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Writing Different Types of Essay: Easy Tips to Define Each Essay Type

Essays can take many different forms. To keep you from making any misinterpretations of the type of essay that you’ve been assigned, here are some definitions and examples of each one listed below:

Descriptive essays

This requires a writer to vividly describe something. It might be something tangible like a beloved pet, a former school or even a well known person. It could also be something intangible like a feeling of joy or the smell of a favourite food item. In order to be well done, the writer must describe well enough for the reader to envision the thing that is being described. Some topics for this essay style might be:

  • “My first home”
  • “The streets of my home town”
  • “My favorite painting”

Narrative Essays

Like descriptive essays, narrative essays rely on language to create an image in the readers mind but rather than just a description, they should tell a whole story. These essays may not take much research particularly if the writer’s imagination is very vivid but will be difficult for writers who have trouble thinking and writing creatively. A few topics in this style might be:

  • “No way back”
  • “Another Fallen Hero”

Persuasive and Argumentative Essays

Both Persuasive and Argumentative essays can look similar at first. They address two sides of a point but where argumentative essays strive for balance, persuasive essays try to sway the reader to one side. Some topics that can be addressed using either method are:

  • “Should infants be fed processed sugar?”
  • “Can the effects of pollution be reversed?”
  • “Should multicultural societies celebrate all cultural festivals equally?”

Expository Essays

This style of essay aims to inform primarily and may rely heavily on facts, definitions or explanations. It may take the form of a process essay, compare and contrast, classification or cause and effect. Some topics in this vein are:

  • “Compare and Contrast the Capitalist and Communist Economic Models”
  • “Describe the Process of Baking a Cake”
  • “How has Deforestation Led to an Intensification of the Green-House Effect?”

The best way to familiarize yourself with each type is to try them all. You may immediately realize you have a favorite that you can easily do. It’s a good idea to put extra work into the others so you can get even better at them.