Hypothetically defining the essay as an abductive genre oriented toward discourse, this paper illustrates how it is possible to resolve problems related to the concept of the essay in traditional Japanese language education research. More specifically, it focuses on three problems. First, although an essay is generally considered to be a logical genre of writing, it is sometimes also identified as an illogical style. Second, the difference between essays and other genres remains unclear. Finally, the reason for the presence of paradoxical expressions in essays has not been explained in adequate detail. In the future, it may be possible to explain the division of expository text and the significance of reading essays in Japanese language education from the results of this paper.