Francis Bacon was a writer during the late sixteenth and early seventeenth centuries, who wrote a classic essay called “Of Studies.” The main purpose of his essay is to explain to the reader why study, or knowledge, is important. He writes about the practical uses of knowledge and how they can be applied, along with the benefits and uses of reading and writing. He immediately delves into the main ideas of his essay in the opening sentence, which states the three purposes of studies. Bacon writes about how studies should be applied in life, saying that knowledge is perfected by experience. Discussing reading and how to properly do it, he says, “Read not to contradict and confute, nor to believe and take for granted, nor to find talk and discourse, but to weigh to consider.” Whenever reading any kind of material, the words and knowledge should not just be observed. Previous knowledge must be used to consider the reading, think about what it is saying, and then one can decide what to do with the new knowledge. Bacon clearly states that reading, conferencing, and writing will create a better, wiser man. Without one of these key aspects, a person will be unbalanced because all three are necessary to create a well-rounded mind. His closing sentence, which states, “So every defect of the mind may have a special receipt,” is one to really think about. Bacon’s point here is that everyone has weaknesses of the mind, and we must be constantly fixing and working to improve upon them. This very short, yet concise essay of Bacon’s is a prime example of why he is known as the father of the English essay.
The topic of Francis Bacon’s essay “Of Studies” is to explain the importance of knowledge and its practical uses. His thesis, which is his first sentence, states, “Studies serve for delight, for ornament, and for ability.” The following sentences give details on each of these three ideas, and explain why studies serve...