Parent going over 4 essay types with child

4 Common Types of Essays you (really) Need to Know

Tamanna Patel, Client Support & Marketing

Tamanna Patel, Client Support & Marketing

A good place to start thinking about essays is to better understand the types of essays that most of your assignments in high-school, and college or university will fit into. The following are the four main categories of essays that are generally the norm in academia (thank you, Purdue Online Writing Lab) and most essays you will ever have to write in your life will fall loosely under these four categories:

 

  1. Expository Essays;
  2. Argumentative Essays.
  3. Descriptive Essays; and
  4. Narrative Essays.

 

If you're here and learning about types of essays because need to write an essay, check out the EssayJack app. Each essay template in the app is designed by educators to support you as you write your essay with expert tips, prompts, and videos along the way. 

LEARN MORE ABOUT THE ESSAYJACK APP

Students who have used EssayJack have said that their writing anxiety decreases, they feel more confident when writing, they complete their essays faster, and they earn better grades. 

 

Testimonial for 4 Types of Essay Blog

 

 

 

The Expository Essay

These are probably the most common types of essays you will come across and are a common format of essay required in exams. If you’re writing an expository essay you will find yourself digging into a theme or topic and then coming up with an idea, you’ll also be analysing evidence, and then structuring an "exposition" (hence the name) about the idea.

 

EssayJack has three templates that can help you if you’ve been assigned an expository essay:

 

  1. Academic Essay;
  2. Persuasive Speech; and
  3. Five-Paragraph Essay.Student writing an essay

Each template provides the structure required for a typical expository essay including an introduction where your thesis statement lives, body paragraphs each of which address a singular point to support your thesis statement, and a conclusion which summarises your points and supports your original idea. 

 

Example of an EssayJack essay template

 

 

 

The Argumentative Essay

These essays are similar to expository essays but are usually a lot more in-depth with well-researched qualitative and quantitative data (found via primary or secondary sources) to back up the points you want to present. In most cases, an essay like this will also require you to address main points which may oppose your stand on an issue or topic.

 

THESE ARE BY FAR THE MOST COMMON ESSAYS YOU WILL FIND YOURSELF ASKED TO WRITE. They may be long; they may be short, but they all try to persuade the reader about the soundness of your argument about a given topic.

 

The general structure remains the same as an expository essay with the exception of counterpoints which are often included to show the other side of an argument.

 

Student celebrating finishing an essay

 

EssayJack hasack, has two templates to help you write or practice this essay:


1. Academic Essay; and

2. Argumentative Essay.

 

These templates can be used for short argumentative essays, long argumentative essays, complicated argumentative essays, and straightforward ones.

 

Other templates that EssayJack offers that can help you with argumentative essays include:

 

  1. Persuasive Speech;
  2. Five-Paragraph Essay; and
  3. Book Review.

LEARN MORE ABOUT THE ESSAYJACK APP

 

 

 

The Descriptive Essay

As the name suggests, this essay is all about the language - adjectives, similes, and metaphors. These kinds of essays are about describing as vividly as possible anything you are asked to write about. An example assignment would be to write an essay about your most recent holiday experience. This would be an ideal time to use a descriptive essay.

 

But structure here is just as important as any other essay because you are still in charge of leading the reader into, through, and then back out of your world of description without waffling on too much. So, similar to an expository essay, you will require an introduction, body, and conclusion.

 

But what makes it different? A descriptive essay is more like a creative writing assignment where you describe something in detail. Description may be a part of the other types of essays, but generally, they need a little bit more - an argument - while a descriptive essay merely describes something in detail and the thing being described is the central focus, rather than an argument about something.

 

 

 

The Narrative Essay

Again, as the title suggests, a narrative essay is a more personal piece of writing with your point of view being made clear for your reader. These essays can be stories or sometimes called "creative non-fiction." The use of the first person pronoun ‘I’ is not uncommon in these essays.

 

Narrative essays also require a clear structure introduction, body, and conclusion populated with concise language. We are working on developing some custom templates for narrative writing, where you can clearly build up the suspense in your introduction, bring your reader to the crux or climax of the story in your body, and then bring them back down again in the conclusion.

 

We have one narrative essay template in EssayJack, Short Narrative, which you can use to practice getting into the flow of a good story. 

 

Narrative essays are often the closest thing to pieces of journalism. If you master the narrative essay, then you are likely well on your way to being a successful journalist.

 

Example of EssayJack Short Narrative essay template

 

 

 

Of course, if you use EssayJack in a class setting, your teachers or professors can create all kinds of custom templates just for you. And by popular request from educators and students we've also added the following additional templates to our EssayJack offerings:

 

1. TED Talk Speech

2. Compare and Contrast Essay

3. Short Agree/Disagree

4. Short Advantage/Disadvantage 

 

So now you have all the information that you ever wanted (or didn't know you wanted) about essays!

 

If you want to write your essay with confidence, make sure you get better grades, and really learn the structure of the different types of essays to make your academic life easier, then go ahead check out what EssayJack is all about today! 

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