7 Major Types of Essays You Need to Know About

Essays are some of the most common assignments in academic settings. There are different types of essay writing. So, how then can we describe essay writing? A properly formatted essay can be a personal reflection, a response to a set topic, or a critical and analytical piece of writing on an assigned topic.

All essay typesare a great way to improve your writing skills and express yourself. They can also be useful tools for college admission; however, they can be difficult to write. This is why it is important to learn about all 4 main types of writing, as well as other additional writing types.

What are the different types of essays?

There are various styles of essays, each of which is unique to a particular type. This article will highlight and explain seven of the different types of essays.

1. Expository essays

An expository essay is a type of academic writing that explains a topic. It focuses on presenting information, as well as giving an opinion about a particular subject.

You will often see this type of essay used in high school and college papers, as well as by employers when they are hiring someone new. Many companies require their employees to write expository essays about certain topics before being hired into their organization.

2. Persuasive essays

Persuasive essays are used to convince the reader of something. They can be written in a formal or informal style, depending on the purpose of the essay. Persuasive essays are often used in college applications and other forms of persuasion where people need to plead with the reader(s) and convince them into taking action or doing something.

3. Descriptive essays

Descriptive essays are about describing a person, place, or thing. They are often written as an account of what you have seen and experienced firsthand.

Describing your surroundings with sensory details can be tricky, but it is important to use specific details when writing descriptive essays so that the reader feels like they are present with you in your experience. For example: “The weather was perfect today—blue skies and sunshine all day long” would be better than just saying “it was nice outside today.”

Another thing to keep in mind is that while descriptive essays may seem like they have more room for creativity than other types of writing(because they give writers greater freedom), proper research still needs to go into them.

4. Narrative essays

A narrative essay is a story that you tell. It can be about your life, or it can be about a fictional story. You can include citations to pictures, videos, and other media in your narrative essay as well.

A narrative essay is usually written in the first person: “I am writing…” or “My name is Jane Doe.”

5. Argumentative essays 

An argumentative essay provides evidence for your point of view. A good argumentative essay will have strong supporting reasons and citations, as well as a clear structure.

Argumentative essays typically focus on an opinion or position that needs defending against some opposing view or belief system; they tend to be more strongly organized than expository writing styles because they present information as evidence rather than mere reasoning. The writer’s job is not just about coming up with facts—it is showing how those facts support their argument so readers feel convinced by what they read.

Arguments can be made in many different ways: with statistics, facts, examples, logic, reason, or by appealing to feelings.

6. Compare and contrast essays 

Compare and contrast essays are a great way to teach students about the similarities and differences between two topics. They can also be used in an essay on a particular topic, like comparing two characters in a book or film.

7. Admission essays

Admission essays are used to apply for college or university. They are written by the applicant, typically in the first person, and informal. Admission essays can be as short as 1-2 pages but generally range from 2-3 pages.

Admission essays often focus on your admission essay topic: what you want to study at university and why you should get accepted into that program/school.


The best way to understand the different kinds of essay is to consider them as steps in a process. You begin with an outline and then work through each step until you are finished. You must know what each step looks like so that you can have an idea of how it will be written.