In the BAWE classification, an Essay is a piece of writing which develops an argument. When you write an Essay, you need to show that you can construct a coherent argument and employ critical thinking skills. You need to support your argument with evidence.

Essays can be structured in many different ways, but they all include your thesis (a statement of the case you are making) and arguments based on evidence to support your thesis, logically organised. You will often be expected to include evidence against your thesis. This will be followed by a conclusion.

exposition discussion challenge factorial consequential commentary
thesis issue challenge state state text(s) introduction
supporting arguments alternative arguments arguments contributory factors ensuing factors comments
restate thesis final position thesis summary thesis summary thesis summary

In an expository Essay, you would start by presenting your thesis – as a statement of the case you can make based on the evidence and your arguments. This would be followed by the evidence to support your thesis.

In a discussion Essay, you would start by presenting the issue - the problem you have to solve. You would then explain and discuss the evidence and different points of view regarding the issue. You would finish by comparing and contrasting the different arguments and making a choice - your final position.

In a challenge Essay, you are challenging a given theory by showing where it is weak and proposing a better theory. You would start by introducing the theory you are challenging. You would then analyse and evaluate it to show where it is weak and propose a better alternative.

Factorial Essays and consequential Essays are similar. Both are organised around the facts that either lead to or are consequences of a state of affairs. In a factorial Essay, you discuss the facts that lead to or cause a state of affairs. In a factorial Essay, you would start by describing the state of affairs you are interested in. You would then present the factors that led to the state of affairs. These would be grouped in some way, analysed and evaluated. You would finish by concluding about, for example, the importance of the factors you have discussed.

In a consequential Essay, you discuss the facts that result from a state of affairs. You would again start by describing the state of affairs you are interested in. You would then present the factors that resulted from or were caused by the state of affairs. These would be grouped in some way, analysed and evaluated. You would finish by concluding about, for example, the importance of the state of affairs in contributing to the consequences you have discussed.

The final Essay type is the commentary Essay. These Essays would normally focus on texts. Your introduction would therefore introduce the text(s). You would then follow this with a series of comments that analyse and evaluate the text(s) given. You may be required to compare and contrast the texts. You would conclude by summarising your comments.

Examples of Essays include:

  • Exposition Essay - thesis, supporting arguments, restate thesis
  • Discussion Essay - issue, alternative arguments, final position
  • Challenge Essay - challenge, arguments, thesis
  • Factorial Essay - state, contributory factors, summary thesis
  • Consequential Essay - state, ensuing factors, summary thesis
  • Commentary Essay - introduction, comments, summary

Try the following tasks to learn more about Essay organisation.

Task 1

Six types of Essay are introduced. While they all have slightly different stages in their overall structure, they all share a basic structure. Drag the stages into the correct order to show this basic structure - put the first one at the top.

Exercise

Task 2

Six types of Essays are mentioned. Match the structure of the essay to the essay type.

Exercise

Task 3

Example 1 shows the first part of an essay on 'words'. The paragraphs are not in the correct order. Drag them into the correct order, putting the first paragraph at the top.

Exercise

Task 4

Read this introduction from an Essay on language planning. On the basis of the introduction, identify the essay type.

Introduction

If half of the 6,000 languages in the world were to disappear within the next 100 years, many people would consider it to be a great loss in respect of the linguistic diversity and cultural heritage of the human race; there are however those that disagree and feel that it might benefit the world to have a more homogeneous linguistic make-up. By looking at declarations of linguistic rights, the aim is to ascertain what the United Nation's stance should be on this debate. The more specific arguments of whether language extinction is problematic or not will then be discussed.

Exercise

Task 5

Read this introduction from an Essay on language planning. On the basis of the introduction, decide the order of the following sections. Put the first section at the top.

Introduction

If half of the 6,000 languages in the world were to disappear within the next 100 years, many people would consider it to be a great loss in respect of the linguistic diversity and cultural heritage of the human race; there are however those that disagree and feel that it might benefit the world to have a more homogeneous linguistic make-up. By looking at declarations of linguistic rights, the aim is to ascertain what the United Nation's stance should be on this debate. The more specific arguments of whether language extinction is problematic or not will then be discussed.

Exercise

Task 6

Look at the essay on language planning - Example 2. Add the headings you ordered in Task 5 to the correct places in the essay. Most places will not require headings.

Exercise

Task 7

Put the sentences from paragraph 2 of Example 2 in order.

Exercise

Task 8

Remembering what you did in Task 5, match the essay sections with the stages of a discussion essay identified above.

Exercise

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Comments

Hello maheswaran123,

Relative pronouns are explained on our relative pronouns page and I think that page will answer your first question. 'take off' and 'take on' are both phrasal verbs and have multiple meanings. You can find definitions and examples of both in our dictionary - see the search box under Cambridge Dictionaries Online on the lower right side of the page.

All the best,
Kirk
The LearnEnglish Team

Hi, I'm a long time learner for english and i am new. I weak in writings and could get the hang of english and would like to improve and get pass for english. I have some of my writing essay would like to have some reviews from any of the english team, is it possible to send and give review? Or I just paste my essay here?

Hope to get yours reply. Thank you.

Hi aceling,

This is something that are asked very often! I'm afraid it's not possible for us to correct or comment on written work in this way. We have many many users on LearnEnglish and if we tried to do this then we would have no time for any of our other work, which is necessary to keep the site functioning.

You are quite welcome to post your essay for other users to read and comment on, of course.

Best wishes,

Peter

The LearnEnglish Team

Hello , firstly happy new year , wish for you all the best . and i hope you enjoyed the holiday as much as you can ;)

secondly . am Mohamed from Egypt . and i'm studying in pre-intermediate course level 4 in British council .... I'm perfect in reading and i have a good accent like what my teacher told me ... but i feel so bad in speaking .. yea i'm using my accent to acting that am a good speaker :D but honestly i feel bad in speaking ... what can i do to improve my speaking as possible as i can in short time ??? .......

tomorrow i have the final exam in Pre-intermediate 4 , Wish me luck :))

waiting your prompt response
your sincerely : Mohamed :)

Hello Mohamed,

Happy New Year to you too. I hope your exam went well!

We are often asked about how to improve speaking skills and, while it is hard for us to give specific advice without hearing how you speak at the moment, we can make some general suggestions as to how to improve over time. The most important thing you can do is to speak English as often as possible. To do this a partner is very helpful, so think about the people you know and consider if any of them could be a practice partner for you. It may be that you know someone else who is also learning English and who would like to practise with you, or perhaps you know some people who do not speak your language but do speak English.

However, if you do not have a practice partner it does not mean that you cannot practise because it is possible to practise alone. Just speaking English to yourself while you are at home, going about your normal daily activities, can help a great deal with your fluency and can help you to feel more confident, which will help you to cut down your hesitating.

You can also use the audio and video materials here on LearnEnglish to improve your fluency. After doing the exercises, try listening with the transcript (listening and reading). Then try saying the text yourself, and finally try saying it with (and at the same speed as) the recording. This will help you to develop speed in your speech, which is a key component of fluency.  You'll also pick up a lot of language as chunks - words which are often used together in set phrases - which you can use to communicate with less hesitation.

I hope those suggestions are helpful.

Best wishes,

 

Peter

The LearnEnglish Team

Hi.
Ineed a ahelp who to write reseach methodology and proceder in propusal writhing ,my topic about equivalence in transltion can eny one tell me how to write that pls.

Hi, sir/mdm (English expert/teacher)

In this website, If I would like to post some of my written essay for review where can i send to??

Hi aceling,

You are welcome to post your writing in the comments sections and perhaps other users will comment on it; however, correction of written work is not a service which we offer here on LearnEnglish. As a free-of-charge site we simply do not have the resources for such work, which is really the responsibility of your own teacher.

 Best wishes,

 

Peter

The LearnEnglish Team

Thank you, sir, for your kind regard.

Are there any essays on this web page that reflect the six types of essays mentioned here?

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