There are many types of essay, and all were created to try and disseminate information in the most productive and easy-to-understand manner as possible. There is also a benefit to the reader if said reader knows what he or she is getting into. For example, it is better if a reader knows a piece is a definition essay rather than a descriptive essay because a definition essay is supposed to be more clinical and potentially less biased; plus a deceptive essay has a wider scope for topics.
This type of essay is used to literally define something. Usually a word, but is not restricted to such. It is expected to be as unbiased as possible and rather clinical in its working.
A little like a story, this type of essay is expected to be from a single or group perspective and to follow some sort of pattern; with the most common pattern being a timeline.
This type of essay can be used by essay writer to describe anything at all. It is not expected to be biased in any way, but there is plenty of room for bias in the way it is worded.
Just the facts are given in the most clinical manner possible. It is not expected to be biased in any way, though it is a minefield of possible bias because what data/fact is entered and omitted from the paper will count as bias.
Cause & Effect
This is where one describes how a cause is related to an affect. Numerous causes and effects may be pointed out, which may make such an essay a very convoluted one.
Compare & Contrast
A certain situation, person, object, thought or thing is compared and contrasted to another situation, person, object, thought or thing. You are not limited or restricted to comparing and contrasting similar things. Consequently, it is easy to make a compare & contrast essay very unfair and write an informative essay.
This is where numerous arguments are given in support of an idea/thesis. They are given with the direct and expressed purpose of persuading the reader of something. Counter arguments may be used, but usually just to highlight how they do not matter or to remove them as objections.
This type of essay can be used to persuade people or simply used to argue. A point is argued and then a counter argument is given. The aim is to come to a fair conclusion, though it is acceptable to simple claim it is a draw if the writer cannot fall on one side or the other of an argument.