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6 Types Of Essays | The Ultimate Guide

Essay is a piece of writing (usually academic) that educates the reader. They help you explore different ideas, topics, and subjects. Essay writing gives you an opportunity to dive into a topic, learn about it, and share your findings.

There are many different types of essays that showcase and satisfy diverse aspects of writing. In the sections below, we will explore some of these types. Understanding these kinds of essay will benefit you in many ways including;

  • Articulation of thoughts and opinions
  • Learning the appropriate use of essay writing
  • Honing persuasive, instructional, and creative skills

Before we get into detail, here is a table for you to summarize this post for you.


Types of Essays 
Distinctive Features Appropriate Use 
Argumentative Essay Takes a position on a disputed issue.
Provides evidence supporting that position.
To convince readers of a particular viewpoint on a controversial issue.
Narrative EssayTells a story using personal details and sensory language.To share a personal experience or anecdote to engage the reader.
Textual Analysis EssayInterprets and scrutinizes a given text, using evidence from the text itself.To analyze literature, movies, advertisements or other text types.
Informative EssayProvides readers with detailed information on a given topic without expressing a personal opinion.To educate the reader on a specific topic.
Descriptive EssayCreates vivid images in the reader’s mind using detailed and sensory observations.To describe a place, person, object, or experience in detail.
Comparative EssayCompares and contrasts two or more things.To understand differences and similarities between two subjects.

Argumentative Essay

An argumentative essay is one category within the types of essays. It focuses on presenting the author’s viewpoint on a specific issue or topic. The core essence of this essay is that it relies on relevant evidence and logic.

For example:

Topic: “Should school uniforms be mandatory?”

Thesis Statement

School uniforms give a sense of equality and reduce distractions. Thus, they should be mandatory in schools. 

Argument:

Firstly, school uniforms play a crucial role in promoting equality among students. One of the main sources of inequality in schools arises from socio-economic differences among students. Such contrasts are reflected in the clothes they wear. This can lead to unnecessary comparisons, bullying, or even a negative self-image. Enforcing a school uniform gives all students the same footing, reducing these issues.

Evidence:

Research conducted by the National Association of Secondary School Principals (2016) shows schools with uniforms had less bullying and a more inclusive environment.

Throughout the essay, one would continue to argue in favor of the thesis. Backing up each point with evidence, facts, or relevant examples.

Types of Essays: Argumentative Essay Features

Introduction

The introduction provides your argumentative hook and thesis. The thesis is the most crucial as it expresses your stance on a certain topic. Thus, it must be clear and assertive.

The Body Segment

  • The body section of an argumentative essay includes three aspects.
  • Rebuttal- Includes counterarguments and refutes them logically.
  • Evidence – It offers clear and reliable evidence to support the chosen stance.
  • Argument- your perspective on the topic.

Conclusion

Your argumentative essay ends with a powerful conclusion. This conclusion summarizes and reinforces the main argument.

Argumentative Essay Don’ts

Here are two common mistakes to avoid when writing an argument essay.

  • Avoid relying on emotional reasoning. An argumentative essay focuses on logical reasoning, solid proof, and rationale.
  • Refrain from using first or second-person statements.

10 Argumentative Essay Topics

Remember, choosing the “right” arguments essay topics is key to effective writing. You must pick a topic that interests you or are passionate about. This will help you craft a strong and compelling argument.

  1. Should animals be used for scientific research?
  2. Is technology making us less creative?
  3. Are standardized tests the best measure of intelligence?
  4. Should students wear school uniforms?
  5. Is capital punishment an effective crime deterrent?
  6. Are video games harmful or helpful for children?
  7. Should social media platforms be regulated?
  8. Do human activities cause climate change?
  9. Should healthcare be a right or a privilege?
  10. Does the gender pay gap exist?

Types of Essays: Narrative Essay

Among the types of essays, a Narrative Essay tells a story from the writer’s perspective. It characteristically involves the sharing of personal experiences. However, it can be an imaginative account.

A narrative essay taps into the reader’s emotions and provides insights. It tests the writer’s ability to build an engaging and well-rounded narrative. Out of all the types of academic writing, story essays are profoundly personal and creative.

Features of a Narrative Essay

  • Tells a personal story, often from the first-person perspective
  • Contains elements like plot, characters, setting, and climax
  • Stresses on vivid descriptions and sensory details
  • Showcases personal thoughts, feelings, and growth
  • Typically follows a chronological order

A story essay doesn’t necessarily follow a traditional structure. (introduction, body, conclusion). However, your instructor may ask you to abide by a formal structure. Following a narrative essay outline is the best course in that situation.

An outline can equip you with a foundation that ensures clarity and coherence. It guides you in organizing thoughts, crafting plots and presenting them accurately.

11 Narrative Essay Topics

Here are some narrative essay topics for you to practice your skills.

  1. The most memorable trip of my life
  2. The time I stood up against bullying
  3. A life-changing experience
  4. My first day at college
  5. The moment I conquered my biggest fear
  6. An encounter with a stranger that left an impression
  7. The day I lost my best friend
  8. A chance meeting that changed my way of thinking
  9. My first encounter with failure
  10. Online assignment help saved my grades.
  11. A memorable childhood event

The story essays are a fantastic tool for self-expression. It highlights personal growth, helping the reader relate and self-reflect. Practice and understanding key features are pivotal to crafting a remarkable narrative essay.

Types of Essays: Textual Analysis Essay

A textual analysis essay is one of the distinct types of essays. It involves the writer’s ability to interpret and analyze a text critically. These kinds of essays are more common among students of humanities or languages. The main goal of textual analysis is to explore how a text produces a certain impact.

Textual Analysis Essay Characteristics

Below are some distinct features of textual analysis essays.

  • It requires a close reading of the text.
  • An argument is clearly articulated.
  • Evidence from the text is used to support arguments.
  • Analytical tools are applied, such as literary devices, rhetorical strategies, and theories.
  • Includes a conclusion summarizing the analysis.

This essay has further branches that justify different types of textual analysis. To understand these subclasses, we need to look into types of textual analysis.

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Text Types for Textual Analysis

  • Literary texts

This includes analyzing written texts from novels, stories, articles, plays, poems etc. We explore the themes, settings, and stylistic devices, among other things. This type of text scrutiny is generally known as literary analysis. 

  • Visual texts

This dissection involves examining a movie, painting, cartoon, or ad. Writers usually explore the use of different rhetorical devices in these elements. 

  • Media texts

This analysis entails studying news items, articles, or social media posts.

10 Textual Analysis Essay Topics

  1. Analyzing Symbolism in a Short Story
  2. The Use of Language in an Advertisement
  3. Examining Recurring Themes in a Film
  4. Moderation and Extremism in Political Speeches
  5. Social Media’s Role in Elections: A Textual Analysis
  6. Representations of Gender in a TV Show
  7. Narration Styles in Two Novels
  8. Interpreting a Historic Speech
  9. The Power of Words in Song Lyrics
  10. Analysis of Communication Styles in Business Emails

Note. Textual analysis essays and analytical essay have similarities. However, they are not the same. The analytical essay looks into broader ideas, whereas textual analysis explores a specific text.

Types of Essays: Informative Essay

As the name suggests, the informative essay educates the reader unbiasedly. Also known as the expository essay, it is the most common academic essay. It’s because most professors assign this essay to their students to test their grasp of a topic. 

Out of all types of essays, this one presents a balanced subject analysis. It involves presenting facts and impartial data. In expository writing, the writer’s opinion doesn’t matter as it is not required. 

For instance:

Suppose you’re writing an informative essay on abortion for your readers. The essay will maintain a neutral tone, avoiding emotional language. You will strictly provide information on “What, How, or Why’s”. You will incorporate expert opinion, factual data, and historical context to create a balance.

Characteristics of Informative Essay

  • Presents new and interesting information to the reader.
  • It is unbiased, offering an objective view of the topic.
  • Organized logically to present factual analysis effectively.
  • Typically includes an introduction, a body of several paragraphs, and a conclusion.
  • Supported by evidence such as research findings, statistics, or expert citations.

11 Informative Essay Topics

The following are the popular informative essay topics for you to pick.

  1. The impact of climate change on human health.
  2. The historical significance of the Civil Rights Movement.
  3. The process of DNA sequencing.
  4. The development and use of artificial intelligence.
  5. The role of the United Nations. 
  6. The influence of social media on society.
  7. The causes and effects of poverty.
  8. The importance of renewable energy.
  9. The process of making chocolate.
  10. Role of online assignment writing services in helping students
  11. The architectural evolution of ancient Greece.

Informative essays are fundamental among academic types of essays. They develop the writer’s ability to present information clearly and logically. Your research and analytical skills can also benefit in the process.

Types of Essays: Descriptive Essay

Among different types of essays, descriptive essays stand apart. They focus on sensory details of a specific place, person, idea or event. It is the second most creative type of academic essay. 

However, don’t confuse it with a narrative essay that necessitates a story. A descriptive essay doesn’t require a narrative or story to make sense. It ignites the reader’s imagination, transporting them into the world created through vivid description. Excelling in this kind of essay improves observational and writing skills.

Descriptive Essay Characteristics

  • Use of sensory details to create vivid images
  • Use of fancy and figurative language to evoke emotion. 
  • Presenting an intense view of the subject
  • Setting a particular mood or atmosphere
  • Describing feelings and emotions
  • Structured to include an introduction, body, and conclusion

A descriptive essay doesn’t strictly follow the essay structure rules. Although, it starts by introducing the event or object it describes. 

10 Descriptive Essay Topics

You can choose one of the following descriptive essay topics for your next assignment. 

  1. A Visit to the Local Marketplace
  2. The Most Inspiring Painting I’ve Ever Seen
  3. My First Solo Trip
  4. Describing an Afternoon at The Beach
  5. My Ideal Place to Live
  6. How Nature Changes with Seasons
  7. The Best Concert I Ever Attended
  8. The Most Beautiful Garden in My City
  9. An Evening Walk by The Riverside
  10. My Favorite Childhood Memory

Types of Essays: Comparison Essay

One of the many types of essays includes compare and contrast essays. A comparison essay evaluates two things and looks for their major similarities and differences. 

You can write a comparative essay on an object, event, or perspective. The catch is these must belong to the same categories.

To Illustrate:

The following example compares psychological thrillers and horror books.

You can use insights for your upcoming assignments of essay writing.

Comparison Psychological ThrillersPsychological Horror
Similarities: 
                         Main Features:Shock Value
Feelings of Anxiety  Dark and Taboo Subjects
Unexpected plot twists 
Ditto 
Main exploration: Dark side of human nature
Antagonistic natural elements  Different types of villains  
Ditto 
Differences: 
 PurposePlays with the feeling of suspense Evokes shock and fear. 
                                    Nature of genreMore suspenseful

More gore and graphic imagery. 
 Most intense partsClimax is always the most intense part. Both beginnings and climax are intense. 
 Plot Thrillers focus more on plotline and overall storytelling. Horror genre focuses more on violence. 
 Actionmore action packed Creepy or dreadful actions
 Pace Fast-paced Straightforward and Slow Burners 

Main Features of a Comparison Essay

Here are some of the features of compare and contrast essays to focus on.

  • Focuses on similarities and differences.
  • Presents a clear thesis statement.
  • Follows an organized structure, often point-by-point or subject-by-subject.
  • Includes evidence to support each comparison.
  • Contains a conclusion summarizing findings.

Comparison essays allow readers to explore different perspectives. Ultimately developing a better understanding of the subjects analyzed.

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10 Comparison Essay Topics

Check out the following comparison essay topics.

  1. Homeschooling vs. Public School Education
  2. Traditional Classes vs. Online Learning
  3. Leadership Styles: Authoritative vs. Democratic
  4. Vegetarian Diet vs. Omnivorous Diet
  5. Fiction vs. Nonfiction Literature
  6. Living in a City vs. in the Countryside
  7. Western Medicine vs. Traditional Medicine
  8. Renewable Energy Sources vs. Fossil Fuels
  9. Mindfulness Techniques vs. Traditional Therapy
  10. Apple products vs. Android products

Conclusion

It takes years of practice to properly familiarize yourself with different types of essays. We hope this article plays an important role in doing so for your academic journey. If you are looking for further information on any of these essays, check out our related posts.

Moreover, if you require a little hand with your essay assignments, our writers are present around the clock. So get your hands on the most student-friendly offers and order your customary assistance.

Frequently Asked Questions
What are 6 different types of essays? What are some different types of hooks for essays? What are the popular types of essays in college? How many types of essays are there? Name the basic types of essays and what they ask the writer to do? How do I know what type of essay to write?
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