14 Types of Essays: Writer's Guide with All Classifications and Tips

All students, regardless of their age or level of knowledge, are continuously asked to submit different types of essays that relate to the topics they study in books. It could be a narrative essay that tells a story, a descriptive essay that paints a mental picture, an expository essay where you explain your personal response or feelings or a persuasive essay where you are trying to convince the reader with your point of view. Your goal or purpose of your work determines your essay type. Understanding the main features of each type and the distinctive characteristics that set them apart help you submit a flawless piece of writing that attracts attention.

4 Main Types of Essays

Narrative Essay

A narrative essay belongs to essay types, which reminds a short memoir; you are relating a personal experience of yours in a few pages. This experience can be anything ranging from the story of driving your first car to a description of a trip you took to England with your family two years ago.

Most writings are supposed to be written in the third person, but this is one of the few cases where your professor will allow you to use first person pronouns. By using these types of pronouns, you make the story more vivid and real to your audience.

In order to create good narrative essays, be sure to incorporate imagery and descriptive adjectives. Not only this will doing your essay good, but it can also improve your creative writing skills if you want to become an author of fiction in the future.

Descriptive Essay

A descriptive essay is very close to the narrative essay in the respect that you use imagery extensively in your writing, and that it can prepare you for creating fiction. Here you can describe the characteristics of any person, place, or thing, and you can communicate meaning and symbolism with your words. Doing this stimulates the emotions and sensory receptors in your readers, making them feel like they are actually in the story.

One way to improve your technique is to go outside, find an interesting object, and record every detail you see in an artistic, literary manner.

Read also: How to Write a Hook like a Pro

Expository Essay

You have seen expository writing before if you’ve ever picked up a newspaper or read something on your favorite website. All of these forms of writing are meant to inform, which is the purpose of expository writing. This essay genre provides a fair and balanced analysis of a subject, providing the reader with facts, statistics, and examples so that the reader can form his own opinion. Remember that when writing an expository paper, you are writing to inform, not persuade. Nothing is more dishonest than an op-ed disguised as an exposition.

Expositories cover several different types of writing:

Compare and Contrast: The purpose of this type of writing is to make an argument by noting the differences and similarities between two or more different subjects. This composition is very useful for analyzing historical events separated by decades or different literary works from different literary movements, as well as a host of other topics.

Cause and Effect: This type of paper examines why an event occurred by investigating the factors that started it, and determining the long term consequences that stemmed from it. Explain what exactly caused this effect, how did it happen, and why. These essays involve a lot of analysing where students need to focus on the reasons why certain things happen the way they do. They can relate their studies to historical or scientific topics where they can identify patterns and trends.

Process Essay: These writings are useful for when you are trying to teach another person how to perform a specific task, such as building a transmission, installing software on a computer, or field-stripping a rifle. If you plan on becoming an engineer, machinist, or a specialist in some of other technical field, you should definitely learn how to write a process essay.

Process Analysis Essay: This type focuses on explaining how something is done or how it works. If you are asked to do a process analysis essay, you should have a detailed outline that illustrates the steps of a particular process. These steps are listed in a sequential order to give readers an understanding of how something happens. Students who study applied sciences often write these essays to explain different scientific processes or how a certain machine works. Your reader should always be able to follow the simple and clear directions that describe the process in details.

In order to draft a good expository essay, you must be informed on the topic you are writing about. Select source material related to your topic, take notes on them, and use these notes to form the basis of your paper. This tip will help you with many different types of essay writing.

Persuasive Essay

Unlike in an expository paper, you are not writing to inform, but to change the mind of a person who is already relatively well-informed on the subject being discussed in your composition. You persuade the reader by presenting him with a sound argument that is supported by facts and hard data. Not only must you present your own point-of-view, but you must also present that of your opponent so you can refute his assertions.

When writing a persuasive essay or writing an editorial, remember that those papers, that get good marks avoid logical fallacies, such as ad hominem attacks, red-herrings, and straw-man arguments. If these are in your text, your professor, or any other reader for that matter, will not take your work seriously, and you will get a poor grade as a result. Avoid fallacies by only using sound reasoning supported by hard facts and analysis. Avoid name calling, appeals to ignorance and circular arguments.

Learning how to write logically will not only help you with different types of essay writing, but it will improve your rhetorical skills, which you definitely need when you don't know how to write a rhetorical analysis.

6 Different Types of Essays Which You Will Write While Studying

Critical Essays

Like persuasive and expository essays, critical thinking essays allow you to present a reader with informative content, and they are often used for literary, art, and film analysis, the object of this type being to focus on the characteristics of what is being studied, such as the characters, symbolism, and plot-line.

A good critical essay on a book or film requires you to be well-informed on not only literary and cinematic elements, but also on the lives of the authors, directors, and producers. This gives you a powerful insight into their creation.

Definition Essays

A definition essay defines the meaning of a term or a concept. Some of these words, such as flower, nail and suitcase, have concrete definitions, while words such as friendship, love and hard work are abstract concepts that have different meanings for every person. As a writer, whether the word you are defining is concrete or abstract, it is your job to expound upon the meaning of the word.

A good definition essay makes use of simple sentences to paint a picture of a word to a reader. Make sure that you can be understood by your audience.

Admission or Scholarship Essay

Either you decide to complete this type of essay yourself, or consider choosing an MBA admission essay writing service, this task is known to be the most crucial part of your college or university application. The admission committee looks for interesting and inspiring candidates who can create value. You should be able to state your opinion logically and support it with relevant evidence that shows your critical thinking skills. This type of essay also shows what kind of person you really are. It is an excellent opportunity to prove that you are a hardworking individuality who has a promising future.

Cultural Identity Essay

In this type, a writer focuses on his cultural identity and the group of people he or she identifies with. There are a lot of factors that can have an impact on your identity:

  • Place of birth and upbringing
  • Ethnicity
  • Religion
  • Family dynamics
  • Social status
  • Economic status

All these factors should be taken into consideration when you are doing an essay that describes who you really are. This paper could be used as an assessment of your logical thinking or related to several academic disciplines that high-school and college students usually have to study.

Informative Essay

If you are a student, chances are you need to do some informative essays regarding different subjects and facts. These pieces of writing are meant to provide the reader with relevant information about a certain subject, place, historical event, person or phenomenon. There is a question that the writer asks on behalf of the reader, and the answer should be provided and explained in different parts of the text.

Research Paper

This paper focuses on how you interpret your research about a specific academic topic. As a student, you have to study the problem, run a few experiments and write down your findings in an interesting way that shows your effort. Research papers are either based on reading or investigation and can be submitted at the end of the term to conclude and cover your studies on a certain topic.

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Common Types of Essays for Middle School

Middle school essay writing involves focusing on various types of essays that aim at improving students’ thinking and writing skills. Students usually create expository essays, analytical essays, persuasive essays and argumentative essays.

These kinds of essays are simple compared to the ones submitted at higher academic levels. They should focus on exciting topics, trends, and issues that younger students find tempting and intriguing.

Creating these essays is a challenge for some students because it involves a lot of hard work. Here is a plan of the necessary steps:

  1. Have a clear understanding of the topic and try to draw an outline that includes all the relevant ideas that should be discussed. This will help you stay on track.
  2. Gather information about the topic and write down notes to be able to compose interesting paper. You can refer to these notes while creating the draft.
  3. The first draft is your first attempt to do your paper. After you are ready, reread it and check for mistakes and errors. Make the necessary adjustments and write your assignment one more time. Make sure that you divide it into 3 parts: an introduction, the main body, and a conclusion.
  4. Avoid using unnecessary words to increase the word count.

Often Written Types of Essays in High-School

Writing essays in high-school is important training that helps you improve your skills. In addition to the previous ones, high-school students create several different types of essays: narrative essays. descriptive essays, cause and effect essays.

High-school students are given a chance to express their feelings and personality in a safe environment through narrative and descriptive writings. They are more likely to enjoy this type of writing where there is more room for creativity. In some cases, a teacher gives them the opportunity to pick their own topic as long as it is related to the main theme.

Since high-school papers are more complicated, students spend more time doing research and looking for useful sources. Only academically approved sources should be used to avoid unnecessary penalties. Here is how to write a flawless essay for high-school:

  1. State the topic of your essay. It should be clear so readers won’t get confused. If you are working on descriptive or narrative papers, explain the setting. This helps put the reader in the mood.
  2. Use all the senses to describe a specific event or phenomenon. This creates a mental image that keeps your audience focused and engaged.
  3. In cause and effect papers, get extra deep to explain how such case happens in a specific way and why.
  4. Write your conclusion. This is a summary of the topic that you have analyzed, explained or interpreted in your assignment. It serves as a written wrap-up that helps readers understand the real goal of your task.

High-school assignments are naturally more difficult. However, they help you improve your study skills as you express your opinion which will help you later in college and after graduation.

Types of Essays in College

College writing is different from one academic institution to another. In college assignments, following the right format and outline is of huge importance in all essay types. Plagiarism is intolerable, and you should cite all your sources correctly. Here are some of the most common types of writing for college and university students: admission essays, scholarship essays, comparison and contrast essays, definition essays and reports.

Different kinds of essays are usually linked to various college majors. You will need to write argumentative, persuasive and descriptive papers as a part of your college education. Since students struggle with finishing all their academic assignments, you should always follow a strict plan to finish your tasks on time:

  1. Make a schedule of all due assignments. Check the time and start working on the nearest one.
  2. Explore the topic of the assignment deeply and use relevant sources.
  3. In some cases, you can think out of the box. In others, you should follow a certain outline. Check with your professor and see how you can finish an excellent task.
  4. Brainstorm for relevant and unique ideas that make your paper stand out.
  5. Use the required number of sources as proof of your careful work.
  6. Cite your sources properly. Follow the correct citation format as required by your professor.
  7. Follow the essay format as set by your college; otherwise, your task might be rejected.
  8. Create the structure: title page, introduction, main part, and conclusion of the task. Don’t forget to list your references at the end.

Adequate research and practice enable you to write different essay forms flawlessly. Spend time reading your tasks and identify your mistakes. Proper editing is the key to submitting excellent assignments.

Tips for Writing Different Essay Structure Types

Stay Informed

A good essayist always keeps informed of news, events and the latest trends of whatever he/she writes about, whether it be fashion, sports or politics. Pick several books, newspapers, magazines and websites to read and peruse through them regularly to search for topics that might be relevant to your interests.


Reading is the best way to improve your writing skills, because you see the techniques of different authors being successfully applied. You can find a style that you like and copy it, or you can incorporate the elements of many writing styles into your work.

Keep a Journal

Many famous authors, like George Orwell and Leo Tolstoy, left behind diaries and journals detailing their everyday lives and thoughts. Why not emulate them? This will help you to better your writing by forcing you to reflect on thoughts and issues that concern you.


Coming up with ideas for your writing project is not an easy thing to do. For days, it seems like, you sit in front of a blank piece of paper and, for the life of you, you can’t come up with anything meaningful to jot down. This is what we call writer’s block. There are ways to overcome this hurdle, though, with what we call pre-writing.

To pre-write, all you have to do is get a piece of paper and record down every single thought and phrase that comes to mind. Do this for as long as you feel necessary, and pretty soon you will have a big list of concepts and ideas for your composition.


An outline is a plan for your essay that helps you to structure your composition so that it is organized and comprehensive.

Many essayists believe that they are too good to create the outline, but the fact is that all authors, no matter how skilled they are have to do this, because outlining an essay keeps you organized. Those who neglect to outline their works often find themselves wondering off topic frequently, going down what are called “rabbit trails.”

You Will Master These Writings

All of these types of essays might seem overwhelming, but trust us, learning how to do them is not as difficult as you might think. However, if you have a part-time job or not enough free time, and you want someone else to do your essay for you, contact the English language experts of EduBirdie in order to get high-quality assistance. Our typers are waiting to provide you with the best essay writing help!

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