Before I go any further, I want to make a personal admission, which is that George Orwell has been my favorite writer, the one who's had the most sustained influence on my development as a writer, for the last three decades.The conclusion being, say, that Ahab in Moby Dick was a Christ-like figure. So I'm going to try to give the other side of the story: what an essay really is, and how you write one. Mods The most obvious difference between real essays and the things one has to write in school is that real essays are not exclusively about English literature.Certainly schools should teach students how to write.September 2004Remember the essays you had to write in high school?Topic sentence, introductory paragraph, supporting paragraphs, conclusion.I'd suggest you start with the two great Orwell essays cited at length herein: "Why I Write" and "Politics and the English Language." If you like those, then start reading any collection of his great essays.You'll find yourself in the company of a great writer and teacher, one who'll provide you with a lot of great lessons on writing and thinking clearly.With the result that writing is made to seem boring and pointless. Dickens himself would be more interested in an essay about color or baseball. To answer that we have to go back almost a thousand years.Around 1100, Europe at last began to catch its breath after centuries of chaos, and once they had the luxury of curiosity they rediscovered what we call "the classics." The effect was rather as if we were visited by beings from another solar system.Boston-based Chuck Leddy is a freelance B2B Brand Storyteller who connects brands and customers through engaging stories.His clients include ADP, Catalant Technologies, The Boston Globe's BG Brand Lab, and The National Center for the Middle Market.