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What are the Different Types of Essays?

Whether you are a student with little experience in writing or a professional writer, you would need to understand the fundamentals of writing. To express your ideas and thoughts clearly in an essay, you can follow different types of essays.

The various common types of essays help organize thoughts into a properly structured and streamlined essay. There are different kinds of essays that you should be aware of as a good essay writer that would be useful in your academic career. So, let’s get started!

Essay writing

An essay aims to inform or convince the reader about a particular topic. Knowing the right type of essay to use will help you craft your essay. Selecting the right type of essay will ensure that the essay is tailored to the specific topic or purpose.

You might have to choose the essay type yourself or it might be chosen for you, such as in college admissions.

When choosing the essay, consider the purpose of your writing or what kind of responses you want to evoke with it. If you are confused about how I would write my essay, these simple explanations will help you. Here are some common types of essays that you should be aware of.

Narrative essay

A narrative essay is like storytelling, it allows you to express yourself openly. It is a very personal kind of essay that you can write using your creativity and imagination.

A narrative essay can be based on a particular prompt or it can be more open-ended. You are also required to submit a narrative essay when you apply for a new school.

You can use literary devices in your narrative writing if required such as metaphors, analogies, imagery, alliteration, and dialogues.

The opening line should catch the reader’s attention and the paragraph of the narrative should provide the necessary background information on the topic to improve understanding.

Descriptive essay

It discusses the subject matter in great detail, without having to create a story. It can discuss an event, person, place, or any other topic.

You can use creative imagery in your descriptive writing and one technique to use is show don’t tell. Where you can highlight details about something using sensory details rather than just explaining.

Expository essay

It is used to express the views of a writer from a neutral viewpoint. An expository essay presents the expertise and understanding of the writer in an area.

  • For writing the expository essay you need to include an introduction with a clear thesis statement.

  • The body paragraphs would contain information and evidence to support the thesis. You might have to include citations for the specific sources used.

  • The conclusive paragraph would summarize the entire essay at the end.

The expository essay uses facts and information, so all personal opinions and biases should be avoided.

Definition essay

It can be considered a type of expository essay that defines and explains an idea or a term. This type of essay would typically handle a complex and difficult topic to provide a detailed explanation.

Definition essays are used in scientific and academic writings, for example, you might have to explain nihilism in a definition essay.

Process essay

A process essay provides an instructions manual that shares the steps required to complete any task. Process essays can also explain how something works.

The process essay should be written in a chronological sequence to maintain clarity in the structure.

  • The introductory paragraph should include the background or contextual information about the essay.

  • The body paragraph should contain all the steps in a sequential order that makes following the process easier. You can use transition words in the process to increase coherence, such as first, then, and next.

  • Finally, write the conclusion paragraph where you summarize the entire process.

Compare and contrast essay

A compare and contrast essay discusses two topics or ideas and then highlights the similarities and differences between them.

It should include an introduction of at least one paragraph with similarities and another paragraph on differences and a conclusion paragraph.

Argumentative essay

This type of essay provides a clear stance to the reader which is supported by evidence.

The purpose of this essay is to convince the reader of your arguments by sharing evidence. If you feel that making an argument is hard, you can get help from an essay writing service. But always take an objective stance that is supported by facts rather than taking a personal stance.

Argumentative essays often include the views of the opponents that have to be refuted with evidence to support the main claim or argument.

The introduction should have a thesis statement which conveys the stance of the argumentative essay. All the body paragraphs then aim to justify this stance with evidence.

Persuasive essay

This type of essay aims to persuade the reader to adopt your point of view. The persuasive essay uses both logical argument and persuasive appeal to make a point.

A persuasive essay can prove a point by using supportive arguments from both ethical and moral reasoning that can resonate with the reader.

Cause and effect essay

This essay explains the reason for events and how they lead to other events. It explains the connections between the causes and their consequences. This type of essay should focus on facts and avoid personal opinions.

Critical essay

This type of essay presents a critical analysis of a topic. It evaluates the given information and presents observations that are supported by evidence from the text.

Austin Gale
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