Types and Examples of Essays: The Complete List

Essays are concise pieces of writing that present information in a comprehensible, straightforward manner. The traditional structure of an essay begins with an introduction, uses topic sentences, and concludes with a conclusion that restates the thesis.

Essays are concise pieces of writing that present information in a comprehensible, straightforward manner. The traditional structure of an essay begins with an introduction, uses topic sentences, and concludes with a conclusion that restates the thesis.

Diverse essay types demand different writing abilities, such as the ability to inject the figurative language into a personal essay to make it come to life or to critically analyze a complex issue in an analytical essay in order to find a solution.

The length and format of essays also vary, with some spanning pages and others neatly fitting into just a few paragraphs. Before you are required to write these types of essays, familiarize yourself with them. You will become a skilled essayist once you comprehend how they differ and how they are similar.

In this article, we provide you with a list of the most prevalent essay types.

Types of Essays with Examples

Understanding the different types of essays that make up the majority of your high school, college, and university assignments is a smart place to start when considering how to write one.

Essays can be categorized into a wide variety, but the four main types of essays are argumentative, expository, narrative, and descriptive essays. Let us take a detailed look at these four main types of essays with examples.

4 Major Types of Essay with Examples

The four primary methods/ types of essays that are typically required in academic settings are as follows (according to Purdue Online Writing Lab), and the majority of the essays you will ever write in your life will roughly fit into one of these categories:

The majority of the essays you will ever have to write in your existence will come under one of these four categories, which are the norm in academia.

These are four different ways to convey an essay’s idea rather than four unique essay genres. Of the nine conventional rhetorical modes, which also include techniques like classification and process analysis, these four are the most frequently employed.

1. Expository Essays

These are most likely the types of essays you may encounter and the standard essay style needed for exams.

When writing an expository essay, you will go deeper into a subject or issue to develop an idea, analyze supporting data, and then organize an “exposition” on the concept.

Depending on the writer’s objectives, expository essays can take a variety of forms including:

  • Descriptive or Definition Essays
  • Procedure or “How-To” Essays
  • Comparison Essays
  • Cause-and-Effect Essays
  • Problem/Solution Essays

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2. Argumentative Essays

These essays are comparable to expository essays, but they are typically far more in-depth and support their arguments with well-researched qualitative and quantitative data (acquired via primary or secondary sources). An argumentative essay’s goal is to establish a viewpoint or position on a subject by offering justifications and proof.

An argumentative essay is typically written for a higher-level audience, such as high school or university. This implies that you will have to conduct some research, make some notes, and probably refer to your lecture notes.

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3. Descriptive Essays

As the title suggests, the focus of this essay is language in general, specifically adjectives, similes, and metaphors. The goal of these essays is to describe the topic you are requested to write about as vividly as you can. You will need to include an introduction, body, and conclusion, just like in an expository essay.

A descriptive essay, however, differs from other types of writing since it requires you to describe a specific object in great detail. The other types of essays may include description, but they typically require a little more, such as an argument, whereas a descriptive essay only provides a detailed description of something, with the thing being described serving as the main focus rather than an argument.

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4. Narrative Essays|

Again, a narrative essay is a more personal piece of writing where your point of view is made apparent to the reader, contrary to what the title might imply. These articles may take the form of stories or be referred to as “creative non-fiction.” In these essays, the first-person pronoun “I” is frequently used.

Narrative essays, which are frequently the closest thing to works of journalism, must also have a distinct introduction, body, and conclusion that are filled with brief language. You are probably well on your way to being a successful journalist if you are able to write a compelling narrative essay.

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Components (Paragraphs) of a good essay

There are 4 main types of essays

The 7 Other Types of Essays

Using one of these four rhetorical devices may be required of you when writing an essay. You might be required to write an argumentative essay on whether or not a new college policy should be implemented.

You would convey your stance by using persuasive writing tactics in your essay, such as by outlining your opinion of the proposed legislation and how it is likely to affect society.

You can better grasp the texts you work with by having a better understanding of the four primary forms of writing. When reading an essay, try to determine the writing style the author is using by focusing on the essay’s structure, tone, vocabulary, and method of presenting the main idea.

Here we analyze the 4 types of essays available:

Personal essays

Your emphasis in a personal essay is on something that has affected you personally. It may be a current issue, a historical occurrence, or a more comprehensive examination of how many situations and events have molded you into the person you are now.

Personal essays frequently use narrative writing strategies. However, depending on the subject matter and thesis of the essay, authors may also use expository or descriptive tactics. Argumentative, comical, and college application essays are just a few examples of different genres of writing that can overlap with personal essays.

Political essays

Some of the most well-known political essays may be familiar to you from what you studied in history class. These essays are works by eminent philosophers from the past and the present that address society and ideal forms of government.

In a political essay, the author discusses the current situation and suggests solutions, occasionally using historical examples of situations or solutions that are analogous to the current one. Political essays typically fall under the categories of informative or persuasive writing.

Compare-and-contrast essays

Essays that compare and contrast two things are probably one of the essay types that students write the most. In this style of essay, the author contrasts and compares two subjects in order to highlight the main distinctions and similarities between them.

The content of compare-and-contrast essays is typically revealed through the similarities the author draws, making them expository writing assignments. When comparisons are used to persuade the reader to adopt a particular perspective, they can also be considered persuasive writing pieces.

College (application) essays

Essays you write in college may not always qualify as college essays. Actually, you’ll write all of your college essays before you enroll in a college unless you later go to graduate school or another type of specialized academic program.

A concise personal essay that emphasizes your personality traits and life experiences that make you the perfect fit for the college to which you are applying is known as a college application essay or personal statement.

Analytical essays

Essays that analyze a topic in-depth focus on its essential elements and draw conclusions after carefully analyzing these elements. An analytical essay regarding a book’s topics or an argumentative essay’s ideas can be required of you. The purpose of analytical essays, which are examples of expository writing, is to present facts by interpreting content.

An analytical essay does not attempt to persuade the reader to adopt a particular viewpoint. Instead, the author gives a piece of media, such as a short story or movie, and analyzes its theme by going over the various ways it conveys that theme.

Argumentative essays

As the name implies, you argue in an argumentative essay.

You specifically make an argument for or against a certain viewpoint. For instance, your task might be to advocate for or against your school’s rule prohibiting students from enrolling in more than two AP courses annually and to back up your arguments with facts.

You might use statistics showing a correlation between a student’s enrollment in AP courses and their typical AP test results or the amount of homework an AP course requires to support your argument that it’s a good idea.

Argumentative essays that are well-written don’t rely on emotional appeal. Instead, they use evidence—statistics, facts, and logic—to persuade readers of the validity of their ideas. Argumentative essays are typical examples of persuasive writing.

Humorous essays

As the name suggests, this sort of essay aims to make the reader laugh and be entertained. A comical essay could describe an amusing incident in the author’s life or it might be a political essay that makes political commentary through satire. A humorous essay is one that is both entertaining and academic.

Essays that are humorous frequently rely more on tactics used in narrative writing, such as metaphors and descriptive language, than they do on other essay-writing strategies. Hilarious essays frequently take the form of descriptive articles that employ hyperbole, irreverence, or quirky language to communicate a humorous perspective on the subject matter.


We hope by reading to this point, you now know how to write an essay that gets all the accolades and grades you deserve.

What are you waiting for now that you are aware of the various essay types and how to compose them? Start working on your essay right away.

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