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Ypes Of Essay Middle School

Common Types of Papers

Note: the links below take you further down on this page.

Research papers
Sample essays
Argumentative, persuasive essays
Narrative, descriptive and reaction/response essays
Comparison/contrast and cause/effect essays

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Research papers

Research Papers (U Wisconsin-Madison)
Brief (one page) overview of the steps in doing a research paper.
Writing a General Research Paper (Roane State CC)
"Research papers place an emphasis on the development of a student's critical thinking and writing skills. To write an effective paper, students must be able to incorporate the ideas of others with their own ideas and analysis."
Writing Research Papers: A Step-by-Step Procedure (Purdue U)
Brief checklist of steps needed to accomplish the research and writing process.

Sample essays

Essay Writing (U Victoria)
An extensive guide to writing all kinds of essays, including the two samples listed below.
The Essay - A Sample Expository Essay (U Victoria)
A complete, successful expository essay to use as an example.
The Essay - A Sample Literary Essay (U Victoria)
A complete, successful literary essay to use as an example.

Argumentative, persuasive essays

Essentials of Effective Persuasive Essays (Hamilton College)
Writing Argumentative Essays (Roane State CC)
Also sample essays at: and
Writing Evaluation Essays (Roane State CC)
"Evaluative essays seek to prompt readers to examine their own values and to perhaps accept the view of the writer.... These share some features with argumentative essays."

Narrative, descriptive and reaction/response essays

The Definition Essay (St. Cloud U)
How to approach a definition essay and the different ways of defining things, including a sample essay.
Writing Descriptive Essays (Roane State CC)
"There are several methods writers use to describe something in an essay. They may choose vivid, fresh language, or they may use examples, or they might take something ordinary and by comparing it with something extraordinary, make it interesting, or they may use their senses." Includes samples at: and
Descriptive Essays (St. Cloud U)
"Descriptive writing portrays people, places, things, moments and theories with enough vivid detail to help the reader create a mental picture of what is being written about."
Narrative Essays (St. Cloud U)
Writing in the first person. "As a mode of expository writing, the narrative approach, more than any other, offers writers a chance to think and write about themselves."
Writing Narrative Essays (Roane State CC)
"Narrative writing tells a story. In essays the narrative writing could also be considered a reflection or an exploration of the author's values told as a story." Samples at: and
Writing a Process Essay (St. Cloud U)
"A process paper either tells the reader how to do something or describes how something is done."
Writing a Reaction or Response Essay (St. Cloud U)
How to approach this kind of paper, including suggested outline. "Reaction or response papers are usually requested by teachers so that you'll consider carefully what you think or feel about something you've read."

Comparison/contrast, cause/effect essays

Writing Cause and Effect Essays (Roane State CC)
Writing Comparison and Contrast Essays (Roane State CC)
Comparison/Contrast Essays (Temple U)
Short checklist of what to consider in doing comparison/contrast essays.
Comparison/Contrast Essays (St. Cloud U)
How to approach and outline this type of paper.

A+ Research & Writing for high school and college students was created by Kathryn L. Schwartz

Types of Essays: End the Confusion

Effectively writing different types of essays has become critical to academic success. Essay writing is a common school assignment, a part of standardized tests, and a requirement on college applications. Often on tests, choosing the correct type of essay to write in response to a writing prompt is key to getting the question right. Clearly, students can’t afford to remain confused about types of essays.

There are over a dozen types of essays, so it’s easy to get confused. However, rest assured, the number is actually more manageable. Essentially there are four major types of essays, with the variations making up the remainder.

Four Major Types of Essays
Distinguishing between types of essays is simply a matter of determining the writer’s goal. Does the writer want to tell about a personal experience, describe something, explain an issue, or convince the reader to accept a certain viewpoint? The four major types of essays address these purposes:

1. Narrative Essays: Telling a Story
In a narrative essay, the writer tells a story about a real-life experience. While telling a story may sound easy to do, the narrative essay challenges students to think and write about themselves. When writing a narrative essay, writers should try to involve the reader by making the story as vivid as possible. The fact that narrative essays are usually written in the first person helps engage the reader. “I” sentences give readers a feeling of being part of the story. A well-crafted narrative essay will also build towards drawing a conclusion or making a personal statement.

2. Descriptive Essays: Painting a Picture
A cousin of the narrative essay, a descriptive essay paints a picture with words. A writer might describe a person, place, object, or even memory of special significance. However, this type of essay is not description for description’s sake. The descriptive essay strives to communicate a deeper meaning through the description. In a descriptive essay, the writer should show, not tell, through the use of colorful words and sensory details. The best descriptive essays appeal to the reader’s emotions, with a result that is highly evocative.

3. Expository Essays: Just the Facts
The expository essay is an informative piece of writing that presents a balanced analysis of a topic. In an expository essay, the writer explains or defines a topic, using facts, statistics, and examples. Expository writing encompasses a wide range of essay variations, such as the comparison and contrast essay, the cause and effect essay, and the “how to” or process essay. Because expository essays are based on facts and not personal feelings, writers don’t reveal their emotions or write in the first person.

4. Persuasive Essays: Convince Me
While like an expository essay in its presentation of facts, the goal of the persuasive essay is to convince the reader to accept the writer’s point of view or recommendation. The writer must build a case using facts and logic, as well as examples, expert opinion, and sound reasoning. The writer should present all sides of the argument, but must be able to communicate clearly and without equivocation why a certain position is correct.

Learn How to Write Different Types of Essays

Time4Writing essay writing courses offer a highly effective way to learn how to write the types of essays required for school, standardized tests, and college applications. These online writing classes for elementary, middle school, and high school students, break down the writing process into manageable chunks, easily digested by young writers. Students steadily build writing skills and confidence with each online writing course, guided by one-on-one instruction with a dedicated, certified teacher.

In the elementary years, young writers get an introduction to essay writing through two courses designed to bring excitement and enjoyment to the writing process. Narrative Writing and Informative Writing take young writers on an animal-filled adventure to beginning essay writing. Our middle school online writing courses, Welcome to the Essay and Advanced Essay, teach students the fundamentals of writing well-constructed essays. The high school online writing class, Exciting Essay Writing, focuses in depth on the essay writing process with preparation for college as the goal. The online writing classes for kids also cover how to interpret essay writing prompts in testing situations. Read what parents are saying about their children’s writing progress in Time4Writing’s online writing courses.