- Subject Guides
Academic writing: a practical guide
- Academic writing
- The writing process
- Academic writing style
- Structure & cohesion
- Criticality in academic writing
- Working with evidence
- Assessment & feedback
- Reflective writing
- Examination writing
- Academic posters
Showing your understanding of and critical arguments relating to a topic.
What are essays?
Most degree programmes include essays. They are the most common form of written assignment and so for most students, being good at essays is essential to gaining good marks, which lead to good grades, which lead to the degree classification desired. Essays are both a particular method of writing and a collection of sub-skills that students need to master during degree studies.
Find out more:
Essays: a Conceptual and Practical Guide [interactive tutorial] | Essays: a Conceptual and Practical Guide [Google Doc]
General essay writing
You have an essay to write... what next .
- Read the assessment brief carefully to find out what the essay is about, what you are required to do specifically. What instructions are you given (discuss, explain, explore)? What choices do you need to make?
- Work through the practical guide to essays above. This will help you to think about what an essay is and what is required of you.
- Look at the assignment writing process . How will you produce your essay?
- Make a plan for when, where, and how you will research, think, draft, and write your essay.
- Execute your plan .
- Finish early. Leave a couple of spare days at the end to edit and proofread .
- Hand it in and move on to the next challenge!
Features of essay writing
Essays vary lots between disciplines and specific tasks, but they share several features that are important to bear in mind.
- They are an argument towards a conclusion. The conclusion can be for or against a position, or just a narrative conclusion. All your writing and argumentation should lead to this conclusion.
- They have a reader. It is essential that you show the logic of your argument and the information it is based on to your reader.
- They are based on evidence . You must show this using both your referencing and also through interacting with the ideas and thinking found within the sources you use.
- They have a structure. You need to ensure your structure is logical and that it matches the expectations of your department. You should also ensure that the structure enables the reader to follow your argument easily.
- They have a word limit. 1000 words means 'be concise and make decisions about exactly what is important to include' whereas 3500 words means 'write in more depth, and show the reader a more complex and broad range of critical understanding'.
- They are part of a discipline/subject area, each of which has conventions . For example, Chemistry requires third person impersonal writing, whereas Women's Studies requires the voice (meaning experiential viewpoint) of the author in the writing.
Types of essay
Each essay task is different and consequently the information below is not designed to be a substitute for checking the information for your specific essay task. It is essential that you check the assessment brief, module handbook and programme handbook, as well as attend any lectures, seminars and webinars devoted to the essay you are working on.
Essays in each subject area belong to a faculty (science, social sciences, arts and Humanities). Essays within the same faculty tend to share some features of style, structure, language choice, and scholarly practices. Please click through to the section relevant to your faculty area and if you want to be curious, the other ones too!
Arts & Humanities essays
Arts and Humanities is a faculty that includes a huge range of subject areas, from Music to Philosophy. Study in the arts and humanities typically focuses on products of the human mind, like music, artistic endeavour, philosophical ideas, and literary productions. This means that essays in the arts and humanities are typically exploring ideas, or interpreting the products of thinking (such as music, art, literature).
There are a range of essay writing styles in arts and humanities, and each subject area has its own conventions and expectations, which are explained and built into modules within each degree programme. Typically, each essay explores an idea, using critical engagement with source material, to produce an argument.
There is typically more reliance on the interpretation of ideas and evidence by the student than in the sciences and social sciences. For the student, the challenge is to understand and control the ideas in each essay, producing a coherent and logical argument that fulfils the essay brief. As with all essays, careful structure, word choices, and language use are essential to succeeding.
Department-specific advice for essays in Arts and Humanities
Some departments provide web-based advice:
- English and Related Literature essay writing advice pages
- Philosophy essay writing advice pages
- Music Department 'House Style' guidance for essay writing
- Language and Linguistic Science style guide
If your department does not appear above, do ask your supervisor or other academic staff what specific guidance is available.
Key Features of Arts and Humanities essays
- They are based on evidence . It is important that ideas used in essays are derived from credible and usable sources to root your essay in the scholarly materials of the subject that you are writing about.
- There is usually a thesis statement. This appears towards the end of your introductory paragraph, concisely outlining the purpose and the main argument of the essay. It is short (once sentence), concise, and precise. Though the essay may have multiple sub-arguments, all must tie into the thesis statement. This means it is important to know, state and stick to the primary focus set out in your thesis statement.
- They require you to interpret evidence. It is unlikely that you will find a source that directly answers the essay question set. You will typically be required to interpret primary and secondary evidence. Primary evidence includes the manuscript of a novel, or a letter describing an historical event. Secondary evidence includes academic books and peer reviewed articles.
- They require you to apply ideas. Many essays will ask you to apply an abstract idea to a scenario, or interpretation of something. For example, you could be asked to apply a Marxist ideology upon Emily Brontë's Wuthering Heights or Post-Colonialist theories upon Shakespeare's The Tempest.
- Essays vary greatly in terms of length, required depth of thinking and purpose. You must carefully read the assessment brief and any supporting materials provided to you. It is also important to complete formative tasks that prepare you for an essay, as these will help you to become use to the requirements of the summative essay.
- They must show criticality. When interpreting evidence, or applying ideas in your essay you must be aware that there is more than one possible understanding. Through exploring multiple sources and showing the limits and interconnectedness of ideas you show criticality. More information on criticality can be found on the Criticality page of this guide .
Example extract of an arts and humanities essay
Essay Title: Liturgical expression and national identity during the reign of Æthelred the Unready
This essay is from English studies and shows typical features of an arts and humanities essay. It is examining two ideas, namely 'national identity' and 'liturgical expression' and applying them both to a period of history. The essay does this by analysing linguistic choices, using interpretation from the literature base to create an argument that addresses the essay title.
It also has the feature of the student using sources of evidence to offer an interpretation that may disagree with some published sources. This use of evidence to create an argument that is novel to the student and requires interpretation of ideas is typical of arts and humanities writing. '"engla God", these liturgical verses themselves both signify and enact a ritualised unity with God.' is an example from the essay extract that shows the careful language choices used to create a concise and precise argument that clearly conveys complex thought to the reader from the author.
One way of thinking about a good arts and humanities essay is that it is like you are producing a garment from threads. The overall piece has a shape that people can recognise and understand, and each word, like each stitch, builds the whole piece slowly, whilst some key threads, like core ideas in your argument, run through the whole to hold it all together. It is the threading together of the strands of argument that determines the quality of the final essay, just as the threading of strands in a garment determine the quality of the final piece.
Good arts and humanities essay writing is...
- Based on evidence sources,
- built on the interpretation and application of ideas, evidence and theories,
- a clearly expressed, logical argument that addresses the essay question,
- carefully constructed to guide the reader in a logical path from the introduction to the conclusion,
- filled with carefully chosen language to precisely and accurately convey ideas and interpretations to the reader,
- built on rigorous, careful and close analysis of ideas,
- constructed using careful evaluation of the significance of each idea and concept used,
- readable, meaning it is clear and logical, using clearly understandable English,
- rewarded with high marks.
Common mistakes in arts and humanities essay writing
- Not answering the question posed. It is very easy to answer the question you wished had been asked, or drift away from the question during your writing. Keep checking back to the question to ensure you are still focussed and make a clear plan before writing.
- Moving beyond the evidence. You are required to interpret ideas and evidence that exist, this requires some application and novelty, but should not be making up new ideas/knowledge to make your argument work; your writing must be rooted in evidence.
- Using complex and long words where simpler word choices would convey meaning more clearly. Think of the reader.
- Leaving the reader to draw their own conclusion s, or requiring the reader to make assumptions. They must be able to see your thinking clearly on the page.
- Using lots of direct quotes . There are times when using quotes is important to detail lines from a novel for example, but you need to use them carefully and judiciously, so that most of your writing is based on your use of sources, for which you gain credit.
Social Science essays
Social Sciences, as the name suggests, can be thought of as an attempt to use a 'scientific method' to investigate social phenomena. There is a recognition that applying the strict rules of the level of proof required in science subjects is not appropriate when studying complex social phenomena. But, there is an expectation of as much rigour as is possible to achieve in each investigation.
Consequently, there is a huge variation in the types of essays that can be found within the social sciences. An essay based on the carbon dating of human remains within Archaeology is clearly very different from an essay based on the application of an ethical framework in Human Resources Management. The former is likely to be much more like a science essay, whilst the latter may edge towards a Philosophy essay, which is part of arts and humanities.
Key features of social science essays
- They are evidence-based. It is crucial to use the evidence in a way that shows you understand how significant the evidence used is.
- They require interpretation of evidence . By its nature, evidence in social sciences may be less definite than in sciences, and so interpretation is required. When you interpret evidence, this too must be based on evidence, rather than personal opinion or personal observation.
- They often require the application of abstract theories to real-world scenarios . The theories are 'clean and clear' and the real world is 'messy and unclear'; the skill of the student is to make plausible judgements. For example,
- The level of detail and breadth of knowledge that must be displayed varies greatly, depending on the length of the essay. 1000 word essays need concise wording and for the student to limit the breadth of knowledge displayed in order to achieve the depth needed for a high mark. Conversely, 5000 word essays require both breadth and depth of knowledge.
- They should show criticality. This means you need to show uncertainty in the theories and ideas used, and how ideas and theories interact with others. You should present counter-facts and counter-arguments and use the information in the literature base to reach supported conclusions and judgements.
Example extract of a social science essay
Essay Title: Who Gets What in Education and is that Fair?
Education in the western world has historically favoured men in the regard that women were essentially denied access to it for no other reason than their gender (Trueman,2016) and even though it would seem there is certainly “equality on paper” (Penny, 2010,p1.) when looking at statistics for achievement and gender, the reality is that the struggles facing anyone who does not identify as male require a little more effort to recognise. An excellent example of this can be found in the 2014 OECD report. In the UK women significantly outnumbered men in their application for university places- 376,860 women to 282,170 men (ICEF,2014)- but when observed closer men are applying for places at higher ranking universities and often studying in fields that will eventually allow them to earn better salaries. The same report praised women for the ability to combine their studies with family life and having higher aspirations than boys and therefore likely as being more determined to obtain degrees (ICEF, 2014), yet in reality women have very little choice about coping with the stressful burdens placed on them. The concepts of double burden and triple shift where women are expected to deal with housework and earning an income, or housework, raising children and earning an income (Einhorn, 1993) could in this case relate to the pressure for women to work hard at school to allow them to be able to provide for their families in future. Even women who do not necessarily have their own families or children to care for must face the double burden and triple shift phenomenon in the workplace, as women who work in the higher education sector almost always have the duty of a more pastoral and caring role of their students than male counterparts (Morley,1994).
Education is a social science subject. Some studies within it follow a scientific method of quantitative data collection, whilst others are more qualitative, and others still are more theoretical. In the case of this extract it is about gendered effects in university applications. This is an inevitably complex area to write about, intersecting as it does with social class, economic status, social norms, cultural history, political policy... To name but a few.
The essay is clearly based on evidence, which in places in numerical and in places is derived from previously written papers, such as 'triple shift where women are expected to deal with housework and earning an income, or housework, raising children and earning an income (Einhorn, 1993)', where the concept of triple shift is derived from the named paper. It is this interleaving of numerical and concrete facts with theoretical ideas that have been created and/or observed that is a typical feature in social sciences. In this case, the author has clearly shown the reader where the information is from and has 'controlled' the ideas to form a narrative that is plausible and evidence-based.
When compared to science writing, it can appear to be more wordy and this is largely due to the greater degree of interpretation that is required to use and synthesise complex ideas and concepts that have meanings that are more fluid and necessarily less precise than many scientific concepts.
Good social science essay writing is...
- filled with clearly articulated thinking from the mind of the author,
- well structured to guide the reader through the argument or narrative being created,
- focussed on answering the question or addressing the task presented,
- filled with carefully chosen evaluative language to tell the reader what is more and less significant,
- readable - sounds simple, but is difficult to achieve whilst remaining precise,
Common mistakes in social science essay writing
- Speculating beyond the limits of the evidence presented . It is important to limit your interpretation to that which is supported by existing evidence. This can be frustrating, but is essential.
- Using complex words where simpler ones will do. It is tempting to try to appear 'clever' by using 'big words', but in most cases, the simplest form of writing something is clearer. Your aim is to clearly communicate with the reader.
- Giving your personal opinion - this is rarely asked for or required.
- Not answering the question or fulfilling the task . This is possibly the most common error and largely comes from letting one's own ideas infect the essay writing process.
- Not being critical. You need to show the limits of the ideas used, how they interact, counter-arguments and include evaluation and analysis of the ideas involved. If you find yourself being descriptive, ask why.
- Using lots of direct quotes, particularly in first year writing . Quotes should be rare and used carefully because they are basically photocopying. Use your words to show you have understood the concepts involved.
Science essays are precise, logical and strictly evidence-based pieces of writing. They employ cautious language to accurately convey the level of certainty within the scientific understanding that is being discussed and are strictly objective. This means that the author has to make the effort to really understand the meaning and significance of the science being discussed.
In a science essay, your aim is to summarise and critically evaluate existing knowledge in the field. If you're doing your own research and data collection, that will be written up in a report instead.
The skill of the student is to thread together the ideas and facts they have read in a logical order that addresses the task set. When judgements are made they must be justified against the strength and significance of the theories, findings, and ideas being used. Generally, the student should not be undertaking their own interpretation of the results and facts, but instead be using those of others to create a justifiable narrative.
Example extract of a science essay
Essay title: To what extent has Ungerleider and Mishkin’s notion of separate ‘what’ and ‘where’ pathways been vindicated by neuropsychological research?
Van Polanen & Davare (2015) showed that the dorsal stream and ventral streams are not strictly independent, but do interact with each other. Interactions between dorsal and ventral streams are important for controlling complex object-oriented hand movements, especially skilled grasp. Anatomical studies have reported the existence of direct connections between dorsal and ventral stream areas. These physiological interconnections appear to gradually more active as the precision demands of the grasp become higher.
However, cognition is a dynamic process, and a flexible interactive system is required to coordinate and modulate activity across cortical networks to enable the adaptation of processing to meet variable task demands. The clear division of the dorsal and ventral processing streams is artificial, resulting from experimental situations, which do not reflect processing within the natural environment (Weiller et al., 2011). Most successful execution of visual behaviours require the complex collaboration and seamless integration of processing between the two systems.
Cloutman (2013) had stated that dorsal and ventral streams can be functionally connected in three regards: (1) the independent processing account – where they remain separate but terminate on the same brain area, (2) the feedback account – where feedback loops from locations downstream on one pathway is constantly providing input to the other and (3) the continuous cross-talk account – where information is transferred to and from the system constantly when processing.
Indeed, the authors found that there were numerous anatomical cross-connections between the two pathways, most notably between inferior parietal and inferior temporal areas. For example, ventral regions TE and TEO have been found to have extensive connectivity with dorsal stream areas, demonstrating direct projections with areas including V3A, MT, MST, FST and LIP (Baizer et al., 1991; Disler et al., 1993).
The first obvious comment is that it is not going to win a prize for literary entertainment! The writing is what one might call 'dry'. This is because it is good scientific writing. It is clearly evidence-based, and is explaining complex interrelationships in a way that is clear, leaves little for the reader to assume and that uses carefully graded language to show the significance of each fact.
The language choices are carefully aligned with the strength of the evidence that is used. For example, 'have been found to have extensive interconnectivity' is graded to convey that many connections have been detailed in the evidence presented. Similarly, 'Most successful execution of visual behaviours require the complex collaboration' is graded carefully to convey meaning to the reader, derived from the evidence used. The sample displays many examples of controlled word choices that leave the reader in no doubt regarding the meaning they are to take from reading the piece. This concise, controlled, evidence-based and carefully considered writing is typical of that found in the science essays.
Good science essay writing is...
- cohesive due to language choices,
- well-structured to help the reader follow the ideas,
- carefully planned,
- filled with carefully chosen evaluative and analytical language,
- rewarded with high grades.
Common mistakes in science essay writing
- The most common mistake is a lack of accuracy in the language used to convey meaning. This can be due to inadequate reading or a lack of understanding of the subject matter, or alternatively, due to not giving sufficient care to word choice. 'Increased greatly' is different to 'increased', which is different again to 'increased significantly'; it is very important that you understand what you are writing about in enough detail that you can accurately convey an understanding of it accurately to the reader.
- Trying to put 'you' into the essay. It is highly unlikely that you will be required to refer to your own viewpoints, opinions or lived experience within scientific essay writing. Science is impersonal, it deals in fact, and so you are a third person, impersonal author who is interpreting and curating facts and knowledge into an essay that makes sense to the reader.
- Going beyond the facts. It is rare that you will be asked to speculate in a science essay. When you are, you will be asked to extrapolate from known understanding in the relevant literature. Stick to the facts and to their meaning and significance.
- Not placing understanding in context . Each scientific idea sits within a bigger discipline and interacts with other ideas. When you write about ideas, you need to acknowledge this, unless you are specifically told to only focus on one idea. An example would be genomics of viral pathogens, which is currently a much discussed area of activity. This sits within public health, virology, and genomics disciplines, to name a few. Depending on how it is to be written about, you may need to acknowledge one or more of these larger areas.
Using evidence in essays
Sources of evidence are at the heart of essay writing. You need sources that are both usable and credible, in the specific context of your essay.
A good starting point is often the materials used in the module your essay is attached to. You can then work outwards into the wider field of study as you develop your thinking, and seek to show critical analysis, critical evaluation and critical thought in your essay.
Discover more about using evidence in your assignments:
Structuring an essay
Clear structure is a key element of an effective essay. This requires careful thought and you to make choices about the order the reader needs the information to be in.
These resources contain advice and guides to help you structure your work:
You can use these templates to help develop the structure of your essay.
Go to File > Make a copy... to create your own version of the template that you can edit.
Structuring essay introductions
Play this tutorial in full screen
- Explain the different functions that can be fulfilled by an introduction.
- Provide examples of introductions from the Faculties of Social Sciences, Sciences, and Arts and Humanities.
- Evaluating your own introductions.
- Matching elements of an introduction to a description of their purpose.
- Highlighting where evidence is used to support elements of the introduction.
- Highlighting how introductions can make clear links to the essay question.
In this section, you will learn about the functions and key components of an essay introduction.
An introduction can fulfill the functions below. These often move from a broad overview of the topic in context to a narrow focus on the scope of the discussion, key terms and organisational structure.
Click on each function to reveal more.
- It can establish the overall topic and explain the relevance and significance of the essay question to that topic
- What is the topic?
- Why is the essay question worth exploring? Why is the essay worth reading?
- How is it relevant to wider / important / current debates in the field?
- It can briefly explain the background and context and define the scope of the discussion
- Is it helpful to mention some background, historical or broader factors to give the reader some context?
- Is the discussion set in a particular context (geographical; political; economic; social; historical; legal)?
- Does the essay question set a particular scope or are you going to narrow the scope of the discussion?
- It can highlight key concepts or ideas
- Are the key concepts or ideas contentious or open to interpretation?
- Will the key concepts need to be defined and explained?
- It can signpost the broad organisational structure of the essay
- Indicate what you will cover and a brief overview of the structure of your essay
- points made should be supported by evidence
- clear links should be made to the question
Note: Introductions may not cover all of these elements, and they may not be covered in this order.
Useful Link: See the University of Manchester’s Academic Phrasebank for useful key phrases to introduce work.
In this activity, you will review and evaluate introductions you have written, identifying areas for improvement.
Find some examples of introductions you have written for essays.
- Which of the features do they use?
- Are any elements missing?
- How might you improve them?
For the following tasks, you will be using an example introduction from one of the following three faculties. Select a faculty to use an introduction from a corresponding subject.
In this activity, you will look at examples of introductions, identifying key features and their purpose.
Here is an example question:
Sociology: Examine some of the factors that influence procrastination in individuals, exploring and evaluating their impact. Identify an area(s) for future research, justifying your choice.
And here is a sample introduction written for this question:
Procrastination is a complex concept which manifests itself in different types of behaviour yet is experienced by individuals universally. A useful definition of procrastination is ‘the voluntary delay of important, necessary, and intended action despite knowing there will be negative consequences for this delay’ (Ferrari and Tice, 2000, Sirois and Pychyl, 2013 cited in Sirois and Giguère, 2018). The influences on procrastination are multi-faceted, which makes their study incredibly challenging. Researchers are now producing a body of work dedicated to procrastination; including meta-analyses such as those by Varvaricheva (2010) and Smith (2015). Influences on procrastination can be considered in two categories, factors with external, environmental, sources and factors with internal sources due to individual differences. However, these external and environmental categories are not completely independent of one another and this essay will seek to explore the complexities of this interdependence. This essay will discuss how different factors influence individual procrastination, by first examining how gender, age and personality affect the procrastination trait under internal factors, before discussing the external factors; how task aversiveness, deadlines and the internet affect procrastination behavioural outcomes. This will be followed by a brief exploration of how the two interact. Finally there a number of gaps in the literature, which suggest avenues for future research.
Click on the Next arrow to match each section of this introduction with a description of its purpose.
Procrastination is a complex concept which manifests itself in different types of behaviour yet is experienced by individuals universally.
Signposts the broad organisational structure of the essay
Narrows the topic and explains its relevance or significance to current debates
Defines the scope of the discussion
Establishes the topic and explains its broad significance
Defines key concepts
That's not the right answer
Have another go.
Yes, that's the right answer!
A useful definition of procrastination is ‘the voluntary delay of important, necessary, and intended action despite knowing there will be negative consequences for this delay’ (Ferrari and Tice, 2000, Sirois and Pychyl, 2013 cited in Sirois and Giguère, 2018).
The influences on procrastination are multi-faceted, which makes their study incredibly challenging. Researchers are now producing a body of work dedicated to procrastination; including meta-analyses such as those by Varvaricheva (2010) and Smith (2015).
Influences on procrastination can be considered in two categories, factors with external, environmental, sources and factors with internal sources due to individual differences. However, these external and environmental categories are not completely independent of one another and this essay will seek to explore the complexities of this interdependence.
This essay will discuss how different factors influence individual procrastination, by first examining how gender, age and personality affect the procrastination trait under internal factors, before discussing the external factors; how task aversiveness, deadlines and the internet affect procrastination behavioural outcomes. This will be followed by a brief exploration of how the two interact. Finally there a number of gaps in the literature, which suggest avenues for future research.
In this activity, you will identify how introductions make links to the question.
Here is the question again:
Click to highlight the places where the introduction below links closely to the question.
Have another go. You can remove the highlighting on sections by clicking on them again.
Those are the parts of the introduction that link closely to the question.
In this activity, you will consider how introductions make use of supporting evidence.
- Define key concepts
- Establish the topic and explain its relevance or significance
Click to highlight the places where the introduction below supports points with evidence .
Those are the parts of the introduction that use evidence to support points.
Congratulations! You've made it through the introduction!
Click on the icon at the bottom to restart the tutorial.
Nursing: Drawing on your own experiences and understanding gained from the module readings, discuss and evaluate the values, attributes and behaviours of a good nurse.
The Nursing and Midwifery Council’s (NMC) (2015) Code states that a nurse must always put the care of patients first, be open and honest, and be empathic towards patients and their families. Student nurses are expected to demonstrate an understanding of the need for these key skills even at the interview stage and then gain the experiences to develop certain fundamental attributes, values and behaviours in order to advance through the stages of nursing. This assignment will highlight a variety of values, attributes and behaviours a good nurse should have, focusing on courage in particular. Views of courage from political, professional, and social perspectives will be considered, alongside a comparison between the attribute courage and a student nurse’s abilities. This will be demonstrated using observations from practice, appropriate theorists such as Sellman (2011), Lachman (2010) and philosophers including Aristotle and Ross (2011).
The Nursing and Midwifery Council’s (NMC) (2015) Code states that a nurse must always put the care of patients first, be open and honest, and be empathic towards patients and their families.
Explains the context to the discussion, with reference to the workplace
Defines the scope of the discussion by narrowing it
Defines relevant key concepts or ideas
Student nurses are expected to demonstrate an understanding of the need for these key skills even at the interview stage and then gain the experiences to develop certain fundamental attributes, values and behaviours in order to advance through the stages of nursing.
This assignment will highlight a variety of values, attributes and behaviours a good nurse should have, focusing on courage in particular.
Views of courage from political, professional, and social perspectives will be considered, alongside a comparison between the attribute courage and a student nurse’s abilities. This will be demonstrated using observations from practice, appropriate theorists such as Sellman (2011), Lachman (2010) and philosophers including Aristotle and Ross (2011).
- Define relevant key concepts or ideas
- Signpost the broad organisational structure of the essay, making a clear link to the question
Archaeology: Explain some of the ways in which Star Carr has been re-interpreted since the initial discovery in the 1940s. Briefly evaluate how the results of recent excavations further dramatically affect our understanding of this site.
Star Carr has become the ‘best known’ Mesolithic site in Britain (Conneller, 2007, 3), in part because of its high levels of artefact preservation due to waterlogging, as the site was once on the Eastern edge of the ancient Lake Flixton, close to a small peninsula (Taylor, 2007). First excavated by Grahame Clark in 1949-51, there was a further invasive investigation in 1985 and 1989, again in 2006-8, and 2010. An impressive haul of artefacts have been excavated over the years, including bone and antler tools, barbed points, flint tools and microliths, and enigmatic red deer frontlets (Milner et al., 2016). Since Clark’s first published report in 1954 there have been numerous re-examinations of the subject, including by Clark himself in 1974. Resulting interpretations of the site have been much debated; it has been classified as ‘in situ settlement, a refuse dump, and the result of culturally prescribed acts of deposition’ (Taylor et al., 2017). This discussion will explore the ways in which the site has been variously re-interpreted during this time period, and consider how more recent study of the site has prompted new perspectives.
Star Carr has become the ‘best known’ Mesolithic site in Britain (Conneller, 2007, 3), in part because of its high levels of artefact preservation due to waterlogging, as the site was once on the Eastern edge of the ancient Lake Flixton, close to a small peninsula (Taylor, 2007).
Explains the background to the discussion and its significance
Establishes the topic
Explains the scope of the topic and highlights key interpretations
First excavated by Grahame Clark in 1949-51, there was a further invasive investigation in 1985 and 1989, again in 2006-8, and 2010. An impressive haul of artefacts have been excavated over the years, including bone and antler tools, barbed points, flint tools and microliths, and enigmatic red deer frontlets (Milner et al., 2016).
Since Clark’s first published report in 1954 there have been numerous re-examinations of the subject, including by Clark himself in 1974. Resulting interpretations of the site have been much debated; it has been classified as ‘in situ settlement, a refuse dump, and the result of culturally prescribed acts of deposition’ (Taylor et al., 2017).
This discussion will explore the ways in which the site has been variously re-interpreted during this time period, and consider how more recent study of the site has prompted new perspectives.
- Establish the topic, explains the background and significance
- Explains the significance of the topic
- Highlights key interpretations
Structuring essay conclusions
In this section you will consider the different functions a conclusion can fulfil, look at examples of conclusions, and identify key features and their purpose.
A conclusion can fulfil the functions below. These often move from a narrow focus on the outcomes of the discussion to a broad view of the topic's relevance to the wider context.
Summary of the main points in relation to the question
- This might involve restating the scope of the discussion and clarifying if there any limitations of your discussion or of the evidence provided
- This may include synthesising the key arguments and weighing up the evidence
Arrive at a judgement or conclusion
- Having weighed up the evidence, come to a judgement about the strength of the arguments
Restate the relevance or significance of the topic to the wider context
- Make it clear why your conclusions - which are based on your discussion through the essay - are important or significant in relation to wider/current debates in the field
Make recommendations or indicate the direction for further study, if applicable
- Recommendations may be for further research or for practice/policy
- What further research/investigation would be necessary to overcome the limitations above?
- What are the implications of your findings for policy/practice?
Note: Conclusions may not cover all of these elements, and they may not be covered in this order.
- Clear links should be made to the question
- Do not make new points in the conclusion
Useful Link: See the University of Manchester’s Academic Phrasebank for useful key phrases to conclude work.
In this activity, you will look at an example conclusion, identifying key features and their purpose.
In this task, you will be using an example conclusion from one of the following three faculties. Select a faculty to use a conclusion from a corresponding subject.
And here is a sample conclusion written for the question:
In conclusion procrastination is a complex psychological phenomenon that is influenced by a number of factors, both internal and external. However it has a hugely multifaceted nature and the factors that influence it are not truly independent of one another. Character traits and the environmental impact on behaviour are interrelated; for example similar procrastination outcomes may arise from a highly conscientious individual in a distracting environment and an individual low in conscientiousness in a non-distracting setting. This means that future studies need to be very considered in their approach to separating, or controlling for, these factors. These further studies are important and urgently needed as the impact of procrastination on society is far-reaching. For instance: individuals delay contributing to a pension, meaning that old age may bring poverty for many; couples put off entering into formal contracts with each other, potentially increasing disputes over child custody and inheritance; and indeed women delay starting a family and increasing age leads to decreased fertility, thus leading to higher societal costs of providing assisted fertilisation. Furthermore one could expand the scope to include the effects on children of being born to older parents (such as risks of inherited genetic defects). These are themselves wide fields of study and are mentioned merely to illustrate the importance of further research. Until the nature of influences on procrastination is fully understood, our development of approaches to reduce procrastination is likely to be hindered.
Click on the Next arrow to match each section of the conclusion with a description of its purpose.
In conclusion procrastination is a complex psychological phenomenon that is influenced by a number of factors, both internal and external.
Synthesises the key arguments and weighs up the evidence
Restates the scope of the discussion
Indicates the direction and significance for further study
Summary of the main point in relation to the question
However it has a hugely multifaceted nature and the factors that influence it are not truly independent of one another.
Character traits and the environmental impact on behaviour are interrelated; for example similar procrastination outcomes may arise from a highly conscientious individual in a distracting environment and an individual low in conscientiousness in a non-distracting setting.
This means that future studies need to be very considered in their approach to separating, or controlling for, these factors. These further studies are important and urgently needed as the impact of procrastination on society is far-reaching. For instance: individuals delay contributing to a pension, meaning that old age may bring poverty for many; couples put off entering into formal contracts with each other, potentially increasing disputes over child custody and inheritance; and indeed women delay starting a family and increasing age leads to decreased fertility, thus leading to higher societal costs of providing assisted fertilisation. Furthermore one could expand the scope to include the effects on children of being born to older parents (such as risks of inherited genetic defects). These are themselves wide fields of study and are mentioned merely to illustrate the importance of further research.
Until the nature of influences on procrastination is fully understood, our development of approaches to reduce procrastination is likely to be hindered.
Opportunities for nurses to display courage occur every day, although it is at the nurse’s discretion whether they act courageously or not. As discussed in this assignment, courage is likewise an important attribute for a good nurse to possess and could be the difference between good and bad practice. It is significantly important that nurses speak up about bad practice to minimize potential harm to patients. However nurses do not need to raise concerns in order to be courageous, as nurses must act courageously every day. Professional bodies such as the RCN and NMC recognise that courage is important by highlighting this attribute in the RCN principles. The guidelines for raising concerns unite the attribute courage with the RCN’s principles of nursing practice by improving nurses’ awareness of how to raise concerns. Lachman’s (2010) CODE is an accessible model that modern nurses could use as a strategy to help them when raising concerns. Although students find it difficult to challenge more senior nursing professionals, they could also benefit from learning the acronym to help them as they progress through their career. For nursing students, courage could be seen as a learning development of the ability to confront their fear of personal emotional consequences from participating in what they believe to be the right action. On the whole a range of values, attributes and behaviours are needed in order to be a good nurse, including being caring, honest, compassionate, reliable and professional. These qualities are all important, but courage is an attribute that is widely overlooked for nurses to possess but vitally fundamental.
Opportunities for nurses to display courage occur every day, although it is at the nurse’s discretion whether they act courageously or not. As discussed in this assignment, courage is likewise an important attribute for a good nurse to possess and could be the difference between good and bad practice. It is significantly important that nurses speak up about bad practice to minimize potential harm to patients. However nurses do not need to raise concerns in order to be courageous, as nurses must act courageously every day.
Arrives at an overall judgement or conclusion
Make recommendations for practice
Professional bodies such as the RCN and NMC recognise that courage is important by highlighting this attribute in the RCN principles. The guidelines for raising concerns unite the attribute courage with the RCN’s principles of nursing practice by improving nurses’ awareness of how to raise concerns. Lachman’s (2010) CODE is an accessible model that modern nurses could use as a strategy to help them when raising concerns.
Although students find it difficult to challenge more senior nursing professionals, they could also benefit from learning the acronym to help them as they progress through their career. For nursing students, courage could be seen as a learning development of the ability to confront their fear of personal emotional consequences from participating in what they believe to be the right action.
On the whole a range of values, attributes and behaviours are needed in order to be a good nurse, including being caring, honest, compassionate, reliable and professional. These qualities are all important, but courage is an attribute that is widely overlooked for nurses to possess but vitally fundamental.
Star Carr is one of the most fascinating and informative Mesolithic sites in the world. What was once considered to be the occasional winter settlement of a group of hunter-gatherer families, now appears to be a site of year-round settlement occupied over centuries. Since its initial discovery and excavation in the late 1940s and early 1950s, a great deal of further data has been collected, altering interpretations made by the primary excavators who pioneered analysis of the site. What once was considered a typical textbook Mesolithic hunting encampment is now theorized to be a site of ritual importance. The site has produced unique findings such as a multitude of barbed points, twenty one antlered headdresses and the earliest known example of a permanent living structure in Britain. These factors will combine to immortalise the site, even when its potential for further research is thoroughly decayed, which tragically could be very soon (Taylor et al. 2010).
Star Carr is one of the most fascinating and informative Mesolithic sites in the world.
Synthesise the main points
Limitations and implications for future research
Restate the significance of the topic to the wider context
What was once considered to be the occasional winter settlement of a group of hunter-gatherer families, now appears to be a site of year-round settlement occupied over centuries. Since its initial discovery and excavation in the late 1940s and early 1950s, a great deal of further data has been collected, altering interpretations made by the primary excavators who pioneered analysis of the site. What once was considered a typical textbook Mesolithic hunting encampment is now theorized to be a site of ritual importance. The site has produced unique findings such as a multitude of barbed points, twenty one antlered headdresses and the earliest known example of a permanent living structure in Britain.
These factors will combine to immortalise the site, even when its potential for further research is thoroughly decayed, which tragically could be very soon (Taylor et al. 2010).
Congratulations! You've made it through the conclusion!
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Other support for essay writing
The general writing pages of this site offer guidance that can be applied to all types of writing, including essays. Also check your department guidance and VLE sites for tailored resources.
Other useful resources for essay writing:
Appointments and workshops
There is lots of support and advice for essay writing. This is likely to be in your department, and particularly from your academic supervisor and module tutors, but there is also central support, which you can access using the links below.
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What Are the 5 Different Types of Essays? A Complete Guide
For high school or college students, essays are unavoidable – worst of all, the essay types and essay writing topics assigned change throughout your academic career. As soon as you’ve mastered one of the many types of academic papers , you’re on to the next one.
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This article by Custom Writing experts provides the tools you need to attack any essay. It describes the five current major types of essays and five additional types! The article includes some thesis statement examples and numerous useful links to resources with sample essay papers. Keep reading and good luck with your assignment!
- 📑 5 Main Types of Essay Writing
🎈 Other Essay Types
- 👌 Essay Writing Tips
📑 what are the 5 different types of essays.
The five main essay types are:
An expository essay aims to present opinion-free information on a topic that may be broad or narrow. This essay type is often assigned as an in-class or an exam task. Please find below useful expository writing tips!
- An expository essay introduction should clarify the topic and briefly lay out its elements.
“The oil industry is a very large portion of the energy sector, and it has significant impacts on the climate and economy.”
- The body paragraphs of your expository essay should contain enough evidence to support your thesis statement.
- Your expository essay conclusion should readdress the thesis in the light of the evidence provided in the body.
- The transitions between the different parts of your expository essay should be very logical and clear.
An argumentative essay requires a profound investigation of a topic leading to the collection and evaluation of evidence. Such an in-depth study shall result in an established position on the topic, written down concisely.
As a rule, this type of writing presupposes extensive literature research . Sometimes, argumentative assignments may require empirical investigation through surveys, interviews, or observations. Detailed research ensures a clear understanding of the issue and the different points of view regarding it. Thanks to the preliminary study, you will be able to make an unbiased decision on which opinion to adhere to, and your argumentation will be more persuasive.
An argumentative essay shall follow the strict structure rules:
Difference between Expository and Argumentative Essay
Expository and argumentative essays abound in similarities and are often mistaken for one another. The principal difference is the amount of preliminary research . Argumentative essays are often assigned as final projects summing up the corpus of information mastered during a course. Expository essays are shorter and less based on research. They are used for in-class unprepared writing.
Persuasive writing is the polar opposite of expository writing. For this style of essay, your opinion should be the focus . A persuasive essay attempts to persuade its reader to have a specific opinion.
“Though the oil industry is an important part of our economy, it has negatively impacted our environment through climate change, smog, and the building of roads.”
- Your position should be set from the introduction of your persuasive essay. Take care to maintain it throughout the text.
- Your persuasive essay body should contain the arguments in progression: from the least important to the most important.
- Use ethos, logos, and pathos to persuade your readers.
There is no more clearly-named essay than the descriptive one. Here, the goal is to describe something : a person, an object, a place, etc. The oil industry theme used to demonstrate an expository thesis statement would not be typical for a descriptive essay. Instead, descriptive writing would far more likely focus on an object associated with the oil industry, such as an oil drum, an oil tanker, or even the liquid oil itself.
- A sample descriptive thesis statement could sound like this: “Crude oil is a black, viscous liquid that gives off an odd smell like plastic or many sorts of fuel.”
- Your descriptive essay body should be very logical. Each of its paragraphs is to focus on one of the aspects of the topic.
- The language you use in your descriptive essay should be vivid and varied. It is a good idea to appeal to the senses of the reader when you are describing something.
The meaning of narrative writing is very similar to a story. It may be moving, emotional, anecdotal, or insightful. You are allowed to write using first-person pronouns, and creativity is appreciated. A narrative essay is subject to all the story rules and shall comprise an introduction, characters, plot, setting, climax, and conclusion. The only case when a narrative assignment does not have to comply with a story outline is a book report. This informative narration is impersonal and unemotional.
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- The thesis is the purpose of your narrative essay . Although it doesn’t need to sound as formal as in other academic papers, make it clear why you decided to tell the story.
- First-person narration is not a must but is welcomed.
- Don’t switch between points of view . If you decide to write a third-person narrative, keep it consistent throughout the text.
- A narrative essay is closer to fiction than to a scientific document . Use artistic language that will have an emotional response in the reader.
- Although this is not a standard five-paragraph essay, it should have an introduction and a conclusion . An unfinished piece of writing is as bad as a too wordy one.
Difference between Narrative and Descriptive Essay
A narrative essay is aimed to tell the reader a complete story of personal experiences . A descriptive essay dwells upon a separate object, place, concept, or phenomenon. It does not have a climax or any development of action.
Cause and Effect Essay
In a cause and effect essay, the text should focus on the impact of some phenomenon or physical thing —in other words, a cause and its effect.
The simplicity of this essay allows you to explore any topic . All you need to do is consider its consequences and write. Again, the oil industry can be the focus of a cause and effect essay thesis statement :
“The oil industry has had a tremendous impact on our world, enabling the automotive industry, contributing to climate change, and generating great wealth.”
In this essay, the goal is simply to respond to or reflect upon a species person, place, thing, event, or phenomenon. You may be required to reflect upon a poem, a military battle, or perhaps even another essay. By its definition, reflective essays should be very subjective. You should use personal pronouns like “I” and “me” in these essays! This type of essay should be very personal. Check out some examples of reflective writing to see this yourself.
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For example, this would be a great thesis statement for a reflective essay :
“The oil industry has provided many benefits to society, but I worry deeply about its potential costs to our planet and its species.”
In many ways, analytical writing is the objective cousin of reflective writing. Prior to attempting this style of essay, you should reflect. But you should also conduct research. The reflection is personal, while the analysis is rooted in facts and logic.
Compare the following example thesis statement with the one from the previous type of essay:
“As the oil industry has grown, the levels of greenhouse gases have increased along with temperatures and concentrations of particulate matter in the atmosphere.”
This statement outlines factors that will be analyzed in the body of the essay. It DOES NOT insert personal feelings, personal pronouns, or subjective language. You can even try and use an informative thesis statement generator and then compare the results to see it more clearly.
By staying objective, an analytical essay is much more like a report. In fact, an outline for an analytical paper should be interchangeable with a section of an outline for a much longer research project. But most importantly, any analytical paper should avoid using personal pronouns .
Comparison and Contrast Essay
In a compare and contrast essay , you make a comparison of two or more issues . You may look at their similarities, differences, or both. The focus of your analysis should be reflected in your thesis statement. Consider this example:
“While both the oil industry and the solar-power industry will be major sources of energy in the future, oil has more environmental costs than green solar power.”
An exemplification or illustration essay is one of the most flexible essays you might be assigned. In simple terms, this essay is all about picking vivid examples. In other words, you want to make points that exemplify or illustrate your thesis statement.
For an exemplification essay, you should focus on the examples that will make your point without serious effort. In other words, if you are trying too hard, you are missing the point of the essay. Consider the following example thesis statement:
“The oil industry has had serious effects on the environment as demonstrated by the impact of massive oil spill on wildlife, the uncontrolled fires and explosions caused by oil and oil derivatives, and the melting of the polar ice caps caused by climate change.”
In the body of this exemplification essay, the writer should devote a paragraph to each of these arguments. Descriptions of seagulls or penguins coated in oil would be perfect examples of the effect of the oil industry on wildlife. Similarly, descriptions of major oil refinery explosions will also grab the reader’s attention.
Once again, the conclusion should restate the introduction, providing less background, and reminding the reader of the examples one last time.
👌 Remember These Important Essay Tips
These tips and tricks are just the basics of essay writing .
When you are writing any assignment, always pay close attention to the instructions . The standard interpretation of any particular essay style is never as important as your teacher’s definition of the assignment. When in doubt, ask questions! No teacher will be upset with you asking for reasonable clarifications. It is better to write the essay your teacher expected, rather than surprise your teacher with a creative effort. And, subsequently, get a poor grade.
- You may also notice that every one of the rough examples described fits into the 5-paragraph essay format . This essay structure is a powerful way to organize your thoughts. Becoming skilled at applying this structure will strengthen your writing. Soon after, you’ll write both shorter and longer essays with ease.
- If you’re still confused, watch one of the many helpful videos on essay writing .
- Start writing your essay early! No matter the essay type, your revisions will be better than your first drafts. If you have time for second, third, and fourth drafts, you will be much happier with your final grade.
- Essay Structure | – Harvard College Writing Center
- Writing: Types of Essays – Smith College
- Essay Writing // Purdue Writing Lab
- Types of academic writing – The University of Sydney
- Guide to Different Kinds of Essays – Gallaudet University
- What are the types of essays? – Quora
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Beauty lasts only a short time. But in the realm of art, in the field of poetry, beauty lasts forever. Sonnet 73 is addressed to a lover who is younger than the speaker. The poem uses three metaphors to depict the speaker’s age and impending death. First, the speaker says that he is autumn, the time of year when the beauty of summer is gone, and the death of winter is about to set in. Then he says that he is the end of the day when only a faint light lingers on the western horizon, and deathly darkness is about to engulf the world. Then he says that he is an almost burned out fire, nearly reduced to ashes. This sonnet doesn’t look to art for consolation, but to love. It concludes by saying, You love me even though you know you’re soon going to lose me, and that makes your love all the greater.
Awesome post as usual! Your posts make me accumulate knowledge about writing various college papers! Thanks a lot for this assistance!
These are amazing tips for compare and contrast essay writing. Will definitely use them when writing my compare and contrast essay. Thanks for sharing them!
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Guide to Different Kinds of Essays
An essay is a paper that discusses, describes or analyzes one topic. It can discuss a subject directly or indirectly, seriously or humorously. It can describe personal opinions, or just report information. An essay can be written from any perspective, but essays are most commonly written in the first person ( I ), or third person (subjects that can be substituted with the he, she, it, or they pronouns).
There are many different kinds of essays. The following are a some of the most common ones:
Descriptive Cause/Effect Argumentative Definition Narrative Critical Compare/Contrast Process
Examples: A descriptive essay could describe . . .
The descriptive essay provides details about how something looks, feels, tastes, smells, makes one feel, or sounds. It can also describe what something is, or how something happened. These essays generally use a lot of sensory details. The essay could be a list-like description that provides point by point details. Or, it could function as a story, keeping the reader interested in the plot and theme of the event described.
Examples: A definition essay may try and define . . .
A definition essay attempts to define a specific term. It could try to pin down the meaning of a specific word, or define an abstract concept. The analysis goes deeper than a simple dictionary definition; it should attempt to explain why the term is defined as such. It could define the term directly, giving no information other than the explanation of the term. Or, it could imply the definition of the term, telling a story that requires the reader to infer the meaning.
Examples:A compare/contrast essay may discuss . . .
The compare/contrast essay discusses the similarities and differences between two things, people, concepts, places, etc. The essay could be an unbiased discussion, or an attempt to convince the reader of the benefits of one thing, person, or concept. It could also be written simply to entertain the reader, or to arrive at an insight into human nature. The essay could discuss both similarities and differences, or it could just focus on one or the other. A comparison essay usually discusses the similarities between two things, while the contrast essay discusses the differences.
Examples:A cause/effect essay may explain . . .
The cause/effect essay explains why or how some event happened, and what resulted from the event.
This essay is a study of the relationship between two or more events or experiences. The essay could discuss both causes and effects, or it could simply address one or the other. A cause essay usually discusses the reasons why something happened. An effect essay discusses what happens after a specific event or circumstance.
The example below shows a cause essay, one that would explain how and why an event happened.
If this cause essay were about a volcanic eruption, it might go something like this: “Pressure and heat built up beneath the earth’s surface; the effect of this was an enormous volcanic eruption.”
The next example shows an effect essay, one that would explain all the effects that happened after a specific event, like a volcanic eruption.
If this effect essay were about a volcanic eruption again, it might go something like this:
“The eruption caused many terrible things to happen; it destroyed homes, forests, and polluted the atmosphere.”
Examples:A narrative essay could tell of . . .
The narrative essay tells a story. It can also be called a “short story.” Generally, the narrative essay is conversational in style and tells of a personal experience. It is most commonly written in the first person (uses I ). This essay could tell of a single, life-shaping event, or simply a mundane daily experience.
Examples: A process essay may explain . . .
A process essay describes how something is done. It generally explains actions that should be performed in a series. It can explain in detail how to accomplish a specific task, or it can show how an individual came to a certain personal awareness. The essay could be in the form of step-by-step instructions, or in story form, with the instructions/explanations subtly given along the way.
Examples: An argumentative essay may persuade a reader that . . .
An argumentative essay is one that attempts to persuade the reader to the writer’s point of view. The writer can either be serious or funny, but always tries to convince the reader of the validity of his or her opinion. The essay may argue openly, or it may attempt to subtly persuade the reader by using irony or sarcasm.
Examples: A critical essay may analyze . . .
A critical essay analyzes the strengths, weaknesses, and methods of someone else’s work. Generally, these essays begin with a brief overview of the main points of the text, movie, or piece of art, followed by an analysis of the work’s meaning. It should then discuss how well the author/creator accomplishes his/her goals and makes his/her points. A critical essay can be written about another essay, story, book, poem, movie, or work of art.
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What Is an Essay? Different Types of Essays with Examples
There will be many times during your life where you might be asked to write an essay. This can be an intimidating prospect, especially if you are not clear on exactly what an essay is and how it is meant to be written. In this article, we are going to be looking a little more closely at what an essay is and what it’s purpose is as well as looking at the various types of essay. We are also going to be looking at some examples to give us a further understanding on the subject.
Table of Contents
What Is An Essay?
In the most simple terms, an essay is a short piece of writing which is set around a specific topic or subject. The piece of writing will give information surrounding the topic but will also display the opinions and thoughts of the author.
Often times, an essay is used in an academic sense by way of examination in order to determine whether a student has understood their studies and as a way of testing their knowledge on a specific subject. An essay is also used in education as a way of encouraging a student to develop their writing skills.
Types Of Essays
When it comes to writing an essay, there is not simply one type, there are in fact, quite a few types of essay and each of them have their own purpose and function. We are now going to take a look at each of these in a little more detail.
A narrative essay is one which details a story, often times from a particular point of view. When writing a narrative essay, you should include a set of characters, a location, a good plot and a climax to the story.
You will use the plot as a way of detailing events within the story and whilst these are commonly in time order, you may feel free to time hop and include flashes from history or the future.
It is vital that, when writing this type of essay you use fine details to do allow the reader to feel emotion and use their senses but also give the story the chance to make a point. The point of the essay should be mentioned early on, preferably in the opening line, but if not certainly within the introduction paragraph . You should also write this type of essay in either the third or first person and unlike a creative writing story, should always be based around fact. Let’s now take a look at an extract from a narrative essay, this is from A Ticket To The Fair written by David Wallace Foster.
It is press day today at the state fair in Springfield, Illinois and I am meant to be there in the fairground at 9am in order to get my credentials. I think of these as a small card in the band around a hat. I had never been thought of as press until now. But my true interest in the credentials is being able to get onto the rides and into the shows for free. I have come in from the East coast, fresh and ready for one of their magazines. It isn’t clear to me why they have an interest in this state fair but I expect that the editors realise, from time to time that most of the USA live away from the coast and that they will employ someone like me to do a spot of rural reporting. I’m thinking that they had asked me to report this as I grew up here. I had never been to the state fair. In fact I have not been back here for quite some time and I cannot say that I have missed it.
A descriptive essay will describe something in great detail. The subject can be anything from people and places to objects and events but the main point is to go into depth. You might describe the item’s colour, where it came from, what it looks like, smells like, tastes like or how it feels.
It is very important to allow the reader to sense what you are writing about and allow them to feel some sort of emotion whilst reading. That being said, the information should be concise and easy to understand, the use of imagery is widely used in this style of essay. We will now take a look at a passage from a descriptive essay, this one is from The Orchestra Played On written by Joanna Lipman .
The hinge creaks as I open the decrepit case. I am greeted by flowing cascades of horsehair-the bow is a victim of the mites. It is agony when I twist my fingers to the position, but to my surprise and the surprise of my children-who were yet to hear me play- I was still able to make a sound.
An expository essay is used as a way to look into a problem and therefore compare it and explore it. For the expository essay there is a little bit of storytelling involved but this type of essay goes beyond that. The main idea is that it should explain an idea giving information and explanation.
Your expository essay should be simple and easy to understand as well as giving a variety of view points on the subject that is being discussed. Often times this type of essay is used as a way to detail a subject which is usually more difficult for people to understand, in a clear and concise manner. Let’s take a look at this excerpt from How Chinese Mothers Are Superior written by Amy Chua.
I am using the phrase Chinese mom loosely. I know of some Indian. Irish, Jamaican, Ghanaian and Korean parents who fit the bill too. I also know Chinese moms, mostly born in the west that are not Chinese moms. I am also using the phrase parents of the west loosely. These come in many varieties. That being said, even the parents of the west believe that they are strict, they’re not nearly as strict as Chinese moms. For example, my friends from the west who think of themselves as strict, make their kids play instruments for just half an hour each day. For a Chinese mom, the first sixty minutes are the easiest, it’s the second and third hours that are tough.
When writing an argumentative essay , you will be attempting to convince your reader about an opinion or point of view. The idea is to show the reader whether the topic is true or false along with giving your own opinion. It is very important that you use facts and data to back up any claims that made within the essay. We will now look at a passage from the argumentative essay titled The Flight From Conversation written by Sherry Turkle.
We have become used to this new concept being alone, together. Enabled by technology, we can be with each other as well as being somewhere else, we can be connected to anywhere we wish to be. We wish to be able to customise our life. We wish to be able to move in or out of anywhere we are as what we most value is having control over where our attention is focused. We are used to the concept of being, loyal to our own and in a tribe.
Other Types Of Essays
Whilst there are four main types of essay, there are some more, less common types. Despite not being within the main four, these types of essay are still important and each serve their own purpose. We are now going to take a look at each of these in a little more detail.
This is a type of essay which is used to define an idea, thing or concept.
This is, as its name would suggest, a simple essay which is made up from five paragraphs and can be written on any subject.
The persuasive essay is one which can be used as a way of convincing the readers of an idea. It might also be used in order to convince the reader not to do a particular thing, or indeed to do it..
Rhetorical Analysis Essays
This type of essay is used as a way of analysing a piece of rhetoric or a speech and looks at any rhetorical devices which have been used.
As the name of this type of essay might suggest, it is an essay which is used to analyse something. This could be a piece of writing, a movie or anything else. The idea is that the analytical essay will look at what it is analysing from various viewpoints allowing the reader to form their own opinion.
Compare And Contrast Essays
When writing a compare and contrast essay , the author will be using it as a way of creating a comparison between two things or finding a contrast between them. But it is not limited to one or the other, you can also write a compare and contrast essay to do both of these things in one.
Cause And Effect Essays
This is a type of essay which allows the author to explain the cause of a certain thing as well as being able to explain the effects of it.
When writing a critical essay, the author will be writing about a piece of literature and evaluating it. They will use the good and bad points of the piece in order to do this.
The process essay is a way of outlining or detailing a process. This is done by breaking down the process so that the readers are able to understand it and even perform the process themselves once they have read the essay.
This is a type of essay which is used as a way to synthesis various concepts in order to create a judgement on their good and bad points.
The review essay is one which looks at a piece of literature and gives a review on it based around the good and bad points within it.
The research essay is one which is written based on a research question and aims to give a specific answer to it. The author will research the subject as a way of providing an answer to the question that was posed.
This type of essay is used as way to explain any given piece of written work or literature. They can be written on a variety of types of literature such as poetry, novels or a short story.
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11 thoughts on “What Is an Essay? Different Types of Essays with Examples”
An essay is a written piece of work that presents a writer’s perspective, opinion, or argument on a particular topic. It is a common academic assignment given to students at various educational levels. Essays can be classified into different types based on their purpose, content, and style.
Here are the different types of essays with examples:
Narrative Essay: A narrative essay tells a story about a real-life experience. It includes characters, a plot, and a setting. For example, “My First Day at College.”
Descriptive Essay: A descriptive essay provides a detailed description of a person, place, or thing. It aims to create a vivid picture in the reader’s mind. For example, “The Grand Canyon.”
Expository Essay: An expository essay provides information and explains a topic in detail. It includes facts, statistics, and examples. For example, “The Effects of Smoking on Health.”
Persuasive Essay: A persuasive essay aims to convince the reader to accept the writer’s opinion or point of view. It includes arguments and evidence to support the writer’s stance. For example, “Why Students Should Wear School Uniforms.”
Argumentative Essay: An argumentative essay is similar to a persuasive essay, but it presents a more balanced and well-researched argument. It considers opposing views and evidence to support its claims. For example, “The Benefits and Risks of Vaccines.”
Compare and Contrast Essay: A compare and contrast essay compares two or more things and highlights their similarities and differences. For example, “Differences between Public and Private Schools.”
Cause and Effect Essay: A cause and effect essay explores the reasons why something happens and its consequences. For example, “Causes and Effects of Global Warming.”
Essay writing can be a challenging task for students, especially when they have to deal with multiple assignments with tight deadlines. In such cases, they can seek help from essay writing services. These services provide professional writers who can create high-quality essays based on the given requirements. Students can save time and get good grades by availing themselves of such services. However, it is important to choose a reliable and trustworthy essay writing service to ensure the quality and originality of the work.
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What Different Types of Essays Exist?
Table of content.
- 01. Determining What Types of Essay Writing You Need
- 02. Four Most Common Essay Forms
- 03. What Are the Different Types of Essays? 34 Common Kinds
There are many different types of essays students are asked to write. Some are easy to understand, but most others are either too similar to one another or so complex that even professors’ explanations don’t help much. It becomes a serious hindrance because without knowing what specific essays they’re writing, young people are almost guaranteed to get failing grades.
There are lots of examples of them being assigned an argumentative essay yet writing an analytical paper instead. Their college education largely depends on success in daily academic tasks, so it is vital to learn the difference between assignments. If you feel lost, don’t worry — in our article we will talk about every common type of such assignments in the most detailed way.
Determining What Types of Essay Writing You Need
The first thing students should do after reading their prompt is understand just what type of paper they’re expected to produce. Sometimes it happens instantly: professors explain what type you’ll be writing as they’re passing assignments, so from then on, all you need is figure out how to organize everything. But there are also times when you only have a topic. For example, your prompt says the following: “Prove which city council candidate has better policies.” The question is clear, but how to determine which type it is? Start by identifying key words. In this instance, we should underline “prove,” “which,” “candidate,” and “better.” The first word points at an argument, the last one points at a comparison, so the majority essay forms are automatically eliminated.
Now, ask yourself questions. What is the goal of this topic? Again, an answer is simple: young writers must prove what candidate offers better policies. Proving something usually falls into an argumentative category, but it could be analytical, too. The next clue lies in additional instructions: study them attentively to understand whether professor expects subjective or objective opinion; should counter-arguments be regarded and addressed? This will help you settle on a specific type.
Four Most Common Essay Forms
There are 4 types of essays assigned most frequently. If you learn about them, you’re set by about 60% — other paper kinds are less specific and far easier to write. Take a look at the list below.
- Analytical Essay
It is based on analysis, research, and evaluation of findings. Writers could explore any subject, even controversial, but they must do it from an objective viewpoint, analyzing the existing evidence and making the conclusion on its basis.
- Argumentative Essay
It does resemble analytical papers, but there is a big difference: you should convince your reader that your point is valid by using evidence. Detached objectivity isn’t as crucial here as you could be arguing for the most ridiculous side for fun or out of spite — the goal is to be persuasive and use enough evidence. It could be both a serious and fun essay type.
- Cause and Effect Essay
The name says it all: you should identify the cause of something, explore it, and demonstrate what effect it has. The link between these two is that you should show how one thing leads to another. Some students like focusing on causes in particular while others pay more attention to effects — both options are acceptable.
- Compare and Contrast Essay
This paper is often exciting for college students because it’s an easy and captivating task. Choose two or more things and start comparing as well as contrasting them. Comparison usually concerns differences while contrasting is related to similarities. You could compare/contrast topics, ways of expression, characters’ features, etc.
What Are the Different Types of Essays? 34 Common Kinds
Apart from 4 mentioned categories, there are plenty of other forms of essays. We are going to name them, clarify their main purpose, and list their characteristics. After seeing the table we’ve composed, you won’t have any questions left!
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How Long is an Essay? Guidelines for Different Types of Essay
Published on January 28, 2019 by Shona McCombes . Revised on July 23, 2023.
The length of an academic essay varies depending on your level and subject of study, departmental guidelines, and specific course requirements. In general, an essay is a shorter piece of writing than a research paper or thesis .
In most cases, your assignment will include clear guidelines on the number of words or pages you are expected to write. Often this will be a range rather than an exact number (for example, 2500–3000 words, or 10–12 pages). If you’re not sure, always check with your instructor.
In this article you’ll find some general guidelines for the length of different types of essay. But keep in mind that quality is more important than quantity – focus on making a strong argument or analysis, not on hitting a specific word count.
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Essay length guidelines, how long is each part of an essay, using length as a guide to topic and complexity, can i go under the suggested length, can i go over the suggested length, other interesting articles, here's why students love scribbr's proofreading services.
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In an academic essay, the main body should always take up the most space. This is where you make your arguments, give your evidence, and develop your ideas.
The introduction should be proportional to the essay’s length. In an essay under 3000 words, the introduction is usually just one paragraph. In longer and more complex essays, you might need to lay out the background and introduce your argument over two or three paragraphs.
The conclusion of an essay is often a single paragraph, even in longer essays. It doesn’t have to summarize every step of your essay, but should tie together your main points in a concise, convincing way.
The suggested word count doesn’t only tell you how long your essay should be – it also helps you work out how much information and complexity you can fit into the given space. This should guide the development of your thesis statement , which identifies the main topic of your essay and sets the boundaries of your overall argument.
A short essay will need a focused, specific topic and a clear, straightforward line of argument. A longer essay should still be focused, but it might call for a broader approach to the topic or a more complex, ambitious argument.
As you make an outline of your essay , make sure you have a clear idea of how much evidence, detail and argumentation will be needed to support your thesis. If you find that you don’t have enough ideas to fill out the word count, or that you need more space to make a convincing case, then consider revising your thesis to be more general or more specific.
The length of the essay also influences how much time you will need to spend on editing and proofreading .
You should always aim to meet the minimum length given in your assignment. If you are struggling to reach the word count:
- Add more evidence and examples to each paragraph to clarify or strengthen your points.
- Make sure you have fully explained or analyzed each example, and try to develop your points in more detail.
- Address a different aspect of your topic in a new paragraph. This might involve revising your thesis statement to make a more ambitious argument.
- Don’t use filler. Adding unnecessary words or complicated sentences will make your essay weaker and your argument less clear.
- Don’t fixate on an exact number. Your marker probably won’t care about 50 or 100 words – it’s more important that your argument is convincing and adequately developed for an essay of the suggested length.
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In some cases, you are allowed to exceed the upper word limit by 10% – so for an assignment of 2500–3000 words, you could write an absolute maximum of 3300 words. However, the rules depend on your course and institution, so always check with your instructor if you’re unsure.
Only exceed the word count if it’s really necessary to complete your argument. Longer essays take longer to grade, so avoid annoying your marker with extra work! If you are struggling to edit down:
- Check that every paragraph is relevant to your argument, and cut out irrelevant or out-of-place information.
- Make sure each paragraph focuses on one point and doesn’t meander.
- Cut out filler words and make sure each sentence is clear, concise, and related to the paragraph’s point.
- Don’t cut anything that is necessary to the logic of your argument. If you remove a paragraph, make sure to revise your transitions and fit all your points together.
- Don’t sacrifice the introduction or conclusion . These paragraphs are crucial to an effective essay –make sure you leave enough space to thoroughly introduce your topic and decisively wrap up your argument.
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Did you know the word ‘essay’ is derived from a Latin word ‘exagium’, which roughly translates to presenting one’s case? So essays are a short piece of writing representing one’s side of the argument or one’s experiences, stories, etc. Essays are very personalized. So let us learn about types of essays, format, and tips for essay-writing.
An essay is generally a short piece of writing outlining the writer’s perspective or story . It is often considered synonymous with a story or a paper or an article. Essays can be formal as well as informal. Formal essays are generally academic in nature and tackle serious topics. We will be focusing on informal essays which are more personal and often have humorous elements.
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Get 500+ Essay Topics and Ideas for College and School Students here .
Types of Essays
The type of essay will depend on what the writer wants to convey to his reader. There are broadly four types of essays. Let us see.
- Narrative Essays: This is when the writer is narrating an incident or story through the essay. So these are in the first person. The aim when writing narrative essays is to involve the reader in them as if they were right there when it was happening. So make them as vivid and real as possible. One way to make this possible is to follow the principle of ‘show, don’t tell’. So you must involve the reader in the story.
- Descriptive Essays : Here the writer will describe a place, an object, an event or maybe even a memory. But it is not just plainly describing things. The writer must paint a picture through his words. One clever way to do that is to evoke the senses of the reader. Do not only rely on sight but also involve the other senses of smell, touch, sound etc. A descriptive essay when done well will make the reader feel the emotions the writer was feeling at the moment.
- Expository Essays: In such an essay a writer presents a balanced study of a topic. To write such an essay, the writer must have real and extensive knowledge about the subject. There is no scope for the writer’s feelings or emotions in an expository essay. It is completely based on facts, statistics, examples etc. There are sub-types here like contrast essays, cause and effect essays etc.
- Persuasive Essays : Here the purpose of the essay is to get the reader to your side of the argument. A persuasive essay is not just a presentation of facts but an attempt to convince the reader of the writer’s point of view. Both sides of the argument have to presented in these essays. But the ultimate aim is to persuade the readers that the writer’s argument carries more weight.
Learn more about Letter Writing here in detail .
Format of an Essay
Now there is no rigid format of an essay. It is a creative process so it should not be confined within boundaries. However, there is a basic structure that is generally followed while writing essays. So let us take a look at the general structure of an essay.
This is the first paragraph of your essay. This is where the writer introduces his topic for the very first time. You can give a very brief synopsis of your essay in the introductory paragraph. Some paragraph writing skills can be a help here. Generally, it is not very long, about 4-6 lines.
There is plenty of scopes to get creative in the introduction of essays. This will ensure that you hook the reader, i.e. draw and keep his attention. So to do so you can start with a quote or a proverb . Sometimes you can even start with a definition. Another interesting strategy to engage with your reader is to start with a question.
This is the main crux of your essays. The body is the meat of your essay sandwiched between the introduction and the conclusion. So the most vital and important content of the essay will be here. This need not be confined to one paragraph. It can extend to two or more paragraphs according to the content.
Usually, we have a lot of information to provide in the body. And the mistakes writers generally make is to go about it in a haphazard manner which leaves the reader confused. So it is important to organize your thoughts and content. Write the information in a systematic flow so that the reader can comprehend. So, for example, you were narrating an incident . The best manner to do this would be to go in a chronological order.
Learn more about Story Writing here in detail .
This is the last paragraph of the essay. Sometimes a conclusion will just mirror the introductory paragraph but make sure the words and syntax are different. A conclusion is also a great place to sum up a story or an argument. You can round up your essay by providing some moral or wrapping up a story. Make sure you complete your essays with the conclusion, leave no hanging threads.
Tips for Essay Writing
- Give your essays an interesting and appropriate title. It will help draw the attention of the reader and pique their curiosity
- Keep it between 300-500 words. This is the ideal length, you can take creative license to increase or decrease it
- Keep your language simple and crisp. Unnecessary complicated and difficult words break the flow of the sentence.
- Do not make grammar mistakes , use correct punctuation and spellings . If this is not done it will distract the reader from the content
- Before beginning the essay organize your thought and plot a rough draft . This way you can ensure the story will flow and not be an unorganized mess.
Solved Question for You
Q: What is a thesis statement of essays?
Ans: The thesis statement is a clear, one-sentence explanation of your position that leaves no doubt in the readers’ mind about which side you are on from the beginning of your essay.
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What is a Descriptive Essay? How to Write It (with Examples)
A descriptive essay is a type of creative writing that uses specific language to depict a person, object, experience, or event. The idea is to use illustrative language to show readers what the writer wants to convey – it could be as simple as a peaceful view from the top of a hill or as horrific as living in a war zone. By using descriptive language, authors can evoke a mental image in the readers’ minds, engaging readers and leaving a lasting impression, instead of just providing a play-by-play narrative.
Note that a description and descriptive essay are not the same thing. A descriptive essay typically consists of five or more well-written paragraphs with vivid imagery that can help readers visualize the content, as opposed to a description, which is typically one or more plain paragraphs with no particular structure or appeal. If you are still unsure about how to write a compelling descriptive essay, continue reading!
Table of Contents
What is a descriptive essay, types of descriptive essay topics.
- Characteristics of descriptive essays
How to write a descriptive essay using a structured outline
Frequently asked questions.
A simple descriptive essay definition is that it is a piece of writing that gives a thorough and vivid description of an object, person, experience, or situation. It is sometimes focused more on the emotional aspect of the topic rather than the specifics. The author’s intention when writing a descriptive essay is to help readers visualize the subject at hand. Generally, students are asked to write a descriptive essay to test their ability to recreate a rich experience with artistic flair. Here are a few key points to consider when you begin writing these.
- Look for a fascinating subject
You might be assigned a topic for your descriptive essay, but if not, you must think of a subject that interests you and about which you know enough facts. It might be about an emotion, place, event, or situation that you might have experienced.
- Acquire specific details about the topic
The next task is to collect relevant information about the topic of your choice. You should focus on including details that make the descriptive essay stand out and have a long-lasting impression on the readers. To put it simply, your aim is to make the reader feel as though they were a part of the experience in the first place, rather than merely describing the subject.
- Be playful with your writing
To make the descriptive essay memorable, use figurative writing and imagery to lay emphasis on the specific aspect of the topic. The goal is to make sure that the reader experiences the content visually, so it must be captivating and colorful. Generally speaking, “don’t tell, show”! This can be accomplished by choosing phrases that evoke strong emotions and engage a variety of senses. Making use of metaphors and similes will enable you to compare different things. We will learn about them in the upcoming sections.
- Capture all the different senses
Unlike other academic articles, descriptive essay writing uses sensory elements in addition to the main idea. In this type of essay writing, the topic is described by using sensory details such as smell, taste, feel, and touch. Example “ Mahira feels most at home when the lavender scent fills her senses as she lays on her bed after a long, tiring day at work . As the candle melts , so do her worries” . It is crucial to provide sensory details to make the character more nuanced and build intrigue to keep the reader hooked. Metaphors can also be employed to explain abstract concepts; for instance, “ A small act of kindness creates ripples that transcend oceans .” Here the writer used a metaphor to convey the emotion that even the smallest act of kindness can have a larger impact.
- Maintain harmony between flavor and flow
The descriptive essay format is one that can be customized according to the topic. However, like other types of essays, it must have an introduction, body paragraphs, and a conclusion. The number of body paragraphs can vary depending on the topic and available information.
It is crucial to remember that a descriptive essay should have a specific topic and goal, such as sharing personal experiences or expressing emotions like the satisfaction of a good meal. This is accomplished by employing exact language, imagery, and figurative language to illustrate concrete features. These language devices allow the writer to craft a descriptive essay that effectively transmits a particular mood, feeling, or incident to readers while also conjuring up strong mental imagery. A descriptive essay may be creative, or it may be based on the author’s own experiences. Below is a description of a few descriptive essay examples that fit into these categories.
- Personal descriptive essay example
A personal essay can look like a descriptive account of your favorite activity, a place in your neighborhood, or an object that you value. Example: “ As I step out of the front door, the crisp morning air greets me with a gentle embrace; the big chestnut tree in front, sways in the wind as if saying hello to me. The world unfolds in a symphony of awakening colors, promising a day filled with untold possibilities that make me feel alive and grateful to be born again”.
- Imaginative descriptive essay example
You may occasionally be required to write descriptive essays based on your imagination or on subjects unrelated to your own experiences. The prompts for these kinds of creative essays could be to describe the experience of someone going through heartbreak or to write about a day in the life of a barista. Imaginative descriptive essays also allow you to describe different emotions. Example, the feelings a parent experiences on holding their child for the first time.
Characteristics of descriptive essay s
The aim of a descriptive essay is to provide a detailed and vivid description of a person, place, object, event, or experience. The main goal is to create a sensory experience for the reader. Through a descriptive essay, the reader may be able to experience foods, locations, activities, or feelings that they might not otherwise be able to. Additionally, it gives the writer a way to relate to the readers by sharing a personal story. The following is a list of the essential elements of a descriptive essay:
- Sensory details
- Clear, succinct language
- Organized structure
- Thesis statement
- Appeal to emotion
How to write a descriptive essay, with examples
Writing an engaging descriptive essay is all about bringing the subject matter to life for the reader so they can experience it with their senses—smells, tastes, and textures. The upside of writing a descriptive essay is you don’t have to stick to the confinements of formal essay writing, rather you are free to use a figurative language, with sensory details, and clever word choices that can breathe life to your descriptive essay. Let’s take a closer look at how you can use these components to develop a descriptive essay that will stand out, using examples.
- Figurative language
Have you ever heard the expression “shooting for the stars”? It refers to pushing someone to strive higher or establish lofty goals, but it does not actually mean shooting for the stars. This is an example of using figurative language for conveying strong motivational emotions. In a descriptive essay, figurative language is employed to grab attention and emphasize points by creatively drawing comparisons and exaggerations. But why should descriptive essays use metaphorical language? One it adds to the topic’s interest and humor; two, it facilitates the reader’s increased connection to the subject.
These are the five most often used figurative language techniques: personification, metaphor, simile, hyperbole, and allusion.
- Simile: A simile is a figure of speech that is used to compare two things while emphasizing and enhancing the description using terms such as “like or as.”
Example: Life is like riding a bicycle. To keep your balance, you must keep moving – Albert Einstein
- Metaphor: A metaphor are also used to draw similarities, but without using direct or literal comparisons like done in similes.
Example: Books are the mirrors of the soul – Virginia Woolf, Between the acts
- Personification: This is the process of giving nonhuman or abstract objects human traits. Any human quality, including an emotional component, a physical attribute, or an action, can be personified.
Example: Science knows no country, because knowledge belongs to humanity, and is the torch which illuminates the world – Louis Pasteur
- Hyperbole: This is an extreme form of exaggeration, frequently impractical, and usually employed to emphasize a point or idea. It gives the character more nuance and complexity.
Example: The force will be with you, always – Star Wars
- Allusion: This is when you reference a person, work, or event without specifically mentioning them; this leaves room for the reader’s creativity.
Example: In the text below, Robert Frost uses the biblical Garden of Eden as an example to highlight the idea that nothing, not even paradise, endures forever.
Then leaf subsides to leaf.
So Eden sank to grief,
So dawn goes down to day.
Nothing gold can stay
– Nothing Gold Can Stay by Robert Frost (1923)
Descriptive essays need a combination of figurative language and strong sensory details to make the essay more memorable. This is when authors describe the subject matter employing senses like smell, sound, touch, and taste so that the reader can relate to it better.
Example of a sensory-based descriptive essay: The earthy fragrance of freshly roasted chestnuts and the sight of bright pink, red, orange fallen leaves on the street reminded her that winter was around the corner.
- Word choice
Word choice is everything in a descriptive essay. For the description to be enchanting, it is essential to utilize the right adjectives and to carefully consider the verbs, nouns, and adverbs. Use unusual terms and phrases that offer a new viewpoint on your topic matter instead of overusing clichés like “fast as the wind” or “lost track of time,” which can make your descriptive essay seem uninteresting and unoriginal.
See the following examples:
Bad word choice: I was so happy because the sunset was really cool.
Good word choice: I experienced immense joy as the sunset captivated me with its remarkable colors and breathtaking beauty.
- Descriptive essay format and outline
Descriptive essay writing does not have to be disorganized, it is advisable to use a structured format to organize your thoughts and ensure coherent flow in your writing. Here is a list of components that should be a part of your descriptive essay outline:
- Opening/hook sentence
- Topic sentence
- Body paragraphs
- Concrete details
- Clincher statement
- Hook: An opening statement that captures attention while introducing the subject.
- Background: Includes a brief overview of the topic the descriptive essay is based on.
- Thesis statement: Clearly states the main point or purpose of the descriptive essay.
Body paragraphs: Each paragraph should have
- Topic sentence: Introduce the first aspect or feature you will describe. It informs the reader about what is coming next.
- Sensory details: Use emphatic language to appeal to the reader’s senses (sight, sound, touch, taste, and smell).
- Concrete details: These are actual details needed to understand the context of the descriptive essay.
- Supporting details: Include relevant information or examples to improve the description.
- Summarize key points: Here you revisit the main features or aspects of the subject.
- Restate thesis statement: Reinforce the central impression or emotion.
- Clincher statement: Conclude with a statement that summarizes the entire essay and serve as the last words with a powerful message.
Revision and editing:
- Go over your essay to make sure it is coherent, clear, and consistent.
- Check for logical paragraph transitions by proofreading the content.
- Examine text to ensure correct grammar, punctuation, and style.
- Use the thesaurus or AI paraphrasing tools to find the right words.
A descriptive essay often consists of three body paragraphs or more, an introduction that concludes with a thesis statement, and a conclusion that summarizes the subject and leaves a lasting impression on readers.
A descriptive essay’s primary goal is to captivate the reader by writing a thorough and vivid explanation of the subject matter, while appealing to their various senses. A list of additional goals is as follows: – Spark feeling and imagination – Create a vivid experience – Paint a mental picture – Pique curiosity – Convey a mood or atmosphere – Highlight specific details
Although they both fall within the creative writing category, narrative essays and descriptive essays have different storytelling focuses. While the main goal of a narrative essay is to tell a story based on a real-life experience or a made-up event, the main goal of a descriptive essay is to vividly describe a person, location, event, or emotion.
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Types of Essays
Most students meet certain problems when it comes to essay writing . The main reason for this is that they don't fully understand what it should be like.
- An essay is aimed to show your personal opinion about the subject.
- It should also contain a message to convey, and it is to have a purpose.
- You have to consider different points of view and write your essay with the sense of full understanding of the topic.
Our service provides professionals that are ready to help you with your essay. All your requirements will be taken into account so you can save your time and nerves for something more interesting.
There are 10 basic types of essay that are widespread in the world of academic writing. They are:
- descriptive essay
- definition essay
- compare and contrast essay
- cause and effect essay
- narrative essay
- process essay
- argumentative essay
- critical essay
- expository essay
- persuasive essay
These are just patterns that you have to fill with certain information and viewpoints. You are to understand the subject as well as be direct in expressing your ideas.
1. Descriptive Essay
This type of essay is designed for describing details of the subject. It can be written about any object and its features. You are to describe the way it looks, smells or works. It can be compared with a detailed overview of the things you write about. In this type of essay, every detail counts.
2. Definition Essay
The ultimate goal of the definition essay is to focus on the definition of the subject. It may focus on different things or various origins.
The point of this type of essay is to explain something on a higher level than dictionaries do.
Here you are to delve into the subject to get the understanding of what it is, how people perceive it, what it associated with.
3. Compare & Contrast Essay
This type of essay is aimed to dwell upon on differences and similarities between two objects, events, things, etc. The reader should receive a clear understanding of what certain things have in common and what is different about them. The writer has to be well informed about both subjects in order to provide the reader with a clear comparison of the two subjects.
4. Cause & Effect Essay
This type of essay is destined to focus on the sequence of an event and the result of it. It reminds some a study where you are to show what cause has led to a particular result. In case there are more causes than results or fewer causes than results the writer has to explore them separately. The cause & effect essay requires the writer to draw a logical connection between the reasons of a certain event. To write a good essay of that type it is necessary to study the works on the similar topics to have a better understanding of how such research is done.
5. Narrative Essay
This type of essay is aimed at telling a story about a certain event in a person's life. It may be a funny festival or a watching a good movie in the cinema, everyday activity or visiting another country. In such essay, you are free to express your personal attitude towards things that affected you, places that you liked or people you were with. It is usually written in the 1st person with a frequent usage of "I."
6. Process Essay
When it comes to a process essay , one may find certain similarities with a cause and effect essay. This type of paper required the same level of understanding of the subject and how it works. It sometimes resembles a manual where the instructions to do something are given. To write this essay better, you are to perform the described process if possible as it is easier to tell about something you know well and good at.
7. Argumentative Essay
When it comes to this type of essay, it should be noted that it is quite useful for any student on any level of education. The ultimate goal of this essay is to persuade the reader to take the author's viewpoint. It is not an easy thing to do as this paper is aimed at manipulating the other people's thoughts to change their attitude towards something.
For this writing, you are to use firm language, proved facts and accurate and vivid illustrations as an evidence of your argument should be flawless. Stripped of these items your argumentative essay won't be persuasive enough and your influence on the reader will be minimal. Skilled writers are to be completely sure about every word they write and every fact they give. There is no room for mistakes and uncertainty. What makes this type of essay more difficult is that you have to be ready to fight against opposing ideas, and your paper should contain the antidote to the critics of your viewpoint.
8. Critical Essay
This type of essay focuses on weak and strong features of something. It is aimed at giving a characteristic of the subject to make reader aware of what you consider to be good or bad about it. These papers usually dwell upon how something is done or written. Did the author manage to do it correctly or not? Was his work persuasive? Was he successful in delivering his message to the audience? These are the questions you will have to answer in your essay.
The difficulty of this essay lies in the fact that you have to be well informed and have a deep understanding of the essence of the subject you criticize.
9. Expository Essay
When it comes to an expository essay , keep in mind that it is aimed at an estimation of the subject from your point of view. That is why it requires research to be carried out. It is not an easy type of essay as your knowledge of the subject has to be based not only on the information you get from someone else but mostly on your own experience.
This type of essay can give you skills in organizing and manner of doing your own research. This practice is by no means very important as it can lead you to results that can be groundbreaking. It may take lots of time, but it is worth doing. Surprisingly, this feature makes this paper easier at the same time. In fact, it is more comfortable to write about something you know well and something you are sure about than digging into the information that was received from someone else. Perhaps you could contribute something new to the subject and show something that was never seen before.
Don't forget that your opinion is the foundation of your essay. Though, your paper should be long extensive and well written.
10. Persuasive Essay
This type of essay is opposite to an argumentative essay. It is aimed at changing the readers' point of view completely, taking the author's one as an axiom. It is a stronger and more difficult type of essay as it requires a better understanding of the subject and good skills in criticizing the opponents.
In most cases, persuasive essays deal with topics that are relevant here and today. A persuasive essay should be very tough and influential. By writing it, you show that you are really good at something and that you are sure that your opinion is ultimately correct. You may lose your audience the very moment you lose your integrity.
Remember that your essay has to be solid as a wall because your personal traits have no influence on a reader. It doesn't matter how you look, speak or wear. The only weapons of yours are words. Your audience should want to accept your viewpoint as the only one that makes sense.
It is not an easy task to do. That is why it requires much practice. It is a long way to master your language to influence other people with it, but this skill is highly important in many aspects of life. Don't worry if your first results will not be good enough. The more you try, the better you become.
These are the most common types of essays that are widespread in academic life. Each of them requires certain skills and talents. But don’t be scared in case you find yourself unable to write them. Our service is a perfect helper for those who are in need. Our essay writers can cope with any essay, on any topic, of any length. Our reputation is undisputed, so any trouble with academic writing of yours is our job!
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IELTS Task 2 Essays Understand the 5 Different Types
There are 5 main types of IELTS Task 2 essays:
1) Opinion Essays
2) Discussion Essays
3) Problem Solution Essays
4) Advantages & Disadvantages Essays
5) Double Question Essays
Most questions fit one of these categories. However, questions can be written in many different ways, which can make it difficult to determine which type they are.
On this page, I want to give you an overview of all 5 IELTS Task 2 essay types, with samples questions to help you recognise some of the different wording often used. I’ve also included a basic structure for each that you can use to as a guide for essay planning, a vital step in the writing process.
I go into each type of question in more detail on its own page. Click the links above or at the bottom of this page to see these.
First, here’s the basic 4 part structure I recommend that you use for Task 2 essays:
2) Main Body Paragraph 1
3) Main Body Paragraph 2
Want to watch and listen to this lesson?
Click on this video.
The sort of information you include in each of the 4 sections will vary depending on the question type and that’s what I’m now going to outline for you.
These easy to learn structures will enable you to quickly plan and write any IELTS Task 2 essay.
The structures below are not the only ones you could use but they are the ones I recommend because they’re simple and give proven results.
1) Opinion Essays
These are sometimes called ‘agree or disagree’ or ‘argumentative’ essays and are one of the most common types of IELTS Task 2 question.
The first part of the question will be a statement. You will then be asked to give your own opinion about the statement. Here is some typical wording that might be used:
- What is your opinion?
- Do you agree or disagree?
- To what extent do you agree or disagree?
Here is an example of each:
- Choose one side of the argument.
- State your opinion clearly in the introduction.
- Keep the same opinion throughout the essay.
- Give reasons why you hold this view.
It doesn’t matter which side of the argument you take or even that you agree with it. Choose the one you can develop the best argument for.
Don’t change your opinion part way through the essay and don’t give reasons for the opposing idea.
- Paraphrase the question
- Give your opinion
- State two supporting reasons
2) Main body paragraph 1
- Topic sentence – outline 1st reason for supporting this view
- Explanation – explain this idea
- Example – give an example
3) Main body paragraph 2
- Topic sentence – outline 2nd reason for supporting this view
- Summarise opinion and key reasons
2) Discussion Essays
In discussion essays, you have to discuss both sides of an argument. Usually, you will be asked for your own opinion as well.
The easiest way to approach this type of IELTS Task 2 question is to choose one point of view to agree with and one side to disagree with.
Here are 3 examples of discussion essay questions:
- Develop both sides of the argument.
- Talk about the view you don’t agree with first.
A big mistake many students make is to fully develop only one point of view. This leads to an unbalanced essay and a low score for task achievement.
It is easier to begin by discussing the opinion you don’t agree with and then present the reasons for your opposing view.
2) Main body paragraph 1 – Negative Viewpoint
- Topic sentence – outline the view you don’t agree with
- Explanation – explain why this view is held by some people
3) Main body paragraph 2 – Positive Viewpoint
- Topic sentence – outline the view you do agree with
- Summarise the key points and state your opinion
3) Problem Essays
These are sometimes called ‘causes and solutions’ or ‘problems and solutions’ essays. This type of IELTS Task 2 question starts with a statement, then asks you to discuss the problems or causes and the solutions.
- Don’t list lots of causes and solutions.
- Choose just one or two and develop them fully.
- Be sure to link each problem/cause and its solution.
A common mistake is for candidates to list all the problems/causes and solutions they can think of, not necessarily linking them together. They also fail to explain any of them in detail and don’t include any examples.
The wording of this type of essay question can vary considerably. Here are 3 examples of problem essay questions:
- State 1 key problem/cause and related solution
2) Main body paragraph 1 – Problem or Cause
- Topic sentence – state the problem or cause
- Explanation – give detail explaining the problem or cause
3) Main body paragraph 2 – Solution
- Topic sentence – state the solution
- Explanation – give detail explaining the solution
4) Advantages & Disadvantages Essays
The first part of the question will be a statement. You will be asked to write about both the advantages and disadvantages of the idea stated.
Here is some typical wording that might be used:
- What are the advantages and disadvantages of….?
- Do you think the advantages outweigh the disadvantages?
- Discuss the advantages and disadvantages and give your opinion.
Here are 3 examples of advantages and disadvantages essay questions:
Each of these different types of questions fits into one of two slightly different essay structures. We’ll look at these in detail on the main IELTS Task 2 Advantages & Disadvantages Essays page. For now, I’ll give you the basic structure.
- Outline the view or views stated the statement
2) Main body paragraph 1 – Advantage
- Topic sentence – state 1 advantage
- Explanation – give detail explaining the advantage
- Result – state the result
3) Main body paragraph 2 – Disadvantage
- Topic sentence – state 1 disadvantage
- Explanation – give detail explaining the disadvantage
- Summarise the key points
- State your opinion if required
5) Double Question Essays
This type of IELTS Task 2 question is sometimes called a ‘direct question’ or ‘two questions’ essay. It has one statement with two different questions after it. The questions may or may not be linked.
- You must answer both questions fully.
- Don’t confuse it with an opinion or a discussion essay.
- Be careful that you don’t end up with too many ideas to write about.
Here are 3 examples of double question essay questions:
- Outline sentence – state your answer to both questions
2) Main body paragraph 1 – Answer question 1
- Topic sentence – state your answer
- Explanation – explain why you think this
3) Main body paragraph 2 – Answer question 2
- Summarise both questions and answers
I hope you’ve found this information useful. You can learn lots more about writing the 5 different types of IELTS Task 2 essay and see sample answers on these pages:
The 5 Task 2 Essay Types:
Step-by-step instructions on how to plan & write high-level essays. Model answers & common mistakes to avoid.
Problem Solution Essays
Advantages & Disadvantages Essays
Double Question Essays
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More help with ielts task 2.
IELTS Writing Task 2 – T he format, the 5 question types, the 5 step essay writing strategy & sample questions. All the key information you need to know.
Understanding Task 2 Questions – How to quickly and easily analyse and understand IELTS Writing Task 2 questions.
How To Plan a Task 2 Essay – Discover why essay planning is essential & learn a simple 4 step strategy, the 4 part essay structure & 4 methods of generating ideas.
How To Write a Task 2 Introduction – Find out why a good introduction is essential. Learn how to write one using a simple 3 part strategy & discover 4 common mistakes to avoid.
How To Write Task 2 Main Body Paragraphs – Learn the simple 3 part structure for writing great main body paragraphs and also, 3 common mistakes to avoid.
How To Write Task 2 Conclusions – Learn the easy way to write the perfect conclusion for a Task 2 essay. Also discover 4 common mistakes to avoid.
Task 2 Marking Criteria – Find out how to meet the marking criteria for IELTS Task 2. See examples of good and poor answers & learn some common mistakes to avoid.
Other related pages:
IELTS Writing Test – Understand the format & marking criteria, know what skills are assessed & learn the difference between the Academic & General writing tests.
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Types of Outlines and Samples
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This is the most common type of outline and usually instantly recognizable to most people. The formatting follows these characters, in this order:
- Roman Numerals
- Capitalized Letters
- Arabic Numerals
- Lowercase Letters
If the outline needs to subdivide beyond these divisions, use Arabic numerals inside parentheses and then lowercase letters inside parentheses. Select the "Sample Outlines" PDF in the Media Box above to download the sample of this outline.
The sample PDF in the Media Box above is an example of an outline that a student might create before writing an essay. In order to organize her thoughts and make sure that she has not forgotten any key points that she wants to address, she creates the outline as a framework for her essay.
What is the assignment?
Your instructor asks the class to write an expository (explanatory) essay on the typical steps a high school student would follow in order to apply to college.
What is the purpose of this essay?
To explain the process for applying to college
Who is the intended audience for this essay?
High school students intending to apply to college and their parents
What is the essay's thesis statement?
When applying to college, a student follows a certain process which includes choosing the right schools and preparing the application materials.
Full Sentence Outlines
The full sentence outline format is essentially the same as the Alphanumeric outline. The main difference (as the title suggests) is that full sentences are required at each level of the outline. This outline is most often used when preparing a traditional essay. Select the "Sample Outlines" PDF in the Media Box above to download the sample of this outline.
The decimal outline is similar in format to the alphanumeric outline. The added benefit is a system of decimal notation that clearly shows how every level of the outline relates to the larger whole. Select the "Sample Outlines" PDF in the Media Box above to download the sample of this outline.
Essay Writing Guide
20+ Hook Examples to Grab Reader’s Attention
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Last updated on: Nov 22, 2023
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Are your essays falling flat with a disinterested audience? Do you find it challenging to keep readers engaged from start to finish?
The truth is, if you don't capture your reader's attention right away, they might just click away or, worse, never even start reading your essay.
But how can we make sure that does not happen?
An essay hook is what you need to meet this challenge. It is an attention grabber that hooks your reader’s interest.
Here, we will discuss several catchy hook examples to make your piece of writing more engaging. You can also read the types of hooks and tips to write effective hook statements for your essay.
So, let’s start with the blog!
On This Page On This Page -->
What is an Essay Hook?
An essay hook, often found at the beginning of an essay introduction , serves as an opening sentence that immediately grabs the reader's attention. These hooks are a common feature in high school, college, and various academic assignments.
It's vital to understand that hooks are distinct from introductions; they complement introductions rather than replacing them. A well-crafted hook should be self-contained, avoiding the pitfalls of being dull or predictable.
Purpose of Hook in Writing
An effective hook serves two primary purposes.
- Firstly, it sets the tone for the essay by providing the reader with a glimpse of the topic's essence.
- Secondly, it constructs a compelling introduction that tempts the reader to dive deeper into the essay's content.
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Examples of Different Types of Hook
In this section, we will explore different types of essay hooks and hook sentence examples. We will look into how these hooks can be used for writing different academic papers.
You can grab the reader’s attention by asking them an intriguing question that they would want to know the answer to. When posing a question, think about the interest of the reader and the things they would want to learn more about.
Avoid making your question generalized or simple Yes or No questions. For instance, asking a general question such as “Do you watch television?” won’t grab their attention and make them think it over.
Using rhetorical questions to engage the reader is always a good idea!
Question Hook Example
Here are 10 hook question examples:
An anecdote can be a personal story or a product of your imagination. Provided that the story is relevant to your focus topic.
Typically, an anecdote is a funny statement, written to make the reader laugh and want to continue reading further.
Our lives are full of stories. Every day something interesting, funny, or strange happens. So, why don’t you use such stories to attract the reader’s attention?
Anecdote Hook Example
An anecdotal hook should be directly related to the central theme of the paper, demonstrating its relevance and connection to the main idea.
A "quote hook" is a type of hook used in writing that involves opening an essay with a quotation from a notable person, a famous author, or a respected source. The purpose of a quote hook is to immediately capture the reader's attention and establish the relevance of the topic by providing an authoritative statement.
A well-chosen quote can add credibility to your writing, evoke emotion, or introduce a key theme or idea that you intend to explore in your essay. It can also set the tone for the piece, whether it's persuasive, informative, or narrative.
Quotation Hook Example
The following is a quotation hook example that you can consider for your essay.
Fact or statistic hook is a type of hook used in writing that involves opening an essay or piece of content with a numerical fact or data point. The purpose of a statistical facts hook is to immediately engage the reader's interest by presenting them with a surprising, statistic related to the essay's topic.
This type of hook is particularly effective when writing an informative essay or persuasive essays that rely on data and evidence to support the main argument.
Statistical Hook Example
Below is an interesting statistical hook example:
Starting a piece of writing with a personal short story is a good idea when writing narrative essays or a college application essay .
It doesn’t have to be an experience that you faced firsthand; it could be something that happened with a friend or a relative.
Personal Story Hook Example
Here is a great hook example for a personal story essay that you can consider.
This hook is a vivid description of a scene or event to draw readers' attention to your writing. A well-written descriptive hook will make your readers want to know more about what is in the rest of your paper.
Descriptive hooks are most commonly used in narrative essays but can be used in any type of writing.
Description Hook Essay Example
The following is an interesting example of a description hook that you can read for your better understanding.
The metaphor/simile hook is used to help readers think about a particular topic in a different way. Your readers will think about the meaning and the context in which the topic is being addressed.
A metaphor directly compares two things that are not related to each other.
Metaphor/Simile Hook Example
When writing book reviews, it is often a good idea to use literary quotes. However, it is important to keep in mind that these quotes may not be appropriate for use in persuasive or expository essays .
We remember visual information more efficiently than words. When we see something, our brains quickly turn it into a picture. Scenes are often used in descriptive or narrative essays.
Scene Hook Example
Hook examples for types of essays.
There are different types of essays according to their structure and purpose. For instance, an argumentative essay is a serious essay written to persuade the reader on an argument. Whereas a narrative essay could be a light-hearted narration of an event.
You can not use a funny question to start an argumentative essay. Similarly, you can not use a serious fact to start a funny narrative essay.
The table shows hook examples for essays:
Let’s explore in detail some interesting hook examples according to different types of essays.
Expository Essay Hook Example
Hook: "Did you know that bees are responsible for pollinating one-third of the world's crops?"
Explanation: This hook explains the surprising and essential role that bees play in our food production, setting the stage for an expository essay that will explore this topic in detail.
Argumentative Essay Hook Example
Hook: "Is the use of technology making us more connected or driving us further apart as a society?"
Explanation: This hook presents a thought-provoking question about the impact of technology on human relationships, signaling that the argumentative essay will analyze and argue different perspectives on this issue.
Descriptive Essay Hook Example
A hook example sentence for a descriptive essay is as follows:
Hook: "Imagine standing on a pristine white beach, the turquoise waves gently caressing your toes, and the scent of saltwater filling the air."
Explanation: This hook invites the reader to visualize a tranquil scene, creating anticipation for a descriptive essay that will provide vivid details and sensory experiences of this beautiful location.
Persuasive Essay Hook Example
A hook example sentence for a persuasive essay is as follows:
Hook: "What if I told you that a simple change in diet could extend your lifespan by years?"
Explanation: This hook raises a compelling question about the potential health benefits of dietary choices, hinting at the persuasive argument that will follow in the essay.
Narrative Essay Hook Example
A hook example for narration is as follows: Hook: “I am really not sure if it is a real memory or just something that became more solid over time. But I am not sure that my neighbor once tried to murder me.”
Explanation: This hook introduces doubt about the authenticity of a memory involving the neighbor's alleged murder attempt.
Compare and Contrast Essay Hook Example
Hook: "Apples and oranges—two fruits that couldn't be more different in taste, texture, and appearance." Explanation: This hook highlights the contrast between apples and oranges, signaling that the compare and contrast essay will explore the differences and similarities between these two fruits.
Process Essay Hook Example
A hook example sentence for a process analysis essay is as follows:
Hook: "Have you ever wondered how your favorite chocolate chip cookies are made?"
Explanation: This hook engages the reader's curiosity about the process of making chocolate chip cookies, setting the stage for a process essay that will provide step-by-step instructions.
Cause and Effect Essay Hook Example
A hook example sentence for a cause and effect essay is as follows:
Hook: "In the realm of environmental science, the butterfly effect is real."
Explanation: This hook introduces the concept of the butterfly effect and its relevance to environmental science, foreshadowing a cause and effect essay that will explore the ripple effects of small actions on the environment.
Analytical Essay Hook Example
A hook example sentence for a analytical essay is as follows:
Hook: "Unlocking the hidden layers of Shakespearean sonnets is like deciphering a cryptic code."
Explanation: This hook uses a metaphor to describe the complexity of analyzing Shakespearean sonnets, indicating that the analytical essay will delve into the intricate language and themes within these works.
Hook Examples In Speeches
Hook: “In the United States, people are still fighting to be free. Many are fighting for free access to resources, free speech, and even the right to marry.”
Hook: “Getting revenge can easily become an obsession for many people. Some really crave for that kind of thing when they are being wronged.”
How to Choose a Good Hook?
Choosing a good hook involves engaging your audience, creating interest, and setting the stage for your content. Here is how to choose a good hook:
- Know Your Audience: Understand the interests and preferences of your target audience.
- Relevance is Key: Ensure your hook directly relates to your content's topic.
- Shock or Surprise: Use shocking facts, surprising statistics, or intriguing anecdotes.
- Tell a Story: Engage emotionally with personal stories or narratives.
- Pose a Question: Ask thought-provoking questions that make readers curious.
- Quotations: Share powerful quotes from relevant authorities.
- Visual Imagery: Use descriptive language to create vivid mental images.
- Conciseness: Keep your hook brief and to the point.
- Test and Refine: Experiment with different hooks and refine based on audience response.
Now that you have learned various techniques for crafting effective hooks, you're well-prepared to start writing one.
Tough Essay Due? Hire Tough Writers!
How to Write a Good Essay Hook?
Here are the points that you need to keep in mind to write a hook for your essay.
Step#1 Know the Kind of Literary Work
First, it is important to have a clear vision in mind of the literary work you have selected for your paper. Here you need to describe what a certain essay type demands and what types of techniques you require to support your arguments in your essay.
Step#2 Create an Outline
Always create an essay outline to see how the information can be organized better and which points need to be highlighted. Try to find an attention grabber that adds to the significance of that point.
Step#3 Who are You Writing for?
Know your target audience and choose a way in which you want to develop your work. Your hook statement should be according to it. If you are writing for children, write in simple language. If you are writing for professionals, take the specific language into account.
Step#4 Know the Purpose of Writing Your Essay
Choose hooks that fit your paper. Know the type of essay you are writing and its purpose. You can go for funny hooks if you are writing a paper on a light topic. If you are writing a conference paper, then you should be more formal.
To Sum it Up!
Now you know the different ways to start your essay or research paper. You are the one to decide which hook is better and more effective to use according to the type of paper. Don’t forget to take into account the preparatory steps and figure out what type of hook is best to use.
You know that starting with a hook can make or break your academic essay. However, it is not always easy to come up with the perfect anecdote or statement for an opening line.
Luckily, you can get help from a legit essay writing service like MyPerfectWords.com , which can create perfect essays and do your paper for you. You may be asking yourself why you should use this service instead of creating one yourself and here's your answer - getting high-quality academic writing help from our professional essay writer at affordable prices is a good deal!
Avail your chance and order your essay now.
Frequently Asked Questions
What is a good hook sentence.
A good hook sentence is a sentence that grabs the reader’s attention or compels them to read your essay further. It is supposed to make your essay more interesting and engaging for them.
A great technique to use is starting out by making an assertive claim about your topic. This will help in grabbing the reader’s attention the moment they begin reading your essay.
What comes first, thesis or hook?
The hook of your essay is the first line of your introductory paragraph or can be more than one also. But the essay hook is written first.
A thesis statement follows it. It is included as a mini-outline of the essay and tells the readers about the essay’s content. Further on, the transitional hook sentence is added at the end of the paragraph.
What is the purpose of a hook?
The main and foremost purpose of a hook is to grab the attention of readers and hook them to your work. It creates an interesting and enticing start to an essay or any other assignment and connects the readers to your work.
What is a hook statement?
The hook is the first sentence of your introduction, and it should be interesting. A great way to start your introduction is by writing an engaging, concise, and clear hook. This will spark curiosity in the reader, which leads them through all that you have written about.
How long is a hook in an essay?
The hook is 1-2 sentences of your essay are important because they help capture the reader's attention. They will continue reading if they are interested in what you have to say.
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How Many Types of Writing Task 1 are there in IELTS? Study for Getting the Best Marks in Your Exam
An IELTS Preparation usually requires an individual a total of 60 minutes to complete. But there are basically two tasks in the IELTS exam – Task 1 and Task 2. Out of these two tasks, the first task requires an individual a total of 20 minutes to complete. On the other hand, task 2 of the IELTS exam requires an individual a total of 150 minutes to complete.
Today, we’ll be talking about task 1 of the IELTS exam which will just require you 20 minutes to complete, thus a preparation for the shorter period of time as compared to the second task.
Let’s first learn about what an IELTS exam is?
Also Read: Does the IELTS Essay Question Repeat? Here’s all about the IELTS Writing Task 2
What is an IELTS Exam?
IELTS, also known as the International English Language Testing System, is a test of the English language proficiency of an individual that he/she has to go through when they have decided to either live, study, or shift abroad permanently or on a temporary basis.
English is one of the world’s most popular and respected languages in the entire world that is used for the education and migration of an individual.
Any individual who has decided to apply for the IELTS exam has to go through various phases of the exam and test their abilities for the exam in four different categories. These are:
Now, let’s turn towards focusing on learning about the two types of tests. The writing tasks explained are as follows:
Types of Writing Task in IELTS
The IELTS Writing Task is an essay that requires an individual to write, both for the academic as well as the general tests. You, as an individual would be provided with a topic that you’re supposed to write a minimum of 250 words upon.
There are five main types of essay questions being asked in the Writing task of an IELTS exam. These are:
- Opinion Essay
- Discussion Essay
- Problem Solution Essay
- Advantages and Disadvantages Essay
- Double Question Essay
Most of the questions being asked in this exam can be written in so many different ways that make it difficult for an individual to determine the type of this exam. A basic structure for answering the questions in the IELTS exam could be like:
- Main Body Paragraph One
- Main Body Paragraph Two
Now, let’s turn towards learning about task one of this paper.
Also Read: Which Tense to Use in IELTS Writing Task 2? Learn How to Write a Perfect Essay
How Many Types of Writing Task 1 in IELTS?
In an IELTS Writing Task One, the types of questions being asked can be in the form of:
- Diagram or Process
- Combination of all the above, i.e., Multiple Tasks
And to prepare for all of them, it requires an individual to go through a lot of hard work. So, now, let’s check out how you can improve your scores in the Writing Task One of this paper that would help you to fulfil your dreams of studying abroad.
Tips & Tricks to Improve Your Scores for the IELTS Writing Task One
Given below are a few steps that can help you to improve your scores for the IELTS Writing Task One:
Analyse Before Writing
This is one of the biggest mistakes that people usually do when they are appearing for the exam, which is – Analyzing the question. By not analyzing the question correctly, you would be missing out on some of the important key features of the paper that can be extremely important for you to get a minimum of score of 7 as the band score of the IELTS exam. For example, if there’s a question describing a bar chart in the paper, all you’re required to do is study the question properly before answering it so that you can write a perfect answer in the exam.
Mention Only the Important Features
There is always a mistake done by students when they are writing the answers in an exam and that is to mention all the details in a question. So, instead of beating around the bush, why not just focus on the important aspects of the question that can help you to save your time as well. For example – Percentage of children interested in Science subject is 50 in the year 1990 which increased to 60 in 2000 and then again there was an increase in the percentage to 70 in 2010. Afterwards, it would be raised to 80% in the year 2020. Rather than writing all the details as above, first, the trend should be analyzed to be described as below: It can be observed from the graph that interest of children towards Science subject is increasing consistently (50% in 1990 to 80% in 2020) by 10%.
Paraphrase, Compare, and Contrast
One of the most important skills that an individual is required to perform while answering the question and is to paraphrase the information given in the question. You can do a lot of things while answering the questions: Use synonyms, Change the word order, Convert the active statements into passive statements, Do not copy the question.
Reviewing at the end is extremely essential because that can help you to find a lot of mistakes in your writing. This can help you to make a big difference in your writing. The one which was earlier full of mistakes of grammar, punctuation, tenses, and other spelling mistakes can now be free of it once you’re done proofreading it.
Each section is important when you are planning to achieve the desired score, which can help you to open gates for studying abroad. The IELTS test is used as a selection criterion in which an individual is required to get into your desired country and university.
The above piece of information provides you with several details related to the IELTS exam.
Hopefully, you must have found this information useful and if you have any doubts regarding the same, feel free to use the comments section below and share your problems, queries, as well as questions with us to help us know more about it because we’ll be more than happy to help you out through this.
Also, check out our other blogs for getting more such information related to the IELTS exam that will help you to further fulfil your dreams and achieve several heights in the future.
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Sakshi Bachani is a freelance Content Writer and Teacher. She has completed her Bachelor's degree from Delhi University.. She has been a freelance teacher for the past five years and has worked towards helping young kids achieve their dreams. She had also worked as an Intern teacher with an NGO. Apart from writing and teaching, she really enjoys music, animals, and plants. She even has her own little garden which she loves very dearly and can be sometimes seen buying more plants for herself.
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Composition Writing: A Step-by-Step Guide
As a student, you’ve likely done composition writing, even if the assignments weren’t specifically labeled as compositions.
The truth is, it can be challenging to answer the question, What is composition writing? Here is the concise definition of “composition”: the way a writer crafts words, sentences, and paragraphs to create a coherent work. More broadly, composition writing covers all the kinds of writing you’ll encounter as a student and the strategies you use to write each type capably. Give your writing extra polish Grammarly helps you communicate confidently Write with Grammarly
What is composition writing?
Composition can mean two things. It can mean a piece of writing, or it can mean the art and process of writing. Composition isn’t a specific type of writing like an essay or a blog post. Instead, it’s a broad term that can refer to any (usually nonfiction) work and how a piece is written. Under the first definition, you might be asked to write a composition for class. Using the second definition, somebody might refer to “the essay’s composition” to discuss the format and word choice its author used. A composition is not the same as an essay. Here’s one area where the definition of composition writing can be confusing—an essay is a kind of composition, but the terms aren’t interchangeable. Every essay is a composition, but not every composition is an essay. A composition can also be a book report, a presentation, a short response to a reading assignment, or a research paper.
The four modes of composition
There are four types of composition:
Do these sound familiar?
They’re the four types of writing. Essentially, the definition of “composition writing” is the tone and structure a writer uses to express their position . When a composition is a work of fiction, its author typically chooses the composition mode that best expresses the work’s theme. Think of each of these as a composition writing format. You might use more than one of these composition modes in a single piece of writing.
A description is a piece of writing that makes a clear statement about its subject. Here is an example of a description:
Water, chemical symbol H2O, is a clear, colorless liquid that has a freezing point of 0 degrees Celsius and a boiling point of 100 degrees Celsius. Water is the most abundant atom in our atmosphere. All life-forms on Earth need water.
A description doesn’t speculate or offer up opinions or interpretations. It simply states the facts.
Exposition is an interpretation of the facts. It expands on a description by introducing additional facts that shed light on how the subject fits into a larger discussion. It might explore related facts and what they imply and/or pivot to related topics through thoughtful transition sentences and extrapolation. It’s still grounded in fact; an exposition doesn’t include its author’s opinions on the subject. Take a look at this example:
Although water is the most abundant atom in our atmosphere, entire regions are devastated by yearly droughts. These droughts can lead to mass starvation due to crop loss. Switching to more sustainable agricultural practices can reduce the impact of droughts, and doing this successfully requires cooperation between governments and corporations.
Narration is the mode of writing that presents the author’s point of view. The writing is still about its subject rather than its author, but it discusses and explores the subject through the author’s description of their experience. Here is an example of narrative writing:
I’ve always had a healthy respect for water, and I’d say that comes from an experience with it I had as a small child. It was a delightful summer day and my family decided to take the boat out. But then the sky suddenly turned gray, and our delightful summer day became a terrifying summer thunderstorm, with forceful winds pushing the boat as my brother and I tried to bail the pooling rainwater out with buckets.
See how this example is about the author’s thoughts and feelings about water, whereas description and exposition stick to objective facts? Personal essays are perhaps the most common type of narration composition.
The last type, argumentation , isn’t really argumentative. Rather, it’s similar to a persuasive essay . In an argumentation composition, the writer presents two or more positions on an issue and, through a logical exploration of each, demonstrates why one position is the best choice. Take a look at this example:
Researchers have identified multiple strategies we can use to prevent droughts. These include rainwater harvesting, desalination, switching to renewable energy sources, and combating deforestation. These strategies have different success rates . . .
In this example, the writer would go on to compare these different drought prevention strategies and their recorded success rates.
When do you write a composition?
You might be asked to write a composition as part of a composition writing course. It’s not uncommon for students to be required to take courses that focus solely on composition writing, often early on in their college careers, to prepare them for the writing they’ll do in other courses later.
Your instructor might also assign you to write a composition when the assignment doesn’t quite fit the parameters of an essay or other established academic writing format. This might be because the assignment is primarily to give your opinion or perspective rather than support a specific position with evidence. You might also be asked to write a composition as a way to practice writing in one of the compositional modes we discussed above.
How to write a composition in 5 steps
As we mentioned above, composition writing is a broad subject. There is no specific composition writing format, nor are you limited to any specific composition writing topics.
If your composition is an essay—and often, this is the case—follow the standard essay format unless your instructor tells you to follow a different format.
Composition writing follows the same writing process as every other kind of writing. Here are the steps:
Before you can start writing, you need to figure out what you’re going to write about! When you brainstorm, that’s exactly what you do. Take some time to think about your subject, the compositional mode you’re writing in, and the sources you’re using (if your assignment requires sources) to support your position.
Jot down every idea, relevant fact, and connection you come across. You can also give freewriting a try as you brainstorm to see how your mind wanders through your subject and sources. Take your time with brainstorming because this is the stage where you might come across the perfect topic sentence and make connections among sources you might not have realized before.
The next step in the writing process is creating an outline . This is a basic framework for your composition.
An outline helps you organize your composition by giving you a visual overview of its flow. Depending on your assignment and instructor, you might be required to submit your outline and have it approved before moving forward with your composition. Even if you aren’t, it can be very helpful to create an outline so you have something to follow and refer to when writing and editing.
3 First draft
Finally, it’s time to do some composition writing!
Using your brainstorming notes and outline, write your composition. Keep in mind that you don’t have to write it in order—in fact, it can be helpful to start with whichever part you find easiest to write, like the conclusion or one of the supporting paragraphs, and build it out from there.
Don’t worry too much about making grammatical mistakes at this stage. You’ll fix those when you edit your draft. Similarly, if a sentence or paragraph feels awkward, out of place, or otherwise not quite right, don’t dwell on it now. That, too, is something you’ll smooth out when you edit. When you’re writing your first draft, just focus on getting the words out of your brain and into your composition.
If you didn’t come up with a title when you brainstormed or outlined, you might be able to write a clever one once you have a finished draft.
With the first draft down, give yourself a break. You’re a better editor when you come back to your work with fresh eyes, so take a few hours—ideally, twenty-four hours or so—to work on other projects or spend some time relaxing.
Once your break is over, read your draft again. Take note of all the grammatical mistakes and which words, sentences, and paragraphs feel off. Grammarly can help you catch mistakes at this stage.
Beyond any small edits like changing word choices, fixing grammatical mistakes, and smoothing out transitions between sentences and sections, look at the bigger picture. Try to see if there are any logical fallacies in your work or if there are areas where you can dive deeper into your subject. Editing is a holistic process, so pay attention to all the parts of your composition and how they work together.
Through the editing process, you’ll end up with a second draft. At this stage, you’re almost ready to submit your work.
After editing your work, proofread it! This is the last look-over before you submit your composition to your instructor.
At this stage, you’re primarily focused on catching any grammar , syntax, or spelling mistakes that can be fixed easily. When you edited your work, you did the heavy lifting of transforming a first draft into a second draft. Through that stage, you might have added new sentences or reworked existing ones. At this stage, check and see if you made any mistakes in those new sentences or if you overlooked any mistakes in lines you kept from the first draft.
Let Grammarly have another look at it too. Grammarly makes suggestions you can use to make your work stronger, like offering fixes to grammatical mistakes and ways you can make your work’s tone more cohesive.
After proofreading your work and fixing any mistakes, you’ve got a finished, ready-to-submit second draft! The only thing left to do is turn it in to your instructor and wait for their feedback.
Composition writing FAQs
Composition writing is the organization and process of creating a piece of writing. It broadly refers to all the kinds of writing a student may be assigned, which are typically types of writing like essays and reports.
What are the different kinds of composition?
The four kinds of composition are:
How is composition writing structured?
There is no specific composition writing format. However, compositions typically follow a similar format as essays. Most compositions begin with an introduction that includes the work’s thesis, which is then followed by supporting paragraphs containing evidence from the sources the writer used in their research. After these supporting paragraphs, most compositions end with a conclusion that reiterates each point made and offers a new, final thought on the subject.
14 Types of Tones in Writing: A Complete Guide For Authors
- Post author By admin
- October 8, 2022
In this blog, you get to know different types of tones in writing that are very useful if you are an author or just started in the field of content writing.
Well, when you communicate with someone in person, then a person can easily see your expressions. The person can easily feel what you’re saying with the help of your facial expression, voice pitch, and body movement. As a result, this gives you a clear picture of what you are trying to say and many more.
But while writing anything, it isn’t easy to express yourself via text. Because while writing, you’re not currently available in front of the reader, which makes it difficult to engage with the Audience. If someone doesn’t feel any connection while reading, you will not develop any audience in your specific niche.
So, to cover up everything, it is important to learn the different types of tones in writing. In this blog, we manage to provide you with 15 different types of tones so that you can give your text a voice. It also helps you express your thoughts to your audience and create an unbeaten online presence.
So, let’s first know what is Tone in Writing, and then we move to 14 different types of tones in writing.
Table of Contents
What Is The Tone In Writing?
A tone in writing is the author’s attitude toward the specific topic. In other words, it is an attitude with which you convey your thoughts in the form of text. There are different types of tones in writing like Joy, Sad, Informal, Curious, Horror, Surprised, and many more.
14 Different Types Of Tones In Writing With Example
Below are the 14 most used types of tones in writing with suitable examples.
A formal writing tone is very common in professional or academic contexts. This Tone focuses on being simple and direct, yet respectful. The formal writing tone uses full words rather than grammatically correct. The Tone is more polite, but it is not personal.
Tip : Avoid using first and second-person pronouns like I, WE, YOU, etc.
- Respectfully yours.
- Many people enjoy parks.
- According to the data.
- To Whom It May Concern.
- Studies show many people spend most of their time on the computer.
Basically, the Informal Tone is the opposite of the formal Tone. An informal tone sounds more conversational than a Formal Tone. But it has a more ordinary tone and more emotion. It’s similar to how you would talk to your friend. Its sentence structure can belong as well as short. Short with the help of rhyme and Long with the help of group conversation. The informal Tone is more personal.
Tip : You can freely use first and second-person pronouns,
- You like parks, Right?
- Do you spend more time on the computer?
- How much are you going to sell this car for?
A worried tone can make your reader more afraid and worried about the situation.
It creates the feeling of trouble about something unknown.
- He was stressed.
- He reached hesitantly for the package, not sure what to expect.
The main goal of a writer is to encourage the reader with the help of an inspirational Tone. It allows the reader to overcome their fear and be more fearless.
- Take a long and deep breath because you’ve got this!
- My dad always told me to jump with two feet!
- Let’s encourage each other toward success.
A curious tone in your writing tells the reader that there is something to discover. This Tone is secretly used to keep the reader to stay on the page for more time.
Phrased used Curious Tone:
- Wanted to find out more about something.
- Questioning about something.
- Have a hunger to reveal something.
The Tone is used to obtain different types of astonishment, like joy or shock. It is used to create a feeling when something unexpected happens.
Phrased used Surprised Tone:
- He is stunned after seeing a dead animal on the road.
- It took their breath away.
- You can use words like “stunned”, “amazed”, and many more.
Generally, a Friendly Tone is light and kind-hearted. This Tone can also have a mixture of formal and informal Tones. This Tone is used in non-threatening and friendly writing.
Some of the examples of Friendly Tone:
- The most used Friendly tone word is Happy Birthday !
- What a sweet kitten!
- He waved at me in the court to cheer me on!
An aggressive tone might convey feelings of anger and frustration. When writing aggressively, the author may seek to convey their feelings unfriendly or in a harsh way.
Example of Aggressive Tone:
- No means No, I don’t want to hear another word from your mouth.
- Can someone tell me what the hell is going on!
Some people think that an assertive tone is like an aggressive tone, but it is not true. An assertive Tone is used to convey confidence and authority. Whereas an aggressive tone is used to convey anger.
- I Am confident about my next exam.
- Mam, please pay attention to the details.
An information tone seeks to inform the reader about a particular type of subject or topic. In information, the Tone is used mainly in study material guides or blogs or in education.
Example of Information Tone:
- The best place to eat spicy food in Korea.
- The human brain contains millions of neurons.
A cooperative tone is common in the workspace. It is used when a group of people works toward a shared goal. Cooperative Tone often includes positivity, collaborative elements, and the desire to work together.
Example of Cooperative Tone:
- We are together in this movement.
- I would love to hear your thoughts about my car.
- “We \ Our”
Entertainment tone seeks to help the reader enjoy the material. The main aim of this Tone is to crack jokes about something and make people laugh. It can be both lighthearted and enjoyable or maybe both simultaneously.
Phrased used in Entertainment Tone:
- Knock-knock, who’s there? Nobel. Nobel who? There is no bell, that’s why I knocked on the door.
These kinds of phrased authors used to convey an entertaining tone.
The author uses an optimistic tone to convey a sense of hope and a positive outlook for the future.
Example of Optimistic Tone:
- Hang in there; you will be alright after your surgery.
- I believe I can make things better in my life.
The author uses a tense tone to keep the reader unsure of what will happen next. An author might use a Tense Tone in writing a Mystery or thriller, and the author wants to convey a feeling of worry and concern.
Example of Tense Tone:
“He searched the room for the killer, who he knew was hidden somewhere in the darkroom. Moving blindly in the darkroom, he wondered whether he would find the killer and stop him before it was too late”.
Above all are the 14 most used types of tones in writing, This is the end of different types of tones in writing.
But there are many more.
7 Unique Ways To Choose And Develop Your Writing Tone
- Write in a conversational tone.
- Be more attached and engaged with the reader with different words like we, our, etc.
- Use proper punctuation .
- Try to motivate your reader to take action.
- Include shorter sentences to charge up your users.
- Do not use unnecessary words.
- Be honest with your reader. Because Honesty is the best policy .
Bonus tip : Always remember what your Audience wants. Be simple and avoid words that require a dictionary.
Helpful Tip: Finding the best Tone for any author is a matter of practice. Trying a different niche is the best practice for you. The more you practice, the better you become.
Mistakes to avoid while Writing
Do not force your reader, What to feel. Instead, convey your message with your attitude and proper emotion with carefully chosen words that create a perfect aura for your story, all while benefiting from professional writing services that can help you craft your narrative effectively.
Many people might get confused between Voice and Tone?
If you’re confused between Voice and Tone, you’re not the only one. Many people often get confused with this term.
Voice refers to the writer’s point of view about the topic. At the same time, Tone refers to how the writer expresses their emotion about the topic.
So, without wasting any time, let’s get started.
As you can see, there are many types of tones that you can use. As a writer, you are not bound to stick with one type of Tone. You can use different types of tones in writing to illustrate different moods.
There are many ways to include Tone in writing. It can be a phrase or a single word. Therefore, you must clearly understand tones so you know where and how to use different tones in different places.
In the end, the usage of write tone will make your content more readable and professional. As a result, your reader will engage more in a much better way.
How to Improve Writing Skills
Frequently Asked Question
Q1. how many types of tones are there.
Here are ten basic types of tone like It can be serious, humorous, sad, Tense, threatening, formal, Cooperative, informal, pessimistic, or optimistic. Your tone in writing will be reflective of your mood as you are writing.
Q2. What is the Writer’s tone?
It is an attitude with which writers convey their thoughts in the form of text. There are many types of tone in writing. Like serious, humorous, sad, Tense, threatening, formal, and many more.
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