Understanding various kinds of essay

An essay is a precise writing on a particular subject, which is composed of paragraphs, usually the introduction, the discussion and the conclusion. (Read my article on how to write a good paragraph here) Different types of essay have different sets of rules which, if not followed, makes the writing dull and pointless.  On the other hand, it becomes difficult to remember all sets of rule and recall when you sit to write an essay.  Usually, the kind of question or situation we have determines the type of essay we compose. Here is a short practical way to help you write a good essay, by understanding its major manifestations.

Major types of essay

There are basically four types of essay, which sometimes appear with a variation in the name. They are expository, narrative, descriptive and persuasive. Expository is in some instances call explanatory and persuasive called an argumentative essay. Read their explanation below:

Expository essay

Expository essay, or sometimes called explanatory essay, is one of the most common types of essay we often use, especially at school. Its main purpose is to portray a concept or idea in a detailed manner that can be easily understood by the reader. For example, the lecture notes, the organised ones, we get in our classes are expository essays. When we write about certain concept or tradition in our society with the purpose to educate our reader, especially those who have no idea about it, it’s most likely going to be in an expository form. This article you are reading is a typical example of expository essay. It should be complete and cover all corners of the topic, to convince the reader enough.

Narrative essay

This kind of essay is more like telling a story. There are two kinds of narrative essays, one is, writing a story and the other is writing a book report. If you are writing a story, you choose the narrative essay writing, and it is completely based on creative writing. You need to make a plot of the story, settings and characters. The other kind is writing a book report. It is about narrating about the book’s main concept, rather than rewording the whole book. It is common to see a narrative essay written predominantly with past tense because it’s telling about past events.

Descriptive essay

As the name suggests, it is quite descriptive and allows you to write about all the corners of the subject, near or close parts of the subject. It’s more about writing your brain out. Descriptive essay is about creative writing which creates a picture in the reader’s mind making him stand in the story himself.  For the descriptive essay, it is essential to have good command in creative writing as the words express more of the emotions felt at the moment. It is easy to find descriptive writing in narrative composition because often storytellers what their reader to experience the events and the scenes psychologically. In essence, description is meant to create a mental picture.

Persuasive essay

One can say the major distinction between persuasive and expository essays is that persuasive essay focuses on advancing argument through opinions. It also, however, like an expository essay, uses evidence to elaborate an idea. The argument can stretch until the idea is completely explained.

Overall, it is possible then to have various kinds of essay integrated into a composition. It might be that the composition as a whole is narrative, but has considerable aspects of descriptive, as it often happens in stories and vice versa.

If only you have a good hold on words and can do creative writing, you can make the best of essays and invite more and more readers.  The idea of writing down your thoughts is the same; it’s only the method that changes of pouring your thoughts for a group of audience you are writing for.

Some references

Udemy (28TH October 2017) Four kinds of Essays, 28th October 2017, Retrieved from the web.
DC IELTS (15th March 2017) 10-practical-tips-for-writing-better-exam-essays, 28th October 2017, Retrieved from the Web

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