What Are the Basic Types of Academic Essays?

There are four main types of academic essays. These are (a.) Expository Essays, (b.) Narrative Essays, (c.) Descriptive Essays, and (d.) Persuasive Essays. These essays further have their respective subcategories, but these are the most basic types of academic essays.

Expository Essays

An expository essay is an informative piece of writing. It attempts to inform or explain to its readers an important matter. Because this type of essay is not based on personal feelings, but facts, writers neither disclose their opinion nor write in the first person. Most essays of this type involves a process, set of rules, benefits or advantages of an activity, and others. Some of the common expository essays include the following:

  • Business or technical writing
  • Compare and/or contrast essays
  • Process writing
  • Reaction papers
  • Research-based essays
  • Response essays

Narrative Essays

A narrative Essay tells a story. This type of essay challenges the critical thinking skills of students because it makes them think of ways on how to hook the audience to the essay. This is possible by making the narrative essay as vivid as possible. This type of essay may be or is commonly written in the first person. Some examples of this essay include:

  • Novels
  • Personal essays
  • Poetry
  • Short stories

Descriptive Essays

A descriptive essay is similar to a narrative essay because it paints a picture with the use of words. Unlike narrative essays, a descriptive essay focuses on describing a specific person, place, object, or even a significant memory. However, it is not merely about describing something or someone. A descriptive essay must communicate a deeper meaning through the descriptions. A good descriptive essay is able to capture a reader’s emotion. Some examples of this type of essay include fictions and poetry.

Persuasive Essays

A persuasive essay goal is to convince a reader to take the writer’s stand on a certain matter. With this, a writer must build his or her argument, making use of supportive and factual evidences. These evidences could be facts, an expert’s opinion, statistics, sound reasoning, and logic. A writer must present both sides and explain why the reader should take one side over the other. Some examples of persuasive essays include argument paper and analysis essay.

Writing an essay effectively is one of the skills a student must develop in order to succeed academically. Essay writing is a common school activity or homework, a part of most standardized exams, and a college requirement. More often, knowing which type of essay to use in response to a question in an exam is the key to acing the test. Thus, students must be knowledgeable of the types and their uses to succeed in school.

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