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The last few days I tried to find an overview of the types of writings one could pursue. Thereby not meaning styles of writing or guides on how to structure a text, but more a classification based on end goal and motivation.

Sadly I am missing the right words to find a suitable answer to my question with the help of a search engine, as I am not a native speaker, and even in my own language I cant seem to find the results I am looking for.


QUESTION:

Are there any classifications for written statements / topic-explorations based on motivation/goal of the writing?

For example, if I where to criticize a politic view with the goal to change someones mind; or if I where to write a statement about my views on society.

Would there be a name for that text apart from "essay" or something like that? I am not asking for these specific examples but rather for a general list of types of texts if something like this exists.

Sorry for any confusion or unclear phrasing, any pointers in the right direction or to sources on similar topics are greatly appreciated.

Thank you in advance.


P.S.: If this is not the right category for this question feel free to point me to the appropriate "sub-stack". (migrated from literature to here)

  • There are dozens of such classifications put out by all kinds of people for all kinds of purposes. Without knowing your purpose, all we can do is pick one at random. Please tell us why you need this. – user16226 Jul 16 '17 at 10:09
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For example, if I where to criticize a politic view with the goal to change someones mind; or if I where to write a statement about my views on society. Would there be a name for that text apart from "essay" or something like that?

Both of those could certainly fall into the general category of 'essay' if you go about them in an essay format. There are however, more specific types of essays that you can further specify. For example, if your essay is trying to change someone's mind, that would probably be called a persuasive essay, since your goal is to persuade the reader. If you were just trying to show and justify your point of view without actually trying to persuade someone else to adopt it, that would be an argumentative essay.

This link listing common types of essays may prove helpful: https://www.privatewriting.com/types-of-essays

Essays listed:

  1. Descriptive: explain what something is

  2. Definition: define a concept

  3. Compare/Contrast: compare and/or contrast two topics

  4. Cause and effect

  5. Narration: tells a story about a single experience, usually personal (often written in first person about the author)

  6. Process: how-to guide / walk-through of how something is done

  7. Argumentative essay (explained above)

  8. Critical essay: Discuss the pros and cons of something, how good it is, etc.

  9. Expository: explain something in detail, usually requires a lot of research

  10. Persuasive (explained above)

These are types of essays that would generally be taught in school to high school & college students.

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