Department Assistant, Writing, SMARTHINKING
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Types of College Essays
Writing Expert Katie DaRin dicusses the various types of college essays.
Katie DaRin: Hi! I am Katie DaRin with SMARTHINKING.com and, today, we are going to talk about better way to write college essays. In this first part, we are going to talk about different types of college essays.
There are a few common types of college essays, they are arguments, cause and effect, classification, compare and contrast, critical analysis, description, evaluation, illustration, narration, persuasion, research papers, and summaries.
There is a few dos you want to keep in mind when writing argument and persuasion essay. Remember to develop a strong argumentative persuasive thesis statement. This essay is trying to convince others to agree with the fact and accept the argument and you will need to do that in your thesis.
Remember to use research information to help prove your thesis; you will need facts to back up your argument and remember PIE: the point, the illustration of the argument, and the explanation, which is the persuasion. Don't think that your readers can automatically see the connection between your information and your thesis statement. You will need to incorporate the two together for the reader. Don't forget to cite any borrowed information and it is important to not take an overly aggressive tone. You will want to prove a point without offending the reader as well.
For cause and effect essays there is a few dos and don'ts to keep in mind as well. Remember to develop a thesis statement that includes one or more causes and one or more effects. A cause and effect essay is concerned with why things happen, the cause; and what happens as a result, the effect.
So remember to use examples to make connections between the causes and effect such as the reason for the traffic jam was unknown, but the outcome was I was late to work.
Remember to also use the cause and effects to develop the body of the essay. The cause and effect is a type of paper, so its important to remember to incorporate that in the development of your essay. Don't think that your readers will connect the cause of the effect you need to explain it. Don't use a logical fallacy to connect the cause and effect; the logic shouldn't have holes in it. Remember to not limit yourself to just one cause and effect, the more examples the better.
Some dos and don'ts for classification essays are to develop thesis statement that includes a large group and the subgroups of the classifications. A classification essay organizes things by category and gives examples that fit in to each category.
Use examples to prove that your classifications are correct. An example of a classification is sports; the categories should be basketball, baseball and football. Remember to also organize you essay so you devote one body paragraph to each classification. Don't classify for the sake of classifying, have a specific purpose in mind for your divisions. Remember to not overlap the classification so that one or more examples fits into two different subgroups.
Don't limit yourself to a certain number of classifications per topics since you may leave out critical information. Some categories may require more subcategories while others may require less.
Some dos and don'ts for critical analysis and evaluation papers are to develop a thesis statement that makes the claim of your interpretation of the piece. Critical analysis is an analysis of a reading, so remember to use examples from the piece to prove your point. Also focus on the quality of how well the piece is composed; remember that you are writing a critique of the piece.
Don't become so focused on your viewpoint that you miss critical information that the author provides. Also don't give the author a poor review just because you don't agree with the piece, you must be able to be an impartial judge when you are analyzing. Also make sure you don't make claims that you cannot support with evidence. Some dos and don'ts for description and illustration essay are to use sensory details such as sight, sound, taste, touch and smell where applicable. Remember that you are trying to describe something. Provide examples to help your reader understand your ideas, using adjectives its helpful as well. Include a thesis statement that either provides a dominant impression of your chosen person, place or object, the description, or provides a clear concrete generalization in Illustration.
Remember to not use vague descriptions such as overly general example or cliches. Also do not just describe or illustrate for the sake of doing so, these descriptions and illustrations need to be purposeful. Also, don't forget that your description/illustration must have a point. You don't want to be come overly descriptive that you forget the purpose. Some dos and don'ts for Narration Essays are to focus on a specific experience. Remember that you are telling a story. Provide enough details for your readers to easily understand and use chronological organization, working from beginning to end. Don't narrate the whole experience when you only need the small portion. Don't forget to include dialogue, action and description to make the experience come alive for your readers and remember to not tell a story without having a specific point in mind.
Some dos and don'ts for Research papers are to conduct more research than you think you need and evaluate each of your sources. Remember to develop a thesis statement that makes a claim about your topic using facts and evidence to support the thesis. Incorporate your research information by ensuring that it always proves your thesis statement and using a signal phrase where applicable. Don't forget to cite any borrowed sources, remember to not rely solely one source for you research information or limit yourself to include in only traditional sources such as books, magazines and internet. You don't want your research to end up biased. Also, do not forget to explain how the research information proves your thesis statement.
Some dos and don'ts for summary essays: in the introduction explain what you are summarizing, whether that is an article, book or something else, you will want to make it clear to the reader. Remember to include all the points of the piece you are summarizing and remember to create logical connections between pieces of information in your summary.
Don't use long quotations. Don't feel trapped into following the same organizational framework the author used. Remember, you are only doing a summary you don't need to include everything from the original source. So that a little bit about how to write different types of essays. Next we are going to talk about choosing the genre, topic and scope.