An essay has organic form

Allow the content of an essay to determine its form. Do not decide how many paragraphs, for example, an essay will have until after you have decided how many concepts you are going to explore and until after you have collected the evidence that you will use to illustrate these concepts. After making these decisions, let the essay grow from its content.

An essay as a literary form is much like the United States as a country. The ideal essay is a unique construction that takes its shape from the nature of its contents - it is organic. Although controlled by a general purpose, the essay is an exploration of an idea, an attempt that is never complete. The essay is a call for a response, the beginning of a conversation, never the final word. The essay is built of many parts but is unified by the direction it takes, yet in a great essay the individual sentences stand alone as eloquent aphorisms. So too, the ideal United States is a union that is shaped by the nature of its geography and its people. Although founded by a constitution that defines its direction, it remains an exploration, an ever-evolving attempt to realize the ideas of freedom and democracy. This country is not a power that perceives its destiny as a conqueror, but a nation that presents itself as an example inviting other nations toward cooperation. And, although a single nation-state, the foundation of America is unity through diversity in which the rights and dreams of the individual are never swallowed by the state.