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What Are the Different Types of Persuasive Essay?

Published by at August 17th, 2021 , Revised On January 21, 2022

If you have been asked by your academic tutor to write an essay but are unsure what type of essay you should write, then this article will serve as a guide to help you distinguish between different types of essays.

Academic essays require the author to present their viewpoints and arguments on a range of topics with reasoning and evidence. So what is a persuasive essay, and what are the different styles of persuasive essay writing?

This article aims to discuss the similarities and differences between the most common types of persuasive essays, including argumentative, expository, discursive, and exegetical.

All these four types of essays can be combined under one essay group; persuasive essays. As the name suggests, persuasive essays are developed to persuade readers to believe the author’s opinions and arguments.

Here is all you need to know if you are unsure about the different types of persuasive essays.

Types of Persuasive Essays With Definitions

Before you look into the similarities and differences between the different types of persuasive essays, it will be sensible to define these four kinds of essays briefly.

While it is important to recognize the characteristics and features that differentiate different types of persuasive essays, it is equally important to consider the writer’s role.

Here is a similar article; How to Start an Essay That Grabs Attention of the Readers

Argumentative Essays

Argumentative essays give authors and scholars the chance to convince their readers that there is something new in their research area that needs to be considered.

A well written argumentative essay improves the scholar’s credibility and authority in their respective field of research.

Purpose of an Argumentative Essay

  • An argumentative essay’s primary purpose is to add value to the existing literature in any given area of study.
  • It involves in-depth research and consideration of the opinions of others.
  • Arguments are backed by evidence.
  • Argumentative essays are generally longer than other types of essays.
  • The author; should have implications and recommendations for other academicians in the future; they should be original and should be clearly positioned in existing debates surrounding the essay topic.

What is the Role of the Author in Argumentative Essays?

The role of the author in argumentative essays is significant. You will be required to demonstrate that your own personal opinions and viewpoints should be considered a new approach focusing on how this new approach will add value to the existing literature.

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Expository Essays

This particular type of persuasive essay helps to persuade the readers into believing the opinions of the author through a critical evaluation of the literature material.

Purpose of an Expository Essay

  • All expository essays intend to grab the attention of the readers by presenting a unique opinion about a topic.
  • You will be required to back your opinions and views with solid reasoning.
  • As an author of an expository essay, you must demonstrate to create an argumentative view and provide the necessary framework.
  • You will be expected to showcase the ability to critically evaluate information.
  • An expository essay must include the reasoning for the readers to accept your view as convincing and conclusive.

What is the Role of the Author in Expository Essays?

Your role in an expository essay is substantial because you will be expected to convince the readers that they should consider your view around the topic as the most formidable one. This can be achieved through thoroughly critical and independent analysis

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Discursive Essays

Discursive essays are the less common type of academic persuasive essays. They aim to convince the readers that there is another approach to a topic and that it is important to consider all sides of the debate before coming to any conclusion.

Purpose of a Discursive Essay

  • Discursive essays aim to discuss different viewpoints surrounding any given topic. The views presented in discursive essays can be either taken from recognized arguments in existing studies or be the writer’s own.
  • It should be based on correct logic and interpretation.
  • The author needs to showcase the ability to consider all views fairly and without any bias.

What is the Role of the Author in Discursive Essays?

Discursive essays do not require the authors to play a significant role in terms of presenting their own views, except that they should clearly differentiate between arguments of other scholars and act as a guide to opposing interpretations.

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Exegetical Essay

Exegetical essays help the writer persuade their readers to understand a certain concept in a new light – giving the writer the opportunity to demonstrate their ability to understand and interpret challenging topics.

Purpose of an Exegetical Essay

Exegetical essays aim to provide an exegesis (correct interpretation) of other authors’ theories and viewpoints who have explored a particular topic in the past.
Appraisal of arguments and theories on the topic is beyond the scope of this particular type of persuasive essay.
The essay should provide reasoning, evidence, and logic concerning viewpoints and theories.

What is the Role of the Author in Exegetical Essays?

The writer plays little to no role in exegetical essays because they aim to present other authors’ views.

Difference Between Persuasive Essays and Scientific Articles

The most notable difference between scientific articles and persuasive essays is that scientific articles and journal papers present the facts as they can be seen by anyone else. In contrast, in persuasive essays, the author’s own opinions are the driving force.

How to Write Persuasive Essays?

While there are similarities and differences between different types of persuasive essays, it is important to recognise the fact that the author of a persuasive essay may have to mix these approaches in one essay.

For example, you might have to present a brief exegesis of another author’s viewpoints to support your arguments as part of your own argumentative essay. It is possible to have many such combinations but in general, when working with an argumentative essay you will also need to use one or more of the other three styles; exegesis, discursive and expository.

While there are four types of persuasive essays, all of them are argumentative in nature. You shouldn’t be surprised when you see people refer to all these styles of persuasive essay writing as argumentative essays.

The term “argumentative essay”, loosely speaking, is applicable to all four types of persuasive essays because they all involve an expert presentation of arguments to persuade the audience into believing something.

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About Grace Graffin

"Grace has a bachelor's and a master's degree from Loughborough University, so she's an expert at writing a flawless essay. She has worked as a professional writer and editor, helping students of at all academic levels to improve their academic writing skills."


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