Different Types of Essays: Opening Remarks


An essay is one of the main tools in the educational system of modern colleges, universities, and even high schools. This academic writing type is an excellent way of increasing students’ logical thinking ability, managing different arguments and providing readers with logical solutions to problems. 

Despite all the advantages of essay writing, students may face many difficulties when facing different types of essays. In this article, we’d like to provide some introductory essays on the modern educational system. Then, we’d take a closer look at every one of these essays and provide you with the particularities of each type of essay. But, first, let’s start our review with an overview of existing essay types. 

What Are The Main Essay Types and Their Structural Parts?

Let’s start this section by saying that there are too many essay types, so we’ll spend an eternity naming them all. Nevertheless, these countless types are usually defined into four main types. 

These types are descriptive, expository, narrative, and argumentative essays. But do not rush to worry since these types are pretty similar because the main point of every essay is to persuade the reader in some way. Also, it can represent your point of view on some events, personalities, or even feelings.

Nevertheless, there will still be a lot of things that will distinguish these types of essays from each other. And in our article, we’ll try to give you an understanding of the main differences between these essay types. But before we start our discussion of the leading essay types, we’d like to remind you of the essential parts of every essay. 


The introduction is an essential part of every essay type. In this structural section, you will provide your readers with a brief review of the chosen topic or problem. But it’s wrong to think that introduction will only include a review of the topic because, at the very beginning of your essay, you should also inform your readers of your opinion regarding the problem. 

With the help of an introduction, you need to catch your audience’s attention and make them feel interested in your essay. Use your introduction to make a good impression on your audience because you will not have a second chance.

Thesis Statement

A thesis statement is more than a structural part of your essay because it will be represented throughout it. You can imagine your personal statement as a thread that binds all essay parts. You will present your thesis at the beginning of your essay, and with its help, you will represent the main idea of your research and your statement of the discussed problem. The thesis is one of the critical parts of an essay, without which your essay will lose sense. Therefore, you must approach the thesis statement writing as responsibly as possible. 

Body Part

The body is the most massive part of your essay because it’s the part where you will provide your readers with solid facts and evidence to defend your position. You may think it’s the most challenging part of your essay, but as with everything in this world, it’s a double-edged sword. In the body, you’re free to create your position from scratch by using all possible sources of information and even your own experience. 

Also, the length of your body is totally up to you. In case you’re not limited, assignment requirements do not limit you may include three of ten paragraphs. 


The conclusion of your essay is a culmination of your essay. In conclusion, you need to summarize your research and provide your readers with the conclusion you came to during the writing process. If you do not know how to create a conclusion, you may repeat the thesis statement from the introduction of your essay. Also, you can use some key points from the body and finish it with a logical conclusion on your discussion topic. 

Narrative And Descriptive Essay Writing Types

We decided to split the types into groups in our review of the essay types. So our first group will be the narrative and the descriptive essay. We specifically chose two types of essays between which students are constantly confused. Indeed you can easily confuse these types of essays because, at first sight, both of these types will tell some story to the readers. However, it’s not as easy as it sounds because narrative essays have many differences from descriptive essays, so let’s find them out. 

Narrative Type of Essay

The primary and most significant thing that will distinguish this type is its most creative type. The point of the narrative essay is that you need to tell your readers a story from your personal experience. 

Another significant difference is that narrative essays will not have strict scopes that will divide the introduction from the body and the body from the conclusion, but still, they will be there. You can imagine a narrative essay as a complete story from your personal experience. But you should not limit yourself because you’re free to add even some fictional events to diversify your story.

Descriptive Type of Essay

A descriptive essay is pretty similar to the narrative type, but at the same time, in the descriptive type of essay, you will have to describe some place or situation more strictly. To make it even easier for you, you can imagine a descriptive essay as a description of some subject, while a narrative essay provides a reader with a complete story. 

An introduction of the essay usually starts with the introduction of the subject. You can also point out some essential points that compelled you to describe this subject. Then, the body should usually contain parts where you will describe the subject, and in conclusion, as a result of your research, you will present a whole puzzle to your readers. But do not think you need to describe only the subject because the subject of your essay can be anything. 

Argumentative And Expository Type of Essays Writing

In our next section, we’d like to discuss argumentative and expository types of essays. These types of essays are also pretty similar. Unfortunately, many students confuse them because both argumentative and expository essays give readers some opinions. 

However, there is a hugely significant difference between these types of essays, that conduct in fact that an argumentative essay, besides the information on the subject, needs to contain a piece of evidence, facts, and especially the writer’s opinion on the discussed subject. At the same time, an expository essay is an essay type where you will have to describe the chosen topic. First, however, let’s take a closer look at each type. 

Argumentative Type of Essay

The argumentative essay is a type of essay that needs a logical and balanced approach to the problem. The author must provide his opinion on some subject or problem in the argumentative essay. Usually, students may choose some ambiguous problem that needs to be solved. 

Every exciting topic with two opposite subjects may become a research topic for your argumentative essay. To write an argumentative essay, you should choose one position and, with the help of facts and sources, prove that your position is correct. Sounds easy, right? But in life, writing a good essay becomes a masterpiece. 

Regarding structure, usually argumentative essays consist of an introduction, a body with arguments, a counterargument to prove your point of view, and a conclusion. The final step of this essay should be to convince readers of your point of view.

Expository Type of Essay

An expository essay is a very unusual type of essay since this type of essay is provided to users for some investigation of an idea. Unlike argumentative essays, expository essays will not require students to choose one position on some controversial issue. In the case of an expository essay, you will have to provide users with the whole picture of the discussed problem. 

When discussing expository essays, the writer should remain objective and neutral to describe the problem as unbiased as possible. So the expository essay is such an academic writing type where you should not convince your readers of one point of view on the discussed topic. Instead, you need to give your users detailed information on the whole topic in the informing form.

Types of Writing Essays: How to Choose It?

So what if you do not know which type of essay you need to choose or your teacher for the purpose didn’t mention the type of essay you need to use? Do not worry because, most likely, in this way, your ability for logical thinking and adaptation is being tested. For this matter, we have collected some valuable tips that might be helpful, even in such unforeseen situations. You will know the algorithm of actions. 

  • Read the assignment carefully. Do you know how they say that usually, the problem has half of the solution in it? The same is with the academic papers. If you want to choose the essay type, read the assignment, and the correct answer will come to mind. 
  • Choose according to the subject. As you may already have guessed, some essay types may suit some subjects better than others. For example, an argumentative essay is perfect for law or history, where you will choose one side of the problem, while narrative or descriptive will be perfect for literature. 
  • Find the essays for a similar topic. Another great way to determine the essay type is to look through similar essays. Be sure that it will help you a lot, not only with sources but also with the type and style of your essay.

Style of Essay: How to Choose Format?

Most likely, your teacher will inform you regarding the format of your essay. However, if he forgets to mention it, do not start to panic. Instead, we’ll tell you how to choose a perfect format for your essay. Another great news is that there are not too many of them these days. Three main essay formats are the most popular now. They are APA, MLA, and Chicago. For example, you can use MLA in exact sciences, while APA is used in humanitarian subjects such as history and literature. 


What are the 4 types of essays?

There are four main types of essays: descriptive, narrative, argumentative, and expository. These types of essays are used most often. 

Which types of essays are most likely to be written?

Usually, college professors offer their students to write argumentative essays to compare two different opinions or a narrative essay to let the student tell some story about a personal experience. So as you have already understood, the type of essay depends on the purpose of the writing. 

How do I know what type of essay to write?

The type of essay depends on several factors, so if your type is not discussed with your teacher, you will have to choose it yourself. First of all, you will have to draw your attention to the subject of your topic, also, do not forget to check the assignment and requirements and, of course, the essays of other authors.

What type of essay is most common at university?

Each of the main types of essays will be spread to some extent. But, in general, the common essay type in the university will depend on the faculty and specialization you’re studying on. 


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