomi Wolf

I'm not an impersonator. I've only got one voice and only do one guy and his first-person essays. -Tom Bodett

I think of myself as a writer who photographs. Images, for me, can be considered poems, short stories or essays. And I've always thought the best place for my photographs was inside books of my own creation. -Sam Abell

I'd always try to get a C, maybe a B. Other girls would trot off a brilliant essay and go off to Oxford; I'd think: 'Where is the justice?' I took A-levels in English, history and theatre studies and got three Bs. -Romola Garai

I liked to write from the time I was about 12 or 13. I loved to read. And since I only spoke to my brother, I would write down my thoughts. And I think I wrote some of the worst poetry west of the Rockies. But by the time I was in my 20s, I found myself writing little essays and more poetry – writing at writing. -Maya Angelou

I believe that a work of art, like metaphors in language, can ask the most serious, difficult questions in a way which really makes the readers answer for themselves; that the work of art far more than an essay or a tract involves the reader, challenges him directly and brings him into the argument. -George Steiner

I am all for trying out various kinds of hair styles. I have even worn a wig earlier in a film where I essayed the part of a woman. -Riteish Deshmukh

It makes more sense to write one big book – a novel or nonfiction narrative – than to write many stories or essays. Into a long, ambitious project you can fit or pour all you possess and learn. -Annie Dillard

To me, cinema is cinema. Cinema is one big tree with many branches. The same as literature. In literature, you don't just say, 'Oh, I bought some literature.' No, you say, 'I bought a novel' by so-and-so, or a book of essays by so-and-so. -Jonas Mekas

I'm interested in directing movies about situations that I've lived, so they are almost a personal essay about what I've come to believe in. -Jodie Foster

People complain about my exclamation points, but I honestly think that's the way people think. I don't think people think in essays; it's one exclamation point to another. -Tom Wolfe

I have written stories, essays, even whole books on trains, scribble-scribble. -Paul Theroux

I kind of got more interested in writing after I turned in my last college essay and nobody was going to tell me what kind of academic papers to write anymore. I could write whatever I wanted, and I realized that I actually liked it when I could choose what I would write. -Dan Millman

I began writing early – very, very early… I was already writing short stories for the radio and selling poems to poetry and art festivals; I was involved in school plays; I wrote essays, so there was no definite moment when I said, 'Now I'm a writer.' I've always been a writer. -Wole Soyinka

You can provide a short-format content, and it can grow, and it can spread virally across the entire Twitter system, and it can contain within it a link to something that's much longer, that's a long essay or that's a video. -Biz Stone

When it comes to the personal essays I write, I just convince myself that no one will ever read them. -Dani Shapiro

Novels are my favorite to write and read. I do like writing personal essays, too. I'm not really a short story writer, nor do I tend to gravitate to them as a reader. -Dani Shapiro

It is as true for the writer as for the reader that any novel worth its ink should be an experience first and foremost – not an essay, not a statement, not an orderly rollout of themes and propositions. -David Wroblewski

People question what I thought of Oxford. Students used to talk about the 'Oxford bubble' because the place can make you feel cut off from the rest of the world. I would forget there were places like London that were not centred round libraries and essays. -Samantha Shannon

I was mostly an indoor girl at university. Where other students did drama or music or sport alongside their degrees, I wrote. I used to work on essays and classwork during the day and 'The Bone Season' in the evenings. -Samantha Shannon

I found the structure of writing a screenplay harder than the structure of writing an essay. But it was definitely challenging to force myself to sit and write. I'm not used to having to force myself to work. -Judy Greer

For me, I used to be shy towards journalism because it wasn't poetry. And then I realized that the events that I covered in essays that became journalism were actually great because they inspired me, and they became my muse. -Alice Walker

When I was younger, when I was at school, I did read a lot of fiction. I think as you get older perhaps you're interested in essays and biographies and things like that. I think it's just important to just read as much as you can. -Ronald Frame

There is more to be pondered in the grain and texture of life than traditional fiction allows. The work of essayists is vital precisely because it permits and encourages self-knowledge in a way that is less indirect than fiction, more open and speculative. -Charles J. Shields

I grew up poor in crappy situations… various crappy situations. What kept me sane was reading and music. I had so many different literary tastes growing up, be it fiction like Stephen King or Piers Anthony or non-fiction like reading Hunter S. Thompson essays or reading the Beats. I was a huge fan of the Beat movement. -Corey Taylor

I'm a novelist, a critic, an essayist – I tend to see politics as a subset of cultures rather than the other way around. It's a human enterprise, a tool or a technology revealing our collective inner self. -Walter Kirn

Theological writing is usually done in essays or books, but I hope to show that if we concentrate on sentences, we may well learn something we might otherwise miss. -Stanley Hauerwas

I've always written. There's a journal which I kept from about 9 years old. The man who gave it to me lived across the street from the store and kept it when my grandmother's papers were destroyed. I'd written some essays. I loved poetry, still do. But I really, really loved it then. -Maya Angelou

My father was a great sympathizer of Ahad Ha'am. Every Friday night we would read Hebrew together, and often the reading was Ahad Ha'am's essays. -Noam Chomsky

A lazy man works twice as hard. My mother told that to me, and now I say it to my kids. If you're writing an essay, keep it in the lines and in the margins so you don't have to do it over. -Gary Oldman

I'm a fiction writer, and I do write essays, but I am not a poet. And I absolutely reject the phrase 'woman writer' as anti-feminist. I wrote an essay about this as far back as 1977, at the height of the neo-feminist movement. -Cynthia Ozick

In an essay, you have the outcome in your pocket before you set out on your journey, and very rarely do you make an intellectual or psychological discovery. But when you write fiction, you don't know where you are going – sometimes down to the last paragraph – and that is the pleasure of it. -Cynthia Ozick

An essay is a thing of the imagination. If there is information in an essay, it is by-the-by, and if there is an opinion, one need not trust it for the long run. A genuine essay rarely has an educational, polemical, or sociopolitical use; it is the movement of a free mind at play. -Cynthia Ozick

If an essay has a 'motive,' it is linked more to happenstance and opportunity than to the driven will. A genuine essay is not a doctrinaire tract or a propaganda effort or a broadside. -Cynthia Ozick

Since childhood, I wrote a lot of fiction, a lot of stories, but I most loved writing essays. -Jill Lepore

Book reviewing dates only to the eighteenth century, when, for the first time, there were so many books being printed that magazines – they were new, too – started printing essays about them. -Jill Lepore

I aspire to write what are called 'familiar essays.' They begin in the personal and end in the universal. It's not for me to say if I have been successful at it. But that is the hope. -David Rakoff

It is a curious fact that the word 'essayist' showed up in English before it existed in French. -John Jeremiah Sullivan

At university level, I had an economics lecturer who used to joke that I was the only student who handed in essays on British Airways notepaper. -Sebastian Coe

Writing for theatre is certainly different to writing an essay or any other kind of fiction or prose: it's physical. You're also telling a story, but sometimes the story isn't exactly what you intend; maybe you uncover something you had no idea you were going to uncover. -Sam Shepard

I had a book of essays out in 1997 in which I talked about the increasing virtuality of our lives. I've always been afraid of that in my own life. -Steven Heighton

I had an insanely long commute – New York to D.C. – when I worked at 'National Geographic.' I hate to waste time, so I spent my time by writing about my life on the premise that I might be able to pitch those as short essays to magazines. It wasn't until later that I realized that I was writing a book. -Charles M. Blow

Even though I got a late start, first publishing an essay when I was 50 years old, I've since written eight suspense novels. -Hallie Ephron

In all my work, in the movies I write, the lyrics, the poetry, the prose, the essays, I am saying that we may encounter many defeats – maybe it's imperative that we encounter the defeats – but we are much stronger than we appear to be and maybe much better than we allow ourselves to be. Human beings are more alike than unalike. -Maya Angelou

One's politics are part of one even when one is writing. But if I want to say anything about the state of civil society, I will write an essay. The responsibilities you feel as a novelist are literary ones, I think, not civic ones. And I think politicians are interesting to write about. -Thomas Mallon

I don't think Donald Barthelme would have minded being called a confusing writer. Confusion was a favorite subject for him in his essays and reviews, and it's enacted in his fiction in a mishmash of dizzying incongruities. -Joanna Scott

The way I was educated, maybe from just inhaling something in the air back then, I grew up believing that E. B. White occupied the apex of essay writing. -Paul Di Filippo

I continue to write essays about art. The visual is always part of my work, and it gives me immense pleasure to make up the words of art and create them verbally rather than build them. -Siri Hustvedt

I have a longstanding fascination with visual art. I do, in fact, draw as well, as I did in 'The Summer without Men.' I also write essays about visual art. -Siri Hustvedt

My feeling is, when you are writing an essay, you don't make anything up. This may be a very Protestant notion, and I'm aware of the fact that memory is fallible, that if I had access to films or some absolute documentary evidence of what happened, it might look different; we get confused and fuzzy. -Siri Hustvedt

Something outrageous, in the truest sense of the word, is always happening. On social networks, we're always voicing our reactions to these outrageous events. We read essays and 'think pieces' about these outrageous events. We comment on the commentary. We do this because we can. -Roxane Gay

I used to write travel essays, and I was struck by how the fact of writing about a place would change my relationship with it. I would make completely different choices, do things I wouldn't have normally, because I had to fill this narrative shape. -Chelsea Cain

Despite the often illusory nature of essays on the psychology of a nation, it seems to me there is something revealing in the insistence with which a people will question itself during certain periods of its growth. -Octavio Paz

Basically, I think of fiction and non-fiction as different ways of engaging with the world. You reach a point where you feel you have said all you possibly can, in reportage or a review essay or a reflection on history, which 'From the Ruins of Empire' was. -Pankaj Mishra

In 1980, shortly before my 11th birthday, I wrote my first essay in English. -Pankaj Mishra

I inherited Mom's verbal skills, and participated in forensics and essay contests in elementary school – and won every essay contest I ever entered. -Joel Salatin

I didn't really see a way to make a living on the farm. I always loved writing. I was the guy who won the D.A.R. essay contest and things like that, and it was the era of Watergate, and I decided I would be the next Woodward and Bernstein, and then retire to the farm. -Joel Salatin

To me, having 'material' for an essay means not only having something to write about but also having something interesting and original to say about whatever that might be. -Meghan Daum

The point of essays is the point of writing anything. It's not to tell people what they already think or to give them more of what they already believe; it's to challenge people, and it's to suggest alternate ways of thinking about things. -Meghan Daum

I think people seem to want to read pieces that are shorter but not as short as the pieces they can read in small bites on the Internet. It may be that the sort of long essays are hitting a sweet spot between the tiny morsels online and the full-length book. -Meghan Daum

I love the essay. It's my favorite genre to work in. -Meghan Daum

What I think is important about essayists – about the essay, as opposed to a lot of personal writing that kind of finds its way into public view – is that the material really has to be presented in a processed way. -Meghan Daum

A young female essayist saying they're influenced by Joan Didion is like a young female singer-songwriter saying they're influenced by Joni Mitchell. -Meghan Daum

It was a challenge for me to do a plot because I'd been an essayist and a journalist. I had to be vigilant about moving things along and being entertaining. -Meghan Daum

For me, writing essays is very much about processing ideas and offering them up to the reader so that they are fully cooked. -Meghan Daum

Because of social media, we have a lot of personal essays floating around; you see them on Facebook: everyone's either reading them or writing them. Some of them are great; some of them are diary entries put forth as essays. -Meghan Daum

I love writing essays and articles, so it's hard for me to resist taking assignments that inevitably pull me away from larger projects. -Meghan Daum

What I am best at is reading a book and then writing a critical essay. -Rivers Cuomo

Probably 90 percent of the stuff I make has inevitably been done before… Whether it's playing Hamlet, which has been on the go for 400 years, or pieces from the cinematic world that also have been essayed before, I feel released by that. -Kenneth Branagh

Cummings' career as a writer – and a painter – was as wobbly as his love life. He tried his hand at playwriting, satirical essays, and even a dance scenario for Lincoln Kirsten. -Billy Collins

I think my blog is fairly circumspect and elliptical. I've written personal essays, but they are short and to the point: in and out, and that's that. -Kate Christensen

Christopher Hitchens, the late essayist and sot, was a man who purposefully cultivated a lot of friends of a certain type – rich, self-important, generally dim-witted and hence easy for a well-spoken Oxbridge debater to impress – and he electrified Washington D.C. society mainly by not being a completely charmless bore. -Alex Pareene

There's a lot of essay writing that could pass for journalism and journalism that could pass for essay. Some of it is just taxonomy. -Eula Biss

While I was in junior high, I wrote an entire essay in rhyme about manufacturing in New York State. In high school, I won a Scholastic poetry contest. -Jane Yolen

Our world is enriched when coders and marketers dazzle us with smartphones and tablets, but, by themselves, they are just slabs. It is the music, essays, entertainment and provocations that they access, spawned by the humanities, that animate them – and us. -Nicholas Kristof

I don't have the looks to compete at a bar, and I'm not that funny. So the last thing I want is to be in a situation where that's what I'm competing on. I'd rather be on OkCupid or Match, where I can write a 300-word essay about myself that's really good. -Sam Yagan

Shorter work – personal essays and book reviews – allow me to take a break from working on a book, which is good for the book and for its author. -Kathryn Harrison

The novel has always been a contradictory form. Here is a long form narrative mainly read originally by consumers who were only newly literate or limited in their literacy. The novel ranked below poetry, essay and history in prestige for a long time. -Matthew Pearl

I had been working on this series called 'Everything Dies,' and it was basically me doing non-fiction essays, responding to religion and stuff like that, and I really got into this ideas of telling factual stories via comics. -Box Brown

One of the best essays I've seen in recent years was by a young woman who wrote about how being chosen to choreograph a high school musical forced her to assume a leadership role she wasn't sure she was ready for – but of course she was. -Kate Klise

The tagline at Westin hotels is that they strive to surprise and delight their guests. This is exactly what a college essay should do. -Kate Klise

When I lead essay workshops, I ask students to come up with at least five topics, which they'll narrow down to one. The winning idea should be the story the student is most excited to tell because it honestly reflects his or her best self. -Kate Klise

Our job as friends, mentors, parents, and writing coaches is not to write anyone's college essay. That's cheating. Plus, it sends a discouraging message to the teenager that he or she can't be trusted with this important assignment. Trust the student to write the essay, but verify that it gets done. Gentle editing and proofreading are allowed. -Kate Klise

In my new book, 'Binge,' I share essays about everything I've never told my viewers – touching on the best and worst days of my life, some hilarious, some embarrassing, but all extremely personal. -Tyler Oakley

I don't think of myself as a critic at all. I'm a reviewer and essayist. I mainly hope to share with others my pleasure in the books and authors I write about, though sometimes I do need to cavil and point out shortcomings. -Michael Dirda

Literary generations come and go, and each generation passeth away and is heard of no more. In the end, simply the making itself – of poems and stories and essays – delivers the only reward a writer can be sure of. And, perhaps, the only one that matters. -Michael Dirda

Writing an essay is like a school assignment: I have my topic, I organize my thoughts, and I write it. I have complete control over what I'm doing. Writing a novel is like setting out on a journey without knowing who or what I'll encounter, how long it's going to take, or where I'm going to end up. -Tawni O'Dell

The great American food writer M. F. K. Fisher once wrote an essay called 'The Anatomy of a Recipe.' To have a good anatomy, in her view, a recipe should have a sense of logical progression. She despaired of recipes with 'anatomical faults,' where the reader is told to make a cake batter and only then to grease the loaf pans. -Bee Wilson

One time, I was given an essay topic: to describe a perfect horse, whom the mere sight of the rider's whip would make obedient. I depicted this perfect horse throwing his rider at the sight of the whip. -Marquis de Lafayette

I wrote my senior essay on the Santa Fe Writer's Colony and my dissertation on sacred landscapes – the Grand Canyon, the Dakota Badlands. As a setting, I love the West. I just love that western landscape. -Elise Broach

I have more than 100 legal pads filled with handwriting. Eight novels, two books for children, countless stories and essays. -Susan Straight

Creative non-fiction is such a liberating genre because it allows the non-fiction writer, whether he or she be journalist or essayist, to use all of the techniques of the fiction writer and all of the ideas, creative approaches, that fiction writers get a chance to use, but they have to use it in a true story. -Lee Gutkind

I wanted to make a late-night-type show that happened to be in the morning for moms. Bravo was more interested in a blend of my books 'Momzillas' and 'Sometimes I Feel Like a Nut,' which is a collection of nonfiction essays. -Jill Kargman

For years following the death of my mother, I wanted to write about her. I started writing what I thought of as personal essays about growing up as her child, but I never could finish any of them. I think I was too close to that loss, and too eager to try and resolve things, to make her death make sense. -Tracy K. Smith

I started writing poems, and when I first tried prose, I wrote bad articles and essays and columns, and I didn't have a handle on it. I didn't go to a school that really taught you how to write that stuff. -Eileen Myles

Many years, I would publish four books – an anthology, a book of criticism, a new book of poems, a book of essays. -Donald Hall

I have written some poetry and two prose books about baseball, but if I had been a rich man, I probably would not have written many of the magazine essays that I have had to do. But, needing to write magazine essays to support myself, I looked to things that I cared about and wanted to write about, and certainly baseball was one of them. -Donald Hall

During my first years in the Sierra, I was ever calling on everybody within reach to admire them, but I found no one half warm enough until Emerson came. I had read his essays, and felt sure that of all men he would best interpret the sayings of these noble mountains and trees. Nor was my faith weakened when I met him in Yosemite. -John Muir

Emerson stands apart from the other poets and essayists of New England, and of English literature generally, as of another order. He is a reversion to an earlier type, the type of the bard, the skald, the poet-seer. -John Burroughs

At high school, instead of the weekly essay, I would write a poem, and the teacher accepted that. The impulse was one of laziness, I'm certain. Poems were shorter than essays. -Paul Muldoon

'Flaubert's Parrot' is an amphibious book in which what appears to be a personal essay about Flaubertian writing is gradually, delicately transformed into an extremely sad novel in which the differences between character, author, and narrator are less clear than they appear at first glance. -Alvaro Enrigue

I think I got into travelling because it was so not in my blood, so against my tendency to just stay put because my dad just hated going on holidays, because, as I've said in many essays, the thing that he hated more than anything else in life was spending money. And as soon as you leave your home, you're spending money. -Geoff Dyer

I'll be writing essays long after I've stopped writing fiction. There is this unusually broad range in the non-fiction, but if you look at what I'm capable of as a novelist, I'm more limited. -Geoff Dyer

In the winter of 1940, 'The Atlantic Monthly' invited Peter Viereck, a twenty-three-year-old Harvard graduate who had won the college's top essay and poetry prizes, to write about 'the meaning of young liberalism for the present age.' -Tom Reiss

I'm an essayist. And this is a genre that has existed for a few thousand years. Ever heard of Cicero? So these rules that I'm working under are not mine but rather were established by writers who recognized the difference between the hard research of journalism and the kind of inquiry of mind that characterizes the essay. -John D'Agata

Can we call the essay its own genre if it's so promiscuously versatile? Can we call any genre a 'genre' if, when we read it from different angles and under different shades of light, the differences between it and something else start becoming indistinguishable? -John D'Agata

I had tried writing novels for many years, and they always escaped me. For a long time, I thought, 'It's just not in me to write a novel. It's not something I'm able to do.' It seemed like everything I wrote naturally ended at the bottom of page three. A picture book, three pages; an essay, three pages. -Kathi Appelt

If you rely on a more conventional understanding of the term 'left-wing' as being associated with gradations of socialism in the emancipation of the working class, the Leap Manifesto looks something more along the lines of what the great British socialist and essayist George Orwell was on about in 'The Road to Wigan Pier' in 1937. -Terry Glavin

Perhaps I abandoned criticism because I am full of contradictions, and when you write an essay, you are not supposed to contradict yourself. But in the theater, by inventing various characters, you can. My characters are contradictory not only in their language but in their behavior as well. -Eugene Ionesco

Ralph Ellison's essays were models for me when I began my life as a critic. Slipping cultural yokes and violating aesthetic boundaries, he made criticism high-stakes work, especially for a black critic. -Margo Jefferson

I do mourn my characters. I wrote an essay once where I was sure that far back in a marsh there was a hummock – a little hill of hardwoods – and an old farm house, where all the heroines in my novels lived together with all my beloved dead dogs. I've discussed this with my therapist, naturally. He says it's okay in fair amounts. -Jim Harrison

When you go back and look at what people say about my essays, they're always going, 'What is this?' Because they're not exactly like other people's essays… The approach is not at all the recognized approach of a non-fiction writer. It's not linear. It isn't pyramidally based on fact. -John Ralston Saul

Amartya Sen is best known to the general reader for his powerful essays on famine. He is an optimist about some of our gravest economic problems, such as mass starvation in a world that at present can easily produce more food than everyone can eat. Reason and voluntary participation are his watchwords. -Ian Hacking

A 'philosophical dictionary' is not a dictionary of philosophy that you use to look up obscure thinkers or recondite terms. It is a collection of brief and pithy essays on diverse topics, informed by one vision, and usually arranged in alphabetical order. -Ian Hacking

I love Richard Thaler's 'Quasi Rational Economics.' A collection of some of his most interesting and inventive essays, the real foundation of behavioral economics. -Cass Sunstein

From the beginnings of modern monetary theory, in David Hume's marvelous essays of 1752, 'Of Money and Of Interest,' conclusions about the effect of changes in money have seemed to depend critically on the way in which the change is effected. -Robert Lucas, Jr.

I began as a fiction writer – I had written three novels in my 20s and 30s. But as my work has gravitated towards literary nonfiction, or lyric essay or poetic essay, whatever you want to call it, I'm constantly beating my head against the wall 'cause I'm teaching a genre that's no longer that exciting to me and that I'm no longer practicing. -David Shields

It's true of so many fiction writers that I much prefer the essayistic work they did, whether it's David Foster Wallace's, or John Cheever's, or Nathaniel Hawthorne's. -David Shields

I really love that idea of the essay as an investigation. That's all anyone's life is. -David Shields

I'm the happiest combination you can think of. I'm a Russian poet, an English essayist, and a citizen of the United States. -Joseph Brodsky

Education means teaching kids how to do stuff and how to think about stuff. Education is a pretty simple concept with a very clear way to measure results: you give some kind of an exam – maybe it's one of those standardized tests all kids hate, maybe it's some kind of essay, but whatever it is, it'll measure the results, and the kids will hate it. -Mike Gallagher

I got into one of the schools I applied to because of the essay I wrote about Holly Hunter's character in 'Broadcast News.' She's the only female producer on this news network, and she's really good at her job, but she allots time in her day to just sit at her desk and cry. And then she's just back to work. I find that really effective. -Tavi Gevinson

My to-do list is the only form of organization I have, other than my iCal. It's not all work stuff; it's a lot of movies that I want to watch sooner rather than later. I have a list that's like, 'Read an essay from this book, then this one, then go back to this one.' -Tavi Gevinson

I would be writing an essay that was due in the next day until about 1 A.M., and then I would be up at 6 A.M. and on a train to Birmingham to record 'The Archers'. It was pretty intense. -Felicity Jones

When Chipotle asked me to take part in the Cultivating Thought program both as an author and an essay contest judge, I was excited by the idea of sharing my story through this unique channel and helping young, inspiring writers do the same. -Laura Esquivel

Life is a blur when one is essaying different roles; it is so fulfilling. -Amitabh Bachchan

Style has become a crucial differentiating factor for most actors in the industry. I generally choose my look based on the character I essay. I research a lot on the Internet and pick something that would suit my face. -Akkineni Nagarjuna

I write many essays on whales. I love whales, especially orcas. And dolphins. -Millie Bobby Brown

Stanford's law school application wasn't the standard combination of college transcript, LSAT score, and essays. It required a personal sign-off from the dean of your college: You had to submit a form, completed by the dean, attesting that you weren't a loser. -J. D. Vance

When I was a kid, they made us write these essays about what Heaven would be like. I went to this Christian school in Texas, and the thing that I wrote was no bees. No bees. No mud. No infirmities. -William Jackson Harper

I always wrote stories, but I do remember a particular moment in middle school where I became passionate about essay writing. -Rupi Kaur

The way a story makes an argument is quite different from the way a persuasive essay does it. Emotional truth and the logic of metaphors dominate. -Ken Liu

I remember, at MIT, we had to write an essay about something mathematical that you do in your extra time. I basically wrote about how dance, to me, was geometry: it was all shapes. -Payal Kadakia

My passion is capturing what it feels like to love, be it romantic or otherwise. I love to watch two people realize what they meant for each other – and that goes across all media, books, TV, movies, personal essays; everything. -Taylor Jenkins Reid

I am endlessly inspired by both the tenderness that can exist between two people and the excitement of falling in love. I'm very fortunate that I've been able to explore that in novels, a television show, some early development film projects, and essays about my own life. -Taylor Jenkins Reid

I think, one day, I might actually try writing a bunch of – a collection of essays maybe on the funnier side of the spectrum. I don't know. But it's fun to have, frankly, Twitter as kind of an outlet. When you're writing about dark things all day, it's kind of fun to have fun. -Erik Larson

I wanted to do 'Manzanar' because I'd never done anything like it before. The spoken word there is between a drama and an essay, and I'd never worked in concert with an orchestra. -John Cho

Katrina silenced me for two years. I wrote a 12-page essay on my experience in Katrina, and that's it. I didn't write anything for, like, two, two and a half years after Katrina hit because it was so traumatic. -Jesmyn Ward

We might enjoy essays, TED talks, and even Facebook posts bemoaning our dependency on tech, but judging by our enthusiastic adoption of these services, we're all in. -Steven Levy

Vidal was a novelist, an essayist, a playwright, a screenwriter, and many other things. Buckley started a magazine, hosted a TV show, lead a political movement, and was a master debater. They were multihyphenates in a way that you rarely see anymore. -Morgan Neville

In school, my favourite class was when we were given a subject for an essay on which we could freewheel. And poetry: I've always written it and loved the way words interact, in meaning and in sound. -Stephen Hough

I'm an actor, and it is not for me but for the writer to offer the best role to me. For me, essaying that role to the best of my ability is more important. -Barun Sobti

Much has been written about Trump's style of speech, which linguists have said is often unintelligible yet deeply compelling. Orwell's famous 1946 essay, 'Politics and the English Language,' centers on the use of abstract words, often by politicians, to obscure reality. -Elizabeth Flock

When I was in the ninth grade, I had a teacher in Dallas, Texas, named Elizabeth Enlow in English class. Every Friday, we had to write a little essay, and you had to incorporate three particular words into the story. That was the sole direction. And to me, this was so much fun. -Lawrence Wright

I believe that one reason I began writing essays – a form without a form, until you make it – was this: you didn't have to borrow from an emotionally and visually upsetting past, as one did in fiction, apparently, to write your story. -Hilton Als

I'll read anything Anne Carson writes, anything J. M. Coetzee writes, and anything Cormac McCarthy writes. I'll drop whatever I'm doing to read a new Mary Ruefle essay. -Anthony Doerr

I wrote a book of essays about New York called 'The Colossus of New York,' but it's not about – you know, when I'm writing about rush hour or Central Park, it's not a black Central Park, it's just Central Park, and it's not a black rush hour, it's just rush hour. -Colson Whitehead

'An Education' was a complicated piece of work because it came from a tiny essay, so it took me a while to find the story I wanted to tell and the characters I wanted to tell it about. That really only emerged after four or five drafts. -Nick Hornby

Studying English was useless, completely useless. It took me years to recover from that. Every time I tried to write, it sounded like a bad university essay. -Nick Hornby

Any responsible essayist or memoir writer who's writing about herself is not just saying, 'Here's what happened,' and opening up her diary. There needs to be consideration of other people's feelings. -Faith Salie

People aren't coming to me looking for political essays or polemic – they're looking for a rattling good story. -Ian Rankin

In writing, something is always left out: it can't be articulated in the space of an essay. -Glenn Ligon

I don't believe in writing for goals, or else I'd write essays. -Tom King

I was into Black Power, and my practice Oxbridge essay was a rant. The headmistress said I'd never get in with that, but she was probably wrong. I was the ideal combination: a swot who was also a bad girl. -Mary Beard

My sweet spot as a writer and, especially, as an essayist is sub-1500 words. -Mary H.K. Choi

I do admire great essayists. I'm a particular fan of good nature writing. People like Robert Finch. I read great quantities of writing by naturalists. I've been studying the genre for years. -Roger Zelazny

For a Nabokov fan, paging through 'Fine Lines,' which includes a critical introduction and several essayistic evaluations of Nabokov's scientific oeuvre, can feel a bit like reading the second half of 'Pale Fire': one is confronted by a content-rich, almost dementedly tangential commentary on an increasingly inscrutable work. -Elif Batuman

Actually, I've taught creative writing in Turkey, at an English language university, where the students were native Turkish speakers, but they were writing their essays in English, and they were very interesting – even the sense of structure, the conventions of writing, the different styles of writing. -Elif Batuman

When I can find a story that explores something that I don't know what I think, I've got a play. If I knew the answer, I would write a speech or an essay. -Mike Bartlett

As both an essayist and science fiction and fantasy novelist, I write about and for the future. I talk about the past to remind us that what we believe has always been true – that men and women are somehow static categories, or that men in power has always been the default, or that same-sex love affairs were always taboo – has not always been thus. -Kameron Hurley

I got to take classes in writing with a fountain pen, and actually, something you make is your own textbook. So, while you're learning about something, you have to write essays on it, and then you handwrite in cursive, in fountain pen, your essays out on beautiful paper and you bind it together into a book that you hand in at the end of the course. -Maya Hawke

The Internet is full of strangers, generous strangers who want to help you for no reason at all. Strangers post poetry and discographies and advice and essays and photos and art and diatribes. None of them are known to you, in the old-fashioned sense. But they give the Internet its life and meaning. -Caterina Fake

I always wrote as a vehicle for expression but did not try writing for publication until my mid-thirties, at which time I started writing for magazines. I wrote essays and then short stories, then moved into novels. -Elizabeth Berg

I'm really into short-story collections and essays; they're my jam. -Phoebe Robinson

I usually dread writing non-fiction. I don't feel comfortable or confident writing essays and the like. -Paul G. Tremblay

Long ago, when I was in higher secondary school in Delhi, I read an essay by George Orwell in which he said there was a voice in his head that put into words everything he was seeing. I realised I did that, too, or maybe I started doing it in imitation. -Amitava Kumar

An essay is not an op-ed that tells its reader what to think. An essay is a complicated working-out of one's own contradictions and complicities. -Amitava Kumar

We'd had books in my house growing up, but we had never had anything like lectures. I had never written an essay for my mother. I had never taken an exam. Because I was working a lot as a kid, I just hadn't elected to read that much. -Tara Westover

I knew how to write like an academic, so I knew how to write academic papers and essays and things. But the things that are great for an essay are unbearable in narrative writing. -Tara Westover

I designed a theater magazine that was full of plays and essays about the theater, and then I worked at a theater school. By osmosis or something, I was learning from reading plays and not being analytical about them, but when I would read them, the joy in me was mostly from imagining them in my head and visualizing them. -James Lapine

Indeed, 'The Second Plane' is such a weak, risible, and often objectionable volume that the reader finishes it convinced that Mr. Amis should stick to writing fiction and literary criticism, as he's thoroughly discredited himself with these essays as any sort of political or social commentator. -Michiko Kakutani

In 1939, Orwell wrote a long essay titled 'Inside the Whale,' about modernism, the nineteen-thirties, Henry Miller, and 'Tropic of Cancer.' -Keith Gessen

I try to write an essay every time I speak. -Sasha Velour

When I was in high school, I used to beg my teachers to let me create films and plays instead of writing essays. I think they were at least happy I was excited about school. -Sasha Velour

I didn't even walk for graduation – I did graduate, though. I got this homeschool deal. I didn't have to go to school because I was depressed, and my mom wrote all these essays for me. I didn't write one of them. She literally got me my diploma. -Lil Peep

In 2011, I contributed an essay to Tin House, 'The Dark Side of Dinner Dishes, Laundry, and Child Care,' talking about women writers I felt had fallen off the map. -Sarah Weinman

Vera Caspary wrote an essay called 'My 'Laura' and Otto's' where she talks about the arguments she had with Preminger. She felt that not only did he misunderstand the character but that he couldn't help but be misogynist. -Sarah Weinman

Five years before 'Kitchen Confidential' – and before then, the 'New Yorker' essay that led to the book – Bourdain published 'A Bone in the Throat,' a crime novel set in the restaurant world he lived and breathed. -Sarah Weinman

I wouldn't be making films if I just wanted to express some specific ideas; then I would be writing essays or something. -Yorgos Lanthimos

I did 'Hawa' to understand what ghosts and the supernatural are all about. I don't believe in them and wondered how I could essay a part in a project I don't necessarily understand. -Tabu

I wish to continue to essay roles that will help me find my place in the audience's hearts. -Raashi Khanna

'Gaana Bajana' gave me an opportunity to experiment with my looks. I played a tomboy in that film, a role that I hadn't essayed before. I have no regrets for having done the film. -Radhika Pandit

Dubbing is an important part of acting, and I feel complete only when it's my voice that is heard. Having essayed the character, I know the kinds of emotions that are required for each scene. -Radhika Pandit

I've always been able to write. I've always been able to put a good essay in or say whatever I wanted to say through the pen. That was a gift of mine. I feel like it was what I was meant to do. -J.I.D

I enjoy writing personal essays in the way of Charles Lamb because it goes back to the school days when I was good in writing essays. -Ruskin Bond

When I ventured into writing at the age of 17, I wanted to be a good and successful writer. I just wanted to write good stuff – poems, prose, stories, essays, everything. -Ruskin Bond

In my essay for 'The Good Immigrant,' I write about how concerns about race and immigration crept up on me a bit because of how I grew up and my background – I was quite fortunate, really; I never got the rough end of the stick with a lot of that kind of stuff. -Himesh Patel

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