The Most Common Types of Essays

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TYPES OF ESSAYS
There are many different types of essays and each type has a different purpose.  The following are just a few of the most common types of essays.    
 
|TYPE |DESCRIPTION |EXAMPLE TOPICS | |Expository Essay |Gives directions or instructions about how to complete a task, |- How to water ski or snow ski  | | |or how something is done. |- How to juggle work and school  | | | |- How to lose friends  | | | |- How to win an argument with your parents | |Cause/Effect Essay |Focuses on a condition or situation and asks either why? (Cause)|- second hand smoke (effects)  | | |or what is the result? (Effect). |- poor grades (causes & effects)  | | | |- staying up too late (effects)  | | | |- teen suicides (reasons why & effects)  | |Definition Essay |Defines a topic both concretely (dictionary def.) and abstractly|- Responsibility (facing the consequences | | |(extended def.).  A dictionary often defines a word three ways: |of one's actions)  | | |1. the term  |- Best friends (what they are and are not) | | |2. The class to which it belongs  |- snobs (how to recognize them in society) | | |3. The characteristics that distinguish it.  |- courage (shown by common people in | | |E.g. Truck (term) four wheeled vehicle (class) used for |everyday life) | | |transportation (characteristic). | | |Comparison/Contrast |Shows the differences and/or similarities  |- Two friends or relatives who could be | |Essay |between two persons, places, things, ideas, etc. |compared  | | | |- Two movies you have seen with similar | | | |characteristics/situations  | | | |- A foreign car and an American car  | | | |- Knowledge and understanding | |Argumentative   |Your opinion on a subject is argued based on reasoning and |- Should women serve in the military? | |or  |understanding.   |- Should everyone go to university?  | |Pro/Con Essay |a) You present objections and refute them  |- Should there be censorship on | | |b) You present points supporting your position |television?  | | |...
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