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Kinds of Argumentative Academic Essays and Their Purposes

Kinds of Argumentative Academic Essays and Their Purposes

Kinds of Argumentative Academic Essays and Their Purposes
Table of Content

During your studies one of the most common assignments that you get is academic essay writing. Academic essays present logical point of view on a variety of topics. These essays are a reflection of your understanding about the basic course material, your extra effort that you have made in researching for your essay topic and your analytical ability in choosing and commenting on the materials you have used for your research. An academic essay should provide a solid thesis that advances a debate which is then supported by relevant evidences, analysis and interpretation. No doubt your essay should be written in an organized way so that the readers follow and value your thoughts and ideas. The essays are variable in terms of content and length, which depends on your subject of study, your level and your specific course requirements.

There are four kinds of Ergumentative Essays, such as Exegetical, Discursive, Expository, and Argumentative.

Since all of them are persuasive in nature so they can be called as “persuasive essays”.

Exegetical Essays – These types of essays persuade your readers and help them interpret a view or a theory in a specific way and also show them your ability of how well you understand and explain your ideas perfectly. You should write your essay in your own words with proper citation to the quotes or ideas of another person. The essay should be written in good English without any spelling or grammatical errors and free from any slangs and contractions. The text should be as clear and concise as possible.

Discursive Essays – These types of essays persuade your readers and make them understand the different angles of a debate in a specific way and also show them your ability of comparing different approaches to a topic. A discursive essay is an essay in which you discuss a particular issue, problem or situation in a formal style. As an author, you don’t have to choose any particular side. Instead, you need to give your facts, views, and evidence on both sides of the matter in a well-structured and balanced manner.

Expository Essays – These types of essays persuade your readers and make them agree with your opinion and also show them that you are competent and able to think critically. Its main goal is to deliver information about an issue or subject. You are supposed to inform, explain, or describe your readers about a particular issue or subject. You can analyze or describe your issue or subject through evidence, discussion, or by presenting an idea.

Argumentative Essays – These types of essays persuade your readers and make them understand that there is something new in your area of research and also make them realize that you have some command in that area. An argumentative essay is where you argue something, a point or a topic. You base your essay around points that support your topic. You have to try and convince the reader of your point of view.

What is the difference between Persuasive Academic Essays and Standard Scientific Articles?

Here what plays the major role is an author’s point of view. Scientists present the facts as they appear to other readers rather than presenting the facts as they appear to themselves, whereas, essay writers present the information from their own point of view, though they avoid referring themselves in the text.

Kinds of Persuasive Academic Essays and their purposes

These essays can be distinguished on the basis of their purpose as well as author’s point of view.

Exegetical Essay


  • To give a perfect explanation of another person’s view or theory.
  • This type of essay doesn’t evaluate the merits of a view or theory.
  • It focuses on the logic of a view or theory and shows how it works.

Author’s role:

  • Here the author plays a minimal role. The authors present their ideas and make their readers interpret a view or theory in their own way.

Discursive Essay


  • To present competing perspectives or views on a topic. The views may be original or may arise from a pre established argument.
  • Similar to exegetical essay, it focuses on the logic and perfect interpretation.
  • It gives the honest treatment to each perspective or view.
  • It presents the balance between the views and suggests which one is stronger than the other.
  • It doesn’t argue for any of the views forcefully.

Author’s role:

  • Here the author plays a moderate role. The authors need to suggest which one is the stronger argument. The authors play the role of a guide to competing perspectives or views on a given topic.

Expository Essay


  • To present author’s own original view on a given topic.
  • This type of essay supports this view by providing good reasoning.
  • It shows the ability of an author to develop and support a view that is argumentative in nature.
  • It also shows the ability of an author to think critically about his own view.
  • It shows that the reasons provided by the author establish his views and make them convincing to the readers.

Author’s role:

  • Here the author plays a strong role. The author presents his own view as the best view to consider and the paper proves his ability to think critically and independently.

Argumentative Essay


  • To present a valuable contribution to a specific area of research.
  • It requires intensive research and includes opinions of others as well.
  • Here the argument is strengthened by providing relevant and logical evidence.
  • These types of essay are usually longer than expository essays.
  • Here the argument needs to be original.
  • The argument should be relevant to the discussions on a given topic.
  • The argument should have some significance in relation to the topic that the reader needs to understand in future.

Author’s role:

  • Here the author plays a substantial role. The author presents his own view as the best view to consider but the main focus is how his original view or argument contributes to the knowledge that already exists.

You must note that essay assignment writing asks to use one of the above four types of essay. On the other hand, persuasive academic essays are written by using a mix of all these essay types. When the author of an argumentative essay wants to establish his own view or perspective in the existing literature on a particular topic, he sometimes needs to give a brief interpretation of another person’s view or theory. Other combinations are also possible but specifically the argumentative essay may use anyone of other three types of essay. Each one of the above four types of essay is argumentative in nature, since they all deal with a strong argumentative and logical point of view presented by an author. All of these essays are persuasive as well, since they all require you to persuade your readers of something in some way.

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