Essays Different essay types and essay structure

  • Discussion
    A discussion essay considers both sides of an argument. Read more
  • Persuasion
    A persuasion essay will try to convince the reader your opinion is the right one. Read more
  • Compare/contrast
    A compare and contrast essay shows how things are similar and different. Read more
  • Cause/effect
    Also called reason and result essays, this essay type looks at the causes and effects. Read more
  • Problem-solution
    How to write and structure a problem-solution essay. Read more
  • Essay structure
    How to structure an essay introduction, main body and conclusion. Read more

Writing in academic contexts means being able to use different essay types and using a clear structure. Find out more about both on the following pages.

Essay types

There are several types of essay which you may need to be able to write at university. The main ones, which are all considered in this section, are discussion, persuasion, compare and contrast, cause and effect, and problem-solution. All sections contain an example essay to help you understand each essay type.

Find out how to write and structure a discussion essay.
Understand how to write a persuasion essay. Includes information on counter-arguments.
Read more about how to write and structure a compare and contrast essay, with transition signals.
Learn how to write a cause and effect essay, with appropriate structure and transition signals.
Understand what a problem-solution essay is.
Understand how to write definitions and how to structure a definition essay.
Find out how to classify and how to structure a classification essay.

Essay structure

This section will help you understand how to structure an essay, from the introduction, to the main body, and the conclusion.

Understand how to structure an essay.
Find out how to write your essay introduction, including information on thesis statements.
Learn how to write the main body of an essay. Includes information on topic sentences.
Understand how to write a good conclusion to your essay.


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Sheldon Smith

Author: Sheldon Smith    ‖    Last modified: 08 February 2022.

Sheldon Smith is the founder and editor of He has been teaching English for Academic Purposes since 2004. Find out more about him in the about section and connect with him on Twitter, Facebook and LinkedIn.

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