The Main Types of Essays | Awesome Guide with Examples

    December 27, 2022

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Types of Essays

While still a student, either at school or the university, it’s apparent that you will be assigned one of the four main types of essays. Most students struggle to write such academic papers since they don’t know how to handle them properly.

This guide will look into the types of essays you are likely to encounter and write as a college or university student. We will look into the several types of essays, which are often divided into the following four categories: 

  • Argumentative
  • Expository
  • Narrative 
  • Descriptive essays

Argumentative Essays

It is is a type of essays that is based on an ample evidence-based argument with a strong thesis statement. It aims to convince whomever the reader might be with enough evidence and analysis available.

This type of essay tests your ability to research and present your position on a topic, usually ubiquitous at the college level. Usually, it’s divided into:

  • The Introduction focuses on providing your topic and thesis statement
  • The body which presents your evidence and arguments
  • The conclusion, which summarizes the discussion and emphasizes its importance

Expository Essays

An expository essay provides a clear, focused explanation of a topic with or without an original argument. While drafting an expository essay, you must research the case using facts, examples, and statistics.

This academic paper can be accomplished in several ways: 

  • Contrasting and comparing, 
  • Analyzing, 
  • And defining a term. 

The primary purpose is to make the information accessible and understandable to the audience.

Tips for writing an excellent expository essay

  • Use simple facts for your presentation
  • Tell the story in the third person only
  • Use five paragraph-structure
  • Don’t forget to provide your thesis statement in the Introduction 
  • Each paragraph should cover the point that relates to the thesis

Narrative Essays

Narrative essays always tell a story that can be about personal experiences or can be an imaginative exploration of anything not necessarily experienced.

This type of essay gives you an incredible opportunity to use your creativity to the full extent. You can develop your plot, characters, setting, ideas, etc. Primarily a narrative is a story created from one prominent event or even a series of events. Your main aim here is to teach your reader something.

Tips for writing a good narrative essay

  • Come up with a story with a specific purpose
  • Write a Narrative Essay in the first person or third person
  • Employ some popular quotes
  • Apply figurative language
  • Complete the paper in 3 paragraphs 
  • Make your paper alive by using dialogue between characters

Descriptive essays

A descriptive essay provides a detailed sensory description of something giving the writer more room to be creative. The writer can accurately portray the picture in their head and carefully choose words, details, and images to create realistic visualization.

Usually, the story should focus on creating a dominant impression of a person, idea, or event. For example, you can learn how to sell something using vivid language.

Tips for writing an excellent descriptive essay

  • Be as creative as you can
  • Apply your descriptive skills
  • Tell the story in first, second, or third person 
  • Write it in three or five paragraphs
  • Be able to define some idea or object in a creative way

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Frequently asked questions

How do I know the type of essay to write?

Both in high school and at the university, it’s always likely to be told what kind of essay to write or maybe given prompts from which you can identify keywords to help you develop a specific approach. It is crucial to know the different types of essays you are likely to write as a college or university student.

For example:

  • The word “explain” suggests you should write an expository essay.
  • The term “describe” means you should write a descriptive essay.
  • The term “asses” means you should write an argumentative essay.

What is the difference between a narrative and a descriptive essay?

Usually, the narrative essay is designed in such a manner to tell a complete story. In contrast, the descriptive essay conveys an intense description based on a specific concept. Both types of essays have a different essay structure.

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