Skip to main content

Call Us (215) 663-1160

Writing an Essay: Six Types of Essays

writing an essay

Writing an Essay: Six Types of Essays  |  DeAnn Cox  | MileStone Academy Literacy Series | Posted May 15, 2023

Writing an Essay: MileStone Academy Literacy Series #105

Writing essays can be scary, but it is an important skill to develop in high school, university, and future careers.

The process of writing essays can become more manageable when you find the different essay types. It can help you stay on track and organize and clear your thoughts.

Different Types of Essay Writing

Think of writing an essay as a discussion. There are many types of meetings you can have with someone else.

There are six ways to write an essay.

You can describe a story that happened to you, explain to them how to do something, or even argue about a certain topic.

Ms. Cox researched great tips on writing essays that will help you with this mission.

writing an essay

Argumentative Essay

When writing an argumentative essay, choose a view on a topic, and your goal is to present evidence that proves your point is correct.

Argumentative essay assignments call for extensive research of literature or previously published material.

Writing essays like this may also require firsthand research, where the student collects data through interviews, surveys, observations, or experiments.

Detailed research allows the student to learn about the topic. Wherefore, the writer should understand different points of view on the topic. This will enable you to choose a position and support it with the evidence collected during research.

Regardless of the amount or type of research involved, argumentative essays must show a clear thesis and follow sound reasoning.

Compare and Contrast Essay

The University of Kellogg defines a compare essay as a Comparison in writing that discusses similar elements, while contrast in writing discusses different elements.

A compare-and-contrast essay analyzes two subjects by comparing, contrasting, or both.

For example, you would not pick apples and oranges if you wanted to focus on contrasting two subjects. Instead, you might compare two types of oranges or two varieties of apples to highlight subtle differences.

Descriptive Essay

A descriptive essay asks the student to describe something—object, person, place, experience, emotion, situation, etc.

This kind encourages the student’s ability to create a written account of a particular experience. Moreover, this genre allows for a great deal of artistic freedom (the goal is to paint an image that is vivid and moving in the reader’s mind).

Remember, if the reader cannot understand what you are describing, try again!

Expository Essay

The writer aims to tell the reader how to complete a specific process. Typically, this is done with a step-by-step guide or something similar.

Expository essay writing analyzes information the writer has been assigned to study.

The writer must critically think about the concepts covered on the subject matter. Thus, they explain the processes and reasons behind the conclusions you have reached.

Narrative Essay

This type of essay is like telling a story, not in the traditional sense with dialogue and characters, but as if you are writing out an event or series of events to relay information to the reader.

In most cases, this is a story about your personal experience. Unlike most academic writing, writing a narrative and descriptive essay lets you get unique and creative.

Persuasive Essay

Your goal is to sway readers about your views on a specific topic.

Therefore, you are trying to present arguments, research, and ideas to influence the reader one way or the other.

Writing a persuasive essay should include five elements:

  • Thesis statement: The argument or the point you are trying to make is found in your introduction.

  • Counterargument:  Your counterargument or the argument opponents of your point of view will hold, should be included early in your essay.  It is vital to present the argument.  Be sure to refute the counterargument with your main objections to it.

  • Body paragraphs:  These paragraphs support your thesis with evidence from credible resources.

  • Conclusion:  This paragraph summarizes your essay’s main points and restates the thesis.

Sources: How to write a perfect essay. National Geographic Kids. Retrieved on April 10, 2023. Essay Tips: 10 Steps to Writing a Great Essay (And Have Fun Doing It!). Joe Bunting. Retrieved on April 10, 2023. How to Write an Essay: Beginner Tips and Tricks. University of the People. Retrieved on April 10, 2023. What is an MLA Works Cited page? University of Arizona Global Campus. MLA: Works Cited Page. Retrieved on April 10, 2023. What is a persuasive essay? Kristie Keuntjes, Learning Services Coordinator. Rasmussen University. Posted on December 18, 2020. Retrieved on May 15, 2023. How to Write a Narrative Essay | Example & Tips. Jack Caulfield. Scribbr. Revised on December 6, 2021. Retrieved on May 15, 2023. Descriptive Essay. What is a Descriptive Essay? Purdue University Online Writing Lab. Retrieved on May 15, 2023. Argumentative Essay/Commentary. University of Toledo. Retrieved on May 15, 2023. Expository Essays: A Complete Guide. Lindsay Kramer. Grammarly. Updated on April 25, 2023. Writing for Success: Compare/Contrast. The University of Kellogg. Retrieved on May 15, 2023.