Types of essay

The different types of test respond to several classification criteria, either depending on the approach or its structure or composition. The first case proposes that the essays can be argumentative, expository or analytical. These are the writings most used in the different school levels and are relatively easy to master.

The second case suggests that the trials are classified according to the structure they use. That is to say, an essay can be of deductive, inductive, by definition, of comparison, cause and effect, etc. Such categories are common in the academic essays required at universities. Therefore its use is related to advanced knowledge in writing and logic.

In summary, the essays can be grouped into classes depending on their approach or composition structure.

Argumentative essays

Among the most common types of essays, the argumentative type occupies a leading role because it is the most used and allows to defend a position. Most of the essays that have reached the rank of classics in the literature belong to this category. They are considered excellent vehicles for issuing a formal opinion, as the structure is consistent and the use of constant arguments.

In general terms, the argumentative essay aims to persuade readers about some issue. At school level, they are complicated writings since they require mastery of the subject. Without this requirement it is impossible to take a position and defend it. In short, we will say that it is the kind of essay par excellence whose basis is argumentation.

Exhibition essays

Within the types of essays, the expositions are those that describe, classify, order and expose a certain topic. This category is less popular than the argumentative type. This is because the expository character is linked to the school rather than the creative one. However, as an academic tool they are excellent resources for demonstrating and evaluating knowledge.

In comparison with an argumentative text, it is sufficient to expose in an orderly manner all aspects of a topic. In addition, we must bear in mind that the exhibition essay will be able to define, explain and describe at the same time. Finally, the expository essay responds to a logical systematization of the points to be treated. It never lacks a process of planning and reflection.

Analytical essays

An analytical essay is one in which a subject is broken down into all its parts, to examine its particularities and relationships with each other. This category occupies a special place among the test types due to its thoroughness. The work of analysis is typical of academics, therefore they will not be recommended in lower school grades. However, as a study tool they are valuable for understanding a topic.

Elaborating an analytical essay implies an arduous work of logical systematization. The writer must be able to fragment the subject in its minimum parts, evaluate them and re-integrate them. In short, this essay form is very specialized since it implies an exceptional handling of the subject in question.

Types of essays by their logical method
The different types of essays can be grouped according to the logical structure used, the most common being deduction and induction.

Deductive essays


As for deductive
type essays, the structure consists of presenting the thesis or position at the beginning. Then the demonstration of the particular aspects is given, as many as necessary. Finally, the initial thesis that has now been proven by the particularities is recovered. In addition, this provision is the most common since its management is simple and allows a clear systematization. By way of synthesis, a deductive essay responds to the classical model of enunciation of the thesis and subsequent analysis of the particular.

Inductive essays

On the other hand, the inductive type essays resort to the presentation of the particularities to arrive at a thesis. In this case, the structure of the text consists of posing the theme in the introduction. Next, all the particular aspects must be shown until they reach the generality. Then the particularities are integrated recovering the theme the general. Then, the formulation of the thesis appears as a result of inductive reasoning (from the particular to the general). Finally, it is worth remembering that these types of essays are the most used for their logical clarity.

Essays that tend towards definition

Another one of the types of essay corresponds to those that resort to the definition, its structure allows to analyze the aspects of a subject. In terms of composition, a preliminary definition is first announced. Then each of the defining elements must be addressed, there is no limit as long as they are relevant. Once this process is completed, the definition is constructed, which takes the place of the thesis. It is necessary to clarify that in spite of the similarities with the inductive or analytical type the intention is to define. That is to say, it is not sought to corroborate any position with arguments but to study the aspects that validate a definition.

Essays by comparison, similarity or difference

These types of essays are usually grouped in the category of contrast, in them the main thing is to compare, showing similarities and / or deferences. The compositional structure of this type of test is very clear. At first a thesis is established within the introduction. In a second moment, a part of the development will be destined to show the similarities. In a third time, the development will show all the differences. Once the contrast procedure has been completed, a conclusion can be drawn that synthesizes the faces of the problem. To finish, we will explain that this structure allows showing similarities and differences or only one of them.

Cause-effect type essays

Another type of trial is that of cause and effect, this kind of trial shows a situation, the possible causes and their consequences. With regard to the construction of the text, first the approach of the casual relationship is established. That is, a thesis in which a cause and consequence for the phenomenon is assumed. As a next step, all possible effects will be disaggregated throughout the development. The result is that the conclusion will contain the recovery of the thesis with causal relationship. Likewise, it is possible to use the structure in an inverse manner and illustrate the consequences of a certain situation.

Problem-solution type essays

The last of the types of essay to study is the one that presents the problem-solution structure, whose essence lies in formulating and solving a question. In most cases the composition of the text will consist of the statement of a premise in the introduction. In turn, the development will have three sections. In the first one we will notice the formulation of the problem. In the second, a solution will be considered. In the third one the answer is formulated, thus obtaining the thesis of the essay. Finally, a conclusion is usually added as a synthesis.

Fundamental notions of the types of essay

Broadly speaking, the different types of essays are usually classified according to the approach or the logical structure. In general, it will be enough to understand that the essays belong to large groups: argumentative, expository and analytical. In particular, an essay can present very different logical or compositional structures.

The use of these will depend on the nature of the topic, the chosen approach and the objective to be achieved. As a feedback, we have that the most common logical structures are: deductive-inductive, definition, comparison, cause-effect and solution problem. In summary, the trials are grouped depending on the approach or structure, although in practice they can be mixed.

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