Types of Essays for School or Work


The Different Types of Essays Writing

This page will go over the common types of essays assigned in high schools, colleges and universities. The types of essays covered are: The Descriptive Essay, Narrative Essay, Expository Essay, Classification Essay, and Explanation Essay.

Many students find themselves with an assignment for a certain type essay that they have never even heard before. Now they’re not only stressing over what to write about, the correct format and wording, but now they have to figure out what this essay type is. This article will review the most common types of essays assigned and give a few tips and tricks to help a student write a great essay.

What Kinds of Essay Can You Write?

Essays and other writing papers are a significant part of any educational process. It would be hard to get high marks without showing good results in writing papers. While preparing your writing assignment, it is necessary not only to collect information in relation to your topic and to organize the structure of the paper, but to recognize the different types of essays and to understand which one to choose so your composition comes out as well as it can.

Essay writing is really not as hard as it seems. It’s not like writing iambic pentameter or poetry, rather you’re often discussing facts.

Descriptive Essay

A descriptive essay is one in which the writer describes something, or someone throughout the paper. This type of paper usually contains detailed information about the subject being discussed such as background, history and other specific descriptions of the topic. The purpose of the descriptive essay is to not only describe, but also to evoke emotions from the reader. Here are a few tips to help write a descriptive essay:

  • Combine ideas, both abstract and concrete
  • Use a limited number of adjectives, a nice balance needs to be included to ensure that the essay is not too wordy
  • Give examples and make inferences when possible to help the reader draw conclusions and bridge the events

It’s okay to feel slightly confused between narrative and descriptive essays; they are quite alike. But the primary mission of this type it to “paint” a picture using the art of words.

Expository Essay

This type is based on facts, statistics and approved information. The writer should not express personal feelings while writing. The main aim of the essay is to reveal facts and information to the reader, but not to apply to reader’s emotions. One of the most common types of this writing compares and contrasts topics, ideas or things.

Compare – Contrast Essay

A compare and contrast essay is much like it sounds. The goal is to take two or more objects, people, businesses or any other topic and describe their similarities as well as differences. There are many of these type essays that are written for academic as well as business purposes. There are different ways to arrange the essay, some students like to compare/contrast throughout the body of the paper while others like to discuss one topic and then move to the next. This is a formatting preference and unless otherwise stated either method will work. It also depends on the topic of the paper and how it reads will help you make the decision of whether you combine or separate differences. One of the best ways to prepare for this type of essay is to build what is known as a Venn diagram. This is the type of diagram that is two circles that overlap where the middle of the circle is what the items have in common. This makes it very easy to readily identify and distinguish the differences as well as their commonalities.

Comparing and Contrasting Essays

First, decide which similarities and differences to focus on, and organize your paper so that it will be clear and effective. It will also explain how you can (and why you should) develop a thesis that goes beyond “Thing A and Thing B are similar in many ways but different in others.”

Descriptive Essay

Classification Essay

The classification essay is a great way to discuss a group of things that have similar characteristics. This type of essay can be seen often times where businesses, sports teams, cities or governments are written about in one paper. In order to classify there is a need to narrow the topic and restrict it to something that can be easily compared and assorted into specific topics. For example, one might classify football teams that had great years or not so great years such as the Dallas Cowboys, the Green Bay Packers or any other team that could be lumped into one group.

The order of the classification essay is sometimes the most difficult part of the writing process. The best way to order this paper is to develop the classifications and theory behind the paper before starting. If you are going to talk about the best football teams in the world’s you may want to list the teams in the order that you believe are the best. That way you can write your paper from a top down perspective and have a good guideline instead of jumping around from team to team. That is very confusing to the reader and also produces a poorly written essay.

Explanation Essay

The explanation essay is one that is used quite a bit in college entrance and classrooms across the world. This type of paper is based on a description explaining a product, company or something that there is a need for understanding. One of the best examples of an explanation essay would be a medical procedure, test, products or something in which a consumer gets detailed information about the product. Explanation papers can become very detailed and require a lot of research to provide a good description and explanation about the topic at hand. This paper needs to be packed full of resources and facts that tell the reader everything they need to know about that specific topic.

Narrative Essay

This type of essays is all about telling a story and sharing personal impressions. Writing a narrative essay requires deep thinking about one’s experience, choosing those facts that would be relevant and exciting/useful for a reader, and then place them in a logical order on paper so that the reader can follow the author’s experiences without being confused.

Persuasive Essay

A persuasive essay involves proving one side of an argument against another side and developing the best arguments into a standard easy to read format essay. Arguments in the essays can either be rational and emotional. The use of emotional arguments will depend on the audience and may not be appropriate for some academic papers. The overall goal which is common for these essays is to make a reader change their mind and accept the view and ideas of the writer. It is common to use facts, expert’s opinions and logical explanations of an object or idea in this structure.

These are not the only types of essays that a college student or someone looking for entrance to an educational institute may have to write. There are several others that can be required, but these are the most commonly asked for. With an essay it is important to have the appropriate research, facts and information before beginning the writing process. Do not ever write jargon and try to pass it off for a good paper, it just simply will not work.