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The 5 Essay Types You’ll Ever Need in School!

The 5 Essay Types You’ll Ever Need in School!

The term essay is actually quite broad. As you’ve likely already discovered, there are many essay types out there. However, there are 4 that are the most common in Canadian schools. These are the narrative, expository, persuasive compare-contrast, and descriptive essays!


This particular essay type is all about storytelling. So, creative writing students get excited, this is your bread and butter essay type! In essays of this nature, you must develop characters and conflict among other story elements. In addition, this essay type requires you to write chronologically for the most part, so that the essay makes sense to the readers. All in all, it’s a fairly easy essay style if you are creative and focus on your basic writing skills!


Expository style essays are all about clarifying information for a reader. They don’t necessarily seek to argue a certain side, but rather are there to explain a concept instead. Generally, essays of this nature are used in research that isn’t aiming to defend a side. Also, essays of ths nature generally contain “proofs” in the form of quotations.

Since expository essays are usually formal, be sure you don’t use “I” when writing them. These essays are not about your opinion, they are there to present evidence and clarify concepts.


Love to argue? Then this essay will be super easy for you to write! Persuasive essays seek to prove a particular argument using credible evidence. Depending on the essay topic, this evidence could come from a novel, play, academic journals, or any other academic and credible source. In addition, the structure of essays like this is much more specific than say the narrative essay. Here, you’ll want to ensure each paragraph represents a particular point that helps prove the argument correct. Additionally, you’ll need 3-4 subpoints per paragraph that support that central point. All in all, essays of this nature aren’t too challenging, but make sure you start researching ahead of time. You’ll need credible academic evidence if you want to really present an effective argument.

Compare and contrast

Another one of the essay types is the compare/contrast essay. The primary purpose of this essay is comparison. So, teachers that assign this type of essay are trying to ensure that you can make connections between texts, films, etc, as well as differentiate between the two, even if they’re similar.

For compare/contrast essays they can be written in 2 different ways. First, they could be written side by side. This means you could start by exploring the first idea or text, and then in the next paragraph explore the other idea or text. Finally, you could have a third body paragraph that highlights the differences between the two. The other option is to go point by point. So, you could present a point about the first idea or text, and then in the next sentence compare it to the other concept. Both styles of writing are valid, it just depends on what you like more!


Descriptive essays are all about conveying a particular scene or event to your readers. You want to create sentences in your essay that provide sensory information to the readers – such as sight, sound, smell, taste and touch. These essays will also incorporate various literary devices to better help the reader understand the scene you’ve created.

It’s important you understand the purpose each essay type serves so that you can write the best essay possible! So, ensure you are familiar with all the essay types! And finally, do your best to write the best essay possible by ensuring you avoid plagiarism and use outside resources and help, such as Grammarly!

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