How to write different types of essays

There are many different types of essays that you may be asked to write during your academic careers. Though the same basic areas apply to all essays in regards to grammar and so forth, each essay type will have its own unique requirements and specifications. Here we will look at the basics of some of the most commonly encountered essay types.

Compare and Contrast

With this essay type, you are going to look at similarities and differences between two things. For example, you may be asked to compare college and high school. For this assignment you will talk about some of the ways both are similar. If you are asked to contrast men and women’s shopping habits, you are going to be talking about the ways they shop and how they are different from each other.

Argument or Persuasive

This is the type of essay where you are told to argue for or against something. Your goal is to inform your reader about the topic and make them see things from your point of view and to agree with your stance. For example, if you are told to write a persuasive paper on the dangers of too much caffeine consumption, you will write a paper about caffeine, what it does to the body, the dangers involved, and how much caffeine people are consuming, Your goal will be to make the reader agree with you and agree that it is bad thing to consume too much caffeine.


This is one of the first essay types most students are given in their English class. You are usually given a person, place, or thing and asked to describe it. You could be asked to describe someone influential in your life. You might be instructed to describe your favorite get a way place. You could even be asked to describe an item like your favorite childhood toy or your most prized possession. With this essay type, you will use your senses and also look at the details of things such as personality, characteristics, traits, materials, and other things that will help you describe the person, place, or thing you are describing.

These are the three most common essay types that you are likely to encounter during your academic career. You now have a great foundation and good head start for your next writing assignment and can really impress your instructor with your great writing skills!