Hello and welcome to Writing Tips! Make yourself a cuppa and join our today’s brainstorm concerning types of essays. Bet, you’ve written at least one essay in you life or tried to (those about summer holidays count). At this rate you definitely know that each essay has its unique qualities and structure. This is why we’ve composed an essay about essays gathering all known (and probably unknown) types into one article. Let us start defining essay itself to find out why teachers give us such writing home assignments.
Essay is a kind of prosaic writing of a certain volume involving one’s individual view or impressions of this or that issue. It can be referred to genres of philosophic, historical, biographic, artistic, and publicistic prose written in colloquial language. The word ‘essay’ came to English from French ‘essai’, whose foregoer was the Latin word ‘exigere’ in the meaning of (attention!) undergo, execute, drive out, spend (of time), measure, conclude, and examine at the same time. Now you know what teacher is actually waiting from you. However, don’t perceive such task as something unbearably unbearable, in fact it works for you developing your use of language, cultivating critical thinking and journalistic skills, so do appreciate this opportunity.
Longman Dictionary of Contemporary English, besides, defines the verb ‘to essay’ as ‘to attempt to do something’. So, let us proceed essaying about types. Before writing it is necessary to come close to the topic. It can be stated by your teacher or chosen by you personally. Anyway, to explain you the stuff we need to pick a certain topic as well. Let it be say… table.
- Expository essay
It is certainly your explanation of a small topic or idea. It is appropriate when you want to dwell on the content of certain literary work/world event/political or social debate/sports theme, work of art, etc. providing your personal response. Support your position with evidence and examples. In other words, show that your wooden table is made of redwood.
- Persuasive essay / argumentative essay
Well, your wooden table is better than any other table because it was made by the professional carpenters and wood finishers. It has several cabinets. It is huge. And! It is unique because… As you see, your task here is to rationalize arguments which help you to persuade the reader, to make him stick to your point of view. Don’t be rude, you have to maintain the reader’s attention and trust. Research your topic a bit, find something intriguing. Finally, don’t be too smartish and annoying: you have to sound convincing, this is the aim.
- Analytical / critical essay
This kind of essay analyzes (oh really) details, strengths, weaknesses and methods of someone else’s work (book/article/movie/opera/poem or even another essay). Start with a brief look over the main points driving towards the general meaning of work. Give the evidence that author achieved his goal depicting certain problems. Don’t be afraid to argue with him, it is a critical essay: fresh non-conformist ideas are appreciated. Show your personal attitude and understanding of the topic. Thus, while writing about book called “Table” we mention what the book is about and why it is called so, how the characters are presented and, for instance, in what way screen interpretation correlates with the book. (We can also prove that author expands on the issue in a poor manner, tables are rather noteworthy!)
- Descriptive essay
The best option for the lazy-bones that almost doesn’t require any investigation: say what you see or feel. Describing a table you need to show all its features and functions and give the necessary conclusions. This type of essay should include a lot of sensory details, so don’t forget about sophisticated vocabulary. Its structure has to be clear and logical: intro, each paragraph for each issue, and conclusions, or else it would resemble a piece an entry from encyclopedia.
- Definition essay
Definition essay defines. It works with the meaning and importance of specific concepts. Love, for example (but not “What is love? Baby don’t hurt me, don’t hurt me no more”), hate, or table. Provide explanation why the term has this or that denotation, what connotation it possesses, what it stands for in slang and dwell upon etymology. After that you can give your own examples, tell a story, etc.
- Evaluation essay
This essay aims at describing things, phenomena or event explaining their importance, value, necessity, or relevance. Again one of the easiest compositions, it should answer the following questions: What kind of thing is the table? Do you personally like it? Is it important? In what way? And so on.
- Cause-and-effect essay
At the beginning there was a cause. It was a tree, for example. Then an event happened – a lightning stroke it. After that an effect happened – it fell down, and your dad made a table out of this tree. Nothing special, just prettify your essay with extra details which can be interesting and useful.
- Classification essay
As in any classification, in this kind of writing you separate list of things/processes/phenomena/events/people, etc. into different categories based on their common and varying characteristics. Discuss each of them and give examples of each type. Nothing difficult, just do it!
- For and against essay
It is a type of argumentative essay that gives advantages and disadvantages. Here topic is considered from opposing points of view. As usual, you state topic in the introductory paragraph without giving your opinion. Main body of your essay must contain paragraphs with for and against points, along with your justification. Finally comes the conclusion where you indicate either your option or balanced consideration of the topic. Ta-dah!
- Comparison essay
If you are to speak about similarities or differences of wooden and glass tables – it is comparison essay. Organize it in the following way: describe subjects one after another and only after that compare both categories. Give the brief summary to conclude.
Don’t forget to make your essay unique. Use humor, metaphors, pans, bunch of epithets and it will become a masterpiece. We obviously can help you to do your homework by writing an essay on any topic, but try to do it yourself, your own achievement’s worth trying.
Our next posts will show you the structure of an essay and tips on how to improve it, don’t miss!