How to Differentiate the Main Types of Essays

When students hear the word “essay,” they think that it is the easiest form of writing where one has to present his or her personal ideas about the problem. However, it is actually not true because there are many types of essays, which cause confusion among students. If you desire to reach success in your academic writing, you have to know the basic peculiarities of each style. Usually professors mention a specific type of essay in their task file, but if this choice is offered to a student, one has to be positive that the selected type clearly reflects his or her intentions in writing. Though one can find approximately a dozen of paper types, students usually deal with the main 4 ones.

Discussion of Each Essay Type

If you would like to learn how to differentiate all those types of essay, you only have to determine the purpose of writing. Usually, in essays students have to explain an issue, discuss a sequence of events, show the process in the smallest detail, persuade the reader, inform about an event, etc. Depending on the purpose of writing, there are 4 major essay types:

  1. A Narrative Essay
    If you have to write a narrative essay, the primary focus of your discussion should be on retelling a story or an event from someone’s life. When students are given the task of writing a narrative paper, they think that it is the easiest task ever. However, writer should be able to present events as vividly as possible, so that the reader does not get bored. Different types of essays must reflect a certain degree of formality. In narrative papers, the story is usually written in the first person. Narrative essays should present a logical sequence of events, whereas the reader will visualize the whole occurrence step-by-step.

  2. A Descriptive Essay
    Descriptive writing is similar to the narrative writing because a writer will have to describe an event or a picture with special vocabulary. The most typical subjects of discussion are an object, place, person, experience, situation, etc. However, the primary purpose of this writing is not only to describe something but also to find a deeper meaning. In descriptive papers, it is very important to apply as many sensory details as possible. The usage of evocative language should stir reader’s imagination and provoke emotions.

  3. An Expository Essay
    Expository essays are usually focused on representation of facts only. It is an informative writing that analyzes the given topic. In expository pieces of writing, there is no need to include any personal claims because the primary goal is to define the chosen topic, include relevant facts and evidential support. It means that conducting research on the topic should always take place before the writing process. Please mind that expository essays can also presume analytical writing. Your professor can ask you to write a cause and effect essay, process essay, comparison and contrast essay, etc.

  4. A Persuasive Essay
    It is the most common writing assignment seen in all disciplines. Writer’s goal is to persuade the reader to accept his/her standpoint or suggestion. There is a need to apply to logics and emotions by providing the most vivid examples that will sound reasonable. In comparison to chronological writing, persuasive papers should both include informative ideas and arguments. All writer’s claims must be supported with clear examples.

Online Writing Hints

If you want to become a good student, you will have to think outside the limits. It means that apart from “absorbing” information from the lectures and textbooks, you will have to spend some time on your personal research to learn the subject matter deeper. The same goes to academic writing. You cannot develop your writing skills without practicing. There is a great deal of online writing courses that help students become successful in their studying. However, if you still cannot reach the desired outcomes, do not hesitate to contact We are a custom writing service that offers students various types of essays of the highest quality. You can contact us even at night.