How to Write 5 Different Types of Essays

Most students will have to take a level-one English or Composition class at some point in his or her schooling career. These classes usually entail writing one of each basic kind of essay: narrative, persuasive or argumentative, comparison or compare and contrast, descriptive, and evaluative or research. Each type of essay entails its own style and purpose.


The purpose of a narrative essay is to tell a true story (you are narrating in this one).

  • Include all the elements of a story, like setting, character development, plot, etc.
  • Organize it the same as a story, with a beginning, an unfolding plot, and a conclusive end.
  • Feel free to use descriptive language and literary devices like metaphors and similes in this type of essay.


In a persuasive essay, your purpose is to sway the reader to accept your point of view and/or get your reader to want to do a specific action or think a specific thing.

  • Use good logic and some research to back up your stance and make it hard to argue against.
  • Draw upon real-world examples of events your reader may have experienced to win him/her to your side.
  • Use some descriptive language but keep it fairly limited. Fluffy descriptors only serve so much to further your goal in a persuasive essay.


This essay does exactly what it sounds like it would: compares two things, whether those are events, ideas, objects, people, or whatever else.

  • Organize your paper in a way that makes sense to a reader and flows well. Start out by introducing the two things you’re comparing, then highlight the ways they are similar, and then the ways they are different. Don’t jump back and forth between similarities and differences. This is confusing and not pleasant to read.


This essay is usually an exercise in learning how to paint a clear picture of a person, place, object, or event in your reader’s head.

  • Brainstorm before you even begin start to write my paper about your subject. Write down everything you can think about the topic in general.
  • Organize those thoughts into categories that make sense, and then elaborate on them.
  • Also elaborate on how each of those aspects make you think and feel.

Evaluative or research

This essay proves to thoroughly examine a person, place, object, or event. It sounds much like the descriptive essay, but their purposes are very different. A descriptive essay simply tells you what something is. An evaluative essay tells why it’s important.

  • Find good sources about your topic that identify its importance.
  • Elaborate on how your topic affects daily life now and how it may have been influence in history.
  • Don’t forget to cite your sources!