Three Essay Types

Click on the links to download the example. All files are Word documents unless otherwise noted.

The University Writing Seminar teaches three essay types designed to address and enhance students’ analytical writing skills:

Close-Reading Essay

The close-reading essay requires students to slow down and read their given text(s) carefully, whether those texts are a work of art, a public space or another piece of writing.  The goal is to recognize the move from observation to analysis in the writing process.

Lens Essay

With the lens essay, students will take a piece of critical or theoretical writing and use it to examine another text in order to create an analytical dialogue between the two texts. See example assignments.

Research Essay

The longest and most involved writing assignment is the research essay. Students choose a topic, use library resources to find primary and secondary sources, and craft a thesis and an argument. Using skills acquired in the previous essay assignments, including careful close-reading, analyzing texts through a given theoretical or critical lens and crafting a strong argument, students integrate their researched sources to create a polished and thesis-driven final research essay.