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Know what you're writing before you put pen to paper. (Photo by NeONBRAND on Unsplash)

Learn More About Common Types of Essays

If you want to succeed in academic writing, you need to be aware of the characteristic features of the common types of essays.

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in article about essays, someone writing in an empty notebook
Know what you're writing before you put pen to paper. (Photo by NeONBRAND on Unsplash)

If you want to succeed in academic writing, you need to be aware of the characteristic features of the common types of essays.

Before you learn about different types of essays, you need to find out what an essay is. An essay is a piece of writing that aims to explore a specific topic from different perspectives. Although there are many different essay types, they often fall into four main categories: argumentative, narrative, expository and descriptive essays.

Whereas expository and argumentative essays aim to convey information and familiarize the target audience with the specific points, a narrative and a descriptive essay focus on broadcasting the author’s creativity. When you are a college student, the chances are high that you will need to work on different types of essays. Even when you choose to buy your papers from online writing companies, you need to specify your task exactly to receive what you want. Thus, to make it easier to distinguish between essay types and identify which essay service you may need, writers have prepared a comprehensive guide with examples. Read on to learn about common types of essays.

Argumentative Essay

In an argumentative essay, the writer is trying to convince the reader about a certain position. By providing strong arguments, he or she will ensure the validity of the topic. When you are supposed to write an argumentative essay, you should remember that all of your arguments should be supported with appropriate evidence. In such a paper, you cannot just state your position regarding the specific argument; you need to support this position with credible and accurate data.

To write a good argumentative essay, you need to research your topic and figure out the main argument that will be included in your paper. Although an argumentative paper is similar to an expository one, it requires more research, including both qualitative and quantitative data from primary and secondary sources. Such a paper can be rather short or very long: Either way, its main goal is to suggest a clear argument regarding some topic and back up this argument with appropriate evidence. Usually, an argumentative paper is assigned in college or university as it requires having excellent cognitive and analytical skills. If you want to produce a good argumentative paper, you need to know five main types of argument claims:

  • You need to inform your reader whether your statement is true or false;
  • You should define the subject and present its interpretation;
  • Make sure to inform the reader about the importance of what you are analyzing;
  • Cause and effect. Let your reader know the main causes and consequences of the issue;
  • Explain what makes this subject important.

Argumentative Essay Example

“Mass media and the products of their activity (news, advertisements, television programs, movies, and others) are inescapable elements of people’s everyday routines. Much has been written and said about the ways in which the media facilitate and reinforce the development of various stereotypes. The sea of advertising is difficult to measure, and its impacts on social cognition are difficult to estimate (Plous & Neptune, 1997). Nonetheless, the fact that advertising changes the way people perceive one another cannot be ignored. The purpose of this paper is to reconsider a recent Barbie commercial in the context of gender stereotyping. The results of this analysis will help to determine the way television commercials alter the balance of gender forces in the postmodern world.

“At the heart of this analysis is the 2008 Barbie 3 Story Dream House Commercial, which was a television hit in 2008 and can be found on YouTube. The commercial features a group of girls (young ladies), who are playing with the Barbie Dream House. According to the advertisement, the House is a dream of every girl, a state-of-art creation for everyone who wants to play creative games and feel like an adult. Unfortunately, the hidden messages sent by the commercial can potentially contribute to the development of gender stereotypes. One of the most interesting things about this advertisement is that it is designed in pink-and-rosy colors. The dolls in the dream house are presented as good housewives, who spend their time in the kitchen, wash their husbands’ clothes, and serve the parties, while their husbands are having fun. It is not difficult to see how the discussed commercial contributes to the development of gender stereotyping, where women are positioned as powerless and submissive against men, who are strong and powerful in their breadwinning roles.

“The overt message sent by the Barbie commercial is that of beauty as well: beautiful girls deserve to have beautiful Barbie houses, playing with which will teach them to adopt appropriate gender roles and prepare them for being adult ladies.

“However, what are these gender roles that are presented by the media? According to Eagley and Steffen (1984), women are mostly perceived as homemakers, whose social roles are limited to child care and household chores, and those roles do not imply any engagement in paid workforce. Not surprisingly, the covert message sent by the commercial is that women are not suitable for anything except playing with Barbie houses, wearing pink clothes, cleaning the house, washing the dishes, and serving their husbands’ parties. The role of a woman is submissive and secondary to the role played by men. It is a reflection and representation of the traditional or, actually, outdated patriarchal beliefs about the division of gender roles between men and women.

“Unfortunately, the potential impacts of such commercials on workplace stereotypes are likely to be negative. Lavine, Sweeney and Wagner (1999) confirm that advertising profoundly influences viewers’ self-concepts. As a result, men will have a perception that their female colleagues are incompetent and not capable of anything in life. These consequences may be even more dramatic, especially if to bear in mind that the target audience for the discussed commercial is children. Gender role socialization is a very lengthy and complex process that shapes the ways in which individuals reconstruct the social reality and gender roles (Lafky, Duffy, Steinmaus & Berkowitz, 1996). Consequently, girls get used to their submissive gender roles early in life. These gender role perceptions further contribute to the development and expansion of gender-based inequalities in the workplace, making them usual, common, regular, and normal. Many girls may fail to see the promise of a different independent and colorful life that goes beyond homemaking and includes the joys of professional development, self-confidence, and personal fulfillment. They may fail to accomplish their workplace mission, simply because they feel too weak to change the existing stereotypes about their professionalism and workplace effectiveness.

“The 2008 Barbie commercial features young girls playing with Barbie dolls that represent the roles of good housewives. As a result, the advertisement reinforces the patriarchal gender stereotypes, which position women as powerless and submissive to men. The discussed commercial reinforces a belief that women are not expected to be anything more than a housewife. Consequently, young girls lose their hopes to make a productive and self-fulfilling career.”

Expository Essay

An expository essay should present a balanced argument. Unlike an argumentative paper, it should provide the author`s understanding of the topic based on accurate data. To succeed in writing an expository paper, you need to define your topic as clearly as possible. If the topic includes some terms that can be unknown to your reader, you need to do your best to explain them. Also, you need to define the scope of your topic. When using any sources, you will need to not only summarize them but also evaluate, mentioning all the strengths and weaknesses of the approaches used by other scholars.

Expository Essay Example

“A good global leader is one who can lead anywhere in the world. In terms of globalization and multinational corporations, global leadership is required. Globalization influences leadership in the sense that a leader of a multinational company has to know how to manage changes with respect to cultural diversity. Global leaders should be aware that cultural differences and similarities exist and have an effect on values, learning, and behavior of cultures. Prewitt, Weil, and McClure (2011) in their journal article noted that globalization impacts leadership because leaders of multinationals are required to create an environment that encourages and inspires individuals to overcome obstacles.

“According to Prewitt, Weil, and McClure (2011), globalization is influencing the roles and styles of leadership in three ways. Firstly, globalization is increasing the complexity and diversity of tasks and challenges that development leaders face in the 21st century. Secondly, globalization is shaping expectations of development leaders’ roles and behaviors. Finally, globalization influences expectations about the attributes of effective development leadership in bringing about economic changes in organizations. Leaders of global companies and organizations must develop a feasible and a pragmatic model for global leadership. While creating such models leaders must structure them with considering cultural practices, global stratagem, and the need to articulate capabilities required to ensure that the organization attains a competitive advantage (Prewitt, Weil, & McClure, 2011).

“Tompson and George (2013) noted that while the trend of globalization continues, multinational organization leaders must embrace effectiveness in different cultural environments. Leaders in multinational organizations must focus on competencies that are essential to the success of companies operating in a global competitive business environment. Leaders in global organizations require enough resources, employees, and individual competencies to be successful (Tompson & George, 2013). For example, GE Healthcare first entered the Chinese market in 1991. The incumbent general manager devoted most of his time to sales and marketing without a strategic plan for building the global value segment. In 2007, GE appointed Matti Lehtonen as a new general manager of the business. Lehtonen was a perfect choice to head GE Healthcare in the Chinese market because he had spent 25 years working in the fields of electronics manufacturing. Self-confidence is an important personal trait of a multinational leader, which must be taken into account as organizations seek to remain competitive.

How the Information Gained from the Articles is Important to Leader of a Multinational Organization that is Undergoing Change

“The information gained from the article proves that a leader of multinational organization should radically alter organizational structure, culture, and behavior in order to cope with the demands of the new economy. Due to increased competition, firms must anticipate changes to survive and maintain their competitive advantage (Markovic, 2012). Leaders must attempt to manage new global environment, make their business culture and structure to operations and relationships more suitable for handling rapid changes (Markovic, 2012). The information enables understanding that ubiquitous changes affect firms of all sizes varying economies and industry affiliations. It can also be said from the articles that leaders must ensure that management structures of global organizations are flexible, responsive, and adaptive, with entrepreneurial, risk-oriented, and rapid decision-making.

“Leaders of multinational organization that is undergoing change must use various tools that stimulate self-organization and leadership without third-party control. Canals (2011) noted that for facilitating effective changes leaders should have an understanding of varying cultures inside their organizations and an ability to plan, lead, and organize their employees regarding these differences. In addition, the articles assert that leaders of multinationals corporations under change should be able to live with ambiguity and, at the same time, be able to act in collaboration (Canals, 2011). High quality leaders can estimate risk and uncertainty and are better at coping with them through experimentation and quick learning. For example, leaders of McDonald’s Food Corporation are constantly scanning their multinational environment and making decisions about changes of their products according to the changes in business environment. Since the recession of 2008-2009, there has been pricing pressure on the restaurant business. McDonald’s, a multinational organization under change, targets to fit different global markets. Thus, its managers and leaders evaluate social shifts and assess their relevance to the organization’s strategy and the probability of its continued effectiveness.”

Narrative Essay

In a narrative essay, you will need to tell a story from a certain viewpoint. A narrative paper always has characters, a plot, and a climax. You may write a narrative story about your life to convince your target audience that you deserve to become a student at your desired educational institution. Also, you may need to write such a paper to showcase your creativity and writing skills. When writing such a paper, you may use the following literary devices:

  • Dialogue;
  • Imagery;
  • Metaphor;
  • Alliteration;
  • Analogy.

When writing a narrative paper, it is very important to include a hook statement in the introduction as it will help you engage the reader`s attention. If you check the well-written examples of narrative essays, you will see that all of them are engaging, interesting and well-structured. When telling a story, you will need to make your narration flow logically.

Narrative Essay Example

“I hereby express my desire to apply for the FDA Commissioner’s Fellowship Program. My desire to apply for this program emanates from the fact that I have a keen interest in moving from bench-side research, which I am currently involved in. I want to change my field and engage in the determination of safety and efficacy of new drugs, which will help people who may be at risk from certain diseases. I have the belief that, with the experience and knowledge I have, I will undertake the program with a lot of ease. I have expertise in Mouse Cancer Genetics Program, which will facilitate undertaking the FDA Commissioner’s Fellowship Program. I am a Postdoctoral Fellow and an accredited member of the National Institute of Health. I have been involved in optimized genotyping for more than 25 different strains of mice. With such knowledge, I am competent to apply for the FDA Commissioner’s Fellowship Program.

“I am also interested in applying for the FDA Commissioner’s Fellowship Program because I used to be a graduate research assistant for a period of five years at the USC School of Medicine. In my capacity of a research assistant, I managed to carry out collaborative research projects and be involved in the implementation and coordination of in vitro and vivo testing. In addition, I took part in the introduction of tumor models, which aimed at studying tumor progression. Moreover, I have adequate knowledge of the maintenance of cell lines and the generation of clones, as well as tumor suppressor genes. I believe that these achievements are necessary for a person seeking to apply for the FDA Commissioner’s Fellowship Program. In this regard, I have decided to apply for this program since I possess the background knowledge which is crucial for a person who wishes to undertake the FDA program.

“I also wish to apply for the FDA Commissioner’s Fellowship Program since I want to learn some issues which relate to FDA regulatory science. With this program, I will gain awareness on issues that pertain to regulatory practices with regard to foods as well as drugs. The campus where people train for the FDA program also motivates me to apply for it since it has the necessary facilities which will help me while undertaking the program. The campus has the adequate facilities which are needed when learning any program that deals with drugs. The courses that the program offers also relate to the goals I want to achieve at the end of my course. The duration of the FDA Commissioner’s Fellowship Program also motivates me to apply for it. It spans two years, and within this period, I will receive the mentoring and guidance necessary for a person who wants to undertake in-depth study of drugs. The design of the coursework and the program is such that students will learn regulatory issues.

“My interest to study the FDA program is also precipitated by the fact that I will learn FDA law, public policy, clinical trials, leadership skills, radiological health, as well as epidemiology. My future career prospects are to become an ambassador of FDA; as such, the program will enable me to achieve this dream since it is designed for individuals to accomplish this goal. In the future, I want to make remarkable contributions to FDA regulation and this prompts me to study the course since there are some regulatory issues handled by the program. Thus, the diversity of the program and the flexibility it offers motivate me to apply for the FDA Commissioner’s Fellowship Program.”

Descriptive Essay

A descriptive essay is one of the common essay types that is often assigned to students. As the name suggests, such a paper aims to describe a particular subject, place, event, literary piece, etc. To write such a paper well, you will need to portray its sensory aspects using vivid language. Your reader will enjoy your work only if they can visualize the thing you are describing.

If you need to write a descriptive essay, you will need to start early as the writing process will require a significant amount of time and effort. If you leave this task until the last hour, you will not create a stunning piece of descriptive writing. If you have enough time, you will need to brainstorm your ideas. Brainstorming is the creative process that will enable you to develop your writing potential. You need to read your topic thoroughly and think about the way your paper will be written. After you are done with this process, you can create a simple outline that will include the main points that will appear in your paper. A good descriptive paper has the following characteristics:

  • Vivid: It creates an impression on the reader through descriptive details;
  • Demonstrative: It showcases the subject from different perspectives without analyzing it;
  • Sensory: It uses the expressions that appeal to human senses;
  • Emotional: It demonstrates the sentimental significance of the subject;
  • Figurative language: It uses similes, metaphors, analogies, allegories, and other literary devices to reach its goal.

Usually, a descriptive paper does not have specific requirements for its structure. Your goal is to demonstrate your creativity and engage your reader.

Descriptive Essay Example

“I am applying to Memorial University to receive the Graduate Diploma in Safety and Risk Engineering, because I consider the discipline as significant for my personal and professional growth. The program fits my previous experience, current aspiration, and prospective plans. I am currently working as Reciprocating and Rotating Equipment Specialist at Gas Compressor Station at PEMEX E&P in Mexico. I have been working with the company for almost a year, completing the task of the provision of preventive and predictive maintenance for engine driven reciprocating natural gas compressors, and checking for temperatures, liquid levels. The other major responsibilities include contribution to mechanical overhauls and repairs and checking clearances for main bearing. Moreover, I have also worked as asset integrity, project and production engineer before. The gained practical expertise provoked my desire to develop intellectually. Thus, I wish to join the Safety and Risk Engineering Program to continue growing.

“I have chosen Memorial University because the offered program fits within my area of interest, which is safety and risk engineering (, 2015). Moreover, I would like to continue developing intellectually and professionally by taking the advanced course within this area. As I share the mission and the vision of the Faculty of Engineering and Applied Science (, 2015), my objective is also to communicate with the outstanding academics, whom I consider the best educators (, 2015). Furthermore, I aim to be involved in different class discussions; both core and elective courses that are offered in the University are of my great interest, which can promote my further engineering career (, 2015).

“My motivation to study at Memorial University is very strong. At the same time, I am convinced that I can gain unique experience based on the methods of teaching offered. I expect high education standards, which will be fulfilled in Memorial University. Thus, my hard work and efforts will meet the expectations of professors. I am confident in successful cooperation with the Faculty of Engineering and Applied Science.”

If you want to familiarize yourself with the main characteristics of the common essay types, you are free to have a look through some well-written samples available online. The successful examples will help you figure out how different essays should be written, structured and formatted. At the same time, you should understand that unique and authentic papers will bring you the best outcomes. Hopefully, this guide will help you understand the distinctive features of the common essay types and produce good-looking papers.

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