Poleeminen essee, eräs sen ongelma on varmuus, koska aiheen käsittely rikastuu heti kun tekstiin tulee konfliktia. Brian Dillon kirjoittaa Essayism -teoksessaan:
”I find myself allergic to polemics, and so in the pages that follow some partisans of political essaying, or boisterous critical opinion, may find that their exemplars are absent. It’s not that I dislike a certain violence in the essay, but I can’t believe in a writing that is forcefully only itself – I want obliquity, essays that approach their targets, for there must be targets, slantwise, or with a hail of conflicted attitudes. This too may be political, even radical. It will often look like something else: what used to be called formalism, or dismissed as aestheticism.) I will have to write, can only write, in fits and starts, in passages that aspire to something like an argument, but others too that will seem to come from the very confusion the first class exists to cure. There are many passages in the works of the great essayists, and perhaps also the less-than-great, that will sanction a failure or refusal to cohere.”
Brian Dillonin Essayism on herättänyt runsaasti huomiota esim. The Guardianissa
Toisaalla Dillon luonnehtii esseetä Adornoon viitaten: ”The essay form, Theodor Adorno wrote in 1958, “freely associates what can be found associated in the freely chosen subject”.