Student’s Guide: 14 Essay Types from the Easiest to the Hardest One

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09 April 2020

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Essay

Being the most common type of written assignment, an essay is known by students of all ages. This task is an inevitable part of the educational program. Starting from middle school and all the way to college or university, everyone faces it.

Since this type of task is being assigned to students at all stages of their education, it has a significant influence on one’s final scores. That’s why mastering the art of essay writing is vital for overall academic success. This article is your comprehensive guide, from which you will learn what academic writing is and what are its different types.

What Is an Essay?

According to the general definition, it is a short academic paper that discusses a given topic from a specific point of view. As a rule, the subject is presented from the student’s own angle.

Typically, such papers are short. However, depending on several aspects, such as the subject, type of essay, or teacher’s instructions, the length of the text can vary. The common format for such paper is based on the five-paragraph structure. It consists of an introductory paragraph, three body paragraphs, and a conclusion.

The general purpose of the task can vary depending on its type. For example, some essay types are created to inform readers about the given topics and some are analytical. Others can have a purpose to persuade someone of something.

This type of task is currently a part of every academic program in schools and colleges. Therefore, it is vital that every student could handle it to ensure a high GPA.

14 Essay Types from the Easiest to the Hardest One

Writing this type of academic work is, by no means, a simple matter, which is why many students struggle with such assignments.

Luckily for those who lack time for their homework or simply can’t cope with the task, there are professional writing services. Sites like https://essaypro.com/custom-essay.html can deliver high-quality academic help to anyone in need. However, if you want to hone your skills and cope with the task on your own, this guide will come in handy for distinguishing different types of essays.

Simple:

1) Descriptive

This is probably the easiest type of work. In a nutshell, a descriptive paper is the one that describes something (a person, object, phenomenon, event, etc.) in detail. The author’s goal is to provide a clear description adding vivid details. They need to help readers see, feel, smell, hear, or taste what is described.

As a rule, this task is short, it follows a standard structure, and doesn’t require in-depth research.

2) Narrative

The second easiest type of academic paper is a narrative essay. Its main purpose is to tell a story. Similar to the previous task, it requires using plenty of details in order not to tell but show a story to readers. It is a creative task that most students handle with ease.

3) Process

The next rather simple type of work is a process essay. As you could already understand from the name, its goal is to describe a certain process. The author needs to break down the process of doing something into a set of smaller sequences and describe each step so that readers could do it after reading a paper.

4) Comparison and Contrast

The goal of such a paper is to make either a comparison, contrast, or both between two or more similar or different things. This form of assignment is rather simple as all a student needs to do is to analyze different objects and define what they have in common or what differs them.

5) Cause and Effect

The main purpose of this task is to reveal the interconnection between certain things or actions. A writer needs to explain what caused them and what effect they can have. As a rule, students find this kind of assignment rather simple. However, the level of complexity depends on the object or topic that has to be explained.

Medium Level:

6) Review

This form of assignment requires a student to review a particular piece (usually, a book) and discuss its merits and demerits. Although such papers often follow the standard format and may not be too difficult to write, many students find it challenging. Such an essay requires a solid understanding of the book’s content and a lot of research.

7) Explicatory

Such papers are most often written about novels, poems, and short stories. The purpose of the assignment is to explain a literary piece so that a reader could easily understand it.

8) Critical

A critical essay is another assignment often written on a specific literary piece. The purpose of the paper is to give a thorough evaluation of the chosen piece based on its strong and weak sides.

9) Analytical

When writing an analytical paper, the author has to analyze a specific topic, concept, or a literary piece from different angles, providing supporting arguments. This kind of work requires in-depth research, so it can be quite time-consuming.

analytical paper

10) Rhetorical Analysis

This work is similar to the previous one. However, as a rule, a rhetorical analysis paper is written about a piece of rhetoric or speech and has a purpose to assess it based on the rhetorical strategies and tools that have been used in a piece.

Complex:

11) Definition

The main goal of such work, as you could understand from the name, is to give a clear definition of a concept or idea. What makes it a complicated assignment is that you must have a solid understanding of the concept to be defined. Only that will allow you to create a high-quality definition essay.

12) Expository

This form of work has the goal to explain a complex concept or idea in detail to make readers understand it with ease.

13) Argumentative

An argumentative paper is one of the most time-consuming and challenging types of essays. This type of assignment requires conducting an in-depth research and collecting valid data (arguments) that would support the author’s ideas.

14) Persuasive

Another complicated kind of work is a persuasive paper. Similar to the previous type of paper, it should provide valid arguments to support certain ideas. However, what makes it even more complex is that the author has to use different techniques to persuade the readers of the correctness or incorrectness of certain ideas.

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