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What Does Home Mean to You

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Updated: 6 November, 2023

Words: 1251 | Pages: 3 | 7 min read

“What I love most about my home is who I share it with.” “There is nothing more important than a good, safe, secure home.” “Home is a place you grow up wanting to leave, and grow old wanting to get back to.”
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Works Cited

  • Bachelard, G. (1994). The Poetics of Space. Beacon Press.
  • Boyd, H. W., & Ray, M. J. (Eds.). (2019). Home and Identity in Late Life: International Perspectives. Policy Press.
  • Casey, E. S. (2000). Remembering: A Phenomenological Study. Indiana University Press.
  • Clark, C., & Murrell, S. A. (Eds.). (2008). Laughter, Pain, and Wonder: Shakespeare's Comedies and the Audience in the Playhouse. University of Delaware Press.
  • Heidegger, M. (2010). Building, Dwelling, Thinking. In Poetry, Language, Thought (pp. 145-161). Harper Perennial Modern Classics.
  • Kusenbach, M. (2003). Street Phenomenology: The Go-Along as Ethnographic Research Tool. Ethnography, 4(3), 455-485.
  • Moore, L. J. (2000). Space, Text, and Gender: An Anthropological Study of the Marakwet of Kenya. Routledge.
  • Rapport, N., & Dawson, A. (Eds.). (1998). Migrants of Identity: Perceptions of Home in a World of Movement. Berg Publishers.
  • Schön, D. A. (1983). The Reflective Practitioner: How Professionals Think in Action. Basic Books.
  • Seamon, D. (Ed.). (2015). Place Attachment and Phenomenology: The Synergistic Dynamism of Place. Routledge.

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what is a home essay

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Essays About Home: Top 5 Examples and 7 Writing Prompts

Writing essays about home depicts familial encounters that influence our identity. Discover our guide with examples and prompts to assist you with your next essay.

The literal meaning of home is a place where you live. It’s also called a domicile where people permanently reside, but today, people have different definitions for it. A home is where we most feel comfortable. It’s a haven, a refuge that provides security and protects us without judgment. 

Parents or guardians do their best to make a home for their children. They strive to offer their kids a stable environment so they can grow into wonderful adults. Dissecting what a home needs to ensure a family member feels safe is a vital part of writing essays about home.

5 Essay Examples

1. the unique feeling of home by anonymous on ivypanda.com, 2. where i call home by anonymous on gradesfixer.com, 3. a place i call home by anonymous on toppr.com, 4. the meaning of home by anonymous on ivypanda.com, 5. what makes a house a home for me by anonymous on gradesfixer.com, 1. true meaning of home, 2. the difference between a home and a house, 3. homes and emotions, 4. making our house feel like home, 6. home as a vital part of our lives, 7. a home for a kid.

“Nowadays, as I moved out, the place feels alien since I spend the whole time in the house during my visits to my parents. They treat me like a guest in their home – in a good sense; they try to be attentive to me and induce dialogue since I stay there for a short time, and they want to extract the maximum of their need for interaction with me.”

In this essay, a visit to the author’s parents’ house made them realize the many things they missed. They also can’t help but compare it to their current home. The writer states family conflict as the reason for their moving out and realizes how fast they adapted to their new environment. 

Returning to their childhood home brings out mixed emotions as they ponder over the lasting influence of their past on their present personality. The author recognizes the importance of the experiences they carry wherever they go. In the end, the writer says that a home is anywhere they can belong to themselves and interact with those they hold dear. You might be interested in these essays about city life .

“The noteworthy places where I lived are the places I have made my home: where I can walk around with a birds’ nest on my head and a pair of old sweatpants in the middle of summer, where I can strip myself bear of superficial emotions…”

The essay starts with vivid descriptions of the author’s home, letting the reader feel like they are in the same place as the narrator. The author also considers their grandmother’s and friend’s houses his home and shares why they feel this way. 

“My home is important to me because for better or worse, it helps me belong. It makes me understand my place in time and connect with the world and the universe at large. Thus, I am grateful to have a place I can call home.”

In this essay, the author is straightforward in sharing the features of their home life, including where their house is located, who lives in it, and other specific details that make it a home. It’s an ancestral home with vintage furniture that stands strong despite age. 

The writer boasts of their unrestricted use of the rooms and how they love every part of it. However, their best memories are linked to the house’s terrace, where their family frequently spends time together.

Looking for more? Check out these essays about dream house .

“Home is a word that means a lot in the life of every person. For some, this is a place to come after hard work to relax and feel comfortable. For others, this is a kind of intermediate point from which they can set off towards adventure.”

A home is where a person spends most of their life, but in this essay, the writer explains that the definition varies per an individual’s outlook. Thus, the piece incorporates various definitions and concepts from other writers. One of them is Veronica Greenwood , who associates homes with a steaming bowl of ramen because both provide warmth, comfort, and tranquility. The author concludes by recognizing individuals’ ever-changing feelings and emotions and how these changes affect their perception of the concept of a home.

“It is where the soul is…  what makes my house a home is walking through the front door on a Friday evening after praying Zuhr prayer in the masjid and coming back to the aroma of freshly cooked delicious biryani in the kitchen because my mom knows it’s my favorite meal.”

This essay reflects on the factors that shape a house to become a home. These factors include providing security, happiness, and comfort. The author explains that routine household activities such as cooking at home, watching children, and playing games significantly contribute to how a home is created. In the end, the writer says that a house becomes a home when you produce special memories with the people you love.

7 Prompts for Essays About Home

Essays About Home: True meaning of home

The definition of a home varies depending on one’s perspective. Use this prompt to discuss what the word “home” means to you. Perhaps home is filled with memories, sentimental items, or cozy decor, or maybe home is simply where your family is. Write a personal essay with your experiences and add the fond memories you have with your family home.

Check out our guide on how to write a personal essay .

Home and house are two different terms with deeper meanings. However, they are used interchangeably in verbal and written communication. A house is defined as a structure existing in the physical sense. Meanwhile, a home is where people feel like they belong and are free to be themselves.

In your essay, compare and contrast these words and discuss if they have the same meaning or not. Add some fun to your writing by interviewing people to gather opinions on the difference between these two words.

The emotions that we associate with our home can be influenced by our upbringing. In this essay, discuss how your childhood shaped how you view your home and include the reasons why. Split this essay into sections, each new section describing a different memory in your house. Make sure to include personal experiences and examples to support your feelings.

For example, if you grew up in a home that you associate positive memories with, you will have a happy and peaceful association with your home. However, if your upbringing had many challenging and stressful times, you may have negative emotions tied to the home.

The people inside our home play a significant role in how a house becomes a home. Parents, siblings, and pets are only some of those that influence a home. In this prompt, write about the items in your home, the people, and the activities that have made your house a home.

Describe your home in detail to make the readers understand your home life. Talk about the physical characteristics of your house, what the people you live with make you feel, and what you look forward to every time you visit your home. You can also compare it to your current home. For example, you can focus your essay on the differences between your childhood home and the place you moved in to start your independent life.

Home is the one place we always go back to; even if we visit other places, our home is waiting for our return. In this prompt, provide relevant statistics about how much time a person spends at home and ensure to consider relevant factors such as their profession and age group. Using these statistics, explain the importance of a home to the general population, including the indications of homelessness.

Essays About Home: A home for a kid

There are 135,000 children adopted in the US each year. These children become orphans for various reasons and are adopted by their guardians to support and guide them through life. For this prompt, find statistics showing the number of unaccompanied and homeless children.

Then, write down the government programs and organizations that aim to help these kids. In the later part of your essay, you can discuss tips on how a foster family can make their foster kids feel at home. For help picking your next essay topic, check out our 20 engaging essay topics about family .

what is a home essay

Maria Caballero is a freelance writer who has been writing since high school. She believes that to be a writer doesn't only refer to excellent syntax and semantics but also knowing how to weave words together to communicate to any reader effectively.

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My Home Essay

500 words on my home essay.

A home is a place that gives comfort to everyone. It is because a home is filled with love and life. Much like every lucky person, I also have a home and a loving family. Through My Home Essay, I will take you through what my home is like and how much it means to me.

my home essay

A Place I Call Home

My home is situated in the city. It is not too big nor too small, just the perfect size. My family lives in the home. It comprises of my father, mother, sister and grandparents. We live in our ancestral home so my home is very vintage.

It is very old but remains to be super strong. There are six rooms in my home. Each family member has a unique room which they have decorated as per their liking. For instance, my elder sister is a big fan of music, so her walls are filled with posters of musicians like BTS, RM, and more.

Our drawing room is a large one with a high ceiling. We still use the vintage sofa set which my grandmother got as a wedding gift. Similarly, there is a vintage TV and radio which she uses till date.

Adjoining the drawing room is my bedroom. It is my favourite room because it contains everything that I love. I have a pet guinea pig which lives in a cage in my room. We also have a storeroom which is filled with things we don’t use but also cannot discard.

Our lawn in front of the house has a little garden. In that garden , my mother is growing her own kitchen garden. She is passionate about it and brings different seeds every month to grow them out and use them in our food.

The fondest memories I have in a place is my terrace. Our terrace is huge with many plants. I remember all the good times we have spent there as a family. Moreover, we play there a lot when my cousins come over. Thus, every nook and corner of my home is special to me.

Get the huge list of more than 500 Essay Topics and Ideas

Appreciation Towards My Home

I know a lot of people who do not have homes or not as big as mine. It makes me more grateful and appreciates my home more. Not everyone gets the fortune to have a good home and a loving family, but luckily, I have been blessed with both.

I am thankful for my home because when I grow up, I can look back at the wonderful memories I made here. The walk down the memory lane will be a sweet one because of the safety and security my home has given me. It is indeed an ideal home.

Conclusion of My Home Essay

My home is important to me because for better or worse, it helps me belong. It makes me understand my place in time and connect with the world and the universe at large. Thus, I am grateful to have a place I can call home.

FAQ on My Home Essay

Question 1: What is the importance of a home?

Answer 1: Home offers us security, belonging and privacy in addition to other essential things. Most importantly, it gives us a place with a centring where we leave every morning and long to return every night .

Question 2: Why is home important to a family?

Answer 2: A home signifies a lot more than a house. It is because we find comfort in our home as it contains memories and a place where our bonds strengthen. It is where we get plenty of benefits.

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what is a home essay

What Makes a House a Home?

Meghan daum on the complexities of where we take shelter.

In the canon of common dreams, it’s a classic among classics: the dream in which we discover an unfamiliar room in a familiar house. The way it usually goes is that we’re in some kind of living space, maybe our own, maybe a space that’s inexplicably taken some other form (“It was my grandmother’s house, but somehow the prime minister of France lived there!”), and suddenly there’s more of it. Suddenly the place has grown a new appendage. But it’s not exactly new. There’s a sense that it’s been there all along yet has managed to escape our notice. Sometimes there’s just one new room, sometimes there are several. Sometimes there’s an entire wing, a greenhouse, a vast expanse of land where we’d once only known a small backyard.

We are amazed, enchanted, even chastened by our failure to have seen this space before now. We are also, according to psychologists and dream experts, working through the prospect of change, the burgeoning of new possibilities. The standard interpretation of the extra-room dream is that it’s a portent, or just a friendly reminder, of shifting tides. The room represents parts of ourselves that have lain dormant but will soon emerge, hopefully in a good way, but then again, who knows? Look harder , says the extra-room dream, the geometry of your life is not what it seems. There are more sides than you thought . The angles are wider , the dimensions far greater than you’d given them credit for .

Not that we can hear much on that frequency. The human mind can be tragically literal. Chances are we exit the dream thinking only that our property value has increased. But upon fully waking up, the extra room is gone. There’s a brief moment of disappointment, then we enter our day and return to our life. We organize our movements in relation to the architecture that is physically before us. That is to say, we live our lives in the spaces we’ve chosen to call home.

what is a home essay

Let’s get one thing straight. A house is not the same as a home. Home is an idea, a social construct, a story we tell ourselves about who we are and who and what we want closest in our midst. There is no place like home because home is not actually a place. A house on the other hand (or an apartment, a trailer, a cabin, a castle, a loft, a yurt) is a physical entity. It may be the flesh and bones of a home, but it can’t capture the soul of that home. The soul is made of cooking smells and scuffmarks on the stairs and pencil lines on a wall recording the heights of growing children. The soul evolves over time. The old saying might go, “You buy a house but you make a home,” but, really, you grow a home. You let it unfold on its own terms. You wait for it. Home is rarely in the mix the day we move into a new house. Sometimes it’s not even there the day we move out. It’s possible we should consider ourselves lucky if we get one real home in a lifetime, the same way we’re supposedly lucky if we get one great love.

“All architecture is shelter,” said the postmodernist Philip Johnson. “All great architecture is the design of space that contains, cuddles, exalts, or stimulates the persons in that space.”

If all architecture, no matter its purpose, is shelter, then architecture intended as shelter must be the ultimate haven. If an airport or a library can cuddle, exalt, and stimulate, a house’s embrace must be at once profoundly intimate and ecstatically transportive, erotic even.

I guess this is where I come clean. I write this as a person for whom houses can have an almost aphrodisiacal quality. I say “almost” because the other charge I get from a beautiful house feels like something close to the divine. A perfect house—and by that I mean a respected house, one that was honorably designed and solidly built and allowed to keep its integrity henceforth—is a tiny cathedral. But a perfect house is also lust made manifest. It can make its visitors delirious with longing. It can send butterflies into their bellies in ways a living, breathing human being rarely can. A house that’s an object of lust says, You want me, but you’ll never have me . It says, You couldn’t have me even if you could afford me. You couldn’t have me even if I didn’t already belong to someone else . And that is because houses, like most objects of lust, lose their perfection the moment we’re granted access. To take possession of a house is to skim the top off of its magic the minute you sign the deed. It is to concede that the house you live in will never be the house you desired so ravenously. It is to accept that the American dream of homeownership is contingent upon letting go of other dreams—for instance, the kind where the rooms appear where there were none before.

Maybe that’s why architects are such sources of fascination, even aspiration. If they want an extra room, they just draw it. If they want a bigger window, a wider archway, a whole new everything, the pencil will make it so. At least that’s the layperson’s fantasy. It’s not surprising that so many fictional heroes in literature and film are architects. The profession, especially when practiced by men, seems to lend itself to a particularly satisfying montage of dreamboat moments. Here he is, artistic and sensitive at his drafting table. Here he is, perched on the steel framework of a construction site high above the earth, hard hat on his head, building plans tucked under his arm in a scroll. Here he is, gazing skyward at his final creation, his face lit by the sun’s refraction off his glass and steel, awestruck by the majesty of it all and awesome in his own right.

Nearly always, these are men on a mission. Theirs is not a vocation but a passion that both guides them and threatens to ruin them. In Ayn Rand’s novel The Fountainhead (perhaps the ne plus ultra of architect fetishization), the grindingly uncompromising Howard Roark winds up laboring at a quarry because he won’t betray his aesthetic principles. In Graham Greene’s A Burnt-Out Case , the internationally renowned but existentially bereft architect hero flees to a leper colony for solace. Hollywood, too, seems to prefer its architects miserable and brooding, not just in the form of adorably widowed dads like Tom Hanks’s character in Sleepless in Seattle and Liam Neeson’s in Love Actually (and wasn’t the distinctly non-brooding architect patriarch of The Brady Bunch technically a widowed dad?) but also adorably commitment-phobic boyfriends and jealous, cuckolded husbands. More often than not, the intensity of their vision has contributed mightily to their demise. Why did Woody Harrelson’s character, a struggling architect, let Robert Redford’s character sleep with his wife for a million dollars in Indecent Proposal ? Because he was deeply in debt from trying to build his dream house.

Well, what better way to go down?

I think part of my problem with “Where is home?” (and the arguably worse “Where are you from?”) is that it denies people their complications. We all have one definitive birthplace (unless we were born at sea or in flight, I suppose), but after that it’s a matter of interpretation. The dwellings in which we are raised do not necessarily constitute “home.” The towns where we grow up do not always feel like hometowns, nor do the places we wind up settling down in as adults. Census data tell us that the average American moves eleven times over a lifetime. For my part, I’m sorry to say I have lived in at least thirty different houses or apartments over the course of my years. Actually, I’m not sorry; each one thrilled me in its own way. But despite those thrills, only a handful felt anything like “home,” and even then, the feeling was the kind that visits you for a moment and then flutters away. As with “happiness,” another abstraction Americans are forever trying to isolate and define, “home” has always felt to me so ephemeral as to almost not be worth talking about. As with happiness, it’s great when you happen upon it, but it can’t be chased.

A house, on the other hand, is eminently chaseable. There’s a reason shopping for a house or an apartment is called hunting. Real estate turns us into predators. We can stalk a house online or from the street. We can obsess over it, fight over it, mentally move into it and start knocking down walls before we’ve even been inside. We can spend Sundays going to open houses as though going to church. We can watch home design programs on television twenty-four hours a day. We can become addicted to Internet real estate listing sites as though the photos and descriptions were a form of pornography—which of course they totally are.

“I wish I had never seen your building,” says Patricia Neal as Dominique Francon, the austere and tortured lover-then-wife of Howard Roark in the film version of The Fountainhead . “It’s the things we admire or want that enslave us.”

what is a home essay

It’s pretty clear that houses, despite being among our greatest sources of protection, are also among our greatest enslavers. You might say that’s because we go into too much debt for them and make them too large and fill them with too much junk. You might say it’s because they’re forever demanding our attention, always threatening to leak or crack and be in the way of a tornado. They are sanctuaries, but they are also impending disasters. And most tyrannically of all, they are mirrors. They are tireless, merciless reflections of our best and worst impulses. Unlike the chaos and unsightliness of the outside world, which can easily be construed as hardly our responsibility, the scene under our roofs is of our own making. The careless sides of ourselves—the clutter, the dust, that kitchen drawer jammed with uncategorizable detritus that plagues every household—are as much a part of us as the curated side. Our houses are not just showplaces but hiding places.

Our homes, on the other hand, are glorious, maddening no-places. They are what we spend our lives searching for or running away from or both. They are the stuff of dreams, the extra rooms that vanish upon waking, the invisible possibilities we tamp down without even knowing it. They are the architecture of the unconscious mind—which is a physically uninhabitable space. Thank goodness there are people out there building houses.


The American Idea of Home

From   The American Idea of Home: Conversations about Architecture and Design   by Bernard Friedman. Used with permission of University of Texas Press. Foreword copyright 2017 by Meghan Daum.

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What Is ‘Home’: Personal Idea and Scholar’s Approaches to the Definition of ‘Home’

Introduction, perspectives of scholars, personal definition, concluding thoughts.

The concept of a home has always had multiple levels of complexity as it was approached by different scholars in various ways. Nevertheless, the associations that come with the word ‘home’ are the most comforting and reassuring to most people on this planet. Home brings one’s mind to a place of stability and acceptance and represents a place in which a person feels comfortable and safe. It is where most of the people’s memories are formed, and in many cases, home is a feeling rather than a distinct place. In this paper, a summary of scholar’s approaches to defining ‘home’ will be presented in order to come to a conclusion regarding a personal idea of how the concept should be viewed.

Macy Douglas’s (1993) approach toward defining the concept of home is unique because it combines both positive and potentially negative influences on people. Douglas reflected on the tyranny of the home, in which young people felt trapped and wanted to escape the control and scrutiny of their parents. The combination of nostalgia and resistance to rules that exist in people’s homes is an interesting mixture, which may contribute to the humorous treatment of the topic.

Therefore, it becomes clear from the start that home “cannot be defined by its functions” (1993, p. 61). This means that home does not provide the ultimate care for people and represents a space with very specific characteristics that are complicated to define and describe.

The key intention behind Douglas’s (1993) view is explaining that home is not necessarily a fixed space despite the definition of it presupposing a localizable idea. Home does not always need to be made of brick and mortar; it can be a tent in the middle of a desert, a boat by the shore of a lake, or a wagon in a trailer park. Furthermore, the size of the space does not matter either due to the wide variability of people’s views on how their homes should look. Nevertheless, there is an expected pattern of appearance and reappearance of the furnishings. An example of this is the Japanese rolling away and rolling back their betting in the morning and at night. Thus, there is a certain sense of regularity that gives people a certain level of comfort and confidence.

As the author identifies that home is not a place, she proceeds with exploring the concept from the perspective of serving people as a “memory machine” (Douglas, 1993, p. 62). She writes:

The home makes its time rhythms in response to outside pressures, it is in real time. Response to the memory of severe winters is translated into a capacity for storage, storm windows, and extra blankets; holding the memory of summer droughts, the home responds by shade-giving roofs and water tanks (Douglas, 1993, p. 62).

The capability of home to provide the necessary resources to withstand the pressures of life contributes to the shaping of people’s memories from events that take place. One does not expect to die in a hotel or at a railway station, which is why home brings a sense of utility and comfort that is defined by meeting some of the needs to which the humanity is used.

Since Douglas’s (1993) approach is focused predominantly on the concept of home as a feeling and a sense of belonging, contrasting it with other perspectives is important. For example, Bell Hooks (1990) ascribed more tangible characteristics to a home rather than abstract. The author describes the sense of safety as one reaches the porch of a house, and the feeling of arriving and homecoming brings a sense of completeness. In addition to this, Hooks (1990) discusses sexism as a tool for ensuring that women provide their labor and services to create a home place in which the spirit is nurtured. Despite the fact that sexism is viewed in a negative light, women have played defining roles in shaping the perceptions of the home, both in Black and white communities.

Heidegger (1954) viewed the concept of home from the perspective of building and dwelling. The author mentions that there are real relations between space and location and between a person and space. Spaces in which people found themselves on a daily basis reinforce the ideas of dwelling and building as connections are created on a physical basis. Building produces locations and joins spaces between them, which helps to bring a sense of home through the arrangement of objects that are detrimental to the comfort of people.

This perspective is different from the view of Douglas who suggested that there are little tangible characteristics that define home as a concept. However, it offers a new look on the problem – home is something that can be constructed for meeting the demands and expectations of people, and the building can be later given an abstract meaning that has a physical framework.

Based on the above explorations of the idea of home and what it means to people, one’s own definition of ‘home’ can be given. In the personal view, a home should not be linked solely to tangible things or only to abstract feelings. Instead, an individual should reflect on the combination of physical objects and emotions that these things evoke to create one’s own sense of home. For some people, home is defined by the presence of family – wherever the family is, there is the home. It can be in the middle of the forest on a camping trip with friends and relatives or in a cozy old house where the family is gathered around the table.

For others, home is a collection of objects that bring a person comfort and help relax after a long day of work. These objects range from technologies to old childhood books and hold a special value that others may not understand or see as valuable. Therefore, home is something that each person defines for himself or herself based on what is valuable, comfortable, and meaningful.

To summarize, the idea of ‘home’ is complex and multi-dimensional, which is why there is a range of perspectives regarding its definition. For example, Heidegger (1954) associated construction and dwelling with the term while Hooks (1990) gave it a deeper meaning substantiated by discussions on sexism and racism as Black women were forced to stay at home and serve as keepers of their homes. Whatever the perception of the topic is, it is important to understand that different social issues will influence the shaping of most notions as time goes on. However, ‘home’ should not have a unified definition because of the variety of experiences and contexts influencing its understanding.

Douglas, M. (1993). The idea of a home: A kind of space. In B. Miller Lane (Ed.), Housing and dwelling (pp. 61-68). New York, NY: Routledge.

Heidegger, M. (1954). Building, dwelling, thinking. In B. Miller Lane (Ed.), Housing and dwelling (pp. 50-61). New York, NY: Routledge.

Hooks, B. (1990). Homeplace: A site of resistance. In B. Miller Lane (Ed.), Housing and dwelling (pp. 68-73). New York, NY: Routledge.

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StudyCorgi. (2021, June 9). What Is ‘Home’: Personal Idea and Scholar’s Approaches to the Definition of ‘Home’. https://studycorgi.com/what-is-home/

"What Is ‘Home’: Personal Idea and Scholar’s Approaches to the Definition of ‘Home’." StudyCorgi , 9 June 2021, studycorgi.com/what-is-home/.

StudyCorgi . (2021) 'What Is ‘Home’: Personal Idea and Scholar’s Approaches to the Definition of ‘Home’'. 9 June.

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Lesley J. Vos

The given prompt: Is it a physical space, a feeling, or something entirely different?

When we think of the word “home,” it often evokes an image of a physical dwelling, with walls, a roof, and a comforting familiarity. However, delve a little deeper, and it becomes evident that the concept of home transcends bricks and mortar. In a world where people move, travel, and constantly adapt, the definition of home has beautifully morphed and expanded.

At its most basic level, yes, a home is a tangible space. It’s where one resides, keeps personal belongings, and returns to after a day’s work or travel. This physical space offers shelter, protection, and often a sense of ownership. It’s where meals are shared, memories are made, and seasons are witnessed. For many, the attachment to this space is profound, rooted in a sense of stability and permanence.

However, for others, especially those who have journeyed across cities, countries, or continents, home isn’t just a fixed address. It’s a feeling, an emotion that arises in spaces other than their birthplace or original dwelling. For a student studying abroad, home might be the dormitory where friendships are forged. For a traveler, it might be the camp under the starry sky or the cozy hostel room in a distant land. The emotion of home travels, adapts, and nestles in varied spaces.

Beyond the physical and emotional realms, home often takes on symbolic meanings. It can represent one’s roots, culture, or heritage. For an immigrant, home might be the melodies of native songs, the flavors of traditional recipes, or the stories passed down generations. Even miles away from their birth land, these cultural anchors offer a bridge, connecting them to the essence of home.

There’s also an introspective dimension to home. It’s the sanctuary within, the inner realm where one’s true self resides. In moments of solitude or reflection, individuals often retreat to this inner home, seeking solace, clarity, or simply a break from the external world’s cacophony. This internal sanctuary is as vital as any external dwelling, offering a space for rest, rejuvenation, and introspection.

Interestingly, relationships too can be homes. The embrace of a loved one, the understanding gaze of a friend, or the playful nudge of a pet – in these interactions, many find the warmth and comfort typically associated with home. Here, home is not bound by walls but by bonds of love, care, and understanding.

In today’s dynamic world, where change seems to be the only constant, the concept of home is both grounding and liberating. Grounding, because it offers a sense of belonging, and liberating, because it’s no longer confined to a singular space or definition.

In conclusion, home, in its rich, multifaceted glory, is a mosaic of spaces, feelings, memories, and relationships. Whether it’s the house at the end of the street, the aroma of a childhood dish, the memories of a cherished place, or the quiet space within, home is where the heart finds its anchor. And in this heart-space, whether tangible or intangible, lies the essence of comfort, belonging, and love.

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The Meaning of Home Essay

Home is a word that means a lot in the life of every person. For some, this is a place to come after hard work to relax and feel comfortable. For others, this is a kind of intermediate point from which they can set off towards adventure. Still, others believe that the home is not some specific place but where the closest and dearest people gather. However, everyone’s life should have a home as a place to reboot, energize and comfort. This allows people to stay afloat even in the most challenging times and know that there is a safe corner in this world where they can ride out the storm.

Various authors put different emotions and thoughts into the concept of home. For example, Joan Didion (1967) has a particular view of the concept of home. She believes that home is the place where her closest and dearest people are. She loves to visit her family to feel a sense of unity and be close to loved ones. In this house, time seems to slow down, and no matter what happens in life, home is always a place where she can meet people that are ready to support and understand her. This view of a home is quite common: “home is where the heart is.”

Having close people is an integral part of everyone’s life, even from a biological perspective. People need to feel like they belong to a specific group to always be able to receive support. In addition, no matter how the family criticizes us, it still accepts us with all the shortcomings and rash actions. We are part of a family, so it will be difficult to “break away” from it. However, it is necessary to remember that this is a two-way communication and maintain it. Not only seek help from relatives in difficult times but also help them if necessary. This is what will help build a secure family-related feeling of “home.”

Some people associate home with warm memories of the past, while in the present, this concept becomes, perhaps, more blurred. For example, for Veronique Greenwood (2014), the home was strongly associated with a warm, steaming bowl of ramen. Every day at school, she skipped lunch to read more books and came home in the late afternoon. Hunger “overtook” her, and every day she saved herself by making herself a bowl of hot ramen soup. She began to associate this warmth and satiety with a feeling of calmness, security, and comfort – at home.

No matter how hard life is, some people may indeed have some tiny detail that becomes reliable support. Thus, for example, a warm soup is one of the few things that could support the girl. However, it helped her survive all the difficulties of adolescence. She knew she had a home, a place filled with warmth and comfort. Thanks to this support, she was able to find her place in life and grow up as a worthy person.

Pico Iyer (2013) reveals an exciting and unusual vision of the home in his speech. He argues that the home cannot be a specific point on the map for many people since people and their lives are constantly changing. For some, the parental house becomes home; for others – a favorite place to travel; for some – a country to which they dream of moving all their lives. People collect the concept of a home throughout their lives, and it becomes a mosaic made up of diverse parts that are unique to everyone.

As a result, the home becomes not what is at a certain point on the map but what leaves the greatest response in the soul. Each person’s experience is unique, so everyone has an unusual and unique feeling of home in their hearts. Thanks to this, we recognize the most important places, events, and people in our life. It is what becomes our “home” that forms the basis of our personalities and influences us.

For me, the concept of “home” is now most closely related to the idea of the parental home. My family lives there, and I feel our closeness; I understand that I can always get help, support, and care in this place. I know that the most comfortable atmosphere of trust and warmth is there. However, I understand that my thoughts and feelings about the concept of home can change dramatically over time. For example, if I move to another city or start my own family, I will feel this concept differently. However, I know that my family’s home will always remain dear to me; that is, it will still be an essential component of the concept of “home.” Therefore, you must always carefully listen to yourself, look for your home, and collect it bit by bit from different parts of life. This will help you feel calmer and know that in some place, someone is waiting for you with love and support.

Didion, J. (1967). On going home.

Greenwood, V. (2014). How ramen got me through adolescence . The New York Times Magazine. Web.

Iyer, P. (2013). Where is home? [Video]. TED. Web.

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IvyPanda. (2023, November 1). The Meaning of Home. https://ivypanda.com/essays/the-meaning-of-home/

"The Meaning of Home." IvyPanda , 1 Nov. 2023, ivypanda.com/essays/the-meaning-of-home/.

IvyPanda . (2023) 'The Meaning of Home'. 1 November.

IvyPanda . 2023. "The Meaning of Home." November 1, 2023. https://ivypanda.com/essays/the-meaning-of-home/.

1. IvyPanda . "The Meaning of Home." November 1, 2023. https://ivypanda.com/essays/the-meaning-of-home/.


IvyPanda . "The Meaning of Home." November 1, 2023. https://ivypanda.com/essays/the-meaning-of-home/.

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Home Essay: The Main Points You Should Know About

The success of any academic writing is directly dependent on its topic. Once you choose an inappropriate topic, you are doomed to fail. Nobody wishes to read about irrelevant issues or those, which were already highlighted multiple times. In the meanwhile, a student may have no choice, and his/her academic supervisor will assign it. You are lucky if you are assigned an essay about home.

That is a real gift, which you cannot waste. This topic should be dear to everyone’s heart. Therefore, you will have enthusiasm and a positive attitude while you compose it. One may use a great variety of ideas concerning the particular topic. “Home” is the generalization. You may expose it as you wish.

It goes beyond all doubts that there are specific rules, which you should follow. Learn how to write an essay about home. We will help you in this matter. The first point is to define the difference between the words “home” and “house.” House is an apartment of different kinds, which is not that dear to your heart. The only mates of it may be spiders and cockroaches. You may be simply renting a room, etc.

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On the other hand, there is no place like home. It is an outstanding proverb. That is a special place where you continuously live and experience only pleasant feelings. It is a place where you feel safety, happiness, can be yourself without fear of being judged, where peace and harmony, and similar things reign. The list may be long and varied. It depends on everybody’s thoughts and emotions that are different.

Yet, this is one of the possible topics. You may write about the feelings you get when you are home or tell what it actually means for you. It may seem like a straightforward theme. Simultaneously, it gives some food to chew on. You won’t be limited in ideas.

What Is Home Essay and Its Main Objective?

Well, what does home mean to you? That is one of the possible and most sought-after topic ideas. Though it’s not advised to cover the points, which were discussed multiple times, this is an exclusive occasion. It is not scientific research. It is solely your opinion. Accordingly, every person has different attitudes.

This paper helps teachers and professors to discover students’ personal traits and evaluate the academic level of writing skills. When you write about home, you don’t simply mention the peculiarities of architecture and inner stuff. That may be only a supporting sub-topic. Your academic supervisor expects from you something special. You should reveal what lies inside of you.

During the process of writing, students are selective with the language they choose. It’s possible to see how they use different phrases and words to describe their feelings. They follow a definite structure, which is likewise important. These things tell how competent a student is.

The language choice, structure and format are likewise dependent on the home type. They are different in different parts of the globe. If you were abroad, you are welcome to mention it too and even make it your topic. For instance, “Differences between home in England and Canada.” Simultaneously, you may add a sub-topic about the relationships of neighbors that likewise differ or/and are similar.

Home Definition Essay and How to Compose It

We already know what the home definition essay is. Now, it’s high time to learn how to compose this essay. The structure of this assignment is typical for any other 5-paragraph essay. It includes three major sections, which are the introduction, main body, and conclusion. The preparation should include a few more points. The full picture is like this:

Choose a topic;

  • Research the main question;
  • Craft an outline;
  • Compose the thesis statement;
  • Write a draft;
  • Revise your draft;
  • Write the final version and submit.

Your topic should be interesting for the readers, and you should be enthusiastic about it. Thus, you’ll complete it faster. For instance, write about “what makes a house a home.” Research the matter. Though this is not a real scientific paper, you’re free to make some researches. Find the thoughts of other people, find similar essays or works of famous authors. Make an outline, which includes all points you wish to cover.

Compose your thesis. The entire paper will be dependent on what your primary purpose is. Make it brief but catchy. Your readers should clearly understand what you wish to cover. Afterward, write the initial draft. Your introduction and conclusion should be informative and short. The main body develops your thesis. Give some examples of your real life.

In the end, reread your essay to be sure that you haven’t made some mistakes. That is the last part of your project. You only should submit it and hand over to your academic supervisor.

What is an Essay?

10 May, 2020

11 minutes read

Author:  Tomas White

Well, beyond a jumble of words usually around 2,000 words or so - what is an essay, exactly? Whether you’re taking English, sociology, history, biology, art, or a speech class, it’s likely you’ll have to write an essay or two. So how is an essay different than a research paper or a review? Let’s find out!

What is an essay

Defining the Term – What is an Essay?

The essay is a written piece that is designed to present an idea, propose an argument, express the emotion or initiate debate. It is a tool that is used to present writer’s ideas in a non-fictional way. Multiple applications of this type of writing go way beyond, providing political manifestos and art criticism as well as personal observations and reflections of the author.

what is an essay

An essay can be as short as 500 words, it can also be 5000 words or more.  However, most essays fall somewhere around 1000 to 3000 words ; this word range provides the writer enough space to thoroughly develop an argument and work to convince the reader of the author’s perspective regarding a particular issue.  The topics of essays are boundless: they can range from the best form of government to the benefits of eating peppermint leaves daily. As a professional provider of custom writing, our service has helped thousands of customers to turn in essays in various forms and disciplines.

Origins of the Essay

Over the course of more than six centuries essays were used to question assumptions, argue trivial opinions and to initiate global discussions. Let’s have a closer look into historical progress and various applications of this literary phenomenon to find out exactly what it is.

Today’s modern word “essay” can trace its roots back to the French “essayer” which translates closely to mean “to attempt” .  This is an apt name for this writing form because the essay’s ultimate purpose is to attempt to convince the audience of something.  An essay’s topic can range broadly and include everything from the best of Shakespeare’s plays to the joys of April.

The essay comes in many shapes and sizes; it can focus on a personal experience or a purely academic exploration of a topic.  Essays are classified as a subjective writing form because while they include expository elements, they can rely on personal narratives to support the writer’s viewpoint.  The essay genre includes a diverse array of academic writings ranging from literary criticism to meditations on the natural world.  Most typically, the essay exists as a shorter writing form; essays are rarely the length of a novel.  However, several historic examples, such as John Locke’s seminal work “An Essay Concerning Human Understanding” just shows that a well-organized essay can be as long as a novel.

The Essay in Literature

The essay enjoys a long and renowned history in literature.  They first began gaining in popularity in the early 16 th century, and their popularity has continued today both with original writers and ghost writers.  Many readers prefer this short form in which the writer seems to speak directly to the reader, presenting a particular claim and working to defend it through a variety of means.  Not sure if you’ve ever read a great essay? You wouldn’t believe how many pieces of literature are actually nothing less than essays, or evolved into more complex structures from the essay. Check out this list of literary favorites:

  • The Book of My Lives by Aleksandar Hemon
  • Notes of a Native Son by James Baldwin
  • Against Interpretation by Susan Sontag
  • High-Tide in Tucson: Essays from Now and Never by Barbara Kingsolver
  • Slouching Toward Bethlehem by Joan Didion
  • Naked by David Sedaris
  • Walden; or, Life in the Woods by Henry David Thoreau

Pretty much as long as writers have had something to say, they’ve created essays to communicate their viewpoint on pretty much any topic you can think of!

Top essays in literature

The Essay in Academics

Not only are students required to read a variety of essays during their academic education, but they will likely be required to write several different kinds of essays throughout their scholastic career.  Don’t love to write?  Then consider working with a ghost essay writer !  While all essays require an introduction, body paragraphs in support of the argumentative thesis statement, and a conclusion, academic essays can take several different formats in the way they approach a topic.  Common essays required in high school, college, and post-graduate classes include:

Five paragraph essay

This is the most common type of a formal essay. The type of paper that students are usually exposed to when they first hear about the concept of the essay itself. It follows easy outline structure – an opening introduction paragraph; three body paragraphs to expand the thesis; and conclusion to sum it up.

Argumentative essay

These essays are commonly assigned to explore a controversial issue.  The goal is to identify the major positions on either side and work to support the side the writer agrees with while refuting the opposing side’s potential arguments.

Compare and Contrast essay

This essay compares two items, such as two poems, and works to identify similarities and differences, discussing the strength and weaknesses of each.  This essay can focus on more than just two items, however.  The point of this essay is to reveal new connections the reader may not have considered previously.

Definition essay

This essay has a sole purpose – defining a term or a concept in as much detail as possible. Sounds pretty simple, right? Well, not quite. The most important part of the process is picking up the word. Before zooming it up under the microscope, make sure to choose something roomy so you can define it under multiple angles. The definition essay outline will reflect those angles and scopes.

Descriptive essay

Perhaps the most fun to write, this essay focuses on describing its subject using all five of the senses.  The writer aims to fully describe the topic; for example, a descriptive essay could aim to describe the ocean to someone who’s never seen it or the job of a teacher.  Descriptive essays rely heavily on detail and the paragraphs can be organized by sense.

Illustration essay

The purpose of this essay is to describe an idea, occasion or a concept with the help of clear and vocal examples. “Illustration” itself is handled in the body paragraphs section. Each of the statements, presented in the essay needs to be supported with several examples. Illustration essay helps the author to connect with his audience by breaking the barriers with real-life examples – clear and indisputable.

Informative Essay

Being one the basic essay types, the informative essay is as easy as it sounds from a technical standpoint. High school is where students usually encounter with informative essay first time. The purpose of this paper is to describe an idea, concept or any other abstract subject with the help of proper research and a generous amount of storytelling.

Narrative essay

This type of essay focuses on describing a certain event or experience, most often chronologically.  It could be a historic event or an ordinary day or month in a regular person’s life. Narrative essay proclaims a free approach to writing it, therefore it does not always require conventional attributes, like the outline. The narrative itself typically unfolds through a personal lens, and is thus considered to be a subjective form of writing.

Persuasive essay

The purpose of the persuasive essay is to provide the audience with a 360-view on the concept idea or certain topic – to persuade the reader to adopt a certain viewpoint. The viewpoints can range widely from why visiting the dentist is important to why dogs make the best pets to why blue is the best color.  Strong, persuasive language is a defining characteristic of this essay type.

Types of essays

The Essay in Art

Several other artistic mediums have adopted the essay as a means of communicating with their audience.  In the visual arts, such as painting or sculpting, the rough sketches of the final product are sometimes deemed essays.  Likewise, directors may opt to create a film essay which is similar to a documentary in that it offers a personal reflection on a relevant issue.  Finally, photographers often create photographic essays in which they use a series of photographs to tell a story, similar to a narrative or a descriptive essay.

Drawing the line – question answered

“What is an Essay?” is quite a polarizing question. On one hand, it can easily be answered in a couple of words. On the other, it is surely the most profound and self-established type of content there ever was. Going back through the history of the last five-six centuries helps us understand where did it come from and how it is being applied ever since.

If you must write an essay, follow these five important steps to works towards earning the “A” you want:

  • Understand and review the kind of essay you must write
  • Brainstorm your argument
  • Find research from reliable sources to support your perspective
  • Cite all sources parenthetically within the paper and on the Works Cited page
  • Follow all grammatical rules

Generally speaking, when you must write any type of essay, start sooner rather than later!  Don’t procrastinate – give yourself time to develop your perspective and work on crafting a unique and original approach to the topic.  Remember: it’s always a good idea to have another set of eyes (or three) look over your essay before handing in the final draft to your teacher or professor.  Don’t trust your fellow classmates?  Consider hiring an editor or a ghostwriter to help out!

If you are still unsure on whether you can cope with your task – you are in the right place to get help. HandMadeWriting is the perfect answer to the question “Who can write my essay?”

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Ultimate Guide to Writing Your College Essay

Tips for writing an effective college essay.

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what is a home essay

Marion Winik ** ** is the author of nine books, including The Big Book of the Dead (Counterpoint, 2019) and First Comes Love (Vintage, 1997). Her essays have been published in The New York Times , AGNI , The Sun , and elsewhere; her column at BaltimoreFishbowl.com has been running since 2011. A professor at the University of Baltimore, she reviews books for The Washington Post , Oprah Daily , and People and hosts the NPR podcast The Weekly Reader . She was a commentator on NPR’s All Things Considered for fifteen years. marionwinik.com (updated 4/2024)

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Example of a Great Essay | Explanations, Tips & Tricks

Published on February 9, 2015 by Shane Bryson . Revised on July 23, 2023 by Shona McCombes.

This example guides you through the structure of an essay. It shows how to build an effective introduction , focused paragraphs , clear transitions between ideas, and a strong conclusion .

Each paragraph addresses a single central point, introduced by a topic sentence , and each point is directly related to the thesis statement .

As you read, hover over the highlighted parts to learn what they do and why they work.

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Other interesting articles, frequently asked questions about writing an essay, an appeal to the senses: the development of the braille system in nineteenth-century france.

The invention of Braille was a major turning point in the history of disability. The writing system of raised dots used by visually impaired people was developed by Louis Braille in nineteenth-century France. In a society that did not value disabled people in general, blindness was particularly stigmatized, and lack of access to reading and writing was a significant barrier to social participation. The idea of tactile reading was not entirely new, but existing methods based on sighted systems were difficult to learn and use. As the first writing system designed for blind people’s needs, Braille was a groundbreaking new accessibility tool. It not only provided practical benefits, but also helped change the cultural status of blindness. This essay begins by discussing the situation of blind people in nineteenth-century Europe. It then describes the invention of Braille and the gradual process of its acceptance within blind education. Subsequently, it explores the wide-ranging effects of this invention on blind people’s social and cultural lives.

Lack of access to reading and writing put blind people at a serious disadvantage in nineteenth-century society. Text was one of the primary methods through which people engaged with culture, communicated with others, and accessed information; without a well-developed reading system that did not rely on sight, blind people were excluded from social participation (Weygand, 2009). While disabled people in general suffered from discrimination, blindness was widely viewed as the worst disability, and it was commonly believed that blind people were incapable of pursuing a profession or improving themselves through culture (Weygand, 2009). This demonstrates the importance of reading and writing to social status at the time: without access to text, it was considered impossible to fully participate in society. Blind people were excluded from the sighted world, but also entirely dependent on sighted people for information and education.

In France, debates about how to deal with disability led to the adoption of different strategies over time. While people with temporary difficulties were able to access public welfare, the most common response to people with long-term disabilities, such as hearing or vision loss, was to group them together in institutions (Tombs, 1996). At first, a joint institute for the blind and deaf was created, and although the partnership was motivated more by financial considerations than by the well-being of the residents, the institute aimed to help people develop skills valuable to society (Weygand, 2009). Eventually blind institutions were separated from deaf institutions, and the focus shifted towards education of the blind, as was the case for the Royal Institute for Blind Youth, which Louis Braille attended (Jimenez et al, 2009). The growing acknowledgement of the uniqueness of different disabilities led to more targeted education strategies, fostering an environment in which the benefits of a specifically blind education could be more widely recognized.

Several different systems of tactile reading can be seen as forerunners to the method Louis Braille developed, but these systems were all developed based on the sighted system. The Royal Institute for Blind Youth in Paris taught the students to read embossed roman letters, a method created by the school’s founder, Valentin Hauy (Jimenez et al., 2009). Reading this way proved to be a rather arduous task, as the letters were difficult to distinguish by touch. The embossed letter method was based on the reading system of sighted people, with minimal adaptation for those with vision loss. As a result, this method did not gain significant success among blind students.

Louis Braille was bound to be influenced by his school’s founder, but the most influential pre-Braille tactile reading system was Charles Barbier’s night writing. A soldier in Napoleon’s army, Barbier developed a system in 1819 that used 12 dots with a five line musical staff (Kersten, 1997). His intention was to develop a system that would allow the military to communicate at night without the need for light (Herron, 2009). The code developed by Barbier was phonetic (Jimenez et al., 2009); in other words, the code was designed for sighted people and was based on the sounds of words, not on an actual alphabet. Barbier discovered that variants of raised dots within a square were the easiest method of reading by touch (Jimenez et al., 2009). This system proved effective for the transmission of short messages between military personnel, but the symbols were too large for the fingertip, greatly reducing the speed at which a message could be read (Herron, 2009). For this reason, it was unsuitable for daily use and was not widely adopted in the blind community.

Nevertheless, Barbier’s military dot system was more efficient than Hauy’s embossed letters, and it provided the framework within which Louis Braille developed his method. Barbier’s system, with its dashes and dots, could form over 4000 combinations (Jimenez et al., 2009). Compared to the 26 letters of the Latin alphabet, this was an absurdly high number. Braille kept the raised dot form, but developed a more manageable system that would reflect the sighted alphabet. He replaced Barbier’s dashes and dots with just six dots in a rectangular configuration (Jimenez et al., 2009). The result was that the blind population in France had a tactile reading system using dots (like Barbier’s) that was based on the structure of the sighted alphabet (like Hauy’s); crucially, this system was the first developed specifically for the purposes of the blind.

While the Braille system gained immediate popularity with the blind students at the Institute in Paris, it had to gain acceptance among the sighted before its adoption throughout France. This support was necessary because sighted teachers and leaders had ultimate control over the propagation of Braille resources. Many of the teachers at the Royal Institute for Blind Youth resisted learning Braille’s system because they found the tactile method of reading difficult to learn (Bullock & Galst, 2009). This resistance was symptomatic of the prevalent attitude that the blind population had to adapt to the sighted world rather than develop their own tools and methods. Over time, however, with the increasing impetus to make social contribution possible for all, teachers began to appreciate the usefulness of Braille’s system (Bullock & Galst, 2009), realizing that access to reading could help improve the productivity and integration of people with vision loss. It took approximately 30 years, but the French government eventually approved the Braille system, and it was established throughout the country (Bullock & Galst, 2009).

Although Blind people remained marginalized throughout the nineteenth century, the Braille system granted them growing opportunities for social participation. Most obviously, Braille allowed people with vision loss to read the same alphabet used by sighted people (Bullock & Galst, 2009), allowing them to participate in certain cultural experiences previously unavailable to them. Written works, such as books and poetry, had previously been inaccessible to the blind population without the aid of a reader, limiting their autonomy. As books began to be distributed in Braille, this barrier was reduced, enabling people with vision loss to access information autonomously. The closing of the gap between the abilities of blind and the sighted contributed to a gradual shift in blind people’s status, lessening the cultural perception of the blind as essentially different and facilitating greater social integration.

The Braille system also had important cultural effects beyond the sphere of written culture. Its invention later led to the development of a music notation system for the blind, although Louis Braille did not develop this system himself (Jimenez, et al., 2009). This development helped remove a cultural obstacle that had been introduced by the popularization of written musical notation in the early 1500s. While music had previously been an arena in which the blind could participate on equal footing, the transition from memory-based performance to notation-based performance meant that blind musicians were no longer able to compete with sighted musicians (Kersten, 1997). As a result, a tactile musical notation system became necessary for professional equality between blind and sighted musicians (Kersten, 1997).

Braille paved the way for dramatic cultural changes in the way blind people were treated and the opportunities available to them. Louis Braille’s innovation was to reimagine existing reading systems from a blind perspective, and the success of this invention required sighted teachers to adapt to their students’ reality instead of the other way around. In this sense, Braille helped drive broader social changes in the status of blindness. New accessibility tools provide practical advantages to those who need them, but they can also change the perspectives and attitudes of those who do not.

Bullock, J. D., & Galst, J. M. (2009). The Story of Louis Braille. Archives of Ophthalmology , 127(11), 1532. https://​doi.org/10.1001/​archophthalmol.2009.286.

Herron, M. (2009, May 6). Blind visionary. Retrieved from https://​eandt.theiet.org/​content/​articles/2009/05/​blind-visionary/.

Jiménez, J., Olea, J., Torres, J., Alonso, I., Harder, D., & Fischer, K. (2009). Biography of Louis Braille and Invention of the Braille Alphabet. Survey of Ophthalmology , 54(1), 142–149. https://​doi.org/10.1016/​j.survophthal.2008.10.006.

Kersten, F.G. (1997). The history and development of Braille music methodology. The Bulletin of Historical Research in Music Education , 18(2). Retrieved from https://​www.jstor.org/​stable/40214926.

Mellor, C.M. (2006). Louis Braille: A touch of genius . Boston: National Braille Press.

Tombs, R. (1996). France: 1814-1914 . London: Pearson Education Ltd.

Weygand, Z. (2009). The blind in French society from the Middle Ages to the century of Louis Braille . Stanford: Stanford University Press.

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An essay is a focused piece of writing that explains, argues, describes, or narrates.

In high school, you may have to write many different types of essays to develop your writing skills.

Academic essays at college level are usually argumentative : you develop a clear thesis about your topic and make a case for your position using evidence, analysis and interpretation.

The structure of an essay is divided into an introduction that presents your topic and thesis statement , a body containing your in-depth analysis and arguments, and a conclusion wrapping up your ideas.

The structure of the body is flexible, but you should always spend some time thinking about how you can organize your essay to best serve your ideas.

Your essay introduction should include three main things, in this order:

  • An opening hook to catch the reader’s attention.
  • Relevant background information that the reader needs to know.
  • A thesis statement that presents your main point or argument.

The length of each part depends on the length and complexity of your essay .

A thesis statement is a sentence that sums up the central point of your paper or essay . Everything else you write should relate to this key idea.

A topic sentence is a sentence that expresses the main point of a paragraph . Everything else in the paragraph should relate to the topic sentence.

At college level, you must properly cite your sources in all essays , research papers , and other academic texts (except exams and in-class exercises).

Add a citation whenever you quote , paraphrase , or summarize information or ideas from a source. You should also give full source details in a bibliography or reference list at the end of your text.

The exact format of your citations depends on which citation style you are instructed to use. The most common styles are APA , MLA , and Chicago .

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Bryson, S. (2023, July 23). Example of a Great Essay | Explanations, Tips & Tricks. Scribbr. Retrieved April 2, 2024, from https://www.scribbr.com/academic-essay/example-essay-structure/

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The Supreme Court Got It Wrong: Abortion Is Not Settled Law

In an black-and-white photo illustration, nine abortion pills are arranged on a grid.

By Melissa Murray and Kate Shaw

Ms. Murray is a law professor at New York University. Ms. Shaw is a contributing Opinion writer.

In his majority opinion in the case overturning Roe v. Wade, Justice Samuel Alito insisted that the high court was finally settling the vexed abortion debate by returning the “authority to regulate abortion” to the “people and their elected representatives.”

Despite these assurances, less than two years after Dobbs v. Jackson Women’s Health Organization, abortion is back at the Supreme Court. In the next month, the justices will hear arguments in two high-stakes cases that may shape the future of access to medication abortion and to lifesaving care for pregnancy emergencies. These cases make clear that Dobbs did not settle the question of abortion in America — instead, it generated a new slate of questions. One of those questions involves the interaction of existing legal rules with the concept of fetal personhood — the view, held by many in the anti-abortion movement, that a fetus is a person entitled to the same rights and protections as any other person.

The first case , scheduled for argument on Tuesday, F.D.A. v. Alliance for Hippocratic Medicine, is a challenge to the Food and Drug Administration’s protocols for approving and regulating mifepristone, one of the two drugs used for medication abortions. An anti-abortion physicians’ group argues that the F.D.A. acted unlawfully when it relaxed existing restrictions on the use and distribution of mifepristone in 2016 and 2021. In 2016, the agency implemented changes that allowed the use of mifepristone up to 10 weeks of pregnancy, rather than seven; reduced the number of required in-person visits for dispensing the drug from three to one; and allowed the drug to be prescribed by individuals like nurse practitioners. In 2021, it eliminated the in-person visit requirement, clearing the way for the drug to be dispensed by mail. The physicians’ group has urged the court to throw out those regulations and reinstate the previous, more restrictive regulations surrounding the drug — a ruling that could affect access to the drug in every state, regardless of the state’s abortion politics.

The second case, scheduled for argument on April 24, involves the Emergency Medical Treatment and Labor Act (known by doctors and health policymakers as EMTALA ), which requires federally funded hospitals to provide patients, including pregnant patients, with stabilizing care or transfer to a hospital that can provide such care. At issue is the law’s interaction with state laws that severely restrict abortion, like an Idaho law that bans abortion except in cases of rape or incest and circumstances where abortion is “necessary to prevent the death of the pregnant woman.”

Although the Idaho law limits the provision of abortion care to circumstances where death is imminent, the federal government argues that under EMTALA and basic principles of federal supremacy, pregnant patients experiencing emergencies at federally funded hospitals in Idaho are entitled to abortion care, even if they are not in danger of imminent death.

These cases may be framed in the technical jargon of administrative law and federal pre-emption doctrine, but both cases involve incredibly high-stakes issues for the lives and health of pregnant persons — and offer the court an opportunity to shape the landscape of abortion access in the post-Roe era.

These two cases may also give the court a chance to seed new ground for fetal personhood. Woven throughout both cases are arguments that gesture toward the view that a fetus is a person.

If that is the case, the legal rules that would typically hold sway in these cases might not apply. If these questions must account for the rights and entitlements of the fetus, the entire calculus is upended.

In this new scenario, the issue is not simply whether EMTALA’s protections for pregnant patients pre-empt Idaho’s abortion ban, but rather which set of interests — the patient’s or the fetus’s — should be prioritized in the contest between state and federal law. Likewise, the analysis of F.D.A. regulatory protocols is entirely different if one of the arguments is that the drug to be regulated may be used to end a life.

Neither case presents the justices with a clear opportunity to endorse the notion of fetal personhood — but such claims are lurking beneath the surface. The Idaho abortion ban is called the Defense of Life Act, and in its first bill introduced in 2024, the Idaho Legislature proposed replacing the term “fetus” with “preborn child” in existing Idaho law. In its briefs before the court, Idaho continues to beat the drum of fetal personhood, insisting that EMTALA protects the unborn — rather than pregnant women who need abortions during health emergencies.

According to the state, nothing in EMTALA imposes an obligation to provide stabilizing abortion care for pregnant women. Rather, the law “actually requires stabilizing treatment for the unborn children of pregnant women.” In the mifepristone case, advocates referred to fetuses as “unborn children,” while the district judge in Texas who invalidated F.D.A. approval of the drug described it as one that “starves the unborn human until death.”

Fetal personhood language is in ascent throughout the country. In a recent decision , the Alabama Supreme Court allowed a wrongful-death suit for the destruction of frozen embryos intended for in vitro fertilization, or I.V.F. — embryos that the court characterized as “extrauterine children.”

Less discussed but as worrisome is a recent oral argument at the Florida Supreme Court concerning a proposed ballot initiative intended to enshrine a right to reproductive freedom in the state’s Constitution. In considering the proposed initiative, the chief justice of the state Supreme Court repeatedly peppered Nathan Forrester, the senior deputy solicitor general who was representing the state, with questions about whether the state recognized the fetus as a person under the Florida Constitution. The point was plain: If the fetus was a person, then the proposed ballot initiative, and its protections for reproductive rights, would change the fetus’s rights under the law, raising constitutional questions.

As these cases make clear, the drive toward fetal personhood goes beyond simply recasting abortion as homicide. If the fetus is a person, any act that involves reproduction may implicate fetal rights. Fetal personhood thus has strong potential to raise questions about access to abortion, contraception and various forms of assisted reproductive technology, including I.V.F.

In response to the shifting landscape of reproductive rights, President Biden has pledged to “restore Roe v. Wade as the law of the land.” Roe and its successor, Planned Parenthood v. Casey, were far from perfect; they afforded states significant leeway to impose onerous restrictions on abortion, making meaningful access an empty promise for many women and families of limited means. But the two decisions reflected a constitutional vision that, at least in theory, protected the liberty to make certain intimate choices — including choices surrounding if, when and how to become a parent.

Under the logic of Roe and Casey, the enforceability of EMTALA, the F.D.A.’s power to regulate mifepristone and access to I.V.F. weren’t in question. But in the post-Dobbs landscape, all bets are off. We no longer live in a world in which a shared conception of constitutional liberty makes a ban on I.V.F. or certain forms of contraception beyond the pale.

Melissa Murray, a law professor at New York University and a host of the Supreme Court podcast “ Strict Scrutiny ,” is a co-author of “ The Trump Indictments : The Historic Charging Documents With Commentary.”

Kate Shaw is a contributing Opinion writer, a professor of law at the University of Pennsylvania Carey Law School and a host of the Supreme Court podcast “Strict Scrutiny.” She served as a law clerk to Justice John Paul Stevens and Judge Richard Posner.

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For the sake of all of us, Sonia Sotomayor needs to retire from the US supreme court

She’s been described as the ‘conscience of the supreme court’. That’s why it pains me to write this

F orget Ruth Bader Ginsburg. It is Sonia Sotomayor who is the greatest liberal to sit on the supreme court in my adult lifetime. The first Latina to hold the position of justice, she has blazed a relentlessly progressive trail on the highest bench in the land.

Whether it was her lone dissent in a North Carolina voting rights case in 2016 (“the court’s conclusion … is a fiction”); her ingenious referencing of Ta-Nehisi Coates, James Baldwin and WEB DuBois in another 2016 dissent over unreasonable searches and seizures; or her withering observation at the Dobbs oral argument in 2021 (“Will this institution survive the stench that this creates in the public perception that the constitution and its reading are just political acts?”), Sotomayor has stood head and shoulders above both her liberal and conservative colleagues on the bench for the past 15 years.

And so it is with good reason that she has been called the “conscience of the supreme court” ( the Nation ), “the truth teller of the supreme court” ( New York Times ) and “the real liberal queen of the court” ( Above the Law ).

I happen to agree 100% with all of those descriptions. But – and it pains me to write these words – I also believe it is time for Sotomayor to retire.

Okay, now it is time to remember Ruth Bader Ginsburg. To recall how RBG, who had survived two bouts of cancer, refused to quit the court despite calls to do so from leading liberals during Barack Obama’s second term office. To hark back to her insistence, in multiple interviews, that it was “ misguided ” to insist she retire and that she would only stand down “ when it’s time ”. To recollect how, on her deathbed in 2020, she told her granddaughter that her “most fervent wish is that I will not be replaced until a new president is installed” – and how it made no difference whatsoever! Donald Trump nominated Amy Coney Barrett as RBG’s replacement just eight days after her death, and Senate Republicans confirmed Barrett to RBG’s vacant seat just eight days before election day.

With Joe Biden trailing Trump in several swing states and Democrats also in danger of losing their razor-thin majority in the Senate, are we really prepared for history to repeat itself? Sotomayor will turn 70 in June. Of course, only Sotomayor knows the full status of her health, still it is public knowledge that she has had type 1 diabetes since she was seven ; had paramedics called to her home ; and is the only sitting justice to have, reportedly , traveled with a medic. To be clear: she could easily – and God willing – survive a potential Trump second term and still be dishing out dissents from the bench come 2029.

But why take that risk? Why not retire now? Why not quit the bench at the same age that justices in Belgium, Australia and Japan are forced to do so?

Let’s deal with the three most obvious objections.

First, wouldn’t a replacement for Sotomayor that Senator Joe Manchin has to approve be less progressive, and more centrist, than our sole Latina, super-progressive justice? Perhaps. But, again, consider the alternative. Would we rather Biden replace Sotomayor with a centrist in 2024 … or Trump replace her with a far-right Federalist Society goon in 2025? Or, what if Trump doesn’t win but the Republican party takes control of the Senate and blocks a second-term Biden from replacing her between 2025 and 2028?

Second, is there really any difference between a 6-3 conservative majority on the court and a 7-2 majority? Isn’t all lost already? Not quite. The damage to our democracy from a 7-2 hard-right court would be on a whole other and existential level. Yes, 6-3 has been a disaster for our progressive priorities ( Dobbs! Bruen! Kennedy! ) but there have also been a handful of key 5-4 victories ( Redistricting ! Razor wire at the border ! Ghost guns !) in cases where Roberts plus one other conservative have come over from the dark side. None of that happens in a 7-2 court. The hard-right conservatives win not just most of the time but every single time.

Third, how can anyone on the left dare ask the first, and only, Latina justice to quit the supreme court?

It’s simple. Women in general, and Latinas especially, will suffer most from a 7-2 supreme court. It is because I am so worried about the future of minority rights in this country that I – reluctantly – want Sotomayor to step aside.

This has nothing to do with her race or her gender. Forget RBG (again). Consider Stephen Breyer. You remember Breyer, right? The bookish and bespectacled liberal justice who quit the supreme court in 2022, at the age of 83, in part because of an intense pressure campaign from the left.

The fact that he was a white man didn’t shield him from criticism – or from calls for him to stand down. In 2021, the progressive group Demand Justice sent a billboard truck to circle the supreme court building with the message: “ Breyer, retire .” I joined in, too. “Retire, retire, retire,” I said in a monologue for my Peacock show in 2021. “Or history may end up judging you, Justice Breyer.”

So why is it okay to pressure Breyer to retire but not Sotomayor? This time round, Demand Justice isn’t taking a position on whether an older liberal justice should quit while a Democratic president and Senate can still replace them and, as HuffPost reports, “on the left, there is little open debate about whether she should retire.”

Democrats, it seems, still don’t seem keen on wielding power or influence over the highest court in the nation. In 2013, Barack Obama met with RBG for lunch and tried to nudge her into retiring, but as the New York Times later reported, Obama “did not directly bring up the subject of retirement to Justice Ginsburg”.

Compare and contrast with Donald Trump. The finance journalist David Enrich, in his book Dark Towers, reveals how the Trump family carried out a “ coordinated White House charm offensive ” to persuade Justice Anthony Kennedy to retire in 2018. Trump himself, according to Vanity Fair , “worked for months to assure Kennedy his legacy would be in good hands”.

The offensive was a success. Out went self-styled moderate Kennedy, in came the hard-right political operative Brett Kavanaugh.

If there is to be a change to the supreme court in 2024, Biden and the Senate majority leader, Chuck Schumer, have only a few months left to make it happen. And yet they don’t seem too bothered about Sotomayor’s age or health. Last week, the White House press secretary, Karine Jean-Pierre, called it “a personal decision for her to make”.

A personal decision? The prospect of a 7-2 conservative supreme court, with a far-right Federalist Soceity apparatchik having taken “liberal queen” Sotomayor’s seat on the bench, should fill us all with dread.

Biden, elected Democrats , and liberals and progressives across the board should be both publicly and privately encouraging Sotomayor to consider what she wants her legacy to be, to remember what happened with RBG, and to not take any kind of gamble with the future of our democracy.

If insanity is doing the same thing again and again and expecting different results, then I’m sorry but a liberal supreme court justice about to enter her 70s and refusing to retire on a Democratic president and Democratic Senate’s watch is nothing short of insane.

Mehdi Hasan is the CEO and editor-in-chief of Zeteo

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Mental health care is hard to find, especially for people with Medicare or Medicaid

Rhitu Chatterjee

A woman stands in the middle of a dark maze. Lights guide the way for her. It illustrates the concept of standing in front of a challenge and finding the right solution to move on.

With rates of suicide and opioid deaths rising in the past decade and children's mental health declared a national emergency , the United States faces an unprecedented mental health crisis. But access to mental health care for a significant portion of Americans — including some of the most vulnerable populations — is extremely limited, according to a new government report released Wednesday.

The report, from the Department of Health and Human Services' Office of Inspector General, finds that Medicare and Medicaid have a dire shortage of mental health care providers.

The report looked at 20 counties with people on Medicaid, traditional Medicare and Medicare Advantage plans, which together serve more than 130 million enrollees — more than 40% of the U.S. population, says Meridith Seife , the deputy regional inspector general and the lead author of the report.

Medicaid serves people on low incomes, and Medicare is mainly for people 65 years or older and those who are younger with chronic disabilities.

The report found fewer than five active mental health care providers for every 1,000 enrollees. On average, Medicare Advantage has 4.7 providers per 1,000 enrollees, whereas traditional Medicare has 2.9 providers and Medicaid has 3.1 providers for the same number of enrollees. Some counties fare even worse, with not even a single provider for every 1,000 enrollees.

"When you have so few providers available to see this many enrollees, patients start running into significant problems finding care," says Seife.

The findings are especially troubling given the level of need for mental health care in this population, she says.

"On Medicare, you have 1 in 4 Medicare enrollees who are living with a mental illness," she says. "Yet less than half of those people are receiving treatment."

Among people on Medicaid, 1 in 3 have a mental illness, and 1 in 5 have a substance use disorder. "So the need is tremendous."

The results are "scary" but "not very surprising," says Deborah Steinberg , senior health policy attorney at the nonprofit Legal Action Center. "We know that people in Medicare and Medicaid are often underserved populations, and this is especially true for mental health and substance use disorder care."

Among those individuals able to find and connect with a provider, many see their provider several times a year, according to the report. And many have to drive a long way for their appointments.

"We have roughly 1 in 4 patients that had to travel more than an hour to their appointments, and 1 in 10 had to travel more than an hour and a half each way," notes Seife. Some patients traveled two hours each way for mental health care, she says.

Mental illnesses and substance use disorders are chronic conditions that people need ongoing care for, says Steinberg. "And when they have to travel an hour, more than an hour, for an appointment throughout the year, that becomes unreasonable. It becomes untenable."

"We know that behavioral health workforce shortages are widespread," says Heather Saunders , a senior research manager on the Medicaid team at KFF, the health policy research organization. "This is across all payers, all populations, with about half of the U.S. population living in a workforce shortage."

But as the report found, that's not the whole story for Medicare and Medicaid. Only about a third of mental health care providers in the counties studied see Medicare and Medicaid patients. That means a majority of the workforce doesn't participate in these programs.

This has been well documented in Medicaid, notes Saunders. "Only a fraction" of providers in provider directories see Medicaid patients, she says. "And when they do see Medicaid patients, they often only see a few."

Lower reimbursement rates and a high administrative burden prevent more providers from participating in Medicaid and Medicare, the report notes.

"In the Medicare program, they set a physician fee rate," explains Steinberg. "Then for certain providers, which includes clinical social workers, mental health counselors and marriage and family therapists, they get reimbursed at 75% of that rate."

Medicaid reimbursements for psychiatric services are even lower when compared with Medicare , says Ellen Weber , senior vice president for health initiatives at the Legal Action Center.

"They're baking in those discriminatory standards when they are setting those rates," says Steinberg.

The new report recommends that the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services (CMS) take steps to increase payments to providers and lower administrative requirements. In a statement, CMS said it has responded to those recommendations within the report.

According to research by Saunders and her colleagues at KFF, many states have already started to take action on these fronts to improve participation in Medicaid.

Several have upped their payments to mental health providers. "But the scale of those increases ranged widely across states," says Saunders, "with some states limiting the increase to one provider type or one type of service, but other states having rate increases that were more across the board."

Some states have also tried to simplify and streamline paperwork, she adds. "Making it less complex, making it easier to understand," says Saunders.

But it's too soon to know whether those efforts have made a significant impact on improving access to providers.

CMS has also taken steps to address provider shortages, says Steinberg.

"CMS has tried to increase some of the reimbursement rates without actually fixing that structural problem," says Steinberg. "Trying to add a little bit here and there, but it's not enough, especially when they're only adding a percent to the total rate. It's a really small increase."

The agency has also started covering treatments and providers it didn't use to cover before.

"In 2020, Medicare started covering opioid treatment programs, which is where a lot of folks can go to get medications for their substance use disorder," says Steinberg.

And starting this year, Medicare also covers "mental health counselors, which includes addiction counselors, as well as marriage and family therapists," she adds.

While noteworthy and important, a lot more needs to be done, says Steinberg. "For example, in the substance use disorder space, a lot of addiction counselors do not have a master's degree. And that's one of their requirements to be a counselor in the Medicare program right now."

Removing those stringent requirements and adding other kinds of providers, like peer support specialists, is key to improving access. And the cost of not accessing care is high, she adds.

"Over the past two decades, [in] the older adult population, the number of overdose deaths has increased fourfold — quadrupled," says Steinberg. "So this is affecting people. It is causing deaths. It is causing people to go to the hospital. It increases [health care] costs."

  • Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services
  • mental health


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