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Essay Types

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essay types
There are over ten types of essays so it’s easy to get confused. But don’t worry, it only seems to be difficult. The difference between types of essay is simple and depends on the writer’s goal. Do you want to describe something, tell about a personal experience, convince the reader to accept a certain viewpoint, or explain an issue? This major essay types address these purposes:

Expository Essay

The main function is to explain, or to acquaint with something. It can be used to present, explain or describe some information. In order to write this essay you need background research and preparation. An expository essay will require you to show understanding of the chosen topic. A common form of expository essay takes about 5 paragraphs.

Persuasive Essay

This type of essay is used to persuade about something. You will need not only to prove your point, but will also have to persuade your opposition that your viewpoint is logical and well found. The best method is to take a side you believe in; this helps you to be more persuasive and better able to analyze the situation.

Informal Essay

This type of essay is mainly for enjoyment. Informal essays also can be informative and persuasive, but it is less formal and with more observation, humor and relaxed expression of opinion. For a good informal essay it is necessary to have a relaxed style but retain a strong structure. The structure may be less rigid than a formal paper.

Research Essay

Research essays “expect” well-grounded research of others works and asks you to compare another’s thoughts with your own. You need source material and synthesizing what you learned from it with your own ideas.

Literary Essay

Literary essays are an exploration of your meaning and construction of a piece of literature. In a literary essay you need to pay greater attention to specifics. This type of essay focuses on structure, style, theme, subtext and tone of a piece of literature. You should adopt a viewpoint on the work in question and show how the details of the work support your viewpoint.

Argumentative Essay

In this type of essay you need not only to give information, but also present an argument with the supporting ideas (PROS) and opposing ideas (CONS) of an argumentative issue. You should choose an argumentative topic; it’s not an easy task. The topic should:
• be narrowed down
• contain an argument
• be a topic that can be adequately supported (with statistics, outside source citations, etc.)

If you know which essay type you need, you can see Formatting Styles to format your essay correctly. To know more about Essay Writing Tips read the main article of this section.


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