Types of Essay Writing, Format and Tips

Types of Essay Writing Topics English

Essay writing is an integral element of student life, we write essays from primary school to university level examinations. Some foreign universities also ask to write essays for admission procedures. Essay writing is also integral part English test like IELTS, TOEFL. In some sense essay writing can be part of your job if you are a journalist, blogger, content writer. There are several types of essay out there and that confuses students so here in this article we are giving you information on four types of essays, the format of an essay and tips for essay writing.

Word “essay” is derived from the Latin word “Exagium”, which means “presenting one’s case” in the form of experience, argument, story, opinion, etc.

Before jumping to different types of essay let us understand why essays are so important and why one needs to learn these types. A human is a thoughtful creature; a lot of things go through his/her mind on a constant basis. But if one wants to convey the idea to someone else, then it is very necessary to articulate those ideas. Essay helps one to articulate those ideas and thought, and explain it such a way that they can convey their message. This is considered one of the major human qualities and that is why the essay writing is integral parts of curriculum and examinations and even for the higher education selection process.

So let’s check it out how many types of essays out there and some tips on those. Kindly note that there are many types of essay out there, but here we will try to list them under four main categories.

Descriptive Essay

In descriptive essays, the author has to paint a picture with words, the author can describe individuals, feelings, place, experiences, objects, situations, memories with this kind of essay. Here you are not just describing given subject but you are trying to reach the reader’s heart through the words. The description of the subject needs to be painted with beautiful words, and the painted canvas should be shown to the reader.
Examples: Personalities, places, events

Narrative Essay: Story Telling

In the essay, the author tells the story through their own experiences. This type of essay sounds easy but the author needs to articulate his experiences, put them in the right context and order with the help of words. Most of the time, narrative essays are written in the first person, I, My such choice of words makes a personal connection with the reader. A narrative essay can be concluded with a personal statement of a writer.
Examples: The first day of school, My Summer Vacation

Expository /Explanatory Essay

In an expository essay, the author raises the subject or topic and convinces it to the reader with the facts, proofs, numbers, and examples. This essay type sounds similar to the descriptive essay, but in this case, you have to give facts and evidence; the author can not show their emotions in it. Illustrations, Comparisons and Paradoxes, Causes and Consequences, Categorization and Classification essays also fall under this category. Expository should not be written in the first person.
Examples: Impact of GST on Indian Economy, Demonetization: Boon or Bane, Pollution in India.

Persuasive Essay

In this type, the author has to persuade the reader but with facts and evidence. You summarize the subject given to you and explain it with examples, data, references. In a persuasive essay, you can debate both sides of the topic, but the point is that the reader should be convinced. In short, the author has to persuade readers.
Examples: Is social media good or bad, internet boon or bane.

There are a few other types of essays, such as Definition, Career, editorials, Op-eds, Pictorial essays, but they can fall into these basic types. Sometimes you will find similar topics in the above categories, it is possible. Generally, a single topic can be written in all four categories. You need to choose which type of essay suits better for the topic.

In India school students of class 1,2,3,4,5,6,7 mostly get descriptive and narrative essays. Along with the above two types class 8,9,10,11,12 students get persuasive and expository/explanatory essays too, as it needs to collect facts and proofs. The university essays and thesis writing is more difficult than this, we are not discussing that in this article.

Essay Format

There is no fixed format for essay writing but in academic essay writing 3,5, or 7 paragraph structure suits more and gives a distinct direction on structuring the content. The first paragraph is for the introduction of the topic and the last paragraph is for the conclusion of the topic. In between, you can use 1,3, or 5 paragraph to explain the topic. Again it depends on which type of essay you are writing and expected the length of the essay. e.g. In Narrative Essay (Storytelling) you may or may not have a conclusion paragraph.


In this paragraph, you introduce the essay topic. You give a summary of the essay topic in not more than 4 to 6 lines. Purpose of this paragraph to hook readers so that they continue to read forward. To hook reader you can start the essay with interesting facts you are covering in the essay or a thoughtful question related to the given topic.


This is the meat of the essay. This where most of the essay content goes. As they say, you must understand the question. So, before writing the body of the essay you must think and arrange the topic. This means that you should think what goes in the first, second or third paragraph and what should the pattern of the paragraphs. Ask yourself, what is the topic? What is the question and my opinion on it and Why?

Paragraphs should have “Coherence”, means continuity of idea between paragraphs. Lack of structure and coherence can confuse the reader. Again, the number of paragraphs in the body depends on the expected length of the essay and type of essay.

Each paragraph can have 8 to 10 lines, but it’s not a fixed rule. Some paragraph can have 2 to 4 lines too, it totally depends of how you structure the essay. In long essay writing (e.g. 2000 words, 3000 words), etc 5 to 7 paragraph will not suffice, you may need to dissect topic in a set of paragraphs.


This is the part of the essay where you summarize the essay. In some way, it is like the introduction of the essay but here you are summing up or wrapping up the story or topic. As the name suggests you are concluding the essay. You may use 2 to 3 sentences for in this paragraph, do not make it lengthy. o not make conclusion personal, means avoid I, Me, My words in it, just the conclusive statement.

Tips for Essay Writing

  1. Avoid grammatical errors.
  2. Interpret what type of essay it is.
  3. Make is tidy and neat. Do not stuff too much of data, facts, ideas into it. Rather convince the topic with lesser but effective points.
  4. Before writing the essay, think about the topic and structure of the paragraph in mind. Think about what conclusion you are going to make beforehand, it helps a lot.
  5. Coherence between paragraphs is very important. Ideas, thoughts you are telling should flow across the subsequent paragraph. Paragraphs should not feel disconnected.
  6. Use connecting words or phrases like, “however”, “moreover”, “furthermore”, “in addition” etc.
  7. Never add new points about the given in conclusion. It is space to wrap the topic.
  8. Do not repeat the same words, instead use synonyms.
  9. Do not use complicated vocabulary if you don’t the meaning of word or usage of it. If you can pull it off then it’s great. Do not disturb the flow just add fancy vocabulary.

We hope that in this article you learned the basic types of essays, its formats, and tips for essay writing. If you like this information, you can rate the article and comment in the comment box below, or you can share this article with your friends. Thanks !!

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