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4 Main Types of Essays That You Should Know

4 Main Types of Essays That You Should Know

While studying at school or university, you will probably face a lot of essay writing assignments. For this reason, essay writing services are becoming more and more popular nowadays.

It is challenging to be good at all types of writing, but that fact should not sway your confidence. EssayPro — top essay writing service will help you become fully versed in the four main types of academic writing, giving you the complete skill set to write any essay!

Table of Contents

The 4 General Types of Essay Writing Styles

Though there is a lot of room for creativity and customization, most written texts follow 1 of 4 pathways. Generally, any other text written in an essay style is some sort of creative writing that has no instructional guidelines. In other words, not all types of essay writing are included in this text. Since we are focusing on academic writing, anything excluded from this group shall not be mentioned. So, maybe you wondering “what are the different types of essay writing?” Well, the 4 types of essay writing are expository, persuasive, descriptive and narrative.

Difference between types of essays is just a matter of understanding what is the author’s goal. It can be telling a story about a personal experience, explaining an issue, portraying something, or trying to persuade or convince the reader to accept a certain point of view. The four essay types are:

1. Expository Essays: It's All About Facts

An expository essay is a type of academic writing in which you need to investigate a topic using facts, statistics, and examples. You can accomplish this in several ways: defining a term, comparing and contrasting, analyzing a cause and effect, etc. The purpose is to explain the subject in a logical manner. Provide a fair, balanced analysis without showing personal emotions and relation to the topic.

Tips About Writing an Expository Essay:

  • Deals STRICTLY with presenting the facts
  • Told in a third person perspective
  • Generally has a five-paragraph structure
  • Offers a solution to the problem
  • Make sure to include your thesis statement in your introductory paragraph. It should be one concise sentence that describe the main idea of the story.
  • Every paragraph must cover a point that relates to the thesis

Expository Essay Example

2. Persuasive Essays: Convince Me If You Can

Persuasive Essays do like the name shows; they attempt to persuade an audience into believing that their side of an argument/debate is correct or better. This will require several methods of rhetoric including the use of ethos, pathos, and logos. A student that believes the death penalty should be abolished worldwide would create an argumentative essay in which they state facts and opinions for their reasoning. Persuasive essay writers must understand how to present themselves as credible sources of information, appeal to emotion, and logically reason with their audience.

Unique Characteristic of the Persuasive Essay:

  • Presented in a debate format
  • Can be told in first or third person
  • Holds either a 4 or 5 paragraph structure.
  • Uses opinions as points in an argument.
  • Usually compares and contrasts
  • Find relevant sources to defend their argument
  • Find the most credible evidence for the opposing view

Persuasive Essay Example

Persuasive Essay Example

3. Descriptive Essays: Make A Picture

Descriptive Essays train a writer to describe some kind of imagery. By using the 5 senses of taste, sound, sight, touch, and smell, the writer needs to paint the clearest picture possible. Doing this helps the reader get the most realistic visualization. A common example of a descriptive essay is actually used in types of college essay writing. When submitting in a college admission application, there is a question that requires the writer to describe himself. Learning to sell something (even yourself) using vivid language and intriguing points will help you master the descriptive essay.

Unique Characteristic of the Descriptive Essay:

  • Requires creative writing and descriptive skills.
  • Can be told in first, second, or third person.
  • Usually written in 3-5 paragraphs
  • Provides details using the 5 senses
  • Aims to creatively define some object or idea

Descriptive Essay Example

4. Narrative Essays: Tell a Story

Narrative Essays are used to tell a story. This type of writing takes a different road from the usual “research and analysis” style. This type of writing essay allows one to become creative. They can come up with their own plot, setting, characters, ideas, etc. The purpose of a narrative essay is to teach a lesson through the progression of the story. As a reader, one would want to feel a sense of purpose in reading the text, and that is the ultimate goal of the writer. Most books and tales are examples of narrative writing.

Unique Characteristic of the Narrative Essay:

  • Tells a story with a purpose
  • Normally told in the first person but can be in third
  • Can be written in 3 paragraphs or the size of a book
  • Uses figurative language and lots of quotes
  • Keeps things in a time linear progression
  • Add dialogue between characters to add life to the essay

Narrative Essay Example

Narrative Essay Example

Though all essay types follow the same core principles, there are aspects that make them stand out from each other. After all, expository essays offer factual information, persuasive essays aim to influence, descriptive essays paint a picture, and narrative essays tell a story. These in their own right follow 4 different roads.You can easily learn how to distinguish these types of papers with the help of our essay samples

Unique Characteristic of Essays

Linking Parts of Essays

Though there are different types of essays and examples, all writing styles share some common goals. First of all, the actual parts of an essay stay the same, regardless of the style. Each essay carries with it an introduction, a body, and conclusion, these are the common parts of the outline. Although the content that is placed into those parts varies with the style, their overall purpose is static.


  • The introduction is used to open up the topic and briefly introduce key points that will be presented later.
  • Any relevant background information is presented here.
  • The thesis statement is revealed at the end of the intro and reveals the overall position of the essay.

Body Paragraph(s)

  • The body of an essay is the meat grinder; all the action happens here, and any points that need to be proved or explained occur in this section.
  • The thesis statement is thoroughly uncovered and explained
  • Each paragraph within the overall body serves its own purpose. The main goal of the text is broken down into parts, and each paragraph goes through one of those parts.


  • The conclusion recaps main points and restates thesis statements, effectively presenting it as proven.
  • The writing is given significance, usually done with a call to action or an overall concluding statement.

When it comes to grading, and overall strength of the text, college professors, and high school teachers focus on a few elements:

  • Was the grammar meticulously constructed? How smoothly did the text flow?
  • Did the vocabulary offer significant flavor or was it just thrown in there for word appeal. Did the content make sense?
  • How well did they answer the question / express the idea?
  • Did they stay focused on this specific idea or did their train of thought wander?

When a writer has sufficiently presented points 1,2 and 3, that's when they can be confident that the writing was strong. Being able to maintain all three parts and provide insightful content that generates reader's interest is what makes for quality writing.

Need Help With These Types of Essays?

With the incredible variety that comes in essay writing, sometimes students seek help with their specific style. EssayPro, a trusted "write my essay" service, has been providing students with essay help for 2 decades. We consist of trained professional essay writers who can show different types of essay writing with examples for those who struggle to understand exactly what is required. If you lack the time for all of this research and comprehension, no problem, just click the button below.

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