A non-fiction piece of writing is by definition, an essay. They are generally of a scholarly or academic nature, and express the author’s point of view or argument. An essay can also resemble an article, a pamphlet or sometimes, a short story. An essay is written in prose. They are a major part of a formal education and in many academic circles, follow specific criteria. While they are usually subjective, an essay can take the form of being expository and in some cases a narrative. The key to a quality essay is that it be well structured. The presentation of the prose must lead the reader clearly and easily. It must be free of distractions and not cluttered. The style of the writing is a critical key to the overall presentation. Most importantly, a quality essay must consist of the author’s ideas and thoughts on the topic. And it must stay on topic. When an essay is being evaluated, it will be receive a high grade if has a clear and readable point. This will all be supported by references, quotes, facts and data, but at the heart of the good essay, is the message.