Types Of Essays Activities

Scholastic’s “Write It: Essay,” for older students, incorporates interactive tutorials, exercises, publishing opportunities, message boards, and creative ideas – all meant to help students sharpen their persuasive essay-writing skills.


  • Brainstorm:These tips help students find and examine a topic they feel passionately about by seeking inspiration from art, their lives, or what’s around.
  • Draft: These strategies help students conduct research, organize their thoughts in an outline, and start writing.
  • Review: Students learn to evaluate and improve their own work, as well as get – and give – meaningful feedback.
  • Revise: Students “re-vision” their drafts, learn how to handle feedback from others, and follow a 12-point exercise to help them approach their writing from new perspectives.
  • Polish: These strategies help students learn to proofread like a pro, avoid grammar and spelling mistakes, and make sure they correctly document credit where it’s due.
  • Publish: A unique opportunity for students to become published writers! Here, they submit their completed work to Scholastic.com.'




Learning Objectives

Derived from Scholastic's "Teacher Center: Essay"

  • Students will use the following writing techniques in their essays:
    • Excellent language and mechanics.
    • Effective, subtle, and/or innovative organization
    • Word choice is deliberate and works with the content.
    • Sentence structure is varied.
    • Language and rhythm are consistent throughout the piece.
    • The ideas within and behind the work are well developed
    • Details are chosen carefully and are not superfluous. Piece is full of “spikes”
    • to grab and hold the reader’s attention.


  • Each students will also use their unique experiences, ideas, and perspective to demonstrate originality:
    • The idea is original and handled
    • deftly in a genre and style suited to the
    • subject matter.


  • Each students will discover, develop, and express personal voice through writing.
    • Phrasing and language are memorable
    • The tone or voice is original, and the student
    • seems confident in her or his own voice/style.
    • Student manipulates all of the mechanics of good writing to convey feeling and meaning throughout the piece.


Types of Academic Essays

Most essays written in an academic setting fall into one of four categories, or modes:  exposition, narration, description, and persuasion.   There are variations (or subcategories) of different essays that are written in each main mode, but each variation ultimately has the same overall purpose:

Exposition: an essay that attempts to inform the reader about something important or explain something to him/her (a process, a set of rules, the benefits of an activity, etc.).   Common expository writings:  business or technical writing, process writing, compare and/or contrast essays, reaction essays, response essays, and often research-based essays. 

Narration:  writing that tells the reader about a particular event(s) that took place.  Common narration writings:  personal essays, short stories, novels, poetry. 

Description: writing that uses vivid language to describe a person, place, or event so that the reader can picture the topic clearly in his/her mind.  Fiction and poetry often use large amounts of descriptive writing, and sometimes only attempt to serve this descriptive purpose.

Persuasion: writing that takes a stand on a principle (oftentimes a controversial issue) and attempts to persuade the reader to adopt a similar mindset.  At the collegiate level, persuasive writing assignments are quite common.  The most common persuasive essay is the argument paper.  The reason for this is because writing an argument essay involves incorporating critical thinking and often the use of outside sources. Many papers written in disciplines other than English are a variation of the argument paper and should be treated in a similar fashion (ex-an analysis essay for literature that defends a particular form of literary criticism for the literary work).

It is important to note that while an essay generally falls under one of these main modes, good writing usually incorporates a variety of these into the same assignment.  For instance, a narration piece will benefit from incorporating heavy amounts of description, and often a persuasive essay must first explain certain facts to the reader (exposition) before arguing for or against a certain solution. 

Writers of all disciplines and backgrounds should study these modes and learn how to write each one successfully and incorporate them into different forms of writing.

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