Four types of essays exist including: narration, description, exposition, and argument. Each type has a unique purpose: some tell a story, some are descriptive and others prevent viewpoints. One of the best ways to better understand each type of essay is to review examples.
Types of Essays
Narration is telling a story from a certain viewpoint, and there is usually a reason for the telling. All narrative essays will have characters, setting, climax, and most importantly, a plot. The plot is the focus of the story and is usually revealed chronologically, but there are sometimes flash forwards and flash backs.
In writing a narrative essay, remember to:
- Include sensory and emotional details, so the reader will experience the story, not just read about it
- Have the story support the point you are making, and make reference to that point in the first sentence.
- Write in the first or third person
Descriptive essays have text which describes traits and characteristics of people, objects, events, feelings, etc in intricate detail.
Whatever is being described will be thoroughly examined. For example, if you were describing roses, you would explain:
- Where they come from
- What they look like
- What colors they are
- How they grow and smell
When you write a descriptive essay, you want to involve the reader’s senses and emotions. For example, you could say, “I got sleepy” or describe it like this, "As I was waiting for Santa, my eyelids began to get heavy, the lights on the tree began to blur with the green branches, and my head started to drop." The second sentence gives vivid details to make the reader feel like he is there.
Expository essays can compare, explore and discuss problems, or tell a story. An exposition essay gives information about various topics to the reader. It:
In writing an exposition, the text needs to:
- Be concise and easy to understand
- Give different views on a subject or report on a situation or event
- Explain something that may be difficult to understand as you write your essay.
Remember that your purpose is to explain.
In an argumentative essay the writer is trying to convince the reader by demonstrating the truth or falsity of a topic. The writer’s position will be backed up with certain kinds of evidence, like statistics or opinions of experts.
The writer is not just giving an opinion, but making an argument for or against something and supporting that argument with data.
To know how to write an essay in an argumentative way, you have to research and backup what you say in the text.
Learn by Example
When learning how to write an essay, sometimes the best way to learn is to look and analyze essay examples.
Following are excerpts from narrative essays:
"Looking back on a childhood filled with events and memories, I find it rather difficult to pick on that leaves me with the fabled "warm and fuzzy feelings." As the daughter of an Air Force Major, I had the pleasure of traveling across America in many moving trips. I have visited the monstrous trees of the Sequoia National Forest, stood on the edge of the Grande Canyon and have jumped on the beds at Caesar’s Palace in Lake Tahoe."
"The day I picked my dog up from the pound was one of the happiest days of both of our lives. I had gone to the pound just a week earlier with the idea that I would just "look" at a puppy. Of course, you can no more just look at those squiggling little faces so filled with hope and joy than you can stop the sun from setting in the morning. I knew within minutes of walking in the door that I would get a puppy… but it wasn't until I saw him that I knew I had found my puppy."
"Looking for houses was supposed to be a fun and exciting process. Unfortunately, none of the ones that we saw seemed to match the specifications that we had established. They were too small, too impersonal, too close to the neighbors. After days of finding nothing even close, we began to wonder: was there really a perfect house out there for us?"
The following is an example of a famous narrative written by John Updike, "Hub Fans Bid Kid Adieu":
"The afternoon grew so glowering that in the sixth inning the arc lights were turned on--always a wan sight in the daytime, like the burning headlights of a funeral procession. Aided by the gloom, Fisher was slicing through the Sox rookies, and Williams did not come to bat in the seventh. He was second up in the eighth. This was almost certainly his last time to come to the plate in Fenway Park, and instead of merely cheering, as we had at his three previous appearances, we stood, all of us, and applauded."
Following are excerpts from descriptive essays:
"Like his twisted feathers, his many scars, the reliable old owl chose the gnarled, weather-beaten, but solid branch often—it being a companion to the wise alone with the night and the last branch to creak in the heaviest wind. He often came to survey the fields and the clouds before his hunt, to listen to the steady sound of the stream passing through reeds under the bridge, while combing his feathers for the unwanteds—whatever they might be."
Here is a descriptive essay about a first visit to a favorite diner written by a student at Roane State Community College:"When entering the door at Lou’s, two things are immediately noticeable: the place is rarely empty and seems to consist of a maze of rooms. The first room, through the door, is the main part of the restaurant. There is another, rarely used, dining room off to the right. It was added during the oil well boom of the seventies. Through the main dining room is yet another room; it guards the door leading into the kitchen. This room contains the most coveted table in the place. The highest tribute Lou can bestow on anyone is to allow them access to seats at this table. This table is the family table; it is reserved for Lou’s, and her daughter Karen’s, immediate family and treasured friends."
Here is an example of a descriptive essay from St. Cloud State:"Billy Ray's Pawn Shop and Lawn Mower Repair looked like a burial ground for country auction rejects. The blazing, red, diesel fuel tanks beamed in front of the station, looking like cheap lipstick against the pallid, wrinkled texture of the parking lot sand. The yard, not much larger than the end zone at General G. Patton High School on the north end of town, was framed with a rusted metallic hedge of lawn mowers, banana seat bicycles, and corroded oil drums. It wasn't a calico frame of rusted parts, but rather an orchestra of unwanted machinery that Billy Ray had arranged into sections. The yellow-tanked mowers rested silently at the right of the diesel fuel. Once red, now faded orange, mowers stood at attention to the left. The oil barrels, jaded and pierced with holes, bellared like chimes when the wind was right. The bikes rested sporadically throughout the lot. In the middle of it all was the office, a faded, steel roof supported by cheap two-by-fours and zebra paneling. Billy Ray was at home, usually, five blocks east of town on Kennel Road."
Following are excerpts from exposition essays:
"This family was a victim of a problem they could have avoided-a problem that, according to Florida park rangers, hundreds of visitors suffer each year." Several times a month," ranger Rod Torres of O'Leno State Park said, "people get scared and leave the park in the middle of the night." Those people picked the wrong kind of park to visit. Not that there was anything wrong with the park: The hikers camped next to them loved the wild isolation of it. But it just wasn't the kind of place the couple from New Jersey had in mind when they decided to camp out on this trip through Florida."
Here is an example of a student model answer of an Expository Essay from The Write Source:"Did you know that 7 out of 10 students have cheated at least once in the past year? Did you know that 50 percent of those students have cheated more than twice? These shocking statistics are from a survey of 9,000 U.S. high school students.Incredibly, teachers may even be encouraging their students to cheat! Last year at a school in Detroit, teachers allegedly provided their students with answers to statewide standard tests."Here is an another example of an expository essay.
This example comes from Essay Start:"Throughout history and through a cross-section of cultures, women have transformed their appearance to conform to a beauty ideal. Ancient Chinese aristocrats bound their feet as a show of femininity; American and European women in the 1800s cinched in their waists so tightly, some suffered internal damage; in some African cultures women continue to wear plates in their lower lips, continually stretching the skin to receive plates of larger size. The North American ideal of beauty has continually focussed on women's bodies: the tiny waist of the Victorian period, the boyish figure in vogue during the flapper era, and the voluptuous curves that were the measure of beauty between the 1930s and 1950s. Current standards emphasize a toned, slender look, one that exudes fitness, youth, and health. According to psychologist Eva Szekely, "Having to be attractive at this time . . . means unequivocally having to be thin. In North America today, thinness is a precondition for being perceived by others and oneself as healthy" (19). However, this relentless pursuit of thinness is not just an example of women trying to look their best, it is also a struggle for control, acceptance and success."
Finally, here are excerpts from argumentative essays:
"Gun control has been a controversial issue for years. A vast majority of citizens believe that if gun control is strictly enforced it would quickly reduce the threat of crime. Many innocent people feel they have the right to bear arms for protection, or even for the pleasure of hunting. These people are penalized for protecting their lives, or even for enjoying a common, innocent sport. To enforce gun control throughout the nation means violating a persons Constitutional rights. Although some people feel that the issue of gun control will limit crime, the issue should not exist due to the fact that guns are necessary for self defense against crime, and by enforcing gun control is violating a citizen’s second amendment right to bear arms."
Another examples of an argumentative essay comes from Bogazici University:"Throw out the bottles and boxes of drugs in your house. A new theory suggests that medicine could be bad for your health, which should at leastcome as good news to people who cannot afford to buy expensive medicine. However, it is a blow to the medicine industry, and an evenbigger blow to our confidence in the progress of science. This new theory argues that healing is at our fingertips: we can be healthy by doing Reikion on a regular basis."
On Essay By Example, on the other hand, the sample argumentative essay addresses online games and socialization:
"Online games aren't just a diversion, but a unique way to meet other people. As millions of gamers demonstrate, playing online is about friendship and cooperation, not just killing monsters. These games are a viable social network because players focus on teamwork, form groups with like-minded people and have romantic relationships with other players."Massively-Multiplayer Online Games (MMOGs) feature millions of players interacting in the same environment. The games are social in nature as they allow players to band together and complete missions based on a story line, or test their skills by fighting against each other. At the start of the game, the user creates a fictional character, and customizes its physical appearance. Since many games involve combat, players also outfit their characters with armor and weapons, as well as choose their "profession." Many popular game titles like World of Warcraft and Everquest follow a fantasy theme, so most professions have magical abilities like healing other players or raising undead minions. While the process seems simple, players may spend hours agonizing over the perfect look for their character, from their armor color to the type of skills to use in battle. Once their character is created, the player is free to explore the vast, digital world and interact with other players; however they must pay on average $15 a month for game content. MMOG users are mostly male - usually between the ages of 18-34 - although titles like World of Warcraft have a healthy population of female players as well. With millions of players, there are plenty of people to adventure with."
The key to learning to write a good essay is to read and study other essays and then practice, practice, rewrite and practice some more.
Do you have a good example to share? Add your example here.comments powered by
By YourDictionaryFour types of essays exist including: narration, description, exposition, and argument. Each type has a unique purpose: some tell a story, some are descriptive and others prevent viewpoints. One of the best ways to better understand each type of essay is to review examples.
A big problem that most students and new essay writers run into is “How to write an essay.” usually roughly all essays follow a common structure of writing which comprises of an introduction, the body, and the conclusion. Once the writers are lucid about the technique of writing an essay and how to write an essay outline, the next step that they face up to is how to move toward a particular research paper topic. And what type of writing works best?
Students often complain about a certain type of essay they have been assigned with. It seems to them that writing within essay type boundaries doesn’t allow them to think out the box, limits their potential. But writing a paper without any directions could be even more confusing than the class assignment you got. Do not think about the limitations as of the prison walls, but as of the walls in your room where you feel free to paint murals or change nothing whatsoever, simply being in control of it, being yourself.
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Basic Types: Narrative, Descriptive and Persuasive
The most valuable skill when writing an essay is to know exactly what you are dealing with. That’s why ProfEssays.com is here to assist you in mastering all the major essay types. First, you should know about the three most common ones.
Narrative Essays – If you are not quite sure what a certain type of essay is, just take a look at its name. A narrative essay, for example, has to be presented as a narrative, i.e. a sequence of events, a story. Writing a narrative essay usually involves sharing some personal experience, telling a story from your point of view. This also implies that there should be all the usual indicators of storytelling like plot, setting, climax, etc. in your essay. The closest thing to a narrative essay is a short story.
Descriptive Essays usually answer the questions who, what, where and when. They paint a detailed picture in a mind of a reader about an event, place or issue. A descriptive essay must be written in a way that the readers could feel as if they participated in a certain event or talked to a person, who is the subject of your paper. If you look at descriptive essays from a different perspective, you will find them very similar to everyday news reports.
Persuasive Essays – A persuasive essay must interest/provoke/puzzle/enlighten the reader with a certain angle on different issues, facts and views. Of all essay types, a persuasive essay is perhaps the most difficult to write. It could have elements of narration or/and description but the whole purpose of this type of essays, and their clear distinctive mark, is to make a statement, prove a point, change somebody’s mind, thereby demonstrating your analytical skills. The ProfEssays’ writers always try to be two steps ahead by taking into account all the basic elements of a good persuasive essay, like who is the intended audience (teachers, classmates) of your essay, how to prove your point of view perfectly matching your age and academic level, which sources to use as the examples and illustrations to your thesis statement. Outside the educational institutions you will cross paths with such examples of persuasive writing as public speeches, advice columns and even advertisements.
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ProfEssays.com provides extensive and comprehensive essay writing services. The types of essay listed on this page are just a small amount of the academic papers we deal with every day. Our writers have proven efficiency and proficiency, providing our customers with essays, research papers, dissertations, theses, coursework, term papers, presentations, reports, research proposals, etc. All of the papers we do for our customers are original, and are checked with a meticulous anti-plagiarism software. No matter what the deadline is, 8 hours of 8 days, we always deliver the papers on time.
Next, we are going to explore other types of essays, but it is important to be aware that they use all the same techniques as the aforementioned. Most of them do not strictly fall into one category of essays, but use all the traits from each category in different proportion to suit their own purpose. That’s why there are so many different approaches to essay classifications. Even though the classification on this page seems to be sorted out nicely, it is still rather flexible, for many of the elements could easily shift to the different category. Here, is ProfEssays‘ insight into the matter.
Personal essays, also known as personal statements, usually involve sharing some of your experiences, that’s why they are closely related to narrative essays, but depending on the purpose of each essay, they surely might have some persuasive or descriptive features. Also, these types of papers do not demand as much research as the others, because all the necessary information is already in your memories. One of the most cheerful types is a funny essay that prompts you to share a personal experience that has the ability to bring a smile to the face of a reader. In an autobiographical essay you have to tell readers as much as possible about yourself. Sometimes, the purpose of the autobiographical essay is college admission. In that case it is called a college admission essay. The same logic is applied to scholarship essays, graduate admission letters, MBA essays, etc. Sometimes you should consider combining funny essay and college admission essay to get a desirable leverage over other applicants, there’s nothing like laughter to melt the ice between you and admission committee.
These types of essays are well written with appropriate data, expert views, and well built arguments on a claim or a dispute. It is very vital that while putting forth the argument the writer should take a stand but at the same time discuss both sides of the issue.
This category of essays includes:
- Argumentative/Persuasive essays – To succeed in writing this type of essays you need to find fresh point of view at an important issue, present it with the strong arguments and support it with reliable evidence. Sometimes these essays use the pros and cons pattern to get more impressive results. If you need a pro & con essay the ProfEssays.com is your answer.
- Cause & effect essays show your ability to explore the influences between two events that are relevant to you or your surroundings.
- Evaluation essays– This type is somewhat similar to the previous one but it concentrates mostly on the writer’s own views on the matter rather than the causal relations. It is almost like an argumentative essay, but the reasoning here is not directed at an audience but the writer himself.
- Comparison & Contrast essays– As the name suggests, you need to weigh all the aspects of your essay topic and find a number of peculiarities that belong to the subjects of your essay (there should be at least couple of them), in order to complete the assignment like this. To succeed at this job you need to use a C&C essay outline.
- Example essays should concentrate on finding good and relevant examples to support your thesis statement that will prove your argument valid. There is a strong similarity to comparison essays here because you
- Research essays can be very argumentative in nature, but having a strong scientific side definitely singles them out. The whole point here is to find a reliable support of your statement, the more unconventional in nature the better. The most important part of a research essay is an original thesis statement. If you got stuck writing a thesis statement for your essays, contact ProfEssays.com and receive help from the professionals.
- Synthesis essays are all about the masterful handling of two or more sources to support your thesis. These are very similar to argumentative essays, the main difference being the dissimilar approach to evaluating how well you managed to combine the materials you used for your paper.
This category usually is all about informing rather than sharing a point of view. It combines features of descriptive and persuasive essays, because while scrupulously describing the subject, it uses the language and methods of scientific analysis. Although you should not hesitate to use narrative style if you need to tell a story or a joke in order to explain some complex matters.
- Informative essays should provide the reader with data on the essay topic that you have chosen. Here, your role as an essay writer is to ensure that your audience has a concrete grasp on the idea that you are attempting to explain. Make sure that all the relevant to your topic information was mentioned and use only trustworthy sources to get the needed information from.
- Definition essays commonly deal with complex notions or scientific terms. The contents of this type of essays should be straight and simple, using as much facts, examples and anecdotes as needed. The Definition of Love, the Essay on Heroism – these are possible examples of this kind of writing.
- Classification essays show the writer’s ability to divide and sort things into a categories. In the way, this page could be regarded as a classification essay.
- Expository essays present an unbiased observation of subject at matter. These have common features with analytical essays, but without the argumentative or criticizing sides of the latter; they are more impartial and tend to express no opinions.
- How-to essays are designed to explain and teach the audience something new. Such an requirement usually puzzles the students because you have to become a teacher while still being at school.
- Process essay describes the stages of a certain process. In this type of essay, the author should present the steps of a certain process in a clear and chronological order.
It is clear that you need to apply analytical skills when writing this type of essays. That’s why essays in this category seem to cause a lot of headaches among students. ProfEssays.com are happy to provide you with all the necessary information on this matter, but if you still find yourself struggling on, order your essay right now and let us worry about it. Among analytical essays you can find:
- Critical literary analysis is a very common type of essay. Sometimes it is called a book review or literary essay, which doesn’t change the nature of this paper, an analytical revision of a certain text: a book, poem, piece etc.
- Critique essays – This type deals with the wider range of subjects to analyze. Basically, it is the same type that is literary analysis, when the essay is about a book, but it also can apply to a movie, painting, event, process in history or science etc. The important thing to remember here is that critique essays are not suppose to criticize but complete a fair investigation of its topic.
- Analytical essay can evaluate both the student’s knowledge on selected issues and ability to express his thoughts. But it is important not to make it too casual by expressing your point of view, always support the statements you make with logical reasoning and hard facts.
- Deductive essays could be quite tricky to do because you have not only to demonstrate your knowledge of study material but also apply this knowledge to a given problem or situation to see your deductive skills and reasoning.
- The whole point of the exploratory essays is that you start writing it before you know the end result. In such a paper you should take into an account the process of finding out and learning something new. It has to show your ability to work on the matter at hand and analyze your own learning process.
- Reflective essays serve only one purpose – to show your ability to logically reflect on a particular matter.
Descriptive essays are papers which give a clear vision of what is been described. It can be something physical (person or place) or something abstract (feeling, impression, etc). This type of essays must contain certain facts and statements so that the reader could clearly imagine the subject or object you are writing about.
- Descriptive essays are considered to be among the easiest ones to write but don’t forget that there are still a lot to take into an account like essay format or distinctive word combinations that should be used in order for the paper to be absolutely flawless.
- Illustration essays are not about the pictures in books. To succeed with such an assignment you need to describe your subject not with drawings but with the words. This type is very close to the analytical or informative essays but since the focus here is on the description of your own experiences there is no doubt as to which category it belongs.
- On the other hand, photo essays are all about the pictures. To make a photo essay you need to select a sequence of pictures that gives a complete account of an event of some sort. It is better to see something once than hear about it a hundred times. Surely, this type of essays has narrative features, because you are expected not only to show what happened but also to make a logical narrative using photos and little to no words. It could remind you the basics of the comic books.
There is a group of essay types that do not fit in this classification only because they are defined by the structure rather than content. Basically, each of this essay types could be narrative, descriptive or argumentative, which is decided when you get the specific assignment. The distinctive characteristic that gives these essays a right to be distinguished is a specific way these papers should be written in. For example:
- 5 paragraph essays speak for themselves. This type of essay should consist of 5 paragraphs: an introduction, three body paragraphs and a conclusion.
- Short essays specifically show your abilities to make brief yet full-fledged paper. To choose which information is relevant and which is not, decide what should stay in the essay and what should be left out could be a real challenge even for an experienced writer. Our company can save you time and deliver an excellent short essay on any topic.
- DBQ essays come with a list of questions you have to answer in order to show your work on theoretical material, documents that are relevant to your current class.
Our expert writers at ProfEssays have the ability to deal with all types of essays and produce the finest samples of those.
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