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Essays and Writing Strategies

21 Distinctive Types Of Essays And How To Write Them

Essay writing is possibly the most common form of assessment that a student has to work on throughout their academic career, be it in the high school or while pursuing a university degree. There are multiple reasons why essay writing is encouraged by every educational institution across the world. The prime reason for assigning students with various essays is to assess their ability to grasp a particular topic and to enhance the student’s knowledge regarding the subject. Such write-ups allow the professors to evaluate the skills and proficiency of the students.

So simply put, an essay is a kind of assignment that meticulously describes and emphasizes on a topic. Typically, an essay is written to elaborate on your opinions, ideas and views regarding a specific topic. The objective of an academic essay assignment is to influence the students to enhance concepts and ideas through their writing. Since the process of essay writing comes with multiple aspects, the student can get the opportunity to hone their skills on reading, analyzing, conducting research and maintaining brevity, exposition and precision of the document.

Speaking of essays, there are multiple categories of them and students have to be acquainted with all of these variants at some point in their academic pursuits. Essays being the most popular types of academic essays and assignments, you will be required to prepare diverse types of such papers during the span of your academic sessions. Naturally, majority of the students may not be as skilled in dealing with the complex process of essay writing. But it is crucial for the students to get acquainted with the different kinds of academic essays since that will allow them to handle any complicated paper with ease. Many students don't know how many types of essays are there. So, for the convenience of the students, here’s a comprehensive list of the distinct types of essays that they should know about.

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What are the Different Types of Essays?

So what types of essays are there? In your academic career, you are going to encounter several forms of essays. This blog will highlight the various essay types and their definitions. If you don’t know what are different types of academic essays, here is the list of most common types of essay formats:

Also Read: How To Write An Academic Essay - Student’s Guide

  1. Narrative essays
  2. Argumentative or persuasive essays
  3. Expository essay
  4. Compare and contrast essay
  5. Descriptive essay
  6. Cause and effect essay
  7. Application essay
  8. Case study essay
  9. Scholarship essay
  10. Analysis or analytical essay
  11. Five-paragraph essay
  12. Term paper essay
  13. Definition essay
  14. Critical essay
  15. Deductive essay
  16. Classification essay
  17. Exploratory essay
  18. Informal essay
  19. Personal essay
  20. Process essay
  21. Response essay

Each of these essay types is different from one another in terms of writing approach, the structure of the paragraph and its types of arguments. In the following segments, you will get to learn about each of them in details.

How to Write Different Types of Essays?

While the different types of essay writing require a different approach, the steps to writing each one of them are more or less the same. Whether you are writing different types of essay for middle school or college, here are the common steps for different types of papers to write:

  • Select an interesting topic
  • Do research and record information from authentic sources
  • Develop a strong thesis statement that you will argue
  • Plan the content and create a basic outline
  • Write the first draft of your paper
  • Revise your first draft and improve the content, logic, and the flow.
  • Cite the sources used in the content and create a bibliography
  • Run a plagiarism check to ensure the originality of the paper

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These steps are effective for different types of essays for high school and other academic levels. Just make sure your arguments comply with the basic idea of each type of essay.

Following are the different types of essays in details.

  1. Narrative Essay

A narrative essay is elaborated through a personal story. So naturally this kind of an essay would focus on the personal experiences of an individual, a narrative essay offers the scope for the writers to be acknowledged directly and to present themselves in a better way. Narrative essays tend to be more personal, empirical and subjective. This area of essay writing allows the students to have clarity of their thoughts and ideas and also lets them translate those ideas on the paper in an artistic way. Many people often believe that writing a narrative essay would be a fairly simple, but that’s not the case. While writing this type of essay, it is essential to provide a convincing personal experience through the write-up so that the readers can be interested in the piece as well.

Also Read: Top-Notch Narrative Essay Topics For A Brilliant Paper

  1. Argumentative or Persuasive Essay

Argumentative essays are also commonly known as Persuasive Essays. The objective of writing a persuasive essay is to convince a reader about a certain concept or theory, normally something that you believe in. While presenting this type of essay papers, the writer has to maintain a justified and logical stance to prove that their concept is more relevant and rational than the other prevailing arguments and theories. When composing a persuasive essay paper, the principal objective of the writer is to inspire a reader to consider a certain notion presented by you or to compel them to read further into the arguments that you’ve provided. Persuasive essays require an extensive amount of research, and a detailed knowledge of every angle of the subject you are elucidating, to develop the awareness of the readers regarding that topic or subject.

Also Read: 60 Good Argumentative Essay Topics

  1. Expository Essay

The expository essay needs to be informative in its approach. In these kinds of essays, the writer attempts to present a topic or subject to the readers through the application of facts and figures. This type of academic paper delves into producing an objective evaluation of a specific topic. While preparing this type of essay, the writer offers sufficient details and elaborates on a topic by including various relevant statistics, facts, and evidence. Always remember that expository essays are primarily based on facts, and there is no scope for expressing your personal opinions or views on the paper. That’s why the students should conduct precise research on a specific concept, analyze facts, structure the essay according to the concept, and produce an argument associated with that concept in a legible and concise way.

  1. Compare and Contrast Essay

To put it in a simple manner, a compare and contrast essay elaborates on the distinctions and similarities between two individuals, places, incidents or things. The primary function of this type of essay is to elucidate how some situations or thoughts are distinct from or similar to one another. While approaching this variant of academic essay, it is mandatory for the students to establish an association between ideas or texts, and also indulge in a critical evaluation of those ideas. Preparing a compare and contrast essay not only requires the writer to present elaborate descriptions of the ideas and theories, but they should also be able to put together an intriguing analysis on why the idea tends to be similar or contradictory.

Also Read: How To Write Compare And Contrast Essay

  1. Descriptive Essay

Descriptive essays are one of the most popular among all the prominent essay types. While preparing this type of essay, a student has to elucidate on a particular person, object, experience, place, situation, emotion etc. It allows you with an opportunity to explain a certain experience. This type of essay paper lets you harness your creative prowess for creating a compelling piece of write-up. Writers mostly make use of this type of academic essay to influence an opinion on a particular object. The role of a descriptive essay is to explain the meaning of a certain subject or a specific field under discussion. It is crucial for the writers to proceed with their discussion after conducting a thorough evaluation.

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  1. Cause and Effect Essay

Cause and effect essay is another distinct type of essay that students are likely to come across during their academic years. Writing this kind of essay is like painting a picture in which one incident or situation gives rise to certain reactions. The writer needs to have a cohesive idea of a particular incident or situation and the reason behind such an occurrence. So, when you proceed with writing a cause and effect essay, you should highlight the thoughts and ideas effectively regarding an incident and also elucidate on the consequences of that specific incident. This type of academic essays is an ideal way of organizing and offering your thoughts and perceptions in an academic setting.

Also Read: A Complete Guide On How To Write A Cause And Effect Essay

  1. Application Essay

This is another extremely significant variant of essays that students need to be aware of, to get admission in a reputed educational institution. It typically consists of a statement of purpose or a personal statement. It is a piece of writing prepared by a student with the aim to apply for graduate or postgraduate programs in a reputed university or college. These days, the college or university application essay is an essential part of the university and college admission process. That’s why it’s necessary for the students to be accustomed to preparing such write-ups. When presenting an application essay, a candidate should describe about his/her life, academic achievements, experiences, other noteworthy skills that they possess and also the reason to apply to a particular college or university and their ambitions.

  1. Case Study Essay

Normally, it is said that a case study is a comprehensive assessment of a person, community or an event. A case study essay is considered to be a crucial paper in any prominent academic discipline and it is necessary for the students to be efficient with their case studies to succeed in their academic endeavours. The purpose of a case study essay is to provide with a more detailed and authentic assessment of an event or a situation. While preparing this type of essay, you are required to offer authentic and precise information of the condition that the essay is focusing on. A case study is a rational piece of write-up which evidently comprises of thorough research and proficient application of concepts, theories and views.

Also Read: How To Write A Case Study? An Analytical Overview

  1. Scholarship Essay

The objective of Scholarship Essays is that it enables the scholarship committee of an institution to gain some insights about you and your dedication to achieve your goals. Presenting a brilliantly written essay can aid you to accumulate more funds to pay for your college education. However, you need to remember that scholarship essays are basically written to offer the scholarship provider with an understanding and insight into the person writing the application and allow them to peak into your academic and general background. Scholarship Essays are a kind of personal essay and the primary criterion of this type of write-up is to persuade the scholarship committee that you are in every way eligible for it.

  1. Analysis or Analytical Essay

Analytical or analysis essay is again a rather usual form of academic write-up that students, especially the ones pursuing higher studies, are used to preparing. In simple words, an analytical essay means that a student must produce some sort of claim or argument in connection with something that they’re evaluating in the paper. While presenting this kind of write-up, you should emphasize on thoroughly analyzing another relevant piece of work associated with your topic. You may also find that similar ideas and issues have already been discussed by other people. And that makes it convenient for you to research the specific topic and compile the ideas efficiently.

Also Read: 100+ Analytical Essay Topics For Students

  1. Five Paragraph Essay

A Five-Paragraph essay, as the name indicates, is a variant that comprises of five paragraphs. Five-paragraph essays should possess an appropriate introductory section, three paragraphs consisting of the main content and a fitting conclusion. Owing to the particular structure of the essay, it is also recognized as one-three-one essay or a three-tier essay. In the introductory section, you have to explain the primary theme of the entire essay and have to include the thesis statement possibly in the first paragraph to make it interesting. The main text should echo the thesis statement, and you must provide adequate evidence to establish your arguments in the main text of the paper. The conclusion should reinstate the thesis and wind up the essay topic.

Also Read: A Comprehensive Guide To Writing A 5 Paragraph Essay

  1. Term Paper Essay

Term paper essays hold immense significance in a student’s academic career as they are required to present these academic papers as per the requirements of their respective institutions. Term paper is an elaborate piece of writing on a certain subject taken from the curriculum that a student follows during school or college term. It’s almost similar to a research paper that is produced by students during the span of an academic term. The primary objective of preparing term paper essays is to highlight an idea or an event or discuss about a specific point. So typically it stresses on an in-depth discussion about the topic.

  1. Definition Essay

Definition essay is another category that students have to be acquainted with during their academic pursuits. Definition essay is ideally a brief piece of write-up dedicated to a particular subject. To prepare this type of essay, the student will need to define a statement that could mean different things and is arguable. Students can write definition essays in a simple manner if they pick a less rigid or mechanical topic that can be elaborated by offering your understanding or experience, and without resorting to any complexities. It emphasizes on a personal yet academic definition of certain term or phrase. However, it is essential that you select a phrase or term that will offer you enough materials to discuss about.

Also Read: How To Write Definition Essay - Foolproof Tips And Topic Prompts

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  1. Critical Essay

Critical essay is also one prominent variant of essays that the students are assigned with during their tenure at college and university. Ideally, this paper provides an elaborate critical insight of a piece of work, whether that’s a film, book, story, article, poem or painting. The students are generally given broad topics to work when they present a critical analysis. The function of critical essay is to prepare an analysis of some significant aspect of a piece of work. So this type of an essay aims to evaluate both the strong and the weak points and the specific methods of someone else’s creation.

Also Read: How To Write A Critical Essay – 6 Brilliant Tips

  1. Deductive Essay

Deductive essays are an essential type of assignment in assessing the knowledge level of students belonging to various academic discipline. This type of essay employs deductive reasoning which is based on the theory that given as a set of clues or circumstances, one can make a viable assumption regarding a situation. To put it simply, an individual can solve an issue or detect a person if provided with sufficient information. Particularly, deductive reasoning is known to consider individual aspects, measures them against the prevailing knowledge about the concerned topic and combines them up to arrive at a conclusion.

  1. Classification Essay

While writing a classification essay, the students will ideally have to compile things into separate categories and provide appropriate examples that are suitable for every category. To present such an essay, students have to go through the following steps;

  • Put things into relevant categories.
  • Ensure all the categories maintain a specific organizing principle.
  • Offer examples that are appropriate for every category.

Before proceeding with the writing part, it is crucial to select the classification criteria.

  1. Exploratory Essay

An exploratory essay is a brief piece of a write-up in which the writer proceeds through an issue or assesses an experience or idea, without actually trying to support a statement or a thesis. Exploratory essay varies from most other kinds of academic assignment as the name of the essay itself suggests that you move through unknown areas and should find your way in the course of the essay.

  1. Informal Essay

The primary reason why an informal essay is different from other kinds is because of its flexibility and informal style. The readers must be provided with a conversational style of writing when they are reading this type of essay. One of the most crucial things is to maintain the element of your personality. The reader should decipher your philosophy and your vision easily. Contrary to their formal counterparts, informal essays were written for pleasure.

  1. Personal Essay

A personal essay is an elaborative type of assignment that often involves a myriad of writing styles. Most personal essay requires the writers to discuss a particular individual, incident or phase in their life. The idea is to describe the incident or situation in a manner that the reader can comprehend and identify. This type of academic papers typically consists of descriptive writing. 

  1. Process Essay

The process essay is a type of academic assignment through which a writer elaborates a step-by-step method of how something is accomplished. Process essays can be categorized into two forms:

  • Informative process: Details about how something is done
  • Directive process: An illustration of how to do something.

An informative process is normally presented from the third person perspective, while a directive process essay is usually produced in the second person point of view. In both these categories, the steps are ideally structured in order in which the steps are carried out.

  1. Response Essay

A response essay varies from the formal review ideally in the aspect that it is presented in the first person. As opposed to more formal write-ups, the application of the first person can be adopted in a response essay. In this type of paper, you will still have to prepare a formal evaluation of the piece of work you're analyzing (this could be a book, a work of art, or a film), but you also have the liberty to put forward your impressions and perceptions to the paper.

Now all those students who frequently have difficulty distinguishing between these types of essays in college can get an idea about each one of them.

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