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Types of Essays

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1. Personal Descriptive
* In a personal descriptive essay, the writer describes a person, place, thing or event, including a great deal of carefully chosen detail. Sensory impressions are important, so strive to scatter them throughout the essay. In addition, convey the significance of the subject, otherwise there is no point to the essay. Personal Narrative

* Like the personal descriptive essay, the narrative essay relies a great deal on sensory impressions and detailed descriptions. However, aside from describing a setting and people’s appearance and mannerisms, the narrative also calls for a storyline. The people in the essay are real people — it is not fiction — who do things and face consequences or celebrate the outcome. Their choices and actions form a plot of sorts. Cause and Effect

* The cause and effect essay examines the relationship between events. The writer must explain what events cause certain outcomes, but must do so with support. A danger with this essay is that you may commit the post hoc ergo propter hoc fallacy, or false cause fallacy. This fallacy occurs when a writer argues that because one event followed another, it was caused by the first. That is not always true. You must fully examine the context of the events to ascertain whether one caused the other. Argument

* An argument is the same as a persuasive essay. The writer states a thesis, usually at the end of the first paragraph, and proceeds to make a case using reason and factual data. Fully develop the argument, making sure to include and address all main points — including the main counter-arguments. Omitting counter-arguments is academically sloppy and sometimes dishonest. Including them challenges you to refute them in a reasonable, realistic way, and thus strengthens the essay. Problem-Solution

* A problem-solution essay requires the writer to carefully examine a problem, first establishing why it really is a problem. Then, as a means to finding a solution, you investigate how the problem came about. From there you go on to propose several solutions, discussing why each one will or will not work. The goal is to arrive at the best feasible solution. Critical Analysis

* The critical analysis is often one of the most challenging essays to write. To discuss and evaluate the work in question, you must not only become intimately familiar with it, you must apply all earlier learning, including solid grammar, ability to develop an idea and logical reasoning. You must also find evidence-based support, set appropriate criteria by which to judge and engage in a close critical reading of the text, film or other work. Research Essay

* The research essay is sometimes the capstone assignment of a semester-long course. The writer must pinpoint a topic that is worthy of the time it takes to research and write, and that also offers the reader a worthy, informative experience. This nearly always entails narrowing the subject down rather than widening its scope. You then conduct the research, reading, interviewing, observing and evaluating credible sources. Finally you report your findings in writing. You may or may not forward a relevant argument. This essay also always requires in-text citations and a bibliography. Expository Essay Exam

* The essay exam rattles a lot of students, but look at this way: an essay exam tests what you know more than it tests what you do not know. If you are conversant on the main points, you will probably perform at least adequately. The instructor is looking for support, meaning you should be able to give reasons and explanations that are backed up with facts and data. It is also good to cite credible authorities whose work you may have studied. While no professor tolerates a mess, most understand that you are writing an essay without the chance for revision so a few grammatical errors and some cross-outs here and there will not hurt you. It is called an expository essay because the goal is to expose your knowledge of a subject.

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