4 most common types of academic essays

As you climb the academic ladder and make your way through the school system, year by year, you’ll notice that every paper you write seems incredibly similar. All the way from middle school to college, the majority of the essays written in an academic setting can usually be placed in four categories: exposition, narration, description and persuasion.


When you write an exposition essay you’re trying to inform the reader about something important. You’re explaining something to them, whether it is set of rules, a process, or the pros or cons of a specific example. Business and technical writing, process writing, and things revolving around research are usually where you find this type of writing. However, they can be found in others, as well.


Narrative based writing tends to tell the reader about a specific event that has taken place, but in a more story-esque manner. As they usually take form in the shape of a story, narrative writing is used predominantly in composition of novels, short stories, poetry, and various other literary mediums. Even some academic books use this manner of “storytelling.”


Descriptive essays are used to “describe” a place or event so that the reader can picture the topic clearly in his or her mind via rich imagery. This type of writing is always found in fiction writing (and sometimes poetry), wherein the authors uses large amounts of descriptive writing to paint a better picture in their reader’s mind. Through this, the readers are able to better grasp the scene(s) being given to them and plant themselves in a particular scene.


Finally, the persuasive essay is writing that takes a stand on a particular point (which usually takes form in a controversial topic) and attempts to persuade the reader to adopt a similar stance on the aforementioned topic. This is done by using supporting points and counterpoints to discredit your opposition while strengthening your own stance. Persuasive essays are one of the most used forms of academic writing, though generally at a college level. That is because it requires extensive research on the topic being presented, and demands that the writer think critically about what it is they’re presenting to the reader. As the goal is to persuade the opinion of another, they must figure out how to appeal to the reader all the while presenting valid arguments.

Posted by July 7th, 2016