Types of Essays


There are different types of essays that one may be required to write. They all have varieties in the way they should be written, and they are each graded based on various aspects. Here we shall look at 4 types of essays that one may encounter throughout their academic life. We shall briefly discuss each of them so as to allow you to see how they differentiate and what should you do if you are expected to write such. We will cover the four types of essays that we deem more important for academics and we should note that all types of essays follow the same basic rule – prove your point as well as possible.

What Are the Types of Essays?

Well, there are three types of essays that we mainly want to focus on with a fourth that we shall include for we deem it important. The basic ones that we shall look at, and that are among the common types of essays in college, but also in school and university, are : Argumentative Essay, Personal Essay, Philosophical Essay, with the fourth that we would like to include being the Admission Essay that is required by nearly all educational institutions.

So, three types of essays as a baseline and the fourth one in order to make you better prepared for application to colleges and universities.

5 Types of Essays

Yes, we mentioned that we would give you four types of essays that are the most vital for your success in school, college, and beyond, but we would want to do a brief list of 5 types of essays that one may encounter, including the ones that we will discuss here:

  • Argumentative essay
  • Personal essay
  • Philosophical essay
  • Admission essay
  • Persuasive essay

So, that briefly answers the question of what are the types of essays that are most commonly found. Of course, all types of essays require different scenarios when it comes to research, writing, editing, and submitting them for essay review and grading. Below we shall stop further on those things for 4 types of essays.

Argumentative Essay

The first of the 4 types of essays that we would like to take a look at is the Argumentative essay. It is among the most commonly found types of essays in college. It may be on various topics. Sometimes the topic will be given to you, other times you shall be simply given a broad overview of what the grader wants you to accomplish and you shall need to select the topic that you deem most appropriate. This is among the most straightforward types of essay for it is written via a specific structure:

  • Introduction
  • Thesis
  • Arguments for
  • Possible arguments against
  • Conclusion

To start with, you shall need to briefly write an introduction about what you will be stating in this one of 3 types of essays that are probably the most used in academics. Then you state the thesis – that is, the statement or fact that you wish to prove with your essay. Next, you will be required to prove your thesis.

This is done by providing arguments. That is why you would need to do research prior to writing this one of the three types of essays that we deem most important for your academic success. To prove your point, you shall need to find logical and reasonable arguments that lead one to properly conclude that your thesis may be correct. Of course, you would best be prepared with some counterarguments and how you can work out a defense of your thesis against them. If you have such ready, do include them in the essay in order to make it better, more well-written, more interesting, as well as more persuasive.

The conclusion should briefly note what was achieved through the essay, what does the data you have stated say, and how does that support your thesis.

Personal Essay

Among the 3 types of essays that we think are most likely to be found throughout one’s academic journey is the personal essay. That is why we included it in the 4 types of essays that we would like to share with you today.

As with all types of essays, this also follows a structure close to the one above for the argumentative type. The thing here is that you have more freedom, and you can easily choose not to use that structure but come up with an entirely new one if you think that this makes the essay look better and be better supported.

With personal essays you choose to write on an important aspect of your life and what has that taught you. It can be for the happiest moment of your life, for the lessons that you learned from your parents, for your role model, for the memory that has built you who you are today, etc. The topics are all around us. One can write a personal essay on pretty much every topic and there is a lot of freedom. Actually, among the different types of essays, this is probably the easiest for you can pick up arguments from your own life, rather than doing research on numerous sources. Sure, for some people it is hard to go personal on their essays, knowing that they will be read and graded, but once you get past that point, you will probably start to love personal essays for they can be easily and rapidly written, and can be seen from numerous points of view.

Philosophical Essay

When looking at what are the types of essays, we should definitely include the philosophical one for it can commonly come about in humanities. Here you also have room for personal arguments, but it is always better to select arguments from different sources and it is even better if you are able to construct various scenarios in order to prove your point.

Philosophical essays include topics such as ‘Is absolute freedom valuable?’, ‘What is the most important thing in love?’, ‘How has the role of women changed?’. Sure, there are many more topics out there and, if you are given a free pass on it, you can select the topic that interests you the most and that you have the best arguments for.

Also, when writing different types of essays, including philosophical ones, you should always remember that they must be valid. Yes, you can include various scenarios, proofs, arguments, etc. but the essay should follow the basic rules of logic. Also, do not include religious aspects (unless the topic is a religion), political statements (unless you are writing about politics), racism, discrimination, offensive statements, and sarcasm in the assignment.

Here you can clearly state your point of view, but there is still the need to prove it for otherwise it is simply a statement without being an essay. So, you shall have to provide arguments for it, no matter from what scenario do they come.

Admissions Essay

This is an important type of essay for admission to college, grad school, university, etc. It needs to prove why you are a good fit for the institution you are applying to. Before starting it, do research what the institution wants to see – whether they prefer specific topics, do they have special requirements, etc. Stick to their guidelines and do a unique essay for each of the schools you are applying to.

Admissions essays are frequently personal essays, although they can be different types as well. The main point here is that you need to prove what makes you the best fit for the particular institutions – what qualities do you possess, what can you bring to the table, why are you aiming to enter the program, what are your plans for your education, etc.

Of course, arguments are still necessary, as with all other essay types. To prove your point, you need to show the examiners why your beliefs, expectations, and desires are such, how can you achieve them or support them, why should they give you the chance to study in their institution.

The Vital Parts of the Essays

As already stated, the arguments are among the most important parts of any essay. The allows the grader to see that you are able to defend your point of view, regardless of what it is. Even if the examiner does not agree with the thesis you are stating, if you are able to defend that thesis, you have all the chances to succeed.

Arguments should be valid and logical. They should not be unreasonable. For instance, you cannot say that drinking coffee has made you comprehend better the structure of society for that simply have no logical connection.

Philosophical essays give you more freedom than argumentative ones for they allow for a broader understanding and a wider choice of arguments from various sources.

As mentioned, the most freedom comes with personal essays because there you can use arguments from your own personal life to defend why are you thinking the way you have stated.

Different Types of Essays and Examples

We shall briefly give some examples of the various types of essays:

Argumentative – “The tragedy of love in Romeo and Juliet”, “The role of The Big Brother in 1984”, “Loneliness in A Hundred years of solitude”, etc. See, here are included literature essays for most of the time when you need to do an argumentative essay, it will be on literature. Of course, it can be on scientific topics, but then it falls into a separate category that is rarely used for scientific assignments that are more specific and are mostly dissertations, theses, papers, and others of that line.

Personal – “Who is my hero?”, “My biggest childhood fear”, “The best year of my life”, etc. As one can easily deduce, personal essays are all about you. That does not mean that you cannot include other people. They can be used as an example of why you are expressing that point of view or how they have shaped your understanding and comprehension of the world.

Philosophical – “The vast unknown in the human soul”, “How does one define courage”, “What is the meaning of hope”, etc. In the philosophical essays, one discusses a topic that falls into the category of, surprise, surprise, philosophy. Those are the ever-lasting questions whose answers may vary from one person to another. The point here is not always finding something new, being absolutely right, or changing the view of the reader. Rather, when you are doing a philosophical essay for an assignment, the point is to show the grader how well you can argue in defense of your statement in the thesis.

Admissions – topics can vary from school to school, or one can have the freedom to choose the topic. As stated, the goal here is to show your qualities in order to make the examiners decide that you are a good fit for their institution.


There are, of course, other types of essays. But we decided to stick to the basic ones in order to give you a better appreciation of them for they will be required throughout your entire academic journey. Follow the basic guidelines for each type of essay, go in-depth into the topic, research it well so you can have good arguments to support your statements. Do not try to dissect the whole topic, rather, try to find a way to pick the thing that you can support the best, that is your own opinion, and that is reasonable and logical.

When writing essays, it is important to always look at it on both sides so that you can know whether the argument will be able to persuade the reader that it can support the thesis. For arguments that do not achieve that are simply irrelevant to the assignment. So, one should use logic and the rules of good academic writing.

To finish off, we shall mention that essays actually always include some level of personal opinion, even if they are the argumentative type for you are always defending a statement that comes from your own point of view. Of course, it can be aligned with others’ views or it can come from analyses that had been done, but there is always at least a bit of personal opinion.