Learn All About the Different Types of Essays

If you don’t know how to start writing an essay, the best way is by realizing what type of paper you need to write. There are various types of essays you will have to complete throughout your years at high school, college, and graduate school, and each of them has different structure and standards. Today is a great day to learn how to make a distinction between the different types of essays, so continue reading the clear explanations below.

Common types of essay assignments

Before we start analyzing the different types of essays, let’s see what an essay is. This written composition requires you to address a topic, analyze it from one or more angles and provide your own opinion about it. Your arguments should be supported by strong facts and reliable resources, which will enable you to wrap up with a convincing conclusion.

There are various types of essays, but four are most commonly assigned by professors at high school and college:

  • Narrative,
  • Comparative,
  • Persuasive, and
  • Expository.

Narrative essay

When writing a narrative essay, you should take the topic and tell a story about it. This type of paper requires writing in personal style, which can go in two directions – students who have a way with words can easily write about their experiences or the things they stand for, but others have difficulties expressing themselves and feel lost when they cannot base the content upon academic sources.
A narrative essay is usually written in first person, and the content is based upon descriptive details. If you know how to write a good dialogue, you can add a nice touch by using it.

Comparative essay

In this type of essay (also known as compare and contrast), you should discuss provide the pros and cons of both aspects of the discussion; but you can also take a stand and convince the reader that one of the aspects you are comparing has benefits over the other.

Discuss both the differences and similarities between the characters, places, ideas, stories, or whatever else you are comparing. Draw a logical conclusion after you combine both the contrasts and comparisons.

Persuasive essay

In a persuasive (also known as argumentative) essay, you are expected to have a strong opinion about the given topic, take a stand and prove that you are right. This type of writing is personal, but different from the narrative essay because you need to support the discussion with more facts and reliable sources. Don’t neglect opposing viewpoints; try to analyze them from impartial point of view and prove their flaws.
You can feel free to be funny or serious, depending on the topic’s nature, but either way you have to convince the reader that you are right.

Expository essay

In an expository essay, you should explain the topic to a reader. Imagine that the reader knows nothing about the thing you are describing, so you should provide clear characteristics, instructions, or directions that will help them gain knowledge about it.

In this type of essay, you should tame your strong opinions and present solely the facts. This means that you will have to do a lot of research in order to write a great expository essay.

The importance of understanding your assignment

The most common mistake students make when writing papers is going straight to the writing process without making the needed preparations. If you don’t make an effort to analyze your professor’s requirements, you’ll never be able to meet them.

The four types of essays we distinguished above are the most common assignments you will get as a student, so you should make sure to understand them and always write your papers according to the professors’ instructions.

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