The periodical essay of the eighteenth century invited men of the Age of Reason to pour into it their talent and thought; it was a form in which they could make their points briefly and effectively; it was flexible, and was eventually familiar enough to be well-received. The form itself reflected the common-sense practicality, restraint and moderation that the periodical writers were advocating.
English Language and Literature
Meyers, Carol, "Advisors of the age of reason: The periodical essays of Steele, Addison, Johnson, and Goldsmith" (1962). Honors Projects. 24.