Answering Questions: The Parts of an Essay
It’s helpful to think of the different essay sections as answering a series of questions your reader might ask when encountering your thesis. (Readers should have questions. If they don’t, your thesis is most likely simply an observation of fact, not an arguable claim.)
Descriptive Essay: Focus on the details of what is going on. For example, if you want to write a descriptive essay about your trip to the park, you would give great detail about what you experienced: how the grass felt beneath your feet, what the park benches looked like, and anything else the reader would need to feel as if he were there.
Knowing what kind of essay you are trying to write can help you decide on a topic and structure your essay in the best way possible. Here are a few other types of essays:
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An essay is a “short formal piece of writing..dealing with a single subject” (“Essay,” 2001). It is typically written to try to persuade the reader using selected research evidence (“Essay,” 1997). In general, an academic essay has three parts:
Active voice, wherein the subjects direct actions rather than let the actions “happen to” them – “he scored a 97%” instead of “he was given a 97%” – is a much more powerful and attention-grabbing way to write. At the same time, unless it is a personal narrative, avoid personal pronouns like I, My, or Me. Try instead to be more general and you will have your reader hooked.
A one sentence body paragraph that simply cites the example of “George Washington” or “LeBron James” is not enough, however. No, following this an effective essay will follow up on this topic sentence by explaining to the reader, in detail, who or what an example is and, more importantly, why that example is relevant.
Did you know the word ‘essay’ is derived from a Latin word ‘exagium’, which roughly translates to presenting one’s case? So essays are a short piece of writing representing one’s side of the argument or one’s experiences, stories, etc. Essays are very personalized. So let us learn about types of essays, format, and tips for essay-writing.
- Narrative Essays: This is when the writer is narrating an incident or story through the essay. So these are in the first person. The aim when writing narrative essays is to involve the reader in them as if they were right there when it was happening. So make them as vivid and real as possible. One way to make this possible is to follow the principle of ‘show, don’t tell’. So you must involve the reader in the story.
- Descriptive Essays: Here the writer will describe a place, an object, an event or maybe even a memory. But it is not just plainly describing things. The writer must paint a picture through his words. One clever way to do that is to evoke the senses of the reader. Do not only rely on sight but also involve the other senses of smell, touch, sound etc. A descriptive essay when done well will make the reader feel the emotions the writer was feeling at the moment.
- Expository Essays: In such an essay a writer presents a balanced study of a topic. To write such an essay, the writer must have real and extensive knowledge about the subject. There is no scope for the writer’s feelings or emotions in an expository essay. It is completely based on facts, statistics, examples etc. There are sub-types here like contrast essays, cause and effect essays etc.
- Persuasive Essays: Here the purpose of the essay is to get the reader to your side of the argument. A persuasive essay is not just a presentation of facts but an attempt to convince the reader of the writer’s point of view. Both sides of the argument have to presented in these essays. But the ultimate aim is to persuade the readers that the writer’s argument carries more weight.