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Academic writing may seem hard, but there’s no better way to organize your thoughts and present them to the public at large. There are many types of essays, mostly because there are versatile purposes that they serve. By determining what kind of paper your tutor assigns to you and following the requirements and instructions carefully, you’ll raise your chances of getting an excellent grade.
Here is a short description of the four main types of essays you will surely encounter during your academic career.
Personal or reflective essay
First person voice is usually frowned upon in the academic writing. However, in reflective essays it is not only accepted but is more than welcome. This type of papers is easy to distinct because it involves the author’s own experiences and thoughts. You may be tasked to describe a particular event of your life or express an opinion regarding a piece of art. While a personal paper is less formal than other kinds of writing in college, students need to remember that it is not a blog entry or a letter to a friend. Some standards still apply, such as the structure of the academic writing: the introduction, main body, and conclusion.
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Expository writing is aimed to introduce the reader to a particular subject. New writers are often suggested to imagine that their audience knows nothing on the topic yet should acquire general understanding on it from the paper. Essays like these are an opportunity to demonstrate your knowledge and superior research skills. A major thing to remember is that you should not express your own opinions or take stances while writing. Being objective is hard, especially if you really care about the topic, but this is what is expected of you. Just save your passion for argumentative essays.
Argumentative or persuasive essay
This type of writing is very exciting and challenging. Its purpose is to convince the audience that your position on the issue is correct or, at least, prove to be valid. The author poses a thesis and then proceeds to support it with arguments and factual evidence. A good writer should present both sides of the issue in a fair and impartial way. Some professors require students to choose a viewpoint that opposes what they actually believe in order to develop their polemical abilities.
Analytical or compare and contrast essay
Analytical essays are similar to argumentative essays, but unlike them do not require the author to pick a particular side. They present the debate on the issue as it is. A critical examination of the issue is, of course, required, as well. A sub-type of analytical writing is compare and contrast essays. Students working on this type of paper should look for similarities and differences between two subjects and use their findings to support their thesis statement.
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Always remember that the strict framework of academic writing is there to help you be as clear as possible. Just follow our advice carefully and you will succeed.