There are three basic types of essay papers: Analytical - An analytical essay paper breaks down an idea or issue into its its key components. Expository - Also known as explanatory essays, expositories provide explanations of something. Argumentative - These type of essays, also known as persuasive essays, make a specific claim about a topic and then provide evidence and arguments to support the claim.
The claim set forth in argumentative persuasive essays may be an opinion, an evaluation, an interpretation, cause-effect statement or a policy proposal. The purpose of argumentative essays is to convince or persuade the reader that a claim is valid. Once you have defined the purpose of your essay, it's time to brainstorm. Don't choose just one topic right of the bat. Take some time to consider, contrast and weight your options. Get out a piece of paper and make a list of all the different topics that fit the purpose of your essay.
Once they're all down on paper, start by eliminating those topics that are difficult or not as relevant as others topics. Also, get rid of those topics that are too challenging or that you're just not that interested in. Pretty soon you will have whittled your list down to just a few topics and then you can make a final choice. They want to make sure they have all their thoughts organized in their head before they put anything down on paper.
Creating a diagram or outline allows you to put pen to paper and start organizing your ideas. Don't worry or agonize over organization at this point, just create a moderately organized format for your information. Whether you use a diagram or outline doesn't really matter.
Some people prefer and work better with the flowing structure of a diagram. Others like the rigid and logical structure of an outline. Don't fret, once you get started, you can always change formats if the format you chose isn't working out for you. Diagram The following are useful steps for developing a diagram to organize ideas for your essay.
Get started by drawing a circle in the middle of a paper just big enough to write in. Inside your circle, write your essay topic. Now draw three or four lines out from your circle.
At the end of each of lines, draw another circle just slightly smaller than the circle in the middle of the page. In each smaller circle, write a main idea about your topic, or point you want to make. If this is persuasive argumentative essay, then write down your arguments. If the object of the essay is to explain a process expository , then write down a step in each circle.
If your essay is intended to be informative or explain analytical , write the major categories into which information can be divided. Now draw three more lines out from each circle containing a main idea. At the end of each of these lines, draw another circle.
Finally, in each of these circles write down facts or information that help support the main idea. Think about the questions we asked above and the prompt for the essay, and then write for 15 or 30 minutes without stopping.
What do you want your audience to know after reading your essay? What do you want them to feel? Just get out the ideas you have. For help getting started, see our handout on brainstorming. Find the most relevant, memorable, concrete statements and focus in on them.
Find what is specific to you about the ideas that generated those platitudes and express them more directly. Just make sure that you replace the generalizations with examples as you revise. A hint: you may find yourself writing a good, specific sentence right after a general, meaningless one.
If you spot that, try to use the second sentence and delete the first. Applications that have several short-answer essays require even more detail. Your readers may have thousands of essays to read, many or most of which will come from qualified applicants. With this in mind: Do assure your audience that you understand and look forward to the challenges of the program and the field, not just the benefits.
Do assure your audience that you understand exactly the nature of the work in the field and that you are prepared for it, psychologically and morally as well as educationally. Do assure your audience that you care about them and their time by writing a clear, organized, and concise essay.
Do address any information about yourself and your application that needs to be explained for example, weak grades or unusual coursework for your program. Include that information in your essay, and be straightforward about it.
Your audience will be more impressed with your having learned from setbacks or having a unique approach than your failure to address those issues.
Every sentence should be effective and directly related to the rest of the essay. Every doctor wants to help save lives, every lawyer wants to work for justice—your reader has read these general cliches a million times.
You are number 49, and your reader is tired, bored, and thinking about lunch. How are you going to catch and keep her attention? For more tips, see our handout on audience. Voice and style The voice you use and the style in which you write can intrigue your audience.
The voice you use in your essay should be yours. The narrative should reflect your perspective, experiences, thoughts, and emotions. Focusing on events or ideas may give your audience an indirect idea of how these things became important in forming your outlook, but many others have had equally compelling experiences.
By simply talking about those events in your own voice, you put the emphasis on you rather than the event or idea. Look at this anecdote: During the night shift at Wirth Memorial Hospital, a man walked into the Emergency Room wearing a monkey costume and holding his head. He seemed confused and was moaning in pain. One of the nurses ascertained that he had been swinging from tree branches in a local park and had hit his head when he fell out of a tree. This tragic tale signified the moment at which I realized psychiatry was the only career path I could take.
An interesting tale, yes, but what does it tell you about the narrator? The following example takes the same anecdote and recasts it to make the narrator more of a presence in the story: I was working in the Emergency Room at Wirth Memorial Hospital one night when a man walked in wearing a monkey costume and holding his head. I could tell he was confused and in pain. After a nurse asked him a few questions, I listened in surprise as he explained that he had been a monkey all of his life and knew that it was time to live with his brothers in the trees.
Like many other patients I would see that year, this man suffered from an illness that only a combination of psychological and medical care would effectively treat. I realized then that I wanted to be able to help people by using that particular combination of skills only a psychiatrist develops.
The voice you use should be approachable as well as intelligent. Note: If you are having trouble forming clear sentences without all the prepositions and nouns, take a look at our handout on style.
Comparative essay Examples of this type of essay include compare, compare and contrast or differentiate questions. Your assignment task may require you to make a recommendation about the suitability of the items you are comparing. An example may be to ask you to investigate a problem and explore a range of solutions. You may also be asked to choose the best solution and justify your selection, allow space for this in your essay.
Each main idea that you wrote in your diagram or outline will become a separate section within the body of your essay. In an analytical structure you are required to break the topic into its different components and discuss these in separate paragraphs or sections, demonstrating balance where possible.
Don't let your next essay be one of those.
Jot these subjects down. Begin a new paragraph only when you want to discuss a new idea. You may want to create an impression of expertise in the field by using specialized or technical language.
Do address any information about yourself and your application that needs to be explained for example, weak grades or unusual coursework for your program. The following example takes the same anecdote and recasts it to make the narrator more of a presence in the story: I was working in the Emergency Room at Wirth Memorial Hospital one night when a man walked in wearing a monkey costume and holding his head.
There is still the further question of how to start. Think about your life. This paragraph should put forth your second strongest argument supporting your thesis statement. Often, however, you will want to summarize your source more fully so that readers can follow your analysis of it. An academic essay should provide a solid, debatable thesis that is then supported by relevant evidence—whether that be from other sources or from one's own research. Finally, evaluate your options.