Essay Versus Multiple Choice: Which Is Better?


Introduction to essay

An essay can be considered as the literary composition which is generally used by learners or writers to analyze, interpret, criticize or discuss a topic or concern.  . It generally does not consist of bigger structure, higher number of words or strict formalities like thesis or dissertation but it consists of fewer words, restricted structure and different approaches subject from focused and personalized perspective (Students.unimelb. 2023). An essay typer is typically a condensed piece of writing that describes the author’s viewpoint or narrative. It Essay is used as a frequent interchangeable option like journal, tale, story or article where it can be written both as a formal or informal tone as per the requirement of the writer and reader.  Formal essays generally address weighty subjects and have an academic tone. We will concentrate on informal essays, which are more intimate and frequently contain irreverent elements. 

Types of essay

The type of essay will be determined by the writer’s intended audience and what he wants to say. Essays can be categorized into four main categories. Watch and see.

Narrative type  essay: When a writer narrates an event or a story in their essay, they are writing a narrative. These are written in the first person, then Incorporating the reader into the story as if they were present at the time of the event is the goal of narrative essays (Ngo. 2018). Therefore, try to make them as real and vivid as you can. Incorporating the “show, don’t tell” strategy is one way to achieve this. You must therefore include the reader in the narrative. 

Descriptive type essay: Write that Essay that are descriptive will describe a setting, an item, an occasion, or even a memory (literarydevices. 2017). However it does more than just state the obvious. Through his writing, the author must create a picture. Invoking the reader’s senses is one clever way to accomplish this. Don’t just rely on your eyes; use your other senses as well, such as touch, sound, and smell. When written well, a descriptive essay will convey to the reader the feelings the author was experiencing at the time.

Expository type essays: A writer will present a fair analysis of a subject in such an essay. Such essays require the author to possess in-depth knowledge of the subject (Mallia, 2017). An expository essay does not really approve a room for the writer’s emotions or expressions where on the contrary expository type of essay rewriter  is written on the basis of actual facts, real-term examples and figures. There are different subtypes of this, including contrast essays and cause and effect essays.

Persuasive type essay: Essays with a persuasive thesis attempt to persuade the reader to agree with you. A persuasive essay is used for persuading the reader as per the author’s perceptions instead of causal representation of certain facts. In these essays, both arguments must be presented. The readership on an ultimate note be convinced that the writer’s position is stronger.

Structure of essay

Writing an essay is a creative process, so there should be no restrictions on it. However, there is a fundamental format that is typically used when writing essays. So let’s look at the fundamental format of an essay.


The essay’s opening paragraph is this one. The writer makes his initial introduction to his subject here. One can summarize the entire essay in the introductory paragraph in very brief detail. Here, having some paragraph writing skills can be beneficial. It usually only has 4-6 lines, which is not very long. There are many opportunities to use creativity in essay introductions.


The essays’ main focus is on this. Sandwiched between the introduction and the conclusion is the essay’s main body. Main body discussion is the most important and crucial section among the other two structural options as most of the information and discussion are added in this point under various headings and subheadings as per the requirement of the discussion. This is not limited to a single paragraph. Depending on the content, it might extend to two or more paragraphs.


The essay’s final paragraph is this one. Even though a conclusion may occasionally be a simple repetition of the introduction, it should still use unique words and sentences. Another excellent place to summarise a tale or an argument is at the conclusion. By offering a lesson or concluding a narrative, one can wrap up the essay.

Introduction to multiple choice 

On a general note multiple choice question and answer are prepared with two different sections a stem which measures the question or the concern as well as the available list of alternatives which ensures the reader to choose the suitable answer or solutions. In this method of choosing suitable solutions the reader need to concerned with the key as per it’s best response where there are numerous distractions and incorrect statements also added to make the question more complicated to answer (Smartsurvey. 2023). When responding to MCQs, students choose the option that, in their opinion, best answers the question or completes the stem. Using MCQs for assessment has a lot of benefits. The fact that the questions are simple to mark and can even be scored by a computer makes them a desirable assessment method for large classes as one major benefit.

Types and other areas of multiple choice

Multiple choice questions-answer method is known as one of the significant and well-liked kinds of survey questions and the reason is that they belong to the closed-ended family of questions. They give the concerned respondents the options to select one or more options from a defined list of responses. They support the production of data that is simple to analyze and offer mutually exclusive options. They are intuitive and simple to use in numerous ways. 

Single answer and multiple answer multiple choice questions are the two main categories.

Single answer type multiple choice:

A respondent is given a list of options for multiple choice questions, but they are limited to allowing them to select one. Normally, they are applied to questions with ratings or nominal scales that have binary answers, such as yes/no questions. When asking people to express how much they agree or disagree with something they may have been presented with, as with a Likert scale question, they are most appropriate for situations where only one true response is possible (uwaterloo. 2023 ).

Multiple answer type multiple choice: 

Multiple-choice questions, in contrast to single-answer questions, give respondents a selection of possible answers from which to select one or more (Coughlin, and Featherstone. 2017). They are perfect when trying to gauge participant awareness or understand multiple contributing factors. A brand awareness survey might be conducted first, for instance, if a small mobile brand is considering releasing a new phone on the market to see how well known its name is in comparison to some of the more well-known brands already available.

Best strategies to be applied for Essay writing

Consider essay as the discussion of a topic: The reality is that essays are about conflict and change, just like every other topic! The conflict in an essay is between various ideas, and the change is in how we should view those ideas, which is the key distinction. Any list of essay questions will include a variety of subjects and the accompanying assignments. Characters dealing with those subjects are forced to make difficult decisions. It is one’s responsibility to deal with those options, usually by examining, debating, researching, or describing them in great detail.

Define argument: Statements like these describe the thesis of an essay. By offering a unifying theme and point of view that the entire essay is focused on, they lend coherence. One must think about the essay’s argument as they organise and get ready to write it. This entails adopting a well-informed stance or point of view on the issue raised in the question, then outlining and presenting a particular argument.

Use evidence, scholarship and reasoning during writing essay: 

One must use reasoning and evidence to persuade the audience of the argument, which requires citing and analysing pertinent scholarship.

  • Evidence offers verifiable information to back up a claim. It usually includes specific examples, information, quotes, statistics, and illustrations.
  • The evidence and the argument are linked by reasoning. One needs to evaluate the evidence and show how it supports the argument rather than simply listing the supporting materials like a grocery list.
  • To demonstrate how one’s argument connects to the literature on a subject, one uses scholarship. The use of scholarship as evidence and justification for an argument is possible.

. Careful revision and editing can transform a good essay into an excellent one by adding clarity.

Write in a clear note: Only a well-written essay with solid arguments and supporting data will earn a high grade

Best strategies to be applied for multiple choice

Ask questions all throughout the term. For considering the suitable strategy to apply in participating multiple choice question-answer it’s important to note that multiple choice questions are even more complicated sometimes and also time consuming as the student needs to prove that the other available questions are wrong as compared to the correct one. Writing a few questions each week, perhaps after a lecture when the material is still fresh in one’s mind, can make the process easier.

Make any rating scales clear: If any of the questions one develops includes a rating scale, one must be as clear as possible so that respondents can understand how the numbers on one’s scale relate back to what one is attempting to measure.

Use common language: The terminology used in the course should be used in the question. Unless testing your knowledge of a foreign language is one of the questions’ objectives, refrain from using unfamiliar terms or expressions.

Comparison between essay and multiple choice

The mastery of academic courses is assessed using both essay and multiple-choice questions. Everyone has particular benefits and drawbacks. Essay questions assess the student’s ability to organise their thoughts and work productively in a more constrained content area, whereas multiple-choice tests offer a less expensive way to assess knowledge of facts and concepts across a wide range of topics. Our study’s goal is to determine which questions are most useful for evaluating cognitive abilities in undergraduate medical students. Questions with multiple choices and essay prompts are two formats that are frequently used to evaluate students (Sharma and Mutalik. 2014). Objective questions, which determine the students’ intended responses, include multiple-choice questions. It is possible to do away with the teacher’s personal involvement in the correction process with these exams because they are quick to correct. Multiple-choice exams are inescapable in large-scale settings with lots of participants, such as university entrance exams or also in most of the competitive examinations (Khan. 2011). Examinees present their knowledge in essays during essay exams, which take a lot more time to correct. Consequently, these tests are most frequently used in settings with a small number of test takers, like educational courses. 

A simple task that requires the writer to recognise various important information when he or she encounters it is getting ready for the multiple choice questions (Kaipa, 2021.). Unlike essay tests, where the writer must gather a variety of information on the specific topic or subject matter, essay tests require the writer to be able to respond to any questions with a thorough justification and collection of ideas. One can quickly learn all there is to know about the multiple-choice questions in the multiple-choice questions. The difficulty of the essay exams shouldn’t be overlooked, though. In this instance, the author must make sure that, before responding to the questions, he properly gathers and controls his thoughts. Writing an unclear essay-style response would be a pointless effort on the part of the author. Using pencils is not advised if the multiple choice exam is a fill-in-the-circle worksheet because they can quickly increase the likelihood of smudging. The mechanisms of the electronic grading robot can become more complicated by smudging, which is a major problem. In contrast, for the essay exams, we use a pen. Pens make sure that the answers are written on neat paper, which appeals to the teacher’s eyes greatly.

Through the use of their own preferred language and a few well-crafted sentences that convey the meaning of their views or opinions, students have the opportunity to demonstrate their unique ideas in the essay exam. But in a multiple-choice exam, one is unable to express one’s thoughts in an original or creative way by forgoing high marks in order to embellish one’s own test sheet. When taking a multiple choice test, one can always make educated guesses as to some of the answers if they are truly unsure of what the correct response might be.


Students were more motivated to use superficial approaches and goals when preparing for a multiple-choice exam than they were when preparing for an essay assignment because they believed that such exams evaluated only the recall of factual information. Both types of questions require them to study diligently and these improve learning. To sum up, even students believe that both types of questions should be included in assessments because each type of question has benefits and drawbacks.


A speech on “Multiple choice tests are better than essay tests.” (2022) Available at: (Accessed: February 3, 2023). 

Coughlin, P.A. and Featherstone, C.R., 2017. How to write a high quality multiple choice question (MCQ): a guide for clinicians. European Journal of Vascular and Endovascular Surgery, 54(5), pp.654-658.

Descriptive essay – examples and definition of descriptive essay (2017) Literary Devices. Available at: (Accessed: February 3, 2023). 

Designing multiple-choice questions (2023) Centre for Teaching Excellence. Available at:,incorrect%20answers%20to%20the%20question. (Accessed: February 3, 2023). 

Kaipa, R.M., 2021. Multiple choice questions and essay questions in curriculum. Journal of Applied Research in Higher Education, 13(1), pp.16-32.

Khan MUZ, Aljarallah BM. Evaluation of Modified Essay Questions (MEQ) and Multiple Choice Questions (MCQ) as a tool for Assessing the Cognitive Skills of Undergraduate Medical Students. Int J Health Sci (Qassim) 2011; 5: 39–43.

Mallia, J., 2017. Strategies for developing English academic writing skills. Arab World English Journal (AWEJ) Volume, 8.

Multiple choice questions (2022) SmartSurvey. Available at:,single%20answer%20and%20multiple%20answer. (Accessed: February 3, 2023). 

Ngo, X.M., 2018. A sociocultural perspective on second language writing teacher cognition: A Vietnamese teacher’s narrative. System, 78, pp.79-90.

Sharma HS, Mutalik MM (2014), Comparison between student scores in multiple choice questions and structured essay questions at iii mbbs examination in otorhinolaryngology in a medical college in Mauritius.Int J Pharm Bio Sci. 5:(B) 1195–202.

Six top tips for writing a great essay (2023) Students. Available at: (Accessed: February 3, 2023). Protection Status
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