Different types of essays: What students need to know about essay writing

Getting an assignment to write an essay is one of the most frequent tasks for students, regardless of the academic field

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Published: Mon 1 Apr 2024, 3:02 PM

When it comes to writing essays, a lot depends on the structural and thematic requirements you have to comply with. If you succeed, you will be able to get an A+ result. In this guide, let’s figure out what types of essays you may come across as a student.

What Are the Different Types of Essays for Students to Master

Getting an assignment to write an essay is one of the most frequent tasks for students, regardless of the academic field. This type of assignment comes with a range of purposes and can have a different impact on the reader — either to provide new information or to persuade the audience that someone’s point of view is correct.

Nonetheless, essay projects aren’t created equally. You may come across multiple variations, and it is better to understand their divergence to boost your chances of getting an A+ grade. In this guide, we’ll introduce the most popular essay types that students and writers from WriteMyPapers deal with. Let’s dig in!

Narrative Essays

You will definitely need to write such essay at some point in your studies, whether you are a high school, college, or university student. Narrative essay is a story with the use of the third-person perspective, where an author tells readers more about what happened to them in person or any other event they would like to share with the target audience.

The general structure of the narrative essay is the same — an introductory part, a body, and a conclusion. What differs is what thoughts and statements you highlight in each section. In the case of narrative essays, the climax is at the end of the body part, which harmoniously leads to the character’s reflections in the end. By some means, it is pretty similar to fiction but a short one.

Argumentative Essays

This essay type takes discussions to the next level. The goal is to make a fact-based and data-driven statement in support of a certain stance. To defend your perspective, you have to back up your vision with relevant points, logical reasons, and statistics if needed.

Compared to other essay types, an argumentative essay is more research-focused writing with an accent on your ability to collect and analyse information from multiple sources rather than your creativity. Your argument has to be based on credible data only. Otherwise, counterarguments will win over easily.

In the introduction part, students should provide their thesis statement, illustrate the reasons for its validity in the body, and summarise their findings in the end.

Expository Essays

Contrary to argumentative essays, where you do your best to prove the value of your point of view, in this essay type, you should thoroughly analyse the topic’s strengths and weaknesses — no need for personal vision. You don’t have to get in-depth insights from related credible sources, which makes the project a bit easier. For instance, you may describe a famous author’s biography in such texts and highlight their legacy. Nonetheless, it doesn’t mean that an expository essay without a clear structure and logical format will be acceptable. So, make sure to follow the classic essay structure.

Descriptive Essays

This essay type has more similarities with a narrative essay rather than an expository essay, despite their titles. This type is more poetic and creative. It is a piece of creative writing where you are welcome to use figurative language to engage the reader and make them read the entire text. The selection of hyperboles, metaphors, insider jokes, etc., is meant to have an impact on the audience’s senses. The more, the better — work on including the descriptions of sensory feelings.

You implement a sensory hook instead of a thesis statement in the body. The conclusion section still performs the role of the project’s summary but in a more creative form.

Persuasive Essays

Exactly what its title implies, this type of essay is aimed at convincing the audience to share the same opinion as the author. The difference between persuasive and argumentative formats is that the first category is highly personalised — the use of casual speech and figurative language is more than welcome. The conclusion section includes a call to action that supports the writer’s standpoint and engages readers to participate in further discussions and research on the matter.

Critical Essays

This essay is an in-depth and analytical writing for estimating a work of art. Not only is it efficient in delivering vital insights that assist the audience in comprehending the theme, but it also shares the author’s view on it. There are three main parts of critical essays:

  • A thesis statement plays the role of a central claim of the paper, but it may obtain more traits and provide a hint on potential counterarguments too.
  • The body of the text is all about providing evidence of the topic and statement. If you are to analyse a writer’s novel, you are welcome to provide details on its imagery, structure, word choice, and other elements.
  • In conclusion you rephrase your findings and emphasise the most crucial insights to prove your thesis statement.

Please note that critical essays aren’t the summary of the plot you are asked to analyse. This essay type shows students’ vision of the events and phenomena that are backed up by citations to the original piece and other sources of data.

Final Thoughts

These types of essays may have other subtypes, like personal narrative essays, but the types above are the most widespread assignments.

Once you learn more about each type, you will be on the right track to mastering academic writing. As you can see, every type of essay has a unique set of writing requirements to represent the main idea and satisfy the text’s overall format. Remember to practice each essay type. Even if you don’t have any related assignments at the moment, why not use this opportunity for training purposes?

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