Remember when you were in high school and had to write essays during English period and even answer questions in essay form? Essays were and still are the most common assignment form given to students. What about in the higher institution? Same thing goes. Those who were in the Arts and Social Sciences will concur. Though interesting for some people, we can’t say the same for others who saw it as a chore.
These assignments and essay exams are used to assess the writing and language skills of students as well as their knowledge on particular subjects. You were taught back then that there were different types of essays, right? Descriptive essay to describe people, events, places, etc., argumentative essays for debates, narrative essay for stories, etc., just to mention a few popular ones. Thus, that being said, the writing style used for each of these essays differ. Same thing goes for writing a scholarship essay.
Knowing the kind of essay required of you will determine the kind of writing style to be used. So, having a well-rounded knowledge of how to write essays of different styles will help you write confidently, no matter what type of essay is assigned for you, be it for an assignment, thesis, job application or scholarship application.
Like earlier mentioned, every essay type has its own writing style. The scholarship essays are written to people and organisations who will read through and conclude if you are the best candidate for the scholarship. There are so many kinds of essays but for the purpose of this post, four kinds would be discussed along with their appropriate styles.
1. Personal essays
These are essays written to give the reader a peek into your life. The main aim is to portray you through the essay in the mind of the reader. While they are written for admission applications, they are also written for scholarship applications. What’s your personal statement? This is what the whole gist of this essay should be all about. This essay should be written in such a way that you portray your values, character traits, achievements, special talents and maybe your goals and aspirations.
2. Narrative essays
This can also be referred to as creative story-telling. This is probably the commonest type of essay we write. Same way you narrate interesting events and encounters are the same way you will write a narrative essay. The aim is to create a beautiful, captivating picture in the mind of the reader, bringing to life the characters and/or experience. To succeed at writing this superbly, you need to know how to unfold the story, create suspense, following and sequence and bringing the experience or characters to life. Verbs which entice the senses, timelines, etc. can help make this possible. Always remember to write your scholarship essay in such a way that you paint a picture in the reader’s mind’s eye. Show don’t tell.
3. Descriptive/ illustration essays
These are essays which are descriptive in nature. They make use of illustrations and examples to explain and or prove a point about something. The aim of this essay is to provide a clear and detailed idea of the topic asked. A clear understanding of the subject matter is gotten especially when there are relevant examples to back up whatever it is you are saying in your essay. This is the major difference between this kind of essay and every other kind of essay.
4. Analytical essays
You applied to McKinsey, have done a number of tests, moved through some stages and are required to write an essay. How do you prepare for it? What kind of essay are you to write? For some organisations with vacancies, especially multinationals like McKinsey, Bain, Deloitte, etc., you will need to write essays as part of the recruitment process. Most times the kinds of essays given are analytical essays which require you to dissect a subject matter and look into it deeply for a better understanding of the subject. They require you demonstrate your independent analytical skills. They are applicable to case studies, business operations, etc.
Analytical essays are concerned about the how’s and whys, not necessarily the what aspect of the subject matter in question.
These writing styles are by no means exhaustive, but they should help you with just about any essay you need to write on. Practice as well as build up your writing skills so you can write any kind of essay that comes your way.
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