A Guide through Essay Types

An essay is one of the most common writing tasks students get as part of their homework or assessment. But no matter it’s a usual task, students usually get very confused preparing it. The major problem is that many of them simply don’t understand essay requirements, its difference from the other papers, and essay type they’re required to write. But no need to panic, we’ll guide you on the various essay types.

But first of all, let’s figure out what makes an essay different to other pieces of writing. Here are the main essay requirements:

  • Its purpose is to show your opinion on the subject, not generalized ideas. Half of the essay’s success is your unique personal ideas. Don’t be scared to write what you think, even if it may be a bit controversial. Just find appropriate arguments to prove your reflections. Deep original thoughts are highly appreciated.
  • It has a particular structure: an introduction, a body consisting of at least three paragraphs, a conclusion. A perfect structure is fundamental for an essay to be successful. A good writing piece shouldn’t be too long, and it has to describe your ideas strongly and vividly.

Secondly, many students fail to complete their essay tasks because they don’t know that essays are different. Each essay type requires a particular approach and skills. Here we’ll describe the most commonly used essay types and their peculiarities.

There’re lots of essay kinds, but we will guide you through the most popular ones:

  • descriptive essay;
  • narrative essay;
  • argumentative essay;
  • discussion essay;
  • cause and effect essay;
  • compare and contrast essay.

Descriptive essay

This type of writing has its purpose in its name. Here you’re required to describe a certain topic, subject, process (very helpful for tasks on Science), person, place, experience, event, etc. Successful descriptive writing needs to contain as many specifications as possible, each detail counts. This type of paper is perfect for expressing your creativity. Your language should be rich and poetic, but at the same time, you shouldn’t exaggerate things you describe. Be specific and never use general phrases. Everyone sees things in his own way – use this to write a perfect paper. What’s more, descriptive essays aim at making a reader imagine what you’re describing. Try to engage their 5 senses: smell, taste, sound, sight, and touch. If you can do this, your writing is very likely to be successful.

Narrative essay

Narrative essays require you to tell a story. They are relatively easy to write as they don’t need much preparation or research. You should choose a specific topic and describe the chronological story. Logic is essential for this piece of writing. As you’re telling the story, the reader should not only understand it but also be able to picture it in his head. You should get the reader interested, excite them, surprise them, do anything that awakes their emotions. This essay is aimed at expressing your own experiences or things that impacted your personality, that’s why they’re usually written in the 1st person. You don’t need to provide an argument in this essay type to prove something, but your task is to state the purpose of your essay in a thesis statement.

Argumentative essay

This type of essay writing is probably one of the most common at schools and universities. An argumentative essay requires you to state your opinion, use vivid facts and statements to prove it, and persuade the reader. It takes some time to make research and get specific knowledge on the subject. For this writing, you should use clear language and accurate evidence. You should also be ready to stand up against the opposing ideas. For this reason, you should have enough strong arguments to beat them. Otherwise, you won’t be capable of persuading the reader; and it’s your primary goal.

Discussion essay

This essay type makes you use your critical thinking. You should be able to express your opinion and use evidence for every claim you make. A vital feature of a discussion essay is to show a balanced point of view on the topic. You should both discuss the pros and cons of the subject, using clear proof. A structure is significant for this type of essay. It has to contain an introduction, a body, and a conclusion. The central part of this writing is pretty complicated. It has to have a few paragraphs ‘for’ and ‘against.’ You should end your essay summarizing your writing as well as stating your final opinion or recommendations. Discussion essays need basic knowledge of the subject and critical reasoning.

Cause and effect essay

Cause and effect essays aim at explaining what the causes of a particular result were. What student is required to do is to show a logical sequence of his understanding. If you want to write a quality essay of this type, we strongly recommend reading other cause and effect essays on similar topics. Papers of this kind need a clear purpose and persuasive evidence to prove your opinion. What’s more, there might be a couple of causes to one effect or a single reason for several outcomes. So you should be attentive to not get confused.

Compare and contrast essay

The main purpose of this essay is to compare two objects, things, events, experiences, etc and find their differences as well as define their particularities. What’s more, one has to write a strong thesis statement in which he says whether he’ll be talking about differences, similarities of the subjects, or maybe both. Compare and contrast essays help to show critical thinking, logic and observation skills. To write an excellent paper a student needs to have a good knowledge of both subjects of his essay.

Essay writing is not hard work. What’s needed from you is some basic skills and general topic knowledge. You should also use your critical thinking and creativity. Now as we guided you through the most popular essay types, we hope you’ll find it much easier to accomplish essay writing tasks successfully.