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The Four Main Types of Essay | Quick Guide with Examples

Published on September 4, 2020 by Jack Caulfield . Revised on July 23, 2023.

An essay is a focused piece of writing designed to inform or persuade. There are many different types of essay, but they are often defined in four categories: argumentative, expository, narrative, and descriptive essays.

Argumentative and expository essays are focused on conveying information and making clear points, while narrative and descriptive essays are about exercising creativity and writing in an interesting way. At university level, argumentative essays are the most common type. 

In high school and college, you will also often have to write textual analysis essays, which test your skills in close reading and interpretation.

Table of contents

Argumentative essays, expository essays, narrative essays, descriptive essays, textual analysis essays, other interesting articles, frequently asked questions about types of essays.

An argumentative essay presents an extended, evidence-based argument. It requires a strong thesis statement —a clearly defined stance on your topic. Your aim is to convince the reader of your thesis using evidence (such as quotations ) and analysis.

Argumentative essays test your ability to research and present your own position on a topic. This is the most common type of essay at college level—most papers you write will involve some kind of argumentation.

The essay is divided into an introduction, body, and conclusion:

  • The introduction provides your topic and thesis statement
  • The body presents your evidence and arguments
  • The conclusion summarizes your argument and emphasizes its importance

The example below is a paragraph from the body of an argumentative essay about the effects of the internet on education. Mouse over it to learn more.

A common frustration for teachers is students’ use of Wikipedia as a source in their writing. Its prevalence among students is not exaggerated; a survey found that the vast majority of the students surveyed used Wikipedia (Head & Eisenberg, 2010). An article in The Guardian stresses a common objection to its use: “a reliance on Wikipedia can discourage students from engaging with genuine academic writing” (Coomer, 2013). Teachers are clearly not mistaken in viewing Wikipedia usage as ubiquitous among their students; but the claim that it discourages engagement with academic sources requires further investigation. This point is treated as self-evident by many teachers, but Wikipedia itself explicitly encourages students to look into other sources. Its articles often provide references to academic publications and include warning notes where citations are missing; the site’s own guidelines for research make clear that it should be used as a starting point, emphasizing that users should always “read the references and check whether they really do support what the article says” (“Wikipedia:Researching with Wikipedia,” 2020). Indeed, for many students, Wikipedia is their first encounter with the concepts of citation and referencing. The use of Wikipedia therefore has a positive side that merits deeper consideration than it often receives.

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narrative essay descriptive essay expository essay

An expository essay provides a clear, focused explanation of a topic. It doesn’t require an original argument, just a balanced and well-organized view of the topic.

Expository essays test your familiarity with a topic and your ability to organize and convey information. They are commonly assigned at high school or in exam questions at college level.

The introduction of an expository essay states your topic and provides some general background, the body presents the details, and the conclusion summarizes the information presented.

A typical body paragraph from an expository essay about the invention of the printing press is shown below. Mouse over it to learn more.

The invention of the printing press in 1440 changed this situation dramatically. Johannes Gutenberg, who had worked as a goldsmith, used his knowledge of metals in the design of the press. He made his type from an alloy of lead, tin, and antimony, whose durability allowed for the reliable production of high-quality books. This new technology allowed texts to be reproduced and disseminated on a much larger scale than was previously possible. The Gutenberg Bible appeared in the 1450s, and a large number of printing presses sprang up across the continent in the following decades. Gutenberg’s invention rapidly transformed cultural production in Europe; among other things, it would lead to the Protestant Reformation.

A narrative essay is one that tells a story. This is usually a story about a personal experience you had, but it may also be an imaginative exploration of something you have not experienced.

Narrative essays test your ability to build up a narrative in an engaging, well-structured way. They are much more personal and creative than other kinds of academic writing . Writing a personal statement for an application requires the same skills as a narrative essay.

A narrative essay isn’t strictly divided into introduction, body, and conclusion, but it should still begin by setting up the narrative and finish by expressing the point of the story—what you learned from your experience, or why it made an impression on you.

Mouse over the example below, a short narrative essay responding to the prompt “Write about an experience where you learned something about yourself,” to explore its structure.

Since elementary school, I have always favored subjects like science and math over the humanities. My instinct was always to think of these subjects as more solid and serious than classes like English. If there was no right answer, I thought, why bother? But recently I had an experience that taught me my academic interests are more flexible than I had thought: I took my first philosophy class.

Before I entered the classroom, I was skeptical. I waited outside with the other students and wondered what exactly philosophy would involve—I really had no idea. I imagined something pretty abstract: long, stilted conversations pondering the meaning of life. But what I got was something quite different.

A young man in jeans, Mr. Jones—“but you can call me Rob”—was far from the white-haired, buttoned-up old man I had half-expected. And rather than pulling us into pedantic arguments about obscure philosophical points, Rob engaged us on our level. To talk free will, we looked at our own choices. To talk ethics, we looked at dilemmas we had faced ourselves. By the end of class, I’d discovered that questions with no right answer can turn out to be the most interesting ones.

The experience has taught me to look at things a little more “philosophically”—and not just because it was a philosophy class! I learned that if I let go of my preconceptions, I can actually get a lot out of subjects I was previously dismissive of. The class taught me—in more ways than one—to look at things with an open mind.

A descriptive essay provides a detailed sensory description of something. Like narrative essays, they allow you to be more creative than most academic writing, but they are more tightly focused than narrative essays. You might describe a specific place or object, rather than telling a whole story.

Descriptive essays test your ability to use language creatively, making striking word choices to convey a memorable picture of what you’re describing.

A descriptive essay can be quite loosely structured, though it should usually begin by introducing the object of your description and end by drawing an overall picture of it. The important thing is to use careful word choices and figurative language to create an original description of your object.

Mouse over the example below, a response to the prompt “Describe a place you love to spend time in,” to learn more about descriptive essays.

On Sunday afternoons I like to spend my time in the garden behind my house. The garden is narrow but long, a corridor of green extending from the back of the house, and I sit on a lawn chair at the far end to read and relax. I am in my small peaceful paradise: the shade of the tree, the feel of the grass on my feet, the gentle activity of the fish in the pond beside me.

My cat crosses the garden nimbly and leaps onto the fence to survey it from above. From his perch he can watch over his little kingdom and keep an eye on the neighbours. He does this until the barking of next door’s dog scares him from his post and he bolts for the cat flap to govern from the safety of the kitchen.

With that, I am left alone with the fish, whose whole world is the pond by my feet. The fish explore the pond every day as if for the first time, prodding and inspecting every stone. I sometimes feel the same about sitting here in the garden; I know the place better than anyone, but whenever I return I still feel compelled to pay attention to all its details and novelties—a new bird perched in the tree, the growth of the grass, and the movement of the insects it shelters…

Sitting out in the garden, I feel serene. I feel at home. And yet I always feel there is more to discover. The bounds of my garden may be small, but there is a whole world contained within it, and it is one I will never get tired of inhabiting.

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Though every essay type tests your writing skills, some essays also test your ability to read carefully and critically. In a textual analysis essay, you don’t just present information on a topic, but closely analyze a text to explain how it achieves certain effects.

Rhetorical analysis

A rhetorical analysis looks at a persuasive text (e.g. a speech, an essay, a political cartoon) in terms of the rhetorical devices it uses, and evaluates their effectiveness.

The goal is not to state whether you agree with the author’s argument but to look at how they have constructed it.

The introduction of a rhetorical analysis presents the text, some background information, and your thesis statement; the body comprises the analysis itself; and the conclusion wraps up your analysis of the text, emphasizing its relevance to broader concerns.

The example below is from a rhetorical analysis of Martin Luther King Jr.’s “I Have a Dream” speech . Mouse over it to learn more.

King’s speech is infused with prophetic language throughout. Even before the famous “dream” part of the speech, King’s language consistently strikes a prophetic tone. He refers to the Lincoln Memorial as a “hallowed spot” and speaks of rising “from the dark and desolate valley of segregation” to “make justice a reality for all of God’s children.” The assumption of this prophetic voice constitutes the text’s strongest ethical appeal; after linking himself with political figures like Lincoln and the Founding Fathers, King’s ethos adopts a distinctly religious tone, recalling Biblical prophets and preachers of change from across history. This adds significant force to his words; standing before an audience of hundreds of thousands, he states not just what the future should be, but what it will be: “The whirlwinds of revolt will continue to shake the foundations of our nation until the bright day of justice emerges.” This warning is almost apocalyptic in tone, though it concludes with the positive image of the “bright day of justice.” The power of King’s rhetoric thus stems not only from the pathos of his vision of a brighter future, but from the ethos of the prophetic voice he adopts in expressing this vision.

Literary analysis

A literary analysis essay presents a close reading of a work of literature—e.g. a poem or novel—to explore the choices made by the author and how they help to convey the text’s theme. It is not simply a book report or a review, but an in-depth interpretation of the text.

Literary analysis looks at things like setting, characters, themes, and figurative language. The goal is to closely analyze what the author conveys and how.

The introduction of a literary analysis essay presents the text and background, and provides your thesis statement; the body consists of close readings of the text with quotations and analysis in support of your argument; and the conclusion emphasizes what your approach tells us about the text.

Mouse over the example below, the introduction to a literary analysis essay on Frankenstein , to learn more.

Mary Shelley’s Frankenstein is often read as a crude cautionary tale about the dangers of scientific advancement unrestrained by ethical considerations. In this reading, protagonist Victor Frankenstein is a stable representation of the callous ambition of modern science throughout the novel. This essay, however, argues that far from providing a stable image of the character, Shelley uses shifting narrative perspectives to portray Frankenstein in an increasingly negative light as the novel goes on. While he initially appears to be a naive but sympathetic idealist, after the creature’s narrative Frankenstein begins to resemble—even in his own telling—the thoughtlessly cruel figure the creature represents him as. This essay begins by exploring the positive portrayal of Frankenstein in the first volume, then moves on to the creature’s perception of him, and finally discusses the third volume’s narrative shift toward viewing Frankenstein as the creature views him.

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

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At high school and in composition classes at university, you’ll often be told to write a specific type of essay , but you might also just be given prompts.

Look for keywords in these prompts that suggest a certain approach: The word “explain” suggests you should write an expository essay , while the word “describe” implies a descriptive essay . An argumentative essay might be prompted with the word “assess” or “argue.”

The vast majority of essays written at university are some sort of argumentative essay . Almost all academic writing involves building up an argument, though other types of essay might be assigned in composition classes.

Essays can present arguments about all kinds of different topics. For example:

  • In a literary analysis essay, you might make an argument for a specific interpretation of a text
  • In a history essay, you might present an argument for the importance of a particular event
  • In a politics essay, you might argue for the validity of a certain political theory

An argumentative essay tends to be a longer essay involving independent research, and aims to make an original argument about a topic. Its thesis statement makes a contentious claim that must be supported in an objective, evidence-based way.

An expository essay also aims to be objective, but it doesn’t have to make an original argument. Rather, it aims to explain something (e.g., a process or idea) in a clear, concise way. Expository essays are often shorter assignments and rely less on research.

The key difference is that a narrative essay is designed to tell a complete story, while a descriptive essay is meant to convey an intense description of a particular place, object, or concept.

Narrative and descriptive essays both allow you to write more personally and creatively than other kinds of essays , and similar writing skills can apply to both.

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4 Major Types of Essay with Examples

narrative essay descriptive essay expository essay

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

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

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

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

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

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

1. narrative essay :.

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

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

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

The Christmas Cake

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

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

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

Guidelines for Writing a Narrative Essay :

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

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

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

2. Descriptive Essay:

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Guidelines of Writing a Descriptive Essay:

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

3. Argumentative Essay :

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

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

Students Who Study Abroad Achieve Greater Success

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

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

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

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

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

Guidelines of Writing an Argumentative Essay:

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

4. Expository Essay:

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Guidelines for Writing an Expository Essay:

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

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

-Isabell S.


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  • Different Types of Essays
  • 4 Main Types of Essays in Academic Writing: Key Features and Samples

4 Main Types of Essays in Academic Writing: Key Features and Samples

What Is an Essay

Four main types of essays, expository essay, main features, descriptive essay, narrative essay, persuasive/argumentative essay.

  • Bottom line

Frequently Asked Questions

  • 1. How do I choose the right type of essay?
  • 2. What is a hybrid essay?

Whether you are a high school graduate, a college student, or a passionate writer, it is vital to know how to create different types of essays . Depending on the goal, be it a test or a college application, selecting the right type of essay may significantly increase your chances to succeed . In fact, even great content may fail to communicate the main idea if a writer doesn't integrate essential elements. For this reason, you need to distinguish types of writing styles and formats to address a writing prompt.

While academic writing may encompass a number of essay variations, there are only four basic types of essays that lie at the core . Find out more about each category, its features, and structure. All types of essays are followed by attached examples of excellent academic works.

And remember that you always can count on our essay writing service. All you need is to ask " write my essay for me ", and we will be eager to help you.

An essay is a piece of nonfiction academic writing created to develop a specific idea or support an argument . In general, essays are mainly used to provide some information, share the writer's point of view on a matter, or dispute a thesis statement. Depending on the purpose of writing, the essay tone can be either formal or informal. The essay formatting requirements may also vary – it may be a standard 5-paragraph piece or a lengthy academic work. If you wonder how to write a 5 paragraph essay , read our blog. It has a useful guide to help you with this question.

There is a full array of different types of essays. However, the most common classification includes only four major essay categories :

  • Descriptive
  • Persuasive/argumentative

These types of essays may share similar features. For example, expository and persuasive essays mostly deal with factual information that ensures a clear presentation of ideas. Narrative and descriptive essays are written informally and require a creative approach . 

An expository essay is a focused piece of writing designed to explore a particular subject by providing factual information. The primary purpose of expository writing is to analyze a topic without making an argument. Expository essays require a writer to communicate complex information in a simple , easy-to-understand way. Unlike other types of essays, it offers an analysis based on facts. Therefore, a student should use a neutral tone of voice and introduce ideas in a logical order.

This academic assignment tests the student's ability to present a clear explanation of an issue. To create an informative piece, you should refer to statistics and find factual examples. Some of the most common characteristics of expository essays include:

  • Instructive: conveys accurate information 
  • Specific: a clear and precise explanation of facts
  • Well-organized: follows the sequence of events
  • Semi-formal: doesn't contain first-person nouns
  • Objective: informs a reader without presenting any subjective opinions

A standard expository essay structure includes the following sections:

  • An introduction presents a topic and gives background information
  • Body paragraphs explain the facts
  • A conclusion sums up the information

As a rule, expository writing is divided into several sub-categories. Some of the most common variations focus on the following matters:

  • A problem and solution essay is a type of expository writing that determines an issue and offers a range of problem-solving solutions. After exploring the matter in detail, a writer investigates the best ways to target an issue and how such methods can be applied efficiently.
  • A cause and effect essay explains the way things are interrelated in this world. In this essay type, a writer specifies the reasons why some things happen and discusses possible consequences. This basically means drawing a parallel between specific objects or events. A great example of cause and effect essay can be a piece on the reasons and consequences of the Civil War in the US .
  • Compare and contrast essay specifies the similarities and differences between specific subjects, people, locations or events to let the reader compare and contrast things. Comparing refers to finding similarities, while contrasting deals with figuring out the differences. In its essence, compare and contrast essay helps to understand more than one topic at a time.
  • A definition essay is a type of essay that provides an accurate definition of a subject and offers a classification. A writer should include both the official definitions from credible sources and personal understanding of a specific concept or thing.
  • A process analysis essay explains a specific process step-by-step by providing detailed instructions. Such assignments answer the "how-to" question. The ideas for topics are broad and may focus on any process, such as how the US President is elected or how a chocolate factory makes its best candies.

Below you can view an example of a complete expository essay that has all crucial features and follows a standard structure.

A descriptive essay is a type of writing that provides a detailed description of a chosen literary piece, subject, event, etc. A sensory portrayal, commonly used in descriptive writing, serves two purposes. On the one hand, it helps to visualize things; on the other hand, a detailed description is a tool that allows conveying a deeper meaning. High school and college teachers assign a descriptive essay to improve student's creative skills. In this type of writing, you shouldn't limit your imagination . Instead, you will want to show your creativity and resourcefulness.

Typically, descriptive essays share the features of informal writing. Here are the key characteristics descriptive writing should have:

  • Demonstrative: aims to showcase a subject, not just narrate
  • Vivid: creates an impression in a reader's mind through descriptive details
  • Sensory: the use of expressions that appeal to all human senses
  • Figurative language: analogies, metaphors, similes, allegories, and personifications
  • Emotional: describes issues of sentimental significance

As a rule, a descriptive essay doesn't have specific requirements to its structure. You are free to leverage your creativity to describe an object in the most unusual manner possible. However, this type of essay should contain the following information to address academic objective:

  • A brief introduction of the subject you are going to portray
  • A detailed description
  • A short summary that offers an insight

Take a look at the attached example to have an idea how a perfect descriptive essay should look like.

A narrative essay, as the name suggests, tells a story significant to the author. Basically, it's a personal narrative created to share a meaningful experience that profoundly impacts a writer. This type of essay explores different challenges a writer has gone through, and that's what makes it so engaging. In a narrative essay, a writer would navigate a reader through a story without persuading or proving any point. However, a personal narrative should include an element of a moral so that the audience can take away some valuable insights. By writing narrative essays, a student learns how to apply a creative approach to express their feelings and emotions. And yet you need to be able to preserve a story's consistency.

It is common to confuse a narrative essay with a short story : they are not quite the same . In a nutshell, the narrative essay has an academic objective, meaning that it should focus on the personal experience that has actually happened. At the same time, narrative essays share some common features with those of a short story. This type of essay typically contains five elements of storytelling :

  • Plot: the sequence of events
  • Setting: when and where a story takes place
  • Character: a protagonist that triggers all events
  • Conflict: an issue a protagonist tries to solve
  • Theme: a sense of a moral

As well as any other type of academic assignment, narrative essays have peculiar features listed as follows:

  • Informative: narrates a story without proving any argument
  • Subjective: written in the first person
  • Non-fictional: shares the real personal experience
  • Conversational: the use of informal and expressive tone of voice
  • Organized: introduces people and events in sequential order

Check out a sample of a narrative essay written by the experts in the domain. As you read, pay attention to how a narrative piece should be organized and how to integrate the elements of storytelling into this type of writing.

A persuasive essay is a type of essay where a writer has to persuade a reader to adopt a specific point of view. A persuasive essay is otherwise called an argumentative essay, since it has to convince the reader of the truth presented in the argument. Besides, in a persuasive essay, one would take a firm stance on a matter . A writer should then provide supporting evidence and facts to back up a thesis statement. Argumentative essay writing requires good research and persuasive skills. A college student should be able to communicate their point of view through evidence-driven research. On top of that, it is crucial to refer to the credible sources , otherwise, chances are that a reader will doubt the argument.

To establish a steady stance, a writer need to create persuasive essays with such characteristics in mind:

  • Convincing: has a persuasive tone of voice to make a reader agree
  • Accurate: provides valid information and current cases or events
  • Informative: focuses on facts, statistics, and evidence
  • Reader-oriented: conveys information from a reader's perspective
  • Arguable: this type of essay has a debatable topic that triggers discussion

Maybe you will need good persuasive essay topics , keep in mind that you will find them here.

Just like any other type of essay, an argumentative essay should be structured according to academic instructions. As a rule, college teachers and university professors require students to include the following parts:

  • An introduction that presents a topic and a strong thesis statement
  • A body part that includes arguments and supporting evidence
  • A conclusion that wraps up the argument and focuses on its significance

The paper attached below is an excellent example of a persuasive essay provided by our proficient writer.

Bottom line 

A deep understanding of the reader’s intent helps to write along the right lines. Once you determine which of the four types of essays best addresses your goal, you will be able to create an astounding essay tailored to your writing purpose. 

1. How do I choose the right type of essay? 

High school and college teachers usually assign a specific type of essay. But sometimes you may be given writing prompts on the basis of which you have to choose an essay type yourself.  In such case, you will need to pay attention to the requirements of each assignment - they will give you a hint. For example, the word “convince” means you need to write a persuasive essay, whereas the word “describe” indicates you should create a descriptive essay. The word “tell” suggests you should write a narrative essay. 

2. What is a hybrid essay? 

A hybrid essay is a unique combination of two or more types of essays. Sometimes you may be required to address two objectives at once, for instance, tell about your previous and current experience and compare them. In this case, you will need to write a narrative essay with the elements of compare-and-contrast essay.

If you want to write an outstanding analytical essay, you need much more than just a good subject to explore. While having a captivating topic is important, your analysis paper also needs to be properly structured and include all key elements in order to stand out. In this article, you will learn ho...

Understanding the basics of writing a personal essay is essential for any student who wants to succeed at college admission. In 99% cases, the applicants enter the colleges of their dreams thanks to a well-crafted admission paper, and a brilliant personal essay is all you need to stand out from the ...

If you are reading this article, you need to write an informative essay. You might have written it before or this might be your first informative paper. The point is that you are looking for some tips and guides on how to write a really good informative essay.That is for sure! Because you want a hig...


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