What are the different types of essays?

Essays are more than just short stories describing a given process or action. They are more complex as essays can be used to persuade and prove ideas or discuss and analyze topics. Essays are mainly classified depending on their intended purpose. Examples of types of essays in the English language include comparison, argumentative, narrative, critical, expository, process and cause/effect essays.

Every type of essay is unique from the others and understanding their features, styles or structures is the least one can do to differentiate them and reduce the amount of time spent or work done when writing them.

Different Types of Essays

Argumentative essays:

These essays serve to persuade and convince the reader that for instance using custom essay writing services is better than working on your essay personally (and it is), the earth is round or that coffee tastes better than tea. They follow a particular structure which looks like:

  1. Stating the starting point
  2. Proving it with arguments or supporting evidence
  3. Stating the point one more time and more confidently

Expository essays:

These essays require students or writers to explore certain ideas, facts or events. The arguments used in expository essays are informational and persuasive to ensure that people believe in the legitimacy of the conclusions with no doubts. These essays use a five-paragraph format i.e. an introductory paragraph, three paragraphs that further explore the idea by presenting facts and evidence and one paragraph that serves as a conclusion.

Process essays:

These essays can be tutorials on how something is done, an explanation of how one's perception of something has changed or anything like that.

Cause/effect essays:

As the name suggests, these essays explore why events occur and what their effects are. When working on a cause/effect essay, it is important first to collect ideas on both sides of the essay and then combine them into a well-written essay. Such an approach allows you to have a better understanding of the study topic, as well as its causes and effects.

Comparative essays:

These essays compare two goals, concepts, techniques or works of literature. Comparative essays tend to discuss the similarities and differences of the objects of study. It's important to understand that these essays can compare more than two objects, concepts or techniques. It's also recommended to use comparable items when writing comparative essays. The writer is required to draw conclusions on which item they think is better than the other one or whether they are similar.

Definition essays:

Definition essays explain the meaning of terms and why they are given a particular name. Definitive essays are written in three steps i.e. identify what's being defined, basic information about it and a deeper analysis through a provision of facts and examples as well as reasons why it's named that way. Descriptive essays: Descriptive essays are simply a description of something. The structure of these essays varies significantly including story-like structures, similar to that of narrative essays.

Narrative essays:

These essays have the simplest structure as they just provide a description of a certain experience i.e. introduction, the main body which explains what happened and a conclusion which describes the lessons learnt from the story.

Critical essays:

The idea of these essays is not to criticize something or someone. Rather, critical essays seek to explore the absence, meanings, weaknesses and strengths of something or someone. It could be a book, a movie, someone else's essay or speech. Their structure is more complex but the general idea when writing them is first to ask a question, prove the pros and cons or create an alternative way of doing something then finally answering the question. Truth be told, critical essays are the hardest to write.

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