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Ch 4: Essay Types & Writing Essentials

About This Chapter

Study the characteristics of various essay types and get tips for improving the organization, tone and purpose of your writing. These video and text lessons and quizzes also review audience appeal and methods for responding to an essay prompt.

Essay Types & Writing Essentials - Chapter Summary

Use this chapter's lessons to improve all aspects of your writing and develop the skills you'll need to answer an essay prompt. You'll explore the characteristics of narrative, descriptive, informative, evaluative and persuasive essays before taking a closer look at strategies for developing an essay topic, writing a strong thesis and structuring your essay's body paragraphs.

Lessons also cover steps you can take to improve your argument and refine the tone of your writing. You'll get tips for selecting the right audience appeal and using source materials effectively. Lessons in this chapter cover the following topics:

  • Essay types and characteristics
  • Introductory and body paragraphs
  • Sentence structure
  • Logos, ethos and pathos
  • Word choice and tone
  • Uses of source material

Watch these short videos and read the texts to review components of a strong essay. Additionally, keep the transcripts handy to obtain quick pointers while you write a practice essay of your own. Both lesson formats allow you to work at your own pace, and the multiple-choice quizzes are useful for finding out which essay-writing topics you're not totally clear on so you can take a second look.

18 Lessons in Chapter 4: Essay Types & Writing Essentials
Test your knowledge with a 30-question chapter practice test
Developing the Essay Topic

1. Developing the Essay Topic

The backbone of any essay is a strong and engaging main idea. Learn how to turn an essay prompt into a well-developed topic by watching this video lesson.

How to Structure Sentences in an Essay

2. How to Structure Sentences in an Essay

Sometimes we know what we want to write, but we are just unsure of the best way to write it. In this video, we will cover ways to structure sentences in an essay.

Basic Essay Structure: The Five-Paragraph Essay

3. Basic Essay Structure: The Five-Paragraph Essay

Working with an established essay structure provides writers with the necessary elements of a successful essay. In this lesson, we'll work through the drafting process for the five-paragraph essay and make note of important dos and don'ts.

How to Write a Strong Essay Body

4. How to Write a Strong Essay Body

This video will show you how to achieve unified, coherent body paragraphs in your essays. By creating well-developed body paragraphs, your essays will be cleaner, sharper and earn you a better grade!

Essay Introduction: Write a Thesis and Capture Your Audience

5. Essay Introduction: Write a Thesis and Capture Your Audience

We'll look at the importance of the introductory paragraph and engaging your audience through the use of attention getters, a bridge, and an arguable thesis. Three of the most common attention getters are specifically defined, and examples are provided in this lesson.

Narrative Essay: Definition, Examples & Characteristics

6. Narrative Essay: Definition, Examples & Characteristics

Essays come in many forms. In this lesson, you'll learn all about a narrative essay, from its basic definition to the key characteristics that make for an engaging and effective essay.

Descriptive Essay: Definition, Examples & Characteristics

7. Descriptive Essay: Definition, Examples & Characteristics

A descriptive essay allows you to paint a picture for your reader in words. Watch this video to learn more about the techniques and elements that can help you fill the picture with lots of great details.

Informative Essay: Definition, Examples & Structure

8. Informative Essay: Definition, Examples & Structure

There are many ways to inform your reader on a topic, from comparing and contrasting to providing a simple definition. Watch this lesson to learn about informative essays and how they educate readers through different formats.

Evaluative Essay: Examples, Format & Characteristics

9. Evaluative Essay: Examples, Format & Characteristics

A good evaluative essay helps a writer present an opinion using criteria and evidence. Learn all about the evaluative essay and its components in this lesson.

How to Write a Persuasive Essay and Use Several Sources

10. How to Write a Persuasive Essay and Use Several Sources

In a persuasive essay in which you cite multiple sources, it's important to strike the right balance and use your sources to support your points without depending on them too much. In this lesson, we'll cover how to use multiple sources effectively to support your argument while still fully developing your own ideas in a persuasive essay.

How to Structure an Argument in Your Essay

11. How to Structure an Argument in Your Essay

When you write a persuasive essay, it's important to think about how you'll construct your argument, from how you'll arrange your major points to how and where you'll refute opposing views. This video covers some of the basics for structuring an argument.

How to Write a Strong Personal Essay

12. How to Write a Strong Personal Essay

At some point, you may be required to write a personal essay. Watch this video to learn how to turn your personal experiences into an effective essay.

How to Focus Your Essay and Respond to the Essay Prompt

13. How to Focus Your Essay and Respond to the Essay Prompt

In this video, learn how to ensure that your writing responds directly to your assignment. Then find out how to spot where you may have strayed from the paper's point and how to get back on track.

Using Rhetorical Skills to Write Better Essays

14. Using Rhetorical Skills to Write Better Essays

In this video, you will explore the basics of identifying your purpose and audience and learn how to use effective rhetorical skills in your persuasive writing.

How Word Choice and Language Sets the Tone of Your Essay

15. How Word Choice and Language Sets the Tone of Your Essay

In this video, we will discuss how word choice sets the tone for your essay. This includes letting the reader know if you are angry, happy or even attempting to refrain from bias. These tools bring your 'voice' into your writing.

Logos, Ethos and Pathos: 3 Ways to Appeal to an Audience in Essays

16. Logos, Ethos and Pathos: 3 Ways to Appeal to an Audience in Essays

Appeal is an important aspect to writing, especially when your goal is to inform and/or persuade the reader in some area. In this lesson, we will examine the three main types of appeal: logos, ethos and pathos

Tone, Audience & Purpose in Essays

17. Tone, Audience & Purpose in Essays

What is tone? How do you create a tone within an essay? Watch this video lesson to learn how writing with a specific audience and purpose in mind will help you to achieve an appropriate tone.

How to Use Sources to Write Essays and Evaluate Evidence

18. How to Use Sources to Write Essays and Evaluate Evidence

When writing an essay, you will often be asked to utilize appropriate sources for evidence, including facts and definitions. In this video, we will talk about the ways we can utilize and evaluate sources and evidence.

Chapter Practice Exam
Test your knowledge of this chapter with a 30 question practice chapter exam.
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Practice Final Exam
Test your knowledge of the entire course with a 50 question practice final exam.
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