Types of Essays

Types of Essays

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Essay Writing

Types of Writing

There are many different types of writing out there, depending on what the purpose is and what needs to be communicated. Some types of writing exist to creatively tell a story whereas there may be writing for marketing purposes or perhaps even a mix of both. How can one write a good paper? How can one be a good writer in general? We need to have a broad understanding of all types of essays.

Students are highly likely to need to do a lot of writing, regardless of whether they’re doing a nursing degree or a degree in drama – there are numerous genres of writing to consider:

  • Expository writing – the purpose is to explain or inform
  • Persuasive writing – writing that states an opinion
  • Narrative writing – telling some sort of story, either fact or fiction
  • Descriptive writing – trying to paint a picture for the reader

And, of course, there are many styles of writing, depending on the subject and context. But what is an essay and what can one write in one are two issues that need clarification.

What is an essay?

One of the types of writing that is most common is the essay. We all know it, from students to adults – we’ve all been there and had to write an essay, but what is an essay exactly and how can we define essay in any real sense?

An essay definition can consist of the following in a broad sense:

“A piece of writing on a particular topic or subject”

Of course, this essay definition is broad and subject to change based on different types of essay subject matter. Numerous essays exist in all shapes and forms. There are types of college essays, types of expository essays, you name it, there’s an essay type out there for almost any purpose.

Types of essays

In order to better understand essays so that we can become elite essay writers, let’s take a look at some of the most important types out there today. You can look at other ways to define essay writing depending on the context.

Argumentative essays

An argumentative essay asks you to take a stance on a particular topic and defend your position on it. More often than not, it’s best to choose a topic that you’re really passionate about so that you are prepared to research it as best you can, but you could also choose something you’re not in full agreement with. Whatever you choose to do, there are many types of argumentative essays out there based on many things, controversial topics, people’s opinions, world issues, moral dilemmas – you name it, there’s an argumentative essay in there. As an example, here are some types of argumentative essays one could write on a series of issues:

  1. Environment: Is global warming as much of a catastrophe as it has been suggested?
  2. Ethics: Is the death penalty an effective and fair system for governments to use?
  3. Morality: Is the use of torture ever justified and should it constitute a violation of human rights?
  4. Education: Should children wear school uniforms and are they of benefit?
  5. Society: Should we impose curfews on children and will this be of benefit?

Classification essays

So what exactly is a classification essay? This is one of those essays that is based on arranging different people, ideas or objects with shared characteristics into certain groups or classes. A classification essay more often than not includes certain supporting details, examples, and evidence that is organized to provide a classification. All the different categories can be used as the topic sentences for the body of the essay. There are many types of essay one could write, for example:

  1. The attitudes people have towards capitalism.
  2. Different diets and their effectiveness.
  3. Different types of sports fans and their attitudes towards a particular sport.
  4. Different types of infectious diseases and their severity for public health.

Expository essays

Often dubbed as “how to” essays, an expository essay is one of those essay types that might sometimes become confusing. Types of expository essays all have one thing in common, explaining something with some facts rather than using an opinion to inform the audience. There are numerous types of expository essays that one could write, for instance:

  1. How to essays: papers that describe how one can do something.
  2. Analysis essays: papers that analyze different events, objects, ideas or written pieces.
  3. Step by step essays: papers that describe a certain process.
  4. Descriptive essays: papers that serve to explain or describe a certain event.

College essays

Depending on your course, there are a number of types of college essays that one could write, however, the styles of writing and genres of writing all have a number of things in common. Whether you’re studying Medicine or something completely different such as Drama, there are many different types of writing styles yet each should be written according to these principles:

  • Organize your writing effectively and plan effectively.
  • Be sure of your vocabulary and define any complex terms.
  • Write with a certain sophistication in terms of grammar and syntax.
  • Make sure you search and gather information from trusted sources.
  • Make good use of referencing and formatting according to detailed instructions.

Types of hooks for essays

There are many different types of essays out there but when an essay begins, one needs to grab the reader’s attention instantly with a hook that encourages the audience to read whilst also describing what the essay is about. There are many types of hooks for essays that can be used at the beginning. Try using some of the following hooks at the beginning of your essay:

  • Pose some sort of question relating to your essay subject and then invite your audience to try and answer it.
  • Provide an interesting fact or statistic about your chosen essay subject.
  • Briefly describe the primary setting of your essay.
  • Describe an incident that creates a sense of drama around your subject.
  • Relate a past incident in a way as if it was happening right now.

Good essay topics – general examples

It is often difficult to come up with ideas for good essay topics – even college professors who know all about essay types will struggle! So if you’re struggling, perhaps you’ll appreciate a few of the following ideas that generally work wonders.

Try writing…

  • About something controversial, e.g. “Should euthanasia be made legal in all countries?”
  • About current affairs, e.g. “The world’s position on Trump’s foreign policy choices.”
  • About ethics, e.g. “Animal research methods and the justification.”
  • About the law, e.g. “Gun control and if it is an effective way of reducing crime.”
  • About society, e.g. “How can we work to reduce gender-based discrimination?”


We hope that whatever essay you’ll be working on, you’ve now got more of an in-depth understanding of all the types of essays and some good essay topic examples to work with.

Best of luck with all your writing needs!

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