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An In-Depth Study Of The Major Academic Essay Types

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Types of Essays
 Alice Smith  September 14, 2020  Essays

An In-Depth Study Of The Major Academic Essay Types

Though essays are a staple of every curriculum, many are unaware of its myriad variations.  If one is to go around a particular school or college campus asking, "Do you know how many types of essays are there?" the number of incorrect and incomplete answers will be quite shocking.  

Different types of essays exist in academia and they each serve a different purpose. Their goals define their aspects and features, starting from the structuring of ideas and arguments to overall essay writing style.

This article offers a critical study of some of the most common essay formats in global academia. 

The Major Types Of Essays In Academics

Getting straight to the point, here’s a list of the most common essay types encountered.

  • Narrative Essays
  • Descriptive Essays
  • Argumentative or Persuasive Essays
  • Reflection Essays
  • Synthesis Essays or Compare/Contrast Essays and,

Each essay type possesses its unique characteristics and necessitates a different approach. Let us now dwell a bit deeper into their specific subtleties. 

Definitions And Deep Studying Of The Different Types Of Essays

This section presents the definition of all the major types of essays mentioned above and lays down some essential writing tips for each one of them. 

Narrative Essays

A typical narrative essay involves an account of a story or event. Writers weave a tale about a person, an experience, a tour, or anything else that makes for great storytelling. 

  1. Make a point-Deduce your story's purpose and make it the central theme or thesis statement of your essay.
  2. Engage your readers-Use eye-catching words and attractive literary devices to grab your reader’s attention.
  3. State events in a proper sequence-It is best to mention events chronologically. Use flashbacks to refer to past events and then foreshadow the probable future to make things interesting.
  4. Choose a specific point of view-Narrate events from either a first-person or a third-person perspective.

 For example, if you are describing a recent visit to an orphanage, then it's best to relate the life-changing effects of that visit in the first person.  

Descriptive Essays

An augmented version of the narrative essay type, descriptive essays appeal to the reader’s senses through in-depth descriptions of an entity, event, or environment.

Vivid descriptions, detailed characterizations, and meticulous details are the trademark of an excellent descriptive essay.

  1. Don’t tell but show-Use appropriate adjectives and identifiers to help readers visualize a scenario or an entity.
  2. Create an atmosphere-The perfectly-built description can help develop the right kind of atmosphere for your essays. Use your words to create a mood and galvanize the reader's imagination.
  3. Use sensory details-Add details that prod the reader’s imagination and engages their senses. Try to recollect an event using all your five senses and reproduce the same thing on paper.
  4. Develop a dominant impression-Using compelling descriptions help in creating an impact on the audience's mind. 

Argumentative or Persuasive Essays

As their names suggest, these essays have the sole purpose of convincing readers to the writer’s viewpoint.

The primary purpose of an argumentative essay is to use various logical reasoning techniques to establish the integrity of the writer's opinion.

  1. Start with an exciting hook-An attention grabbing introduction will go a long way towards impressing the reader.
  2. Deliver a conclusive thesis statement-The thesis statement informs the reader about the scope of the write-up and the writer's opinion. Having a proper thesis statement will also help you organize your ideas effectively.
  3. Argue for your opinions-Use logical arguments with ample evidence to support your thesis statement.
  4. Conclude with a call for action- End with a prediction or question or maybe recommendation that will make a person think. 

Reflection Essays

Reflection essays are a person’s contemplation of a particular thing.  Close analyses of reflection papers very often reveal the nature of the person behind the prose.

The above description highlight the key features of these essays, namely, a minute interpretation of the subject and an accurate delivery of the lessons learned.

  1. Deliver personal reflections-A brief analysis of the topic under question must come before the writer's observation. Ruminate upon the subject before stating what you think of it.
  2. Mention any change in ideas-If your ideas changed upon closer reflection, mention how they occurred and the resulting consequences.
  3. Write emphatic statements-Analyse in-depth to make your reflections critical and convincing.
  4. Retrospect on things-Retrospection is key to reflection. Think about what, how, and whys of something and relate them to your thoughts & opinions. 

Synthesis or Compare/Contrast Essays

Synthesis essays revolve around a central theme. Writers have to analyse different literature pieces in light of that theme and synthesise a write-up that touches upon the various perspectives on the topic.

  1. Importance of a solid thesis statement-The focus or thesis statement is of paramount importance in a synthesis essay. They offer much-needed direction when struggling to draw logical connections between texts or note any overlapping information.
  2. Add a topic paragraph-A topic paragraph is a crucial constituent of these essays. They establish the overarching theme and develop the context for further analysis.
  3. Concessions and Rebuttals-Supporting and refuting other’s arguments is crucial for crafting a detailed synthesis.
  4. Unbiased perspective-All related literature must be analysed from a neutral perspective. This enhances the credibility of the composition.

The above information highlights some of the essential aspects of the mentioned essay formats. Go through them thoroughly and use the quirky topics below to start practicing. 

Some fantastic topics for different types of essay writing

Here are some current essay topics for you to practice on. 

Narrative Essays Topics 

  1. A dangerous experience
  2. A conflict with another person
  3. The first journey to the countryside
  4. An experience that changed your behaviour
  5. A time people helped each other in a crisis.

Descriptive Essay Topics 

  1. The infinity of the sky.
  2. Earth from the eye of an astronaut.
  3. Superstition and its reality.
  4. Why I love flowers?
  5. A day with a baby elephant. 

Argumentative Essay Topics 

  1. Is technology limiting creativity?
  2. The role of communications in social networks for modern education.
  3. Are contemporary people too reliant on technology?
  4. Are online friends more effective than imaginary?
  5. Is censorship of the Internet necessary?

Reflection Essay Topics

  1. The role of friendship in my life.
  2. A person that changed my life.
  3. A reflection on " To Kill A Mockingbird."
  4. Watching a gathering storm.
  5. Experiencing a natural disaster.

Synthesis Essay Topics

  1. How did the 2nd World War affect Germany in comparison with other nations?
  2. What signs of patriarchy are left behind and which persist?
  3. What are the approaches to dealing with global warming in different nations?
  4. How effective is secondary education today?
  5. Does sex education at schools raise awareness as well as it should? 

And, that wraps up this write-up. Follow the above tips diligently, read more, and write frequently. Practice makes perfect, and it's the same here too. Put in some effort and watch your essay writing skills develop like never before.

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