Essay Writing Guide

Types Of Essay

Nova A.

Explore Different Types of Essays, their Purpose, and Sub-types

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Published on: Sep 20, 2017

Last updated on: Oct 19, 2023

types of essay

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Are you a college or high school student ready to start on a journey through the fascinating world of essay writing ? Brace yourself because you'll encounter a variety of essay types that will challenge your writing skills and creativity.

Picture this: You're handed an assignment, a blank canvas on which to express your thoughts and ideas. But here's the catch – your teacher won't always specify the type of essay you should craft. It's up to you to solve the riddle hidden within the assignment question.

But fear not! 

In this blog, we'll discuss the four most common types of essays you're likely to encounter during your academic years. While these essays may share a common foundation and structure, each possesses its own unique characteristics. Let’s get started!

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Major Types of Essays In Academic Writing

When it comes to academic writing, understanding the different types of essays is essential. Each type serves a distinct purpose and requires a specific approach. Let's explore these essay types along with their descriptions and example prompts in the table below:

Understanding these major types of essays and the skills they assess will empower you to approach your academic writing with confidence. Depending on your assignment's requirements, you'll be better equipped to choose the appropriate essay type and showcase your writing abilities effectively. 

Each type offers a unique opportunity for you to express your ideas, and arguments and perfect your specific writing skills.

Here are the key types of essay formats explained in detail, along with examples to enhance your understanding.

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Argumentative Essay

An argumentative essay is an essay type that presents a well-structured argument supported by evidence and reasoning. The primary goal is to engage the reader in a discussion, provide evidence, and logically demonstrate why a particular viewpoint is more valid.

In simple words, the writer must provide evidence and remain consistent in their stance. While argumentative essays present both sides of an issue, they strongly support one perspective. 

Characteristics of Argumentative Essay

  • Clear Thesis: It should have a clear thesis statement to state the writer's position.
  • Balanced Presentation: An argumentative essay addresses opposing views.
  • Evidence: It relies on credible and relevant evidence.
  • Logical Reasoning: The essay presents arguments coherently and logically.
  • Persuasive Techniques: It uses persuasive techniques like ethos, pathos, and logos effectively.
  • Introduction: The introduction introduces the topic and thesis, engaging the reader's interest.
  • Body: The body paragraphs present arguments with supporting evidence.
  • Counterargument: It addresses opposing viewpoints and refutes them.
  • Conclusion: The conclusion summarizes key points and reinforces the thesis, leaving a strong impression.

Argumentative Essay Example

Before beginning the writing process, it is better to go through some expertly crafted argumentative essay examples . This approach enables you to grasp the argumentative essay outline and writing style more effectively.

Descriptive Essay

A descriptive essay is a form of writing that aims to immerse readers in a sensory-rich experience. Unlike informational or persuasive essays, its primary goal is to vividly depict a person, place, object, event, or experience.   The descriptive essay must evoke the senses and emotions of the reader. In simple terms, the reader should see what you saw and feel what you felt. To make it better, you can use several literary devices such as;

  • Alliteration

All of them help in making the experience and your essay better.

Key Characteristics 

  • Sensory Detail: Descriptive essays appeal to the five senses to create a multisensory experience.
  • Vivid Imagery: They use figurative language and descriptive adjectives to bring the narrative to life.
  • Emotional Connection: These essays often aim to establish an emotional bond between the reader and the subject.
  • Structured Approach: They typically follow an introduction-body-conclusion structure.
  • Introduction: Introduces the subject and purpose, sometimes with a thesis statement.
  • Body Paragraphs: Focus on specific aspects or details using sensory language and vivid descriptions.
  • Conclusion: Summarizes the central theme and leaves a lasting impression.

Descriptive Essay Example

Creating a perfect descriptive essay for an assignment is not difficult if you go through some expert descriptive essay examples first. 

Need more examples? Read our Descriptive Essay Examples and Writing Tips blog to get inspired!

Expository Essay

An expository essay is a type of writing that provides clear and objective explanations of a topic without expressing personal opinions. It aims to inform and educate by presenting factual information and analysis.

Therefore, it is important that you make a focused outline and stick to it throughout the process. 

An expository essay incorporates a wide array of essays such as:

  • Cause and effect essays
  • Process essays
  • Analytical essays
  • Compare and contrast essays

Key Characteristics

  • Objective Presentation: Expository writing maintains an impartial tone, avoiding personal biases.
  • Informativeness: They focus on explaining complex ideas or processes in a straightforward manner.
  • Structured: These essays follow a clear structure with an introduction, body paragraphs, and a conclusion.
  • Use of Evidence: They rely on credible evidence, facts, and examples to support the topic.
  • Introduction: Introduces the topic and often includes a thesis statement.
  • Body Paragraphs: Each paragraph focuses on a specific aspect and provides explanations and evidence.
  • Conclusion: Restates the main idea and summarizes key points.

Expository Essay Example

Looking for more sample essays? Check out our Expository Essay Examples blog and take inspiration from a range of expository essays!

Narrative Essay

A narrative essay is a type of academic writing that tells a story or recounts a personal experience. Unlike other essays, its primary purpose is to engage and entertain the reader through storytelling.

  • Narrative Structure: Follows a chronological sequence with an introduction, body, climax, and conclusion.
  • First-Person Perspective: Typically written from the first-person point of view (e.g., "I" and "we") , sharing personal experiences and emotions.
  • Vivid Description: Relies on descriptive language and imagery to create a clear picture of events, characters, and settings.
  • Emotional Connection: Aims to establish an emotional bond with the reader by conveying the writer's thoughts and feelings.
  • Introduction: Sets the stage and introduces the central theme or problem.
  • Body: Presents events or experiences in chronological order with sensory details.
  • Climax: Often includes a central event or turning point.
  • Conclusion: Reflects on the narrative, offering insights, lessons, or resolution.

Narrative Essay Example

Wondering how to get your story into an interesting narrative? Learn the best way to write a perfect narrative essay with the help of expert narrative essay examples. 

For more examples visit our blog on narrative essay examples .

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Other Essay Types

In addition to the major types of essays discussed earlier, there are several other specialized types that cater to specific audiences. These essays provide diverse avenues for writers to communicate their ideas effectively. 

We will go through these essay types here.

Persuasive Essay

A persuasive essay is another type of academic essay. In this essay type, the writer utilizes logic and reasoning to show one’s idea is more convincing than another idea. 

In writing a persuasive essay, the main aim is to persuade the reader to accept a certain point of view. The presented argument or claim must use solid evidence and sound reasoning by stating facts, examples, and quotes. 

Persuasive Essay Example

Since persuasive essays are the most common type of essay, it is essential to get familiar with their writing style. For that, here is an interesting persuasive essay example that you can explore for your better understanding. 

Read our persuasive essay examples blog for more samples!

Analytical Essay

An analytical essay is a type of academic essay in which the writer analyzes a topic bit by bit. Writing an analytical essay is not about convincing readers of your point of view. But wanting readers to agree with what you have written. 

So, there is no need to use strong persuasive language in an analytical essay. Rather you should aim to provide enough analysis to make sure your argument is clear to the readers. 

Analytical Essay Example

Let’s take a look at a sample analytical essay: 

Read our analytical essay examples blog if you are looking for more sample essays!

Reflective Essay

A reflective essay type of essay requires you to examine your personal experiences through self-reflection. In the process of writing a reflective essay, you provide insight into what you have gained from those experiences. 

What makes reflective essays different from other essay types is the fact that it examine the past experience from the present. Reflective essays take the reader through a journey of self-growth. 

Reflective Essay Example

The following reflective essay example will help you get a clear idea of how to structure your analytical essay. 

Rhetorical Analysis Essay

It is a form of a textual analysis essay in which the student examines and analyzes a persuasive text. It is like an essay, speech, or visual art and analyzes the rhetorical devices used in it. Writing a rhetorical analysis essay is different from writing other essays because it will be more than adding facts only.

Rhetorical Analysis Essay Example

Here is a rhetorical analysis essay example that will help you learn better. 

Check out our rhetorical analysis essay examples blog for more samples!

Literary Analysis Essay

A literary analysis essay is based on close reading and analysis of a work of literature like poetry and novel. It identifies different literary factors like themes, setting,  characters, setting, and the kind of language used in it. A literary analysis essay has the same 5 paragraphs as any other essay but the main subject and topic are different.

Literary Analysis Essay Example

Need help with your literary analysis essay? Below is a sample essay to help you understand better.

Summing it Up! Now you know what are the different types of essays in academic writing that you are most likely to get assigned. However, if you still find it difficult to compose your essay, leave your piece of writing to our experts. 

Whether you need an argumentative essay, narrative essay,  descriptive essay, or expository essay we are here to help. Our expertise extends to all types of essays, ensuring that your academic writing needs are met with precision and excellence.

Request 'write my essay' today and let our professional writing service help you write A+ grade essays within your specified timeline! 

Frequently Asked Questions

What is the most important element in any essay.

A thesis statement is the most important part of any essay. Other than the research itself, the thesis statement is the most important part of an essay or research paper. A thesis statement summarizes the main point and essence of the argument.

What type of essay is most common at university?

Usually, university students get argumentative kinds of essays. No matter what kind of essay you write, you will need to develop an argument.

Here are some kinds of essays and the kind of arguments added to them. 

  • Analysis and interpretation of literary texts are discussed in literary analysis essays. 
  • The importance of a particular event or theory is analyzed in a history argumentative essay. 
  • A political theory is examined in a political argumentative essay. 

Besides, there are a number of different kinds of argumentative and analysis essays.

Nova A. (Literature, Marketing)

Nova Allison is a Digital Content Strategist with over eight years of experience. Nova has also worked as a technical and scientific writer. She is majorly involved in developing and reviewing online content plans that engage and resonate with audiences. Nova has a passion for writing that engages and informs her readers.

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What Are the Different Types and Characteristics of Essays?

  • An Introduction to Punctuation
  • Ph.D., Rhetoric and English, University of Georgia
  • M.A., Modern English and American Literature, University of Leicester
  • B.A., English, State University of New York

The term essay comes from the French for "trial" or "attempt." French author Michel de Montaigne coined the term when he assigned the title Essais to his first publication in 1580. In "Montaigne: A Biography" (1984), Donald Frame notes that Montaigne "often used the verb essayer (in modern French, normally to try ) in ways close to his project, related to experience, with the sense of trying out or testing."

An essay is a short work of nonfiction , while a writer of essays is called an essayist. In writing instruction, essay is often used as another word for composition . In an essay, an authorial voice  (or narrator ) typically invites an implied reader  (the audience ) to accept as authentic a certain textual mode of experience. 

Definitions and Observations

  • "[An essay is a] composition , usually in prose .., which may be of only a few hundred words (like Bacon's "Essays") or of book length (like Locke's "Essay Concerning Human Understanding") and which discusses, formally or informally, a topic or a variety of topics." (J.A. Cuddon, "Dictionary of Literary Terms". Basil, 1991)
  • " Essays are how we speak to one another in print — caroming thoughts not merely in order to convey a certain packet of information, but with a special edge or bounce of personal character in a kind of public letter." (Edward Hoagland, Introduction, "The Best American Essays : 1999". Houghton, 1999)
  • "[T]he essay traffics in fact and tells the truth, yet it seems to feel free to enliven, to shape, to embellish, to make use as necessary of elements of the imaginative and the fictive — thus its inclusion in that rather unfortunate current designation ' creative nonfiction .'" (G. Douglas Atkins, "Reading Essays: An Invitation". University of Georgia Press, 2007)

Montaigne's Autobiographical Essays "Although Michel de Montaigne, who fathered the modern essay in the 16th century, wrote autobiographically (like the essayists who claim to be his followers today), his autobiography was always in the service of larger existential discoveries. He was forever on the lookout for life lessons. If he recounted the sauces he had for dinner and the stones that weighted his kidney, it was to find an element of truth that we could put in our pockets and carry away, that he could put in his own pocket. After all, Philosophy — which is what he thought he practiced in his essays, as had his idols, Seneca and Cicero, before him — is about 'learning to live.' And here lies the problem with essayists today: not that they speak of themselves, but that they do so with no effort to make their experience relevant or useful to anyone else, with no effort to extract from it any generalizable insight into the human condition." (Cristina Nehring, "What’s Wrong With the American Essay." Truthdig, Nov. 29, 2007)

The Artful Formlessness of the Essay "[G]ood essays are works of literary art. Their supposed formlessness is more a strategy to disarm the reader with the appearance of unstudied spontaneity than a reality of composition. . . . "The essay form as a whole has long been associated with an experimental method. This idea goes back to Montaigne and his endlessly suggestive use of the term essai for his writing. To essay is to attempt, to test, to make a run at something without knowing whether you are going to succeed. The experimental association also derives from the other fountain-head of the essay, Francis Bacon , and his stress on the empirical inductive method, so useful in the development of the social sciences." (Phillip Lopate, "The Art of the Personal Essay". Anchor, 1994)

Articles vs. Essays "[W]hat finally distinguishes an essay from an article may just be the author's gumption, the extent to which personal voice, vision, and style are the prime movers and shapers, even though the authorial 'I' may be only a remote energy, nowhere visible but everywhere present." (Justin Kaplan, ed. "The Best American Essays: 1990". Ticknor & Fields, 1990) "I am predisposed to the essay with knowledge to impart — but, unlike journalism, which exists primarily to present facts, the essays transcend their data, or transmute it into personal meaning. The memorable essay, unlike the article, is not place or time-bound; it survives the occasion of its original composition. Indeed, in the most brilliant essays, language is not merely the medium of communication ; it is communication." (Joyce Carol Oates, quoted by Robert Atwan in "The Best American Essays, College Edition", 2nd ed. Houghton Mifflin, 1998) "I speak of a 'genuine' essay because fakes abound. Here the old-fashioned term poetaster may apply, if only obliquely. As the poetaster is to the poet — a lesser aspirant — so the average article is to the essay: a look-alike knockoff guaranteed not to wear well. An article is often gossip. An essay is reflection and insight. An article often has the temporary advantage of social heat — what's hot out there right now. An essay's heat is interior. An article can be timely, topical, engaged in the issues and personalities of the moment; it is likely to be stale within the month. In five years it may have acquired the quaint aura of a rotary phone. An article is usually Siamese-twinned to its date of birth. An essay defies its date of birth — and ours, too. (A necessary caveat: some genuine essays are popularly called 'articles' — but this is no more than an idle, though persistent, habit of speech. What's in a name? The ephemeral is the ephemeral. The enduring is the enduring.)" (Cynthia Ozick, "SHE: Portrait of the Essay as a Warm Body." The Atlantic Monthly, September 1998)

The Status of the Essay "Though the essay has been a popular form of writing in British and American periodicals since the 18th century, until recently its status in the literary canon has been, at best, uncertain. Relegated to the composition class, frequently dismissed as mere journalism, and generally ignored as an object for serious academic study, the essay has sat, in James Thurber's phrase, ' on the edge of the chair of Literature.' "In recent years, however, prompted by both a renewed interest in rhetoric and by poststructuralist redefinitions of literature itself, the essay — as well as such related forms of 'literary nonfiction' as biography , autobiography , and travel and nature writing — has begun to attract increasing critical attention and respect." (Richard Nordquist, "Essay," in "Encylopedia of American Literature", ed. S. R. Serafin. Continuum, 1999)

The Contemporary Essay "At present, the American magazine essay , both the long feature piece and the critical essay, is flourishing, in unlikely circumstances... "There are plenty of reasons for this. One is that magazines, big and small, are taking over some of the cultural and literary ground vacated by newspapers in their seemingly unstoppable evaporation. Another is that the contemporary essay has for some time now been gaining energy as an escape from, or rival to, the perceived conservatism of much mainstream fiction... "So the contemporary essay is often to be seen engaged in acts of apparent anti-novelization: in place of plot , there is drift or the fracture of numbered paragraphs; in place of a frozen verisimilitude, there may be a sly and knowing movement between reality and fictionality; in place of the impersonal author of standard-issue third-person realism, the authorial self pops in and out of the picture, with a liberty hard to pull off in fiction." (James Wood, "Reality Effects." The New Yorker, Dec. 19 & 26, 2011)

The Lighter Side of Essays: "The Breakfast Club" Essay Assignment "All right people, we're going to try something a little different today. We are going to write an essay of not less than a thousand words describing to me who you think you are. And when I say 'essay,' I mean 'essay,' not one word repeated a thousand times. Is that clear, Mr. Bender?" (Paul Gleason as Mr. Vernon) Saturday, March 24, 1984 Shermer High School Shermer, Illinois 60062 Dear Mr. Vernon, We accept the fact that we had to sacrifice a whole Saturday in detention for whatever it was we did wrong. What we did was wrong. But we think you're crazy to make us write this essay telling you who we think we are. What do you care? You see us as you want to see us — in the simplest terms, in the most convenient definitions. You see us as a brain, an athlete, a basket case, a princess and a criminal. Correct? That's the way we saw each other at seven o'clock this morning. We were brainwashed... But what we found out is that each one of us is a brain and an athlete and a basket case, a princess, and a criminal. Does that answer your question? Sincerely yours, The Breakfast Club (Anthony Michael Hall as Brian Johnson, "The Breakfast Club", 1985)

  • What Is a Personal Essay (Personal Statement)?
  • The Difference Between an Article and an Essay
  • The Essay: History and Definition
  • What Is Expository Writing?
  • 'Whack at Your Reader at Once': Eight Great Opening Lines
  • Classic British and American Essays and Speeches
  • Definition and Examples of Analysis in Composition
  • The Title in Composition
  • Understanding Organization in Composition and Speech
  • Development in Composition: Building an Essay
  • What is a Familiar Essay in Composition?
  • List (Grammar and Sentence Styles)
  • A Guide to Using Quotations in Essays
  • Compose a Narrative Essay or Personal Statement
  • What Is Tone In Writing?
  • Point of View in Grammar and Composition

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Guide to Different Kinds of Essays


An essay is a paper that discusses, describes or analyzes one topic. It can discuss a subject directly or indirectly, seriously or humorously. It can describe personal opinions, or just report information. An essay can be written from any perspective, but essays are most commonly written in the first person ( I ), or third person (subjects that can be substituted with the he, she, it, or they pronouns).

There are many different kinds of essays. The following are a some of the most common ones:

Descriptive Cause/Effect Argumentative Definition Narrative Critical Compare/Contrast Process


Examples: A descriptive essay could describe . . .

The descriptive essay provides details about how something looks, feels, tastes, smells, makes one feel, or sounds. It can also describe what something is, or how something happened. These essays generally use a lot of sensory details. The essay could be a list-like description that provides point by point details. Or, it could function as a story, keeping the reader interested in the plot and theme of the event described.


Examples: A definition essay may try and define . . .

A definition essay attempts to define a specific term. It could try to pin down the meaning of a specific word, or define an abstract concept. The analysis goes deeper than a simple dictionary definition; it should attempt to explain why the term is defined as such. It could define the term directly, giving no information other than the explanation of the term. Or, it could imply the definition of the term, telling a story that requires the reader to infer the meaning.


Examples:A compare/contrast essay may discuss . . .

The compare/contrast essay discusses the similarities and differences between two things, people, concepts, places, etc. The essay could be an unbiased discussion, or an attempt to convince the reader of the benefits of one thing, person, or concept. It could also be written simply to entertain the reader, or to arrive at an insight into human nature. The essay could discuss both similarities and differences, or it could just focus on one or the other. A comparison essay usually discusses the similarities between two things, while the contrast essay discusses the differences.


Examples:A cause/effect essay may explain . . .

The cause/effect essay explains why or how some event happened, and what resulted from the event.

This essay is a study of the relationship between two or more events or experiences. The essay could discuss both causes and effects, or it could simply address one or the other. A cause essay usually discusses the reasons why something happened. An effect essay discusses what happens after a specific event or circumstance.

The example below shows a cause essay, one that would explain how and why an event happened.

If this cause essay were about a volcanic eruption, it might go something like this: “Pressure and heat built up beneath the earth’s surface; the effect of this was an enormous volcanic eruption.”

The next example shows an effect essay, one that would explain all the effects that happened after a specific event, like a volcanic eruption.

If this effect essay were about a volcanic eruption again, it might go something like this:

“The eruption caused many terrible things to happen; it destroyed homes, forests, and polluted the atmosphere.”

Examples:A narrative essay could tell of . . .

The narrative essay tells a story. It can also be called a “short story.” Generally, the narrative essay is conversational in style and tells of a personal experience. It is most commonly written in the first person (uses I ). This essay could tell of a single, life-shaping event, or simply a mundane daily experience.

Examples: A process essay may explain . . .

A process essay describes how something is done. It generally explains actions that should be performed in a series. It can explain in detail how to accomplish a specific task, or it can show how an individual came to a certain personal awareness. The essay could be in the form of step-by-step instructions, or in story form, with the instructions/explanations subtly given along the way.


Examples: An argumentative essay may persuade a reader that . . .

An argumentative essay is one that attempts to persuade the reader to the writer’s point of view. The writer can either be serious or funny, but always tries to convince the reader of the validity of his or her opinion. The essay may argue openly, or it may attempt to subtly persuade the reader by using irony or sarcasm.

Examples: A critical essay may analyze . . .

A critical essay analyzes the strengths, weaknesses, and methods of someone else’s work. Generally, these essays begin with a brief overview of the main points of the text, movie, or piece of art, followed by an analysis of the work’s meaning. It should then discuss how well the author/creator accomplishes his/her goals and makes his/her points. A critical essay can be written about another essay, story, book, poem, movie, or work of art.


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What Are the 5 Different Types of Essays? A Complete Guide

For high school or college students, essays are unavoidable – worst of all, the essay types and essay writing topics assigned change throughout your academic career. As soon as you’ve mastered one of the many types of academic papers , you’re on to the next one.

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This article by Custom Writing experts provides the tools you need to attack any essay. It describes the five current major types of essays and five additional types! The article includes some thesis statement examples and numerous useful links to resources with sample essay papers. Keep reading and good luck with your assignment!

  • 📑 5 Main Types of Essay Writing

🎈 Other Essay Types

  • 👌 Essay Writing Tips

🔗 References

📑 what are the 5 different types of essays.

The five main essay types are:

  • Argumentative
  • Descriptive

The Five Main Essay Types Are: Expository, Argumentative, Persuasive, Descriptive, & Narrative.

Expository Essay

An expository essay aims to present opinion-free information on a topic that may be broad or narrow. This essay type is often assigned as an in-class or an exam task. Please find below useful expository writing tips!

  • An expository essay introduction should clarify the topic and briefly lay out its elements.

“The oil industry is a very large portion of the energy sector, and it has significant impacts on the climate and economy.”

  • The body paragraphs of your expository essay should contain enough evidence to support your thesis statement.
  • Your expository essay conclusion should readdress the thesis in the light of the evidence provided in the body.
  • The transitions between the different parts of your expository essay should be very logical and clear.

Argumentative Essay

An argumentative essay requires a profound investigation of a topic leading to the collection and evaluation of evidence. Such an in-depth study shall result in an established position on the topic, written down concisely.

As a rule, this type of writing presupposes extensive literature research . Sometimes, argumentative assignments may require empirical investigation through surveys, interviews, or observations. Detailed research ensures a clear understanding of the issue and the different points of view regarding it. Thanks to the preliminary study, you will be able to make an unbiased decision on which opinion to adhere to, and your argumentation will be more persuasive.

An argumentative essay shall follow the strict structure rules:

Difference between Expository and Argumentative Essay

Expository and argumentative essays abound in similarities and are often mistaken for one another. The principal difference is the amount of preliminary research . Argumentative essays are often assigned as final projects summing up the corpus of information mastered during a course. Expository essays are shorter and less based on research. They are used for in-class unprepared writing.

Persuasive Essay

Persuasive writing is the polar opposite of expository writing. For this style of essay, your opinion should be the focus . A persuasive essay attempts to persuade its reader to have a specific opinion.

“Though the oil industry is an important part of our economy, it has negatively impacted our environment through climate change, smog, and the building of roads.”

  • Your position should be set from the introduction of your persuasive essay. Take care to maintain it throughout the text.
  • Your persuasive essay body should contain the arguments in progression: from the least important to the most important.
  • Use ethos, logos, and pathos to persuade your readers.

Descriptive Essay

There is no more clearly-named essay than the descriptive one. Here, the goal is to describe something : a person, an object, a place, etc. The oil industry theme used to demonstrate an expository thesis statement would not be typical for a descriptive essay. Instead, descriptive writing would far more likely focus on an object associated with the oil industry, such as an oil drum, an oil tanker, or even the liquid oil itself.

  • A sample descriptive thesis statement could sound like this: “Crude oil is a black, viscous liquid that gives off an odd smell like plastic or many sorts of fuel.”
  • Your descriptive essay body should be very logical. Each of its paragraphs is to focus on one of the aspects of the topic.
  • The language you use in your descriptive essay should be vivid and varied. It is a good idea to appeal to the senses of the reader when you are describing something.

Narrative Essay

The meaning of narrative writing is very similar to a story. It may be moving, emotional, anecdotal, or insightful. You are allowed to write using first-person pronouns, and creativity is appreciated. A narrative essay is subject to all the story rules and shall comprise an introduction, characters, plot, setting, climax, and conclusion. The only case when a narrative assignment does not have to comply with a story outline is a book report. This informative narration is impersonal and unemotional.

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  • The thesis is the purpose of your narrative essay . Although it doesn’t need to sound as formal as in other academic papers, make it clear why you decided to tell the story.
  • First-person narration is not a must but is welcomed.
  • Don’t switch between points of view . If you decide to write a third-person narrative, keep it consistent throughout the text.
  • A narrative essay is closer to fiction than to a scientific document . Use artistic language that will have an emotional response in the reader.
  • Although this is not a standard five-paragraph essay, it should have an introduction and a conclusion . An unfinished piece of writing is as bad as a too wordy one.

Difference between Narrative and Descriptive Essay

A narrative essay is aimed to tell the reader a complete story of personal experiences . A descriptive essay dwells upon a separate object, place, concept, or phenomenon. It does not have a climax or any development of action.

Cause and Effect Essay

In a cause and effect essay, the text should focus on the impact of some phenomenon or physical thing —in other words, a cause and its effect.

The simplicity of this essay allows you to explore any topic . All you need to do is consider its consequences and write. Again, the oil industry can be the focus of a cause and effect essay thesis statement :

“The oil industry has had a tremendous impact on our world, enabling the automotive industry, contributing to climate change, and generating great wealth.”

Reflective Essay

In this essay, the goal is simply to respond to or reflect upon a species person, place, thing, event, or phenomenon. You may be required to reflect upon a poem, a military battle, or perhaps even another essay. By its definition, reflective essays should be very subjective. You should use personal pronouns like “I” and “me” in these essays! This type of essay should be very personal. Check out some examples of reflective writing to see this yourself.

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For example, this would be a great thesis statement for a reflective essay :

“The oil industry has provided many benefits to society, but I worry deeply about its potential costs to our planet and its species.”

Analytical Essay

In many ways, analytical writing is the objective cousin of reflective writing. Prior to attempting this style of essay, you should reflect. But you should also conduct research. The reflection is personal, while the analysis is rooted in facts and logic.

Compare the following example thesis statement with the one from the previous type of essay:

“As the oil industry has grown, the levels of greenhouse gases have increased along with temperatures and concentrations of particulate matter in the atmosphere.”

This statement outlines factors that will be analyzed in the body of the essay. It DOES NOT insert personal feelings, personal pronouns, or subjective language. You can even try and use an informative thesis statement generator and then compare the results to see it more clearly.

By staying objective, an analytical essay is much more like a report. In fact, an outline for an analytical paper should be interchangeable with a section of an outline for a much longer research project. But most importantly, any analytical paper should avoid using personal pronouns .

Comparison and Contrast Essay

In a compare and contrast essay , you make a comparison of two or more issues . You may look at their similarities, differences, or both. The focus of your analysis should be reflected in your thesis statement. Consider this example:

“While both the oil industry and the solar-power industry will be major sources of energy in the future, oil has more environmental costs than green solar power.”

Exemplification Essay

An exemplification or illustration essay is one of the most flexible essays you might be assigned. In simple terms, this essay is all about picking vivid examples. In other words, you want to make points that exemplify or illustrate your thesis statement.

For an exemplification essay, you should focus on the examples that will make your point without serious effort. In other words, if you are trying too hard, you are missing the point of the essay. Consider the following example thesis statement:

“The oil industry has had serious effects on the environment as demonstrated by the impact of massive oil spill on wildlife, the uncontrolled fires and explosions caused by oil and oil derivatives, and the melting of the polar ice caps caused by climate change.”

In the body of this exemplification essay, the writer should devote a paragraph to each of these arguments. Descriptions of seagulls or penguins coated in oil would be perfect examples of the effect of the oil industry on wildlife. Similarly, descriptions of major oil refinery explosions will also grab the reader’s attention.

Once again, the conclusion should restate the introduction, providing less background, and reminding the reader of the examples one last time.

👌 Remember These Important Essay Tips

These tips and tricks are just the basics of essay writing .

When you are writing any assignment, always pay close attention to the instructions . The standard interpretation of any particular essay style is never as important as your teacher’s definition of the assignment. When in doubt, ask questions! No teacher will be upset with you asking for reasonable clarifications. It is better to write the essay your teacher expected, rather than surprise your teacher with a creative effort. And, subsequently, get a poor grade.

  • You may also notice that every one of the rough examples described fits into the 5-paragraph essay format . This essay structure is a powerful way to organize your thoughts. Becoming skilled at applying this structure will strengthen your writing. Soon after, you’ll write both shorter and longer essays with ease.
  • If you’re still confused, watch one of the many helpful videos on essay writing .
  • Start writing your essay early! No matter the essay type, your revisions will be better than your first drafts. If you have time for second, third, and fourth drafts, you will be much happier with your final grade.
  • Essay Structure | – Harvard College Writing Center
  • Writing: Types of Essays – Smith College
  • Essay Writing // Purdue Writing Lab
  • Types of academic writing – The University of Sydney
  • Guide to Different Kinds of Essays – Gallaudet University
  • What are the types of essays? – Quora
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Beauty lasts only a short time. But in the realm of art, in the field of poetry, beauty lasts forever. Sonnet 73 is addressed to a lover who is younger than the speaker. The poem uses three metaphors to depict the speaker’s age and impending death. First, the speaker says that he is autumn, the time of year when the beauty of summer is gone, and the death of winter is about to set in. Then he says that he is the end of the day when only a faint light lingers on the western horizon, and deathly darkness is about to engulf the world. Then he says that he is an almost burned out fire, nearly reduced to ashes. This sonnet doesn’t look to art for consolation, but to love. It concludes by saying, You love me even though you know you’re soon going to lose me, and that makes your love all the greater.

Awesome post as usual! Your posts make me accumulate knowledge about writing various college papers! Thanks a lot for this assistance!

These are amazing tips for compare and contrast essay writing. Will definitely use them when writing my compare and contrast essay. Thanks for sharing them!

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  • Example of a great essay | Explanations, tips & tricks

Example of a Great Essay | Explanations, Tips & Tricks

Published on February 9, 2015 by Shane Bryson . Revised on July 23, 2023 by Shona McCombes.

This example guides you through the structure of an essay. It shows how to build an effective introduction , focused paragraphs , clear transitions between ideas, and a strong conclusion .

Each paragraph addresses a single central point, introduced by a topic sentence , and each point is directly related to the thesis statement .

As you read, hover over the highlighted parts to learn what they do and why they work.

Table of contents

Other interesting articles, frequently asked questions about writing an essay, an appeal to the senses: the development of the braille system in nineteenth-century france.

The invention of Braille was a major turning point in the history of disability. The writing system of raised dots used by visually impaired people was developed by Louis Braille in nineteenth-century France. In a society that did not value disabled people in general, blindness was particularly stigmatized, and lack of access to reading and writing was a significant barrier to social participation. The idea of tactile reading was not entirely new, but existing methods based on sighted systems were difficult to learn and use. As the first writing system designed for blind people’s needs, Braille was a groundbreaking new accessibility tool. It not only provided practical benefits, but also helped change the cultural status of blindness. This essay begins by discussing the situation of blind people in nineteenth-century Europe. It then describes the invention of Braille and the gradual process of its acceptance within blind education. Subsequently, it explores the wide-ranging effects of this invention on blind people’s social and cultural lives.

Lack of access to reading and writing put blind people at a serious disadvantage in nineteenth-century society. Text was one of the primary methods through which people engaged with culture, communicated with others, and accessed information; without a well-developed reading system that did not rely on sight, blind people were excluded from social participation (Weygand, 2009). While disabled people in general suffered from discrimination, blindness was widely viewed as the worst disability, and it was commonly believed that blind people were incapable of pursuing a profession or improving themselves through culture (Weygand, 2009). This demonstrates the importance of reading and writing to social status at the time: without access to text, it was considered impossible to fully participate in society. Blind people were excluded from the sighted world, but also entirely dependent on sighted people for information and education.

In France, debates about how to deal with disability led to the adoption of different strategies over time. While people with temporary difficulties were able to access public welfare, the most common response to people with long-term disabilities, such as hearing or vision loss, was to group them together in institutions (Tombs, 1996). At first, a joint institute for the blind and deaf was created, and although the partnership was motivated more by financial considerations than by the well-being of the residents, the institute aimed to help people develop skills valuable to society (Weygand, 2009). Eventually blind institutions were separated from deaf institutions, and the focus shifted towards education of the blind, as was the case for the Royal Institute for Blind Youth, which Louis Braille attended (Jimenez et al, 2009). The growing acknowledgement of the uniqueness of different disabilities led to more targeted education strategies, fostering an environment in which the benefits of a specifically blind education could be more widely recognized.

Several different systems of tactile reading can be seen as forerunners to the method Louis Braille developed, but these systems were all developed based on the sighted system. The Royal Institute for Blind Youth in Paris taught the students to read embossed roman letters, a method created by the school’s founder, Valentin Hauy (Jimenez et al., 2009). Reading this way proved to be a rather arduous task, as the letters were difficult to distinguish by touch. The embossed letter method was based on the reading system of sighted people, with minimal adaptation for those with vision loss. As a result, this method did not gain significant success among blind students.

Louis Braille was bound to be influenced by his school’s founder, but the most influential pre-Braille tactile reading system was Charles Barbier’s night writing. A soldier in Napoleon’s army, Barbier developed a system in 1819 that used 12 dots with a five line musical staff (Kersten, 1997). His intention was to develop a system that would allow the military to communicate at night without the need for light (Herron, 2009). The code developed by Barbier was phonetic (Jimenez et al., 2009); in other words, the code was designed for sighted people and was based on the sounds of words, not on an actual alphabet. Barbier discovered that variants of raised dots within a square were the easiest method of reading by touch (Jimenez et al., 2009). This system proved effective for the transmission of short messages between military personnel, but the symbols were too large for the fingertip, greatly reducing the speed at which a message could be read (Herron, 2009). For this reason, it was unsuitable for daily use and was not widely adopted in the blind community.

Nevertheless, Barbier’s military dot system was more efficient than Hauy’s embossed letters, and it provided the framework within which Louis Braille developed his method. Barbier’s system, with its dashes and dots, could form over 4000 combinations (Jimenez et al., 2009). Compared to the 26 letters of the Latin alphabet, this was an absurdly high number. Braille kept the raised dot form, but developed a more manageable system that would reflect the sighted alphabet. He replaced Barbier’s dashes and dots with just six dots in a rectangular configuration (Jimenez et al., 2009). The result was that the blind population in France had a tactile reading system using dots (like Barbier’s) that was based on the structure of the sighted alphabet (like Hauy’s); crucially, this system was the first developed specifically for the purposes of the blind.

While the Braille system gained immediate popularity with the blind students at the Institute in Paris, it had to gain acceptance among the sighted before its adoption throughout France. This support was necessary because sighted teachers and leaders had ultimate control over the propagation of Braille resources. Many of the teachers at the Royal Institute for Blind Youth resisted learning Braille’s system because they found the tactile method of reading difficult to learn (Bullock & Galst, 2009). This resistance was symptomatic of the prevalent attitude that the blind population had to adapt to the sighted world rather than develop their own tools and methods. Over time, however, with the increasing impetus to make social contribution possible for all, teachers began to appreciate the usefulness of Braille’s system (Bullock & Galst, 2009), realizing that access to reading could help improve the productivity and integration of people with vision loss. It took approximately 30 years, but the French government eventually approved the Braille system, and it was established throughout the country (Bullock & Galst, 2009).

Although Blind people remained marginalized throughout the nineteenth century, the Braille system granted them growing opportunities for social participation. Most obviously, Braille allowed people with vision loss to read the same alphabet used by sighted people (Bullock & Galst, 2009), allowing them to participate in certain cultural experiences previously unavailable to them. Written works, such as books and poetry, had previously been inaccessible to the blind population without the aid of a reader, limiting their autonomy. As books began to be distributed in Braille, this barrier was reduced, enabling people with vision loss to access information autonomously. The closing of the gap between the abilities of blind and the sighted contributed to a gradual shift in blind people’s status, lessening the cultural perception of the blind as essentially different and facilitating greater social integration.

The Braille system also had important cultural effects beyond the sphere of written culture. Its invention later led to the development of a music notation system for the blind, although Louis Braille did not develop this system himself (Jimenez, et al., 2009). This development helped remove a cultural obstacle that had been introduced by the popularization of written musical notation in the early 1500s. While music had previously been an arena in which the blind could participate on equal footing, the transition from memory-based performance to notation-based performance meant that blind musicians were no longer able to compete with sighted musicians (Kersten, 1997). As a result, a tactile musical notation system became necessary for professional equality between blind and sighted musicians (Kersten, 1997).

Braille paved the way for dramatic cultural changes in the way blind people were treated and the opportunities available to them. Louis Braille’s innovation was to reimagine existing reading systems from a blind perspective, and the success of this invention required sighted teachers to adapt to their students’ reality instead of the other way around. In this sense, Braille helped drive broader social changes in the status of blindness. New accessibility tools provide practical advantages to those who need them, but they can also change the perspectives and attitudes of those who do not.

Bullock, J. D., & Galst, J. M. (2009). The Story of Louis Braille. Archives of Ophthalmology , 127(11), 1532. https://​​archophthalmol.2009.286.

Herron, M. (2009, May 6). Blind visionary. Retrieved from https://​​content/​articles/2009/05/​blind-visionary/.

Jiménez, J., Olea, J., Torres, J., Alonso, I., Harder, D., & Fischer, K. (2009). Biography of Louis Braille and Invention of the Braille Alphabet. Survey of Ophthalmology , 54(1), 142–149. https://​​j.survophthal.2008.10.006.

Kersten, F.G. (1997). The history and development of Braille music methodology. The Bulletin of Historical Research in Music Education , 18(2). Retrieved from https://​​stable/40214926.

Mellor, C.M. (2006). Louis Braille: A touch of genius . Boston: National Braille Press.

Tombs, R. (1996). France: 1814-1914 . London: Pearson Education Ltd.

Weygand, Z. (2009). The blind in French society from the Middle Ages to the century of Louis Braille . Stanford: Stanford University Press.

If you want to know more about AI tools , college essays , or fallacies make sure to check out some of our other articles with explanations and examples or go directly to our tools!

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different types of essays in english

An essay is a focused piece of writing that explains, argues, describes, or narrates.

In high school, you may have to write many different types of essays to develop your writing skills.

Academic essays at college level are usually argumentative : you develop a clear thesis about your topic and make a case for your position using evidence, analysis and interpretation.

The structure of an essay is divided into an introduction that presents your topic and thesis statement , a body containing your in-depth analysis and arguments, and a conclusion wrapping up your ideas.

The structure of the body is flexible, but you should always spend some time thinking about how you can organize your essay to best serve your ideas.

Your essay introduction should include three main things, in this order:

  • An opening hook to catch the reader’s attention.
  • Relevant background information that the reader needs to know.
  • A thesis statement that presents your main point or argument.

The length of each part depends on the length and complexity of your essay .

A thesis statement is a sentence that sums up the central point of your paper or essay . Everything else you write should relate to this key idea.

A topic sentence is a sentence that expresses the main point of a paragraph . Everything else in the paragraph should relate to the topic sentence.

At college level, you must properly cite your sources in all essays , research papers , and other academic texts (except exams and in-class exercises).

Add a citation whenever you quote , paraphrase , or summarize information or ideas from a source. You should also give full source details in a bibliography or reference list at the end of your text.

The exact format of your citations depends on which citation style you are instructed to use. The most common styles are APA , MLA , and Chicago .

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Bryson, S. (2023, July 23). Example of a Great Essay | Explanations, Tips & Tricks. Scribbr. Retrieved November 14, 2023, from

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What Is an Essay? Different Types of Essays with Examples

What Is an Essay? Different Types of Essays with Examples 1

There will be many times during your life where you might be asked to write an essay. This can be an intimidating prospect, especially if you are not clear on exactly what an essay is and how it is meant to be written. In this article, we are going to be looking a little more closely at what an essay is and what it’s purpose is as well as looking at the various types of essay. We are also going to be looking at some examples to give us a further understanding on the subject.

Table of Contents

What Is An Essay?

In the most simple terms, an essay is a short piece of writing which is set around a specific topic or subject. The piece of writing will give information surrounding the topic but will also display the opinions and thoughts of the author.

Often times, an essay is used in an academic sense by way of examination in order to determine whether a student has understood their studies and as a way of testing their knowledge on a specific subject. An essay is also used in education as a way of encouraging a student to develop their writing skills.

Types Of Essays

When it comes to writing an essay, there is not simply one type, there are in fact, quite a few types of essay and each of them have their own purpose and function. We are now going to take a look at each of these in a little more detail.

Narrative Essays

A narrative essay is one which details a story, often times from a particular point of view. When writing a narrative essay, you should include a set of characters, a location, a good plot and a climax to the story.

You will use the plot as a way of detailing events within the story and whilst these are commonly in time order, you may feel free to time hop and include flashes from history or the future.

It is vital that, when writing this type of essay you use fine details to do allow the reader to feel emotion and use their senses but also give the story the chance to make a point. The point of the essay should be mentioned early on, preferably in the opening line, but if not certainly within the introduction paragraph . You should also write this type of essay in either the third or first person and unlike a creative writing story, should always be based around fact. Let’s now take a look at an extract from a narrative essay, this is from A Ticket To The Fair written by David Wallace Foster.

It is press day today at the state fair in Springfield, Illinois and I am meant to be there in the fairground at 9am in order to get my credentials. I think of these as a small card in the band around a hat. I had never been thought of as press until now. But my true interest in the credentials is being able to get onto the rides and into the shows for free. I have come in from the East coast, fresh and ready for one of their magazines. It isn’t clear to me why they have an interest in this state fair but I expect that the editors realise, from time to time that most of the USA live away from the coast and that they will employ someone like me to do a spot of rural reporting. I’m thinking that they had asked me to report this as I grew up here. I had never been to the state fair. In fact I have not been back here for quite some time and I cannot say that I have missed it.

Descriptive Essay

A descriptive essay will describe something in great detail. The subject can be anything from people and places to objects and events but the main point is to go into depth. You might describe the item’s colour, where it came from, what it looks like, smells like, tastes like or how it feels.

It is very important to allow the reader to sense what you are writing about and allow them to feel some sort of emotion whilst reading. That being said, the information should be concise and easy to understand, the use of imagery is widely used in this style of essay. We will now take a look at a passage from a descriptive essay, this one is from The Orchestra Played On written by Joanna Lipman .

The hinge creaks as I open the decrepit case. I am greeted by flowing cascades of horsehair-the bow is a victim of the mites. It is agony when I twist my fingers to the position, but to my surprise and the surprise of my children-who were yet to hear me play- I was still able to make a sound.

Expository Essay

An expository essay is used as a way to look into a problem and therefore compare it and explore it. For the expository essay there is a little bit of storytelling involved but this type of essay goes beyond that. The main idea is that it should explain an idea giving information and explanation.

Your expository essay should be simple and easy to understand as well as giving a variety of view points on the subject that is being discussed. Often times this type of essay is used as a way to detail a subject which is usually more difficult for people to understand, in a clear and concise manner. Let’s take a look at this excerpt from How Chinese Mothers Are Superior written by Amy Chua.

I am using the phrase Chinese mom loosely. I know of some Indian. Irish, Jamaican, Ghanaian and Korean parents who fit the bill too. I also know Chinese moms, mostly born in the west that are not Chinese moms. I am also using the phrase parents of the west loosely. These come in many varieties. That being said, even the parents of the west believe that they are strict, they’re not nearly as strict as Chinese moms. For example, my friends from the west who think of themselves as strict, make their kids play instruments for just half an hour each day. For a Chinese mom, the first sixty minutes are the easiest, it’s the second and third hours that are tough.

Argumentative Essay

When writing an argumentative essay , you will be attempting to convince your reader about an opinion or point of view. The idea is to show the reader whether the topic is true or false along with giving your own opinion. It is very important that you use facts and data to back up any claims that made within the essay. We will now look at a passage from the argumentative essay titled The Flight From Conversation written by Sherry Turkle.

We have become used to this new concept being alone, together. Enabled by technology, we can be with each other as well as being somewhere else, we can be connected to anywhere we wish to be. We wish to be able to customise our life. We wish to be able to move in or out of anywhere we are as what we most value is having control over where our attention is focused. We are used to the concept of being, loyal to our own and in a tribe.

Other Types Of Essays

Whilst there are four main types of essay, there are some more, less common types. Despite not being within the main four, these types of essay are still important and each serve their own purpose. We are now going to take a look at each of these in a little more detail.

Definition Essays

This is a type of essay which is used to define an idea, thing or concept.

Simple Essays

This is, as its name would suggest, a simple essay which is made up from five paragraphs and can be written on any subject.

Persuasive Essays

The persuasive essay is one which can be used as a way of convincing the readers of an idea. It might also be used in order to convince the reader not to do a particular thing, or indeed to do it..

Rhetorical Analysis Essays

This type of essay is used as a way of analysing a piece of rhetoric or a speech and looks at any rhetorical devices which have been used.

Analytical Essays

As the name of this type of essay might suggest, it is an essay which is used to analyse something. This could be a piece of writing, a movie or anything else. The idea is that the analytical essay will look at what it is analysing from various viewpoints allowing the reader to form their own opinion.

Compare And Contrast Essays

When writing a compare and contrast essay , the author will be using it as a way of creating a comparison between two things or finding a contrast between them. But it is not limited to one or the other, you can also write a compare and contrast essay to do both of these things in one.

Cause And Effect Essays

This is a type of essay which allows the author to explain the cause of a certain thing as well as being able to explain the effects of it.

Critical Essays

When writing a critical essay, the author will be writing about a piece of literature and evaluating it. They will use the good and bad points of the piece in order to do this.

Process Essays

The process essay is a way of outlining or detailing a process. This is done by breaking down the process so that the readers are able to understand it and even perform the process themselves once they have read the essay.

Synthesis Essays

This is a type of essay which is used as a way to synthesis various concepts in order to create a judgement on their good and bad points.

Review Essays

The review essay is one which looks at a piece of literature and gives a review on it based around the good and bad points within it.

Research Essays

The research essay is one which is written based on a research question and aims to give a specific answer to it. The author will research the subject as a way of providing an answer to the question that was posed.

Explanatory Essays

This type of essay is used as way to explain any given piece of written work or literature. They can be written on a variety of types of literature such as poetry, novels or a short story.

Essay Infographic


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11 thoughts on “What Is an Essay? Different Types of Essays with Examples”

An essay is a written piece of work that presents a writer’s perspective, opinion, or argument on a particular topic. It is a common academic assignment given to students at various educational levels. Essays can be classified into different types based on their purpose, content, and style.

Here are the different types of essays with examples:

Narrative Essay: A narrative essay tells a story about a real-life experience. It includes characters, a plot, and a setting. For example, “My First Day at College.”

Descriptive Essay: A descriptive essay provides a detailed description of a person, place, or thing. It aims to create a vivid picture in the reader’s mind. For example, “The Grand Canyon.”

Expository Essay: An expository essay provides information and explains a topic in detail. It includes facts, statistics, and examples. For example, “The Effects of Smoking on Health.”

Persuasive Essay: A persuasive essay aims to convince the reader to accept the writer’s opinion or point of view. It includes arguments and evidence to support the writer’s stance. For example, “Why Students Should Wear School Uniforms.”

Argumentative Essay: An argumentative essay is similar to a persuasive essay, but it presents a more balanced and well-researched argument. It considers opposing views and evidence to support its claims. For example, “The Benefits and Risks of Vaccines.”

Compare and Contrast Essay: A compare and contrast essay compares two or more things and highlights their similarities and differences. For example, “Differences between Public and Private Schools.”

Cause and Effect Essay: A cause and effect essay explores the reasons why something happens and its consequences. For example, “Causes and Effects of Global Warming.”

Essay writing can be a challenging task for students, especially when they have to deal with multiple assignments with tight deadlines. In such cases, they can seek help from essay writing services. These services provide professional writers who can create high-quality essays based on the given requirements. Students can save time and get good grades by availing themselves of such services. However, it is important to choose a reliable and trustworthy essay writing service to ensure the quality and originality of the work.

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Did you know the word ‘essay’ is derived from a Latin word ‘exagium’, which roughly translates to presenting one’s case? So essays are a short piece of writing representing one’s side of the argument or one’s experiences, stories, etc. Essays are very personalized. So let us learn about types of essays, format, and tips for essay-writing.

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different types of essays in english

An essay is generally a short piece of writing outlining the writer’s perspective or story . It is often considered synonymous with a story or a paper or an article. Essays can be formal as well as informal. Formal essays are generally academic in nature and tackle serious topics. We will be focusing on informal essays which are more personal and often have humorous elements.

Browse more Topics under Writing

  • Descriptive Essay
  • Diary Entry
  • Formal Letters
  • Informal Letters
  • Letter Writing
  • Non-Classified/Display Advertisements
  • Story: Characters
  • Story: Setting

Get 500+ Essay Topics and Ideas for College and School Students here .

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Types of Essays

The type of essay will depend on what the writer wants to convey to his reader. There are broadly four types of essays. Let us see.

  • Narrative Essays: This is when the writer is narrating an incident or story through the essay. So these are in the first person. The aim when writing narrative essays is to involve the reader in them as if they were right there when it was happening. So make them as vivid and real as possible. One way to make this possible is to follow the principle of ‘show, don’t tell’. So you must involve the reader in the story.
  • Descriptive Essays : Here the writer will describe a place, an object, an event or maybe even a memory. But it is not just plainly describing things. The writer must paint a picture through his words. One clever way to do that is to evoke the senses of the reader. Do not only rely on sight but also involve the other senses of smell, touch, sound etc. A descriptive essay when done well will make the reader feel the emotions the writer was feeling at the moment.
  • Expository Essays: In such an essay a writer presents a balanced study of a topic. To write such an essay, the writer must have real and extensive knowledge about the subject. There is no scope for the writer’s feelings or emotions in an expository essay. It is completely based on facts, statistics, examples etc. There are sub-types here like contrast essays, cause and effect essays etc.
  • Persuasive Essays : Here the purpose of the essay is to get the reader to your side of the argument. A persuasive essay is not just a presentation of facts but an attempt to convince the reader of the writer’s point of view. Both sides of the argument have to presented in these essays. But the ultimate aim is to persuade the readers that the writer’s argument carries more weight.

Learn more about Letter Writing here in detail .

Format of an Essay

Now there is no rigid format of an essay. It is a creative process so it should not be confined within boundaries. However, there is a basic structure that is generally followed while writing essays. So let us take a look at the general structure of an essay.


This is the first paragraph of your essay. This is where the writer introduces his topic for the very first time. You can give a very brief synopsis of your essay in the introductory paragraph. Some paragraph writing skills can be a help here. Generally, it is not very long, about 4-6 lines.

different types of essays in english

There is plenty of scopes to get creative in the introduction of essays. This will ensure that you hook the reader, i.e. draw and keep his attention. So to do so you can start with a quote or a proverb . Sometimes you can even start with a definition. Another interesting strategy to engage with your reader is to start with a question.

This is the main crux of your essays. The body is the meat of your essay sandwiched between the introduction and the conclusion. So the most vital and important content of the essay will be here. This need not be confined to one paragraph. It can extend to two or more paragraphs according to the content.

Usually, we have a lot of information to provide in the body. And the mistakes writers generally make is to go about it in a haphazard manner which leaves the reader confused. So it is important to organize your thoughts and content. Write the information in a systematic flow so that the reader can comprehend. So, for example, you were narrating an incident . The best manner to do this would be to go in a chronological order.

Learn more about Story Writing here in detail .

This is the last paragraph of the essay. Sometimes a conclusion will just mirror the introductory paragraph but make sure the words and syntax are different. A conclusion is also a great place to sum up a story or an argument. You can round up your essay by providing some moral or wrapping up a story. Make sure you complete your essays with the conclusion, leave no hanging threads.

Tips for Essay Writing

  • Give your essays an interesting and appropriate title. It will help draw the attention of the reader and pique their curiosity
  • Keep it between 300-500 words. This is the ideal length, you can take creative license to increase or decrease it
  • Keep your language simple and crisp. Unnecessary complicated and difficult words break the flow of the sentence.
  • Do not make grammar mistakes , use correct punctuation and spellings . If this is not done it will distract the reader from the content
  • Before beginning the essay organize your thought and plot a rough draft . This way you can ensure the story will flow and not be an unorganized mess.

Solved Question for You

Q: What is a thesis statement of essays?

Ans: The thesis statement is a clear, one-sentence explanation of your position that leaves no doubt in the readers’ mind about which side you are on from the beginning of your essay.


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Types of Essay

Definition of types of essay.

An essay is a short academic composition. The word “essay” is derived from a French word “essai” or “essayer,” which mean “trail.” In composition, however, an essay is a piece of non- fiction writing that talks or discusses a specific topic. Presently, essay is part of every degree program.

Each subject has specific requirements for the essays to be written. Some subjects need longer essays, while others need shorter ones, such as a five-paragraph essay. In composition, the start is made from a five-paragraph essay. Based on the requirements, there are seventeen types of essays.

  • Definition Essay As the name suggests, a definition type of essay defines different things, ideas, and perceptions.
  • Narrative Essay A narrative essay is a narration like a short story . It is, however, different from a short story in that it is written in an essay format.
  • Descriptive Essay A descriptive essay describes something to make readers feel, smell, see, taste, or hear what is described.
  • Expository Essay An expository essay exposes things in detail to make readers understand without any complications.
  • Persuasive Essay A persuasive essay is meant to convince the target audience to do something or not do something.
  • Argumentative Essay An argumentative essay is meant to present arguments in the favor of something. It has an additional fourth body paragraph that is meant to present opposite arguments.
  • Analytical Essay An analytical essay analyzes something, such as in literature an analytical essay analyzes a piece of literature from different angles.
  • Comparison and Contrast Essay A comparison and contrast essay makes either a comparison, a contrast, or both between two different or similar things.
  • Cause and Effect Essay A cause and effect essay makes readers understand the cause of things, and their effects on other things.
  • Critical Essay A critical essay is written on literary pieces to evaluate them on the basis of their merits or demerits.
  • Process Essay A process essay outlines a process of making or breaking or doing something that readers understand fully and are able to do it after reading it.
  • Synthesis Essay A synthesis essay means to synthesize different ideas to make a judgement about their merit and demerits.
  • Explicatory Essay An explicatory essay is meant to explain a piece of literature. It is often written about poems , short stories, and novels .
  • Rhetorical Analysis Essay A rhetorical analysis essay evaluates a speech or a piece of rhetoric on the basis of rhetorical strategies and devices used in it.
  • Review Essay A review essay discusses the merits and demerits of a book and evaluates it through a review.
  • Simple Essay A simple essay is just a five-paragraph essay that is written on any topic after it is specified.
  • Research Essay A research essay revolves around a research question that is meant to answer some specific question through a research of the relevant literature.

Format of an Essay

Generally, a simple a five-paragraph has five paragraphs including an introduction , three body paragraphs, and a conclusion . An argumentative essay, however, has an additional paragraph which presents counter argument or opposing arguments in the same sequence. However, at the end of this paragraph, both the arguments are weighed in the favor of stronger arguments presented earlier in three body paragraphs.

The format of an argumentative essay is given below:

Function of types of essay.

An essay is a specific discussion or debate on a topic from a specific point of view . A student discusses the topic from his own specific angle. Readers not only get a glimpse of what the other aspect of the topic is, they also come to know about the tone and voice of the student writers to decide whether he has achieved a certain level of capability in writing. In literary essays, a writer becomes discusses the influence that literary piece has upon the readers about a certain point of view. Essays are also useful in winning public approval about certain political ideas.

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16 Types of Essays You Will Write In College

03 Jul 2021

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📑Popular Types Of Essays

☝️Choosing Type Of An Essay

Essays are an essential part of attending school, and college essays serve as a means of expressing one's thoughts, ideas, and arguments in a clear and organized manner. Significantly, academic writing is an official type of final or entrance exam for many schools and universities. In most schools, it doesn’t matter the subject area, the course or the class. You have to write an academic essay to pass the exam.

There are several types of essays, each with its unique purpose, structure, and style. We will explain to you what is the difference between common types of college essays. Our essay classification guide is here to help you.

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16 Popular Types Of Essays In College

College Essay is a prosaic, shorter, free composition expressing individual views on a particular case or problem. Any genre of the document suggests freedom of creativity. It could be any topic, and it could be written in any style, about anything, because the composition is your way of thinking about what you have heard, read, and seen. Writing essays is extremely useful, as it allows the author to clearly and correctly formulate thoughts, structure information, increase analytical skills, win arguments, and master the scientific style of speech.

There are several types of college essays. Here you can check the list of the most widespread formats.

5-paragraphs Essays

This particular type of assignment consists of five paragraphs: an introduction, three parts of the body and a concluding part you may find among them. A thesis statement is the core of the introductory paragraph. The first has to contain a "reverse hook". In other words, the strongest argument of the whole text. The second is used as a transitional part between the previous and the third one. The last contains the weakest argument and concluding hook, showing the reader that this is the last major statement in the composition. The fifth paragraph is an element of the text that includes the conclusions made in the three upper sections.

Admission or Application Essay

This format is part of the college admissions process. It's used to learn more about the students’ reasons for college applications and their ability to benefit from and contribute to them. The purpose of a college application essay is to convey a sense of your unique character to the admissions committee or admissions officers. (Also, we have some examples of admission essays )

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Argumentative Essays

This type of paper can’t be called the best-written essay for students because, with this piece of writing, you have to ensure the potential readers that your position has merit. In other words, this is more accurate and complete than competing arguments. (Also, we have some examples of argumentative essays )

Analytical Essays

An analytical essay is a type of essay that requires the writer to analyze and interpret a text, concept, or phenomenon. Writing an analytical essay aims to break down a complex topic into smaller, more manageable parts and provide a detailed analysis and interpretation of them. As an analytical essay writer, you are expected to focus on specific details: the methodology, findings, or conclusions of previous researchers. Conclude your research with a summation of the results. Then recommend the framework for further study on the issue.

Cause and Effect Essays

Cause and effect compositions are related to which factors things are caused and the effects of these reasons. Cause and effect is a general method of organizing and discussing ideas. (Also, we have  examples of cause and effect essays )

Classification Essay

A writer organizes examples that fit into main categories. The most important thing during the writing process of such papers is to find the necessary types to classify things correctly.

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Critical Thinking Essays

The adjective "critical" in the nomination describes the author’s perspective when reading the article. This subjective point of view can be described as a "detached evaluation". It means that the college student weighs the coherence of the reading and the completeness of the data before accepting or rejecting it. A critical composition or review begins with an examination of the text and proceeds to write a critique of it. (Also, we have  examples of critical thinking essays )

Deductive Essays

Anyone can write an informative essay , but not everyone can make it logical. This is a college format to calculate the students’ knowledge. In other words, deductive reasoning is a phenomenon including a set of circumstances and previous statements that one can draw a reasonable assumption as an answer to the state of the matter.

Expository Essays

The objective of this text is to describe a situation or event and express a certain (author’s personal or public) opinion about it. Expository writing, or exposition, presents a subject in detail without criticism, argument, or development. The author clarifies a topic by examining it.

Exploratory Essays

The focus of an exploratory essay is a question rather than being thesis based. The college student should start writing without the ending in his mind. Whether they know the subject or not. The purpose of this writing is to improve one's way of thinking.

Informal Essays

This is a less formal statement than a free expression of opinion. The informal qualitative composition has an unconstrained style but retains a solid structure. Do not worry about how to sound academic but avoid carelessness. You can ask to help me write my college essay .

Narrative Essays

Also known as a descriptive essay, this paper tells a story based on the author's personal experience. A descriptive essay is the best chance for the author to express his own opinion according to any question concerning him. As it is a story, it has to contain all structural elements of storytelling: plot, character, setting, climax, and ending. The purpose of a narrative essay is to engage the reader through vivid details, sensory descriptions, and emotional connections.

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Personal Essays

A personal essay is a particular type of paper that aims to grab the reader’s attention from the first paragraph. The personal essay should include personal statements and represent people you intend to have an interest in your point of view.

Persuasive Essays

As in the argumentative article, a persuasive essay must always sound reasonable and demonstrate solid evidence by stating facts, giving logical reasons, using examples, and quoting experts. If you are well informed about your topic, you will succeed in writing a persuasive essay..

Scholarship Essays

It is a presumption of individual experience and topic requirements. To get the highest grade for the text, you need to mention everything, and everyone that influenced you, your views, and what characterizes you as a personal statement.

Choose The Type Of Your Essay Correctly

When it comes to essays, there are many different types of essays that one can write. Some of the most common types are descriptive essays, expository essays, persuasive essays and narrative essays. In addition to these, students can also buy custom essays online that are tailored specifically to their needs. Custom essays come in a variety of formats and can help fulfill any assignment requirements more efficiently than traditional essays.

When writing a college essay, it is important to determine each paragraph's topic, desired length, and goals. Begin with writing the first draft main idea or a bright phrase. The only task for various college essays is how to grab the reader's attention immediately and make him feel interested.

Choosing the right type of essay is crucial for effective essay writing. It is essential to understand what type of essay are a college essay and the purpose and requirements of each essay type to select the most appropriate one for your assignment. Here are some useful tips to help you choose the type of your college essay correctly:

Understand the Essay Prompt

The first step in choosing the right essay type is carefully reading and understanding the essay prompts. They usually provide specific instructions, such as the topic, purpose, audience, and word count. This will help you determine the type of college essay you need to write.

Consider Your Audience

Consider your audience when choosing the type of essay to write. Consider who your readers are, their interests and knowledge levels, and what you want them to take away from your essay. This will help you choose an appropriate tone and level of formality for your paper.

Know the types of essays

Familiarize yourself with the different types of college essays, their structures, and requirements. Read examples of each type to understand their structure, tone, and purpose, and practice writing. This will help you choose the most suitable type of essay for your topic and purpose.

Know your strengths

Play to your strengths as a writer. Choose a type of essay that aligns with your skills and expertise. Are you better at telling stories or analyzing data? Are you comfortable with a formal or informal tone? Do you have a strong argument? Knowing your strengths and weaknesses will help you how to choose the types of essay that best suits your writing skills.

When it comes to writing an essay, there are various types of essays available, such as narrative, descriptive, expository, argumentative, compare and contrast, and more. To write any of these types of essays, one needs to have good writing skills. Those who are not confident in their writing skills, they can always avail of the services of academic essay writers to help them create an outstanding essays.

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different types of essays in english

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  • Essay Examples

Types of Essays

types of essays

Most students meet certain problems when it comes to essay writing . The main reason for this is that they don't fully understand what it should be like.

  • An essay is aimed to show your personal opinion about the subject.
  • It should also contain a message to convey, and it is to have a purpose.
  • You have to consider different points of view and write your essay with the sense of full understanding of the topic.

Our service provides professionals that are ready to help you with your essay. All your requirements will be taken into account so you can save your time and nerves for something more interesting.

There are 10 basic types of essay that are widespread in the world of academic writing. They are:

  • descriptive essay
  • definition essay
  • compare and contrast essay
  • cause and effect essay
  • narrative essay
  • process essay
  • argumentative essay
  • critical essay
  • expository essay
  • persuasive essay

These are just patterns that you have to fill with certain information and viewpoints. You are to understand the subject as well as be direct in expressing your ideas.

1. Descriptive Essay

This type of essay is designed for describing details of the subject. It can be written about any object and its features. You are to describe the way it looks, smells or works. It can be compared with a detailed overview of the things you write about. In this type of essay, every detail counts.

2. Definition Essay

The ultimate goal of the definition essay is to focus on the definition of the subject. It may focus on different things or various origins.

The point of this type of essay is to explain something on a higher level than dictionaries do.

Here you are to delve into the subject to get the understanding of what it is, how people perceive it, what it associated with.

3. Compare & Contrast Essay

This type of essay is aimed to dwell upon on differences and similarities between two objects, events, things, etc. The reader should receive a clear understanding of what certain things have in common and what is different about them. The writer has to be well informed about both subjects in order to provide the reader with a clear comparison of the two subjects.

4. Cause & Effect Essay

This type of essay is destined to focus on the sequence of an event and the result of it. It reminds some a study where you are to show what cause has led to a particular result. In case there are more causes than results or fewer causes than results the writer has to explore them separately. The cause & effect essay requires the writer to draw a logical connection between the reasons of a certain event. To write a good essay of that type it is necessary to study the works on the similar topics to have a better understanding of how such research is done.

5. Narrative Essay

This type of essay is aimed at telling a story about a certain event in a person's life. It may be a funny festival or a watching a good movie in the cinema, everyday activity or visiting another country. In such essay, you are free to express your personal attitude towards things that affected you, places that you liked or people you were with. It is usually written in the 1st person with a frequent usage of "I."

6. Process Essay

When it comes to a process essay , one may find certain similarities with a cause and effect essay. This type of paper required the same level of understanding of the subject and how it works. It sometimes resembles a manual where the instructions to do something are given. To write this essay better, you are to perform the described process if possible as it is easier to tell about something you know well and good at.

7. Argumentative Essay

When it comes to this type of essay, it should be noted that it is quite useful for any student on any level of education. The ultimate goal of this essay is to persuade the reader to take the author's viewpoint. It is not an easy thing to do as this paper is aimed at manipulating the other people's thoughts to change their attitude towards something.

For this writing, you are to use firm language, proved facts and accurate and vivid illustrations as an evidence of your argument should be flawless. Stripped of these items your argumentative essay won't be persuasive enough and your influence on the reader will be minimal. Skilled writers are to be completely sure about every word they write and every fact they give. There is no room for mistakes and uncertainty. What makes this type of essay more difficult is that you have to be ready to fight against opposing ideas, and your paper should contain the antidote to the critics of your viewpoint.

8. Critical Essay

This type of essay focuses on weak and strong features of something. It is aimed at giving a characteristic of the subject to make reader aware of what you consider to be good or bad about it. These papers usually dwell upon how something is done or written. Did the author manage to do it correctly or not? Was his work persuasive? Was he successful in delivering his message to the audience? These are the questions you will have to answer in your essay.

The difficulty of this essay lies in the fact that you have to be well informed and have a deep understanding of the essence of the subject you criticize.

9. Expository Essay

When it comes to an expository essay , keep in mind that it is aimed at an estimation of the subject from your point of view. That is why it requires research to be carried out. It is not an easy type of essay as your knowledge of the subject has to be based not only on the information you get from someone else but mostly on your own experience.

This type of essay can give you skills in organizing and manner of doing your own research. This practice is by no means very important as it can lead you to results that can be groundbreaking. It may take lots of time, but it is worth doing. Surprisingly, this feature makes this paper easier at the same time. In fact, it is more comfortable to write about something you know well and something you are sure about than digging into the information that was received from someone else. Perhaps you could contribute something new to the subject and show something that was never seen before.

Don't forget that your opinion is the foundation of your essay. Though, your paper should be long extensive and well written.

10. Persuasive Essay

This type of essay is opposite to an argumentative essay. It is aimed at changing the readers' point of view completely, taking the author's one as an axiom. It is a stronger and more difficult type of essay as it requires a better understanding of the subject and good skills in criticizing the opponents.

In most cases, persuasive essays deal with topics that are relevant here and today. A persuasive essay should be very tough and influential. By writing it, you show that you are really good at something and that you are sure that your opinion is ultimately correct. You may lose your audience the very moment you lose your integrity.

Remember that your essay has to be solid as a wall because your personal traits have no influence on a reader. It doesn't matter how you look, speak or wear. The only weapons of yours are words. Your audience should want to accept your viewpoint as the only one that makes sense.

It is not an easy task to do. That is why it requires much practice. It is a long way to master your language to influence other people with it, but this skill is highly important in many aspects of life. Don't worry if your first results will not be good enough. The more you try, the better you become.

These are the most common types of essays that are widespread in academic life. Each of them requires certain skills and talents. But don’t be scared in case you find yourself unable to write them. Our service is a perfect helper for those who are in need. Our essay writers can cope with any essay, on any topic, of any length. Our reputation is undisputed, so any trouble with academic writing of yours is our job!

Definition Essay Topics

  • How To Write A Conclusion For An Essay
  • Tops 50 Literary Essay Topics
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different types of essays in english

Different Types of Essays | Four Main Types

Four main types of essays.

different types of essays

Different Types of Essays | Describing Main Types

An essay is a piece of writing used to persuade someone of something. People write several types of essays for different purposes. In general, the essay must have a purpose. The aim can be to:

There are four main types of essays. These types are divided into further sub types. In this article we will discuss them in detail.

  • Argumentative
  • Descriptive

Argumentative Essay

Argumentative essay is based on writer’s opinion. Writer explains their reasons and give evidence to support their beliefs. The topics this essay type covers are:

  • Health care

When we have to make someone agree with our opinions, we use argumentative essay. Universities and colleges teach this type of essay commonly.  It uses three different kinds of arguments to present your opinion

Classical : It presents the argument and express your perspective. Writers try to influence audience about their stance. It works well when your audience do not know much about that topic.

Rogerian : This type is used when we have to consider other’s opinions as well. This form of argument is excellent for controversial issues, because it respects all viewpoints. It provides the middle ground through evidences.

Toulmin : State your argument and provide solid evidence to support it. Similar to the previous argument type, this one is also helpful for controversial matters. It just offers one side rather than both. It is supported by evidence in a way that makes the opinion hard to reject.

This type of essay is divided into following parts:

Introduction Paragraph: The first paragraph should introduce the topic. It should provide background details of argument. Introduction paragraph also presents the thesis.

Thesis statement: This is a sentence in your first paragraph. It is a brief explanation of your main point in one sentence.

Paragraph bodies: An argumentative essay often has three or more paragraphs that provide supporting evidence for your topic.  In the body paragraphs, you should provide examples, research, statistics, studies, and text citations to support your points.

Conclusion: One paragraph that summarizes all of the arguments in your body paragraphs, restates your thesis, and concludes your essay.

Expository Essay

A writing which conveys information through fact is known as expository writing. Expository essay provides clear knowledge of the topic. This essay type can have different kinds of structures to convey the point of view. Such as:

  • Compare and contrast
  • Process essays
  • Cause and effect analysis

It’s the style of writing you write when you study the material you are researching. Think critically about the ideas you’ve learned in class, and justify the thought processes and conclusions you’ve drawn. For expository essay, it is important that you know well about the chosen topic. It requires the ability to convey and organize facts. Like argumentative essays this type is also assigned to college and university students the most.

It is divided into three parts as well:

Introduction: It should be small and clear. Introduction paragraph should present the facts you are going to explain in your essay. Thesis statement is the part of this paragraph.

Body paragraph: Expository essay’s first paragraph should be short and well defined. It presents the evidences that support your opinion. For each evidence you provide, there must be a separate paragraph to explain it. Paragraphs of expository essay should be small and easy to read.

Conclusion: It concludes the essay and restate the facts described in the essay. Use of transition words in body paragraphs is necessary. These words help in hooking up your readers and urge them to read the essay till end. These types of essays have many further categories. Each one serves their own purpose.

Narrative Essay

Narrative essay is not like expository or argumentative essay. It tells a story based on personal experiences. Narrative essay allows the writer to express their beliefs and opinions on some topic in a creative way. It also allows imaginative writing (writing about something you have never experienced yourself).

In narrative essay, sentences should increase the curiosity of readers. Engaging and well-structured paragraphs are important for this type of essay.

There is not any rule to divide narrative essay type in three parts; intro, body and conclusion. But it should have a start that hooks up the audience. Body paragraphs to explain why this certain thing is important to you. What impact did it leave on you. An end is required to conclude your essay gracefully. We cannot leave it in the middle for sure.

Narrative essays allow one to be as creative as they can. For example, you can write on any of these topics below:

  • What happened at your first day of school
  • When you got admission in your dream university
  • When you first held your baby daughter

Go on with the imaginations and creations. This type is well suited for people with creative minds

Descriptive Essay

As clear with its name, descriptive essay allows the writer to describe something. That can be a bird, a toy, a situation or an emotion. Descriptive essay encourages the person to write freely about the topic. It allows to add creativity in situation. Everyone has their own perception of viewing the world and descriptive writing,permits it to share with the world.

There are three major forms of descriptive essay

  • Writing about a person
  • Writing about an object
  • Writing about a place

Some key points for writing this essay type

  • When writing sequentially, every incident must make sense.
  • Use figures of speech: expressions that aren’t exactly literal but convey a powerful meaning
  • Use stronger verbs instead of technical terms; for example, “she walked pleasantly” is preferable than “she strolled.
  • Try to use sensory details like touching, seeing and feeling etc.
  • Before writing, stop to think, then finish by editing and correcting.

These tips can make your descriptive essay stand-out.

  Other Subtypes of Essays Include:

Process essay, compare and contrast essay, persuasive essay, cause and effects essay, critical essay, definition essay.

It is the type of expository essay. It explains how to do something and give explanations about it.  You can write this type of essay in a certain sequence in order to maintain it.

Essays that compare and contrast two topics and highlight their similarities and distinctions. These essays feature an introduction, at least one paragraph outlining the similarities and contrasts between the themes, and a conclusion. In academic environments, compare and contrast essays are common.

Facts and emotional appeals are used in persuasive essays to persuade readers to form an opinion or support a particular position. In persuasive essays, moral and emotional justification can be used to support a claim or cause and engage the reader.

It is also a type of expository essays; therefore, they present facts rather than personal opinions. Cause and effect essays explain how some circumstances resulted in other occurrences.

Critical essays offer a thorough examination of a subject. They may offer criticism on books, plays, parks, or food outlets. Critical essays support their opinions with evidence from the issue.

An exposition essay type that defines a phrase or concept is known as a definition essay. These writings often offer in-depth analysis and explanations of challenging topics.

Conclusion :

In the world of essay writing, each type serves a different purpose. Each write-up will stand significantly if right category of essay is used. Sometimes writers want to give opinion or explain a fact. Other times they want to describe or narrate a story. For each of this purpose, distinct types of essays are available. Grab your pen and start writing your essay on whatever topic you want.

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Mastering the Art of Academic Writing: Understanding the Different Types of Essays

Jan 9, 2023 | 0 comments

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Jan 9, 2023 | Blog | 0 comments

Essays are one of the most common types of writing used in academia. They are an essential part of many different disciplines, and they serve various purposes. There are several different essays, each with its purpose and style.

This article will discuss the four main types of essays and 12 additional types you may encounter in your studies or work.

16 Types of Essays in Academic Writing

There are 16 various types of essays. Each type has its distinctive features and purpose. The structure of each type is also different from the others and a simple essay.

All types of essays include:

  • Descriptive
  • Cause and effect
  • Argumentative
  • Explicatory
  • Comparison and contrast
  • Autobiography essay

4 Main Types of Essays

There are four major types of essays: descriptive, argumentative, narrative, and expository.

  • Descriptive Essay – This type of essay describes some object or phenomenon. The key feature of such essays is the description. It means that they describe something by using details and facts to provide a clear image in the reader’s mind about it;
  • Argumentative Essay – this type of essay is written to convince its readers about some ideas or points that have been mentioned earlier;
  • Narrative Essay – this type of essay tells a story about some personal experience;
  • Expository Essay – This kind of an essay explains something in detail according to the facts presented there

1. Argumentative Essay 

An argumentative essay is a type of essay that requires the author to take a position on a given topic and provide evidence in favor of it. It is also known as a persuasive essay. An argumentative essay has three distinguishing features: introduction, body paragraphs, and conclusion.

Introduction: The introduction should state your paper’s subject matter and main points in an interesting manner that will capture your audience’s interest. Remember to make your thesis statement clear from the beginning, so readers know what you will write about in this particular essay.

2. Expository Essays 

An expository essay is an informative piece of writing that should have no reference to your opinions about a subject. The reader should be informed, entertained, and educated by the content of an expository essay.

Expository essays provide information and analysis on a topic. Expository essays are generally objective in tone and are not persuading (for example, there’s no attempt to persuade the reader to agree with or accept any position).

An expository essay may or may not have an overt central argument, though it does set forth points of view on the topic. Some definitions of expository essays include “examples” as part of their structure. For example, “[a]n example-based exposition might begin with some representative examples from each branch [of knowledge], followed by a general account explaining why those examples represent branches.”

Five main features of an expository essay.

  • Instructive – an essay is informative and instructive if it presents an issue or topic to the reader and explains how to solve it.
  • Specific – an essay must be specific to attract the attention of its readers. You must explain the main idea through details and examples.
  • Well organized – the main idea of your essay should be clear from the beginning to the end so that it will not confuse your audience.
  • Semi-formal- Academic writers usually prefer a formal style, but sometimes you may want to use semi-formal language to scare your readers away with complicated words or phrases; however, try not to overdo this! Your goal is to make them understand what you’re talking about!

3. Descriptive Essay 

Descriptive Essay

Descriptive essays are used to describe something or a person. They are used to depict the characteristics of a person or a thing. A well-structured descriptive piece of writing has an introduction, a body, and a conclusion.

In this type of essay, you can describe different places that you have been to in your life. You can also describe your favorite places, such as your hometown, school, etc. For example, I have lived in New York since my birth, but I feel like going back home every year because it is much better than here with so many crowds around me, and stress is killing me slowly but surely!

 4. Narrative Essay 

A narrative essay is a type of story that tells about an event or experience of the author. It can be written in the first person and the present tense, making it a personal essay. It can also be written as a reflection or memory of what happened to someone else, as an account told by an eyewitness. Narrative essays often contain familiar elements to many people, such as love stories and other relationships between human beings (family members), animals (pets), etc. Still, they may also contain more unusual content like supernatural phenomena or historical events where real people play important roles.

A narrative type of essay has five distinctive features:

  • Plot – the events that occur in the story and their sequence;
  • Setting – where and when the story takes place;
  • Themes – what universal issues do you see in your personal experience? What do these issues mean to you?;
  • Characters – who are they, what are they like, how are they related? What do their actions reveal about them? Do any of them exhibit characteristics that make them appealing or unattractive to readers;
  • Conflict -what is at stake for one or more characters in the story? Why does this conflict matter (or not)?

Common Types of Essays for Elementary School

Elementary school is the second-lowest level after kindergarten and ranges from grades one to seven.

This article will discuss some common academic writing papers for the elementary school level.

Persuasive Essays 

Persuasive essays are the form of writing meant to persuade the reader. In this type of essay, you try to make someone agree with your point of view. The main purpose of a persuasive essay is to convince readers that your viewpoint or opinion about a topic is right. In persuasive writing, there are two types of essays:

  • Exposition: A persuasive exposition describes an issue or problem in detail and then presents evidence supporting your position on the issue or problem. You can use logical reasoning and evidence from reliable sources such as books and websites to support your claims.
  • Argumentation: An argumentative essay uses logic and sound reasoning to develop an original position on a topic in light of competing positions (usually at least one other person’s viewpoint). This type of essay often uses counterarguments, rebuttals, and counter-rebuttals to convince readers that its conclusion is correct.

Process Essay 

As the name suggests, process essays are used to describe a process. Process essays can be useful when you want to provide a step-by-step explanation of how something is done or when you have an interesting way of doing something.

Process essays usually have five sections: an introduction that describes what the reader can expect in this essay; a body that consists of several steps or stages; and finally, a conclusion that summarizes everything said in the preceding sections.

Common Types of Essays for Middle School

Middle school is like a bridge between elementary and high school. The good news is that some types of papers at the elementary level are part of the middle school curriculum, so you can start working on them now.

The following are the types of essays in English for middle school:

Analytical Essays 

Analytical essays are quite different from other essays because they require writers to analyze the topic at hand thoroughly. This type of essay is often used for analytical papers and research papers.

To create an interesting analytical essay, you must logically present your arguments. It would help if you used critical thinking so that your readers can make sense of what you have written. You must also ensure no holes or contradictions in your argumentation.

Cause-and-Effect Essay

Cause-and-Effect Essay

The cause-and-effect essay is an analytical type of writing that tells the causes and effects of an event. It provides explanations for why things happen. A writer must provide a detailed analysis of a specific topic, usually in chronological order.

A cause-and-effect essay’s structure and main features include an introduction, body, and conclusion. you should always write a good cause-and-effect essay in chronological order to make it easy for readers to follow along with the events being discussed.

Expository Essay 

An expository essay is a kind of writing that explains something. The purpose of the essay is to explain a topic understandably.

Expository essays are written in different ways depending on the subject matter, but they are usually written clearly and concisely. Like any other type of essay, you should write expository essays with a neutral point of view, so you should avoid using your own opinions or beliefs.

The tone used when writing expository can vary as well. However, some general rules apply to all types of expository essays. They should be formal (meaning they don’t use contractions) and shouldn’t be opinionated or biased towards any particular viewpoint or belief system (neutral point-of-view). Their endings should wrap up nicely by summing up everything you said before.

The features of exposition or expository writing include:

  • Clear and concise language. In this type of writing, the author does not make assumptions about the reader’s knowledge of the subject or use overly-complex vocabulary. Instead, they use simple words to describe their ideas in an easy-to-understand way. This helps readers who are unfamiliar with a topic understand it more easily. It also allows you to use shorter sentences so that your audience will not get bored while reading your essay.
  • Creates a clear picture of a person, place, event, or thing. In this type of essay, you should provide specific details about people and things so that readers can visualize them in their minds as they read through the text. For example: “The building was five stories high – three floors above ground level plus two below street level – made out of brick painted white with blue shutters around its windows.” (Source)
  • Focus on facts – Exposition papers should be based on facts instead of opinions or speculation that could change over time (it’s okay if you do this sometimes but be careful). Use evidence such as statistical data graphs, pictures, quotes, etc. to support your claims, so they seem more credible;
  • Varying rhetorical strategies – When writing expository texts, avoid using only one strategy like narration, description analysis, argumentation, etc. instead, use multiple strategies within each paragraph or section;
  • Text organization– The order in which you present ideas impacts how readers will understand them. So make sure there isn’t too much repetition within paragraphs. Also, make sure that paragraphs follow logically from one another instead of jumping around without an explanation for why things were placed where they were placed (this helps readers follow along better).
  • It uses a variety of evidence: such as facts and statistics, quotes from experts, examples from the real world, anecdotes, and stories to support its argument.
  • Unbiased: The tone is objective and unbiased; it does not take sides. There is no opinion expressed in an exposition paper because it objectively presents both sides of an issue or topic. These papers are purely informative, so you will not find any argumentative language.

Common Types of Essays in High School

There are many types of essays used in high school. This is because essay writing helps students understand what they are writing about and gives them the chance to express their feelings and thoughts about a particular topic. Here are some examples:

Reflective Essays 

Reflective essays are a type of essay that many students find difficult to write because they require the writer to look inward and analyze their thoughts, emotions, and experiences. Reflective essays often ask you to reflect on something that has happened in your life.

This type of writing is usually done in the first person so that it sounds like you are speaking directly to your reader about an experience you have had (or even if you have read something). It’s important that when writing this kind of paper, you use sensory language to describe things so that it feels like we’re right there with you while reading it!

Make sure that whatever idea or topic is chosen has some personal significance for yourself. For example: If someone asked me why I chose my university major, then I might say something like, “I wanted something challenging but also exciting”; however, if someone asked me why I love being an accountant, then maybe I would say “I enjoy problem-solving” or “Accounting requires discipline”…etcetera…so basically anything goes as long as there’s some truth behind what’s being said!

Critical Analysis Essay 

A critical analysis essay is an academic paper that demonstrates a student’s ability to analyze a piece of literature or cinematography. Such an assignment aims to evaluate how well the author has done their job in creating their work. The student must then present their opinions about the text, outlining its strengths and weaknesses and providing evidence for why they believe what they say.

The significant parts of a critical analysis essay include an outline, introduction, body, and conclusion. In this section, we will examine each of these parts individually so that you can better understand how they fit into your overall project.

The significant parts of a critical analysis essay include an outline, introduction, body, and conclusion.

  • The outline allows you to organize your essay before it is written. It also provides an organizational framework for the entire piece and individual paragraphs.
  • A critical analysis essay’s introduction should contain an attention-grabbing statement or question that will keep readers interested in your argument throughout the rest of the paper.
  • The body should consist of three or four paragraphs supporting your thesis statement or main idea with evidence from well-documented sources and cited properly (including parenthetical citations).
  • Finally, you can use a concluding paragraph summarizing what was said in earlier parts of your essay and emphasizing how important it is for people reading this writing to understand how different disciplines interact.

Read also: How to write a Spooky Essay on Halloween

Common Essays in College

Your college years will be a time when you write many essays.

Your professor usually assigns these, which won’t be graded in the traditional sense. Instead, the essay is used for assessment and evaluation.

The most common essays include:

Compare and Contrast Essays

A compare and contrast essay is a kind of writing that compares two ideas or things to show how they are similar or different. The main idea of the compare and contrast essay is to point out how two things are similar and then explain why they are the same.

Compare and contrast essay has the following distinguishing features:

  • Thesis statement ( topic sentence). A good compare and contrast essay starts with the thesis statement, which states the main idea of your paper. It should be clear, concise, and specific to tell readers what you will write about in your essay.
  • Organization. You need to organize your content logically, so it is easy for readers to follow along with your ideas. You can categorize things by type or category or period etc. For example, if you were comparing two cars, it would make sense to divide each car into different categories such as engine size, speed, etc.
  • Introduction. An introduction helps set up what is going on in your essay and why it matters. It should be short but informative enough so that readers will want more information after reading this part!
  • Body: This is the bulk of the essay where you’ll explain how the two things compare and contrast. You can use supporting details or quotes from different sources to illustrate your point (more on that later). The body should be divided into three paragraphs—one for each comparison/contrast point, so if three items are being compared and contrasted, there will be three paragraphs in this section too!
  • Conclusion: This part ties everything together by restating what was said earlier; however, it’s important not to repeat yourself here because readers may lose interest if they feel like they’re reading something they’ve already read before! Instead of simply saying “this is my opinion,” try using another way of phrasing it, such as “in conclusion.”

Three ways a writer can approach a compare and contrast essay

To decide which method you want to use, think about what you’re comparing and contrasting.

  • Block method: This method is the simplest, but it is usually used for shorter essays because it requires a lot of planning. The writer lists one idea on each side and compares and contrasts them in detail. This method can be great if you have two specific ideas that are very different from each other but are related, like “Why I Like Cats” and “Why I Like Dogs.”
  • Alternating method: In this method, the writer alternates between paragraphs describing similarities between two things or points out differences between them—for example, in an essay comparing cats versus dogs, one paragraph could describe how both animals have fur or whiskers (similarity), while another paragraph would describe how cats are more active than dogs (difference).
  • Similarities and differences. Start by discussing all the similarities between the two variables, then handle the differences.

Definition Essay

A definition essay is a type of academic writing that explains the meaning and significance of a term, concept, or idea to the reader. A definition essay may be written by any student who wishes to learn something new, but it is most commonly assigned in high school or college classes.

The definition must be thorough and well supported by research and evidence. Students need not only explain what their topic means but also explain how this meaning differs from other meanings associated with it in popular culture or through common usage.

Research Essays

A research essay is an essay in which you are supposed to research a given topic. The research essay aims to demonstrate that you have read and understood the topic. You should be able to answer questions related to the topic in a detailed manner.

The following are some important points about writing a Research Essay:

  • you can write Research Essays on any subject matter, but it must not be irrelevant or unrelated. It would help if you wrote about what interests you and makes sense for your audience. For example: if there is an upcoming history project at school, focus on something that relates directly to this event, like how it affected people or what their lives were like before/after, etc.
  • You should always remember that this paper requires more than just gathering information from books or online sources. It also requires proper analysis and evaluation of said information so as not only to learn but also understand better why things happened as they did, thus making your work interesting as well as informative!

Review Essays

Reviewer essays are a type of essay writing to summarize another work. They should be written in formal language and include a summary and an opinion.

Review essays can take many forms, but they usually:

  • Summarize the work being reviewed. This may mean analyzing the plot, characters, or themes, discussing how successful the book meets its purpose, or giving an overview of how it fits into its genre(s). Reviewers may also compare this book to other works in their field. For example, if you were reviewing JK Rowling’s Harry Potter series for The Achiever Magazine (a magazine for students). You could compare it to other books about growing up with magic powers that your readers might be familiar with (such as Percy Jackson) or point out some similarities between Rowling’s books and those by other authors like Roald Dahl or Dr. Seuss.
  • Provide an opinion on whether they liked/disliked it—or something else altogether! For example, if your review was based on the latest action-adventure movie from Marvel Studios called Avengers Endgame, which recently came out, I think most people would agree it was great so far, but there is a need. More explosions! So maybe write about how excited everyone was about seeing all those superheroes together again, fighting against Thanos once more!

Autobiography Essay

An autobiography essay is a person’s life story written by another person mainly in a narrative tone. This type of writing usually includes the basic aspects of the writer, such as their achievements, experiences, etc.

You can write autobiography essays for different purposes. They can be used as information for other people interested in knowing more about your life history. To write this type of essay, you should use the first-person point of view, which means you will be writing about yourself (I). You may write about any aspect of your life but make sure that it is interesting and related to your readers’ interests. If not, you will lose their attention from the very beginning!

Explicatory Essays

Explicatory essays are one of the most popular types of academic papers. This type of essay aims to explain some subject by presenting a very clear and complete picture of other people’s views on this certain situation or event. The main goal of such an essay is to help the audience to understand the topic under consideration.

Final Thoughts

There is no one right way to write an essay. There are many different kinds of essays, and each can be used to achieve a different purpose. Understanding the various essays available will help you choose the right one for your needs and goals.

The most important thing is to choose the essay type that best suits you and your goals. If you’re writing about yourself or your experiences, consider using either an autobiographical essay or a personal narrative (depending on whether it’s written in the first person). If you want to share something important with readers but don’t have anything interesting to tell them about yourself, then look into using an expository theme instead.

At this point, we’ve covered everything there is to know about each type of main topic essay: how they’re structured, what their defining characteristics are, which other types they’re related to, where they could be applied best; etcetera… We hope this article has been helpful! Remember: always remember: The best kind of wordplay is well-written wordplay.”

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Frequently Asked Questions

What are the 5 different types of essays.

The five main essay types are: Expository. Argumentative. Persuasive. Descriptive. Narrative.

What are the 10 types of essay?

Reflective Persuasive Descriptive Review Cause and effect Argumentative Definition Process Narrative Explicatory

What are the 7 types of essays?

Explicatory Critical Comparison and contrast Expository Analytical Research Autobiography essay

What are the 8 types of essays?

Reflective Persuasive Descriptive Review Cause and effect Argumentative Definition Process


Elaina Ferrell

With a deep understanding of the student experience, I craft blog content that resonates with young learners. My articles offer practical advice and actionable strategies to help students achieve a healthy and successful academic life.

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{{item.title}}, my essentials, ask for help, contact edconnect, directory a to z, how to guides, going to a public school, different types of writing – text types.

Writing is done for a number of different purposes and for different audiences. These different forms of writing are often known as text types at school.

Factual texts inform, instruct or persuade by giving facts and information.

Literary texts entertain or elicit an emotional response by using language to create mental images.

Students are often asked to present an assignment or project which may be one of these text types.

Below are lists of different text types, purposes and features that are included in the English K-6 syllabus. This list may provide hints to help with your child’s written task.

Always refer to the actual task requirements sent home with your child and remember the type of text used by a writer should suit the purpose and the audience.

Factual texts

Factual description.

Describes a place or thing using facts.

  • begins with an introductory statement
  • systematically describes different aspects of the subject
  • may end with a concluding statement.
  • landscape descriptions

Factual recount

Describes events or information in a clear and concise manner.

  • presents information in a logical order
  • uses past tense verbs
  • provides details and explanations.
  • news articles
  • historical accounts
  • scientific reports.

Information report

Classifies, describes and gives factual information about people, animals, things or phenomena.

  • begins with a general classification or definition
  • lists a sequence of related information about the topic
  • ends with a concluding comment.
  • facts about whales

Gives instructions on how to make or do something.

  • begins with a statement of goal (could be the title)
  • lists materials needed in order of use
  • gives a series of steps (instructions) in order
  • each instruction begins with a verb in the present tense.
  • instruction

Procedural recount

Tells how something was made or done in time order and with accuracy.

  • begins with a statement of what was made or done
  • tells what was made in order
  • written in the past tense.
  • documentaries
  • a science experiment and its results.


Explains how or why something happens.

  • starts by naming the topic
  • describes items related to the topic in their right order
  • explains how the items relate to each other and to the topic
  • may end with a concluding statement
  • may include visual images, e.g. flowcharts and diagrams, which support what is written in words
  • written in the present tense.
  • the life cycle of a butterfly
  • how gears work
  • labelled diagrams
  • flowcharts.

Persuasive texts

Persuasive texts are factual text types that give a point of view. They are used to influence or persuade others.

Gives reasons for a point of view to try and convince others of it.

  • begins with a sentence that gives a point of view on a topic
  • lists the arguments giving reasons and evidence for them
  • uses convincing language e.g. ‘will damage’ instead of ‘may damage’.
  • A team’s argument for a debate.

Gives different points of view in order to make an informed decision.

  • begins with some background information leading to the issue
  • lists arguments for and against, giving evidence for different points of view
  • conclusion might sum up both sides or recommend one point of view.
  • Should cars be banned from the inner city?

Literary texts

Literary description.

Describes people, characters, places, events and things in an imaginative way.

  • describes characteristic features of the subject, e.g. physical appearance, behaviour
  • often forms part of other pieces of writing.
  • description of a character
  • setting within a story.

Literary recount

Retells events from novels, plays, films and personal experiences to entertain others.

  • begins with background information, e.g. character, time, place
  • describes the events in time order
  • may end with a personal comment about the characters or events.
  • A recount of a traditional story, e.g. The Gingerbread Man.
  • A humorous and creatively interpreted recount of an ordinary incident that actually took place.

Personal response

Gives a personal opinion on a novel, play or film, referring to parts within the passage.

  • describes how you feel about a novel, film, book or play
  • lists what did and did not appeal to you
  • may comment on some of the features of the writing.
  • What did you like about that artwork and why?
  • Describe why you do or do not like this story/poem.

Summarises, analyses and assesses the appeal of a novel, play or film, to a broader audience.

  • describes how features (e.g. characters, plot, language features, humour etc) may or may not appeal
  • commentary on a film, play, book etc.

Tells a story using a series of events.

  • the scene is set in a time and place and characters are introduced
  • usually has a problem that is addressed
  • may contain a message for the reader.
  • picture books
  • science fiction
  • historical fiction
  • fairy tales
  • Teaching and learning
  • Language conventions

Business Unit:

  • Communication and Engagement


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  6. What are the different elements of critical analysis?


  1. The Four Main Types of Essay

    An essay is a focused piece of writing designed to inform or persuade. There are many different types of essay, but they are often defined in four categories: argumentative, expository, narrative, and descriptive essays. Argumentative and expository essays are focused on conveying information and making clear points, while narrative and ...

  2. Writing 101: The 8 Common Types of Essays

    Writing 101: The 8 Common Types of Essays. Written by MasterClass. Last updated: Jun 7, 2021 • 3 min read. Whether you're a first-time high school essay writer or a professional writer about to tackle another research paper, you'll need to understand the fundamentals of essay writing before you put pen to paper and write your first ...

  3. The 7 Types of Essays Every Student Needs to Know

    The four main types of writing. In many of the online resources you'll find about the types of essays, you'll find references to the four main types of writing: Persuasive. Descriptive. Narrative. Expository. These aren't four specific types of essays, but four distinct methods of communicating an essay's theme.

  4. Four Types of Essay

    Expository Essay. Informative Writing, Research, Clarity. Explain the causes and effects of climate change, and discuss its impact on the environment and society. Narrative Essay. Storytelling, Narrative Structure, Engagement. Describe a memorable childhood event that had a significant impact on your life.

  5. 15 Types of Essays (and What You Need To Know About Them)

    Learn about 15 different types here. Dictionary Thesaurus Sentences Grammar Vocabulary Usage Reading & Writing ... they're not the only types of essays to do so. In fact, there are 15 different types of essays — all of which narrate, argue, or explain something to their readers. 1. Narrative Essays.

  6. 10 Types of Essays: Examples and Purposes of Each

    Expository essays can take different formats, but they typically include: An introduction with a thesis statement explaining exactly what the essay will discuss. The body that details the facts of the subject, often citing sources. A conclusion that summarizes the main points. Read more: Expository Writing: Types and How To Craft an Expository ...

  7. Definition and Examples of Essays or Compositions

    Definitions and Observations. " [An essay is a] composition, usually in prose .., which may be of only a few hundred words (like Bacon's "Essays") or of book length (like Locke's "Essay Concerning Human Understanding") and which discusses, formally or informally, a topic or a variety of topics." (J.A. Cuddon, "Dictionary of Literary Terms".

  8. Guide to Different Kinds of Essays

    There are many different kinds of essays. The following are a some of the most common ones: Descriptive Cause/Effect Argumentative Definition Narrative Critical Compare/Contrast Process. Descriptive: Examples: A descriptive essay could describe . . . * a tree in my backyard; * a visit to the children's ward of a hospital; * a hot fudge sundae;

  9. What Are the 5 Different Types of Essays? A Complete Guide

    A narrative essay is subject to all the story rules and shall comprise an introduction, characters, plot, setting, climax, and conclusion. The only case when a narrative assignment does not have to comply with a story outline is a book report. This informative narration is impersonal and unemotional.

  10. How to Structure an Essay

    The chronological approach (sometimes called the cause-and-effect approach) is probably the simplest way to structure an essay. It just means discussing events in the order in which they occurred, discussing how they are related (i.e. the cause and effect involved) as you go. A chronological approach can be useful when your essay is about a ...

  11. Essay Examples and the 4 Main Types

    Writing an essay is an essential part of school at any level. Become an essay expert with these essay examples to prepare you on your academic journey.

  12. Example of a Great Essay

    An essay is a focused piece of writing that explains, argues, describes, or narrates. In high school, you may have to write many different types of essays to develop your writing skills. Academic essays at college level are usually argumentative : you develop a clear thesis about your topic and make a case for your position using evidence ...

  13. Essay

    Definitions John Locke's 1690 An Essay Concerning Human Understanding. The word essay derives from the French infinitive essayer, "to try" or "to attempt".In English essay first meant "a trial" or "an attempt", and this is still an alternative meaning. The Frenchman Michel de Montaigne (1533-1592) was the first author to describe his work as essays; he used the term to characterize these as ...

  14. What Is an Essay? Different Types of Essays with Examples

    An essay is a written piece of work that presents a writer's perspective, opinion, or argument on a particular topic. It is a common academic assignment given to students at various educational levels. Essays can be classified into different types based on their purpose, content, and style. Here are the different types of essays with examples:

  15. Essay: Introduction, Types of Essays, Tips for Essay Writing ...

    Introduction. This is the first paragraph of your essay. This is where the writer introduces his topic for the very first time. You can give a very brief synopsis of your essay in the introductory paragraph. Some paragraph writing skills can be a help here. Generally, it is not very long, about 4-6 lines.

  16. Learn 4 Types of Writing

    Learn the Types of Writing: Expository, Descriptive, Persuasive, and Narrative. Whether you write essays, business materials, fiction, articles, letters, or even just notes in your journal, your writing will be at its best if you stay focused on your purpose. While there are many reasons why you might be putting pen to paper or tapping away on ...

  17. Types of Essay

    Definition Essay As the name suggests, a definition type of essay defines different things, ideas, and perceptions.; Narrative Essay A narrative essay is a narration like a short story.It is, however, different from a short story in that it is written in an essay format.; Descriptive Essay A descriptive essay describes something to make readers feel, smell, see, taste, or hear what is described.

  18. 16 Different Types of Essay For Every College Student

    16 Popular Types Of Essays In College. College Essay is a prosaic, shorter, free composition expressing individual views on a particular case or problem. Any genre of the document suggests freedom of creativity. It could be any topic, and it could be written in any style, about anything, because the composition is your way of thinking about what you have heard, read, and seen.

  19. Different Types of Essays Writing: 4 Main + 12 Additional

    An academic essay is a piece of writing whose focus is to persuade and inform. It achieves these goals by developing ideas and arguments through analysis, evidence, and interpretation. Several essays fall into four major categories: descriptive, expository, argumentative, and narrative essays. Table Of Contents. 16 Types of Essays.

  20. Types Of Essays: A Comprehensive Guide To Writing Different Essay Types

    There are four main types of essays: argumentative, expository, narrative, and descriptive. Each type of essay has its own unique characteristics and is written for a different purpose. Understanding the different types of essays is essential for writing a successful essay.

  21. 10 Basic Types of Essays and Examples

    There are 10 basic types of essay that are widespread in the world of academic writing. They are: descriptive essay. definition essay. compare and contrast essay. cause and effect essay. narrative essay. process essay. argumentative essay.

  22. Different Types of Essays

    Different Types of Essays | Describing Main Types. An essay is a piece of writing used to persuade someone of something. People write several types of essays for different purposes. In general, the essay must have a purpose. The aim can be to: educate; convince; explain; entertain; There are four main types of essays. These types are divided ...

  23. Types Of Essays In Academic Writing: 4 Major + 12 Common

    There are several different essays, each with its purpose and style. This article will discuss the four main types of essays and 12 additional types you may encounter in your studies or work. 16 Types of Essays in Academic Writing. There are 16 various types of essays. Each type has its distinctive features and purpose.

  24. Different types of writing

    Factual texts inform, instruct or persuade by giving facts and information.. Literary texts entertain or elicit an emotional response by using language to create mental images.. Students are often asked to present an assignment or project which may be one of these text types. Below are lists of different text types, purposes and features that are included in the English K-6 syllabus.