A fundamental part of writing an essay is the ability to understand the difference between certain types of essays.

The most common are narrative, descriptive and persuasive essays.



Narrative Essay – the biggest feature of a narrative essay is that you have to write it following a certain sequence and often share your personal experience.

Descriptive Essay – usually, you are asked to describe a place, an event, a person, etc. in a way that the reader would be able to feel and imagine what you are saying. Descriptive essays have a lot in common with news reports.

Persuasive Essay – probably, the most difficult one to cope with. In most cases, you are expected to present an idea and try to persuade the reader to take your side.

Personal Essay

You are supposed to share your own experience and ideas. In contrast to other types of essays, it does not require a lot of research. This type of essay is close to a narrative one, but it also can have some might resemble descriptive or persuasive types depending on the task.

Argumentation Essays

This type of essay requires a lot of research, supporting arguments, reviewing different points of view, and defending your viewpoint with the relevant evidence.

There are different kinds of an argumentation essay:

Argumentative/Persuasive essays

Cause & effect essays

Evaluation essays

Comparison & Contrast essays

Example essays

Research essays

Synthesis essays

Information Essays

The goal of this type of essay is to deliver information to the reader.

It also has a few subcategories:

Informative essays

Definition essays

Classification essays

Expository essays

How-to essays

Process essay

Analysis Essays

A lot of research and effort are needed to write such papers. Usually, you have to analyze or criticize a certain idea or argument. Types of analysis essays:

Critical literary analysis

Critique essays

Analytical essay

Deductive essays

Exploratory essays

Reflective essays

Description Essays

While working on this type of essay, you have to achieve one goal – give a clear picture of what you are trying to describe so that the reader will have no difficulties understanding and imagining something physical or abstract that you describe. Among description essay you may find:

Illustration essays – using words to describe something.

Photo essays – using actual photos and pictures to share your ideas (almost like a comics book).

Structural Essays

This type of essay could be either descriptive, narrative or persuasive – depending on your task. However, what makes it different is the structure of the essay:

-5 paragraph essays – the main idea is to have five paragraphs throughout the essay including 3 body paragraphs supplemented with introduction and conclusion.

-Short essays – you have to pick the most important information and squeeze it into one-page writing.

-DBQ essays - Questions&Answers type of assignment to check if you know the required information.


That is it! Writing an essay will be a lot easier if you keep in mind the difference between its various types!