Saturday, August 4, 2007



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.


Expository Essay

Gives directions or instructions about how to complete a task, or how something is done. - How to water ski or snow ski
- 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) or what is the result? (effect). - second hand smoke (effects)
- 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 (extended def.).

A dictionary often defines a word three ways:
1. the term
2. the class to which it belongs
3. the characteristics that distinguish it.
eg. truck (term) four wheeled vehicle (class) used for transportation (characteristic). - Responsibility (facing the consequences of one's actions)
- Best friends (what they are and are not)
- snobs (how to recognize them in society)
- courage (shown by common people in everyday life)


Essay Shows the differences and/or similarities
between two persons, places, things, ideas, etc. - Two friends or relatives who could be compared
- Two movies you have seen with similar characteristics/situations
- A foreign car and an American car
- Knowledge and understanding

Pro/Con Essay
Your opinion on a subject is argued based on reasoning and understanding.
a) You present objections and refute them
b) You present points supporting your position - Should women serve in the military?
- Should everyone go to university?
- Should there be censorship on television?
- Should students have a job while attending school?

Literary Analysis

Essay Focuses on your observations about a book, story, poem, or play. - How the conflict in ____ is more external than internal
- The love-hate relationship between two characters
- How symbolism is important in revealing meaning in ____

Character Analysis
Essay Focuses on your observations about a character in literature. Your evaluation of the character is based on what that character says, does, and/or what other characters say about him/her. - Describe the main character in ____
- What are the dominant character traits of the main character in ____
- Why does ___'s personality lead him to despair?

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