Can you use long dashes in essays

An essay is, generally, a piece of writing that gives the author's own argument — but the definition is vague, overlapping with those of a paper , an article , a pamphlet , and a short story. Essays have traditionally been sub-classified as formal and informal. Formal essays are characterized by "serious purpose, dignity, logical organization, length," whereas the informal essay is characterized by "the personal element self-revelation, individual tastes and experiences, confidential manner , humor, graceful style, rambling structure, unconventionality or novelty of theme," etc. Essays are commonly used as literary criticism , political manifestos , learned arguments , observations of daily life, recollections, and reflections of the author.
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Grammar Refresh: How to Use Dashes and Hyphens

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How to type em dash (—) in word (with Shortcut)|Long dash - Software Accountant

Good news! We have updated our writing tools. The hyphen, the em dash and the en dash are the straight arrows among punctuation marks, an otherwise fairly curvaceous lot. The hyphen - , the shortest of the three marks, is familiar sometimes wretchedly so to most writers. So is the em dash — , more often called the long dash, or sometimes just the dash. The middle-length en dash — is the most mysterious of the three.
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How to Use Hyphens and Dashes in an Essay

A pair of em dashes can be used in place of commas to enhance readability. Note, however, that dashes are always more emphatic than commas. A pair of em dashes can replace a pair of parentheses. Dashes are considered less formal than parentheses; they are also more intrusive. If you want to draw attention to the parenthetical content, use dashes.
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Some writers also use a hyphen instead of an em-dash, but this is incorrect. Hyphens have their own special use which was dealt with in an earlier post. This discussion will help clarify uses of ellipses and dashes and provide examples, including some from literature. The ellipsis consist of three dots in a text.
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