A paragraph is a self-contained unit of a discourse in writing dealing with a particular point or idea. A paragraph consists of one or more sentences. Though not required by the syntax of any language, paragraphs are an expected part of formal writing, used to organize longer prose; the oldest classical Greek and Latin writing had little or no space between words and could be written in boustrophedon. Over time, text direction became standardized, word dividers and terminal punctuation became common; the first way to divide sentences into groups was the original paragraphos, similar to an underscore at the beginning of the new group. The Greek paragraphos evolved into the pilcrow, which in English manuscripts in the Middle Ages can be seen inserted inline between sentences; the hedera leaf has been used in the same way. In ancient manuscripts, another means to divide sentences into paragraphs was a line break followed by an initial at the beginning of the next paragraph. An initial is an oversized capital letter, sometimes outdented beyond the margin of the text.
This style can be seen, in the original Old English manuscript of Beowulf. Outdenting is still used in English typography. Modern English typography indicates a new paragraph by indenting the first line; this style can be seen in the United States Constitution from 1787. For additional ornamentation, a hedera leaf or other symbol can be added to the inter-paragraph whitespace, or put in the indentation space. A second common modern English style is to use no indenting, but add vertical white space to create "block paragraphs." On a typewriter, a double carriage return produces a blank line for this purpose. This style is common in electronic formats, such as on the World Wide Web and email. Widows and orphans occur when the first line of a paragraph is the last line in a column or page, or when the last line of a paragraph is the first line of a new column or page. Professionally printed material in English does not indent the first paragraph, but indents those that follow. For example, Robert Bringhurst states that we should "Set opening paragraphs flush left."
Bringhurst explains as follows: The function of a paragraph is to mark a pause, setting the paragraph apart from what precedes it. If a paragraph is preceded by a title or subhead, the indent is superfluous and can therefore be omitted; the Elements of Typographic Style states that "at least one en " should be used to indent paragraphs after the first, noting that, the "practical minimum". An em space is the most used paragraph indent. Miles Tinker, in his book Legibility of Print, concluded that indenting the first line of paragraphs increases readability by 7%, on the average. In word processing and desktop publishing, a hard return or paragraph break indicates a new paragraph, to be distinguished from the soft return at the end of a line internal to a paragraph; this distinction allows word wrap to automatically re-flow text as it is edited, without losing paragraph breaks. The software may apply vertical whitespace or indenting at paragraph breaks, depending on the selected style. How such documents are stored depends on the file format.
For example, HTML uses the <p> tag as a paragraph container. In plaintext files, there are two common formats. Pre-formatted text will have a newline at the end of every physical line, two newlines at the end of a paragraph, creating a blank line. An alternative is to only put newlines at the end of each paragraph, leave word wrapping up to the application that displays or processes the text. A line break, inserted manually, preserved when re-flowing, may still be distinct from a paragraph break, although this is not done in prose. HTML's <br /> tag produces a line break without ending the paragraph. Paragraphs are numbered using the decimal system, where the integral part of the decimal represents the number of the chapter and the fractional parts are arranged in each chapter in order of magnitude, thus in Whittaker and Watson's 1921 A Course of Modern Analysis, chapter 9 is devoted to Fourier Series. Whittaker and Watson attribute this system of numbering to Giuseppe Peano on their "Contents" page, although this attribution does not seem to be credited elsewhere.
Many published books use a device to separate certain paragraphs further when there is a change of scene or time. This extra space when co-occurring at a page or section break, may contain an asterisk, three asterisks, a special stylistic dingbat, or a special symbol known as an asterism; the crafting of clear, coherent paragraphs is the subject of considerable stylistic debate. The form varies among different types of writing. For example, scientific journals, fictional essays have somewhat different conventions for the placement of paragraph breaks. A common English usage misconception is. English students are sometimes taught that a paragraph should have a topic sentence
An essay is a piece of writing that gives the author's own argument — but the definition is vague, overlapping with those of a paper, an article, a pamphlet, a short story. Essays have traditionally been sub-classified as informal. Formal essays are characterized by "serious purpose, logical organization, length," whereas the informal essay is characterized by "the personal element, graceful style, rambling structure, unconventionality or novelty of theme," etc. Essays are used as literary criticism, political manifestos, learned arguments, observations of daily life and reflections of the author. All modern essays are written in prose, but works in verse have been dubbed essays. While brevity defines an essay, voluminous works like John Locke's An Essay Concerning Human Understanding and Thomas Malthus's An Essay on the Principle of Population are counterexamples. In some countries, essays have become a major part of formal education. Secondary students are taught structured essay formats to improve their writing skills.
The concept of an "essay" has been extended to other media beyond writing. A film essay is a movie that incorporates documentary filmmaking styles and focuses more on the evolution of a theme or idea. A photographic essay covers a topic with a linked series of photographs that may have accompanying text or captions. An essay has been defined in a variety of ways. One definition is a "prose composition with a focused subject of discussion" or a "long, systematic discourse", it is difficult to define the genre into. Aldous Huxley, a leading essayist, gives guidance on the subject, he notes that "the essay is a literary device for saying everything about anything", adds that "by tradition by definition, the essay is a short piece". Furthermore, Huxley argues that "essays belong to a literary species whose extreme variability can be studied most within a three-poled frame of reference"; these three poles are: The personal and the autobiographical: The essayists that feel most comfortable in this pole "write fragments of reflective autobiography and look at the world through the keyhole of anecdote and description".
The objective, the factual, the concrete particular: The essayists that write from this pole "do not speak directly of themselves, but turn their attention outward to some literary or scientific or political theme. Their art consists of setting forth, passing judgment upon, drawing general conclusions from the relevant data"; the abstract-universal: In this pole "we find those essayists who do their work in the world of high abstractions", who are never personal and who mention the particular facts of experience. Huxley adds that the most satisfying essays "...make the best not of one, not of two, but of all the three worlds in which it is possible for the essay to exist." The word essay derives from the French infinitive essayer, "to try" or "to attempt". In English essay first meant "a trial" or "an attempt", this is still an alternative meaning; the Frenchman Michel de Montaigne was the first author to describe his work as essays. Inspired in particular by the works of Plutarch, a translation of whose Œuvres Morales into French had just been published by Jacques Amyot, Montaigne began to compose his essays in 1572.
For the rest of his life, he continued revising published essays and composing new ones. Francis Bacon's essays, published in book form in 1597, 1612, 1625, were the first works in English that described themselves as essays. Ben Jonson first used the word essayist in English in 1609, according to the Oxford English Dictionary. English essayists included Sir Thomas Browne. In France, Michel de Montaigne's three volume Essais in the mid 1500s contain over 100 examples regarded as the predecessor of the modern essay. In Italy, Baldassare Castiglione wrote about courtly manners in his essay Il Cortigiano. In the 17th century, the Jesuit Baltasar Gracián wrote about the theme of wisdom. During the Age of Enlightenment, essays were a favored tool of polemicists who aimed at convincing readers of their position. In the 18th and 19th centuries, Edmund Burke and Samuel Taylor Coleridge wrote essays for the general public; the early 19th century, in particular, saw a proliferation of great essayists in English – William Hazlitt, Charles Lamb, Leigh Hunt and Thomas de Quincey all penned numerous essays on diverse subjects.
In the 20th century, a number of essayists tried to explain the new movements in art and culture by using essays. Virginia Woolf, Edmund Wilson, Charles du Bos wrote literary criticism essays; as with the novel, essays existed in Japan several centuries before they developed in Europe with a genre of essays known as zuihitsu — loosely connected essays and fragmented ideas. Zuihitsu have existed since the beginnings of Japanese literature. Many of the most noted early works of Japanese literature are
Evidence, broadly construed, is anything presented in support of an assertion. This support may be weak; the strongest type of evidence is that. At the other extreme is evidence, consistent with an assertion but does not rule out other, contradictory assertions, as in circumstantial evidence. In law, rules of evidence govern the types of evidence. Types of legal evidence include testimony, documentary evidence, physical evidence; the parts of a legal case which are not in controversy are known, in general, as the "facts of the case." Beyond any facts that are undisputed, a judge or jury is tasked with being a trier of fact for the other issues of a case. Evidence and rules are used to decide questions of fact that are disputed, some of which may be determined by the legal burden of proof relevant to the case. Evidence in certain cases must be more compelling than in other situations, which drastically affects the quality and quantity of evidence necessary to decide a case. Scientific evidence consists of observations and experimental results that serve to support, refute, or modify a scientific hypothesis or theory, when collected and interpreted in accordance with the scientific method.
In philosophy, the study of evidence is tied to epistemology, which considers the nature of knowledge and how it can be acquired. The burden of proof is the obligation of a party in an argument or dispute to provide sufficient evidence to shift the other party's or a third party's belief from their initial position; the burden of proof must be fulfilled by both establishing confirming evidence and negating oppositional evidence. Conclusions drawn from evidence may be subject to criticism based on a perceived failure to fulfill the burden of proof. Two principal considerations are: On whom does the burden of proof rest? To what degree of certitude must the assertion be supported? The latter question depends on the nature of the point under contention and determines the quantity and quality of evidence required to meet the burden of proof. In a criminal trial in the United States, for example, the prosecution carries the burden of proof since the defendant is presumed innocent until proven guilty beyond a reasonable doubt.
In most civil procedures, the plaintiff carries the burden of proof and must convince a judge or jury that the preponderance of the evidence is on their side. Other legal standards of proof include "reasonable suspicion", "probable cause", "prima facie evidence", "credible evidence", "substantial evidence", "clear and convincing evidence". In a philosophical debate, there is an implicit burden of proof on the party asserting a claim, since the default position is one of neutrality or unbelief; each party in a debate will therefore carry the burden of proof for any assertion they make in the argument, although some assertions may be granted by the other party without further evidence. If the debate is set up as a resolution to be supported by one side and refuted by another, the overall burden of proof is on the side supporting the resolution. In scientific research evidence is accumulated through observations of phenomena that occur in the natural world, or which are created as experiments in a laboratory or other controlled conditions.
Scientific evidence goes towards supporting or rejecting a hypothesis. The burden of proof is on the person making a contentious claim. Within science, this translates to the burden resting on presenters of a paper, in which the presenters argue for their specific findings; this paper is placed before a panel of judges where the presenter must defend the thesis against all challenges. When evidence is contradictory to predicted expectations, the evidence and the ways of making it are closely scrutinized and only at the end of this process is the hypothesis rejected: this can be referred to as'refutation of the hypothesis'; the rules for evidence used by science are collected systematically in an attempt to avoid the bias inherent to anecdotal evidence. Evidence forms the foundation of a legal system, without which law would be subject to the whims of those with power. In law, the production and presentation of evidence depends first on establishing on whom the burden of proof lies. Admissible evidence is that which a court receives and considers for the purposes of deciding a particular case.
Two primary burden-of-proof considerations exist in law. The first is on. In many Western, the burden of proof is placed on the prosecution in criminal cases and the plaintiff in civil cases; the second consideration is the degree of certitude proof must reach, depending on both the quantity and quality of evidence. These degrees are different for criminal and civil cases, the former requiring evidence beyond a reasonable doubt, the latter considering only which side has the preponderance of evidence, or whether the proposition is more true or false; the decision maker a jury, but sometimes a judge, decides whether the burden of proof has been fulfilled. After deciding who will carry the burden of proof, evidence is first gathered and presented before the court: In criminal investigation, rather than attempting to prove an abstract or hypothetical point, the evidence gatherers attempt to determine, responsible for a criminal act; the focus of criminal evidence is to connect physical evidence and reports of witnesses to a specific person.
The path that physical evidence takes from the scene of a crime or the arrest of a suspect to the courtroom is called the chain of custody. In a criminal case, this path must be cle