Learn All The Essay Types


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When writing essays, there are usually five different types that an instructor may ask the student to write. The five essays that you may be assigned to write are: research essays; critical analysis essays; narrative essays; persuasive essays; and expository essays. Each essay will have similar structures as far as introduction, body, and a conclusion. When writing some essays, especially research essays, an abstract may be required. The abstract is simply a 150 word summation of the idea of the essay. It is presented at the beginning of an essay (APA format). Often the abstract is written after the essay is completed (even though it will be placed before the Introduction within the paper). The abstract is usually more accurate if the writer finishes the essay first, and then a quick summation is presented as the “Abstract”.

Research Paper

            The research essay is possibly the most intricate and usually, lengthy, essay. The writer must use all his/her organization skills that he/she has, to create a research essay. It is definitely a good idea to establish an outline before starting a research essay. Once the outline is completed, the writer should begin to search databases or primary sources, such as books and peer-reviewed journals. These sources should be recorded in a reference page. These references should be studied and organized so that the student may build his/her research essay thesis statement; then the abstract, introduction, body and finally, the conclusion should be written.

Critical Analysis Essay

            The critical analysis essay is developed as if the student is a “detective”. When asked to present a critical analysis essay, the writer must study the subject to be analyzed and then find sources to prove, or disprove, a thesis statement. In the critical analysis, the “burden of proof” is in the well researched sources. The introduction should clearly state what the student is attempting to prove, the body should build and establish that proof and the conclusion should be a complete summation of the evidence that the student has collected to prove his/her thesis statement.

Narrative Essay
            The narrative essay is possibly the simplest of all essays. These essays are usually stated from the writer’s perspective and should be written in the first person. The narrative essay tells a story, whether it be a story of the writer’s experience or a story which may seem to be from the writer’s perspective. The narrative essay will also have an introduction with a thesis statement, a body and a conclusion. Sometimes the writer of the narrative essays is offered the opportunity to relate the story and give a personal opinion. Most essays are written in a more analytical style, whereas the narrative essay may be a less formal style with personal opinions and warm humor.

Persuasive Essay

            The persuasive essay is one in which the writer must create a hypothesis within his/her thesis statement and then argue or persuade a certain audience that this point of view, or hypothesis, is true. Good, accurate resources are an absolute necessity in a persuasive essay. The instructor will be looking for your “burden of proof” when arguing a point. The persuasive essay is simply a one sided “debate” in written form, with an essay structure.

Exospitory Essay

            An expository essay is an essay which does not reflect the writer’s opinion. These essays explain and tell the reader “how to” accomplish something; or explain certain facts about a happening; or give factual information about an event. An expository essay must keep the reader in mind, as to how the reader should understand the material and be able to follow the directions of the writer. Often the expository essay must show “step by step” instructions or “step by step” factual information on a historical or important event.

            Each of the five essays must be handled in different forms, and possibly formats. The research essay, for instance, may require a Harvard or Chicago/Turabian format, due to its formal criteria.