Types of Essays

Types of Essays

Table of contents

In the many levels of your life, you have come across essays. The most basic level of them all being in your academic life. Academic essays are not the same, but rather exist in multiple types of essays. They are also done in different formats, which are as discussed here.

Types of Academic Essays

We write to taste life twice, in the moment and in retrospect

- Anais Nin

As a student, it is good to know that whatever topic you have chosen for your essay, it belongs to a particular broad category. Such an understanding allows you to know what the category requires you to accomplish. Below are the types of academic essays that exist. 

Narrative Essays

As the word narration refers, this essay is about telling a story. More often, a story about your life experience. Narration is quite demanding, with the need to draw a clear picture of the experience you went through in your life. Unlike other essays, here you speak from within yourself, making the essay a clear definition of what you feel. The build-up to your story should end up with an outstanding conclusion. 

Descriptive Essays

Descriptive essays are more like narrative essays. The difference is that these essays paint the actual picture with the help of words. The idea is to describe an item until the reader finally gets its finer aspects. In the end, the reader benefits a lot from what you talked about if they had no or less information about it. 

Argumentative Essays

Among the many different types of essays, argumentative essays are one of the most demanding. Here the writer has to do a good job arguing what they feel about the topic in writing. You need to take a side on the topic you choose to tackle for this kind of essay. You can decide to focus on a different angle of the topic and protect it to the end or tackle both sides of the topic. Moreover, you get to choose a side between the two.  

Persuasive Essays

While the focus on the other topics above is on the essay subject topic and does not ask for anything from the reader, the persuasive essay is different. Here, as the writer, you need to convince the reader of the stand you might have taken on the topic of your paper. You must work the reader’s appeal system through things such as facts like expert opinion and constructive thoughts.

Types of Essay Formats

Whereas you may know how to do essays moreover the types of essays that exist, you also need to know the way to handle them. This is by understanding the types of essay formats that exist.

The three most common essay formats are MLA, APA, and Chicago


Also known as the Modern Language Association. The structure for this format is: 

  • A font size of 12 points. The style of font is Times New Roman.
  • Double spacing across the essay without spaces before or after paragraphs.
  • The heading needs to have your name, your instructor’s, your course or class, and the date (of submission).
  • The margins need to be one-inch on all the four sides of your page; left, top, right, and bottom.
  • The page number needs to have your last name and page number as a header on every page. 
  • Titles need to be centered and above the first line of the essay. The font should remain the same as the rest of the essay.
  • Indentation should be a half an inch. In other words, press the tab button once.  
  • Align your text to the left-hand side evenly.


Also known as the American Psychological Association is almost the same as MLA. This regards citation, spacing, and indentation. Types

  • The font size is a 12 pt. Times New Roman.
  • Double spacing across the essay.
  • One-inch margin around the paper.
  • The page number is inserted at the top right of every page. It also includes a title with the word "running head" before it on the top right corner of the page. 
  • The title page comprises the title of the paper, author name, and institutional affiliation. Moreover, add course title, instructor name, and date.

Chicago Style 

This is another style of writing types in academic writing. This style is quite interested in the source of information used in your essay. The Chicago essay format requires:

  • A well-spaced title page. The title should be in regular text, and if it exceeds a line, it should be double-spaced. Press enter and have your full name centered in the middle of your title page. Move a little bit down and do the course number, instructor name, and date. All double-spaced.
  • Margins of one inch around the page apart from the right side are appropriate.
  • Spacing should be double-spaced without extra spaces between paragraphs.
  • The font size for text is 12 pt. with the Times New Roman as the style. 
  • Page number comprises of the last name, then a page number on the topic right. Avoid numbering the title page. The first page starts at number 2. 
  • There is a need for footnotes on quoted or paraphrased texts.
  • The bibliography is similar to that of MLA.
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