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Essay types

Essays are brief writings that are created for a variety of reasons:

  1. Students from middle school through college will experience academic essay writing in may content fields.
  2. The college/university application process typically requires one or more essays on given topics
  3. Placement exams for English classes often require an essay as a part of that exam
  4. Even employment applications often contain a section in which you must demonstrate appropriate writing skills.

Every essay has a topic and a purpose.  In academic settings, both topic and purpose are usually given, and it is important that you have a solid understanding of both, prior to tackling the composition.  For example, your English instructor may assign a “personal experience” essay.  The topic is the experience, and the purpose is narration.  You will be re-telling an experience of your own in story form, usually chronologically.

Other essays are written to persuade, to compare and contrast, to explain, to analyze, to describe, etc., and the successful student becomes proficient in each type.

It is our aim to assist you in the development of your essay writing skills.  We have therefore provided links to examples of each type of essay format, so that you are able to clearly see appropriate purposes and styles.  Simply follow the links to the types of essays you have been assigned and view examples that are constructed and written in an academically-sound manner.  By studying these, you can improve your own writing and, of course, your grades.

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