Expository & Analytical, Persuasive & Argumentative Essays
Essay type #1. Expository
What is an expository essay?
This type of essays explains a topic, theme, or idea. When writing an expository essay, imagine that you are explaining your topic to the target audience. You can choose to write an expository essay if you need to discuss any topic, from your reaction to a movie or a book to explaining how something works. This type of an essay is also the best choice when you need to give a reaction to a recent event, such as political debate, football match, or ecological issue.
What are the criteria of a good expository essay?
Regardless of the type of the essay, you need to attract the reader’s attention. To achieve this, follow these rules:
- Include a clear thesis statement. In the introductory paragraph, be sure to include a thesis statement/research question/description of the purpose, etc. Having informed the reader about the purpose of the essay, do not digress;
- Your essay should contain ample evidence to support your claim. This means referencing relevant research, including good examples, facts, and statistics. However, remember to properly incorporate the evidence into the body of the paper. Be sure to illustrate your point succinctly.
- Make sure your essay is concise. Repetitions, vague statements, and lack of clarity will never work to your advantage. Try to be as clear as possible and do not leave the readers guessing.
Essay type #2. Persuasive
What is a persuasive essay?
In this kind of essay, the author aims at convincing the reader to accept his or her point of view.
To make an essay persuasive, your argument and its premises have to be strong. If you want to convince the reader, you have to present a reasonable rationale.
What are the criteria of a good persuasive essay?
- The point of view has to be expressed clearly.
- The content has to be interesting for the readers.
- Support your claims with solid evidence and careful reasoning.
- Know your target reader. What can convince them?
- Be sure to conduct a thorough research before trying to persuade your reader.
- Beware of emotional language. Being too passionate about your topic, you might easily lose your audience.
- Avoid repetitions.
- Show respect of the reader by choosing appropriate language.
- Do not ignore the rules of writing a good essay. Remember that all paragraphs have to be structured well. Discuss only one topic in one paragraph and add the transition to make the writing coherent.
- Do not forget to write a strong concluding paragraph.
Essay type #3. Analytical
What is an analytical essay?
An essay in which you analyze, investigate, and interpret a topic is called analytical. You can choose this type of an essay when analyzing books, important events, artworks, or abstract phenomena.
What are the criteria of a good analytical essay?
To write a successful essay, be sure to do the following:
- Introduce the argument
The introductory paragraph is very important because it tells the readers what they are going to read about. Just vaguely naming the book/work of art/issue, etc. that you will analyze is not enough. Remember that every topic can have numerous interpretations, so it is necessary to make a clear thesis statement. The focus of the essay has to be as narrow as possible.
- Analyze the subject
Having stated the problem, say what your argument is. Only after that can you start analyzing the subject. For example, when analyzing a text, describe the stylistic devices the author employs to convey his/her ideas. In other words, you have to explore how exactly the author conveys his/her ideas. Remember to support your claims with text evidence, i.e. quotes, passages from the text, etc. This will make your discussion stronger.
- Provide your reaction
This means you have to demonstrate a deeper understanding of the subject matter by including your personal response to what you are writing about. However, this does not mean your response must always be positive. For instance, if you are analyzing a text which was supposed to be persuasive but failed to fulfill its purpose, do not hesitate to say the truth. Just remember your tone has to be critical, so be sure to explain why your reaction is negative or positive. Draw on evidence from the text to illustrate your claims. In addition, your reaction has to be seen throughout the whole essay, not just in the conclusion.
Provide a conclusion
In the last paragraph, make a conclusion about how the analysis is related to your argument.
Essay type #4. Argumentative
What is an argumentative essay?
In an argumentative essay, you have to justify your position on a subject by proving that it is more reasonable than the positions expressed by other people. As you can see, this type of essays is similar to the persuasive ones except for in argumentative essay, you argue against the positions of the others to defend your own. Instead of simply persuading the reader to accept your opinion, you have to provide strong argumentation.
What are the criteria of a good argumentative essay?
- Do not lose focus when providing the arguments.
- Express your argument in a clear thesis statement. Remember that you cannot present an argument in a form of a question.
- Choose to write on topics you understand. Otherwise, it will be hard for you to present strong evidence.
- An effective argumentative essay includes a discussion of both advantages and disadvantages of a certain issue.
- You still have to properly structure your essay. This means discussing only one idea per paragraph and writing good topic sentences.
- Remember to use transitions to make the essay coherent.
- Make sure you know your target reader. What do you have to say to convince them?
- Include only reliable evidence.
- Try to make your essay not only convincing but also interesting.
- Summarize your discussion in a concluding paragraph.