Two Successful Types of

Types of writing essays


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TOEFL Writing Tutorial | Kinds of Essays

Definition Essay

When you are . You need to give a careful definition of the key term before going on to discuss different types or examples.
Example question: Write an essay defining energy resources and discuss the different types.
Introduction: Define the key term energy resources.
Supporting paragraphs: 1. Define one type of energy resources: renewable resources.
2. Define another type of energy resources: non-renewable resources.
Summary paragraph: Summarize energy resources.

Classification Essay

In a classification essay, you separate things or ideas into specific categories and discuss each of them. You organize the essay by defining each classification and by giving examples of each type.
Write an essay discussing the three types of government in Canada.
Give background information about government in Canada.
1. Define and describe federal government.
2. Define and describe provincial governments.
3. Define and describe municipal governments.
Summarize government in Canada.

Description Essay

In a description essay, you write about what a person, place, or thing is like. You organize the essay by describing different parts or aspects of the main subject.
Write an essay describing the polar bear.
Introduce what a polar bear is.
1. Describe where the polar bear lives.
2. Describe the body of the polar bear.
3. Describe what the polar eats.
Summarize what a polar bear is.

Compare and Contrast Essay

In a compare and contrast essay, you write about the similarities and differences between two or more people, places, or things. You can organize the essay by writing about one subject first and then comparing it with the second subject. A more effective way is to organize the essay by comparing each subject by category.
Write an essay comparing the weather in Vancouver and Halifax.
Introduce weather in the cities of Vancouver and Halifax.
1. Compare weather in spring and summer for both cities. State how they are similar or different.
2. Compare weather in fall and winter for both cities. State how they are similar or different.
Summarize the similarities and differences.

Sequence Essay

In a sequence essay, you are writing to describe a series of events or a process in some sort of order. Usually, this order is based on time. You organize the essay by writing about each step of the process in the order it occurred.
Write an essay outlining the stages of the salmon life cycle.
Describe what a salmon is like.
1. Describe young salmon.
2. Describe adult salmon.
3. Describe what salmon do before they die.
Summarize the main steps of the salmon life cycle.

Choice Essay

In a choice essay, you need to choose which object, idea, or action that you prefer. You organize the essay by describing each option and then giving your opinion.
Write an essay choosing between hockey in the 1890s and hockey today.
Introduce the game of hockey.
1. Describe hockey in the 1890s.
2. Describe hockey today.
3. State which form of hockey you prefer and why.
Summarize the game of hockey.

Explanation Essay

In an explanation essay, you explain how or why something happens or has happened. You need to explain different causes and effects. You should organize the essay by explaining each individual cause or effect.
Example question: Write an essay explaining why so many Europeans moved to Canada during the early nineteenth century.
Give background information on European immigration during this time.
1. Explain first reason: poor economy in Europe.
2. Explain second reason: better living conditions in Canada.
Summarize main reasons.

Evaluation Essay

In an evaluation essay, you make judgments about people, ideas, and possible actions. You make your evaluation based on certain criteria that you develop. Organize the essay by discussing the criteria you used to make your judgment.
Write an essay evaluating the importance of the House of Commons.
Give your judgment on whether the House of Commons is important.
1. Explain first criteria: meeting place for government.
2. Explain second criteria: represent Canadians.
3. Explain third criteria: make laws for Canada.
Conclude with an overall judgment about the House of Commons.


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