How to write effective essays, list of 30 different types and styles essays with definition.

Styles of Essay Writing


Expository Essays

The expository essay explains or acquaints the reader with knowledge. Explaining the topic shows the reader the knowledge the writer has. The purpose of an expository essay is to explain a topic without giving the writer’s opinion so the reader will have knowledge about the subject. This type of essay is designed to convey information and help the reader to understand the topic. Expository essays use an analysis of parts and the use of familiar illustrations to explain the topic.

Argumentative Essays

An argumentative essay means taking a side of an issue discussed and being able to give evidence as to which side is right according to the person’s opinion. An argument is a heated discussion about something important to the person discussing the topic. An argumentative essay should be well structured, well reasoned, and well supported. One essential part of this type of essay is opposition. This means knowing both sides of the issue. A person must discuss both sides and give evidence as to the side the writer takes. An argumentative essay begins with a statement of a person’s assertion about an issue. The next step is reviewing the literature about the issue. The next step is describing how the person’s assertion is better than the other side.

Analytical Essay of a Topic, Text, or Book

The analytical academic paper is a review of a topic, text, or book is the same as an analysis with often taking an argument in a text and stating why the writer of the essay feels the way he/she does about the reading of the text. A purpose of an analytical essay is to read the material and then analyze or give your response to your reading. The writer collects the information that is central to the argument that she/he plans to give on the reading. What are the strengths and weaknesses of the material? The writer uses the evidence and assumptions to support his/ her analysis of the text. An analytical essay of a book, text, or topic will usually begin with a summary of the original material. It will then take the audience to the claim of the writer about the topic, text, or book and then give evidence for the argument.

Persuasive Essays

Persuasive writing can be defined as a creative essay designed to convince the reader that his/her point of view is right. The topic chosen must have more than one side to the issue. Research the topic producing evidence for position taken. An introductory paragraph should state the point of the essay. The body of the essay needs at least three or more main points. Provide evidence of the main points with statistics, quotes, and examples. The last step is the conclusion that wraps up the essay restating the main idea.

Informal Essays

The informal essay is usually written for enjoyment. It is similar to fiction and poetry in the imagination that is used to express oneself. The informal essay can inform the audience, but it has more of a relaxed style of writing. It is more personal than most essays and allows the writer to express him/herself more than other types of essays. Often instructors assign these types of essays to get to know the student as well as the individual writing style.

Review Essays

The purpose of a review is to evaluate or express one’s feelings about something. It is a person’s evaluation of what he/she is reviewing. Usually the instructor wants to know how you feel about a movie, a concert, a book, a piece of art. or a particular work. Two steps are needed in a review. First, the reviewer must develop an argument about what they are reviewing. Second. the reviewer must write an organized review. It should clearly state the opinion of the reviewer about the work and why the reviewer feels the way he/she does.

The Narrative Essays

Narrative essays are often personal essays written in a story form. Narrative essays can be written in the first or third person depending on the perspective of the story. Narrative essays should have concrete terms. Most narrative essays have a universal meaning or take away nugget. Personal narrative essays are non-fiction stories. Narrative essays if told as a story should have a plot, setting, characters, a climax leading to the thesis, and conclusion. Most narrative essays should have a time line where it begins and where it ends.

Descriptive Essays

A descriptive essay uses the senses to describe something to the reader. It uses the senses such as smell. hear, taste, or feel. It is more than telling a person something. It uses words to write a verbal picture. It does not just tell the reader about an object, but the words describe what the writer wants to show. Using nouns it allows the reader to see. Using verbs gives them the sense of feeling. A descriptive essay may be objective or even subjective. The writer uses tone, diction, and attitude to get the message to the reader. The purpose of a descriptive essay is to get specific and concrete details to the reader about an object or place.

Comparison Essays

A comparison essay is exactly what it is called. It simply means comparing things. The first step is Brainstorming to compare how two items are similar. Organize these to form the essay. Form the thesis of the comparison and find three main points of the comparison. The comparison essay is a typical five-paragraph essay except it’s comparing something.

Process Essays

A Process essay tells the reader how to do something. Each step should be explained in detail enough for the reader to understand. It should explain the equipment needed, the materials and all the steps involved in doing the process. A transition is important to make the paper flow smoothly. The process essay begins with the first step in a process and proceeds in time until the last step in process.

Philosophy Essays

The philosophy essay gives a philosophical view point of the subject discussed.

Proverb Essays

The purpose of a proverb essay is to expand on the meaning of a particular proverb and find its application in life. To write a successful proverb essay, you need to choose a good proverb that can be a good subject for discussion in your proverb essay.

For e.g.

  • “All are not saints who go to church.” This is really true, since there are a lot of people who go to Church. but have a lot of sins behind their back.
  • “All is well that ends well.” This proverb helps people not to be upset with some things that happen to them and seem to be unfair.
  • “Better a glorious death than a shameful life.” This proverb suits the life of the knights. but this can be applied to our present life in the meaning that you should not give up and keep doing something to achieve your goals.
  • “Better be born lucky than rich.” This proverb really works, since if you are rich, it does not mean that you are happy. This will be very interesting to investigate in your proverb essays.
  • “Better late than never.” This proverb suits every moment of our life. People are most frequently late with doing some things, and this proverb helps them not to be upset because of some minor problems. You are welcome to consider this point in your proverb essays

Personality Essays

It is very interesting to write an essay on the life of famous personalities. These types of essays do contain a lot of factual detail, however the essence of the essay is the personal understanding and interpretation that one shows towards the personality on whom the essay is written.

Cause and Effect Essays

The cause and effect essay explains why something happened. This type of essay focuses on the relationships between events with the consequences that happened. The tone of this type of essay should be more serious and the presentation should be factual and believable. Sources should state facts and evidence supporting the topic. The essay should present an event, phenomenon, or trend. The degree of explanation of the topic depends on the audience background. The writing should be modulated, reasonable and professional. The cause must lead to the effect. The introduction of a cause and effect essay should explain what the significance of the cause and effect relationship.The conclusion should show the reason for the cause and effect essay supporting the topic.

Critical Essays

When a person says “critical” a person often thinks it has a negative meaning but this does not necessary hold true for a critical essay. A critical essay examines a topic. book. or article. It begins with a summary of the author’s point of view. An evaluation of the work is next which includes the facts. It is important to state your position but also to consider other positions that might be taken. Always use evidence to prove your point of view. Write a well-organized and well-structured essay. The conclusion should restate the title and the author and assert the point of view of the writer.

Classification Essays

A classification essay is organizing or sorting things into different categories. Three steps are used in creating a classification essay: First, sort things into useful categories. Next, make sure all the categories are following an organizing principle. Provide examples for each of the categories. Basically, the classification essay organizes supporting details into three or more groups with each having their own identifying characteristics.

Feedback Essays

A feedback essay tells a person how they did with something like writing an essay, completing an assignment, or a job interview. The purpose of this typeof essay is to give feedback. For instance, a teacher may assign everyone in class to write an essay about a student who gave a speech or presentation in the class.

Instruction Essays

The instruction essay gives step-by-step explanation of how to do something. It instructs a person in the steps toward accomplishing something. For instance, if a mentor wanted to explain the steps to writing an effective lesson plan she would give each step needed to complete it. Instruction essays are often used in a number of ways and many instruction essays can be seen in magazines and newspapers.

Observation Essays

The observation essay is written after an observation of some kind. Often teachers assign an observation essay when the assignment is to go watch a concert or to watch a group of people at a park, library, or etc. Many psychology students are assigned observation essays after they watch a group of people in their process of doing research.

Current Events Essays

Current events essays are often the first essays students write beginning in high school. The purpose of the current events essay is to learn the writing skills of the students and to see how they think about different topics. Usually the first goal of a current events essay is to relate what the student is learning with current events of today. Most current event essays follow the five-paragraph essay.

Paragraph Essays

The paragraph essay is often given by teachers as a part of a test to determine the knowledge and understanding of the material covered in class or in the textbook. The paragraph should answer the question with precise knowledge and complete sentences. Often teachers use the paragraph essay to determine how well the students understand the information discussed or read about in the textbook.

Interview Essays

An interview essay is an essay written about an interview. A teacher may assign a student to interview someone and after he/she does the interview then the student writes about the essay. Another type of interview essay is one written after a job interview by a prospective employee thanking ad employer for the opportunity of the interview. Sometimes a prospective employer will write the prospective employee an interview essay describing how well the interview went and asking the employee to become a part of their organization. There are several types of interview essays depending on the need and who is writing the essay, but the main point of an interview essay is one person has had an interview with another person and the interview essay summarizes it.

Creative Essays

A creative essay is written to show one’s creativity. When you consider it all essays are creative in the way the student takes the information and forms the essay. However, this type of essay usually describes the imagination of the writer. These essays are often assigned by the teacher to get to know the student.

Response or Reaction Essays

A response or reaction essay is usually assigned as a method for the teacher to get to know the thoughts and feelings about a subject that has been discussed in class, an event, video, a visit to a museum, reading assignment. or etc. Writing a reaction essay should answer questions such as:

  • What do you (personally) think about what you have heard in class?
  • What did you think about the video?
  • Do you agree or disagree with what you have read?

If the class visits a museum the response should be written taking in the information learned in class as well as the student’s personal feelings about the topic. Usually the teacher is looking for a quality analysis of how well they have grasped the topic as well as his/her viewpoint of the museum.

Personal Essays

Personal essays are similar to narrative or reaction essays. They allow a student to have his/her say and allow them to vent their opinions about life or about a topic. Personal essays represent what the writer thinks and feels about a topic. Details are important in getting the reader involved. Personal essays let the writer use dialogue. setting, point of view, and characterization as needed. These essays encourage the writer to connect with the reader. While personal essays allow a student to vent about a topic, they should not have a lot of philosophical raging. The first paragraph needs a strong hook to draw the reader into the essay. Most editors will say that if a reader does not get involved in the fast paragraph they will not continue reading the essay. book, or magazine.

Definition Essays

The definition essay can be described as defining the act of a word, phrase, or term. It gives clear and distinct facts about something. Taking this into account the definition essay can be personal, funny. entertaining. stimulating, and even memorable. The definition essay can be one of several different types of essays such as analysis or comparison. It should have details, examples. results, and effects. Begin by deciding the terms that need to be defined. Decide who the audience will be. What is the purpose of the essay? What are the characteristics of the term? Is it part of a classification? Use facts, examples, and anecdotes to describe the term.

Inquiry Essays

The inquiry essay can be defined by its name. The desire to inquire into a subject, article, book, or web site can be defined as the inquiry essay. It begins with a summary of what is being read or researched. The next step analyses what the person has read. It helps a person to respond to an argument as the person learns the logic, structure, and the reasons for the arguments. The inquiry essay can be described as a summary, analysis, and analytical inquiry.

Exploratory Essay

The exploratory essay is allowing the mind to explore a subject without any end in mind for the essay. This type of essay allows the writer to learn rather than prove what the person wants to know. The purpose of this type of essay builds on an inquiry as the person looks and contributes to one argument one step at a time. The focus on the exploratory essay is a question. There are two ways to write the exploratory essay with the first being an in-process strategy and the second is the retrospective strategy. The essay considers the strengths and weaknesses of various solutions to a problem.

Deductive Essays

Writing a deductive essay is like playing a game of Clue. The person has different concepts with a set of specific clues and now must make an assumption as to what is happening. In the game of Clue, the players know the different rooms (settings), knows the different players (the characters in the game of clue), knows the circumstances (such as the weapons in the game of Clue), and then they must make an assumption as to what has happened. The players in the game of Clue keep making assumptions until the game is over. Deductive essays take the individual factors, weighs these against what they know, and then makes the assumption. The three parts to a deductive essay are premises (the argument), evidence (information available), and conclusion (the assumption).

Scholarship Essays

Most scholarship essays are written about the person wanting the scholarship. The individual should begin by writing down a list of experiences and accomplishments. What events have affected your life? What is important in your life? What are your long-term goals? The first step in writing these scholarship essays is to read the instructions carefully. The scholarship essay is actually a unique essay to each person. They are designed to get to know the person. Do you have the qualification the essay is requiring? if not, do not even try but seek a different type of essay. In this type of essay, the first person “I” should be used.

Timed Essays

A person is testing for her Graduate Record Examination and the next part is the timed essay. Many students become nervous when they hear the words “timed essays”. A timed essay is similar to other essays. An essay examines the critical thinking skills of a student or worker. ‘limed essays allow the person to communicate his/her ability to communicate. Real the question and think before beginning to write. Formulate the thesis in your mind. Jotdown evidence to support the thesis. Organize your points in an outline. Stan writing and remember to aim for clear. concise language using the outline with the thesis and main points.

Evaluation Essays

The evaluation essay does what the name implies of evaluating a topic. book, or journal article. The evaluation essay usually uses the five-paragraph essay form. An evaluation essay often uses a rating system to help evaluate a topic or book. The person must then have arguments about why the person would rate the topic in such a way such as does the topic meet the criteria. The writer should have a thesis with main points telling why the person would evaluate the topic in such a way. The purpose of the evaluation essay is to allow the student to show his/her comprehension of the topic as the student compares it in a rating system.

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