Introduction to Writing a College-level Paper and Topic Selection

Four Major Types of Essays

1. Narrative Essays: Telling a Story
In a narrative essay, the writer tells a story about a real-life experience. While telling a story may sound easy to do, the narrative essay challenges students to think and write about themselves. When writing a narrative essay, writers should try to involve the reader by making the story as vivid as possible. The fact that narrative essays are usually written in the first person helps engage the reader. “I” sentences give readers a feeling of being part of the story. A well-crafted narrative essay will also build towards drawing a conclusion or making a personal statement.

2. Descriptive Essays: Painting a Picture
A cousin of the narrative essay, a descriptive essay paints a picture with words. A writer might describe a person, place, object, or even memory of special significance. However, this type of essay is not description for description’s sake. The descriptive essay strives to communicate a deeper meaning through the description. In a descriptive essay, the writer should show, not tell, through the use of colorful words and sensory details. The best descriptive essays appeal to the reader’s emotions, with a result that is highly evocative.

3. Expository Essays: Just the Facts
The expository essay is an informative piece of writing that presents a balanced analysis of a topic. In an expository essay, the writer explains or defines a topic, using facts, statistics, and examples. Expository writing encompasses a wide range of essay variations, such as the comparison and contrast essay, the cause and effect essay, and the “how to” or process essay. Because expository essays are based on facts and not personal feelings, writers don’t reveal their emotions or write in the first person.

4. Persuasive Essays: Convince Me
While like an expository essay in its presentation of facts, the goal of the persuasive essay is to convince the reader to accept the writer’s point of view or recommendation. The writer must build a case using facts and logic, as well as examples, expert opinion, and sound reasoning. The writer should present all sides of the argument, but must be able to communicate clearly and without equivocation why a certain position is correct.

KEY NOTE: In this class we will be doing a PERSUASIVE ESSAY

The goal of a persuasive essay is to convince readers.

To write a persuasive essay you must:

  1. Select a topic that has more than one current view
  2. Choose YOUR position on that topic
  3. Research BOTH sides of the topic
  4. Present both sides of the topic
  5. Explain why your position is correct

KEY NOTE: To argue correctly, you MUST have strong logic. Not opinions.

Choosing a topic:

When choosing a topic you must choose something you’re interested in but you must be careful. Don’t choose a topic that has already been researched thoroughly and don’t choose a topic with bias.

Example of a biased topic:

Japan is the greatest country on Earth.

*This topic is biased because it can’t be proven or disproven.

A better example:

Japanese manufacturing is the most efficient on Earth.

*This topic may be biased but it can be proven or disproven.

Examples of other bad topics:

China’s Economy will Continue Growing Quickly and Malaysia’s will also.

This topic is bad because it’s actually two topics. Choose one and focus on it.

Apple is an Excellent Company.

This is bad because it’s impossible to prove or disprove.

What will the Chinese Economy look like in the 4235?

This topic is bad because it is far too speculative.

Good Topic Examples:

  1. The phenomenon of startups
  2. Teenage business
  3. Small business as a basis of economics
  4. Business in third-world countries
  5. Business and taxes
  6. Business ethics and general ethic
  7. The cultural differences of business in different countries
  8. Defining the targeted audience
  9. Diversity of Personnel: is it good for business?
  10. Business and Crisis Management
  11. Calculating risks in business
  12. The concept of free-market: utopia or achievable goal?
  13. Monopolies and their impact on the market
  14. Business and personal relationships. Can family business ruin a family?
  15. Business dynasties
  16. Franchises: what differentiates them from business “from scratch”?
  17. The changes in consumer behavior after the popularisation of the Internet
  18. Charity as advertisement strategy in business
  19. Outsourcing in business, its advantages, and disadvantages
  20. The balance of increasing production and ecology
  21. Corporate culture and company rituals in business
  22. Business diplomacy and negotiation
  23. The relationships between governments and private businesses
  24. The importance of a healthy working environment in business
  25. Do brands have the same importance on the modern market?
  26. Business during a military crisis
  27. Culture of consumerism: what is it?
  28. Why social media is the new market
  29. Why China would benefit from more small businesses
  30. Why China would benefit from fewer small businesses

Give 10 Examples of a Good Topic idea: (From you OWN mind, not from the list above)




For Homework: CHOOSE A TOPIC. This Homework is Due Week 2 Class 1.

If you do not turn in the homework assignment at the beginning of class, you will receive a zero.


1 What are the four types of papers?

2 What type of paper will we be doing in this class?

3 What is the goal of the type of paper we will be doing in class?

4 What are the five steps of writing this type of paper?

5 What should you avoid when choosing a topic?

6 Here are some terrible topics. Tell me WHY they are terrible:

“Fan Bing Bing is beautiful”

“China is a Country in Asia”

“Japan’s Economy is Already Strong and Kenya’s Economy is Growing Quickly”

7 What is the homework assignment?

8 When is the homework assignment due?

9 If you don’t turn in the homework assignment on time, what score will you receive?