Different Essay Types - Essay Writing

Different Essay Types are given in this article. The Concise Oxford Dictionary defines essay as: "a literary composition on any subject, usually in prose and short." Whereas in the "Chamber's Twentieth Century Dictionary, essay has been defined as: "a trial; an experiment; a written composition, less elaborate than a treatise." It is difficult to bound an essay in any class as it is impossible to define personality whose reflection the essay is. Roughly, however, an essay may be divided into four classes. Lets discuss those Essay Types:

Different Essay Types:

There are Four Essay Types:

(i)    Descriptive Essays;

(ii)   Narrative Essays:

(iii)  Reflective Essays; and

(iv)  Argumentative or Expository Essays.

(i)    Descriptive Essays:

Descriptive Essays paint a picture of:

(i)    a country,

(ii)   mountain,

(iii)  island,

(iv)  ocean,

(v)   city

(vi)  village, and

(vii) various aspects of nature.

The writer selects and concentrates on an area, rejecting irrelevancy. A descriptive essayist is not a photographer who includes every detail; he is more of a painter who makes any particular detail look significant. If the phenomenon of nature is being described, the best plan would be to draw an outline of general description; from general proceed on to the particular aspects; include some memorable quotations; portray the effect of nature on human feelings and conclude with general reflections.

(ii) Narrative Essays:

When legends and historical incidents, stories, real or imaginary and biographies are to be written, the essay takes a narrative form. The writer may relate the events as if he was himself either a participant or a spectator. The best method is to take a direct plunge into the ocean of the subject‐matter. There need not be a strict chronological sequence, but the writer may alter or modify the events in order to present them vividly. Suppose a plan for Historical Events is to be laid, the introduction should specify the date, if known and the place and the causes that constitute the happening. The interest of the reader should, however, be roused. The introduction ought to project itself into the body which contains the background of the events. The climax or result should be narrated in such a way that the interest is maintained till the end. Then the reflection or the conclusion should follow at the end of the essay. The writer should not express an opinion which is likely to falsify the historical truth.

(iii) Reflective Essay:

Topics of abstract nature, like:

(i)    qualities,

(ii)   frailties,

(iii)  habits,

(iv)  social, political, economic and personal affairs, etc. when reflected upon, are expressed in a reflective essay. In such a form of writings, the writer has to stamp his personality completely as the essay is a logical collection of his opinions. The writer must be careful to vitalize his arguments and illustrations in such a way that the reader might not get lost in the abyss of abstractions. Suppose the subject of the essay is "Misery", the apt scheme would be to introduce the subject either ordinarily or with a quotation. Express the opinions of various writers who have commented on the futility of life Schopenhauer, Hardy, etc. Add your own reflections and mention how far you agree with the opinions of the pessimists or the tragical writers. Conclude the essay logically.

(iv)  Argumentative or Expository Essays:

In such type of writing, quotation from some author is given and the writer weaves the essay around the central core of the adage. The writer should substantiate his arguments by suitable references, parallel quotations, examples and illustrations, etc. No definite rules can be set; but the general plan which will fit in an essay, should include:

(i)    The appreciation or depreciation of the author,

(ii)   Explanation of the proverb,

(iii)  Central idea and establishment of its truth,

(iv)  Illustrations from literature,

(v)   Views of other authors.

Conclusion, which will be in the form of a suggestion, is to follow the truth of the quotation.


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