4 common types of essays you (really) need to know

A good place to start thinking about essays is to better understand the types of essays that most of your assignments in high-school, and college or university will fit into. The following are the four main categories of essays that are generally the norm in academia (thank you, Purdue Online Writing Lab) and most essays you will ever have to write in your life will fall loosely under these four categories:


  1. Expository Essays;
  2. Argumentative Essays.
  3. Descriptive Essays; and
  4. Narrative Essays.


If you’re here and learning about types of essays because need to write an essay, check out the EssayJack app. Each essay template in the app is designed by educators to support you as you write your essay with expert tips, prompts, and videos along the way. 


Students who have used EssayJack have said that their writing anxiety decreases, they feel more confident when writing, they complete their essays faster, and they earn better grades. 



“It’s amazing! I wish I was told about this in my first semester, and even in my high school years. It’s so helpful and creative. My essays improved dramatically due to EssayJack:)”

Shi-Tashes, Student @ George Brown College, Canada


an expository essay:


  1. Academic Essay;
  2. Persuasive Speech; and
  3. Five Paragraph Essay

Studying and making notes

Each template provides the structure required for a typical expository essay including an introduction where your thesis statement lives, body paragraphs each of which address a singular point to support your thesis statement, and a conclusion which summarises your points and supports your original idea. And if you need pointers on how to make what you write in each text boxes better check out these tips on how to improve your writing instantly. 


EssayJack Academic Essay Template


The Argumentative Essay

These essays are similar to expository essays but are usually a lot more in-depth with well-researched qualitative and quantitative data (found via primary or secondary sources) to back up the points you want to present. In most cases, an essay like this will also require you to address main points which may oppose your stand on an issue or topic. 


THESE ARE BY FAR THE MOST COMMON ESSAYS YOU WILL FIND YOURSELF ASKED TO WRITE. They may be long; they may be short, but they all try to persuade the reader about the soundness of your argument about a given topic.


Usually, an argumentative essay is for a more advanced level so high school or university. This means you will need to do some research and take notes, and most likely use your lecture notes. So make sure you take great notes!


The general structure remains the same as an expository essay with the exception of counterpoints which are often included to show the other side of an argument.


Happy student finished her essay quickly


EssayJack has two templates to help you write or practice this essay:

1. Academic Essay; and

2. Argumentative Essay.


These templates can be used for short argumentative essays, long argumentative essays, complicated argumentative essays, and straightforward ones.


Other templates that EssayJack offers that can help you with argumentative essays include:


  1. Persuasive Speech;
  2. Five-Paragraph Essay; and
  3. Book Review.



A descriptive essay is more like a creative writing assignment where you describe something in detail. Description may be a part of the other types of essays, but generally, they need a little bit more – an argument – while a descriptive essay merely describes something in detail and the thing being described is the central focus, rather than an argument about something.


narrative essay is a more personal piece of writing with your point of view being made clear for your reader. These essays can be stories or sometimes called “creative non-fiction.” The use of the first person pronoun ‘I’ is not uncommon in these essays.


Narrative essays also require a clear structure introduction, body, and conclusion populated with concise language. We have one narrative essay template in EssayJack, Short Narrative, where you practice getting into the flow of a good story. You’ll build up the suspense in your introduction, bring your reader to the crux or climax of the story in your body, and then bring them back down again in the conclusion.


Narrative essays are often the closest thing to pieces of journalism. If you master the narrative essay, then you are likely well on your way to being a successful journalist.


Journalism news typewriter



Of course, if you use EssayJack in a class setting, your teachers or professors can create all kinds of custom templates just for you. And by popular request from educators and students we’ve also added the following additional templates to our EssayJack offerings:


1. TED Talk Speech

2. Compare and Contrast Essay

3. Short Agree/Disagree

4. Short Advantage/Disadvantage 


So now you have all the information that you ever wanted (or didn’t know you wanted) about essays!


If you want to write your essay with confidence, make sure you get good grades, and really learn the structure of the different types of essays to make your academic life easier, then go ahead check out what EssayJack is all about today!



P.S. If you also need help with subjects such as Maths, Science (biology, chemistry, physics), or accounting check out Wize. Concepts are simplified and delivered to you in easily digestible chunks through video tutorials and notes, with the opportunity to ask tutors for help to better understand concepts or just apply them with practice problems and solutions.

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