Different Types of Essays | Describing Main Types

What are Different Types of Essays | Describing Main Types

An essay is a piece of writing used to persuade someone of something. People write several types of essays for different purposes. In general, the essay must have a purpose. The aim can be to:

  • educate
  • convince
  • explain
  • entertain

There are four main types of essays. These types are divided into further sub types. In this article we will discuss them in detail.

  1. Argumentative
  2. Expository
  3. Narrative
  4. Descriptive

Argumentative Essay

Argumentative essay is based on writer’s opinion. Writer explains their reasons and give evidence to support their beliefs. The topics this essay type covers are:

  • Sciences
  • Politics
  • Technology
  • Health care

When we have to make someone agree with our opinions, we use argumentative essay. Universities and colleges teach this type of essay commonly.  It uses three different kinds of arguments to present your opinion

Classical: It presents the argument and express your perspective. Writers try to influence audience about their stance. It works well when your audience do not know much about that topic.

Rogerian: This type is used when we have to consider other’s opinions as well. This form of argument is excellent for controversial issues, because it respects all viewpoints. It provides the middle ground through evidences.

Toulmin: State your argument and provide solid evidence to support it. Similar to the previous argument type, this one is also helpful for controversial matters. It just offers one side rather than both. It is supported by evidence in a way that makes the opinion hard to reject.

This type of essay is divided into following parts:

Introduction Paragraph: The first paragraph should introduce the topic. It should provide background details of argument. Introduction paragraph also presents the thesis.

Thesis statement: This is a sentence in your first paragraph. It is a brief explanation of your main point in one sentence.

Paragraph bodies: An argumentative essay often has three or more paragraphs that provide supporting evidence for your topic.  In the body paragraphs, you should provide examples, research, statistics, studies, and text citations to support your points.

Conclusion: One paragraph that summarizes all of the arguments in your body paragraphs, restates your thesis, and concludes your essay.


Expository Essay

A writing which conveys information through fact is known as expository writing. Expository essay provides clear knowledge of the topic. This essay type can have different kinds of structures to convey the point of view. Such as:

  1. Compare and contrast
  2. Process essays
  3. Cause and effect analysis

It’s the style of writing you write when you study the material you are researching. Think critically about the ideas you’ve learned in class, and justify the thought processes and conclusions you’ve drawn.

For expository essay, it is important that you know well about the chosen topic. It requires the ability to convey and organize facts. Like argumentative essays this type is also assigned to college and university students the most.

It is divided into three parts as well:

Introduction: It should be small and clear. Introduction paragraph should present the facts you are going to explain in your essay. Thesis statement is the part of this paragraph.

Body paragraph: Expository essay’s first paragraph should be short and well defined. It presents the evidences that support your opinion. For each evidence you provide, there must be a separate paragraph to explain it. Paragraphs of expository essay should be small and easy to read.

Conclusion: It concludes the essay and restate the facts described in the essay.

Use of transition words in body paragraphs is necessary. These words help in hooking up your readers and urge them to read the essay till end. These types of essays have many further categories. Each one serves their own purpose.

Narrative Essay

Narrative essay is not like expository or argumentative essay. It tells a story based on personal experiences. Narrative essay allows the writer to express their beliefs and opinions on some topic in a creative way. It also allows imaginative writing (writing about something you have never experienced yourself).

In narrative essay, sentences should increase the curiosity of readers. Engaging and well-structured paragraphs are important for this type of essay.

There is not any rule to divide narrative essay type in three parts; intro, body and conclusion. But it should have a start that hooks up the audience. Body paragraphs to explain why this certain thing is important to you. What impact did it leave on you. An end is required to conclude your essay gracefully. We cannot leave it in the middle for sure.

Narrative essays allow one to be as creative as they can. For example, you can write on any of these topics below:

What happened at your first day of school

When you got admission in your dream university

When you first held your baby daughter

Go on with the imaginations and creations. This type is well suited for people with creative minds

Descriptive Essay

As clear with its name, descriptive essay allows the writer to describe something. That can be a bird, a toy, a situation or an emotion. Descriptive essay encourages the person to write freely about the topic. It allows to add creativity in situation. Everyone has their own perception of viewing the world and descriptive writing permits it to share with the world.

There are three major forms of descriptive essay

Writing about a person

Writing about an object

Writing about a place

Some key points for writing this essay type

When writing sequentially, every incident must make sense.

Use figures of speech: expressions that aren’t exactly literal but convey a powerful meaning

Use stronger verbs instead of technical terms; for example, “she walked pleasantly” is preferable than “she strolled.

Try to use sensory details like touching, seeing and feeling etc.

Before writing, stop to think, then finish by editing and correcting.

These tips can make your descriptive essay stand-out.



Other Subtypes of Essays Include:

  • Process Essay
  • Compare and Contrast Essay
  • Persuasive Essay
  • Cause and Effects Essay
  • Critical Essay
  • Definition Essay


Process Essay

It is the type of expository essay. It explains how to do something and give explanations about it.  You can write this type of essay in a certain sequence in order to maintain it.

Compare and Contrast Essay

Essays that compare and contrast two topics and highlight their similarities and distinctions. These essays feature an introduction, at least one paragraph outlining the similarities and contrasts between the themes, and a conclusion. In academic environments, compare and contrast essays are common.

Persuasive Essay

Facts and emotional appeals are used in persuasive essays to persuade readers to form an opinion or support a particular position. In persuasive essays, moral and emotional justification can be used to support a claim or cause and engage the reader.

Cause and Effects Essay

It is also a type of expository essays; therefore, they present facts rather than personal opinions. Cause and effect essays explain how some circumstances resulted in other occurrences.

Critical Essay

Critical essays offer a thorough examination of a subject. They may offer criticism on books, plays, parks, or food outlets. Critical essays support their opinions with evidence from the issue.

Definition Essay

An exposition essay type that defines a phrase or concept is known as a definition essay. These writings often offer in-depth analysis and explanations of challenging topics.


In the world of essay writing, each type serves a different purpose. Each write-up will stand significantly if right category of essay is used. Sometimes writers want to give opinion or explain a fact. Other times they want to describe or narrate a story. For each of this purpose, distinct types of essays are available. Grab your pen and start writing your essay on whatever topic you want.