Essays are one of the most common academic requirements for students of all grade levels. Whether you are in high school, college, or graduate school, chances are you have been asked to write several essays over the course of your student life. essay

Table of Content

Essay Definition & Meaning

An essay is a form of written prose that usually follows a set of rules or guidelines.

There are several different types of essays and essentially any topic can be the subject of an essay.

What Is an Essay?

An essay is written work that is usually associated with academic course requirements. But even outside the confines of a classroom, an essay is a basic form of prose that a lot of professionals, such as writers and publishers, create. It is an important communication medium that conveys ideas, information, or opinion to a broad range of readers.

10 Types of Essay

Narrative Essay

A narrative essay is perhaps the most common type of essay. Its tone is essentially informative and descriptive. Before one can excel in writing other forms of essay writing, it is best to master the art and skill of crafting a narrative essay first.


Essay Outline

In order to write a good essay, one of the most helpful steps is creating an outline beforehand. Preparing an essay outline can help you gather and organize your thoughts better. Doing so will produce a more concise and coherent essay overall.


Essay Plan

Much like an outline, creating an essay plan is also excellent preparation before writing down the actual essay. Especially with longer and more formal essays, having a plan of action is necessary. Your plan can consist of your essay outline, research, citations, and other important details.


Argumentative Essay

Aside from the narrative essay, the argumentative essay is another common type of essay. But unlike the declarative or descriptive nature of narrative essays, its objective and tone present a very different picture. An argumentative essay is often referred to as a persuasive essay.


Opinion Essay

An opinion essay can be likened to an argumentative essay such that they both present a certain perspective or point of view. If an informative essay presents facts and evidence, an opinion essay is more concerned with expressing one’s own views. Among all the types of essays, opinion essays can be particularly divisive because not all readers may agree with the author’s opinion.


Informative Essay

An informative essay basically presents and explains information in prose form. This type of essay has similar characteristics to a narrative essay. You can use the editable template below as a reference to create your own informative essay.


Visual Essay

Looking for a way to enhance an ordinary essay? Why not use images and photographs together with your words? A visual essay combines text and imagery to convey a stronger message or idea.


Digital Essay

The traditional essay is usually submitted in hard copy. Especially if it’s a school requirement, students often need to print out their essays so their teachers can grade their work accordingly. But since the advent of online classes and remote learning, most instructors have done away with printouts and now accept digital essays.


Essay Rubric

Grading an essay is no easy task. Teachers, professors, and tutors normally have a standardized method of grading students’ essays. Using an essay rubric or criteria, like the template below, helps to ensure a fair and objective assessment of an essay.


Kernel Essay

A kernel essay is a shortened or more condensed form of an essay. It normally consists of just a few paragraphs. But despite its shortened format, a kernel essay can still be expanded or augmented into a full-length essay.


Essay Uses, Purpose, Importance

An essay is a basic form of prose. Knowing the importance of writing essays and their fundamental uses can help you have a better understanding and appreciation before writing your essay.

Means to Inform and Explain

Essays are vehicles for information and data. They are a basic and fundamental way of conveying a message. Narrative and expository essays are examples of essays that serve this kind of purpose.

Tools for Persuasion

Aside from providing information, another crucial purpose of an essay is persuasion. Many people use essays as a means to explain or expound their personal views. Whether through an opinion piece or an argumentative research paper, you can get anyone to understand you with the right approach and enough persuasive or engaging arguments.          

Develops Critical Thinking

Essay writing flexes not just mere writing skills, it also helps promote critical thinking. For students, an essay assignment compels them to do research and reflect on certain ideas. Sifting through different information, arguments, and opinions, and then reflecting on these can help people exercise critical thinking.  

Sharpens Communication Skills

There is no doubt that essay writing helps develop communication skills. Written communication is a fundamental skill that is required long after graduation. For example, business writing and contract making are all different variations of written communication skills.  

Promotes Thought Process Organization

Writing essays, or any kind of structured work, helps one develop thought organization skills. Because essays adhere to certain guidelines and require a certain format, it takes care to write one. Essay writing tests one’s ability to maintain a logical flow of ideas and an organized thought process.

What’s in an Essay? Parts?

Essay Title

An essay is a type of formal prose, and any formal and structured type of writing requires a title. The title should capture the central message of your essay.   


To start any type of essay, you need an appropriate introduction. Your introduction shouldn’t be too lengthy and it should be able to hook the reader’s interest.

Main Body

The ‘meat’ of an essay is the main body. It is where most of your primary and supporting ideas should be found.


If your essay contains an introduction, it must be paired with a conclusion. An essay conclusion should be able to wrap up any loose ends, adequately summarize your main points, or present a call to action. 


How to Design an Essay?

1. Choose an essay size
2. Decide the purpose of the essay
3. Select an essay template
4. Create an introduction
5. Edit the essay body with main points and supporting ideas
6. End with a conclusion


Essay vs. Article

An essay is a short form type of prose about a particular topic or subject.

An article is written work that is usually found in publications such as magazines, journals, and newspapers.

What’s the Difference Between an Essay, Paragraph, and Report?

Essays are written works that usually adhere to a certain format, structure, or set of guidelines.

Paragraphs consist of a few to several sentences; they are the building blocks of essays.

Reports are written accounts that are declarative or informative in nature and are usually stated in a matter-of-fact kind of way.

Essay Sizes

An essay can have any number of paragraphs, depending on the author’s needs or preference. With page count and format to consider, the following are the most common and universal essay sizes.


Essay Ideas and Examples

Whether you need to write a college application essay or an opinion piece, it can be pretty overwhelming to come up with ideas for an essay. The following essay ideas and examples can help you jumpstart your creative process and brainstorming!

  • Essay Ideas and Examples
  • Essay Outline Ideas and Examples
  • Essay Plan Ideas and Examples
  • Narrative Essay Ideas and Examples
  • Research Essay Ideas and Examples
  • Analysis Essay Ideas and Examples
  • APA Formatted Essay Ideas and Examples
  • Community Essay Ideas and Examples
  • Compare and Contrast Essay Ideas and Examples
  • Society Essay Ideas and Examples
  • Paragraph Essay Ideas and Examples


What are the rules for an essay?

The most basic rule for writing an essay is to have a format or structure, namely an introduction, body, and conclusion.

What are transitions in an essay?

Transitions make it easier for the reader to understand an essay because transition sentences or words stitch together ideas and help you move on to the next idea.

Why is essay writing important?

Essay writing is important because it is a basic medium of written communication and expression.

How do you write a perfect essay?

The perfect essay generates interest, is engaging, and makes a clear point.

What is the basic structure of an essay?

The basic structure of an essay always includes an introduction, the main body, and a conclusion.

What is the most important part of an essay and why?

The most important part of an essay is the main body because that is where key and supporting ideas are usually located.

Why are essays important for college?

Essay writing is important for college students because it helps sharpen their communication, critical thinking, analytical, and even creative skills.

How many sentences are in an essay?

It would depend on the type of essay, but a standard essay paragraph can have anywhere between 6 and 10 sentences.

What is the importance of writing essays on life?

It is important to write essays about life because they help you make sense of life and help you reflect on its deeper meaning.

What are tutors looking for in my essay?

Tutors and teachers normally look for cohesion, clarity, and attention to detail (including sentence structure, grammar, punctuation, and spelling) in a student’s essay.