Styles of Essays

An essay is a short piece of writing that discusses, describes or analyzes one topic. It can range in length from one paragraph to more than twenty. It can be about anything, and be written in almost any style. It can be serious or funny, straight-forward or symbolic. It can describe personal opinions, or just report information.

The Structure of an Essay

Common Types of Essays

Argumentative

Links:

Comparison/Contrast

  • Comparison/Contrast Essays
  • Comparison/Contrast Essays: Two Patterns

Links:

  • Writing the Comparison and Contrast Essay (College of DuPage)

Definition

  • Definition Essays
  • Sample Essay - "The Real Meaning of Honesty"

Descriptive

  • Descriptive Essays
  • Sample: "A Small, Close-Knit Community"
  • Sample: "English is a Crazy Language"

Links:

  • Writing Descriptions (Purdue University)

Narrative

  • Narrative Essays
  • Sample: "Attitude is Everything"
  • Sample: "Josie's Triumph

Cause-Effect

  • Cause-Effect Essays
  • Sample: "Town Meetings"

Process Essay

  • Process Essays

Critical Essays

  • Critical Essays
  • Writing Critical Essays about Literature
  • Writing A Critical Analysis of a Painting
  • Writing a Book Review
  • Writing Abstracts and Critiques

Links:

  • Writing Critiques (University of Louisville)

General Essay Links