On Wikipedia, an essay is a page in the project namespace (Wikipedia:) that is written by one or more editors that typically addresses some aspect of working on or with Wikipedia. Such pages are categorized into Category:Wikipedia essays or a related subcategory. Essays may range from personal or minority views, to views that enjoy a wide consensus amongst Wikipedia editors. Unlike policies and guidelines, no formal attempt to gauge their consensus has been made.
User essays have a purpose similar to essays placed in the project namespace; however, they are often authored by only one person, and may represent a strictly personal viewpoint about Wikipedia.
Wikipedia has seen some bitter disputes. It is easy to get into disputes online, especially as being online can enable near-immediate responses – reactions – but please remember that we are all here for more or less the same reason and that there is a person at the other end of your conversation. Flame wars are counter-productive and make Wikipedia a less pleasant project for everyone. Read more...
The fight-or-flight response developed by our pre-human ancestors may have helped them escape from angry mastodons, but it isn't constructive in an online encyclopedia. Wikipedia collaboration occurs between geographically isolated people in cyberspace. Nonetheless, sometimes editors get angry and feel a natural urge to fire off an immediate retort ("fight"). The urge is accompanied by a rapid heart rate, dilated pupils, and other physiological changes associated with the body's release of adrenaline (epinephrine). Or, they get scared or peeved or weary and just log off ("flight").
One of the best experiences at Wikipedia happens among editors with deep differences. People don't have to agree about a topic to collaborate on a great article. All it takes is mutual respect and a willingness to abide by referenced sources and site policy. If you think you're right, dig up the very best evidence you can find and put that in the article. Let the other side's best evidence be a challenge to raise your own standards and always bear the big picture in mind: we're here to provide information for nonspecialists.