The Major Types of College Essays

There are a few different types of essays that you will encounter in college, and a lot of students don’t know the differences between them or how to write each kind. When you’re in college and you’ve been assigned something that you don’t know how to do, it’s easy to become confused and frustrated. Most students experience this kind of stress at least once in a while, and some on a daily basis. You don’t have to live with that though; you can be more informed and prepared about your homework so that this unnecessary stress is completely avoided.

Types of Essays in College

  • First, we have the argumentative essay. This one is all about putting forth a single perspective, or side to an argument and trying to convince the reader that you’re right. This usually consists of finding a topic that you enjoy (or that has been assigned to you) and taking a stance on that subject. Which side you pick can depend on your own morals and values. Sometimes if you don’t really care, simply choose the side that seems to have the most research material available for an easier essay.
  • Then there are the narrative essays: this type is like a story, where you are telling or narrating to the reader. The point is to make this story as vivid and engaging as you can. Depending on your instructions, this could be an anecdote from your own life, or a historical event.
  • Expository essays are unique in that they have no opinions or thoughts in them. These essays are completely fact based and because of that require a lot of research. Some students find these more time consuming and trying to juggle all the figures and statistics in your brain and in your essay can be overwhelming. A good way to write these is making a detailed outline first.
  • And don’t forget the personal essay. These are often thought of by students to be the easiest, but sometimes can end up being the hardest. The same thing makes this so: talking about yourself should be easy but often it’s difficult to properly express your own ideas about yourself. Because of this, a lot of students that are frustrated try having a friend or relative who knows them well to talk with about themselves. This friend will discuss the student’s strengths and weaknesses objectively and help them see themselves from another perspective.

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