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Expository writing: how to write an incredible expository essay.

Expository essays are frequently assigned in  English classes  and are evaluated in various standardized exams.

But what exactly  is  an expository essay, and how do you write a good one?

In this article, we’ll tell you everything you need to know to pen a high-scoring expository paper.

What Is an Expository Essay?

The word  expository  means “intended to explain or describe something.”

An expository essay requires you to investigate an idea, gather supporting evidence, and present your point of view on a topic.

  • You may be wondering how this differs from a persuasive essay.
  • While both essay types require you to provide evidence to support a claim, persuasive essays are more argumentative.

A persuasive essay includes a counterargument, which addresses and rebuts an opposing viewpoint.

Expository essays, on the other hand, focus on clearly explaining and supporting  your  point of view.

Parts of an Expository Essay

A strong expository essay should consist of:

  • An introductory paragraph with a clear thesis
  • Evidence that supports the thesis (typically in three body paragraphs)
  • A conclusion

Below, we’ll look at how to construct the expository essay piece by piece.

For clarity, we’ll focus on a somewhat formulaic process for expository writing.

Once you’ve mastered these basics, you can take risks and sprinkle more creativity throughout your essays.

Introduction

The introduction frames the topic of your essay.

It also provides readers with any necessary background information or context.

A simple format for your introduction is:

  • Grabber/Hook  – A compelling sentence or two that draws readers into your essay.
  • Background Information (as needed)  – Any basic information the reader needs to know about the topic to understand your essay.
  • Thesis Statement  – This is the most important sentence of your entire essay. See below for more information.

Thesis Statement

The thesis statement is the roadmap for your entire essay, so it must be clear and concise. It should state your point of view on the topic.

  • The thesis may also  briefly  mention the supporting evidence you’ll expand on in the body of the essay.

For instance, a thesis statement might say:

Students should read more literature because it improves vocabulary, reading comprehension, and empathy.

The writer’s viewpoint is immediately clear: Students should read more literature.

The writer also indicates that her supporting evidence will mention several benefits of reading literature: improved vocabulary, better reading comprehension, and increased empathy.

  • Most likely, each of these points will form one of the writer’s body paragraphs.

If your teacher (or a standardized test) assigns you a topic, here’s another way to think of a thesis statement: The thesis is your answer to the question being asked.

  • Let’s say you receive a prompt that says, “Your community is thinking of starting a program encouraging people to limit car usage. Explain how limiting car usage would benefit your community.”

This prompt is essentially asking, “How would limiting car usage benefit your  community ?”

  • Thus, your thesis could answer the question by saying something like, “Limiting car usage would benefit the community because it would decrease traffic, improve public health, and reduce air pollution.”

This approach ensures that you’re on topic and directly addressing the prompt.

Supporting Evidence

Once you’ve clearly stated your point of view, it’s time to support it. To do this, you’ll need  evidence . Sometimes, this will mean doing your own research.

On other occasions, especially exams, you’ll be provided with relevant resources.

These may include newspaper articles, primary sources, photos, or even audio recordings.

  • Your job is to sort through these resources and find evidence that supports your thesis. It’s important to note that if you can’t find evidence supporting your thesis, you’ll need to change it.

Strong evidence may include research findings, quotes from experts, and statistics. Make sure that your evidence is from credible sources and clearly supports your thesis statement.

Organizing Evidence

After finding your supporting evidence, you’ll organize it into body paragraphs, typically three of them.

Each body paragraph should focus on one general idea.

In addition, each of these general ideas should be logically connected to your thesis statement.

  • Your body paragraphs should start with a topic sentence that introduces the idea that the body paragraph will elaborate upon.

Remember our sample thesis about students reading more literature?

  • The topic sentence of the first body paragraph could read, “To start with, reading literature is essential because it expands students’ vocabulary.”

After the topic sentence, the paragraph should introduce 2-3 pieces of evidence supporting this idea.

If a piece of evidence doesn’t clearly relate to the body paragraph’s topic sentence, it needs to be moved or deleted.

Analyzing Evidence

When you introduce a piece of evidence, follow it up with a sentence analyzing the evidence in your own words.

  • Explain the connection between the evidence and your thesis statement.
  • How does it support your point of view?
  • How do you interpret this evidence?

Remember that essays don’t only reflect your writing skills; they also reflect your critical thinking skills.

Instead of merely quoting evidence, you must also explain your thought process.

As a result, an effective body paragraph can follow this formula:

  • Topic sentence
  • Evidence #1
  • Analysis of Evidence #1
  • Evidence #2
  • Analysis of Evidence #2
  • Evidence #3 (Optional)
  • Analysis of Evidence #3 (Optional)
  • Concluding/transitional sentence

The final sentence of the body paragraph should remind readers of the paragraph’s main point and connect it to the next paragraph.

Transitions are important because they help readers follow your train of thought without confusion.

They smoothly guide readers through your paper.

Transition words and phrases include:

  • For example
  • For instance
  • To illustrate
  • Specifically
  • On the other hand
  • Consequently
  • As a result
  • Additionally
  • Furthermore

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Like stories,  essays  have a beginning, middle, and end.

  • The introduction is your beginning, the body paragraphs form the middle, and the conclusion brings the paper to an end.

The conclusion synthesizes the information included in your essay.

As the name suggests, it also draws a conclusion from the information presented.

  • Instead of simply restating the thesis, you should revisit the thesis in light of the supporting evidence you’ve provided. Do not introduce any new information in the conclusion.

Remember that the conclusion is your last chance to make an impression on the reader. It should be logical and convincing.

Try to end with a strong and/or memorable final sentence.

In total, an expository essay includes these pieces:

– Introduction

  • Hook/grabber
  • Background information

– Body paragraphs (usually three)

– conclusion.

  • Synthesis of evidence
  • Explanation of what this evidence shows (connected to thesis)
  • Strong final sentence

If you include each of these pieces, you’ll have a clear, logical, and effective expository essay.

Once you become comfortable following this formula, you may wish to vary it or infuse it with your own style.

Just make sure that all the essential pieces are present in your essay.

The Expository Essay Writing Process

Before you can effectively assemble an expository essay, you’ll need to gather information and plan your approach.

Typically, the writing process includes:

  • Carefully reading the prompt (if applicable)
  • Brainstorming
  • Gathering evidence
  • Revising/editing

Let’s take a closer look at each step in the process.

1. Reading the Prompt

If you’re provided with a prompt, understanding it is an essential first step.

Misinterpreting the prompt will result in a low score, even if your essay is well-written.

  • Read the prompt at least 2-3 times, underline key words and phrases. If the prompt is complicated, you may want to rewrite it in your own words.

Does the prompt have multiple parts? If so, make sure you understand each part and that your essay clearly addresses all of them.

2. Brainstorming

Once you’ve read the prompt, begin brainstorming how you will approach it.

  • If you’ve been provided with relevant resources, this may also include a first read-through or skimming of these texts.

What position will you take? How are you planning to support your viewpoint? Jot down any idea that pops into your head.

  • It doesn’t matter if the idea is good—right now, you’re just trying to find inspiration. You’ll change, add, or remove information later.

If you haven’t been provided with a prompt, you’ll need to brainstorm a topic that interests you.

It should also be a topic on which you’re at least somewhat knowledgeable.

3. Gathering Evidence

At this point, you’ll find evidence that supports your point of view.

  • It helps to write at least a rough draft of your thesis statement before beginning this step.
  • This way, you’ll have a clear idea of what sort of evidence you need to find.

After writing your thesis statement, find credible evidence that supports it.

  • This may require you to go to the library or browse scholarly databases on the Internet.

Alternatively, you may have been provided with resources.

In that case, read through the resources carefully, underlining or circling evidence that reinforces your thesis.

4. Planning

Planning ensures that your essay is organized, focused, and cohesive.

It also allows you to catch potential mistakes  before  they happen.

  • For instance, you might realize that some of your evidence doesn’t fit, or that one of your body paragraphs is lacking support.

You can then address these areas of weakness before writing your essay.

  • At the top of your planning sheet (or a document on your computer) write your thesis statement.
  • Continually reference the thesis to ensure that you’re focused and on topic.
  • Next, determine the focus of each body paragraph and the 2-3 pieces of evidence that will support it.

Sometimes, students think that planning is too time-consuming.

However, a plan will save you time in the long run.

With all your quotes and evidence organized in one place, writing your essay is much faster and easier.

Once you have a completed plan, begin writing your essay.

  • Remember to analyze each piece of evidence and clearly connect your points with transitions.

Use a formal, academic tone and avoid slang or overly casual language.

Vary your sentence structure, including both short and long sentences. Pay attention to spelling, grammar, and punctuation.

6. Revising

Students often skip the revising and editing step of the writing process.

This is a mistake. Slowly read through your essay  at least  once before submitting it.

  • Look for misspelled words, incorrect verb tenses, and punctuation or grammar mistakes. Does your writing flow well? Does everything make sense?
  • Are all of your points clear? Have you used the same word or phrase repetitively? (If you have, try to substitute a synonym.) Did you use transitions connecting your ideas?

Ensure that you submit the best, most polished version of your essay possible. Mistakes and unclear sentences make a poor impression.

Advice From the Experts:

From Dr. Carrie Brown, professor of English and creative writing at Sweet Briar College and novelist :

When I’m working with students on expository writing — on writing in any rhetorical mode, really — I remind them that almost inevitably they have to stumble their way through some lousy sentences before they discover what they actually want to say. (This takes us back to that famous question: How do I know what I mean until I see what I say?) Some messy writing usually precedes orderly, elegant writing, and every writer needs patience during that messy process, because that process is important: out of that process emerges clear thinking, which is the true key to clear writing. Once  writers have waded around in the muck for a while, then they can step back and examine those sentences or numbered phrases or bulleted points — whatever method felt most natural to the writer by which to set down emerging thoughts — to discover which are relevant, which are simply repetitions of earlier thoughts, which are superfluous or meaningless, and in what order they ought to proceed. A trick that seems to work for students with a strong tendency toward auditory learning can actually record themselves speaking aloud, trying to address the topic, and then play back that recording, meanwhile transposing ideas — and usually improving and clarifying them — as they go.

From Adam Cole, author and writing expert:

Know your audience – Whatever you are writing, you will get the best results if you are thinking about who is reading it, why they are reading it, and what you should do to make sure the interaction between you and the reader is optimal. While the audience for an expository piece may be obvious, writing directly to that audience is not so obvious. It affords you an opportunity to think clearly and write clearly without having to worry about your identity, ego or success. If you are in school, the audience for expository writing is your professor, and you should be fulfilling the boxes in their rubric to the letter. If they haven’t given you a rubric, ask for one. If they won’t, find one or create one based on conversations with them, their former students, or another professor.

From Tangela Walker-Craft –  Simply Necessary, Inc. , Family and Parenting Blogger:

Write in complete sentences. Write in paragraph form. Each paragraph should contain 3 to 5 sentences for short essay questions, and 5 to 10 sentences for long essay questions. Vary sentence length and structure; try not to begin sentences with the same word or words. Use facts and information taken from reading passages to answer questions; refer back to the reading passage to stay focused. Underline important information in reading passages to make it easier to go back to them when answering questions. Proofread. Proofreading sentences backwards makes finding spelling mistakes and punctuation errors easier because it forces test-takers to focus on individual words instead of automatically “seeing” what he or she intended to write.

From Peter Donahue,  a writing expert  and teacher:

1. Write for clarity, not formality. As a teacher, I see a lot of expository writing where the writer is more concerned with following the conventions of academic jargon than she is with expressing ideas. A good example is the use of “utilize” instead of “use,” because it “sounds more formal,” or the avoidance of the pronoun “I” because it “sounds too informal.” So, rather than trying to appear formal, expository writing should aim to be clear. George Orwell’s 1946 essay, “Politics and the English Language,” says more on this topic, and is a worthwhile read. 2. Think synthetically, write analytically. Synthetic thinking starts with small details, or an open-ended question. As thoughts continue to develop, the main idea is clarified (or discovered) at the end the process. Contrariwise, Analytical thinking starts with a “given:” a major premise or generalization. It then proceeds to break down the main idea into its components and deal with each separately. Expository writing is usually presented most effectively in an analytic format — the main idea first, the support afterwards. On the other hand, literary writing, like a poem or discursive essay, is often presented synthetically. The key is knowing the difference between thought process and written format. We can think something synthetically, and then write it analytically. And in fact, this process can be the key to effective expository writing for many people. Don’t assume that because a thesis appears in the first paragraph, you have to think of it first. You could try drafting it synthetically, to clarify your thinking. Then rewrite it analytically to present it more effectively for your reader.

From Jessica Moody,  curriculum expert :

Expository writing is first about structure, second about clarity, and third about content.  Depending on the type of expository writing there is a specific structure expected.  Even in college essays each sentence on the essay has a purpose and can be labeled as a thesis statement, topic sentence, evidence, or explanation of evidence. If the structure is not there, most of the time there is not much clarity and the content is lacking because it is confusing.  This is the same for any type of expository writing. My suggestion for people becoming better at expository writing is to study the structure of the piece, the paragraph structures and the sentence structures.  If you understand how to break down the structure then you can learn to replicate any style or form you want.

Final Touches: Expository Essay Writing

Writing an excellent expository essay isn’t as complicated as it seems. Simply follow the steps and include the essential pieces outlined here.

Your essay is sure to showcase both your thinking and  writing skills —and earn you a high score!

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How to Write an Expository Essay

Published by Grace Graffin at August 17th, 2021 , Revised On July 26, 2023

Expository means “to describe or explain something” . It is related to the words ‘exposition’, ‘expound’, and ‘expose’ – to explain or reveal the meaning, to lay open, speak one’s mind.

Whenever there is a need to gather research and describe an idea, a  topic , or a process clearly and logically, it is done in the form of an expository  essay .

An expository essay requires the writer to take a balanced approach to the subject matter rather than justifying a particular point of view.

Expository essays are assigned to students to evaluate their subject knowledge and composition skills. When compared with  argumentative essays , they involve a lot less research.

Definition of Expository Essay

“The expository essay is the  type of essay  that involves an investigation of an idea or topic, appraises relevant supporting evidence material, and presents an argument in a clear and concise manner. ”

When to Write an Expository Essay

Your school or university could assign an expository essay to you as coursework or as part of an online exam.

However, the guidelines may or may not clearly state that your assignment is an expository essay. If that is the case, then look for keywords like ‘explain’, ‘describe’, ‘define’, etc., to be sure that what has been asked for is an expository essay.

You might even be asked to explain and emphasise a particular concept or term. Writing a simple definition will not be enough because you will be expected to explore the ideas in detail.

Writing an Expository Essay

An expository essay should not be based on your  personal  experiences and opinions. It rather takes an objective approach. You will be expected to explain the topic in a balanced way without any personal bias.

Make sure to avoid the first and second person (“I” and “You”) when writing an expository essay.

How to Structure an Expository Essay

The  structure  and format of your expository essay assignment will depend on your school’s guidelines and the topic you are investigating. However, it is always a good idea to develop an outline for your  essay  before starting to work.

The Five-Paragraph Essay Writing Approach

An expository essay will require you to take the five-paragraph essay approach: an  introductory paragraph , a main body paragraph , and a concluding paragraph . This is often referred to as the hamburger style of the essay because, like a hamburger, it contains five main parts: the introduction and conclusion being the bun that encapsulates everything.

Rationale and Thesis Statement

Start your essay  with a rationale and thesis, also known as the  thesis statement , so your readers know what you set out to achieve in your expository essay assignment. Ensure the thesis statement is narrow enough to follow the guidelines in the assignment brief. If the thesis statement is weak and too broad, you will struggle to produce a flawless expository essay.

The Framework

Construct a framework, so you know what elements will constitute the basis of your essay.

Expository Essay Introduction

Like other  essay types , an expository essay begins with an  introduction , including a hook, background to the topic, and a thesis statement. Once you have grabbed the readers’ interest, it will be easier to get them to read the remaining essay.

Frequently Asked Questions

Will i need the skill of expository writing after i finish my studies.

It depends on what you are studying for. While you might or might not write any more expository essays after your formal education has ended, the skill will be very useful in certain careers, such as business reports, journalism, and in scientific and technical writing.

How does an expository essay differ from an argumentative essay?

An argumentative essay is usually longer and requires more research. It starts with a claim about something that will need supporting evidence. And both sides of the argument need to be discussed. In an expository essay, there is no requirement to make an original argument and defend/support it.

What is the purpose of expository essays?

This style of essay is necessary when you have to showcase your knowledge on a given subject, or your ability to gather research on one and present your findings.

How long is an expository essay?

There is no fixed length but an expository essay could be part of an exam, in which case it might only be 1,000 words or less. They are usually shorter than argumentative essays . It can depend on the subject under discussion. You will likely be given instructions on the required word count.

Are there different types of expository essay?

There are six different types of expository essay, each with a different purpose.

The six types are:

Process essay – describing a task, a method, how to complete something Cause and effect essay – why something happened and its effects Problem-solution essay – provide analysis of problems and their solutions Compare and contrast essay – describe the similarities and differences between two subjects Definition essay – define the topic in detail and explain the how, what, and why Classification essay – separate the topic’s categories and define them in detail

When you are assigned your essay, you should be able to distinguish which of these approaches you are required to take.

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Expository Essay Guide

Expository Essay Writing

Last updated on: Feb 9, 2023

Expository Essay - A Complete Guideline to Help You Write

By: Donna C.

Reviewed By: Chris H.

Published on: Mar 31, 2020

Expository Essay

Have you been given the assignment to write an expository essay?

Do you struggle with writing this type of essay?

You have come to the right place!

Read this guide, which offers you a step-by-step set of guidelines to help you write an outstanding expository essay.

Expository Essay

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Expository Essay Definition

'What is an expository essay?'

An expository essay is one of the most challenging writing assignments that need dedication and understanding.

The term expository comes from the word “expose.” It means explaining and clarifying something in great detail. In this type of essay, a specific topic is researched and then explained. All claims in this kind of an essay must be backed with solid proof.

In this type of essay, a specific topic is researched and then explained. All claims in this kind of essay must be backed with solid proof.

‘What is the purpose of an expository essay?’

The main purpose of an expository essay is to:

  • Expose a particular topic.
  • Investigate a topic to increase your understanding as well as the readers.
  • Present an objective description of the topic.

Moreover, an expository essay is an informational, conceptual essay that has a single point of view to support it. This type of essay usually involves illustration and explanation to make the main idea clear while also providing useful facts for readers with little knowledge on the topic.

Expository Essay Vs. Argumentative Essay

Expository Essay Vs. Argumentative Essay

Types of Expository Essay

Expository essays are further categorized into five different types. Here are the five types of expository essay that are commonly used:

Types of Expository Essay

Let us discuss these types in detail.

1. Compare and Contrast Essay

A compare or contrast essay involves looking at two objects or ideas and analyzing them based on their similarities or differences. Keep in mind that the two objects or subjects under comparison must belong to the same category.

For instance, you can compare and contrast Batman and Superman but not Batman vs. Aristotle.

2. Descriptive Essay

In a descriptive essay, you must provide a detailed explanation of an object, event, or person. This type of essay provides the writer with room for creative freedom. You have a variety of topics to choose from and work from in descriptive essays. The writers are supposed to use sensory information to help the reader visualize the text using their five senses.

3. Cause and Effect Essay

Cause and effect essays require an analysis of an object or process. It requires digging a little deeper and figuring out why an event occurred and its effects.

The analysis is the most crucial aspect of writing a cause-and-effect essay and requires critical thinking skills and strong writing skills.

This type of essay examines the impact of other people or events on something in the world.

4. Problem and Solution Essay

In this type of expository essay, problems are identified, stated, and possible solutions are discussed. You must shed light on a problem and propose a valid solution for it.

5. Process Essay

A process essay is a step-by-step guide to completing some type of task. It tells readers how to do things and often provides instructions on how to accomplish a certain task in detail with clarity and precision.

How to Start an Expository essay?

Before you start, you may need to follow some steps that help you in writing a successful essay. Here are some steps to follow.

1. Choose a Topic

To start an expository essay, choose a brilliant topic to write on first.

For choosing the perfect topic, brainstorm different ideas that interest you and create an extensive list. Then, select the topic that interests and inspires you and start your research. Note that it is equally important to keep your reader’s preference in mind as well.

2. Create a Thesis Statement

The most important component of an expository essay is to focus on the thesis statement. A thesis statement indicates the main point of the essay and what will be discussed further in it. Write the good thesis statement in one or two lines towards the end of the introduction, followed by the body.

3. Create the Outline

Create an expository essay outline by mentioning every main point that is going to be discussed in each paragraph. Keep your outline organized and structured.

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How to Create an Expository Essay Outline?

Your outline should act as a blueprint to guide you through the process of building your essay. Without it, there's more risk that we stray off-topic or get confused due to all these new ideas coming in with no clear place for them.

Here is a sample expository essay outline.

  • Introduction
  • Hook Statement
  • Background Details
  • Thesis Statement

Main Body Section

  • 1st Paragraph - Topic sentence, details, conclusion.
  • 2nd Paragraph - Topic sentence, details, conclusion.
  • 3rd Paragraph - Topic sentence, details, conclusion.
  • Summary of the thesis statement.
  • Discussion of important points.
  • Call to action.

A detailed guide about expository essay outline will help you learn more about it and write your essay easily and in less time.

How to Write an Expository Essay?

Here are some steps that you should follow and create a well-written expository essay.

1. Write the Introduction

When writing the introductory paragraph, remember that there are the following purposes:

  • Grab the reader’s attention.
  • Define the essay topic
  • State the main idea/purpose of the essay.

A hook statement is used to attract the reader’s attention and engage them. It is written using different ways such as quotations, anecdotes, statistics, rhetorical questions, personal stories, etc.

After the hook statement, present necessary information about the topic to clear any ambiguities. And lastly, end this section by stating your thesis.

2. Write the Body Paragraphs

The body is where you will discuss and define your topic. Present information about the topic logically, prioritize different points based on importance. Also, provide supporting facts and evidence and explain their significance.

3. Write the Conclusion

The last section of your essay is the concluding paragraph. Brush up on all the main points without repeating them. Highlight the significance of your topic and provide a solution if you addressed an issue.

Establish a strong connection between these parts to make a solid structure. Ensure you fulfill all the requirements necessary for the writing process of the expository essay and follow your instructor’s guidelines.

4. Revise your Essay

Once you have completed writing your essay, revise it thoroughly. Also, keep the following points in your mind while you are checking your essay.

  • Is your essay written with an unbiased analysis?
  • Are the facts and examples relevant to the topic of the essay?
  • Is the information written and communicated to the readers?
  • Are there any unnecessary details included in the essay?
  • Is the entire content of the essay focused on the topic?
  • Are there strong transition words being used in the body paragraphs?
  • Is there a smooth flow between the body paragraphs?
  • Is the conclusion correlating with the supporting details mentioned in the essay?

If your essay is written according to these parameters, then you can easily move to the next step, proofreading.

5. Proofreading and Editing

Now you are almost done with your essay. Don’t forget to proofread your essay before you submit it.

No matter how strong and detailed content you have added in your essay. If there are grammatical mistakes in it, the whole rhythm of your essay will be ruined.

Expository Essay Topics

Below is a list of unique expository writing prompts that can help you to grab top grades from your professor.

  • Discuss the strong point of view of your character.
  • What are your suggestions on time management?
  • Explain why aliens are real.
  • What are the drawbacks of having a curfew?
  • Explain the concept of love.
  • Explain the time that you have been really happy.
  • How is being fat different from being overweight?
  • Do teachers truly care for students?
  • Is there a connection between boredom and hunger?
  • Can reading in the dark lead to blindness?

Other than these, you can check numerous other expository essay topics to get an idea about the kind of topics that work best for such essays.

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Expository Essay Examples

If you still feel that more guidance is needed, check out these examples of expository essays to get a clearer picture.

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Tips for Writing the Expository Essay

To write an excellent essay, you need to keep in mind the following tips:

  • Understand your topic, learn about it as much as you can
  • Go through similar expository essay samples.
  • Look for supporting evidence.
  • Develop an outline.
  • Come up with a writing style.
  • Create the rough draft.
  • Edit and update.
  • Start each body paragraph of the essay with a topic sentence.
  • Write the final version.

Some writers may continue to struggle in their writing endeavors even after reading and following our paper writing guidelines.

Worry not! Simply consult 5StarEssays.com .

A little help from our team of experienced academic writers can help you achieve top grades. In addition, our team of professional writing experts has years of experience in producing a variety of quality essays. Therefore, all you have to say is do my essay for me,  and our writers are ready for your help.

Frequently Asked Questions

What are the basic parts of an expository essay.

An expository essay contains three main parts:

  • Body paragraphs

How do you end an expository essay?

When you end the expository essay, you should summarize the main points. Then, restate the thesis statement and provide a call to action.

What are 4 types of expository writing?

Here are the four types of expository writing are:

  • Descriptive essay
  • Comparison essay
  • Cause and effect essay
  • Problem-solution essay

What are the features of an expository essay?

Here are the key features of an expository essay.

  • Informative
  • Organization

What is it important to engage in expository writing?

The main aim and purpose of expository writing are to provide the readers with clear explanations about the essay topic. It includes the steps of the process and reasoning also. Therefore, it is important that the expository writing is clear and engaging for the readers.

What should you not do in an expository essay?

You must remain objective and unbiased throughout the essay, you should not address the readers directly and you must not allude to yourself also. In simple terms, avoid using first and second-person narration.

Donna C.

Marketing, Literature

Donna has garnered the best reviews and ratings for her work. She enjoys writing about a variety of topics but is particularly interested in social issues, current events, and human interest stories. She is a sought-after voice in the industry, known for her engaging, professional writing style.

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Home / Guides / Writing Guides / Paper Types / How to Write an Expository Essay

How to Write an Expository Essay

Every student has to write an expository essay at least once in their educational career. These are actually fairly simple essays to write, but they do require some serious research skills. Like most academic essays, the expository essay requires formal writing with an introduction, body, and conclusion.

Guide Overview

  • Focus on the thesis
  • Listen to the assignment
  • Explain, don’t argue
  • Revise and edit, revise and edit
  • Choosing the right topic

Tips for Writing a Kick-Butt Essay

Want to really impress your professor? Here are a few ways you can turn an ordinary essay into something that will blow their socks off.

Focus on the Thesis

Your thesis is the central point of the entire essay, so if it’s amazing, you’re off to a great start. Begin with this and make sure you decide on something that is impressive to kick off the essay.

Listen to the Assignment

Your professor may give you hints on what they’re looking for. If you just write down the basics of the assignment, you could miss out on some key points. For example, your professor may hint at a preferred topic or give tips that could result in a higher score. Write it all down and then analyze what is wanted before you write.

Long before you actually put pen to paper or fingers to keyboard to write the essay, you need to complete the pre-writing phase. This is where you do research and outline your essay. You’ll be amazed at how much better your writing is when you have these basic elements in place first. If you need help with these basic elements consider using an Expository Essay Template.

Explain, Don’t Argue

If you’re not careful, an expository essay can turn into a persuasive or argumentative essay. Focus on explaining the topic, rather than convincing people of something about it.

Revise and Edit, Revise and Edit

Going over the essay once to edit and polish isn’t really enough. If you’re tight on time, such as when writing an essay for an exam, just once will do. However, if you have time, it’s a good idea to edit immediately, then let the essay sit overnight or even longer. When you come back, you won’t be as close to the writing and can look at it more objectively.

Choosing the Right Topic

Topics for an expository essay vary widely, but ideally, you should select something you’re interested in writing about. Topics can answer a question such as “How can we prevent bullying in school?” or they can describe something like a historical building in your area. Other interesting topics to inspire you include:

  • How does technology affect our relationships?
  • How to treat a burn
  • What are the must-haves for a freshman in college?
  • How to handle anxiety attacks naturally
  • How to train your dog to stop barking on command
  • Research the history of a monument in your area
  • Why roller skating is a great exercise

As you can see, there’s no limit to the types of topics you can choose for your essay and it really comes down to what the professor assigns you and what you enjoy writing about. How narrow your topic is will also depend on how much you plan to write. An entire history of the Civil War won’t fit into two page, for example, so you’ll need to narrow it down to a specific battle or element of the Civil War.

Writing an expository essay can actually be a fun experience if you approach it the right way. When you enjoy the topic and are interested in it, your essay will show that and will stand out from those written out of boredom.

Finally, if you’re ever facing writer’s block for your college paper, consider WriteWell Essay Templates to help you get started.

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The Write Practice

Expository Essay: 3 Building Blocks to Propose an Idea and Defend It

by Dixie-Ann Belle | 0 comments

If you saw the words “expository essay” on a writing assignment, would your mind draw a blank? Would you immediately feel as if you had stumbled into unexplored territory?

Well there's good news.

expository essay

This post is written by guest writer Dixie-Ann Belle. You can learn more about Dixie-Anne at the end of this article. Welcome Dixie-Ann! 

You might not realize it, but chances are this is not your first encounter with this type of essay. Once you have been writing essays in academic environments, you have probably already worked on expository writing.

In this article, I hope to help you recognize this essay type and understand the expository essay outline. Comprehending the building blocks is instrumental in knowing how to construct an exceptional expository essay.

Lay a Strong Foundation

Over the years, I have taught and tutored college students one on one as they write academic essays, in face to face classrooms and online, and I have noticed a pattern. They often approach essays in one of two ways.

Some consider them with apprehension and are fearful of making mistakes. Others feel confident that they have written many essays before and think they have already mastered expository writing.

Interestingly, it's the latter who often end up the most shaken when they realize that they are not as familiar as they think with this type of writing.

What I hope to instill in my students is that they should not feel intimidated whatever their situation or essay assignment.

I encourage them to make sure they understand the foundations of the expository essay structure. I try to get them to grasp the basic blocks that need to be there, and once they do, they have a good chance of crafting a substantial piece of writing.

What is an Expository Essay?

Students are typically assigned one of at least four types of essays: the persuasive/argumentative essay, the descriptive essay, the technical essay, or the expository essay.

Writing an expository essay is one of the most important and valuable skills for you to master.

According to the Purdue Online Writing Lab:

The expository essay is a genre of essay that requires the student to investigate an idea, evaluate evidence, expound on the idea, and set forth an argument concerning that idea in a clear and concise manner.

Keep in mind that your expository writing centers on giving your reader information about a given topic or process. Your goal is to inform, describe, or define the subject for your readers.

As you work to achieve this, your essay writing must be formal, objective, and concise. No matter what your discipline, it's almost guaranteed that you will be required to write this common type essay one day.

Some expository essay examples could include:

  • Define the term ‘democracy'
  • Compare and contrast the benefits of cable television vs streaming
  • Outline the process that generates an earthquake
  • Classify the different types of tourism
  • Outline the aspects of a good fitness program

The possibilities are endless with expository writing, and it can cover a wide variety of topics and specialties.

3 Building Blocks of a Great Expository Essay

To make sure you're on the right track with this type of paper, it helps to understand the three building blocks of the expository essay format and how to apply them to the final expository essay structure .

1. Write an introduction

Most students know that an introductory paragraph should grab the interest of the reader. However, they might not realize that it should also provide context for the essay topic.

Ask yourself : What are you talking about in this essay? Why is this topic important? Some background details could help to establish the subject for your reader.

For example:

If you were writing an essay on the impact smartphones have on society, you might want to start with some information on the evolution of smartphones, the number of smartphones in society, the way people use the phones and more.

The introduction should start off with general information.

You then work your way down to the more specific and principal part of your introduction and the crown of your whole essay, the thesis statement.

What is the thesis statement?

Your thesis statement states in concise language what this essay is going to be about. It is one clear sentence which expresses the subject and the focus of this piece of writing. If there is a prompt, the thesis statement should directly answer that prompt.

Our smart phones topic might create a thesis statement like:  Smart phones have many positive impacts for adults in the business world.

Right away the reader has some idea of what's ahead.

2. Write your body paragraphs

With your thesis statement clear in your mind and your introduction setting the scene, it is time to write your body paragraphs.

Each body paragraph contains supporting information including factual evidence for your essay topic. Each paragraph should each focus on one idea.

Depending on your word count and the teacher requirements, you can write any number of body paragraphs, but there are usually at least three for a basic five paragraph essay.

Each body paragraph should start with a topic sentence. A topic sentence is one single statement that explains the point of the paragraph. It directly refers to your thesis statement and tells you what the body paragraph is going to be about.

Remember our smart phone thesis statement? You need something that will relate to that thesis sentence and will alert the reader to what is to come.

Here's one possibility: 

Smart phones can help increase productivity  for professional adults.

This topic sentence not only reminds us that you are talking about positive impacts for adults with smart phones, it now shows us what the following paragraph will cover.

The best body paragraphs will go on to include different types of details, all of which would support your topic sentence. A good abbreviation to encapsulate the different details is spelt TEEES.

The TEEES Body Paragraph Structure

Let's break down this abbreviation and explore the types of details you'll need in your body paragraphs

T: Topic sentence

You'll begin with your topic sentence establishing the purpose of this paragraph. We'll use our example from above:

Smartphones can help increase productivity for professional adults.

E: Explanation

This is where you expand on your topic and include additional supportive information.

If you were talking about smartphones and productivity, maybe you could mention what elements of the smartphone make it optimal for productivity.

E: Evidence

This is the information from reputable sources you researched for your topic. Here's where you can talk about all the information you have discovered from experts who have carefully studied this subject.

For our smartphone essay, perhaps you could mention a quote from a technology reporter who has been following the rise of smartphones for years.

E: Examples

This would be concrete subject matter to support your point.

Maybe here you can list some of the smartphone apps which have proven to increase productivity in the workplace.

S: Significant/Summarizing sentence

This is the last sentence in the body paragraph which summarizes your point and ends this part of your essay. There should be no doubt in the reader's mind that you have finished talking about your topic, and you are moving on to another in the next paragraph. Here's how we could conclude this paragraph on smartphones and productivity:

Smartphones have transformed the productivity of the modern workforce.

3. Write the conclusion

Once you have written your body paragraphs, you're in the home stretch. You have presented all of your points and supported them with the appropriate subject matter. Now you need to conclude.

A lot of students are confused by conclusions. Many of them have heard different rules about what is supposed to be included.

One of the main requirements to keep in mind when ending an expository essay is that you do not add new information.

This is not the time to throw in something you forgot in a previous body paragraph. Your conclusion is supposed to give a succinct recap of the points that came before.

Sometimes college students are instructed to re-state the thesis, and this puzzles them. It doesn't mean re-writing the thesis statement word for word. You should express your thesis statement in a new way.

For example, here's how you could approach the conclusion for our smartphone essay.

You've come up with three points to support your thesis statement, and you've explored these three points in your body paragraphs. After brainstorming, you might decide the benefits of smartphones in the workplace are improved productivity, better communication, and increased mobility.

Your conclusion is the time to remind your reader of these points with concise language. Your reader should be able to read the conclusion alone and still come away with the basic ideas of your essay.

Plan Your Essay Based on an Expository Essay Outline

While writing fiction, it is sometimes okay to “pants” it and just leap into writing your story.

When writing essays in academia, this is rarely a good idea. Planning your essay helps organize your ideas, helps you refine many of your points early on and saves time in the long run.

There are lots of great brainstorming techniques you can use to get your ideas together, but after that, it's time to create a topic to sentence outline.

There are three steps to creating your topic to sentence essay outline.

  • Develop a powerful thesis statement. Remember, this is the overarching idea of your entire essay, so you have completed a significant step once you have one done.
  • Come up with the ideas you would like to support your thesis statement.
  • Based on your points, craft your topic sentences.

Here is an example of a topic to sentence outline:

Having these important foundation details completed is a great way to develop your essay as you build on each part. It is also an effective method to make sure you are on the right track.

Depending on your instructor (or tutor, if you have one), you can show your outline to them to get feedback before you launch into your entire essay.

Even if you don't have anyone to provide a critique, the outline can make it easier to revise how you will approach the rest of your paragraph essay.

You now have some firm foundations to help you as you construct your expository essay.

How do you organize an expository essay?  Let us know in the comments .

Take fifteen minutes to practice writing your own expository essay.

First, choose an expository writing assignment topic. If you can't think of one, use one of the expository essay examples below .  

  • What are the nutritional elements of a healthy breakfast?
  • What are some of the most influential types of music?
  • Compare and contrast the benefits of electric and gas cars. 
  • What are the major steps to planning a stress-free vacation?
  • How do smartphones affect mental health?
  • Define true love.

Craft a thesis statement about your topic. Then, write three topic sentences for your body paragraphs.

With the time you have left, start writing your essay. You might be surprised how much you can write in fifteen minutes when you have a clear outline for your essay!

When your time is up, share your outline and your essay in the Pro Practice Workshop here . After you post, please be sure to give feedback to your fellow writers.

Happy writing!

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Dixie-Ann Belle

Since she started scribbling stories in her notebooks as a child, Dixie-Ann Belle has been indulging her love of well crafted content. Whether she is working as a writing teacher and tutor or as a freelance writer, editor and proofreader, she enjoys helping aspiring writers develop their work and access their creativity.

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How to Write an Expository Essay

4-minute read

  • 29th March 2020

An expository essay explains something. This means investigating an idea, looking at evidence, coming to a conclusion, and explaining your thinking. But how do you write a strong expository essay? Our top tips include:

  • Read the essay prompt carefully and using it to guide your research.
  • Come up with a thesis statement (i.e., a position that you’ll explain).
  • Plan the structure of your essay before you start writing.
  • Once you have a first draft, revise and proofread to make sure it is perfect.

For more advice on how this works, check out the guide below.

1. Read Your Essay Prompt

Most expository essay prompts will ask you to do one of the following:

  • Define and explain a concept or theory.
  • Compare and contrast two ideas.
  • Examine a problem and propose a solution.
  • Describe a cause and effect relationship.
  • Explain a step-by-step process.
  • Analyze a broad subject and classify examples into groups.

When you’ve been set an expository assignment, then, check the prompt or question carefully. You can use the phrasing to guide your research. You may also need to select a topic to write about. If so, try to think of something:

  • You already know at least something about.
  • You find interesting enough to research.
  • That fits with the instructions in the essay prompt (e.g., if you’ve been asked to contrast two things, you’ll need a topic that allows for a comparison).
  • That is narrow enough to discuss in one essay.

Start by brainstorming topics, then narrow it down to one or two ideas.

2. Come Up with a Thesis Statement

Once you have a topic, you’ll need to do some research and develop a thesis statement. This is the proposition or position that you’ll explain in your essay.

Your thesis statement should be something you can back up with evidence and facts, as well as something that answers the question in your essay prompt. Keep in mind, too, that an expository essay should present a balanced account of the facts available, not personal opinions. For instance, we’ve come up with thesis statements for a few example essay prompts:

When you’ve selected a thesis, make sure you’ve got evidence to back it up! This may mean doing a little more research before you start writing.

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3. Structuring an Expository Essay

The exact length and content of your essay will depend on the topic and prompt. However, most expository essays follow a similar basic structure:

  • Introduction – A paragraph where you introduce the essay topic and your thesis statement (i.e., the issue or idea you will explain in the essay).
  • Main Body – A series of short paragraphs in which you explain your thesis statement, providing evidence and arguments to support each point.
  • Conclusion – A final paragraph where you restate your thesis and how your evidence supports this. Try not to introduce any new information here (if it’s important, it should go in the main body).
  • References – If required, include a bibliography of sources you’ve used.

Before you start writing, then, create an essay outline with the structure above in mind and plan what each paragraph will say.

4. Editing and Proofreading

When you have a first draft, take a break and re-read it. Now comes the redrafting ! This is where you go back over your essay and look for areas to improve. Do you provide enough evidence? Is your argument clear? Even a few tweaks may increase your mark, so make sure to redraft at least once!

Finally, make sure to have your essay proofread before you submit it for marking. This will ensure your writing is error free and easy to read, giving you an even better chance of getting the grades you deserve.

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Purdue Online Writing Lab Purdue OWL® College of Liberal Arts

Expository Essays

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Welcome to the Purdue OWL

This page is brought to you by the OWL at Purdue University. When printing this page, you must include the entire legal notice.

Copyright ©1995-2018 by The Writing Lab & The OWL at Purdue and Purdue University. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, reproduced, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed without permission. Use of this site constitutes acceptance of our terms and conditions of fair use.

The Modes of Discourse—Exposition, Description, Narration, Argumentation (EDNA)—are common paper assignments you may encounter in your writing classes. Although these genres have been criticized by some composition scholars, the Purdue OWL recognizes the wide spread use of these approaches and students’ need to understand and produce them.

What is an expository essay?

The expository essay is a genre of essay that requires the student to investigate an idea, evaluate evidence, expound on the idea, and set forth an argument concerning that idea in a clear and concise manner. This can be accomplished through comparison and contrast, definition, example, the analysis of cause and effect, etc.

Please note : This genre is commonly assigned as a tool for classroom evaluation and is often found in various exam formats.

The structure of the expository essay is held together by the following.

  • A clear, concise, and defined thesis statement that occurs in the first paragraph of the essay.

It is essential that this thesis statement be appropriately narrowed to follow the guidelines set forth in the assignment. If the student does not master this portion of the essay, it will be quite difficult to compose an effective or persuasive essay.

  • Clear and logical transitions between the introduction, body, and conclusion.

Transitions are the mortar that holds the foundation of the essay together. Without logical progression of thought, the reader is unable to follow the essay’s argument, and the structure will collapse.

  • Body paragraphs that include evidential support.

Each paragraph should be limited to the exposition of one general idea. This will allow for clarity and direction throughout the essay. What is more, such conciseness creates an ease of readability for one’s audience. It is important to note that each paragraph in the body of the essay must have some logical connection to the thesis statement in the opening paragraph.

  • Evidential support (whether factual, logical, statistical, or anecdotal).

Often times, students are required to write expository essays with little or no preparation; therefore, such essays do not typically allow for a great deal of statistical or factual evidence.

  • A bit of creativity!

Though creativity and artfulness are not always associated with essay writing, it is an art form nonetheless. Try not to get stuck on the formulaic nature of expository writing at the expense of writing something interesting. Remember, though you may not be crafting the next great novel, you are attempting to leave a lasting impression on the people evaluating your essay.

  • A conclusion that does not simply restate the thesis, but readdresses it in light of the evidence provided.

It is at this point of the essay that students will inevitably begin to struggle. This is the portion of the essay that will leave the most immediate impression on the mind of the reader. Therefore, it must be effective and logical. Do not introduce any new information into the conclusion; rather, synthesize and come to a conclusion concerning the information presented in the body of the essay.

A complete argument

Perhaps it is helpful to think of an essay in terms of a conversation or debate with a classmate. If I were to discuss the cause of the Great Depression and its current effect on those who lived through the tumultuous time, there would be a beginning, middle, and end to the conversation. In fact, if I were to end the exposition in the middle of my second point, questions would arise concerning the current effects on those who lived through the Depression. Therefore, the expository essay must be complete, and logically so, leaving no doubt as to its intent or argument.

The five-paragraph Essay

A common method for writing an expository essay is the five-paragraph approach. This is, however, by no means the only formula for writing such essays. If it sounds straightforward, that is because it is; in fact, the method consists of:

  • an introductory paragraph
  • three evidentiary body paragraphs
  • a conclusion

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5 Expository Essay Examples (Full Text with Citations)

An expository essay attempts to explain a topic in-depth, demonstrating expert knowledge and understanding.

Unlike an argumentative essay, it aims to remain objective and neutral throughout.

It generally follows this essay format:

expository essay format and structure template

Below are five expository essays to demonstrate style and tone.

Expository Essay Examples

#1 impacts of technology on education.

955 words | 4 Pages | 15 References

impact of technology on education essay

Thesis Statement: “The integration of technology in education represents a complex and critical area of study crucial for understanding and shaping the future of educational practices.”

#2 Impacts of Globalization on Education

1450 words | 5 Pages | 9 References

impacts of globalization on education essay

Thesis Statement: “This essay examines the profound and multifaceted effects of globalization on education, exploring how technological advancements and policy reforms have transformed access to, delivery of, and perceptions of education.”

#3 The Role of Emotional Intelligence in Interpersonal Relationships

1211 Words | 5 Pages | 22 References

emotional intelligence essay

Thesis Statement: “The central thesis is that EI, defined as the ability to perceive, understand, and manage emotions, is a crucial determinant of success and well-being.”

#4 The Future of Renewable Energy Sources and Their Impact

870 words | 4 Pages | 20 References

renewable energy essay

Thesis Statement: “The essay posits that although renewable energy sources hold immense promise for a sustainable future, their full integration into the global energy grid presents significant challenges that must be addressed through technological innovation, economic investment, and policy initiatives.”

#5 The Psychology Behind Consumer Behavior

1053 words | 4 Pages | 17 References

consumer behavior essay

Thesis Statement: “The thesis of this essay is that consumer behavior is not merely a product of rational decision-making; it is deeply rooted in psychological processes, both conscious and subconscious, that drive consumers’ choices and actions.”

How to Write an Expository Essay

expository essay definition and features, explained below

Unlike argumentative or persuasive essays, expository essays do not aim to convince the reader of a particular point of view.

Instead, they focus on providing a balanced and thorough explanation of a subject.

Key characteristics of an expository essay include:

  • Clarity and Conciseness
  • Structured Organization (Introduction, Body, Conclusion)
  • Objective Tone
  • Evidence-Based (Cite academic sources in every body paragraph)
  • Objective thesis statement (see below)
  • Informative purpose (Not argumentative)

You can follow my expository essay templates with AI prompts to help guide you through the expository essay writing process:

Expository Essay Paragraph Guide

How to write a Thesis Statement for an Expository Essay

An expository thesis statement doesn’t make an argument or try to persuade. It uses ‘is’ rather than ‘ought’ statements.

Take these comparisons  below. Note how the expository thesis statements don’t prosecute an argument or attempt to persuade, while the argumentative thesis statements clearly take a side on an issue:

💡 AI Prompt for Generating Sample Expository Thesis Statements An expository essay’s thesis statement should be objective rather than argumentative. Write me five broad expository thesis statement ideas on the topic “[TOPIC]”.

Go Deeper: 101 Thesis Statement Examples

Differences Between Expository and Argumentative Essays

Expository and argumentative essays are both common writing styles in academic and professional contexts, but they serve different purposes and follow different structures.

Here are the key differences between them:

  • Expository Essay : The primary purpose is to explain, describe, or inform about a topic. It focuses on clarifying a subject or process, providing understanding and insight.
  • Argumentative Essay : The goal is to persuade the reader to accept a particular point of view or to take a specific action. It’s about presenting a stance and supporting it with evidence and logic.
  • Expository Essay : It maintains a neutral and objective tone. The writer presents information factually and impartially, without expressing personal opinions or biases.
  • Argumentative Essay : It often adopts a more assertive, persuasive, and subjective tone. The writer takes a clear position and argues in favor of it, using persuasive language.
  • Expository Essay : The reader is expected to gain knowledge, understand a process, or become informed about a topic. There’s no expectation for the reader to agree or disagree.
  • Argumentative Essay : The reader is encouraged to consider the writer’s viewpoint, evaluate arguments, and possibly be persuaded to adopt a new perspective or take action.

Go Deeper: Expository vs Argumentative Essays

Ready to Write your Essay?

Expository Essay Template

Take action! Choose one of the following options to start writing your expository essay now:

Read Next: Process Essay Examples

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point of view expository essay

What is an Expository Essay?

Students of all disciplines and subject areas are tasked with writing expository essays at some point in their studies. So what is an expository essay, and how do you write a great one? Read on to find out!

Definition:

An expository essay requires the writer to research and investigate an idea, gather supporting evidence, and present a point of view or argument on the topic. This can be done through multiple methods, including compare and contrast, cause and effect, or examples. Simply put, and expository essay is a research paper.

How to write a great one:

There are many ways to write a great essay, however all expository essays follow the same basic steps. One effective method of writing is known as the POET method .

P for Purpose

  • Every expository essay has a purpose. Sometimes the topic is selected by your teacher. Other times, it is up to you to select a topic to write about.
  • If you are selecting your own topic to write about, be sure to choose one that is specific enough to tackle within the confines of an essay.
  • If your teacher has chosen the purpose or topic for you, be sure to pay attention to the verbs in the prompt. Look for words such as analyze, compare, connect.
  • Strong essays are consistent throughout, never deviating from the central purpose.

O is for Organization

  • Start your essay with an introductory paragraph. This should set the stage for the rest of the paper and include your thesis statement, which we will discuss later. The introductory paragraph is your opportunity to grab the reader’s interest and attention for the rest of the paper.
  • A good essay should be well organized into body paragraphs, with each describing a certain supporting piece of evidence and how it connects to your purpose.
  • Each paragraph should have a topic sentence, which demonstrates to the reader what the paragraph will be focusing on. Be sure to focus on how each body paragraph supports your thesis.
  • End your paper with a conclusion paragraph. This should not simply be a re-statement of the thesis statement. Instead, think of how each piece of evidence you presented ties back to your thesis. Be sure to avoid introducing new ideas in the conclusion.

E is for Evidence

  • Great essays do more than simply make claims. Instead, they present an idea that is backed up by evidence found in outside sources.
  • Your evidence should be from reputable and well-respected sources.
  • Be sure to cite each source that you use to form the evidence of your paper. This is very important, as it demonstrates your commitment to research for your topic, and will prevent accusations of plagiarism. BibMe has citation services that can help you create a bibliography in MLA format , APA format, or other citation styles.

T is for Thesis

  • Your thesis statement is the driving idea for the rest of your paper. It is the point of your paper, and is what each body paragraph and piece of evidence attempts to support.
  • Generally, your thesis statement should be the last sentence of your introductory paragraph.
  • Be careful not to simply re-state the purpose or prompt. Instead, it should preview what your thoughts on the topic are, and how you plan to solidify your claim. Be as specific as possible.

Example prompt: Describe how the use of digital devices effects children’s development. What are the pros and cons of digital devices being used by young children?

Weak thesis: Too much time spent on a digital device is bad for children.

Strong thesis: Although electronic devices can provide educational content, parents should regulate the amount of time children spend on digital platforms, as they can inhibit social interaction, shorten attention spans, and cause unhealthy sleeping habits.

Before turning in your paper, don’t forget to do a final proofread of your paper. It’s a good practice to review your final draft for spelling, formatting, consistency, and other grammar considerations. There are also online grammar check services that automatically scan and proofread our paper for you.

These steps will create a more robust, well-thought-out essay. Now that you know the basics, go out and begin writing with confidence!

Need APA citations ? Or citations in MLA, Chicago, Harvard, or another style? Try BibMe’s citation services.

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Expository Essay

Expository Essay Outline

Caleb S.

How to Write an Expository Essay Outline Like a Pro

Expository Essay Outline

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Many students struggle with crafting effective expository essays due to a lack of clarity and structure in their writing.

The resulting confusion often leads to subpar grades and a sense of frustration, hindering their academic progress.

Fortunately, we have the perfect solution for you! 

In this blog, we'll provide a detailed expository essay outline that will serve as your roadmap to success. 

With our step-by-step guide, you'll learn how to structure your essay effectively, and convey your ideas clearly.

Let’s get started.

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  • 1. Expository Essay Overview
  • 2. Expository Essay Outline
  • 3. 5 Paragraph Expository Essay Outline
  • 4. How to Write an Expository Essay Outline?
  • 5. Pitfalls to Avoid while Writing an Expository Essay Outline

Expository Essay Overview

An expository essay is a common type of academic writing that aims to inform, explain, or describe a particular topic to the reader. 

Unlike persuasive or argumentative essays , expository essays focus on presenting factual information and objective analysis, rather than advocating a specific viewpoint.

Before you start jotting down words on a piece of paper, you should craft an outline for your expository essay.

An outline is the same for all types of expository essays ; the only difference is the type of content it provides.

Here is how you can write an expository essay outline without any errors.

5 Paragraph Expository Essay Outline

The 5-paragraph essay outline usually consists of 1 introduction, 3 body, and 1 conclusion paragraph. Here is a 5 paragraph essay outline structure:

To gain a deeper understanding of the structure of expository essays, take a look at the following expository essay outline examples.

Expository Essay Outline Template

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Looking for more examples? Check out this blog for expository essay examples for some inspiration.

How to Write an Expository Essay Outline?

Here, we'll break down the essential steps to create a clear and effective expository essay outline:

  • Choose Your Topic

Start by selecting a specific expository essay topic that you want to explain or describe. Ensure it's well-defined and manageable within the scope of your essay.

  • Gather Information

Research and collect relevant information, data, and evidence related to your chosen topic. This step is crucial to providing factual support for your essay.

  • Create a Thesis Statement

Develop a clear and concise thesis statement that outlines the main point you'll be explaining in your essay. This statement should encapsulate the essence of your topic.

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  • Organize Your Ideas

Arrange your ideas and supporting points logically. Group similar ideas together and consider the order in which they should be presented to make the essay flow smoothly.

  • Use a Structured Format

Follow a standard expository essay structure, comprising an introduction, body paragraphs, and a conclusion, each with a specific role in conveying your information.

  • Introduction : Your first chance to engage the reader, ensure it's both captivating and informative, staying aligned with the essay's main idea.
  • Body : This section is dedicated to presenting evidence that supports your thesis statement, involving a thorough exploration of the topic using factual evidence.
  • Conclusion : The final section that leaves a lasting impact on the reader's mind. It should be convincing, informative, and create a lasting impression.

Pitfalls to Avoid while Writing an Expository Essay Outline

To ensure that your outline effectively supports your expository essay, here are some pitfalls to steer clear of:

Neglecting the Introductory Paragraph

One common misstep is not paying enough attention to the introductory paragraph within your outline. This is where you present your expository essay topic and your point of view. A weak or unclear introduction can undermine the entire essay.

Lack of Clarity in Your Thesis

Your thesis statement is the linchpin of your expository essay. Failing to formulate a precise and clear thesis can lead to a muddled outline, making it challenging to create a structured and coherent essay.

Skipping the Pre-Writing Phase

Jumping straight into creating an outline without thorough research and brainstorming can be a grave mistake. The pre-writing phase is vital to gather information and ideas to support your thesis effectively.

Ignoring the Order of Ideas

When structuring your outline, it's crucial to arrange your ideas logically. Avoid the pitfall of random organization, as it can lead to confusion and a lack of coherence in your essay.

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Overloading with Information

While it's essential to provide factual support for your thesis, overloading your outline with excessive information or too many subtopics can make your essay overwhelming and unfocused.

Failing to Address Different Points of View

A good Expository essay should acknowledge alternative perspectives on the topic. Neglecting to include these perspectives in your outline can make your essay appear biased and incomplete.

Forgetting to Revisit and Revise

Once you start writing your essay based on the outline, don't forget to revisit and revise it as needed. Failure to adapt the outline to the evolving essay content can result in inconsistencies.

In conclusion , this blog has provided a comprehensive guide to crafting an effective expository essay outline. By following the structured format outlined here, you'll be well-equipped to excel in the essay writing process. 

With practice and dedication, you can consistently produce expository essays that inform, educate, and leave a lasting impression on your readers.

Does writing an expository essay seem difficult?

Don’t worry, as expository essay writers are here to help you with your essay writing needs. 

MyPerfectWords.com is a professional write my essay website that you can rely on for getting essay help. 

Our  expository essay writing service  has a team of professionals as well as highly qualified writers to help you with your academic needs. 

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Caleb S. has been providing writing services for over five years and has a Masters degree from Oxford University. He is an expert in his craft and takes great pride in helping students achieve their academic goals. Caleb is a dedicated professional who always puts his clients first.

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  • The four main types of essay | Quick guide with examples

The Four Main Types of Essay | Quick Guide with Examples

Published on September 4, 2020 by Jack Caulfield . Revised on July 23, 2023.

An essay is a focused piece of writing designed to inform or persuade. There are many different types of essay, but they are often defined in four categories: argumentative, expository, narrative, and descriptive essays.

Argumentative and expository essays are focused on conveying information and making clear points, while narrative and descriptive essays are about exercising creativity and writing in an interesting way. At university level, argumentative essays are the most common type. 

In high school and college, you will also often have to write textual analysis essays, which test your skills in close reading and interpretation.

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Table of contents

Argumentative essays, expository essays, narrative essays, descriptive essays, textual analysis essays, other interesting articles, frequently asked questions about types of essays.

An argumentative essay presents an extended, evidence-based argument. It requires a strong thesis statement —a clearly defined stance on your topic. Your aim is to convince the reader of your thesis using evidence (such as quotations ) and analysis.

Argumentative essays test your ability to research and present your own position on a topic. This is the most common type of essay at college level—most papers you write will involve some kind of argumentation.

The essay is divided into an introduction, body, and conclusion:

  • The introduction provides your topic and thesis statement
  • The body presents your evidence and arguments
  • The conclusion summarizes your argument and emphasizes its importance

The example below is a paragraph from the body of an argumentative essay about the effects of the internet on education. Mouse over it to learn more.

A common frustration for teachers is students’ use of Wikipedia as a source in their writing. Its prevalence among students is not exaggerated; a survey found that the vast majority of the students surveyed used Wikipedia (Head & Eisenberg, 2010). An article in The Guardian stresses a common objection to its use: “a reliance on Wikipedia can discourage students from engaging with genuine academic writing” (Coomer, 2013). Teachers are clearly not mistaken in viewing Wikipedia usage as ubiquitous among their students; but the claim that it discourages engagement with academic sources requires further investigation. This point is treated as self-evident by many teachers, but Wikipedia itself explicitly encourages students to look into other sources. Its articles often provide references to academic publications and include warning notes where citations are missing; the site’s own guidelines for research make clear that it should be used as a starting point, emphasizing that users should always “read the references and check whether they really do support what the article says” (“Wikipedia:Researching with Wikipedia,” 2020). Indeed, for many students, Wikipedia is their first encounter with the concepts of citation and referencing. The use of Wikipedia therefore has a positive side that merits deeper consideration than it often receives.

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point of view expository essay

An expository essay provides a clear, focused explanation of a topic. It doesn’t require an original argument, just a balanced and well-organized view of the topic.

Expository essays test your familiarity with a topic and your ability to organize and convey information. They are commonly assigned at high school or in exam questions at college level.

The introduction of an expository essay states your topic and provides some general background, the body presents the details, and the conclusion summarizes the information presented.

A typical body paragraph from an expository essay about the invention of the printing press is shown below. Mouse over it to learn more.

The invention of the printing press in 1440 changed this situation dramatically. Johannes Gutenberg, who had worked as a goldsmith, used his knowledge of metals in the design of the press. He made his type from an alloy of lead, tin, and antimony, whose durability allowed for the reliable production of high-quality books. This new technology allowed texts to be reproduced and disseminated on a much larger scale than was previously possible. The Gutenberg Bible appeared in the 1450s, and a large number of printing presses sprang up across the continent in the following decades. Gutenberg’s invention rapidly transformed cultural production in Europe; among other things, it would lead to the Protestant Reformation.

A narrative essay is one that tells a story. This is usually a story about a personal experience you had, but it may also be an imaginative exploration of something you have not experienced.

Narrative essays test your ability to build up a narrative in an engaging, well-structured way. They are much more personal and creative than other kinds of academic writing . Writing a personal statement for an application requires the same skills as a narrative essay.

A narrative essay isn’t strictly divided into introduction, body, and conclusion, but it should still begin by setting up the narrative and finish by expressing the point of the story—what you learned from your experience, or why it made an impression on you.

Mouse over the example below, a short narrative essay responding to the prompt “Write about an experience where you learned something about yourself,” to explore its structure.

Since elementary school, I have always favored subjects like science and math over the humanities. My instinct was always to think of these subjects as more solid and serious than classes like English. If there was no right answer, I thought, why bother? But recently I had an experience that taught me my academic interests are more flexible than I had thought: I took my first philosophy class.

Before I entered the classroom, I was skeptical. I waited outside with the other students and wondered what exactly philosophy would involve—I really had no idea. I imagined something pretty abstract: long, stilted conversations pondering the meaning of life. But what I got was something quite different.

A young man in jeans, Mr. Jones—“but you can call me Rob”—was far from the white-haired, buttoned-up old man I had half-expected. And rather than pulling us into pedantic arguments about obscure philosophical points, Rob engaged us on our level. To talk free will, we looked at our own choices. To talk ethics, we looked at dilemmas we had faced ourselves. By the end of class, I’d discovered that questions with no right answer can turn out to be the most interesting ones.

The experience has taught me to look at things a little more “philosophically”—and not just because it was a philosophy class! I learned that if I let go of my preconceptions, I can actually get a lot out of subjects I was previously dismissive of. The class taught me—in more ways than one—to look at things with an open mind.

A descriptive essay provides a detailed sensory description of something. Like narrative essays, they allow you to be more creative than most academic writing, but they are more tightly focused than narrative essays. You might describe a specific place or object, rather than telling a whole story.

Descriptive essays test your ability to use language creatively, making striking word choices to convey a memorable picture of what you’re describing.

A descriptive essay can be quite loosely structured, though it should usually begin by introducing the object of your description and end by drawing an overall picture of it. The important thing is to use careful word choices and figurative language to create an original description of your object.

Mouse over the example below, a response to the prompt “Describe a place you love to spend time in,” to learn more about descriptive essays.

On Sunday afternoons I like to spend my time in the garden behind my house. The garden is narrow but long, a corridor of green extending from the back of the house, and I sit on a lawn chair at the far end to read and relax. I am in my small peaceful paradise: the shade of the tree, the feel of the grass on my feet, the gentle activity of the fish in the pond beside me.

My cat crosses the garden nimbly and leaps onto the fence to survey it from above. From his perch he can watch over his little kingdom and keep an eye on the neighbours. He does this until the barking of next door’s dog scares him from his post and he bolts for the cat flap to govern from the safety of the kitchen.

With that, I am left alone with the fish, whose whole world is the pond by my feet. The fish explore the pond every day as if for the first time, prodding and inspecting every stone. I sometimes feel the same about sitting here in the garden; I know the place better than anyone, but whenever I return I still feel compelled to pay attention to all its details and novelties—a new bird perched in the tree, the growth of the grass, and the movement of the insects it shelters…

Sitting out in the garden, I feel serene. I feel at home. And yet I always feel there is more to discover. The bounds of my garden may be small, but there is a whole world contained within it, and it is one I will never get tired of inhabiting.

Though every essay type tests your writing skills, some essays also test your ability to read carefully and critically. In a textual analysis essay, you don’t just present information on a topic, but closely analyze a text to explain how it achieves certain effects.

Rhetorical analysis

A rhetorical analysis looks at a persuasive text (e.g. a speech, an essay, a political cartoon) in terms of the rhetorical devices it uses, and evaluates their effectiveness.

The goal is not to state whether you agree with the author’s argument but to look at how they have constructed it.

The introduction of a rhetorical analysis presents the text, some background information, and your thesis statement; the body comprises the analysis itself; and the conclusion wraps up your analysis of the text, emphasizing its relevance to broader concerns.

The example below is from a rhetorical analysis of Martin Luther King Jr.’s “I Have a Dream” speech . Mouse over it to learn more.

King’s speech is infused with prophetic language throughout. Even before the famous “dream” part of the speech, King’s language consistently strikes a prophetic tone. He refers to the Lincoln Memorial as a “hallowed spot” and speaks of rising “from the dark and desolate valley of segregation” to “make justice a reality for all of God’s children.” The assumption of this prophetic voice constitutes the text’s strongest ethical appeal; after linking himself with political figures like Lincoln and the Founding Fathers, King’s ethos adopts a distinctly religious tone, recalling Biblical prophets and preachers of change from across history. This adds significant force to his words; standing before an audience of hundreds of thousands, he states not just what the future should be, but what it will be: “The whirlwinds of revolt will continue to shake the foundations of our nation until the bright day of justice emerges.” This warning is almost apocalyptic in tone, though it concludes with the positive image of the “bright day of justice.” The power of King’s rhetoric thus stems not only from the pathos of his vision of a brighter future, but from the ethos of the prophetic voice he adopts in expressing this vision.

Literary analysis

A literary analysis essay presents a close reading of a work of literature—e.g. a poem or novel—to explore the choices made by the author and how they help to convey the text’s theme. It is not simply a book report or a review, but an in-depth interpretation of the text.

Literary analysis looks at things like setting, characters, themes, and figurative language. The goal is to closely analyze what the author conveys and how.

The introduction of a literary analysis essay presents the text and background, and provides your thesis statement; the body consists of close readings of the text with quotations and analysis in support of your argument; and the conclusion emphasizes what your approach tells us about the text.

Mouse over the example below, the introduction to a literary analysis essay on Frankenstein , to learn more.

Mary Shelley’s Frankenstein is often read as a crude cautionary tale about the dangers of scientific advancement unrestrained by ethical considerations. In this reading, protagonist Victor Frankenstein is a stable representation of the callous ambition of modern science throughout the novel. This essay, however, argues that far from providing a stable image of the character, Shelley uses shifting narrative perspectives to portray Frankenstein in an increasingly negative light as the novel goes on. While he initially appears to be a naive but sympathetic idealist, after the creature’s narrative Frankenstein begins to resemble—even in his own telling—the thoughtlessly cruel figure the creature represents him as. This essay begins by exploring the positive portrayal of Frankenstein in the first volume, then moves on to the creature’s perception of him, and finally discusses the third volume’s narrative shift toward viewing Frankenstein as the creature views him.

If you want to know more about AI tools , college essays , or fallacies make sure to check out some of our other articles with explanations and examples or go directly to our tools!

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At high school and in composition classes at university, you’ll often be told to write a specific type of essay , but you might also just be given prompts.

Look for keywords in these prompts that suggest a certain approach: The word “explain” suggests you should write an expository essay , while the word “describe” implies a descriptive essay . An argumentative essay might be prompted with the word “assess” or “argue.”

The vast majority of essays written at university are some sort of argumentative essay . Almost all academic writing involves building up an argument, though other types of essay might be assigned in composition classes.

Essays can present arguments about all kinds of different topics. For example:

  • In a literary analysis essay, you might make an argument for a specific interpretation of a text
  • In a history essay, you might present an argument for the importance of a particular event
  • In a politics essay, you might argue for the validity of a certain political theory

An argumentative essay tends to be a longer essay involving independent research, and aims to make an original argument about a topic. Its thesis statement makes a contentious claim that must be supported in an objective, evidence-based way.

An expository essay also aims to be objective, but it doesn’t have to make an original argument. Rather, it aims to explain something (e.g., a process or idea) in a clear, concise way. Expository essays are often shorter assignments and rely less on research.

The key difference is that a narrative essay is designed to tell a complete story, while a descriptive essay is meant to convey an intense description of a particular place, object, or concept.

Narrative and descriptive essays both allow you to write more personally and creatively than other kinds of essays , and similar writing skills can apply to both.

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4.1: Expository Essays

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Learning Objectives

  • Understand the function and use of expository essays
  • Identify eight types of expository essays
  • Apply expository essay structure

What Is an Expository Essay?

An essay that explains a writer’s ideas by defining, explaining, informing, or elaborating on points to allow the reader to clearly understand the concept.

Many of your future academic workplace writing assignments will be expository–explaining your ideas or the significance of a concept or action. An expository essay allows the writer the opportunity to explain his or her ideas about a topic and to provide clarity for the reader by using:

  • Explanations
  • Definitions

It may also include the writer outlining steps of a procedure in a way that is straightforward for the reader to follow. It is purely informative and often contains elements of summary.

Imagine you need to verbally explain a concept to your classmates, maybe a behavioural theory. What are the key elements on which you would focus? How would you organize the information? You could explain who came up with the theory, the specific area of study to which it is related, its purpose, and the significant details to explain the theory. Telling these four elements to your classmates would give them a complete, yet summarized, picture of the theory, so they could apply the theory in future discussions.

Although you did this verbally, you were still fulfilling the elements of an expository essay by providing definition, details, explanations, and maybe even facts if you have a really good memory. This is the same process that you would use when you write an expository essay. You may actually be doing this all the time; for example, when you are giving someone directions to a place or explaining how to cook something. In the following sections of the chapter, you will practise doing this more in different expository written forms.

The Structure of an Expository Essay

Sections versus paragraphs.

Before looking at the general structure of an expository essay, you first need to know that in your post-secondary education, you should not consider your essay as writing being constructed with five paragraphs as you might have been used to in high school. You should instead think of your essay in terms of sections (there may be five), and each section may have multiple paragraphs.

To understand further why you need to think beyond the five-paragraph essay, imagine you have been asked to submit a six-page paper (approximately 1,500 words). You already know that each paragraph should be roughly 75 to 200 words long. If you divide the required word count by five paragraphs (1,500 by 5), you end with 300 words per paragraph, way above the number you should have in a paragraph. If your paragraphs are too long, they likely have too many ideas and your reader may become confused. Your paragraphs should be two-third of a page at most, and never longer than a page.

Instead, if you think of your essays being divided into sections (with possibly more than one paragraph per section), your writing will likely be more organized and allow your reader to follow your presentation of ideas without creating too much distance between your paragraph’s supporting points and its topic sentence.

As you will see in Section 4.5, some essay forms may require even more than five paragraphs or sections because of how many points are necessary to address. For the rest of this chapter, the term paragraph will also imply section.

Sections of an Expository Essay

An expository essay, regardless of its purpose, should have at least five sections, which are:

  • Introduction
  • First body section/paragraph
  • Second body section/paragraph
  • Third body section/paragraph
  • Conclusion.

The introduction should state the topic of your paper: your thesis statement as well as brief signposts of what information the rest of the paper will include. That is, you only want to mention the content of the body paragraphs; you do not want to go in to a lot of detail and repeat what will be in the rest of the essay.

The first body section or paragraph should focus on one of your main points and provide evidence to support that point. There should be two to three supporting points: reasons, facts, statistics, quotations, examples, or a mix of these. Both the second and third body sections should follow the same pattern. Providing three body sections with one point each that supports the thesis should provide the reader with enough detail to be convinced of your argument or fully understand the concept you are explaining. However, remember that some sections will require more explanation, and you may need to separate this information into multiple paragraphs.

You can order your sections in the most logical way to explain your ideas. For example, if you are describing a process, you may use chronological order to show the definite time order in which the steps need to happen. You will learn about the different ways to organize your body paragraphs in the next chapter.

The concluding paragraph , or conclusion, can be a little tricky to compose because you need to make sure you give a concise summary of the body paragraphs, but you must be careful not to simply repeat what you have already written. Look back at the main idea of each section/paragraph, and try to summarize the point using words different from those you have already used. Do not include any new points in your concluding paragraph.

Consider Your Audience: How Much Do They Know?

Later in this chapter, you will work on determining and adapting to your audience when writing, but with an expository essay, since you are defining or informing your audience on a certain topic, you need to evaluate how much your audience knows about that topic (aside from having general common knowledge). You want to make sure you are giving thorough, comprehensive, and clear explanations on the topic. Never assume the reader knows everything about your topic (even if it is covered in the reader’s field of study). For example, even though some of your instructors may teach criminology, they may have specialized in different areas from the one about which you are writing; they most likely have a strong understanding of the concepts but may not recall all the small details on the topic. If your instructor specialized in crime mapping and data analysis for example, he or she may not have a strong recollection of specific criminological theories related to other areas of study. Providing enough background information without being too detailed is a fine balance, but you always want to ensure you have no gaps in the information, so your reader will not have to guess your intention. Again, we will practise this more in Section 4.9.

What Comes Next?

In the next eight sections (4.2 through 4.9), we will look at different expository modes, or rhetorical modes, you will often be assigned. These are:

  • Illustration
  • Description
  • Classification
  • Process analysis
  • Compare and contrast
  • Cause and effect

Rhetorical modes refers simply to the ways to communicate effectively through language. As you read about these modes, keep in mind that the rhetorical mode a writer chooses depends on his or her purpose for writing. Sometimes writers incorporate a variety of modes in any one essay. In this chapter, we also emphasize the rhetorical modes as a set of tools that will allow you greater flexibility and effectiveness in communicating with your audience and expressing your ideas.

In a few weeks, you will need to submit your first essay–an expository sample–and you will be given the choice of topic: one from each of the modes. Think about which types of expository essays are easier and which are more challenging for you. As mentioned, as you progress through your studies, you will be exposed to each of these types. You may want to explore a mode you find more challenging than the others in order to ensure you have a full grasp on developing each type. However, it is up to you. As you work through the sections, think about possible topics you may like to cover in your expository essay and start brainstorming as you work through the self-practice exercises.

After we explore each of the individual modes in the eight sections that follow, we will look at outlining and drafting; it is at this point you will want to fine tune and narrow the topic you will write about, so you can focus on that when doing the exercises.

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point of view expository essay

What is an Expository Essay? Ultimate Guide

expository-essay

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So, it happens again: a teacher assigns an expository essay to you.

Nothing special, right? After all, who doesn’t know anything about expository writing?

*sarcasm here*

Types of essays are so many, and the differences between them are so tiny, that it’s less than simple for a student to get lost in those writing jungles. That’s why Bid4Papers craft the detailed guides for you to find a way out: persuasive essays , narrative essays , SAT essays – they aren’t that terrible if you follow the right path of writing them.

Today, the time is for how to write an expository essay. Take a cup of coffee or tea, sit back, and learn about what is an expository essay and its aspects.

Table of Contents:

  • Expository essay topics
  • Types of expository essays
  • Expository essay structure
  • The purpose of expository essay
  • Expository essay outline (+ POET method)
  • How to start an expository essay
  • How to end an expository essay
  • Benefits of expository writing
  • Writing tips to follow
  • Additional resources to check

What is an Expository Essay?

When asked to define expository essay, it’s significant to understand the characteristics of this essay type and its difference from argumentative and reflective papers.

Here goes a standard expository essay definition:

So, as you see, the expository definition is not that tricky to remember. The characteristics of your expository essay are as follows:

  • You write it to teach readers about the topic.
  • You describe and explain facts on the topic to inform readers.
  • You provide the exhaustive information on the topic.
  • You write it in the 3rd person, with a formal language, and in a precise, logical manner.

To write an A-worthy expository essay, you’ll need to do deep research to provide readers with insights on the topic. As an author, you can’t take any side or develop any arguments here: your goal is to inform and explain .

Expository Essay Topics

Expository essay topics can come from different spheres. As a rule, teachers assign a definite topic and give further requirements on writing about it; but if not, students are free to choose from topics of their interest.

You can write about education, health, law, movies, science, politics, social media, wars, history, etc. Just make sure you choose something you know about (it’s easier to research) and can explain it to readers.

Think of topics that might attract your audience and meet the requirements of your teacher. Avoid too general topics; narrow your research sphere, be specific, and make your expository essay clear and concise.

Here go some topic ideas for your inspiration. Feel free to choose any of them if they fit your assignment or ask Bid4Papers writers to assist you .

Expository Essay Topics for Beginners

point of view expository essay

Intermediate

Expository Essay Topics for Intermediates

Types of Expository Essays

Yes, it’s about types of essays within an expository essay. They are five:

  • Definition (descriptive) essays : they give information by explaining the meaning of a word or a concept. Here you tell readers about places, situations, or experience concerning the concept.
  • Classification essays: they break down a broad topic into categories. Here you start an writing expository essays with the general subject and then define and give examples of each subgroup within it.
  • Cause/effect essays: they explain the cause of something and how things affect each other within the concept. Here you identify the relations between two subjects, focus on what happened between them, and tell about the effect of that interaction.
  • Compare/contrast essays: they describe the similarities and differences between two or more concepts, places, people, etc.
  • Process essays: they explain a step-by-step process of something, its procedure, or how to do it. Your goal here is to give instructions to readers. Sometimes, this type of expository essays is called a problem/solution essay: you describe a problem and then tell readers how to solve it.

So, you can describe, explain, compare, tell about the process, or solve a problem in your essay. But before you choose, make sure you understand what is expository writing and what differs it from persuasive (argumentative) essays.

For many students, these essay types are the same. But it’s not so: while argumentative essays convince readers of your position or point of view, expository essays just tell about the issue and share the facts and evidence about it.

Let’s compare:

The difference between persuasive and expository essays

Expository Essay Structure

Once you’ve decided on the topic and type, it’s time to think of expository essay structure.

As well as all common types of essays, expository ones consist of an introduction, body paragraphs, and a conclusion. Usually, there are three paragraphs in an essay body, but you are welcome to change this number according to your topic and teacher requirements.

An expository essay structure includes:

  • A clear thesis statement in the first paragraph.
  • Logical transitions between all paragraphs.
  • Factual and logical evidence in body paragraphs.
  • A conclusion that restates a thesis and readdresses it in the list of provided evidence.
  • A pinch of creativity to impress readers.

point of view expository essay

So, what to write in each part of your expository essay writing:

  • Introduction: start it with a general statement about the topic, but do your best to hook the audience so they would like to continue reading; provide the context for the audience to understand your topic; and state a thesis for the audience to understand what you are going to expose in the essay.
  • Body paragraphs: start with the main idea of the paragraph; include the evidence (facts, statistics, quotes, interviews, etc.) to support the idea; analyze the evidence: explain why you choose this particular information to support your thesis; complete each paragraph with a logical transition to the next one.
  • Conclusion: overview the ideas you discussed in your essay and highlight the progression of your thoughts on it; restate your thesis and leave readers with food for thought.

How to Write an Expository Essay

An expository essay is about research and informing a reader about an issue, a point of view, or a fact. To get the idea on how to write an expository essay, you need to understand its purpose and follow the steps of academic writing.

The Purpose of Expository Essay

What is the purpose of expository essay?

In plain English, an expository essay explains a topic. You are just stating facts, no matter if you write a “how-to” paper or tell about the history of China or the cost of essays for students .

Such essays are not about what you think about a topic. You inform readers, explaining it through investigation and argumentation in a logical manner.

Use the POET method to organize your expository essay like a boss:

point of view expository essay

Expository Essay Outline

Before you sit and start an expository essay, write its plan. It’s a kinda map that allows you to specify core elements of your essay and make sure you don’t miss any fact or evidence while writing.

Just write a sentence for each element of your essay to save time and ease the writing process. Feel free to use this expository essay outline template from Bid4Papers:

point of view expository essay

[Download this template]

Fill it in – and you are ready to start writing your expository writing!

How to Start an Expository Essay

It’s the most common question among students. Frankly speaking, it can lead to a writer’s block and procrastination: you sit, staring at a blank page, and can’t find any words to start a sentence. It frustrates. It upsets. And it disappoints: you give up, postpone, and lose interest in writing…

We wrote about how to start a persuasive essay already. As for how to start an expository essay, the elements of introduction will be the same but with the only difference: you won’t argue about anything. Instead, you’ll be objective about the topic.

And now, for the structure of your introductory paragraph . It consists of:

  • An attention-grabbing hook: one sentence.
  • Information about your topic, to give the context to your readers: 2-3 sentences.
  • A thesis statement: one sentence about what you are going to write about.

Expository Essay Introduction: Structure

point of view expository essay

TIP: Try writing an introduction after you’ve finished the draft of the essay body. Thus you’ll have all the points and evidence fresh in your mind, and you’ll be able to extract the thesis and decide on the best hook to start an expository essay.

How to End an Expository Essay

Together with an introduction, a strong conclusion is critical for expository essays to have. It ties up the entire essay, wrapping up its thesis for readers and leaving them with thoughts on its topic.

source: Giphy

Think about a minimum of three sentences to write in your conclusion. And remember that you shouldn’t simply restate your thesis here: don’t repeat your thesis statement from the introduction but explain how the information from the essay body helped to come up to this conclusion.

Your essay conclusion is the answer to what you discussed in the essay body. Don’t introduce any new points to readers, and end your expository essay on a positive: give the audience something to remember your essay, and leave them with something to think about.

Points to remember when writing an essay conclusion:

  • Stay clear.
  • Conclude the thoughts, not present new ideas.
  • Restate the thesis and explain how your essay exposes it.
  • Be objective, use straightforward language.
  • Make sure it consists of three sentences minimum: sum up (1), answer the questions from your thesis (1-3), give readers the food for thought (1).

Benefits of Expository Writing

That’s all well and good, but…

Why the heck you need to spend time and energy on expository writing?

Nope, it’s not because teachers hate you and want you to get buried in tons of homework. It’s because expository essays help you develop some valuable skills you’ll need in the years since school is over. Below are the benefits you gain:

  • Research and evaluating the information: In the Internet era, when tons of information is online, and it’s hard to understand what’s true or false, this skill is more than crucial to have. Expository essays are about research, so the more you do it, the more skillful you become. You learn to evaluate the information, check if it’s relevant and trustful, and understand what’s fake online.
  • Critical thinking: In expository essays, you often need to evaluate the issue and approach to it from different angles. It develops your critical thinking, a must-have skill for each representative of Gen Z to have today.
  • Ability to express your thoughts briefly and clearly: You need to gather tons of information for your expository essay but stay coherent when describing it. Thus you learn to express yourself and share your thoughts with others.
  • Time management and organizational skills: Expository writing teaches you to organize thoughts and express them logically. It’s all about organizational skills we all need to develop and improve in adult life. Practice makes perfect, so you’ll learn how to manage time and organize your tasks. Not bad, huh?

The Process of Expository Writing

When writing an expository essay, you’ll follow at least four steps: prewriting (brainstorming, research, outlining), drafting (writing an introduction, a body, and a conclusion of your essay), revising (checking all factual and grammar/spelling mistakes), and editing.

Yes, the process seems energy-sapping. But nothing is as bad as it looks.

point of view expository essay

Here it goes, the process of your expository writing:

Step 1 – Prewriting

This phase is when you brainstorm a topic (if a teacher didn’t assign it beforehand), state a thesis, and do research to outline an expository essay before writing it.

How to choose the best topic for your expository essay?

Think of niches you already know something about. Make a list of topics that might be interesting for you, and you feel you might tell about to readers. Then, narrow it down to one that would be easiest for you to find research.

When choosing, answer these questions:

  • Is it interesting to you?
  • Do you have any previous knowledge about this topic?
  • Is it easy to find credible references for it?
  • Can you explain this topic (issue) to the reader?

Once the topic is ready, it’s time for research. Don’t skip this step, even if you think you know a lot about the topic of your expository essay: you’ll need references anyway; plus, you’ll learn more details and discover new things about your topic to include to your writing.

You need research to find examples for your essay, know what you will write in every paragraph, and state a thesis .

What’s a thesis?

It’s the heart of your essay, and no teacher will grade your paper high if it doesn’t have any thesis statement inside. In short, it’s a sentence in the introduction of your essay that identifies the main idea or a central purpose of your text .

For most students, a thesis is the most challenging part of an essay to write. That’s why so many free essay generators are online now, and that’s why thesis statement generators are so popular. Feel free to try ours :

NB! A thesis is not a mere fact or statement. It’s a claim, an idea, or an interpretation one can dispute. Your job as an essay writer is to give readers something they could think about.

Example: Bad thesis: British indifference caused the American Revolution.

Good thesis: By treating their U.S. colonies as little more than a source of revenue and limiting colonists’ political rights, British indifference contributed to the start of the American Revolution. ( Source )

Write down a thesis statement to the outline, with the researched info and examples. Now you are ready to start drafting.

Step 2 – Drafting

When the thesis and outline are ready, start writing your essay. Drafting each paragraph, refer to the thesis statement so you wouldn’t miss any points. Use transition words in every paragraph to reinforce the message, support facts, and make it easier for readers to follow your train of thoughts.

Start each body paragraph with a topic sentence to introduce what it will be about. Develop the idea and present the evidence in every paragraph

Tips for writing body paragraphs of your expository essay:

  • Provide facts that will help readers get to the point.
  • Avoid biased information, use straightforward language: short and clear words, active verbs, and appropriate adverbs.
  • Choose evidence that would be the most telling example for your thesis.

Step 3 – Revising

This is a phase when you review your draft and reorganize, if necessary, for it to look and sound better.

What to check when revising your expository essay:

Revising Your Expository Essay: Questions to Answer

Step 4 – Editing

The final step of writing an expository essay is its editing. Read it once again to check for grammar and spelling mistakes, improve its style and clarity, and make sure it’s engaging for readers to check.

  • You can ask a friend to read your essay and share advice on its editing.
  • You can read the essay out loud: this trick helps to identify phrases and grammar constructions that sound weird.
  • You can try some online tools to check the grammar and spelling of your expository essay: Hemingway App, Grammarly, After the Deadline, Ginger, and others.
  • You can ask a professional editor to check your essay and give feedback on what to improve there.

And only after you are 100% sure the essay looks great, submit it for a teacher’s review and wait for your A+.

Writing Tips to Follow

For expository essays, you need to investigate a topic inside out and report the facts, regardless of what you think about them. Follow these expository essay tips – and your paper will rock!

  • Think about an eye-catching headline for your essay, but make sure it has something to do with your thesis statement.
  • Research your topic, even if you think you know it well.
  • Use reputable resources for evidence and references: studies, academic journals, educational resources, official figures, etc.
  • Inform, share facts, but avoid writing about what you think about the topic.
  • Use clear and concise language, avoid biased information.
  • Organize facts logically, so it would be easier for readers to follow the information.
  • Write in the 3rd person. If describing a process or an activity, the 2nd person is okay to use too.
  • Avoid vague language, prioritize quality over quantity: introduce top facts and evidence only.
  • Write sentences of different length for better rhythm.
  • Use transition words to move between paragraphs.
  • Write your first draft a few days before the deadline, and wait a day or two before revising and editing it. Thus you’ll have a chance to look at your writing from a fresh perspective.
  • Read your expository essay out loud to notice its weak points or strange grammar constructions to revise.
  • Ask a friend to read your essay and tell if you need to edit something.

And last but not least:

Remember about the difference between argumentative and expository essays. Don’t persuade readers of your opinion. Tell about the topic, share facts and evidence, and let readers be the judge of that.

Expository Essay Examples

Are there any examples of what a great expository essay looks? Samples are many, and you’ll have no difficulty to find them in Google.

But remember:

All those expository essay examples are for assistance purposes only. You can’t take and copy them to use in own papers. After all, you know what happens to students who plagiarize in academia and infringe copyrights, don’t you?

Additional Resources to Check

  • Develop Expository Writing Skills
  • Expository Essay, Step by Step
  • 100 Expository Essay Topic Ideas
  • How to Plan & Write an Expository Essay (Video)
  • Expository Essays: Types, Characteristics & Examples

Related posts

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  • Common Types of Plagiarism with Examples
  • Exemplification Essay – Ideas and Tips

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Expository Essay vs. Argumentative Essay: Similarities and Differences

Expository and argumentative essays involve research, strong thesis statements, factual body paragraphs, and well-thought-out conclusions. And when asked to write an expository essay, the key is to thoroughly understand the topic and research to inform the readers of new information.

But while the two writing pieces are similar in the work that creates them, they differ extensively in many other aspects. Their differences are diverse, and without proper scrutiny, it is possible not to tell these essays apart.

Conversely, expository essays provide coherent information and explanations about a specific issue. On the other hand, argumentative essays aim to convince readers the writer’s point of view is correct and for them to agree with you.

The definitions provide a clear path for their distinction such that you can easily tell them apart. But overall, the main difference can be seen in their names. One exposes an issue, while the other provides for an adoption of a specific position.

Let us now look at the expository essay vs. argumentative essay analysis to help you understand them better.

What Is an Expository Essay?

An expository essay is a type of writing that explains, describes, or illustrates something. It is not a persuasive essay and does not have a specific purpose other than to explain something in detail. It’s not a research paper, although it requires some research, and the information generated gives the reader information on a particular topic.

These essays can be written about anything from the history of your town to how to bake bread. They are used in many academic disciplines, including science, business, and social sciences. Their purpose is to inform the reader about something rather than persuade them to do something.

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In addition, an expository essay provides facts and evidence rather than opinion or conjecture. It should also be objective and neutral rather than subjective in its approach. Despite these essays aiming to educate readers, they also offer an opportunity for a writer to show their subject mastery. However, as mentioned, you should not show bias in the information you portray.

Expository essays classification

Compare and contrast.

These essays entail analyzing similarities and differences between a topic or issue

This essay type involves defining a concept through facts and figures.

They describe a step-by-step guide on how to do something or a particular procedure.

Classification essays

are those describing things in a category.

Cause and effect

These essays show how and why something occurs due to a previous action.

What Is an Argumentative Essay?

An argumentative essay is a kind of academic writing that requires an author to develop a position on a specific topic. This type of paper aims to convince the reader that your point of view is correct based on your provided evidence.

Ideally, you take a side and defend it by presenting evidence. The most important thing about an argumentative essay is that it is not just a story or narrative but an explanation of why you believe certain things. It is also not merely stating your opinion but proving your point with facts and evidence.

Also see: How Do You Write a Toulmin Argumentative Essay

Additionally, an argumentative essay should be clear and concise. It should also be organized logically and clearly with an introduction, body paragraphs, and conclusion. The introduction states the main idea of the essay as well as gives some background information related to the topic being discussed.

The body paragraphs explain why you believe your thesis statement to be accurate, using evidence from your research sources. Each paragraph should have its topic sentence that clearly states what you are trying to prove with each paragraph.

Similarly, the final paragraph should summarize your points and restate your thesis statement to leave your reader with a lasting impression of what you have said throughout the essay.

These essays have three main ways to write them;

  • You can argue in favor of something (pro)
  • You can argue against something (con)
  • You can argue for two sides at once (both pro and con)

What is the Difference Between Expository and Argumentative Essays?

An expository essay is a writing piece that explains some idea or concept. It is not an opinion piece but rather a piece that presents information clearly and concisely. For example, if you were to write about the history of Western culture, your goal would be to give information about this topic without bias or prejudice.

On the other hand, an argumentative essay presents its point of view on a particular topic. It does not present facts but offers opinions on how things should be done by giving evidence supporting their position.

For instance, if asked to write about whether or not children should be allowed to play football, you would write about why it is good for them or bad for them based on your beliefs and research.

Both essays vastly differ in purpose. The primary purpose of an expository essay is to explain something, such as a concept or theory. You can also use an expository essay to describe a situation or event in detail. In either case, the purpose of an expository essay is not to persuade people to agree with you. It’s simply to inform them about something they don’t know much about.

In contrast, the purpose of an argumentative essay is to prove why you’re right. For example, if there is an article describing cats as better pets than dogs, you could write an argumentative essay about why dogs are better than cats. Your goal would be to convince your reader that dogs are better than cats as pets by using evidence from personal experience and research findings.

Thesis Statement

Thesis statements are the backbone of an essay and offer a clear direction for the rest of your paper. It also helps you to organize your thoughts and decide what points to include in the body paragraphs.

An expository essay’s thesis statement introduces the topic broadly and generally but specifically to serve as a starting point for further research. For example, an expository essay on the history of the automobile industry could begin with a broad statement like “The automobile industry has changed significantly over time.” This statement allows you to explore many aspects of car manufacturing, including technological changes, manufacturing processes, and marketing strategies.

On the other hand, an argumentative essay’s thesis statement comes in the form of stating your argument. It gives your readers a clear idea about which side of an issue you will take and how you will argue for that position. For example, if you are writing about whether or not gun control laws should be stricter, your thesis might look like this, “Gun control laws should be stricter because they help prevent crime.”

Point of View

In an expository essay, a writer explains a concept or idea in detail, providing evidence and examples to support the position taken. An argumentative essay, on the other hand, presents an opinion or position on a topic and supports it with evidence and reasoning.

With these different purposes, their viewpoints are also different. Expository essays typically use a third-person point of view (he/she) because they are factual and objective rather than personal. Argumentative essays often use the first-person point of view (I) because they are personal interpretations of events or issues rather than objective descriptions.

Further, expository essays are usually non-biased because the writer neutrally provides information without any emotional attachment aiming to inform or explain.

On the other hand, argumentative essays try to persuade the readers about their point of view by using facts and logical reasoning. Thus they are biased and subjective.

The Opening Line

The opening line of an expository essay is a general statement about your topic and presents your case. For example, if you’re writing about the history of baseball, you might write: “Baseball has been played in America since the nineteenth century.”

On the other hand, the opening line in an argumentative essay introduces your topic. For example, if you’re writing about whether or not schools should have dress codes for male students who wear athletic shorts and tank tops, your first sentence might be, “Dress codes are necessary to ensure school safety.”

An argumentative essay also uses logical, emotional, and ethical appeals. These appeal to logic, emotion, and ethics to persuade readers that your position is correct. On the other hand, an expository is devoid of such appeals.

Judgment/ Wayforward

The two essays differ in judgment emanating from their purposes. An expository essay does not give any decision because it aims to inform. But an argumentative ends by challenging or asking readers to agree with the writer’s position based on the reasons given.

In a nutshell, an expository essay summarizes the information provided by a factual source or source material. An argumentative essay, on the other hand, bases its claims on evidence and asserts the truth value of that position. It is worth noting here, though, that both essays rely on facts to prove the point the writer wants to make.

And with that, we know you can now clearly differentiate between the two essays.

IMAGES

  1. Expository Essay: Examples and Tips of a Proper Writing That Will Be

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  2. How To Write Expository Essay

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  3. Expository essay: Argumentative essay point of view

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  4. How To Write An Expository Essay (7 Best Tips)

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  5. Expository Essays: A Complete Writing Guide for Beginners

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  6. Expository Essay Examples+Great Topic Ideas

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VIDEO

  1. Essay 18: THE EXPOSITORY ESSAY

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COMMENTS

  1. How to Write an Expository Essay

    An expository essay provides a clear, focused explanation of a particular topic, process, or set of ideas. It doesn't set out to prove a point, just to give a balanced view of its subject matter. Expository essays are usually short assignments intended to test your composition skills or your understanding of a subject.

  2. Expository Essay Guide With Definition & Examples

    An expository essay is an essay that communicates factual information. Broadly, this type of writing is known as expository writing. Expository essays rely on different structures to communicate their positions, like compare and contrast, process essays, and analyzing cause and effect. Expository writing is one of the four main types of writing.

  3. How To Write An Expository Essay

    An expository essay is a type of essay that seeks to inform, describe, or explain a particular subject or topic. It's distinct in its approach as it emphasizes presenting facts, analyzing information, and providing a comprehensive understanding without incorporating personal opinions or biases.

  4. Expository Writing: The Guide to Writing an Expository Essay

    The word expository means "intended to explain or describe something." An expository essay requires you to investigate an idea, gather supporting evidence, and present your point of view on a topic. You may be wondering how this differs from a persuasive essay.

  5. How to Write an Expository Essay

    "The expository essay is the type of essay that involves an investigation of an idea or topic, appraises relevant supporting evidence material, and presents an argument in a clear and concise manner. When to Write an Expository Essay Your school or university could assign an expository essay to you as coursework or as part of an online exam.

  6. How to Write an Expository Essay Step by Step

    Here are some steps that you should follow and create a well-written expository essay. 1. Write the Introduction. When writing the introductory paragraph, remember that there are the following purposes: Grab the reader's attention. Define the essay topic. State the main idea/purpose of the essay.

  7. How to Write an Expository Essay

    Like most academic essays, the expository essay requires formal writing with an introduction, body, and conclusion. Guide Overview Tips for writing a kick-butt essay Focus on the thesis Listen to the assignment Pre-write Explain, don't argue Revise and edit, revise and edit Choosing the right topic Tips for Writing a Kick-Butt Essay

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    What is an Expository Essay? Students are typically assigned one of at least four types of essays: the persuasive/argumentative essay, the descriptive essay, the technical essay, or the expository essay. Writing an expository essay is one of the most important and valuable skills for you to master. According to the Purdue Online Writing Lab:

  9. How to Write an Expository Essay

    1. Read Your Essay Prompt. Most expository essay prompts will ask you to do one of the following: Define and explain a concept or theory. Compare and contrast two ideas. Examine a problem and propose a solution. Describe a cause and effect relationship. Explain a step-by-step process.

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  11. Expository Essays

    An expository essay is an unbiased, factual piece of writing that provides an in-depth explanation of a topic or set of ideas. It aims to explain a topic from all angles and takes no decisive stance on it. Expository essays make no new arguments on a topic but rather explain preexisting information in a structured format.

  12. Expository Essays

    The expository essay is a genre of essay that requires the student to investigate an idea, evaluate evidence, expound on the idea, and set forth an argument concerning that idea in a clear and concise manner. This can be accomplished through comparison and contrast, definition, example, the analysis of cause and effect, etc.

  13. 5 Expository Essay Examples (Full Text with Citations)

    Unlike argumentative or persuasive essays, expository essays do not aim to convince the reader of a particular point of view. Instead, they focus on providing a balanced and thorough explanation of a subject. Key characteristics of an expository essay include: Clarity and Conciseness Structured Organization (Introduction, Body, Conclusion)

  14. PDF Writing an Expository Essay

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  15. How To Write an Excellent Expository Essay: Expert ...

    1. Understand Exposition and What Makes It Special Okay, there's admittedly a little more to an expository essay than just explaining. The operative word in expository essay is exposition, which, yes, does refer to explanation, but it's a more comprehensive and critical explanation about a specific idea, theory, or topic.

  16. What is an Expository Essay?

    An expository essay requires the writer to research and investigate an idea, gather supporting evidence, and present a point of view or argument on the topic. This can be done through multiple methods, including compare and contrast, cause and effect, or examples. Simply put, and expository essay is a research paper. How to write a great one:

  17. How To Create An Expository Essay Outline

    This is where you present your expository essay topic and your point of view. A weak or unclear introduction can undermine the entire essay. Lack of Clarity in Your Thesis. Your thesis statement is the linchpin of your expository essay. Failing to formulate a precise and clear thesis can lead to a muddled outline, making it challenging to ...

  18. Expository Writing: Definition and Examples

    Expository writing, as its name implies, is writing that exposes facts. In other words, it's writing that explains and educates its readers, rather than entertaining or attempting to persuade them. When you read a scholarly article, a textbook page, a news report, or an instructional guide, you're reading expository writing. Strike the right tone

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    Published on September 4, 2020 by Jack Caulfield . Revised on July 23, 2023. An essay is a focused piece of writing designed to inform or persuade. There are many different types of essay, but they are often defined in four categories: argumentative, expository, narrative, and descriptive essays.

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    An essay that explains a writer's ideas by defining, explaining, informing, or elaborating on points to allow the reader to clearly understand the concept. Many of your future academic workplace writing assignments will be expository-explaining your ideas or the significance of a concept or action. An expository essay allows the writer the ...

  21. What is an Expository Essay? Ultimate Guide

    An expository essay is a type of paper where an author chooses a topic, investigates it by evaluating the evidence, and expound it to inform readers about it. So, as you see, the expository definition is not that tricky to remember. The characteristics of your expository essay are as follows: You write it to teach readers about the topic.

  22. Expository Essay vs. Argumentative Essay: Similarities and ...

    Point of View. In an expository essay, a writer explains a concept or idea in detail, providing evidence and examples to support the position taken. An argumentative essay, on the other hand, presents an opinion or position on a topic and supports it with evidence and reasoning.

  23. U3L4

    Which literary point of view does the writer use? third. Choose the correct answer using the first expository essay about words vs. actions. Select the exact words from the prompt that the writer uses in the thesis and the concluding statements. actions words more.