What Are the Different Types of Essays?


There are a few different types of essays that you may be asked to write but telling the difference between them can be difficult. Don’t worry though, you won’t have to worry about that because I will explain to you about all the different types.

Types of Essays


  • Descriptive:  A descriptive essay is one that tells the reader about the subject, like how something looks, what it sounds like, the feel, taste, or smell or how it makes them feel.  Also, it can describe something and describe how something happened. 
  • Definition:  A definition essay is an essay that takes a specific term and defines it in the essay.  Like what is love, this topic can be explained in many ways.
  • Compare/Contrast:  This kind of essay takes two things and shows the reader the similarities and differences between them.  You want the essay to be an unbiased essay and it isn’t there to convince the reader that one is better than the other. 
  • Cause/Effect:  A cause and effect essay explains how and why something happens.  This essay can be used for many subjects.
  • Narrative:  A narrative essay is one where you tell the reader a story.  It is usually an essay that tells a story were you learned a lesson or something that happened to you that affected you. 
  • Process:  A process essay explains to the reader the process of something.  This is usually a step-by-step process of a task and how to complete it. 
  • Argumentative:  An argumentative essay, also known as a persuasive essay is an essay that is written to persuade a reader of the writer’s views on a subject.  This essay is written not to make the reader believe your point of view, but to have them think about and consider your idea as a valid one.
  • Critical:  A critical essay is an analyst of someone else’s work.  This can be a book, movie, art, or anything that someone has done that you want to analyze further.
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Three Other Types of Essays/Writing Assignments


  • Research Paper:  This kind of essay is a longer essay that requires you to do outside research to write your paper. 
  • Book Report:  A book report is written about a book that you have just read.  It is usually a summary of the book and sometimes requires your opinion of the book. 
  • Book Review:  This is usually a critical analysis of a book.  It is more of your opinion on how the author approached the book or how you think they did writing the book. 

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