Almost everyone will have to write at least one essay at some point in their lives. A well-executed essay can get you into college, help you gain funding or approval for important projects, or inspire your readers. The links on this page will lead you to great resources that can help you navigate the different types of essays through guidelines, tips, and examples.
Persuasive Essay/Argumentative Essay
The persuasive essay, sometimes called an argument essay, is pretty much what it sounds like. A good persuasive essay tries to convince readers to take on the author’s point of view about a given subject. It is not, however, simply an opinion or editorial piece because anything you assert must be supported by logical arguments backed up by citable information.
100 Persuasive Essay Topics – 100 topic ideas that are well-suited for persuasive or argumentative essays.
Interactive Persuasion Map – Generates a customized “map” to help you create an outline for your essay.
Persuasive Essay Writing Guide – The writing center at Hamilton College provides this thorough guide to writing a persuasive essay, taking you through the process step-by-step.
How to Write a Persuasive Essay – Excellent persuasive essay writing guide from The Owl at Purdue – an invaluable resource for students and writers of all disciplines – with help for citations.
An expository essay must have two main things in order to be successful. First, it must thoroughly outline and explain a concept or an idea. Then, it must offer an argument about said concept, supporting the argument with credible information. The expository essay is similar to the persuasive essay, but is usually a bit simpler and typically requires less research.
Cause and Effect Essay
This kind of essay conducts an in-depth investigation into the causes of a certain condition or situation, backing the author’s statements up with supporting facts and evidence. These often focus on a particular event or situation, explaining all of the factors that precipitated it.
Compare and Contrast Essay
In a compare and contrast essay, the goal is to accurately demonstrate how two (or more) things stack up against one another by methodically listing and explaining their similarities and their differences.
This type of essay focuses on a particular literary text, first reviewing and then offering evaluative insights to further explore the text and its meaning, value, and implications. While a good literary essay will rely on existing critical works, it must also add something new to the ongoing dialogue regarding the central text.
The informal essay is sometimes called a narrative essay because it reads more like a story than an analytical or academic piece of writing. Of course, certain structural and grammatical orthodoxes still apply, but this type of essay allows for much more freedom and creativity on the author’s part – and there’s no need to provide empirical evidence for your statements. Informal essays often take on a more casual or conversational tone and there are no restrictions or limitations regarding topic choice (unless, of course, you are limited by the assignment guidelines as set forth by an employer or instructor).
Return to the Resources Page to continue your research.