8 Different Essay Types Guide: Meaning, Structure and Style

structure of essay

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Seriously or humorously, directly or indirectly written, any essay type is a type of narration where you need to convey, describe and analyze the subject chosen. According to the purpose essay can deliver personal opinion or just plainly state the information collected. As a rule an essay is written in the first or third person (he, she it) but with lots of creativity entwined it can be done from any interesting perspective.

Essay structure can consist of numerous elements that involve: politic manifestos, literary criticism, recollections, arguments, daily life observations, and personal author’s reflections. Essay happen to be written in verse but the majority are still written in prose. Experts say that originally word “essay” is derived from the “essayer” meaning in French “to attempt” or “to try”. Concerning English language it is also can be called “a trial” as well.

As a matter of fact essay writing of any type can be less painstaking if you stick to the most important essay writing rules.

different essay types and formats


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Essay Writing Challenge or Important Things Concerning All Structured Essay Formats

Any essay type is aimed to capture the reader’s attention, just for this you need to:

define essay thesisDevelop a definite thesis. It can be started with statement or intent, research question. Make sure to answer the question clearly, do not just word play, provide your point of view.

essay optimal lenthBe evident. Provide the certain, defined evidences to give your narration a solid ground. With measurable facts and figures this task can be done the best, also you need to provide an emotional appeal to the facts, making comparisons. Don’t just spawn the bare statistics on it.

Be concise. Your essay should be the optimal length, enough to essay categoriesmake succinct conclusions to deliver your point. The repetitive statements will definitely not score additional points.

There are common types of essays and their differences according to TOEFL Writing Tutorial.

1. Definition Essay

definition essay writingThe aim of definition essay is to explain the subject matter in the appropriate definitive style, you need to deliver concrete meaning of a subject. The subject matter is often controversial and abstract like love, honor, honesty and the style of narration will rather depend on author’s narration style.

To be effective definition essay needs to:

  • Define the term
  • Be clear and concise
  • Operate facts, examples

2. Classification Essay

classification essay writingThe aim of classification essay is to organize or sort things into categories, you need to separate ideas into categories and discuss each of them. In classification essay you need to provide the general idea, classify your items and come to the conclusion by summarizing all in the end.

To be effective classification essay needs to:

  • Be sorted carefully into categories
  • Be checked if categories are sorted by a certain principle
  • Give the example of each category

3. Description Essay

description essay writingThe aim of description essay is to describe verbally the subject, the person or place you like and do it in the manner so that the reader it could be as close to original as possible. Plan to be as descriptive as you can be because description essay will demand lots of eloquence from the author.

To be effective classification essay needs to:

  • Be organized by the certain parts or the aspects of subject
  • Be rich in vocabulary
  • Set the tone and deliver vivid narration examples

4. Compare and Contrast Essay

compare and contrast essay writingThe aim of Compare and Contrast Essay essay is to write a narration that is able to compare or contrast the subjects chosen. With the proper word choosing you need to make the utmost to point out the differences or similarities.

To be effective classification essay needs to:

  • Start with less significant first, end with more significant features
  • Compare each subject by category

5. Sequence Essay

sequense essay writingThe aim of sequence essay is to describe the events or some sort of process in a certain understandable order. Sequence essay needs to have a particular structure where you pick the measuring item (see example table).

To be effective sequence essay needs to:

  • Be organized by the structure using particular measurement, f.g time
  • Be written using events in the order of their happening

6. Choice Essay

choice essay writingThe aim of choice essay is to argument why you made a particular choice, describing the object, idea or action you prefer. In the choice essay you can operate either by rational reasons or personal subjective preferences, the main idea is to give an explainable algorithm of your choice.

To be effective choice essay needs to:

  • Be organized in the way of describing each option
  • Support the option by your own opinion

7. Explanation Essay

explanation essay writing onlineThe aim of an explanation essay is to explain how or why something happening or happened. When writing explanation essay make sure your speech is enough descriptive to deliver the meaning in the most precise way.

To be effective choice essay needs to:

  • Explain effects and causes
  • Be organized by explaining each individual case

8. Evaluation Essay

evaluation essay wrtingThe purpose of evaluation essay is to deliver the judgment about people, ideas, and actions that you’ve chosen for your topic. In the evaluation essay you don’t have to fear about the subjectivity of your evaluation because the main reason is to provide your judgment.

To be effective Evaluation Essay needs to:

  • Develop evaluations based on certain criteria
  • Be organized by discussing the criteria you used to make your judgment

Check how to write different essay types according to specific essay structures. Using the table you can learn the structure and write essays on any topic.


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Essay Types as Educational Tools

essay structure exampleIn United States and United Kingdom formal education demand from student generate essays every now and then, it is an important part of education usually in form if free response questions. Essays in those countries help to select the applicant for admission purposes, that’s why students are thoroughly taught the structured essay formats, improving their writing skills and raising the chances of entering the institution.

Academic essay types are usually written in the more formal style than the literary, leaving the room for the authors opinions but still being made logically and sounding more factual. As a rule, their limit ranges between 2,000 and 5,000 words in these countries.

Think outside the Format

If you think the essay writing is a boring thing, fight your stereotype right now, – no one said it has to be drag. Think outside the box, – it’s the new epoch for the narrations to be humorous, provoking and highly creative. These schools just prove the fact:

University of Chicago:

essay types weird“Winston Churchill believed ‘a joke is a very serious thing.’ Tell us your favorite joke and try to explain the joke without ruining it.” or “How are apples and oranges supposed to be compared?”

Lehigh University:

essay types funny“If your name were an acronym, what would it stand for and how would it reflect your strengths and personality?” or “Describe your favorite \”Bazinga\” moment.”

It can be a difficult task for college students to master all the essay types throughout their academic life. There are different directions and rules to follow and demands to keep in mind but the practice brings the knack unlike nothing else.

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