Different Types of Essays and Formats
Did you know there exists different types of essays and formats and some you might never learn in your school years? Writing essays is a must do for all high school, college and university, however, you will be restricted to a few types of essays and formats. We encourage students to learn different essays formats and structures as they might be required to understand them in their professional life.
Depending on the institution and academic level experience shows that most employers respect job seekers who are college graduates. Holding a university degree announces to the world that you have what it takes to accomplish great things. You probably know that earning that coveted degree is not going to be a walk in the park. Enjoy your life at the university; attend all the parties you want, but always ensure you turn in your assignments on time. Throughout your college life, you will write dozens of papers on various subjects relating to your degree program. Essays are a reality of college life, especially if are studying a degree in the humanities or the social sciences. Different types of essays exist. If you seek to understand the different types of essays and their formats, you have come to the right place.
Formats and Types of Essays You Should Learn
First things first — what is an essay? An essay is usually a short piece of writing covering a topic relating to a particular subject. Not all essays are brief. The voluminous works of prolific writers such as Alexander Pope or the equally talented John Locke are essentially essays. You now know what an essay is; let us move on to the various types of essays and their formats.
Type of essay: Expository essay
The first type of essay you need to familiarise yourself with is the expository essay. An expository essay, also known as an explanatory essay, attempts to describe or explain something. Scholars use this type of essay to present information with the sole purpose of educating the reader. Once in a while, your professor might ask you to write an expository essay to help you discover more about a specific subject, to test your researching skills, and to assess your understanding of the subject in question. When writing this type of essay, you cannot use “I” in your sentences, though you might use “you” when referring to your audience. You need to stick to the facts; your personal opinion is not of any help when tackling such an assignment.
You must include citations, and you will need to follow a particular referencing style. Typically, you will need to use the MLA formatting style, APA, or Harvard styles.
Type of essay: Persuasive essay
The second type of essay you will interact with is the persuasive essay. In this kind of essay, the job of the writer is to persuade the reader to support a specific point of view. Here, your instructor wants you to gain a deep understanding of your subject and take a position relating to the subject matter. To do this, you must use your power of reason to build sound arguments that withstand criticism. Unless your teacher prefers a different essay format, a persuasive essay usually requires the MLA formatting style.
Type of essay: Comparison and contrast essay
The next type of essay is the comparison and contrast essay. In this kind of essay, the writer aims at exploring and exposing the similarities and dissimilarities between ideas. You will need to bring your analytical ability and critical faculties to bear upon the subject at hand. You should be able to succinctly describe what two ideas or realities have in common and what makes them distinct. Usually, no scholarly research and referencing is needed. Therefore, citation is not necessary.
You should also get a clear understanding of what a cause and effect essay is. This type of essay concerns itself with the how and why of things, and the effects that certain situations and events give rise to. For example, your professor might ask you to write a cause and effect essay on the causes of overeating in children and the effects of overeating on the health of these children. You are not allowed to use “I” when writing this type of essay. A cause and effect essay insists on facts, and your opinion should not appear anywhere on the piece you are writing. When you extricate yourself from the essay and present facts, the result is that your work seems authoritative and reliable. You will have to cite all your sources, and it is important that you find sources that lend validity and credibility to your work. The recommended format for this type of essay is MLA or APA style. Still, your professor might suggest that you use a different formatting style. It is best that you follow your teacher’s instructions.
Type of essay: Research essay
Then there is the research essay. In this type of composition, the objective is to analyse a perspective or to argue a point of view concerning a narrow topic. The writer needs to find objective and relevant material and comb through it to locate the specific research that supports their ideas. The writer needs to evaluate and interpret the material and make their point. Either MLA or APA formatting style is suitable for this type of essay.
Your tutor might require you to write a review at some point. A review aims at analysing and presenting a piece of work, say a film or a book, to evaluate its overall validity and effects. Your subjective opinion is all right, but an objective angle has its significance too. A review having a lot of personal views might seem less formal. All assertions made require proof. As long as you have used reference material, you will need to include citations. The MLA formatting style is suitable for reviews.
How to Write And Format Essays
Finally, you want to know what an informal essay is. As the name suggests, an informal essay communicates subjectively in a style that is more conversational and expressive than what you would find in any other type of composition. You can include your personal opinion, persuade, and inform. For this kind of piece, you do not need to add citations. As a result, no formatting style is necessary.
The types of essays and their formatting styles in this article are not the only ones. There are others, and it is your job as a good student to read up on them and increase your knowledge. The explanations presented here should help you avoid mixing up things as you write your essays.
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