An essay is a written document that presents the author’s point of view, but sometimes the definition is so vague, the writer is likely to be accused of employing any of these approaches to the writing process. Essays are traditionally been divided into formal and non-formal composition. However, today, the essay can be written in numerous ways, including essays written for research papers, dissertations, examinations, opinion pieces, personal statements, essays on politics, celebrity interviews, essays on religion and personal essays.
Essays are categorized into two main sub-types. The first type of essay is called the expository essay. The other type of essay known as the intrusive essay, is primarily a literary type of essay, however it also has the characteristics of the expository essay. In both types of essays, the central topic is written about in considerable detail, often quoting famous works, music, art, movies, or television programs.
The most common type of essay used to present a research paper is known as the research essay. This is where the writer considers some issue related to the research topic or area of interest, writes an overview of that topic, describes research methods and results, and closes with an introduction paragraph discussing various aspects of that topic. The most common format for an expository essay is to begin with an introduction paragraph and end with the conclusion paragraph. A literature review essay is another common type of essay where the writer reviews a book, magazine, newspaper, or website, quoting events, discussions, or reviews from expert authors. A persuasive essay, on the other hand, is written to persuade the reader to accept a particular opinion or to consider a particular point of view. Depending on the intended audience, the focus may vary.
Another common form of essay writing involves a thesis statement, which is simply a statement or a set of statements about the essay topic. If the topic is political debate, the writer can choose to develop a political thesis statement, using any number of sources and arguments to support it. A thesis statement may be a single sentence or it may comprise several sentences. Thesis statements are most common in political science and history courses, but they can be applied to almost any topic.
A descriptive essay usually begins with a title, problem, or problem statement, and then proceeds to describe the specific qualities of the topic. Most descriptive essays use personal experience and observation to support their claims and provide a general background of the writer’s experience. Most descriptive essays conclude with a thesis statement or a summary of the research and arguments.
A narrative essay provides limited analytical or historical support and usually describes events or occurrences that make the story one worth listening to or reading. Narrative essays are written to explain a personal experience, emphasizing how the narrator relates what he or she has observed or heard. Some narrative essays require more depth than can be provided by a description. A narrative essay requires strong writing skills as well as good judgment and the ability to construct a complex argument. The major challenge to writing a narrative essay is the ability to tell a good story from a series of facts. This type of essay tests students’ critical thinking and organizational skills in addition to their written communication skills.