essay writing advice

Differences Between 5 Common Essay Types

There are quite a few different types of essays. Your instructor may decide to assign you a certain type to write, or the choice may be left up to you. The following are 5 common types of essays and how they differ from each other.

  1. Expository essays – they are very frequently assigned to students. They require an explanation of something. In other words, you would be informing the reader about whatever your topic is. You would provide facts, examples, personal knowledge and relevant anecdotes. This type of essay is very factual. The analysis should be balanced and almost scientific in nature. The comparison and contrast essay style is a member of this category of essays. It could be a “how to” process. No emotions are discussed in this type of essay.
  2. Persuasive essays – in this type of essay you must convince the reader of your viewpoint on the subject. Either that or you may have to convince your reader to take some kind of action which you’re promoting in the essay. For example if you were running for student council. The persuasive essay requires that you are clear and succinct in your definition of your topic.
  3. Narrative essays – they usually tell a story. It could be a report about an event that occurred or a description about an experience you had. They are usually told from the point of view of the writer. There should be a thesis statement. Make sure the writing is engaging and captivating; bring the details of your story to life.
  4. Personal statement essay – usually written using a prompt, this essay tells the reader about yourself. It could be something in your background or personal history; it should be something that speaks about your identity and who you are as a person. Of all types of essays, this one is the most personal. It is a reflection of the writer and uncovers things inside the person you don’t see with the eyes.
  5. Descriptive essays – they paint a picture with words. It’s similar to the narrative essay but its purpose is to communicate some type of deeper meaning by using description. The words should effectively appeal to the emotions of the reader, resulting in the desire to change or adopt change depending on the topic of the essay. The writer may describe an object, place, person or a memory that was of special significance.

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