One Vs All Classification Example Essay

Four types of essay: expository, persuasive, analytical, argumentative

For our academic writing purposes we will focus on four types of essay. 

1) The expository essay

 

What is it?
This is a writer’s explanation of a short theme, idea or issue.

The key here is that you are explaining an issue, theme or idea to your intended audience. Your reaction to a work of literature could be in the form of an expository essay, for example if you decide to simply explain your personal response to a work. The expository essay can also be used to give a personal response to a world event, political debate, football game, work of art and so on.

What are its most important qualities?
You want to get and, of course, keep your reader’s attention. So, you should:

  • Have a well defined thesis. Start with a thesis statement/research question/statement of intent. Make sure you answer your question or do what you say you set out to do. Do not wander from your topic. 
  • Provide evidence to back up what you are saying. Support your arguments with facts and reasoning. Do not simply list facts, incorporate these as examples supporting your position, but at the same time make your point as succinctly as possible. 
  • The essay should be concise. Make your point and conclude your essay. Don’t make the mistake of believing that repetition and over-stating your case will score points with your readers.

 

2) The persuasive essay


What is it?
This is the type of essay where you try to convince the reader to adopt your position on an issue or point of view.

Here your rationale, your argument, is most important. You are presenting an opinion and trying to persuade readers, you want to win readers over to your point of view.

What are its most important qualities?

  • Have a definite point of view. 
  • Maintain the reader’s interest. 
  • Use sound reasoning. 
  • Use solid evidence. 
  • Be aware of your intended audience. How can you win them over? 
  • Research your topic so your evidence is convincing. 
  • Don’t get so sentimental or so passionate that you lose the reader, as Irish poet W. B. Yeats put it: 
    The best lack all conviction, while the worst
    Are full of passionate intensity
  • Your purpose is to convince someone else so don’t overdo your language and don’t bore the reader. And don’t keep repeating your points! 

  • Remember the rules of the good paragraph. One single topic per paragraph, and natural progression from one to the next. 
  • End with a strong conclusion. 

 

3) The analytical essay


What is it?
In this type of essay you analyze, examine and interpret such things as an event, book, poem, play or other work of art. 

What are its most important qualities?
Your analytical essay should have an:

  • Introduction and presentation of argument 
    The introductory paragraph is used to tell the reader what text or texts you will be discussing. Every literary work raises at least one major issue. In your introduction you will also define the idea or issue of the text that you wish to examine in your analysis. This is sometimes called the thesis or research question. It is important that you narrow the focus of your essay.
  • Analysis of the text (the longest part of the essay) 
    The issue you have chosen to analyze is connected to your argument. After stating the problem, present your argument. When you start analyzing the text, pay attention to the stylistic devices (the “hows” of the text) the author uses to convey some specific meaning. You must decide if the author accomplishes his goal of conveying his ideas to the reader. Do not forget to support your assumptions with examples and reasonable judgment.
  • Personal response
    Your personal response will show a deeper understanding of the text and by forming a personal meaning about the text you will get more out of it. Do not make the mistake of thinking that you only have to have a positive response to a text. If a writer is trying to convince you of something but fails to do so, in your opinion, your critical personal response can be very enlightening. The key word here is critical. Base any objections on the text and use evidence from the text. Personal response should be in evidence throughout the essay, not tacked on at the end. 
  • Conclusion (related to the analysis and the argument)
    Your conclusion should explain the relation between the analyzed text and the presented argument.

Tips for writing analytical essays:

  • Be well organized. Plan what you want to write before you start. It is a good idea to know exactly what your conclusion is going to be before you start to write. When you know where you are going, you tend to get there in a well organized way with logical progression.
  • Analytical essays normally use the present tense. When talking about a text, write about it in the present tense. 
  • Be “objective”: avoid using the first person too much. For example, instead of saying “I think Louisa is imaginative because…”, try: “It appears that Louisa has a vivid imagination, because…”. 
  • Do not use slang or colloquial language (the language of informal speech). 
  • Do not use contractions. 
  • Avoid using “etc.” This is an expression that is generally used by writers who have nothing more to say. 
  • Create an original title, do not use the title of the text. 
  • Analysis does not mean retelling the story. Many students fall into the trap of telling the reader what is happening in the text instead of analyzing it. Analysis aims to explain how the writer makes us see what he or she wants us to see, the effect of the writing techniques, the text’s themes and your personal response to these.

 

4) The argumentative essay


What is it?
This is the type of essay where you prove that your opinion, theory or hypothesis about an issue is correct or more truthful than those of others. In short, it is very similar to the persuasive essay (see above), but the difference is that you are arguing for your opinion as opposed to others, rather than directly trying to persuade someone to adopt your point of view.


What are its most important qualities?

  • The argument should be focused
  • The argument should be a clear statement (a question cannot be an argument)
  • It should be a topic that you can support with solid evidence
  • The argumentative essay should be based on pros and cons (see below)
  • Structure your approach well (see below)
  • Use good transition words/phrases (see below)
  • Be aware of your intended audience. How can you win them over?
  • Research your topic so your evidence is convincing.
  • Don’t overdo your language and don’t bore the reader. And don’t keep repeating your points!
  • Remember the rules of the good paragraph. One single topic per paragraph, and natural progression from one to the next.
  • End with a strong conclusion.

 

Tips for writing argumentative essays:
1) Make a list of the pros and cons in your plan before you start writing. Choose the most important that support your argument (the pros) and the most important to refute (the cons) and focus on them.

2) The argumentative essay has three approaches. Choose the one that you find most effective for your argument. Do you find it better to “sell” your argument first and then present the counter arguments and refute them? Or do you prefer to save the best for last?

  • Approach 1:
    Thesis statement (main argument):
    Pro idea 1
    Pro idea 2
    Con(s) + Refutation(s): these are the opinions of others that you disagree with. You must clearly specify these opinions if you are to refute them convincingly.
    Conclusion
  • Approach 2:
    Thesis statement:
    Con(s) + Refutation(s)
    Pro idea 1
    Pro idea 2
    Conclusion
  • Approach 3
    Thesis statement:
    Con idea 1 and the your refutation
    Con idea 2 and the your refutation
    Con idea 3 and the your refutation
    Conclusion

3) Use good transition words when moving between arguments and most importantly when moving from pros to cons and vice versa. For example:

  • While I have shown that.... other may say
  • Opponents of this idea claim / maintain that …            
  • Those who disagree claim that …
  • While some people may disagree with this idea...

When you want to refute or counter the cons you may start with:

  • However,
  • Nonetheless,
  • but
  • On the other hand,
  • This claim notwithstanding

If you want to mark your total disagreement:

  • After seeing this evidence, it is impossible to agree with what they say
  • Their argument is irrelevant
  • Contrary to what they might think ...

These are just a few suggestions. You can, of course, come up with many good transitions of your own.

4) Use facts, statistics, quotes and examples to convince your readers of your argument
 

 

Hamilton vs. Jefferson: Political Philosophies of the 1800s

by Feross Aboukhadijeh, 11th grade

Two competing political philosophies have always existed throughout the United States’ relatively short history: one seeking to increase the power of the central government, and one seeking to decrease it. During the 1800s these two conflicting philosophies were acted out by the Federalist and the Democratic Republican parties, respectively. The Federalists, led by Alexander Hamilton, advocated the importance of a strong central government in leading the country forward, while the Democratic Republicans, led by Thomas Jefferson, promoted increasing the common man’s role in government. Although both political parties had good intentions for the future of the United States, the Federalist Party was much more effective at uniting the American people, avoiding domestic faction, and keeping the best interests in mind for the future of the United States.

The early 1800s were a difficult time for the American people; they had just won their independence from Britain hardly more than twenty or thirty years prior, and the threat of failure still loomed large. The Federalist Party sought to destroy the threat of failure by strengthening the United States’ central government. As Alexander Hamilton said, “A firm Union will be of the utmost moment to the peace and liberty of the states, as a barrier against domestic faction and insurrection.” In Hamilton’s mind, strengthening the central government would ensure freedom for every American citizen by uniting the people to think and speak with a single voice. Hamilton had witnessed firsthand the political and economic confusion caused by states’ conflicting interests and corrupt taxation policies under the Articles of Confederation. He realized that the only way for the Union to survive and prosper was for the Federal government to take control of the country’s political and economic decision-making. With a strong Federal power in place, troublesome interstate conflicts could be solved swiftly and decisively, before they gained any steam and threatened the future of the United States. In order to accomplish this under the restrictive Constitution, the Federal government needed a justification to stretch its powers. The Federalists adopted the philosophy of loose construction: a flexible interpretation of the United States Constitution that granted the Federal government “implied powers”, powers that were not specifically granted to them by the Constitution. Hamilton believed that allowing the Federal government such freedoms was important to the well-being of the country because this allowed the government to act in whatever manner would best serve the country’s interests—even if the actions stretched (or, in some cases, violated) the limits of power set in the Constitution. One Federalist action that the Democratic Republicans opposed was the establishment of the Bank of the United States, modeled after the Bank of England. The Bank stored excess money, printed paper money that was valuable, and circulated cash to stimulate American businesses. The National Bank was largely beneficial to the American people, and yet it was strongly opposed by Jefferson and his followers. Was a National Bank really so bad for the United States? According to the Democratic Republicans, banks should be state-controlled on account of the 9th Amendment. However, as the past had proven, states should not be trusted to develop independent banks; such banks would circulate conflicting state currencies and create widespread economic confusion. Hamilton once said, “If all the public creditors receive their dues from one source [the government]…their interest[s] will [be] the same. And having the same interests, they will unite in support of the fiscal arrangements of the government.” Hamilton believed that if there was one bank for the entire United States, then all of the American creditors would unite in support of the government. This would bolster the American economy and eliminate domestic faction. Hamilton’s belief that “[what] is not forbidden by any particular provision of the constitution…may safely be deemed to come within the compass of the national authority” (Syrett) was ultimately the best policy for the United States; it allowed the Federal government to maintain control over interstate issues and establish a strong banking system, both of which increased the power of the central government, the effectiveness of this government, and the freedoms, securities, and comforts of the American people.

In contrast, the Democratic Republicans put large amounts of power directly in the hands of the people. Jefferson believed “in the common sense of mankind in general” and distrusted the central government. Democratic Republicans feared the tyranny of an all-powerful national government capable of operating unchecked and unchallenged without the consent of the people. However, their fears were largely unwarranted; the Constitution would not allow for such an oppressive government to exist—even if interpreted loosely—because of the numerous checks and balances put into place by the Founding Fathers. They ensured that the Federal government would always perform the will of the people. However, Jefferson would not compromise and insisted on preaching his outmoded conspiracy theories. Jefferson even went so far as to say, “Every government degenerates when trusted to the rulers…alone. The people themselves are its only safe depositories.” Unfortunately, this apprehensive philosophy did not work very well for the American people at all; it encouraged the development of factions, an apparent conflict of interests, and little room for compromise. Jefferson’s flawed philosophy planted the seeds of the future Nullification Crisis where southern advocates of sectionalism believed that state legislatures had the right to “pick and choose” which Federal laws were effective in their states. Many prominent politicians at the time believed this crisis would be the end of the Union. In this situation, Jefferson’s philosophies were used to encourage conflicts between South Carolina and the Federal government. Jefferson’s agitation did not stop there. He once said “…It is her [England’s] government which is so corrupt, and which has destroyed the nation—it was certainly the most corrupt and unprincipled government on earth.” This statement insulted many Federalists, loyalists, and New Englanders. The Democratic Republicans showed time and time again that they were most adept at causing internal strife rather than solving anything. Clearly Jefferson’s uncompromising and accusatory philosophies only served to divide Americans, amplify interstate conflicts, and damage the strength of the United States.

Although both the Federalists and the Democratic Republicans did their best to lead Americans in a positive direction towards a bright future, it is evident that the Federalist Party was much more effective at accomplishing this goal. With their far-sighted yet prudent use of Federal power to control states issues and establish a strong banking system, the Federalists united the American people, resolved internal divisions within the country, and kept the best interests in mind for the future of the United States. The Federalists’ relentless belief in protecting American freedoms, securities, and comforts allowed them to accommodate nearly every American and provide for the future of this great country.

Works Cited

Syrett, Harold. "Article 1, Section 8, Clause 18." Alexander Hamilton, Opinion on the Constitutionality of the Bank. 23 Feb. 1791. New York and London: Columbia University Press. 6 Nov 2006 <http://press-pubs.uchicago.edu/founders/documents/a1_8_18s11.html>

Aboukhadijeh, Feross. "Sample Classification Essay - "Hamilton vs. Jefferson"" StudyNotes.org. Study Notes, LLC., 17 Nov. 2012. Web. 11 Mar. 2018. <https://www.apstudynotes.org/english/sample-essays/classification-hamilton-jefferson/>.

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