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Different Types of Essays

Different Types of Essays

December 20, 2021

Four Different Types of Essays

An essay is a general term that describes a structured academic piece of writing. There are four different types of essays, namely argumentative, expository, narrative, and descriptive. These are major categories of essays.

Each of these paper types has a different purpose and tools to deliver a message and is frequently used in academic life. Argumentative and expository papers need a clear position on an idea, while narrative and descriptive essays usually involve creativity. Narrative and descriptive papers are mostly used in high school and colleges, while argumentative and expository essays are more common in universities.

What are different types of essays? Find 4 main types of essays below.
Four Different Types of Essays

Essay type Skills tested Sample prompt
  • Taking a clear stance
  • Conducting research
  • Supporting statements with arguments
Although the Internet has brought many positive changes to human life, it makes people move less and thus causes diseases. Do you agree or disagree?
  • Exploring a topic
  • Communicating ideas eloquently
Explain how the Great Wall of China transformed from a means of protection to a touristic attraction that affects the economy of an entire country.
  • Creative writing skills
  • Using creative techniques for a vivid text
Tell about the instance when you have learned a valuable lesson.
  • Using creative language
  • Describing intricate details
Describe a landscape with as much detail as possible.

Argumentative Essay

Argumentative essays are frequently assigned at different academic levels. Argumentative essays may be written on different topics. The underlying principle of this paper type is to convince a target audience to accept your point of view or perspective on a specific topic.

When writing an argumentative essay, you need to be persuasive and use strong language. Apart from merely providing your claims and arguments, you need to support them with adequate evidence. Examples and illustrations you use as evidence should come from credible sources. Your paper will not be persuasive enough without expert opinion. Apart from providing arguments related to your standpoint, you should also address counterarguments and refute them afterward.

The essay should follow a strict structure and have an introduction, body, and conclusion.

  • Introduction describes a topic, provides background knowledge about the issue, and includes a thesis statement.
  • Body is the largest section, and it should cover your evidence, arguments, and explain the opinion regarding the topic.
  • Conclusion does not present any new ideas and simply summarizes what you have written in the body. It is a good idea to restate the thesis statement here.

Expository Essays

An expository essay requires investigating a particular aspect, idea, or argument. These papers are written with the help of various methods: comparison and contrast, cause and effect, definition, etc. When writing an expository essay, be sure to follow the guidelines precisely, and you will receive a positive grade!

Narrative Essays

A narrative essay requires telling a particular story to the readers. This story should be interesting and informative and include a plot, setting, main characters, etc.

Besides, there is a need for a clear essay organization. Follow all the writing tips and do not try to overburden your narrative with unnecessary details. Your reader wants to enjoy an easy narrative, so do not disappoint them!

Descriptive Essays

A descriptive essay aims to describe something in the best possible way. Such type of an assignment allows for artistic freedom since the author is supposed to create a clear image in the reader’s mind. Writing such an essay, you have to focus on the smallest details so that your reader could imagine the things you describe.

Choose the descriptive words that relate to your subject. As for some other essay writing techniques, you may use a lot of adjectives that will help you to paint a picture for your reader.

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Defining Other 5 Different Types of Essays

Here is an explanation of some other different types of essays that you may come across when studying in a college or university.

Critical Essay

A critical essay is about defining the strong and weak sides of an idea you discuss. When writing a critical paper, you take a position and provide justification for it. You analyze the topic and provide arguments supporting your stance. As a result, your discussion consists of facts about the topic, analysis, arguments, and evidence.

Criticism is not always about pointing out the negative aspects of something, so a critical essay is not about criticizing. Instead, it requires assessing an idea, object, or situation and providing evidence that supports the results of the analysis. When you are critical, it means that you analyze the situation from different perspectives and give a fair assessment of the topic provided that you support it with credible expert opinions and sources. Critical papers are usually assigned on a movie or a piece of literature where students are given the freedom to discuss various ideas and personal opinions. Choose proper words to deliver the arguments. You have to explain your position using strong words and clear language.

Writing a critical paper is not easy, and many students sound descriptive when they try to complete such papers for the first time. However, practice and attention to detail may help see the difference between descriptions and analysis. Remember that being critical means to always doubt a statement until it is supported and justified with the evidence.

Persuasive Essays

A persuasive essay is similar to an argumentative paper aimed at convincing the audience that your viewpoint is right. Persuasive papers use strong arguments, evidence, convincing language, and very powerful stylistic devices. It is not enough just to present evidence that confirms your idea. You have to ensure that your words reach the audience and make them agree with you.

Comparison and Contrast Essay

A comparison and contrast essay focuses on analyzing differences and similarities of ideas, subjects, events, behaviors, problems, etc. Such works require a comparative analysis of features and characteristics of objects that you discuss and evidence that supports the assumptions.

Cause and Effect Essay

A cause and effect essay is about the reasoning why some actions lead to specific consequences. Such papers define a starting point and an outcome and deliver arguments on why these actions (the causes) have resulted in the existing outcomes (the effects). A cause-and-effect paper requires an understanding of logical processes that have made the situation happen. Read some examples to understand how to write a cause and effect paper as examples are good learning tools.

Process Essay

A process essay requires writing a detailed explanation of how to achieve some goal. It is like a step-by-step guide or a cause-and-effect essay to some extent as it describes how to reach the outcome from an initial point. However, there is a major difference since a cause and effect paper points to the reasons why something has happened, while a process paper explains the steps one needs to take to ensure that the target is achieved.

Additional Types of Academic Essays

Now, when you know different types of essays, let’s discuss three types that are not assigned that frequently. Nevertheless, if you want to be a good writer, you need to know their key peculiarities. Have a look at the 3 types of essays mentioned below:

Scholarship/Admission Essay

An admission paper is different compared to other common essay types. It is not a part of an academic curriculum. It is rather a ticket to higher education. After graduation from high school, the students choose colleges where they want to continue their studies. However, the number of applicants can be higher than the number of actual places in a college. As such, the admission committee members make their decisions based on the admission essays submitted by the applicants. Such an essay:

  • Explains why you are a good fit for this college or educational program;
  • Tells what strengths and experiences will help you become a good student;
  • Explains your long-term goals and how they match the college you apply to;
  • Reflects on your personal qualities that will allow you to become a valuable asset at the college chosen;
  • Emphasizes how you are going to benefit the community.

A scholarship essay is written when a student applies for financial aid. Sometimes, the financial situation of the family does not allow a student to continue education. However, a bright and goal-oriented students can get financial support to help them solve a lot of problems. People responsible for issuing financial aid will choose students based on their scholarship essays. As such, when it comes to writing admission or a scholarship paper, too much is at stake. Colleges are willing to accept good students and reward them for their achievements. So, if you want to earn a good reputation, we highly recommend you polish your essay writing skills until perfection.

Cultural Identity Essay

The United States has always attracted students from different academic backgrounds. However, by absorbing the characteristic features of a new culture, students should not forget their own identity. Writing such papers, the student will help teachers and classmates understand their cultural identity better. Containing information about beliefs, values, customs, and traditions inherent to the native culture of a student, such writing may help understand the student’s behavior and motivation better. However, you should not confuse a cultural identity paper with a personal one. Whereas a personal paper focuses on you, your feelings, experiences, and values, the cultural identity paper explain your culture and your role in it. In this essay, you need to show that you have a rich cultural background and fully realize your identity.

Informative Essay

An informative essay is to provide readers with specific information. One may argue that any paper contains some information; thus, it can be called informative. However, unlike other types of papers, an informative essay covers a topic with the help of specific terms, in-depth analysis, and vivid descriptions. In order to create a good informative paper, one should be a skilled specialist in a particular field of study.

Now, you are familiar with the most widespread essay types you may come across in your academic life. Knowledge about different types of essays allows you to see the purpose of writing and understand what is expected from you. If you have difficulties in completing one of the papers, you may use professional services. is the company that can assist you. Contact us, delegate your work to the experts in writing and enjoy the outcome.

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