Two Major Types Of Essays Expository

An essay is a piece of academic writing that describes, analyzes, and evaluates a certain topic or an issue. An essay generally contains a combination of facts and figures and the personal opinions, ideas of the writer. In this article, we are first going to  look at some different types of essays and then highlight some commonly written essays.

 Different Types of Essays

  • Descriptive Essay
  • Narrative Essay
  • Argumentative Essay
  • Persuasive Essay
  • Expository Essay
  • Compare/Contrast Essay
  • Critical Essay
  • Cause /Effect Essay     
  • 5 Paragraph Essay
  • Deductive Essay

How to Write an Essay

Descriptive Essay

Descriptive Essay is a piece of creative writing that contains many descriptions. This type of essay often provides information about a person, a place, an object etc. In this type of an essay, the writer can capture the attention of the readers by using a lot of sensory details (sight, sound, smell, touch, taste). There is no strict format as this genre of essays permits lot of artistic freedom to the writer. Some examples of descriptive essay topics are “My favorite food”, “My family”, “My school” etc.

What does this look like? • How does this taste? • How does this smell?


How to Write a Descriptive Essay

Narrative Essay

As the name suggests, a narrative essay narrates a story. A good writer of a narrative essay can make the readers feel that whatever he is writing is genuine and interesting. First person point of view is generally used in narrative essays. A conversational tone is used in this genre as the essay contains a story. Some Examples of Narrative essay topics are”First day at school”,”Trip to the zoo”,”An unforgettable day” etc. 

Narrative Essay: Tells a story


How to Write a Narrative Essay

Difference Between Narrative and Descriptive Essay

Persuasive Essay

A persuasive essay is a piece of writing that attempts to convince the readers to agree with writer’s opinions. In this genre of writing, the writer can use his own views, opinions and stir up the emotions in the reader in order to convince them to agree to his opinion. Some examples for persuasive essay topics are “Extracurricular activities should be made obligatory in School”, “Skipping meals is better than eating junk food”, “Grades can’t measure students’ intelligence and performance” etc.

How to Write a Persuasive Essay

Expository Essay

This is a simple, informative type of writing that provides a step by step analysis of an issue. In this type of essay, an explanation for a major concern is provided with the help of evidence, facts, and statistics. The purpose of expository writing differs. The purpose could be identifying cause and effect relationships, comparing and contrasting pieces of work, or providing step-by-step instructions. “What causes people to become addicts? Is there a way to provide environmental pollution?” “What is your favorite book? What did you enjoy the most about it?” ,”What were the direct and indirect causes of World War II?” are some examples for expository essay topics.

How to Write an Expository Essay

Argumentative Essay

Argumentative essay is a piece of writing that  attempts to convince the reader to accept the writer’s opinion as truth. This essay is based on logic and reasoning. The writer tries to validate his opinion by presenting facts, statistics and evidence. A writer should do a complete research; gather accurate facts and figures to defend his  views, before writing an argumentative essay as this is more like a debate written on paper. Some examples for argumentative essays are “Sex education is the only way to prevent many issues, including teenage pregnancy.”,”Women are less involved in crime than men.”,”Are social networking sites harmful?” etc.

Difference Between Argumentative and Persuasive Essay

Difference Between Argumentative and Expository Essay

Cause /Effect Essay

Cause /Effect Essays explain why and how something happened and/or discuss results of a certain event. This type of essay studies the connection between two or more events or experiences. This essay can discuss both causes and effects, or it can simply address one or the other. A cause essay usually analyzes the reasons why something happened. An effect essay analyzes the effects/results of a specific event. “Effects of Global Warming,” “Major factors of environmental pollution,” “Positive effects of social media sites” etc.

Compare/Contrast Essay

This essay discusses similarities and differences between two things. It could analyze both similarities and differences or focus on either similarities or differences.

Contrast Essay is an essay that focuses only on differences. (Examples: Discuss differences between leadership and management, Discuss difference between efficiency and effectiveness etc.)

Comparison essay is an essay that focuses only on similarities. (Examples: Discuss similarities between Buddhism and Christianity, Discuss similarities between Cane and Bamboo etc.)

Critical Essay

A critical essay analyzes the strengths, weaknesses, and techniques of someone’s work. These essays begin with a brief summary of the main points of the text, film, or piece of art, etc., followed by an analysis of the work’s meaning. Then the writer should discuss how successful is the creator/author of the original work in accomplishing his goal.

5 Paragraph Essay

5 paragraph essay is an essay format that consists of 5 paragraphs. The first paragraph acts as the introduction and the next 3 paragraphs include the main body of the essay. This part of the essay should include all supporting ideas, details, and examples. Each paragraph should focus on a single subtopic or idea to support the main idea. The last paragraph which reinstates the main idea serves as the conclusion.

Deductive Essay

Deductive essay is a specific method of evaluating the academic progress of students in many different subjects. A deductive essay examines the ability of the writers to use the given information to arrive at a logical conclusion. There are 3 main parts in a deductive essay: Premise, Evidence, and Conclusion. In premise, the writer is the basic idea or the fact used in the essay. There can be more than one premise in an essay. Evidence is the information that is analyzed in the essay.

Definition Essay

A definition essay is writing that explains the meaning of a term. Some terms like cat, house, tree, ocean etc. have definite, concrete meanings. However, the meaning of certain terms depend on a person’s point of view (Examples: nobility, feminism, love, fear). The writer can define these terms by explaining their  function, format or comparing them to similar and/or different aspects. 

How to Write a College Essay

How to Write a Scholarship Essay


Image courtesy:
“blueberry’s storyboard 2″ by Roland O’Daniel (CC BY-SA 2.0) via Flickr

Types of Essays: End the Confusion

Effectively writing different types of essays has become critical to academic success. Essay writing is a common school assignment, a part of standardized tests, and a requirement on college applications. Often on tests, choosing the correct type of essay to write in response to a writing prompt is key to getting the question right. Clearly, students can’t afford to remain confused about types of essays.

There are over a dozen types of essays, so it’s easy to get confused. However, rest assured, the number is actually more manageable. Essentially there are four major types of essays, with the variations making up the remainder.

Four Major Types of Essays
Distinguishing between types of essays is simply a matter of determining the writer’s goal. Does the writer want to tell about a personal experience, describe something, explain an issue, or convince the reader to accept a certain viewpoint? The four major types of essays address these purposes:

1. Narrative Essays: Telling a Story
In a narrative essay, the writer tells a story about a real-life experience. While telling a story may sound easy to do, the narrative essay challenges students to think and write about themselves. When writing a narrative essay, writers should try to involve the reader by making the story as vivid as possible. The fact that narrative essays are usually written in the first person helps engage the reader. “I” sentences give readers a feeling of being part of the story. A well-crafted narrative essay will also build towards drawing a conclusion or making a personal statement.

2. Descriptive Essays: Painting a Picture
A cousin of the narrative essay, a descriptive essay paints a picture with words. A writer might describe a person, place, object, or even memory of special significance. However, this type of essay is not description for description’s sake. The descriptive essay strives to communicate a deeper meaning through the description. In a descriptive essay, the writer should show, not tell, through the use of colorful words and sensory details. The best descriptive essays appeal to the reader’s emotions, with a result that is highly evocative.

3. Expository Essays: Just the Facts
The expository essay is an informative piece of writing that presents a balanced analysis of a topic. In an expository essay, the writer explains or defines a topic, using facts, statistics, and examples. Expository writing encompasses a wide range of essay variations, such as the comparison and contrast essay, the cause and effect essay, and the “how to” or process essay. Because expository essays are based on facts and not personal feelings, writers don’t reveal their emotions or write in the first person.

4. Persuasive Essays: Convince Me
While like an expository essay in its presentation of facts, the goal of the persuasive essay is to convince the reader to accept the writer’s point of view or recommendation. The writer must build a case using facts and logic, as well as examples, expert opinion, and sound reasoning. The writer should present all sides of the argument, but must be able to communicate clearly and without equivocation why a certain position is correct.

Learn How to Write Different Types of Essays

Time4Writing essay writing courses offer a highly effective way to learn how to write the types of essays required for school, standardized tests, and college applications. These online writing classes for elementary, middle school, and high school students, break down the writing process into manageable chunks, easily digested by young writers. Students steadily build writing skills and confidence with each online writing course, guided by one-on-one instruction with a dedicated, certified teacher.

In the elementary years, young writers get an introduction to essay writing through two courses designed to bring excitement and enjoyment to the writing process. Narrative Writing and Informative Writing take young writers on an animal-filled adventure to beginning essay writing. Our middle school online writing courses, Welcome to the Essay and Advanced Essay, teach students the fundamentals of writing well-constructed essays. The high school online writing class, Exciting Essay Writing, focuses in depth on the essay writing process with preparation for college as the goal. The online writing classes for kids also cover how to interpret essay writing prompts in testing situations. Read what parents are saying about their children’s writing progress in Time4Writing’s online writing courses.


Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *