Last Updated 19 Jun 2021

10 Most Common Types of Essays

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Ever got confused about different types of essays? Narrative or expository essay. Same or different? Learn the meaning of each type and how they differ.

Types of Essays - Exploring their Meaning and Peculiarities

For many students (and even people generally) who are not so versed with writing essays, one of the major surprises they may encounter is the varying types of essays that exist. Many are probably familiar with the most common ones like narrative, comparative, descriptive essays. But being told for the first time that there are other types of essays such as persuasive essays, definition essays, or process essays comes with some degree of surprise. Indeed, there probably more essay types than the average student knows about.

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In light of the observation sighted above, the focus of this text will be the different types of essays, and how different types of essay writing may require different approaches. It is necessary to know how types of essay differ from one another, especially when you consider some types that may seem to be very similar. For instance, argumentative essay as compared to expository essay. They may seem to be nearly the same. However, they actually have key differences which are explained in details further below in this text. But one main difference is the required level or depth of research into the topic of the essay. For an argumentative essay, the research is more extensive and deep. But for an expository essay, it is much less so.

Academic Essay Types and Definitions

When it comes to essay writing, one has to understand that there are different styles or approaches depending on the specific use case. For example, the way an essay would be written as a post just for social media consumption, or news editorial, would be very different from what would obtain if it is an academic essay. An academic essay would have requirements by which it should write.

Generally, the requirements are more demanding and are expected to be strictly observed. It is a different area or genre of writing. In fact, much of this text is focused on academic essay. Therefore, it is about exploring academic essay types and definitions. You will get answers to such questions as 'What are the different types of essays?', ' Can I buy or order different types of essays online? Let's get right to it, below are the different essay types and their definitions, and other key things you should know.

Descriptive essay

A descriptive essay is a type of essay in which the writer describes something, a person, or experience with the goal of delivering a vivid image of the object of the essay; hence, the name 'descriptive'. The essay allows the writer uses descriptive words and literary devices that 'paint a picture' as intended in the mind of the reader using the power of written words.

As simple as this may sound, it could be actually a real literary challenge. In fact, if after reading your descriptive essay, the reader does not feel he experienced in his mind what you have described, that most likely means you did not effectively engage the reader's senses or imagination. Strive to appeal to the five senses of smell, sight, sound, touch, and taste as creatively and vividly as possible - this is the ultimate task in any descriptive essay.

Definition essay

A definition essay is a type of essay that requires the writer to give the meaning of a term with details to aid the reader s comprehension. The term or object could be physical such as books, cars, or abstract - care, intelligence, altruism, power, and so on. In doing so, it should convey crucial and new information to the reader about what is being defined. Using clarifying examples, sighting useful data, or comparing the term with a similar word can help achieve the aforementioned goal. An interesting point to remember is that the more abstract a term is, the more open it is to subjective meaning. If you are required to write extensively on a topic, then it is wise to consider choosing an abstract term.

Compare and Contrast essay

Compare and contrast essays are another kind of essay in which the writer presents and analyzes the differences and similarities between two objects, ideas, or people. To compare means to present the similarities, while contrasting means to convey how the objects differ. The aim of a compare and contrast essay is not merely to present the differences and similarities between the objects but also project the writer s view or argument about one or several of the objects.

Cause and Effect essay

A cause and effect essay (sometimes written as cause-effect essays)

Narrative essay

When a task requires putting to words an experience or past event of an individual, the most appropriate type of essay for that is called a narrative essay. It simply involves writing a story as lucidly and vividly as possible to bring the reader's imagination into the narrative as though it is real. Other goals would be to make it relatable for a reader who has gone through similar experiences, or simply to persuade the reader to understand and appreciate your view based on your shared story. In short, writing a narrative essay is a process of creative storytelling. It requires practice to perfect the process and storytelling skills. Narrative essays are often personal experiences or anecdotes.

Process essay

Process essays are a type of essay that gives the reader a rich explanation of how something is done. In other words, they reveal the steps involved to accomplish a task, do something perhaps some activity, or use a device. Unsurprisingly, they are also known as how-to essays. A process essay is essentially a guide. Interestingly, a process essay can also describe how something works.

Although in an academic context they are not frequently assigned as compared to other essay types, process essays can give students who have been given an assignment to write one a better or deeper understanding of the procedure involved in completing the focus activity or how something works. For example, a process essay could be about how to prepare a particular cuisine, how to perform a specific dance, how to use a specific software application to accomplish a desired goal, or how the electric motor in an electric vehicle works.

Critical essay

A critical essay is a piece of writing in which the writer analyzes a body of writing or other forms of conveying information like videos or audio. The object under analysis could be a book of any kind, blog or article, a documentary or film, a song or speech. The goal of such analysis by the writer is to assess what issues or themes are contained in the material and how they are exhibited, or to reveal an unusual meaning or perspective about the material using its content as evidence cited to support the analysis.

A critical essay is to some degree subjective based on how the writer understands, interpretes, and assesses the material. A good test of this fact is that when a group of people are each asked to come up with a critical paper on a specific material, it is nearly certain that their essays will vary in the kinds of critique they offer. An assessment could be positive or negative or even neutral even though the word 'critical' is commonly understood to suggest a negative assessment. The main thing to note is that the writer should have a clear argument or claim written in the thesis statement and then present the analysis to support the argument using content from the material.

To round up, remember, you can always contact us for assistance if you are having issues writing any kind of essay. We offer online essay writing from highly skilled writers who are not only skilled at writing but also experienced and knowledgeable about specific subject areas around which they have built their expertise.

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