The Main Kinds Of An Essay: Tips, Definitions And Examples

For a rookie student getting to grips with the different types of essay formats can be more than a little daunting. However, once you have nailed them then you should never find the format difficult again. Yes, the subject or topic matter will inevitably get more complicated over time. However, in principle the basic formats will remain the same. Remember this and you shouldn’t go too far wrong.

For the purposes of clarity here’re my tips, definitions and examples of the main kinds of paper:

An Analytical Essay

If you are a “thinker” then you will just love this kind of assignment. These tasks force you to examine and forensically pick apart your subject matter and generally require you to produce a balanced argument. You might for example be required to analyze, a poem, a play or a short story, or even a particular argument for its validity.

In essence an analytical piece will contain the following qualities:

  • Outline the general direction and thrust of the argument in the introduction.
  • Conduct a detailed analysis of the text that you are studying in the main body of your work. The aim being to establish whether the author of the said text successfully conveys the meaning of their piece.

An Expository Essay

Unlike an analytical essay where you are required to examine a long piece, with an expository essay the purpose is simply to examine a much shorter body of work, so in theory this should be easier for a rookie to write. While there will inevitably be some booby traps along the way to trip you up, this should be a relatively smooth, writing experience.

Here’re are the fundamentals of what should be contained within an expository work:

  • The thesis will be clearly defined
  • Will be evidence based
  • Will be crisp and to the point

A Persuasive Essay

This is your chance to play politician and convince your reader of the validity of your argument.

A Persuasive work will do the following:

  • It will be based on one, clear point of view and will not give any credence to any opposing arguments.
  • It will clearly outline the case for the argument leaving no doubt in the readers’ mind of the validity of your argument
  • Will contain supporting evidence rather than here say.