What Is An Essay? How Do I Write My Essay?

An essay is one of the most common types of written assignments in school. It is a written piece that is meant to convey an idea or an argument. It is based on the writer's knowledge, ideas or a personal stance on an issue. There are many different types of essays: persuasive, descriptive, expository, admission, process, cause-and-effect essays, just to name a few. You can find all the necessary information here.

What is an essay?

An essay, in its loose definition, is a written piece containing the author’s argument and perspective on a particular topic. There are essays that are formal and those that are informal. It is written in an attempt to convince the reader through the combination of evidence to support the argument and opinion to be able to draw out a clear, logical conclusion.  

The reason why an essay can only be loosely defined is because of the number of the types of essays. In short, you will only be able to come up with a more pinpoint definition once the question becomes more specific. The definition of an essay depends on its purpose.  

What is the difference between an essay and a research paper?

It is possible that even you are confused, and it is easy to say why. Maybe it’s also the fault of professors who just simply discuss the qualities of an essay and a research paper but forget to compare and contrast them. So, while there are similarities and differences between an essay and a research paper, the differences far outnumber the similarities.

Essay vs research paper

  • Length. The chief difference between an essay and a research paper is the length. The standard-length essay normally consists of just 5 paragraphs while a research paper can extend into tens of pages.
  • Methodology. The tone of the essay (descriptive, narrative, personal, informal) will primarily depend on the writer’s point of view and experiences. A research paper will depend on already published literature or outside resources to form the writer’s argumentation.
  • Approach. In a research paper, each step taken should be written in detail (hypothesis, procedure, methodology, and conclusions). In contrast, an essay is the summarized version of the writer’s understanding of the topic. To simplify, you may liken the “essay vs research paper” dilemma to “book report vs book review.”
  • Understanding of the topic. An essay may or may not include a comprehensive understanding of a topic, and heavily relies on the writer's opinion. A research paper, on the other hand, should always demonstrate a complete understanding of the topic.

What are the types of essays?

If you are in college, chances are you have already been acquainted with the majority of the types of essays. You might have even experienced writing an admission essay. But as you can surely recall, you were not taught all those types of essays in just one sitting. Due to the vastness of the spectrum that is essay writing, students are taught the various types of essay in an incremental manner (i.e. descriptive essay first, then response essay, so on and so forth). Curricula are designed in such a way that the student can assemble the building blocks of essay writing basics in order to apply what he has learned in the most effective way. All this while he goes up the academic and professional ladder. Here are the types of essays:

Compare And Contrast Essay - "This and that. Which is better?"

A compare and contrast essay is one that examines the similarities and differences between two things or ideas, then expound on their essence. Knowing how to write a compare and contrast essay is not confined to just detailing the subjects' attributes. The purpose of a compare and contrast essay is to illustrate how their similarities and differences in relation to each other, as well as their pros and cons, and ultimately, arrive at a decision on which is better.  

Narrative Essay - “Could you tell us the story?”

A narrative essay is an essay that details a person’s experience for the purpose of making the reader relive it using his imagination. It may be about an event and must have an emotional impact on the reader, and therefore, must employ emotional language. Imperative to writing a narrative essay is the use of “I,” in order to further ease the reader into your perspective, or to make him wear your shoes.

Descriptive Essay - “Paint us the picture.”

The most frequently required essay since you were in grade school is the descriptive essay. Writing a descriptive essay is the first step grade school students take in mastering how to write an essay. That is because of the need to apply the basic principles of grammar and speech. In writing a descriptive essay, you are supposed to exercise your vocabulary when describing something to provide the reader a clear illustration of an object, a person, or a story.

types of essays

Creative Essay - "Great storytelling!"

A creative essay recalls a particular event, thing, person, or place in the author's life. It must be understood that even if it is called "creative," it must not be fictitious. In fact, it ought to be classified under nonfiction. It is usually part of a larger body of work such as an autobiography or a memoir. Therefore, creative essays are almost always excerpts. It is enough to say that a creative essay is a combination of a narrative essay and a descriptive essay; it reads like a narrative essay, and written like a descriptive essay - vibrant and colorful. 

Persuasive Essay - “Make me believe, convince me.”

The goal of a persuasive essay is to make the reader understand and consider your point of view as true. A persuasive essay possesses four vital elements: facts, logic, opinion, and a powerful command of language to appeal to the reader’s emotion. Persuasive essay writing requires the interweaving of these elements into a paper that is sure to make its mark in the reader’s heart and consciousness.

Expository Essay – “Facts and logic only, no emotions.”

An expository essay has the broadest scope and hinges on the purpose of the essay. In sum, writing an expository essay requires a balanced and thorough analysis of a topic. Requiring logic and facts, an expository essay’s mission is to explain, or to “expose” something and illustrate its essence to widen the reader’s understanding. As a result, an expository essay should exhibit no emotion and must be written in third person.

Admission Essay – “You declare your intent to study at that school.”

An admission essay is written to land a spot at your desired college or university. It is through an admission essay that admissions officers can gauge the competence of prospective students. You will be judged not only by the manner of your writing, but by the sophistication of your thinking. In other words, your “how” will be assessed to a greater extent than your “what.” Admission essay topics range from specific to objective. 

Definition Essay – “The meaning”

A definition essay aims to explain the meaning of a term. This normally applies to terms that possess definite meanings (i.e. ladder, basketball, dog). Terms that are open to subjective interpretation will rely more on the vantage point of a person.

Argumentative Essay – “Your argument is better than theirs!”

An argumentative essay should demonstrate that your argument is correct and more plausible than those of others. It must present the validity of your argument. You will need to reason, draw conclusions, infer propositions and apply them in writing in order to solidify your argument. Without these, you will not be able to effectively write an argumentative essay.  

Personal Essay – “Tell us about yourself”

To write a personal essay is to introduce yourself and your story to people. When you write a personal essay, you indirectly make people create an image of you in their heads. Writing a personal essay is useful in creating the best first impression. Whether it is for your first day in graduate school or for a job promotion, a personal essay is the most crucial part of your application.

Response Essay – “I find it to be…”

Also known as reaction paper or response paper, a response essay is written in order to communicate your reaction and opinion in relation to a book, paper, film, or any work. Writing a response paper seeks to define the connection between the work and your own experience. A response essay is not supposed to be viewed from an academic perspective or objectively due to its personal nature.

Cause and Effect Essay – “Because of that, this happened.”

A cause and effect essay explores why something happens (cause) and its consequences (effect). A cause and effect essay tries to categorize cause and effect. To know the cause, you must ask “Why did __ happen?” To know the effect, you must ask, “Because of ___, what happened? In writing a cause and effect essay, you must indicate whether you are writing about causes, effects, or both. Clarity is key.

Diagnostic Essay - "What do you know?"

The purpose of writing a diagnostic essay is to assess the depth of knowledge one possesses in a particular subject. Professors and teachers usually require students to write a diagnostic essay before the start of formal class sessions in order to determine the students' strengths and weaknesses, which will then serve as the jumping point for the lessons. In the same manner, employers use a diagnostic essay test to evaluate the competency of prospective employees. 

Informal Essay – “Can I just say something?"

An informal essay is written in pursuit of amusement. However, it does not necessarily mean lack of sincerity and organization; when you write an informal essay, it simply means that you are more relaxed. But being more relaxed should not translate lack of substance. As a formal essay requires a serious tone, writing an informal essay means you can sound conversational. It should reflect your casual persona.

Scholarship Essay – “I deserve this scholarship because…”

Scholarship essays vary significantly, but convention dictates that a majority of scholarship essays ask for a recollection of a personal experience and the moral it taught you. Still, the most vital aspect of writing a scholarship essay is the subject matter. Brainstorming is a must for at least 2 weeks, to ensure that you select the subject you are most passionate about. Remember, you are against hundreds, if not thousands of competitors. You must prove yourself most worthy of that elusive scholarship.

Classification Essay - “Which is which?”

The function of a classification essay is to test the students’ ability to classify and categorize data in a logical manner. Necessary to writing a classification essay is an effective brain dump. The success of the brain dump determines the success of classifying and categorizing. After which, you need to come up with the categories, the principle that determines that category, and examples under each category.

Process Essay - "How do I do it?"

How can I fry an egg? How do I conduct troubleshooting on my computer? Simply put, a process essay answers the "how to?" question. A process essay teaches the reader how to do something, whatever it may be. A process essay contains specific instructions on how to get something done. The purpose of a process essay is to teach and make the reader learn. A process essay is considered by some to be a kind of expository essay, but due to its unique instructional nature, it is better to put it alongside the other types of essays. 

How to format an essay

You most certainly have already been taught how to format an essay back in grade school. Regardless of the type of essay, the format more or less adheres to the 5-paragraph system, especially if the word count requirement ranges from 400 to 900 words. The first paragraph contains the introduction and the thesis statement, the next three paragraphs for the body that is composed of your arguments and supporting evidence, and one paragraph for the conclusion. For longer essays (900 words and above), the format remains the same, only with an increased number of paragraphs within the body, and the only differences will be in the citation style and referencing.

While personal, informal, descriptive, and narrative essays rely more on the argumentation and writing style of the writer, the same does not apply when you are writing argumentative, persuasive, expository, and classification essays. These types of essays need to be supported by evidence and resources, therefore necessitating the need to reference and cite properly. As a result, you also need to master the different citation styles so you can write essays that require research and citing of resources. Mastery of the characteristics of the major academic citation styles is not only beneficial to your essay writing ability, but also a boost to your skills in writing a research paper. 

Citation and referencing style for essays and research papers:

Can someone help me write my essay?

Essay Help

Before social media and the Internet took over everyday life, when students needed essay help, the essay writing ability of friends and family came in handy. Back then, if you had a problem with writing your essay, asking for essay writing help from a classmate or your older brother was a viable and effective solution, as people then had spare time to help. Fast-forward to the digital age of the 21st century - not only is everyone busy, but everyone is overrun with tons of work, both in school and the workplace. The dramatic rise of essay writing assignments required of high school and college students gave birth to a trend that has become a necessity - the online essay help. 

Order essays online

There are three main reasons why students opt to order essays online when faced with an essay writing task. 

  • Pressure. Essay writing constitutes only part of the pressure. The volume of schoolwork that today's students are required to turn in in virtually all subjects is enough to induce pressure. 
  • Writing skill, or lack thereof. Essay writing is not a skill that is developed instantly. Students that are capable writers did not acquire the skill overnight, for there are no shortcuts to obtaining essay writing prowess. While it is understandable that students majoring in Literature or English shall surely benefit and enjoy from a wealth of essay writing exercises, the same logic cannot apply to students majoring in fields where essay writing is more or less irrelevant. Case in point: a Philosophy major shall benefit more from essay writing exercises than a student majoring in Chemistry.
  • Time. The circumstances students find themselves in vary greatly. Just as there are students who seem to be able to manage their time effectively despite the punishing academics, there are also those who hardly have time for themselves (i.e. working students, those who have day jobs, or those who are just swept by schoolwork), and there are those who are just hanging by a thread.

The validity of these reasons drive today's students to the decision to order essays online a part of the struggle to stay afloat in the vast ocean that is academics. 

Custom essays

Given that many college students order essays online, it is important that you develop the ability to distinguish between commercial/recycled essays that will only rip you off and original essays that are of good quality and free from plagiarism - commonly known as custom essays. 

You might have heard of the custom-made suit that your uncle purchased, or a custom-built chair bought for your grandma's use. You might ask, does custom-made also apply to an essay? The answer is yes, it does. A custom essay is prepared and written from scratch by a writer from a respected online writing service, crafted according to the unique instructions of every client. The custom essay will then be the client's personal property for life. But be wary, for there are hundreds of essay writing service companies online that market themselves as providers of custom essays, when in fact, they do not offer custom essays, but instead, customized essays - essays previously written for somebody else and only slightly modified to meet your instructions. In short, if a particular essay writing service company says they offer customized essays, it simply means you are going to be given a "recycled" essay.  Therefore, it is important that you go with custom essays as opposed to customized essays

If your instructions call for the use of outside resources, a custom essay makes sure that they are formatted properly, with references and sources cited accordingly. All-original, plagiarism-free, confidentiality, on-time delivery, and topnotch quality. These are the assurances of a custom essay. A custom essay should embody what clients pay for - a perfect paper, written according to the rules of academic writing and the client's personal preferences.

Our professional essay writers are here to help you with any writing assignment now!

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