What are the 9 Different Types of Essays?

Are you planning to start writing your essay but you’re not sure about it?

Let’s go through some of the main types of essays. The nine essay types discussed here are are argumentative essays, descriptive essays, expository essays, reflective essays, narrative essays, college admission essays, informative essays, scholarship essays, interview essays and career research essays.

types of essays

All these essay types serve different purposes and are usually required at different times.

For example, a high school graduate planning to join university is asked to write a college admission essay.

Another example is career research essays. After joining a college/university, a student may be asked to write their career research essay demonstrating the future plans in that field.

1. Argumentative essays

Just like its name suggests, an argumentative essay derives its components from the word “argument.” So, when writing one of these essay types, it is imperative to establish a tone that indicates an argument. The writer takes a stand on the argument.

There are many issues that people can argue about in the world today. Every debater has his own stand on almost any topic. Consider the issue international trade: Should countries support the idea of international free trade?

Another case that draws arguments all the time is schooling. Should education be free to all from kindergarten to university? These sample topics can be argued endlessly but the final position depends on who has the best arguments.

Out of the many essay types, argumentative essays are perhaps the most common type of essays students write both in universities and high school.

Example argumentative essays topics

  • Students who study sciences are more successful than those who study social sciences
  • Should healthcare be free for everyone?
  •  Vaccines are a bad idea worth rejecting
  • Death penalty should be maintained in the U.S. constitution
  • Whether or not the internet has affected human interaction

2. Descriptive essays

The purpose of descriptive essays is to provide enough details about a particular object, person, event, place, experience, feeling, or an idea. The purpose of this essay type is to give a reader enough understanding of the selected topic.

The secret to writing a descriptive essay type is to choose a clearly focused topic. A topic such as a car, a tree, summer, winter, McDonald’s, a computer, etc. are all considered vague descriptive essay topics.

Clearly focused topics for this descriptive type of essay would be:

  • The baobab tree that I used to climb when I was a little child
  • Riding the fastest airplane to Hawaii
  • The day after the last winter snow fall
  • The preacher who taught me the power of a positive tongue
  • Starting my first business when I was 16 years old

Some useful tips to consider when writing descriptive types of essays

  • Using your senses. All the five senses including sight, sound, hearing, touch, and taste can help the reader understand and ‘see’ your descriptive essay topic.
  • Sparingly include your point of view. Most descriptive essays are straightforward but a little bit of personal opinions can help explain the subject being described.
  • Avoid slipping into narrative essay. It is easy to fall into a narration when writing a descriptive essay. To avoid this, always paint a picture rather than show a movie.

3. Expository essays

When writing an expository essay type, the goal is your audience. The essay is different from argumentative writing, which is intended to convince the audience to support the writer’s view.

One of the common types of essays is expository essays. The purpose of an expository essay is to report. That is why newspaper articles make perfect examples of this expository essay type. They only give the 5Ws i.e. who, what, where, when and why?

Different types of expository essays

  • Cause and effect essays: common in social studies reports
  • Problem and solution: the writer presents an answer to a particular problem
  • Compare and contrast essays: taking two subjects and explaining their similarities and differences.

Examples of expository essays topics

  • U.S. virus cases are surging: What the WHO must do
  • Compare and contrast the French and Spanish classes
  • Homework assignments versus in-class assignments
  • Harry Porter: Book and Movie
  • The contribution of World War I contributed to outbreak of Influenza

4. Narrative essays

Narrative essays are a type of essays that might be considered telling a story. The essay can be personal or experiential. They allow one to express themselves creatively in open and moving ways.

This essay type follows a story format with different parts including introduction, the plot, characters, setting, and climax. A conclusion is included too.

When not to write a narrative essay

An example of this would be when a learner is asked to write a book report. It is obvious that a book report will not follow the introduction, plot, characters, setting, climax, and conclusion structure. Instead, the focus of a narrative essay should be on providing the reader with a narration.

In narrative essay type, the use of pronoun “I” is permitted. However, the guideline should not be used to make an essay look like a personal reflective essay.

Narrative essay topics examples

  • The first day of college
  • A field trip to New Jersey zoo
  • A favorite summer vacation in Puerto Rico
  • A time my mom spanked me till I pooped my pants
  • A frightening experience with two black bears

5. College admission essay

A college admission essay is a type of essay students write when joining college or university from high school. Some universities rely on this essay more than the high school GPA. Writing a good college admission involves explaining why a student is interested in the university, their personal reasons for selecting the institution, future plans and why they think the university should admit them rather than other applicants.

College admission essays may have a specific topic provided by the university. Most of them only give guidelines rather than topics.

6. Informative essays

An informative essay type is used to educate others on a particular topic. They answer the 5Ws of who, what, when, where and why. Sometimes, the can explain “how.”

An explanation on “how to do something” is typically informative.

It is important to remember that the personal opinions or perspectives are not welcomed in informative essays.

Some suggested good informative essay topics are:

  • Childhood obesity
  • Racism
  • Minimum wage
  • Domestic violence
  • Homelessness

7. Career research essays

Career research essays are papers that document an unfamiliar career one may be considering. The purpose of this type of essay is to access your personality, potential careers fitting your personality and the research efforts to become part of that career path.

8. Interview essays

An interview essay refers to a piece of writing that relays information one has gathered through an interview process. This type of essay allows the reader to draw knowledge about items discussed in the interview reported.

The interview is the backbone of the interview essay. A structured order of thoughts in form of questions may be needed to complete a great interview write-up.

9. Scholarship essays

A scholarship essay is like a competition where there must be winners for the scholarship award. Honesty makes a lot of difference in such essays. This is on top of adhering to the principles of writing any strong essay.

There you have all the nine common types of essays. Do you need assistance writing any of these essays? Chat with our agent to learn how to order an original paper that will accelerate your grades.