Academic writing requires making use of various essay types. Often, as a writer, you won’t know what’s coming. You could be asked to write using a particular type of essay or sometimes, you have to infer which type is appropriate for an assignment. Usually the topics dictate how you should go about writing but there are also times when the assignments comes with specific instructions. Just remember that understanding the topic is vital in writing an essay. As you go about brainstorming, making the outline, drafting and revising, only then will you be able to finalize what to write and how you will write it. Since there are a number of essay types, here is a short guide of the most common ones:
A form of essay is “comparing and contrasting”. A topic is developed based on similarities and differences. Most questions require this kind of essay and it is quite common during essay examinations.
Another one of the essay types is the “controversial essay”. This is used when discussing issues of debate usually regarded in society and media. The common controversial topics range from religion, abortion, homosexuality or euthanasia. The essay has to be constructed according to the flow of argument; evidence and supporting details have to state the position of the paper and work towards making a sound, logical argument.
Among the essay types, the “persuasive essay” requires the most research and serious writing. The writer will have to effectively make use of rhetoric to convince the readers to agree with your paper’s position, take action or change their opinion about something. Persuasion is a powerful tool because it is aimed at influencing people’s views. A persuasive essay needs deep understanding of the topic and the information has to be organized in an argumentative way. For example, the essay can convince the readers to switch to renewable sources of energy, convince the public to change their opinion of a politician, and the list goes on.
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Another type of essay is the essay to evaluate. This given topic has to be researched and reviewed; then the writer will have to construct a critical appraisal or evaluation about it. An essay can also be about generalities. A subject will be discussed according to the writer’s general knowledge of the topic. This is usually used to test the students’ skills in researching and constructing answers, especially in college entrance examinations. The last type of essay is the essay to classify. It breaks down a topic according to its components. For instance, an issue is broken down into smaller issues and these are discussed one by one so the reader can easily understand it.
The essay types mentioned above are only the common ones used in academic writing. Depending on the question or topic given, the writer will have to asses which one to use. How you choose to write your essay will reflect how you organize your thoughts and how you express critical thinking. It can gauge one’s skills in discerning proper writing techniques.