How to write essays: types of essays and peculiar features of them

The most frequent task at school, college, or university is an essay, which is the piece of writing that gives a description, discusses or analysis of some topic or concept. Depending on the form and writer’s intention following types of essays can be marked out.

1. A descriptive essay :

• tells about the features of the subject you are writing about: description of how it looks, sounds, feels etc.;

• includes many details, which refer to reader’s senses;

• can be formed as a list of characteristics or appear in the narrative form;

• is intended to create a bright image in the reader’s mind;

• metaphors are worthy to include.

2. A definition essay:

• identify and explains some term or concept;

• is broader than a definition in a dictionary;

• describes not only what the term means but also the reasons, purpose and significance of it;

3. A compare and contrast essay:

• usually discusses similarities and differences of two or more objects, concepts, people, events, books, opinions and so on;

• the objected that are to compare should belong to one class or category : you cannot contrast a person and event, or a thing and an opinion;

• we should focus the reader’s attention on the differences;

• gives the examples and facts to illustrate your opinion;

4. A narrative essay:

• is based on narration – a story the writer is expected to tell to the audience;

• The two main components are a dynamic story (the essay which is vivid is usually easier and more interesting to read) and a detailed presentation;

• should refer to different senses: visual, auditory, olfactory, tactile, and gustatory perceptions;

• often using the first person for narration;

• the writer should include setting and character’s description.

5. An argumentative essay:

• the goal of writer is to persuade the audience;

• presupposes that 2 or more opposite ideas, one of them is accepted and defended by the writer;

• arguments may be formed as statements, which are supported by examples from life, scientific and statistics data, truthful facts;

• the writer has to know the advantages and disadvantages of other sides well;

• accents on the advantages of his opinion and conceals the drawbacks;

• rhetorical figures are used for persuading.

Some tips for essay writing

• Before you start check your topic assigned and conduct a profound research on it.

• Clarify how many sources you have to use and how many of them should be primary and secondary.

• Try to think about as many ideas for your paper as possible and make a list of them.

• Pick out the strongest idea among all listed and make it the thesis statement of the paper, around which you can write the whole essay.

• Make an outline: write short sentences describing the paragraphs. here you should think about the structure and order of your arguments.

• You can start your writing process with an introduction, which should give some general information, background of your subject and end up with the thesis statement. Main body usually gives a broad explanation of the thesis, illustrating it with examples, arguments, and facts. A conclusion, in fact, can look like a restated introduction. However, try not to repeat things you have already written but summarize and synthesize.

Keywords: essay, descriptive essay, definition essay, compare and contrast essay, narrative essay, argumentative essay, writing, tips.

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