Essay Writing Guide

Types Of Essay

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Explore Different Types of Essays, their Purpose, and Sub-types

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Are you a college or high school student ready to start on a journey through the fascinating world of essay writing ? Brace yourself because you'll encounter a variety of essay types that will challenge your writing skills and creativity.

Picture this: You're handed an assignment, a blank canvas on which to express your thoughts and ideas. But here's the catch – your teacher won't always specify the type of essay you should craft. It's up to you to solve the riddle hidden within the assignment question.

But fear not! 

In this blog, we'll discuss the four most common types of essays you're likely to encounter during your academic years. While these essays may share a common foundation and structure, each possesses its own unique characteristics. Let’s get started!

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  • 1. Major Types of Essays In Academic Writing
  • 2. Argumentative Essay
  • 3. Descriptive Essay
  • 4. Expository Essay
  • 5. Narrative Essay
  • 6. Other Essay Types

Major Types of Essays In Academic Writing

When it comes to academic writing, understanding the different types of essays is essential. Each type serves a distinct purpose and requires a specific approach. Let's explore these essay types along with their descriptions and example prompts in the table below:

Understanding these major types of essays and the skills they assess will empower you to approach your academic writing with confidence. Depending on your assignment's requirements, you'll be better equipped to choose the appropriate essay type and showcase your writing abilities effectively. 

Each type offers a unique opportunity for you to express your ideas, and arguments and perfect your specific writing skills.

Here are the key types of essay formats explained in detail, along with examples to enhance your understanding.

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Argumentative Essay

An argumentative essay is an essay type that presents a well-structured argument supported by evidence and reasoning. The primary goal is to engage the reader in a discussion, provide evidence, and logically demonstrate why a particular viewpoint is more valid.

In simple words, the writer must provide evidence and remain consistent in their stance. While argumentative essays present both sides of an issue, they strongly support one perspective. 

Characteristics of Argumentative Essay

  • Clear Thesis: It should have a clear thesis statement to state the writer's position.
  • Balanced Presentation: An argumentative essay addresses opposing views.
  • Evidence: It relies on credible and relevant evidence.
  • Logical Reasoning: The essay presents arguments coherently and logically.
  • Persuasive Techniques: It uses persuasive techniques like ethos, pathos, and logos effectively.
  • Introduction: The introduction introduces the topic and thesis, engaging the reader's interest.
  • Body: The body paragraphs present arguments with supporting evidence.
  • Counterargument: It addresses opposing viewpoints and refutes them.
  • Conclusion: The conclusion summarizes key points and reinforces the thesis, leaving a strong impression.

Argumentative Essay Example

Before beginning the writing process, it is better to go through some expertly crafted argumentative essay examples . This approach enables you to grasp the argumentative essay outline and writing style more effectively.

Descriptive Essay

A descriptive essay is a form of writing that aims to immerse readers in a sensory-rich experience. Unlike informational or persuasive essays, its primary goal is to vividly depict a person, place, object, event, or experience.   The descriptive essay must evoke the senses and emotions of the reader. In simple terms, the reader should see what you saw and feel what you felt. To make it better, you can use several literary devices such as;

  • Alliteration

All of them help in making the experience and your essay better.

Key Characteristics 

  • Sensory Detail: Descriptive essays appeal to the five senses to create a multisensory experience.
  • Vivid Imagery: They use figurative language and descriptive adjectives to bring the narrative to life.
  • Emotional Connection: These essays often aim to establish an emotional bond between the reader and the subject.
  • Structured Approach: They typically follow an introduction-body-conclusion structure.
  • Introduction: Introduces the subject and purpose, sometimes with a thesis statement.
  • Body Paragraphs: Focus on specific aspects or details using sensory language and vivid descriptions.
  • Conclusion: Summarizes the central theme and leaves a lasting impression.

Descriptive Essay Example

Creating a perfect descriptive essay for an assignment is not difficult if you go through some expert descriptive essay examples first. 

Need more examples? Read our Descriptive Essay Examples and Writing Tips blog to get inspired!

Expository Essay

An expository essay is a type of writing that provides clear and objective explanations of a topic without expressing personal opinions. It aims to inform and educate by presenting factual information and analysis.

Therefore, it is important that you make a focused outline and stick to it throughout the process. 

An expository essay incorporates a wide array of essays such as:

  • Cause and effect essays
  • Process essays
  • Analytical essays
  • Compare and contrast essays

Key Characteristics

  • Objective Presentation: Expository writing maintains an impartial tone, avoiding personal biases.
  • Informativeness: They focus on explaining complex ideas or processes in a straightforward manner.
  • Structured: These essays follow a clear structure with an introduction, body paragraphs, and a conclusion.
  • Use of Evidence: They rely on credible evidence, facts, and examples to support the topic.
  • Introduction: Introduces the topic and often includes a thesis statement.
  • Body Paragraphs: Each paragraph focuses on a specific aspect and provides explanations and evidence.
  • Conclusion: Restates the main idea and summarizes key points.

Expository Essay Example

Looking for more sample essays? Check out our Expository Essay Examples blog and take inspiration from a range of expository essays!

Narrative Essay

A narrative essay is a type of academic writing that tells a story or recounts a personal experience. Unlike other essays, its primary purpose is to engage and entertain the reader through storytelling.

  • Narrative Structure: Follows a chronological sequence with an introduction, body, climax, and conclusion.
  • First-Person Perspective: Typically written from the first-person point of view (e.g., "I" and "we") , sharing personal experiences and emotions.
  • Vivid Description: Relies on descriptive language and imagery to create a clear picture of events, characters, and settings.
  • Emotional Connection: Aims to establish an emotional bond with the reader by conveying the writer's thoughts and feelings.
  • Introduction: Sets the stage and introduces the central theme or problem.
  • Body: Presents events or experiences in chronological order with sensory details.
  • Climax: Often includes a central event or turning point.
  • Conclusion: Reflects on the narrative, offering insights, lessons, or resolution.

Narrative Essay Example

Wondering how to get your story into an interesting narrative? Learn the best way to write a perfect narrative essay with the help of expert narrative essay examples. 

For more examples visit our blog on narrative essay examples .

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Other Essay Types

In addition to the major types of essays discussed earlier, there are several other specialized types that cater to specific audiences. These essays provide diverse avenues for writers to communicate their ideas effectively. 

We will go through these essay types here.

Persuasive Essay

A persuasive essay is another type of academic essay. In this essay type, the writer utilizes logic and reasoning to show one’s idea is more convincing than another idea. 

In writing a persuasive essay, the main aim is to persuade the reader to accept a certain point of view. The presented argument or claim must use solid evidence and sound reasoning by stating facts, examples, and quotes. 

Persuasive Essay Example

Since persuasive essays are the most common type of essay, it is essential to get familiar with their writing style. For that, here is an interesting persuasive essay example that you can explore for your better understanding. 

Read our persuasive essay examples blog for more samples!

Analytical Essay

An analytical essay is a type of academic essay in which the writer analyzes a topic bit by bit. Writing an analytical essay is not about convincing readers of your point of view. But wanting readers to agree with what you have written. 

So, there is no need to use strong persuasive language in an analytical essay. Rather you should aim to provide enough analysis to make sure your argument is clear to the readers. 

Analytical Essay Example

Let’s take a look at a sample analytical essay: 

Read our analytical essay examples blog if you are looking for more sample essays!

Reflective Essay

A reflective essay type of essay requires you to examine your personal experiences through self-reflection. In the process of writing a reflective essay, you provide insight into what you have gained from those experiences. 

What makes reflective essays different from other essay types is the fact that it examine the past experience from the present. Reflective essays take the reader through a journey of self-growth. 

Reflective Essay Example

The following reflective essay example will help you get a clear idea of how to structure your analytical essay. 

Rhetorical Analysis Essay

It is a form of a textual analysis essay in which the student examines and analyzes a persuasive text. It is like an essay, speech, or visual art and analyzes the rhetorical devices used in it. Writing a rhetorical analysis essay is different from writing other essays because it will be more than adding facts only.

Rhetorical Analysis Essay Example

Here is a rhetorical analysis essay example that will help you learn better. 

Check out our rhetorical analysis essay examples blog for more samples!

Literary Analysis Essay

A literary analysis essay is based on close reading and analysis of a work of literature like poetry and novel. It identifies different literary factors like themes, setting,  characters, setting, and the kind of language used in it. A literary analysis essay has the same 5 paragraphs as any other essay but the main subject and topic are different.

Literary Analysis Essay Example

Need help with your literary analysis essay? Below is a sample essay to help you understand better.

Summing it Up! Now you know what are the different types of essays in academic writing that you are most likely to get assigned. However, if you still find it difficult to compose your essay, leave your piece of writing to our experts. 

Whether you need an argumentative essay, narrative essay,  descriptive essay, or expository essay we are here to help. Our expertise extends to all types of essays, ensuring that your academic writing needs are met with precision and excellence.

Request 'write my essay' today and let our professional writing service help you write A+ grade essays within your specified timeline! 

Frequently Asked Questions

What is the most important element in any essay.

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A thesis statement is the most important part of any essay. Other than the research itself, the thesis statement is the most important part of an essay or research paper. A thesis statement summarizes the main point and essence of the argument.

What type of essay is most common at university?

Usually, university students get argumentative kinds of essays. No matter what kind of essay you write, you will need to develop an argument.

Here are some kinds of essays and the kind of arguments added to them. 

  • Analysis and interpretation of literary texts are discussed in literary analysis essays. 
  • The importance of a particular event or theory is analyzed in a history argumentative essay. 
  • A political theory is examined in a political argumentative essay. 

Besides, there are a number of different kinds of argumentative and analysis essays.

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Four Main Types of Essays – Quick Intro & Examples

Published by Carmen Troy at August 22nd, 2021 , Revised On October 10, 2023

An  essay  is the most common academic assignment at college and university. It presents an argument and persuades the readers to believe in the rightness of the author’s point of view. While there are many types of essays, they can be broadly categorised into the following four main types:

  • Argumentative essays
  • Expository essays
  • Narrative essays
  • Descriptive essays

Argumentative essays and expository essays present arguments to convince the readers of the author’s position. In narrative essays and descriptive essays, you can use informal language and imagination to engage the readers.

At high school, college, and university, argumentative essays are the most widely recognized kind of essay.

Another important essay type from the academic perspective is the textual analysis essay, which tests students’ reading and analysis skills.

Argumentative Essays

In an argumentative essay, you present an argument and back it with supporting evidence. An argumentative essay requires the author to take a clear position on the topic and persuade the readers to agree to the author’s opinion, analysis, and interpretation. The  thesis statement  provides the main argument of an argumentative essay.

Argumentative essays help to evaluate your ability to conduct independent research and form well-informed opinions on the issue. The inclusion of the supporting evidence adds weight to your argument.

An argumentative essay is the most common type of essay in the academic world. It follows the standard essay structure, which includes an  introduction ,  main body , and a  conclusion .

  • The introduction of an argumentative essay introduces the topic, provides background information, presents the thesis statement, and maps out the essay structure.
  • The main body presents the main argument, which is reinforced through evidence and interpretation.
  • The conclusion summarises the essay’s main argument, links back to the thesis statement, and fortifies the significance of the argument.

Argumentative Essay Example Paragraph

Here is an example of a paragraph taken from the main body of an argumentative essay on the effects of distance learning on education.

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At Sheridan, you are likely to come across four types of essays. Each essay types has different requirements and produces different outcomes. In this section, you will find descriptions of the four essay types: Expository, Argumentative or Persuasive, Reflective, and Descriptive.

Expository Essay

The purpose of an expository essay is to inform, describe, or explain a topic. It requires you to help the reader understand a topic through your own insights and ideas. Using information from credible sources, your essay should provide definitions, facts, explanations, and details about the subject. The essay may also include examples, comparison and contrast and analysis of cause and effect.

Many academic and workplace writing assignments are expository. These topics, for example, often require expository type of writing:

  • A medical or biological condition.
  • A social or technological process.
  • A marketing strategy.
  • Life or character of a famous person.

Argumentative or Persuasive Essay

The purpose of an argumentative essay is to persuade readers on a certain point of view, opinion, or position on a topic. It requires you to identify key issues, present the common or existing arguments about the issues, evaluate evidence behind these arguments and argue why your position on the topic is more convincing or stronger than the opposing view. The subject you choose for an argumentative or persuasive essay needs to be debatable.

An argument is an evidence-based opinion supported and explained by sound, credible sources. "To argue in writing is to advance knowledge and ideas in a positive way" (Warkentin & Filipovic, 2019, p. 207). A well-thought-out argument is one that considers facts and various opinions, some of which may be opposing to each other, and analyzes strengths and weaknesses in each. An argumentative essay should not present only evidence on the position you are supporting. It is more convincing when the information presented is not biased towards a position.

Reflective Essay

This type of essay is more personal because you have to consider or "reflect" upon your own experiences and perspectives on the topic you are writing about.

Experiential reflection is commonly assigned in college courses. It involves reflecting on an experience by connecting theory and practice. For example, in an essay about a field placement experience, you may be asked to assess a theory or concept based on your observations and interactions. This type of writing is common in fields such as social work, health care, and business.

Another type of reflective writing involves examining what shapes your perspectives on an issue. The process helps you examine how your thoughts are shaped by your assumptions and environmental factors and may help you understand and appreciate the experiences of other people. Also, you may be challenged to re-examine your preconceived ideas and judgments.

Descriptive Essay

A descriptive essay allows you to describe something, usually an experience, in details so that the reader can get a good impression of it. Similar to the reflective essay, this type of writing is more subjective although information or data from sources may be incorporated to provide more context and support your descriptions. This type of essays tends to be brief. For example, describe an observation in one to two paragraphs.

  • Last Updated: Jan 12, 2024 2:29 PM
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Essay Tips: Four Types of Essay

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  • 25th March 2019

Every essay is different. But we can identify four common types of essay:

  • Expository essays (i.e., essays that explain something)
  • Descriptive essays (i.e., essays that describe something)
  • Persuasive essays (i.e., essays that aim to persuade the reader)
  • Narrative essays (i.e., essays that tell a story)

These are not always clear distinctions (e.g., a narrative essay may also be descriptive). Nevertheless, most essays fall into one of the categories above, and knowing the differences between them can be useful when planning your work . Read on to find out more.

1. Expository Essays

Expository essays focus on explaining something. The aim is to test how well you can communicate your understanding of a topic. This often involves comparing and contrasting two ideas, or defining something and giving an example. Expository essays are typically structured as follows:

  • An introduction that sets out the subject matter, how you will answer the essay question, and any key background information.
  • A series of logically connected paragraphs setting out your understanding of the subject, along with evidence to support your claims.
  • A conclusion that addresses your essay question.

This type of essay is often used for shorter assignments and exams.

2. Descriptive Essays

Descriptive essays are less about arguing a point and more about creating a detailed picture. The problem is that you need to create this picture with words! These essays are sometimes quite personal or creative (e.g., reflective essays often include a descriptive element). However, they should still be clearly structured and written to make them easy to follow.

Your aim should be to leave your reader with a clear idea of what you are describing. This is a very useful skill to have in any form of writing, in fact, as it will make your work more compelling.

3. Persuasive Essays

Persuasive (or argumentative ) essays are a lot like expository essays. They are often structured similarly, for example. And both types of essay ask you to answer a question via research.

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However, a persuasive essay is also about presenting a thesis and backing it up with evidence or arguments. For example, rather than just setting out and comparing two theories, for a persuasive essay, you might need to research different aspects of these theories, address them critically, and argue for one over the other. This may involve in-depth research or an experiment.

As such, persuasive essays are usually longer than expository essays. They are often used as end-of-module assignments in colleges, too.

4. Narrative Essays

Finally, narrative essays tell a story. This doesn’t mean that you have to write your essay as a short story, but it will draw on the conventions of storytelling.

In terms of content, narrative essays are usually quite personal or anecdotal, but they should also have a point (a moral to the story or a lesson that you have learned from an experience).

The language used in a narrative essay should be clear and concise, but it will also be descriptive and emotive. Using the first-person pronoun “I” is much more common in this type of essay than others, too, as you will often be writing about your own experiences.

Finally, whatever type of essay you are writing, don’t forget that having your work proofread is a great way to boost your marks.

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Essay Tips: The 4 Types of Essay

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  • 16th November 2017

Every essay is different, depending on the length, subject matter, etc. Nevertheless, we can still sort essays into four broad ‘types’: expository essays, descriptive essays, persuasive essays, and narrative essays.

There are overlaps between these essay types (e.g. a narrative essay may be very descriptive). But knowing the differences is useful when planning your work . As such, we’ve prepared this quick guide to the four main types of essay.

1. Expository Essays

Expository essays focus on explaining something. The aim is to test how well you understand a topic (and how well you can communicate that understanding). This may involve asking you to compare and contrast two ideas, or to define something and give an example. They are typically structured like this:

  • An introduction that sets out the subject that you are writing about and how you will answer the essay question.
  • A series of logically connected paragraphs setting out your understanding of the subject matter, along with evidence to support your claims.
  • A conclusion that answers your essay question using the evidence.

This type of essay is often used for short assignments, as well as exams.

2. Descriptive Essays

Descriptive essays are less about arguing a point and more about painting a mental picture. These can be more personal and creative than other essay types ( reflective essays often include a descriptive element).

However, they should still have a clear structure and you should always aim to make your work clear and concise, even if you also use detailed, vivid language.

The key is giving your reader a clear sense of what you’re describing. This is a useful skill to have in any form of writing, as it will make your work more compelling.

3. Persuasive Essays

Like expository essays, persuasive (or argumentative ) essays ask you to answer a question via research. They may also be similarly structured.

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However, persuasive essays are usually longer. This is because you need to argue your point strongly, which could involve doing more research or even a practical experiment. For example, rather than just setting out and comparing two competing theories, for a persuasive essay, you might need to research different aspects of these theories, address them critically, and argue for one over the other.

A persuasive essay is thus about presenting a clear, defendable thesis (i.e. an idea or point you’re defending) and backing this up with evidence or arguments.

These essays are commonly given as end-of-module assignments at university.

4. Narrative Essays

Finally, narrative essays tell a story. This doesn’t mean that you have to write your essay as a short story, but it will draw on the conventions of storytelling.

These essays can be quite personal or anecdotal, but they should also have a point (i.e. a moral to the story or a lesson that you have learned by experience).

The language used in a narrative essay should be clear and concise, but it can also be descriptive and emotive. Using the first-person pronoun ‘I’ is common in this type of essay, too, as you will often be writing about your own experiences.

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Types of Essays: A Comprehensive Guide to Writing Different Essay Types

When it comes to academic writing, essays are one of the most common assignments you will encounter. Essays are a way for you to showcase your understanding of a particular topic, and they come in various forms. Each type of essay has its unique characteristics, and it is essential to understand the differences between them to produce a well-written piece. In this article, we will explore the different types of essays you may encounter in your academic journey.

Types of Essays: Your Ultimate Guide to Essay Writing

Types of Essays: A Comprehensive Guide to Writing Different Essay Types

Understanding Essays

Definition of essay.

An essay is a piece of writing that presents an argument or a point of view on a particular topic. It is a formal piece of writing that is usually written in the third person and is structured into paragraphs. Essays can be written on a variety of topics, ranging from literature to science, and can be of different lengths. They are often used in academic settings to assess a student’s understanding of a particular subject.

Purpose of Essay

The purpose of an essay is to persuade the reader to accept the writer’s point of view. Essays can be used to argue for or against a particular position, to explain a concept, or to analyze a text. The writer must provide evidence to support their argument and must use persuasive language to convince the reader of their position.

There are four main types of essays: argumentative, expository, narrative, and descriptive. Each type of essay has its own unique characteristics and is written for a different purpose. Understanding the different types of essays is essential for writing a successful essay.

Types of Essays

Narrative essay.

A narrative essay is a type of essay that tells a story. It is often written in the first person point of view, and it can be either fictional or non-fictional. This type of essay allows you to express yourself in a creative and personal way.

When writing a narrative essay, it is important to have a clear and concise thesis statement that sets the tone for the rest of the essay. The thesis statement should be specific and should reflect the main point of the essay. It should also be interesting and engaging to the reader.

One of the key elements of a successful narrative essay is the use of vivid and descriptive language. This helps to create a clear picture in the reader’s mind and makes the story more engaging. Additionally, it is important to use dialogue to bring the characters to life and to show their emotions and personalities.

Another important aspect of a narrative essay is the structure. It should have a clear beginning, middle, and end, and the events should be presented in chronological order. This helps the reader to follow the story and understand the sequence of events.

Descriptive Essay

In a descriptive essay, you are required to describe something, such as an event, a person, a place, a situation, or an object. The primary objective of a descriptive essay is to provide a detailed and vivid description of the topic. By using sensory details, such as sight, sound, touch, smell, and taste, you can create a picture in the reader’s mind and make them feel as if they are experiencing the topic themselves.

When writing a descriptive essay, it is important to choose a topic that you are familiar with and have a personal connection to. This will help you to convey your emotions and feelings effectively and make your essay more engaging and interesting to the reader.

To write a successful descriptive essay, you should follow these steps:

  • Choose a topic that you are passionate about and have a personal connection to.
  • Brainstorm and create an outline of your essay, including the main points you want to cover and the sensory details you will use.
  • Use sensory details to create a vivid and engaging picture in the reader’s mind.
  • Use figurative language, such as metaphors and similes, to add depth and complexity to your descriptions.
  • Use transitions to connect your ideas and create a smooth flow of information.
  • Revise and edit your essay to ensure that it is well-structured, organized, and error-free.

Expository Essay

An expository essay is a type of academic writing that aims to explain, describe, or inform the reader about a particular subject. This type of essay is based on facts, evidence, and examples, and it does not require the writer’s personal opinion or feelings. Expository essays can be written in various styles, including compare and contrast, cause and effect, and problem and solution.

Compare and Contrast Essay

A compare and contrast essay is a type of expository writing that involves comparing and contrasting two or more subjects. This type of essay aims to provide the reader with a better understanding of the similarities and differences between the subjects being compared. To write a successful compare and contrast essay, you need to identify the similarities and differences between the subjects, organize your ideas, and provide supporting evidence.

Cause and Effect Essay

A cause and effect essay is a type of expository writing that explores the causes and consequences of a particular event, situation, or phenomenon. This type of essay aims to explain the reasons behind a particular occurrence and its effects on individuals, society, or the environment. To write a successful cause and effect essay, you need to identify the causes and effects of the subject, organize your ideas, and provide supporting evidence.

Problem and Solution Essay

A problem and solution essay is a type of expository writing that focuses on a particular problem and proposes a solution to it. This type of essay aims to inform the reader about a particular issue and provide a viable solution to it. To write a successful problem and solution essay, you need to identify the problem, explain its causes, propose a solution, and provide supporting evidence.

Persuasive Essay

A persuasive essay is a type of academic writing that aims to persuade the reader to accept the writer’s point of view. In this type of essay, the writer presents their argument and supports it with evidence and reasoning to convince the reader to take action or believe in a particular idea.

To write a persuasive essay, you must first choose a topic that you are passionate about and can argue convincingly. Then, you need to research the topic thoroughly and gather evidence to support your argument. You should also consider the opposing viewpoint and address it in your essay to strengthen your argument.

The structure of a persuasive essay is similar to that of other types of essays. It consists of an introduction, body paragraphs, and a conclusion. In the introduction, you should grab the reader’s attention and clearly state your thesis statement. The body paragraphs should present your argument and evidence, and the conclusion should summarize your argument and restate your thesis statement.

To make your persuasive essay more effective, you can use various persuasive writing strategies, such as appealing to the reader’s emotions, using rhetorical questions, and using vivid language. You can also use statistics, facts, and examples to support your argument and make it more convincing.

Argumentative Essay

An argumentative essay is a type of essay that requires you to present a well-researched and evidence-based argument on a particular topic. The aim of this essay is to convince the reader of your stance on the topic by using logical reasoning and factual evidence.

To write an effective argumentative essay, it is important to have a clear and concise thesis statement that presents your position on the topic. This statement should be supported by strong evidence, such as quotations, statistics, and expert opinions. It is also important to consider and address potential counterarguments to your position.

One key aspect of an argumentative essay is the use of logical fallacies. These are errors in reasoning that can weaken your argument and make it less convincing. Some common logical fallacies include ad hominem attacks, false dichotomies, and straw man arguments. It is important to avoid these fallacies and instead rely on sound reasoning and evidence to support your argument.

When writing an argumentative essay, it is also important to consider your audience. Your tone and language should be appropriate for your intended audience, and you should anticipate and address any potential objections or concerns they may have about your argument.

Analytical Essay

An analytical essay is a type of academic writing that involves breaking down a complex topic or idea into smaller parts to examine it thoroughly. The purpose of this essay is to provide a detailed analysis of a particular subject and to present an argument based on the evidence gathered during the research.

When writing an analytical essay, it is crucial to have a clear thesis statement that outlines the main argument of the essay. The thesis statement should be specific and concise, and it should be supported by evidence from primary and secondary sources.

To write an effective analytical essay, you should follow these steps:

  • Choose a topic that interests you and that you can research thoroughly.
  • Conduct research to gather relevant information and evidence to support your thesis statement.
  • Create an outline to organize your ideas and arguments.
  • Write an introduction that provides background information on the topic and presents your thesis statement.
  • Develop body paragraphs that provide evidence to support your thesis statement.
  • Write a conclusion that summarizes your main points and restates your thesis statement.

When writing an analytical essay, it is important to focus on the analysis rather than just summarizing the information. You should critically evaluate the evidence and present your own interpretation of the data.

Critical Essay

A critical essay is a type of academic writing that involves analyzing, interpreting, and evaluating a text. In a critical essay, you must make a claim about how particular ideas or themes are conveyed in a text, and then support that claim with evidence from primary and/or secondary sources.

To write a successful critical essay, you must first read the text carefully and take notes on its main ideas and themes. You should also consider the author’s purpose and audience, as well as any historical or cultural context that may be relevant to the text.

When writing your critical essay, you should follow a clear and logical structure. Begin with an introduction that provides background information on the text and your thesis statement. In the body of your essay, you should provide evidence to support your thesis, using quotes and examples from the text as well as other sources.

It is important to be critical in your analysis, examining the text in detail and considering its strengths and weaknesses. You should also consider alternative interpretations and counterarguments, and address them in your essay.

Reflective Essay

A reflective essay is a type of academic essay that requires you to analyze and interpret an academic text, such as an essay, a book, or an article. Unlike a personal experience essay, a reflective essay involves critical thinking and evaluation of the material.

In a reflective essay, you are expected to reflect on your own learning and experiences related to the material. This type of essay requires you to think deeply about the material and analyze how it relates to your own experiences and knowledge.

To write a successful reflective essay, you should follow these steps:

  • Choose a topic that is relevant to the material you are reflecting on.
  • Analyze the material and identify key themes and concepts.
  • Reflect on your own experiences and knowledge related to the material.
  • Evaluate and analyze the material and your own experiences to draw conclusions and insights.
  • Write a clear and concise essay that effectively communicates your reflections and insights.

Remember that a reflective essay is not just a summary of the material, but rather an analysis and evaluation of it. Use examples and evidence to support your reflections and insights, and be sure to use proper citation and referencing to acknowledge the sources of your information.

Personal Essay

A personal essay is a type of essay that involves telling a story about yourself, your experiences, or your feelings. It is often written in the first person point of view and can be a powerful way to share your unique perspective with others.

Personal essays can be used for a variety of purposes, such as college admissions, scholarship applications, or simply to share your thoughts and experiences with a wider audience. They can cover a wide range of topics, from personal struggles and triumphs to reflections on important life events.

When writing a personal essay, it is important to keep in mind that you are telling a story. This means that you should focus on creating a narrative that is engaging and compelling for your readers. You should also be honest and authentic in your writing, sharing your true thoughts and feelings with your audience.

To make your personal essay even more effective, consider incorporating descriptive language, vivid imagery, and sensory details. This can help bring your story to life and make it more memorable for your readers.

Synthesis Essay

A synthesis essay is a type of essay that requires you to combine information from multiple sources to create a cohesive argument. This type of essay is often used in academic writing and requires you to analyze, interpret, and evaluate information from various sources to support your thesis statement.

There are two main types of synthesis essays: explanatory and argumentative. An explanatory synthesis essay aims to explain a particular topic or issue by using different sources to provide a comprehensive overview. On the other hand, an argumentative synthesis essay requires you to take a stance on a particular issue and use evidence from multiple sources to support your argument.

When writing a synthesis essay, it is important to carefully analyze and interpret each source to ensure that the information you are using is relevant and accurate. You should also consider the credibility of each source and evaluate the author’s bias or perspective.

To effectively write a synthesis essay, you should follow a clear structure that includes an introduction, body paragraphs, and a conclusion. The introduction should provide background information on the topic and include a clear thesis statement. The body paragraphs should each focus on a specific aspect of the topic and provide evidence from multiple sources to support your argument. The conclusion should summarize your main points and restate your thesis statement.

Review Essay

A review essay is a type of academic writing that involves analyzing and evaluating a piece of work, such as a book, movie, or article. This type of essay requires you to provide a critical assessment of the work, highlighting its strengths and weaknesses. A successful review essay should provide the reader with a clear understanding of the work being reviewed and your opinion of it.

When writing a review essay, it is important to keep in mind the following guidelines:

  • Length: A review essay should be between 1,000 and 1,500 words. This length allows for a thorough analysis of the text without becoming bogged down in details. Of course, the specific length will vary depending on the nature of the text being reviewed and the desired focus of the essay.
  • Structure: A review essay should follow a clear and logical structure. Start with an introduction that provides some background information on the work being reviewed and your thesis statement. The body of the essay should provide a summary of the work and a critical analysis of its strengths and weaknesses. Finally, end with a conclusion that summarizes your main points and provides your final thoughts on the work.
  • Evidence: A successful review essay should be supported by evidence from the work being reviewed. This can include direct quotes or paraphrases, as well as examples that illustrate your points.
  • Critical Thinking: A review essay requires you to engage in critical thinking. This means that you must evaluate the work being reviewed in a thoughtful and analytical manner, considering both its strengths and weaknesses.

Research Essay

When it comes to writing a research essay, you must conduct in-depth independent research and provide analysis, interpretation, and argument based on your findings. This type of essay requires extensive research, critical thinking, source evaluation, organization, and composition.

To write a successful research essay, you must follow a specific structure. Here are some key components to include:

Introduction

The introduction should provide a brief overview of your research topic and state your thesis statement. Your thesis statement should clearly state your argument and the main points you will cover in your essay.

Literature Review

The literature review is a critical analysis of the existing research on your topic. It should provide a summary of the relevant literature, identify gaps in the research, and highlight the significance of your study.

Methodology

The methodology section should describe the methods you used to conduct your research. This may include data collection methods, sample size, and any limitations of your study.

The results section should present your findings in a clear and concise manner. You may use tables, graphs, or other visual aids to help convey your results.

The discussion section should interpret your results and provide a critical analysis of your findings. You should also discuss the implications of your research and how it contributes to the existing literature on your topic.

The conclusion should summarize your main findings and restate your thesis statement. You should also discuss the limitations of your study and suggest avenues for future research.

Report Essay

A report essay is a type of essay that presents and summarizes factual information about a particular topic, event, or issue. The purpose of a report essay is to provide readers with a clear and concise understanding of the subject matter. It is important to note that a report essay is not an opinion piece, but rather a neutral presentation of facts.

When writing a report essay, it is important to follow a structured format. The typical format includes an introduction, body, and conclusion. The introduction should provide background information on the topic and state the purpose of the report. The body should present the facts in a logical and organized manner, using headings and subheadings to help readers navigate the information. The conclusion should summarize the key findings and provide any recommendations or conclusions.

One of the key elements of a report essay is research. It is essential to conduct thorough research on the topic to ensure that the information presented is accurate and reliable. This may involve reviewing academic articles, government reports, and other sources of information. It is also important to cite all sources used in the report essay using a recognized citation style, such as APA or MLA.

Informal Essay

An informal essay, also known as a familiar or personal essay, is a type of essay that is written in a personal tone and style. This type of essay is often written as a reflection or commentary on a personal experience, opinion, or observation. Informal essays are usually shorter than formal essays and are often written in a conversational style.

In an informal essay, you are free to use first-person pronouns and to express your personal opinions and feelings. However, you should still strive to maintain a clear and concise writing style and to support your arguments with evidence and examples.

Informal essays can take many forms, including personal narratives, anecdotes, and reflections on current events or social issues. They can also be humorous or satirical in nature, and may include elements of fiction or creative writing.

When writing an informal essay, it is important to keep your audience in mind and to use language and examples that will be familiar and relatable to them. You should also be aware of your tone and style, and strive to create a voice that is engaging and authentic.

Short Essay

When it comes to writing a short essay, it is essential to convey your thoughts and ideas in a concise and clear manner. Short essays are usually assigned in the range of 250-750 words, and occasionally up to 1,000 words. Therefore, it is important to focus on the most important elements of your topic.

To write a successful short essay, you should start by selecting a topic that is interesting and relevant. Once you have chosen your topic, you should conduct thorough research to gather evidence and support for your argument. This will help you to develop a clear and concise thesis statement.

When writing your short essay, it is important to structure your ideas in a logical and coherent manner. You should start with an introduction that provides background information and a clear thesis statement. The body of your essay should be structured around your main points, with each paragraph focusing on a specific idea or argument. Finally, you should conclude your essay by summarizing your main points and restating your thesis statement.

To make your short essay more engaging and impactful, you may want to consider using bullet points, tables, and other formatting techniques to convey your ideas more clearly. Additionally, you should use strong and clear language, avoiding jargon and unnecessary words.

When it comes to academic writing, a long essay is a common type of assignment that you may encounter. This type of essay typically requires you to conduct extensive research and analysis on a specific topic.

The length of a long essay can vary depending on the assignment requirements, but it is usually longer than a standard essay. In general, a long essay can range from 2,500 to 5,000 words or more.

To write a successful long essay, it is important to have a clear understanding of the topic and to conduct thorough research. This may involve reading academic articles, books, and other sources to gather information and support your arguments.

In addition to research, a long essay should also have a clear and well-structured argument. This may involve outlining your main points and supporting evidence, as well as addressing any counterarguments or potential weaknesses in your argument.

Overall, a long essay requires a significant amount of time and effort to complete. However, by following a clear structure and conducting thorough research, you can produce a well-written and persuasive essay that meets the requirements of your assignment.

Some tips for writing a successful long essay include:

  • Start early to give yourself enough time to research and write
  • Break down the assignment into manageable sections
  • Use clear and concise language
  • Provide sufficient evidence to support your arguments
  • Use proper citation and referencing to avoid plagiarism

Five Paragraph Essay

If you are a student, you have likely been assigned a five-paragraph essay at some point. This type of essay is commonly used in high school and college writing classes. The five-paragraph essay is a structured format that consists of an introduction, three body paragraphs, and a conclusion.

The introduction paragraph is where you present your thesis statement, which is the main idea or argument that you will discuss in your essay. This paragraph should grab the reader’s attention and provide some background information about the topic. It should also include a clear thesis statement that outlines what you will be discussing in the essay.

The three body paragraphs are where you provide evidence to support your thesis statement. Each paragraph should focus on a single point that supports your thesis. You should use specific examples and evidence to back up your claims. Each paragraph should also include a transition sentence that connects it to the next paragraph.

The conclusion paragraph is where you wrap up your essay and restate your thesis statement. This paragraph should summarize the main points of your essay and leave the reader with a clear understanding of your argument. You should avoid introducing any new information in the conclusion paragraph.

Scholarship Essay

A scholarship essay is a crucial document that can help you secure financial aid for your academic pursuits. It is a written statement that highlights your qualifications, accomplishments, and goals. Scholarship essays are typically required by organizations that offer scholarships to students. The essay is meant to help the organization understand why you are deserving of the scholarship and how it will help you achieve your academic and career goals.

To write an effective scholarship essay, it is important to understand the prompt and the organization offering the scholarship. Many scholarship essay prompts are open-ended, which means that you can write about any topic that is relevant to you. However, it is important to ensure that your essay is aligned with the values and goals of the scholarship organization.

When writing a scholarship essay, it is important to be concise and clear. Use simple language and avoid jargon or technical terms that the reader may not understand. Make sure that your essay is well-structured and organized, with a clear introduction, body, and conclusion. Use headings and subheadings to make your essay easy to read and navigate.

To make your scholarship essay stand out, use specific examples and anecdotes that demonstrate your qualifications and accomplishments. Use concrete details and avoid generalizations. Be honest and authentic, and avoid exaggerating or making false claims. Finally, proofread your essay carefully to ensure that it is free of errors and typos.

Frequently Asked Questions

What are the different types of academic essays?

There are four main types of academic essays: argumentative, expository, narrative, and descriptive. Each type has its own unique purpose and structure, and it’s important to understand the differences between them in order to write effectively.

What are the parts of a standard essay?

A standard essay typically consists of three main parts: an introduction, a body, and a conclusion. The introduction should provide background information on the topic and include a thesis statement that outlines the main argument of the essay. The body should present evidence and support for the thesis statement, and the conclusion should summarize the main points and restate the thesis in a new way.

Can you provide examples of different types of essays?

Sure, here are some examples of each type of essay:

  • Argumentative: An essay that presents a clear argument on a controversial topic, such as gun control or abortion.
  • Expository: An essay that explains or describes a topic, such as how to bake a cake or the history of the Civil War.
  • Narrative: An essay that tells a story, such as a personal experience or a fictional tale.
  • Descriptive: An essay that uses sensory details to paint a picture of a person, place, or thing, such as a description of a sunset or a character in a novel.

How do you write a narrative essay?

To write a narrative essay, you should first choose a topic that is meaningful to you and has a clear beginning, middle, and end. Then, you should use descriptive language and sensory details to bring the story to life for the reader. Finally, you should reflect on the experience and what you learned from it.

What are the four main types of essays?

The four main types of essays are argumentative, expository, narrative, and descriptive. Each type has its own unique purpose and structure, and it’s important to understand the differences between them in order to write effectively.

What are the three parts of the essay format?

The three parts of the essay format are the introduction, the body, and the conclusion. The introduction should provide background information on the topic and include a thesis statement that outlines the main argument of the essay. The body should present evidence and support for the thesis statement, and the conclusion should summarize the main points and restate the thesis in a new way.

Last Updated on August 31, 2023

Synthesis Essay Examples to Help You Ace Your Writing Assignment

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The 4 Different Types of Essays

Let’s face it. At some point in your life, you will be required to write an essay — whether for a school homework, college standardized tests or even for work-related purposes.

There are several basic types of essays to choose from, the most common are expository, narrative, persuasive and analytical. Which one you choose really depends on your objectives. We'll explore each type in depth, and offer recommendations on the typical word counts for each essay type.

Which of the 4 different essay types you should use depends largely on the assignment or desired outcome

Expository Essay

An expository essay gives a brief explanation of an issue, idea or theme. Purdue OWL expands on this, offering some common requirements in step form: investigation of an idea, evaluation of evidence, a systematic and detailed explanation of the idea, and a clear and concise statement of an argument about the idea.

Because brevity is required for this type of essay, the recommended length is around 500-800 words.

In order to be effective, an expository essay should possess:

  • A clear-cut thesis statement, research question, or statement of intent
  • A no-frills approach to answering the question or addressing your thesis - factual evidence to support your claim or position
  • Conciseness

The first paragraph of an expository essay should be the shortest since it only seeks to briefly yet clearly state your thesis, research question, or intent. A maximum of 200 words should suffice.

Now, the succeeding paragraphs will be VERY crucial because they should contain all the necessary details to support your thesis statement. That means they would require a bigger chunk of your word count. But remember to still keep them succinct — no- frills, factual, and straightforward.

Finally, the last paragraph will serve as your conclusion to tie it all together. Emphasize your point but don’t dwell on it too much.

Narrative Essay

A narrative essay is all about the storytelling of real-life experiences. This essay type usually relays a personal or experiential account and uses a first-person point-of-view. Any story requires a beginning, middle and end — a narrative essay should be structured in the same way.

According to Essay Info a narrative essay possesses the following qualities:

  • It is usually written with a first-person point-of-view
  • It contains vivid imagery and sensory details
  • It has all the essential elements of a story (i.e. plot, theme, character, setting, style, tone, etc.)

Because descriptive and evocative language is needed for this type of essay, around 1,000 words may be required at the least in order to tell a full-bodied story. Think of a narrative essay as a short version of a novel — each paragraph represents a “chapter” in the story.

Make your essay riveting by adding anecdotes or dialogues into the narrative. Most importantly, end your essay with a conclusion or a personal statement — a takeaway will make your story more memorable to the reader.

Persuasive Essay

A persuasive essay (also referred to as an argumentative essay) makes use of logical reasoning to influence the reader to adopt the writer’s point of view. This essay type works harder compared to other essay types because the writer needs to convince the reader to espouse his position. In order to be eloquent and convincing, a definitive rationale or argument is imperative.

The qualities of a persuasive essay include:

  • Factual evidence
  • Valid reasoning
  • Sustaining the reader’s interest
  • A natural progression from one idea to the next - a forceful and convincing conclusion

To create a compelling argument, Scribbr advises an essay length of about 2,500 words . Anything under 2,000 words may be construed as “under-explaining” your point. However, your essay should go beyond just meeting the required length. Your writing should still be concise, on-point and progressive. Avoid fluff or fillers because they will only digress from the topic and may discredit your argument altogether.

Scribbr also provides some useful tips on how to structure paragraphs. It is important for paragraphs “to support a single claim or idea that helps establish the overall argument or purpose of the paper.”

To be able to achieve this, having a topic sentence for every paragraph will be helpful. However, the core of a persuasive essay is its ability to provide substantial evidence to support one’s argument. Additionally, the use of transitional devices will make your sentences more coherent and cohesive.

Analytical Essay

An analytical essay requires the presentation of an argument or claim by breaking down and examining the core components of an issue, idea, or works of art such as films, books, paintings, etc.

Some of its characteristics include:

  • An introduction and presentation of argument to highlight the text in the literary work which you will be deliberating about
  • An analysis of said text which should be relevant to your argument as well as your own take on whether the author’s goals were met or not supported by examples
  • A personal response to demonstrate your in-depth comprehension of the text in formulating your opinion — whether positive or negative

A literary analysis essay can be from 500-700 words. For as long as it covers all the principal points, it need not be lengthy. However, the bulk of your essay should concentrate on the analysis of the text.

Bucks Community College elaborates on these three principles to help you write an essay that has “tight organization and control.”

  • Your writing “must stick with great determination to the specific point of development”
  • Your essay should have a central idea or thesis that will dictate its development
  • Your writing should be systematic and organized such that every paragraph aids the reader to have a deeper understanding of your central idea

Here are some other helpful tips to guide you through writing an analytical essay:

  • Always write in the present tense
  • Avoid using contractions and informal language or colloquialisms
  • Avoid writing in the first person
  • Analyze, don’t retell the story
  • Be critical — your personal response need not be positive

Now that you have a clearer idea of the different types of essays and how to go about each of them, it’s time to start writing one. Make sure to use our word counter to keep it succinct.

How to Write Essay Titles and Headers

Don’t overlook the title and section headers when putting together your next writing assignment. Follow these pointers for keeping your writing organized and effective.

101 Standout Argumentative Essay Topic Ideas

Need a topic for your upcoming argumentative essay? We've got 100 helpful prompts to help you get kickstarted on your next writing assignment.

Writing a Standout College Admissions Essay

Your personal statement is arguably the most important part of your college application. Follow these guidelines for an exceptional admissions essay.

TrueEditors

4 Major Types of Essay with Examples

Writing various sorts of essays effectively has become important to academic success. Essay writing is a regular school task, a requirement on college applications, and an element of standardized tests.

Choosing the proper sort of essay to write in response to a writing prompt is crucial to answering the question correctly on examinations. Clearly, students cannot afford to be puzzled about the many forms of essays.

It’s easy to become perplexed because there are over a dozen different varieties of essays. However, rest assured that the figure is more manageable. There are four basic categories of essays, with variations accounting for the remaining.

Argumentative and Expository Essays are concerned with delivering facts and making clear arguments, but Narrative and Descriptive Essays are concerned with expressing oneself creatively and writing in an engaging manner. Argumentative essays are the most prevalent sort of essay at the university level.

You must know how to write an essay before knowing the 4 major types of Essays.

Here are the 4 Major Types of Essays for you to Learn, Once you are Clear with the Structure of an Essay.

1. narrative essay :.

The writer of a narrative essay presents a story about a real-life experience. While it may appear that narrating a tale is simple, the narrative essay requires students to think about and write about themselves.

When writing a narrative essay, authors should make the story as vivid as possible in order to engage the reader. Because narrative essays are frequently written in the first person, the reader is more engaged.

Readers will feel as if they are a part of the tale if you use “I” statements. A well-written narrative essay will also progress toward a conclusion or a personal statement.

The Christmas Cake

“First of all, let me clarify that I have grown up to be a complete amateurish in cooking. My parents performed their jobs quite efficiently and they always baked those perfect cakes for me every Christmas. That night, it was me, the inexpert chef, who took the initiative to make a Christmas cake and surprise them.

To today’s date, I’ve only made several hamburgers on my own. Unfortunately, I had no clue about baking a cake. All I knew were the ingredients that I would use throughout the process. He dived completely in-depth into the recipe reflected on a book and started to set for the Christmas cake.

Then I cleaned the kitchen first and made a huge bowl sit in front of me to mix the essentials. I was excited and tensed at the same time, as it was something I tried for the first time…”

Guidelines for Writing a Narrative Essay :

These are the most basic guidelines for writing an excellent narrative essay:

  • Use conversations in your article to make it more realistic.
  • When structuring the document, keep the chronological sequence in mind.
  • In the first paragraph of your essay , there must be a purpose.
  • To interest your readers, use highlighted descriptions and sensory data.
  • All of the characters, storylines, and the beginning, or climax, must be significant.

All of these factors work together in your article to accurately depict the entire scene in front of your readers’ eyes. So, if you want to write a good narrative essay, make sure you follow these rules to the letter.

2. Descriptive Essay:

A descriptive essay, like that of a narrative essay, uses words to create a picture. A writer could describe a person, a location, an item, or even a memorable memory. This is not, however, a descriptive essay for the sake of description. The goal of a descriptive essay is to convey a deeper meaning through description.

Through the use of vivid words and sensory details, the writer should show, not tell, in a descriptive essay. The finest descriptive essays appeal to the reader’s emotions, producing a vivid effect.

“Moving up to our north cabin and spending time there had always been something that I enjoyed and looked up to. It was a nice, beautiful, and serene place. It offered a lot in terms of peace and serenity that you will not find in cities. We used to look forward to our summer vacations.

So that we can go up north and experience things that we cannot do in the city. Even though time has changed and things are not as they used to be, the memory is still fresh. The atmosphere up north was quite different than in the city. When in the cabin, I marvel at how different the atmosphere and life here are then the cities.

Life in the city is full of noise and tension. You have to get up for work, and the noise of traffic would never let you relax and enjoy nature. Only if you are lucky to have it around. Things up north were different, you can enjoy the sunshine and greenery, and there is no hustle-bustle.

The air was fresh, healthy, and clean. The nights are quiet, and you can hear the animals coming out to hunt for food. Cities are filled with polluted air. This abundance of polluted air is mainly due to the heavy traffic and factories.

The air is thick due to smoke, smog, and other types of air contaminators that no one wants to breathe in. Getting clean air in a city is next to impossible…”

Guidelines of Writing a Descriptive Essay:

  • Make a decision on a certain issue. Descriptive essays that are well-written stay focused at all times.
  • Gather information.
  • Make a rough sketch.
  • Write the first paragraph of your essay.
  • Body paragraphs should be written.
  • In the final paragraph, summarize the essay .
  • Look for methods to make your language more lively.

3. Argumentative Essay :

An argumentative essay is a piece of writing that offers a lengthy, evidence-based case. It necessitates a solid thesis statement—a well-defined viewpoint on your subject. Your goal is to persuade the reader of your argument by providing evidence like quotes and analysis.

Argumentative essays put your abilities to investigate and convey your own point of view on a subject to the test. At the undergraduate level, this is the most prevalent style of essay—almost every paper you write will include some form of argumentation.

Students Who Study Abroad Achieve Greater Success

“Much of our learning takes place outside the classroom. We learn how to maintain budgets, forge friendships, develop business relationships, and more. Imagine extending those skills on a global level.

We would immediately cease to believe the world only contains the people and things we can see but, rather, a wide variety of opinions, customs, beliefs, and ethics. This is why every college-level student must study abroad during their undergraduate years. They will learn more in that semester abroad than in any other academic year.

According to IES Abroad, a company that encourages students to become international leaders, students who study abroad are more likely to be accepted into the graduate degree program of their choice. In fact, 90% of students who studied abroad with IES are admitted to their first or second choice for graduate school.

Imagine walking into an interview and being able to discuss preparing the most popular dish in India or organizing the best route to take from Sydney, Australia to Perth. Not only does this strike up a memorable conversation, but it also demonstrates a student’s fierce independence and determination.

All this makes someone who has studied abroad a more desirable candidate for their dream job. As if IES Abroad’s statistic above was not astounding enough, it has been proven that 97% of students who study abroad find employment within 12 months of graduation…..”

Guidelines of Writing an Argumentative Essay:

  • The thesis that is well-structured. The introduction to the argument is the first step in writing an argumentative essay.
  • Body Paragraphs that support the thesis statement.  The essay has three body paragraphs that support the thesis’ statements.
  • Arguments in opposition.
  • A conclusion that is persuasive.
  • Phrases that bridge the gap.

4. Expository Essay:

An expository essay is a piece of writing that provides a balanced overview of a subject. In an expository essay, the writer uses facts, data, and examples to illustrate or clarify a topic.

Expository writing includes a variety of essay types, including comparison and contrast essays, cause and effect essays, and “how to” or process essays . Expository essays do not show emotions or write in the first person since they are based on facts rather than personal feelings.

“This morning at 9 am, a school bus collided with a car at the intersection of Jones and Heard streets. There were no injuries on the school bus, but medical personnel performed checks on each student and the driver before those students were transported to their schools.

The driver of the car sustained slight, non-life-threatening injuries. He was transported to the local hospital. The accident is still under investigation at this time.

Advances in science and technology have made the use of “green” energy possible. In places where climate conditions permit, people are able to use solar energy or wind energy for power. Solar energy is the use of sunlight for energy and power.

Humans are able to harness the energy of the sun by installing solar panels on their homes or businesses . Humans have also found ways to harness the power of the wind by using wind turbines to capture wind energy. Both of these forms of “green” energy are being used more and more.

The school science fair was a success again this year! We had 15 teams participating, and they all had amazing projects. Each team consisted of two students who designed a science experiment to test a hypothesis, created a display of their experiment and results, and presented their display to the judges.

The winners this year are Sarah Jones and Mark Gordon, who hypothesized that students get into less trouble in the classroom on days when it is sunny outside.

The judges were very impressed with their data collection methods, which included asking teachers to share information on how many students earned stars at the end of each day. They correlated this information with their own data about the weather-sunny, cloudy, or rainy…”

Guidelines for Writing an Expository Essay:

  • Choose the essay structure
  • Start with an outline
  • Verify point of view requirements
  • Focus on clarity

Now that you know how to write an essay and the different types of essays, what are you waiting for? Start writing your essay today itself. Oh, do not worry about the errors and mistakes. We always have your back for that. You can close your eyes and rely on editing and proofreading services to make your essay completely immaculate.

-Isabell S.

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4.3: Types of Essays and Suggested Structures

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Introduction

The structural organization of an essay will vary, depending on the type of writing task you’ve been assigned. Below are outline templates for specific types of writing projects. Keep in mind these are just a starting point: there is always room for variation and creativity in how a subject is most effectively presented to a reader.

Analytical essay

This is perhaps the most common structure. Examples of this include questions which ask you to discuss , analyze , investigate , explore, or review . In an analytical structure you are required to break the topic into its different components and discuss these in separate paragraphs or sections, demonstrating balance where possible.

  • Background information on topic
  • Overall point of view of the topic (thesis)
  • Overview of components to be discussed (structure)
  • Topic sentence outlining first component
  • Sentences giving explanations and providing evidence to support topic sentence
  • Concluding sentence – link to next paragraph
  • Topic sentence outlining second component
  • Sentences giving explanations and providing evidence to back topic sentence
  • These follow the same structure for as many components as you need to outline
  • Summary of the main points of the body
  • Restatement of the main point of view
  • Justification/evaluation (if required by task)

Argumentative essay

Examples of this type of essay include questions which ask you to take a position on a topic, such as a particular decision or policy, and present arguments which support your position. An effective way to argue a point can be to present the opposing view first then counter this view with stronger evidence.

  • Statement of your position on the topic (thesis)
  • Overview of arguments to be presented (structure)
  • Topic sentence outlining first argument
  • Topic sentence outlining second argument
  • These follow the same structure for as many arguments as you wish to put forward in support of the topic.
  • Restatement of the position

Interpretive essay

Examples of this type of essay include assignments where you are given data such as a case study or scenario, a diagram, graphical information, or a picture and expected to interpret this information to demonstrate your application of knowledge when answering the task. Based on this data, you may be asked to do a range of things such as provide recommendations or solutions, develop a nursing care plan, a teaching plan, suggest legal advice, or plan a marketing strategy.

  • Brief background information on topic
  • Overview of issues to be addressed in the essay (structure)
  • State overall interpretation (thesis)
  • Topic sentence outlining first issue identified from the data
  • Sentences giving further explanation and providing evidence from both the literature and the data, e.g. the case study to support the topic sentence (it is very important in this types of essays to make reference to the data you have been supplied to give your essay context).
  • Topic sentence outlining second issue identified
  • These follow the same structure for as many issues as you wish to discuss from the data you have been supplied.
  • Statement of overall interpretation
  • Summary of the main issues from the data supplied
  • Make recommendations or suggest solutions to address the issues arising from the data supplied.

Comparative essay

Examples of this type of essay include compare , compare and contrast , or differentiate questions. In this structure the similarities and/or differences between two or more items (for example, theories or models) are discussed paragraph by paragraph. Your assignment task may require you to make a recommendation about the suitability of the items you are comparing.

  • Outline of two (or more) things being compared or contrasted
  • Purpose for making the comparison / contrast
  • Overview of the specific points to be compared / contrasted
  • Topic sentence outlining first similarity or difference
  • Topic sentence outlining second similarity or different
  • These follow the same structure for as many items or aspects as you need to compare/contrast
  • Restatement of the main purpose for the comparison / contrast
  • Summary of the main similarities and differences
  • Recommendation about suitability of compared items for purpose (if requirement of assessment task)
  • Overall conclusion

Problem and solution essay

These essay questions often require you to structure your answer in several parts. An example may be to ask you to investigate a problem and explore a range of solutions. You may also be asked to choose the best solution and justify your selection, so allow space for this in your essay if needed.

  • Background information about the problem
  • Description of the problem and why it is serious
  • Overview of the solutions to be outlined
  • Topic sentence outlining first solution
  • Explanation of the positive and negative aspects of the solution
  • Evidence to support explanations
  • Concluding sentence
  • Topic sentence outlining second solution
  • Evidence to support explanation
  • These follow the same structure for as many solutions as you need to discuss
  • Summary of the problem and overview of the solutions
  • Evaluation of solutions and recommendation of best option

Note : Depending on the topic, body paragraphs in a problem and solution essay could be devoted to discussing the problem in more detail, as well as the solution. It’s up to the writer to assess the needs of the project, in order to decide how much time is spent on each part.

Cause and effect essay

Examples of this type of essay include questions which ask you to state or investigate the effects or outline the causes of the topic. This may be, for example, an historical event, the implementation of a policy, a medical condition, or a natural disaster. These essays may be structured in one of two ways: either the causes(s) of a situation may be discussed first followed by the effect(s), or the effect(s) could come first with the discussion working back to outline the cause(s). Sometimes with cause and effect essays you are required to give an assessment of the overall effects, such as on a community, a workplace, an individual. Space must be allocated for this assessment in your structure if needed.

  • Background information on situation under discussion
  • Description of the situation
  • Overview of the causes or effects to be outlined
  • Topic sentence outlining first cause or effect
  • Sentences giving explanations and providing evidence to support the topic sentence
  • Concluding sentence – linking to next paragraph
  • Topic sentence outlining second cause or effect
  • These follow the same structure for as many causes or effects as you need to outline
  • Conclusion, prediction or recommendation

Finally, consider that some essay assignments may ask you to combine approaches, especially in more advanced classes. At that point, you may have to vary your body paragraph strategy from section to section.

This chart gives an idea of what different roles paragraphs can play in a mixed-structure essay assignment.

Flow Chart. Central idea: Choosing Paragraph Patterns. Radiating from top right: Narration - introduction, to tell a story that makes a point, to give background on people or event, to show sequence of events. Process - to show steps of action, to explain how to do something. Example/Illustration - to clarify a point or concept, to give a picture or specific instance, to make the abstract real. Analogy - to compare scenarios, to compare to a settled outcome, to compare one event to another very different one. Definition - to clarify meaning, to set foundation of argument, to give background. Comparison/contrast - to draw distinction between items, to find common ground. Description - to give details, to create a picture. Cause/effect - to lead from one item to another, to argue logic of evidence of action. Classification/Division - to put items in categories, to clarify comparison of items in a category, to divide items by characteristics.

Figure \(\PageIndex{1}\)

explain the four types of essay

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Essay Types — Recognize The Four Main Types

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Essay-Types-Definition

An academic essay , an essential tool in the realm of educational writing, can be approached in various formats, each with its unique purpose and structure. These formats, or types, are designed to cater to different needs and convey varied perspectives on a subject. The four main types serve a distinct role, whether it’s telling a story, painting a vivid picture, presenting information, or making a persuasive argument. Recognizing the differences among them can enhance one’s writing capabilities and adapt to diverse academic challenges.

Inhaltsverzeichnis

  • 1 Essay Types – In a Nutshell
  • 2 Definition: Essay types
  • 3 Essay types: Argumentative
  • 4 Essay types: Expository
  • 5 Essay types: Narrative
  • 6 Essay types: Descriptive

Essay Types – In a Nutshell

  • An essay is a piece of writing meant to inform or persuade its readers . The purpose differs depending on the essay type.
  • Four key essay types exist. These are argumentative essay , narrative essay , descriptive essay , and expository essay .
  • The prompts for your essay will help you determine the essay types.

Definition: Essay types

An essay is an intensive piece of writing composed for informative or persuasive purposes . Various essay types exist. However, you can categorize them into four key categories ; argumentative, expository, narrative, and descriptive .

The purposes of academic pieces differ depending on the essay types. For instance, argumentative and expository essay types aim to convey information through clear points and facts. In contrast, narrative and descriptive essay types aim to portray creativity and trigger interest from readers.

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Essay types: Argumentative

Argumentative papers are the most common essay types at the university level. An argumentative essay features an in-depth research and evidence-based argument on a topic with a strong thesis statement. The goal of an argumentative essay is to persuade the reader using evidence and strong analysis. An argumentative essay tests your capability to study and present your view on a topic. It is divided into the following sections:

Introduction The topic and thesis statement

Body Your evidence and arguments

Example paragraph of the body of an argumentative essay:

Essay-Types-Argumentative-essay

Essay types: Expository

Expository essay types focus on providing information on a specific topic without an original argument. So, instead of an argument, an expository essay offers a fair and organized view of a topic. Expository essay types aim to test how well you know a certain topic and your capability to convey well-organized information.

An expository essay contains:

Introduction Offers a general background on the subject.

Body Presents balanced and well-organized details on the topic

Example paragraph of an expository essay:

Essay-Types-Expository-essay

Essay types: Narrative

These essay types narrate a story. It is a personal type of essay that allows you to write about a personal experience. However, narrative essay types may also feature imaginative explorations.

Narrative essay types test how well you can construct a series of events in an interesting, creative, engaging, and well-structured manner. 1 They do not have a standard structure. However, these essay types should always begin with a set-up of the narrative and end by explaining the point of the story.

Example paragraph of a narrative essay:

Essay-Types-Narrative-essay

Essay types: Descriptive

As the title suggests, these essay types provide a more detailed description of something. Like narrative essays, they are more creative. However, they are more strongly focused than narrative essays.

Descriptive essays should contain:

An introduction of what you want to describe

A conclusion containing an overall picture of your object of description

Example paragraph of  a descriptive essay:

Essay-Types-Descriptive-essay

Rhetorical analysis

A rhetorical analysis focuses on a persuasive text in terms of its rhetorical devices and its effectiveness. Its goal is to state if you concur with the author’s argument and analyze its construction. A rhetorical analysis contains:

Introduction Background information and a thesis statement

Body The analysis

Conclusion Summary and value emphasis

Sharon’s speech is infused with predictive language throughout. Even before the statement of the facts, the language sets an agenda and reveals the author’s bias. Sharon describes the events as ugly.

Literary analysis

Literary analysis essay types feature a close reading of pieces like novels or poems. They explore the author’s choices and the text’s theme. They’re an in-depth and extensive interpretation of the content.

A literary analysis article looks at elements like setting, themes, figurative language, and themes. It aims to analyze what the author conveys. It contains these sections:

Introduction Contains the text, background, and thesis statement

Body Close readings of the text (quotations) and analysis supporting your argument

Conclusion Emphasizes the value of your approach in telling more about the text

Dr Mark’s Dark Web is often looked at as a cautionary tale on the dangers of social networking. The protagonist in the tale represents the callous nature of modern science.

What essay types are most commonly used in academic writing?

The most common essay types in academic writing are argumentative, narrative, descriptive, and expository.

What is the difference between argumentative and expository essays?

Argumentative essays are longer, convey an original argument, and involve independent research. In contrast, expository essays are objective and do not need an original argument.

How are narrative and descriptive essays different?

Narrative essays aim to tell a compelling story. In contrast, descriptive essays aim to convey an intense description of an object, place, person, or concept.

How do you choose the essay type to write?

Your instructor will tell you the specific essay type you should write. However, the prompt will also help you decide.

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Types of Essay

Definition of types of essay.

An essay is a short academic composition. The word “essay” is derived from a French word “essai” or “essayer,” which mean “trail.” In composition, however, an essay is a piece of non- fiction writing that talks or discusses a specific topic. Presently, essay is part of every degree program.

Each subject has specific requirements for the essays to be written. Some subjects need longer essays, while others need shorter ones, such as a five-paragraph essay. In composition, the start is made from a five-paragraph essay. Based on the requirements, there are seventeen types of essays.

  • Definition Essay As the name suggests, a definition type of essay defines different things, ideas, and perceptions.
  • Narrative Essay A narrative essay is a narration like a short story . It is, however, different from a short story in that it is written in an essay format.
  • Descriptive Essay A descriptive essay describes something to make readers feel, smell, see, taste, or hear what is described.
  • Expository Essay An expository essay exposes things in detail to make readers understand without any complications.
  • Persuasive Essay A persuasive essay is meant to convince the target audience to do something or not do something.
  • Argumentative Essay An argumentative essay is meant to present arguments in the favor of something. It has an additional fourth body paragraph that is meant to present opposite arguments.
  • Analytical Essay An analytical essay analyzes something, such as in literature an analytical essay analyzes a piece of literature from different angles.
  • Comparison and Contrast Essay A comparison and contrast essay makes either a comparison, a contrast, or both between two different or similar things.
  • Cause and Effect Essay A cause and effect essay makes readers understand the cause of things, and their effects on other things.
  • Critical Essay A critical essay is written on literary pieces to evaluate them on the basis of their merits or demerits.
  • Process Essay A process essay outlines a process of making or breaking or doing something that readers understand fully and are able to do it after reading it.
  • Synthesis Essay A synthesis essay means to synthesize different ideas to make a judgement about their merit and demerits.
  • Explicatory Essay An explicatory essay is meant to explain a piece of literature. It is often written about poems , short stories, and novels .
  • Rhetorical Analysis Essay A rhetorical analysis essay evaluates a speech or a piece of rhetoric on the basis of rhetorical strategies and devices used in it.
  • Review Essay A review essay discusses the merits and demerits of a book and evaluates it through a review.
  • Simple Essay A simple essay is just a five-paragraph essay that is written on any topic after it is specified.
  • Research Essay A research essay revolves around a research question that is meant to answer some specific question through a research of the relevant literature.

Format of an Essay

Generally, a simple a five-paragraph has five paragraphs including an introduction , three body paragraphs, and a conclusion . An argumentative essay, however, has an additional paragraph which presents counter argument or opposing arguments in the same sequence. However, at the end of this paragraph, both the arguments are weighed in the favor of stronger arguments presented earlier in three body paragraphs.

The format of an argumentative essay is given below:

Function of types of essay.

An essay is a specific discussion or debate on a topic from a specific point of view . A student discusses the topic from his own specific angle. Readers not only get a glimpse of what the other aspect of the topic is, they also come to know about the tone and voice of the student writers to decide whether he has achieved a certain level of capability in writing. In literary essays, a writer becomes discusses the influence that literary piece has upon the readers about a certain point of view. Essays are also useful in winning public approval about certain political ideas.

Related posts:

  • Seven Types of Ambiguity
  • 6 Types of Conflicts in Literature With Examples
  • 20 Major Types of Archetypes with Examples
  • Four Main Types of Sonnets with Examples
  • Elements of an Essay
  • Narrative Essay
  • Definition Essay
  • Descriptive Essay
  • Analytical Essay
  • Argumentative Essay
  • Cause and Effect Essay
  • Critical Essay
  • Expository Essay
  • Persuasive Essay
  • Process Essay
  • Explicatory Essay
  • An Essay on Man: Epistle I
  • Comparison and Contrast Essay

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  • How to structure an essay: Templates and tips

How to Structure an Essay | Tips & Templates

Published on September 18, 2020 by Jack Caulfield . Revised on July 23, 2023.

The basic structure of an essay always consists of an introduction , a body , and a conclusion . But for many students, the most difficult part of structuring an essay is deciding how to organize information within the body.

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Table of contents

The basics of essay structure, chronological structure, compare-and-contrast structure, problems-methods-solutions structure, signposting to clarify your structure, other interesting articles, frequently asked questions about essay structure.

There are two main things to keep in mind when working on your essay structure: making sure to include the right information in each part, and deciding how you’ll organize the information within the body.

Parts of an essay

The three parts that make up all essays are described in the table below.

Order of information

You’ll also have to consider how to present information within the body. There are a few general principles that can guide you here.

The first is that your argument should move from the simplest claim to the most complex . The body of a good argumentative essay often begins with simple and widely accepted claims, and then moves towards more complex and contentious ones.

For example, you might begin by describing a generally accepted philosophical concept, and then apply it to a new topic. The grounding in the general concept will allow the reader to understand your unique application of it.

The second principle is that background information should appear towards the beginning of your essay . General background is presented in the introduction. If you have additional background to present, this information will usually come at the start of the body.

The third principle is that everything in your essay should be relevant to the thesis . Ask yourself whether each piece of information advances your argument or provides necessary background. And make sure that the text clearly expresses each piece of information’s relevance.

The sections below present several organizational templates for essays: the chronological approach, the compare-and-contrast approach, and the problems-methods-solutions approach.

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The chronological approach (sometimes called the cause-and-effect approach) is probably the simplest way to structure an essay. It just means discussing events in the order in which they occurred, discussing how they are related (i.e. the cause and effect involved) as you go.

A chronological approach can be useful when your essay is about a series of events. Don’t rule out other approaches, though—even when the chronological approach is the obvious one, you might be able to bring out more with a different structure.

Explore the tabs below to see a general template and a specific example outline from an essay on the invention of the printing press.

  • Thesis statement
  • Discussion of event/period
  • Consequences
  • Importance of topic
  • Strong closing statement
  • Claim that the printing press marks the end of the Middle Ages
  • Background on the low levels of literacy before the printing press
  • Thesis statement: The invention of the printing press increased circulation of information in Europe, paving the way for the Reformation
  • High levels of illiteracy in medieval Europe
  • Literacy and thus knowledge and education were mainly the domain of religious and political elites
  • Consequence: this discouraged political and religious change
  • Invention of the printing press in 1440 by Johannes Gutenberg
  • Implications of the new technology for book production
  • Consequence: Rapid spread of the technology and the printing of the Gutenberg Bible
  • Trend for translating the Bible into vernacular languages during the years following the printing press’s invention
  • Luther’s own translation of the Bible during the Reformation
  • Consequence: The large-scale effects the Reformation would have on religion and politics
  • Summarize the history described
  • Stress the significance of the printing press to the events of this period

Essays with two or more main subjects are often structured around comparing and contrasting . For example, a literary analysis essay might compare two different texts, and an argumentative essay might compare the strengths of different arguments.

There are two main ways of structuring a compare-and-contrast essay: the alternating method, and the block method.

Alternating

In the alternating method, each paragraph compares your subjects in terms of a specific point of comparison. These points of comparison are therefore what defines each paragraph.

The tabs below show a general template for this structure, and a specific example for an essay comparing and contrasting distance learning with traditional classroom learning.

  • Synthesis of arguments
  • Topical relevance of distance learning in lockdown
  • Increasing prevalence of distance learning over the last decade
  • Thesis statement: While distance learning has certain advantages, it introduces multiple new accessibility issues that must be addressed for it to be as effective as classroom learning
  • Classroom learning: Ease of identifying difficulties and privately discussing them
  • Distance learning: Difficulty of noticing and unobtrusively helping
  • Classroom learning: Difficulties accessing the classroom (disability, distance travelled from home)
  • Distance learning: Difficulties with online work (lack of tech literacy, unreliable connection, distractions)
  • Classroom learning: Tends to encourage personal engagement among students and with teacher, more relaxed social environment
  • Distance learning: Greater ability to reach out to teacher privately
  • Sum up, emphasize that distance learning introduces more difficulties than it solves
  • Stress the importance of addressing issues with distance learning as it becomes increasingly common
  • Distance learning may prove to be the future, but it still has a long way to go

In the block method, each subject is covered all in one go, potentially across multiple paragraphs. For example, you might write two paragraphs about your first subject and then two about your second subject, making comparisons back to the first.

The tabs again show a general template, followed by another essay on distance learning, this time with the body structured in blocks.

  • Point 1 (compare)
  • Point 2 (compare)
  • Point 3 (compare)
  • Point 4 (compare)
  • Advantages: Flexibility, accessibility
  • Disadvantages: Discomfort, challenges for those with poor internet or tech literacy
  • Advantages: Potential for teacher to discuss issues with a student in a separate private call
  • Disadvantages: Difficulty of identifying struggling students and aiding them unobtrusively, lack of personal interaction among students
  • Advantages: More accessible to those with low tech literacy, equality of all sharing one learning environment
  • Disadvantages: Students must live close enough to attend, commutes may vary, classrooms not always accessible for disabled students
  • Advantages: Ease of picking up on signs a student is struggling, more personal interaction among students
  • Disadvantages: May be harder for students to approach teacher privately in person to raise issues

An essay that concerns a specific problem (practical or theoretical) may be structured according to the problems-methods-solutions approach.

This is just what it sounds like: You define the problem, characterize a method or theory that may solve it, and finally analyze the problem, using this method or theory to arrive at a solution. If the problem is theoretical, the solution might be the analysis you present in the essay itself; otherwise, you might just present a proposed solution.

The tabs below show a template for this structure and an example outline for an essay about the problem of fake news.

  • Introduce the problem
  • Provide background
  • Describe your approach to solving it
  • Define the problem precisely
  • Describe why it’s important
  • Indicate previous approaches to the problem
  • Present your new approach, and why it’s better
  • Apply the new method or theory to the problem
  • Indicate the solution you arrive at by doing so
  • Assess (potential or actual) effectiveness of solution
  • Describe the implications
  • Problem: The growth of “fake news” online
  • Prevalence of polarized/conspiracy-focused news sources online
  • Thesis statement: Rather than attempting to stamp out online fake news through social media moderation, an effective approach to combating it must work with educational institutions to improve media literacy
  • Definition: Deliberate disinformation designed to spread virally online
  • Popularization of the term, growth of the phenomenon
  • Previous approaches: Labeling and moderation on social media platforms
  • Critique: This approach feeds conspiracies; the real solution is to improve media literacy so users can better identify fake news
  • Greater emphasis should be placed on media literacy education in schools
  • This allows people to assess news sources independently, rather than just being told which ones to trust
  • This is a long-term solution but could be highly effective
  • It would require significant organization and investment, but would equip people to judge news sources more effectively
  • Rather than trying to contain the spread of fake news, we must teach the next generation not to fall for it

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Signposting means guiding the reader through your essay with language that describes or hints at the structure of what follows.  It can help you clarify your structure for yourself as well as helping your reader follow your ideas.

The essay overview

In longer essays whose body is split into multiple named sections, the introduction often ends with an overview of the rest of the essay. This gives a brief description of the main idea or argument of each section.

The overview allows the reader to immediately understand what will be covered in the essay and in what order. Though it describes what  comes later in the text, it is generally written in the present tense . The following example is from a literary analysis essay on Mary Shelley’s Frankenstein .

Transitions

Transition words and phrases are used throughout all good essays to link together different ideas. They help guide the reader through your text, and an essay that uses them effectively will be much easier to follow.

Various different relationships can be expressed by transition words, as shown in this example.

Because Hitler failed to respond to the British ultimatum, France and the UK declared war on Germany. Although it was an outcome the Allies had hoped to avoid, they were prepared to back up their ultimatum in order to combat the existential threat posed by the Third Reich.

Transition sentences may be included to transition between different paragraphs or sections of an essay. A good transition sentence moves the reader on to the next topic while indicating how it relates to the previous one.

… Distance learning, then, seems to improve accessibility in some ways while representing a step backwards in others.

However , considering the issue of personal interaction among students presents a different picture.

If you want to know more about AI tools , college essays , or fallacies make sure to check out some of our other articles with explanations and examples or go directly to our tools!

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The structure of an essay is divided into an introduction that presents your topic and thesis statement , a body containing your in-depth analysis and arguments, and a conclusion wrapping up your ideas.

The structure of the body is flexible, but you should always spend some time thinking about how you can organize your essay to best serve your ideas.

An essay isn’t just a loose collection of facts and ideas. Instead, it should be centered on an overarching argument (summarized in your thesis statement ) that every part of the essay relates to.

The way you structure your essay is crucial to presenting your argument coherently. A well-structured essay helps your reader follow the logic of your ideas and understand your overall point.

Comparisons in essays are generally structured in one of two ways:

  • The alternating method, where you compare your subjects side by side according to one specific aspect at a time.
  • The block method, where you cover each subject separately in its entirety.

It’s also possible to combine both methods, for example by writing a full paragraph on each of your topics and then a final paragraph contrasting the two according to a specific metric.

You should try to follow your outline as you write your essay . However, if your ideas change or it becomes clear that your structure could be better, it’s okay to depart from your essay outline . Just make sure you know why you’re doing so.

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