The essay is a text written as a prose that describes, analyzes or comments with a certain depth on a historical, scientific, literary or political subject, among others. It shows the following characteristics:

– Liberty: this characteristic is reflected not only in the choice of the subject, but also in the structure of the essay.

– Shortness: since it’s only one subject, the essay tends to be brief.

-Personal interpretation: usually, the essay contains the author’s subjective nature, and the way in which he treats the subject reflects his personal critical judgment.

– Pleasant style: the presentation of a subject should be made in a pleasant, active and attractive way for the reader.




According to the author’s communicative intentions, essays can be classified as expository, argumentative, critical and poetic.

The expository essay, as its name says, exposes ideas on a subject, presenting information around it and putting into context this information along with the author’s interpretation and his interesting personal thoughts about the subject matter.

The argumentative essay defends a thesis with arguments that can be based on citations or references, concrete data from research, history, politics or other epistemological bases.

The critical essay describes or analyzes a fact, event, work or situation, issuing a judgment.

The poetic essay expresses the author’s sensitivity, using literary language.

What characterizes an essay is that its interpretation can be: psycholinguistic, with elements like: analysis, hierarchy, macro-propositional and semantic models. And, sociolinguistic elements such as: author (source and filters), and text (linguistic keys, fingerprints and superstructure).


  • Mention the main characteristics of an essay.
  • Write down the different types of essays and explain each one.
  • Why is it said that the essay is a type of argumentative text? Explain.
  • Mention the way in which the essay is structured, according to the explanation given in class by your teacher.
  • Write a critical essay about the image that alludes to deception and time.

How the process of alphabetization has changed in time

Before the current didactic practice took shape, there were four methods through which people were alphabetized: the alphabetic, phonetic, syllabic and psycho-phonetic methods.

  • The alphabetic method: It was the first method that was used to teach reading.

First, the capital letters, then the small letters were taught, in alphabetical order, each with its correspondent name.


[es] – S

[em] – M

Then, meaningless combinations of two letters were practiced (like “ba”, “be”, “bi” etc.), followed by combinations of three, four or five letters.

The next step was to make more complex combinations: to use syllables in order to form words, and words to build short sentences.

This method of learning was in itself a process of repetition and memorization.

“Letters were associated with images of objects that began with the letter that had to be taught. This method was abandoned because it was considered inefficient, and there were no rational or scientific arguments that justified it.”

  • The phonetic method: This method, unlike the previous one, taught letters by associating them with their corresponding sound.

First, the sound was taught (the phoneme), then the symbol (the grapheme); vowels were taught first, then consonants, without a fixed order, and then the sounds were combined together.


ma me mi mo m

pa pe pi po pu

Once the sounds were learnt, letters were combined together to form syllables, then words, and finally sentences.

  • The syllabic method: This method would start just like the previous one, by teaching the sound and form of vowels, but, in contrast to the phonetic method, it didn’t teach the sound of consonants. It skipped directly to teaching the form and sound of syllables, that were associated with an image of an object that began with that syllable.

Example: ki! (kitten)

  • The psycho-phonetic method: It consists in comparing the syllables from different words and using them in order to build new words.


Butter: bu-tter

Narrow: na-rrow

Using the syllables “bu” and “rrow” we obtain burrow.

This method was not efficient because not all monosyllabic units could be combined in words, like in the example above.

All these methods can be observed in the examples included in the annex at the end of the document, (before the conclusion).