rules of an expository essay

Quick and Easy Guide on How to Write an Expository Essay

rules of an expository essay

Understanding What Is an Expository Essay

If you clicked on this article, then you must have recently been assigned an expository essay homework. There is also a possibility that you are here because you enjoy exploring different ideas and concepts rather than solely scratching the surface. Well, that explains why you decided to research more about expository essay writing. We won't leave you hanging, so let's delve right into the expository essay definition.

It's only reasonable to first give you a clear explanation of what is an expository essay and what this kind of paper tries to accomplish. Simply put, an expository essay presents information on a topic. It explains something about a situation, person, idea, or occurrence and communicates knowledge about it to the reader. It does not attempt to persuade the reader of a certain point of view or present a convincing case. An expository essay depends on facts rather than personal opinion since it aims to inform the reader about a subject.

Expository writing involves anything from sharing your day to outlining a job assignment. Therefore it wouldn't be unfair to say that it is the most popular type of writing in the world.

expository essay types

Expository Essay Topics

Speaking of the above, there must be plenty of options to write your expository paper on, right? You're correct! But one needs a properly worded title that would make great expository essay topics. That's why our research paper service covered some interesting areas below. You can browse myriads of choices and find one that is just right for your endeavor!

Expository Essay Topics About Education

  • School Dress Codes: A Physical And Mental Stress
  • The Idea Of Free Higher Education
  • The Issue With High School Massacres
  • The Importance of College Success
  • STEM versus STEAM educational approaches
  • How literate people differ from uneducated ones
  • The advantages of studying foreign languages.
  • What changes should be made to the educational system in your nation?
  • Does 'educated' have the same connotation as 'smart'?
  • Can someone receive a top-notch education at home?

Expository Essay Topics About Mental Health

  • Is it true that music impacts our mental and physical health?
  • Are acts of heroism and patriotic acts typical in terms of mental health?
  • Is there a need to increase mental health benefits under health insurance?
  • Comparatively speaking, does the American mental health system lag behind other nations?
  • Effects of mental health law
  • The connection between antisocial personality disorder and parenting methods
  • Learning-disabled kids can benefit greatly from school programs.
  • How social anxiety is influenced by digital communication
  • Patients with mental illness receiving physical care
  • Issues with mental health and grief therapy

Expository Essay Topics About Society

  • Advertisements seen via the lens of social science.
  • Prejudices towards African Americans.
  • The social implications of feminism.
  • Global refugee crisis.
  • Constructing a wall to separate Mexico and the US.
  • The psychology of implicit racial prejudice and discrimination
  • The effects of racism at work on the economy and mind.
  • Gender roles in society: shifting perspectives and effects on families.
  • Who was responsible for the cost of the War on Terror?
  • Is peace education receiving enough attention from society?

Expository Essay Topics About Politics

  • The connection between politics and religion
  • What are the pros and drawbacks of democracy?
  • How powerful are NGOs?
  • What are the UN's primary responsibilities?
  • What are the disadvantages of not having a state?
  • Has the US soured relations with its European allies?
  • What does the Human Development Index mean?
  • Celebrity Influence in political campaigning
  • What objectives does the anti-globalization movement seek to achieve?

How to Write an Expository Essay with an Expository Essay Outline

Outlining is one of the most vital steps for knowing how to write an expository essay. Many believe that creating an outline is a waste of time, but in reality, the more complete your expository essay plan is, the fewer hours you will have to devote to research and writing. An expository essay outline divides each paragraph of the essay into various components. By doing so, you may divide a more complex activity into more manageable components and better understand how various pieces of information will work together. Let's go through each section of the expository essay format prepared by our writer.

expository essay outline

I. Introduction

So, how to start expository essay on a strong note? Consider opening with a bold claim that is related to your topic. After that, go on to briefly describe your subject's significance. Finally, make a statement about your essay's core thesis or objective.

  • Background information
  • Thesis statement

II. Body Paragraphs

In your first body paragraph. introduce the first major point that backs up your primary statement. Then, support your claim with instances or facts, and then explain how these examples or evidence link to your thesis and support your core notion. Remember to include a transitional sentence that relates to the following paragraph.

If you follow a five paragraph essay format, then feel free to develop three body paragraphs with the similar order.

  • Topic sentence

III. Conclusion

In your concluding paragraph, try restating your thesis statement in a different way to successfully conclude your work. Then put your essay's essential ideas in a brief summary before concluding with a powerful remark that will stay with your readers.

  • Restate thesis
  • Closing sentence

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How to Write an Expository Essay

Even though you now know a lot about the expository essay format, there are other things to keep in mind as well. In this section, we'll go over the specific steps you should take when figuring out how to write an expository essay.

Brainstorming Ideas

The absolute first thing you should do when given an expository essay assignment is to carefully go over the guidelines. Make sure you completely understand what is required of you. If it is for class, you may be limited to certain topics and word counts, there may be restrictions on the quality of sources you can use, etc. You might write an incredible essay but get a low grade because you missed out on some small restriction or guideline.

Once you know exactly what you are supposed to do, it's time to think about different concepts you would like to explain. Make sure you are aware of the different types of expository essays so that when you brainstorm topics you have a tentative idea of what type of expository essay would be best suited for that topic.

Think about what has been covered in class, what the teacher might expect, and what you find interesting to try and come up with a list of topics. Do a little bit of research on each topic to figure out whether you can easily find reputable sources and to gain a further understanding of the topic. After keeping all these things in mind, you should end up with an expository essay topic that is appropriate, engaging, and high-scoring.

Fill Up an Outline

Once you have zeroed in on a topic it's time to do research. One of the best ways to plan your writing is to use an expository essay outline to organize interesting information. While conducting research focus on the body paragraphs rather than on the introduction or conclusion. Think about three main ways you can explain the topic and put information that fits into those subtopics under the appropriate body paragraphs.

While conducting research and filling out an outline, think about potential thesis statements. Coming up with a thesis statement too early will restrict your research, so it is better to develop a thesis statement as you find out more and more information. That being said, by the end of the planning stage you should have a finalized thesis statement

Planning out your essay beforehand will give direction to your research, cut down on the amount of time you spend on the assignment, improve the overall flow of the final essay, and make the actual writing process much easier.

Write the First Draft

Now is the time to translate your outline into full sentences. It is often useful to leave the writing of the introduction till the end because after writing the body paragraphs you will have a better idea of what to say in an introduction, but make sure that you write down your thesis statement.

Use the information you have found to create a cohesive analysis of the topic in each body paragraph. Make sure that the information you present is on topic and connects to the other facts around it. Think about what the purpose of each body paragraph is and question whether the information you are presenting fits that purpose or not. Make sure to use transition words within the paragraph and use transition sentences between paragraphs to improve overall comprehensibility and flow.

Finalize Your Draft

Go over the first draft of the essay and focus on whether the different paragraphs make sense or not. Don't be afraid to reorganize sections or completely get rid of some pieces of information. As you write your draft, new ways of expressing the information can come to mind that will make the overall essay more powerful.

Make sure that you are not trying to make a persuasive argument and that you are using facts rather than opinions as evidence.

Go over each sentence to make sure that it is clear and that it fits the purpose of the paragraph it is in. Look at the information you have included and make sure that it is useful and enhances understanding of the topic. It is better to have less information than more if the information is distracting or does not add anything to the essay.

Try and read the paper as if it is the first time you are coming across the topic to see if it makes sense or not. Congratulations, you are just one step away from being able to submit an expository essay!

Editing and Proofreading

Go over the final draft of your essay and check for formatting errors, grammatical errors, spelling mistakes, etc and make sure that it complies with all the guidelines of the assignment. Finally, ask a friend or relative to go over the paper to do the last check. If you feel like you still need to make a lot of changes, don't be disheartened, spend the extra time to make the changes or reach out to expository essay writing service .

Expository Essay Examples

One of the best ways to learn how to write an expository essay is to look at an expository essay example. Looking at expository essay examples can give you a deeper understanding of what is expected as well as how to write an essay that flows well. Make sure that you use any examples you find as inspiration rather than a place to directly source information or text!

Expository Essay Example

The shift from traditional to current methods in treating diseases has improved the quality of many services, products, and processes. However, many regions worldwide are still applying traditional medicines (Stefanov et al., 2020). Therefore, conventional western medicine and alternative Eastern medicine are two recognized approaches to treating multiple diseases. Researchers have developed the foundational differences between these two approaches that have helped establish the pros and cons of each. Each approach has advantages and drawbacks. There have been debates on which approach is cheaper in terms of time and cost of treatment. Also, there is ongoing concern on which approach is safer than the other.
As of 2019, there were over 3.5 billion social media users globally, and this figure still increases by 9% each year. It is impossible to deny that social media has become an important part of many people’s lives. There are various positive effects linked with the platforms, including better connectivity. However, addiction to social media platforms, the increased comparisons between individuals, and the fear of missing out have increased depression and sadness. Social media addiction has become rampant, which has negatively influenced the lives of many individuals in society. Checking and scrolling through the different social media platforms has become increasingly popular over time, leading to excessive and compulsive use.

Now that you know whats an expository essay, you must agree that writing an expository essay is a great method to learn how to effectively communicate information while also pursuing an interest of yours. Therefore, there are many ways in which knowing how to convey ideas and explain things will help you both professionally and individually.

And if you ever feel like you need an extra push towards pursuing your dream academic life, consider us your go-to college life partner. We won't criticize you no matter how many times you need essay writing help . The EssayPro team is loyal, always reliable, and never judgmental! 

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FAQs on Expository Essay Writing

If the information was not quite enough for you to create an outstanding paper, our college essay writer has yet to supply you with further details about expository essays. Below you'll find the most frequently asked questions on this matter, so you won't have to spend extra time and effort researching any unanswered questions.

What are the Different Types of Expository Essays?

What is the most important part of the expository essay structure, what is the main idea in expository writing, related articles.

How to Write a Concept Paper: Easy Guide for Students

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Expository Essays

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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

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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How to Write an Expository Essay

Last Updated: December 13, 2022 Fact Checked

This article was co-authored by Tristen Bonacci . Tristen Bonacci is a Licensed English Teacher with more than 20 years of experience. Tristen has taught in both the United States and overseas. She specializes in teaching in a secondary education environment and sharing wisdom with others, no matter the environment. Tristen holds a BA in English Literature from The University of Colorado and an MEd from The University of Phoenix. There are 10 references cited in this article, which can be found at the bottom of the page. This article has been fact-checked, ensuring the accuracy of any cited facts and confirming the authority of its sources. This article has been viewed 563,898 times.

Expository essays are often assigned in academic settings. In an expository essay, you need to consider an idea, investigate the idea, then explain the idea. Some expository essays may include an argument, while others are purely informative. [1] X Trustworthy Source Purdue Online Writing Lab Trusted resource for writing and citation guidelines Go to source While it may seem overwhelming, writing an expository essay is easy if you take it one step at a time.

Sample Essay Conclusion

rules of an expository essay

Planning Your Essay

Step 1 Define your purpose for writing.

  • If you are writing an expository essay for an assignment, read the assignment guidelines. Ask your instructor if anything seems unclear.

Step 2 Consider your audience.

  • If you are writing your essay for a class assignment, consider what your instructor will expect you to include in your essay.

Step 3 Generate ideas for your expository essay.

  • Try listing. List all your ideas for your expository essay. Then look over the list you have made and group similar ideas together. Expand those lists by adding more ideas or by using another prewriting activity. [6] X Research source
  • Try freewriting. Write nonstop for about 10 minutes. Write whatever comes to mind and don’t edit yourself. After you finish writing, review what you have written. Highlight or underline the most useful information for your expository essay. Repeat the freewriting exercise using the passages you underlined as a starting point. You can repeat this exercise many times to continue to refine and develop your ideas. [7] X Research source
  • Try clustering. Write a brief explanation of the subject of your expository essay on the center of a piece of paper and circle it. Then draw three or more lines extending from the circle. Write a corresponding idea at the end of each of these lines. Continue developing your cluster until you have explored as many connections as you can. [8] X Research source
  • Try questioning. On a piece of paper, write out “Who? What? When? Where? Why? How?” Space the questions about two or three lines apart on the paper so that you can write your answers on these lines. Respond to each question in as much detail as you can. [9] X Research source

Step 4 Make an outline.

  • Trustworthy internet sources usually include academic institutions like universities or research labs, government websites, and non-profit organizations.

Step 6 Evaluate your sources to determine their credibility before you decide to use them.

  • Identify the author and his or her credentials. Think about what qualifies this person to write about their subject. If the source has no author or the author does not have adequate credentials, then this source may not be trustworthy.
  • Check for citations to see if this author has researched the topic well enough. If the author has provided few or no sources, then this source may not be trustworthy.
  • Look for bias. Think about whether or not this author has presented an objective, well-reasoned account of the topic. If the author seems to value a particular argument or slant that is not supported or only thinly supported by fact, then this source may not be trustworthy.
  • Consider the publication date to see if this source presents the most up to date information on the subject.
  • Cross-check some of the information in the source. If you are still concerned about a source, cross-check some of its information against a trustworthy source.

Step 7 Read your sources well.

  • Show when you have quoted a source word for word by putting it into quotation marks. Include information about the source such as the author’s name, article title or book title, and page number.
  • Write down the publishing information of each source. You will need this information for your "References," "Bibliography," or "Works Cited" pages. Format this page according to your instructor's guidelines.

Step 9 Develop your tentative thesis.

  • Make sure your thesis is arguable. Do not state facts or matters of taste. For example, "George Washington was the first president of the United States," is not a good thesis because it states a fact. Likewise, "Die Hard is a great movie," is not a good thesis because it expresses a matter of taste. [16] X Trustworthy Source University of North Carolina Writing Center UNC's on-campus and online instructional service that provides assistance to students, faculty, and others during the writing process Go to source
  • Make sure your thesis provides enough detail. In other words, avoid just saying that something is "good" or "effective." Instead, say what makes something "good" or "effective. [17] X Trustworthy Source University of North Carolina Writing Center UNC's on-campus and online instructional service that provides assistance to students, faculty, and others during the writing process Go to source

Introducing Your Essay

Step 1 Begin with an engaging sentence that gets right into your topic.

  • An engaging hook can take many forms. You could start with an anecdote, an informative and attention-grabbing quote, a bold opinion statement, or anything that will make your readers want to continue with your essay.

Step 2 Provide context.

  • If you are writing about a book, provide the name of the work, the author, and a brief summary of the plot.
  • If you are writing about a specific day in history, summarize the day's events. Then, explain how it fits into a broader historical scope.
  • If you are writing about a person, name the person and provide a brief biography.
  • Keep in mind that your context should lead up to your thesis statement. Explain everything your reader needs to know to understand what your topic is about. Then narrow it down until you reach the topic itself.

Step 3 Provide your thesis statement.

Expressing Your Main Points

Step 1 Determine how many paragraphs to include.

  • A five-paragraph essay should include three body paragraphs. Each body paragraph should discuss a piece of supporting evidence that supports your thesis.
  • Even if your essay is longer than five paragraphs, the same principles still apply. Each paragraph should discuss a piece of supporting evidence.

Step 2 Begin each paragraph with a topic sentence.

  • "Dogs played an active role in Marine Corps missions in the Pacific."
  • "The Doberman Pinscher was the official dog of the US Marine Corps during WWII, but all breeds were eligible to train as war dogs."
  • "War dogs were even eligible to receive military awards for their service."

Step 3 Elaborate on your supporting evidence.

  • Most of your evidence should be in the form of cited quotes, paraphrases, and summaries from your research.
  • Your evidence could also come from interviews, anecdotes, or personal experience.
  • Try to provide at least two to three pieces of evidence to support each of your claims.
  • For example, if a paragraph starts with, "War dogs were even eligible to receive military awards for their service," the supporting evidence might be a list of dogs who got awards and the awards they were given.

Step 4 Analyze the significance of each piece of evidence.

  • You could write, "Even though Dobermans were the most common breed used in WWII, they were not the only breed, and were not the only dogs recognized for their help."

Concluding Your Essay

Step 1 Restate and rephrase your thesis.

  • Note that the second sentence repeats the information provided in your original thesis. It just says it in a new way while also hinting at the information you included in the body of the essay.

Step 2 Summarize and review your main ideas.

  • Explain how the topic affects the reader
  • Explain how your narrow topic applies to a broader theme or observation
  • Call the reader to action or further exploration on the topic
  • Present new questions that your essay introduced

Expert Q&A

Tristen Bonacci

  • If you are unsure about anything as you work on your essay, talk to your instructor or meet with a writing tutor for help. Thanks Helpful 2 Not Helpful 0

rules of an expository essay

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  • ↑ https://owl.purdue.edu/owl/general_writing/academic_writing/essay_writing/expository_essays.html
  • ↑ https://www.grammarly.com/blog/expository-essay/
  • ↑ Tristen Bonacci. Licensed English Teacher. Expert Interview. 21 December 2021.
  • ↑ http://writing.ku.edu/prewriting-strategies
  • ↑ https://grammar.yourdictionary.com/grammar-rules-and-tips/tips-on-writing-an-excellent-expository-essay.html
  • ↑ http://www.writing.utoronto.ca/advice/reading-and-researching/notes-from-research
  • ↑ http://writingcenter.unc.edu/handouts/thesis-statements/
  • ↑ https://writingcenter.unc.edu/tips-and-tools/thesis-statements/
  • ↑ https://owl.purdue.edu/owl/research_and_citation/using_research/quoting_paraphrasing_and_summarizing/index.html
  • ↑ https://owl.purdue.edu/owl/general_writing/common_writing_assignments/argument_papers/conclusions.html

About This Article

Tristen Bonacci

Before you write an expository essay, take some time to jot down ideas for your essay. Try the clustering method by writing a brief explanation of your subject in a bubble in the center of your page. Then, draw 3 or more lines extending from the circle and jot down idea bubbles that connect to your main theme. Once you have a plan for your expository essay, write out an outline to organize what you’re going to say. Make sure to begin your outline with an engaging introduction sentence. After the introduction sentence, provide some background information and include your thesis statement, which is your main argument. If you’re writing a 5 paragraph essay, you should include 3 body paragraphs after your introduction then a conclusion paragraph that summarizes your main points. However you organize your essay, make sure to include credible sources for important information, like statistics, so your teacher knows that it’s accurate. To learn how to use transitions in your essay, read more from our Writing co-author. Did this summary help you? Yes No

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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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What Is Expository Writing?

How to Write an Expository Essay

  • Ph.D., Rhetoric and English, University of Georgia
  • M.A., Modern English and American Literature, University of Leicester
  • B.A., English, State University of New York

Expository writing is used to convey factual information (as opposed to creative writing, such as fiction). It is the language of learning and understanding the world around us. If you've ever read an encyclopedia entry, a how-to article on a website, or a chapter in a textbook, then you've encountered examples of expository writing.

Key Takeaways: Expository Writing

  • Just the facts, M'am: Expository writing is informational, not creative writing.
  • Anytime you write to describe or explain, you use expository writing.
  • Use a logical flow when planning an expository essay, report, or article: introduction, body text, and conclusion.
  • It's often easier to write the body of your article first, before composing the introduction or conclusion.

Expository writing is everywhere in everyday life, not just academic settings, as it's present anytime there's information to be conveyed. It can take form in an academic paper, an article for a newspaper, a report for a business, or even book-length nonfiction. It explains, informs, and describes.

Types of Expository Writing

In  composition studies , expository writing (also called exposition ) is one of the four traditional  modes of discourse . It may include elements of  narration ,  description , and  argumentation . Unlike creative or  persuasive writing , which can appeal to emotions and use anecdotes, expository writing's primary  purpose  is to deliver information about an issue, subject, method, or idea using facts.

Exposition may take one of several forms:

  • Descriptive/definition:  In this style of writing, topics are defined by characteristics, traits, and examples. An encyclopedia entry is a kind of descriptive essay. 
  • Process/sequential:  This essay outlines a series of steps needed in order to complete a task or produce something. A recipe at the end of an article in a food magazine is one example.
  • Comparative/contrast:  This kind of exposition is used to demonstrate how two or more subjects are the same and different. An article that explains the difference between owning and renting a home and the benefits and drawbacks of each is one such an example.
  • Cause/effect:  This kind of essay describes how one step leads to a result. An example is a personal blog chronicling a workout regimen and documenting the results over time.
  • Problem/solution: This type of essay presents a problem and possible solutions, backed by data and facts, not just opinion.
  • Classification: A classification essay breaks down a broad topic into categories or groupings.

Tips for Expository Writing

As you write, keep in mind some of these tips for creating an effective expository essay:

Start where you know the information best. You don't have to write your introduction first. In fact, it might be easier to wait until the end for that. If you don't like the look of a blank page, move over the slugs from your outline for the main body paragraphs and write the topic sentences for each. Then start putting in your information according to each paragraph's topic.

Be clear and concise.  Readers have a limited attention span. Make your case succinctly in language that the average reader can understand. 

Stick to the facts.  Although an exposition can be persuasive, it should not be based on opinion only. Support your case with facts, data, and reputable sources that can be documented and verified.

Consider voice and tone.  How you address the reader depends on the kind of essay you're writing. An essay written in the first person is fine for a personal travel essay but is inappropriate if you're a business reporter describing a patent lawsuit. Think about your audience before you begin writing.

Planning Your Essay

  • Brainstorm: Jot down ideas on a blank piece of paper. Connect them with arrows and lines, or just make lists. Rigor doesn't matter at this stage. Bad ideas don't matter at this stage. Just write down ideas, and the engine in your head will lead you to a good one. When you've got that idea, then repeat the brainstorming exercise with ideas that you want to pursue on that topic and information you could put in. From this list, you'll start to see a path emerge for your research or narrative to follow.
  • Compose your thesis: When your ideas coalesce into a sentence in which you can summarize the topic you're writing about, you're ready to compose your thesis sentence. Write down in one sentence the main idea that you'll explore in your paper.
  • Examine your thesis: Is it clear? Does it contain opinion? If so, revise that out. For this type of essay, you stick to the facts and evidence. This isn't an editorial. Is the thesis' scope manageable? You don't want your topic too narrow or too broad to be covered in the amount of space you have for your paper. If it's not a manageable topic, refine it. Don't be dismayed if you have to come back and tweak it if your research finds that your initial idea was off-kilter. It's all just part of the process of focusing the material.
  • Outline: It may seem inconsequential, but making even a quick outline can save you time by organizing your areas of pursuit and narrowing them down. When you see your topics in an organized list, you may be able to discard off-topic threads before you research them—or as you're researching them and you find they just don't work.
  • Research: Find your data and sources to back up the areas you want to pursue to support your thesis statement. Look for sources written by experts, including organizations, and watch for bias. Possible sources include statistics, definitions, charts and graphs, and expert quotes and anecdotes. Compile descriptive details and comparisons to make your topic clear to your reader, when applicable.

What Is an Expository Essay?

An expository essay has three basic parts: the introduction, the body, and the conclusion. Each is crucial to writing a clear article or effective argument.

The introduction: The first paragraph is where you'll lay the foundation for your essay and give the reader an overview of your thesis. Use your opening sentence to get the reader's attention, and then follow up with a few sentences that give your reader some context for the information you're about to cover.

The body:  At a minimum, include three to five paragraphs in the body of your expository essay. The body could be considerably longer, depending on your topic and audience. Each paragraph begins with a topic sentence where you state your case or objective. Each topic sentence supports your overall thesis statement. Then, each paragraph includes several sentences that expand on the information and/or support the topic sentence. Finally, a concluding sentence offers a transition to the following paragraph in the essay.

The conclusion:  The final section of your expository essay should give the reader a concise overview of your thesis. The intent is not merely to summarize your argument but to use it as a means of proposing further action, offering a solution, or posing new questions to explore. Don't cover new material related to your thesis, though. This is where you wrap it all up.

Expository Examples

An expository article or report about a lake, for example, could discuss its ecosystem: the plants and animals that depend on it along with its climate. It could describe physical details about its size, depth, amount of rainfall each year, and the number of tourists it receives annually. Information on when it was formed, its best fishing spots, or its water quality could be included, depending on the audience for the piece.

An expository piece could be in third person or second person. Second-person examples could include, for example, how to test lake water for pollutants or how to kill invasive species. Expository writing is useful and informative.

In contrast, someone writing a creative nonfiction article about a lake might relate the place to a defining moment in his or her life, penning the piece in first person. It could be filled with emotion, opinion, sensory details, and even include dialogue and flashbacks. It's a much more evocative, personal type of writing than an expository piece, even though they're both nonfiction styles.

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What is an Expository Essay and How to Write It

What is an expository essay and how to write it

You’ve been asked to write an expository essay on a particular topic. You know that an essay is generally a written composition that is usually limited in length and reflects the author’s perspective. However, the “expository” part is a little less clear. Keep reading, and you’ll get enough information to understand what an expository essay is and how to create an effective expository essay that meets the assignment requirements.

Table of Contents

What is an expository essay, what is the purpose of expository writing, when should you write an expository essay, 5 types of expository essays, how to structure an expository essay, how to write an expository essay, key takeaways, frequently asked questions about expository essays.

The expository essay is the appropriate type of essay to write if you need to inform your audience. If your intent is to critically compare, argue, or persuade, you will want to consider a different essay format. To explain it in more detail:

  • An expository essay is a type of academic writing that aims to present a balanced and objective analysis of a specific topic.
  • Expository essays often employ various techniques to enhance clarity and understanding. These techniques may include definition, comparison and contrast, cause and effect analysis, problem and solution exploration, or descriptive explanations. The writer should also ensure that the essay maintains a neutral and objective tone, avoiding personal biases or emotional language.
  • In an expository essay, the writer typically starts with an introduction that presents the topic and provides an overview of what will be discussed in the essay. The body paragraphs then delve into the details, presenting evidence, examples, and relevant information to support the main points. Each paragraph should focus on a specific aspect or subtopic, and the information should be organized logically and coherently.
  • Expository essays are commonly assigned in academic settings as they encourage critical thinking, research skills, and the ability to present information in a clear and concise manner.
  • The ability to write an expository essay is an essential skill for students and professionals. It promotes critical thinking, objectivity, and clear and concise communication.

rules of an expository essay

The primary goal of expository writing is to explain or clarify a concept, process, or phenomenon using evidence, examples, and logical reasoning. Unlike persuasive or argumentative essays, the purpose of an expository essay is not to convince the reader of a particular viewpoint or opinion, but rather to provide clear and concise information.

The main objectives of expository writing are:

  • Informing: Expository writing aims to educate and provide readers with new or valuable information. It seeks to convey facts, details, concepts, or ideas about a topic in a straightforward and concise manner.
  • Explaining: Expository writing helps readers grasp complex subjects by breaking them down into simpler terms. It aims to clarify abstract concepts, processes, or phenomena, making them more accessible and understandable.
  • Instructing: Expository writing provides step-by-step instructions or guidelines on how to perform a task, accomplish a goal, or understand a process. It offers a clear sequence of actions or explanations to ensure readers can follow and replicate the instructions.
  • Presenting an analysis: Expository writing often involves analyzing and evaluating information, data, or evidence related to a particular subject. It may include comparing and contrasting different viewpoints, examining cause-and-effect relationships, or offering an objective evaluation of a situation.

Overall, the purpose of expository writing is to provide readers with accurate, unbiased, and well-organized information about a specific topic. It aims to enhance understanding, broaden knowledge, and facilitate learning by presenting information in a clear, coherent, and logical manner.

An expository essay is a good choice when the goal is to inform, explain, describe, or instruct. You may be assigned an expository essay as part of an in-class exam or coursework assignment. Here are some common situations in which writing an expository essay would be appropriate:

  • Academic Assignments: Expository essays are frequently assigned in educational settings. Teachers often use this type of essay to assess students’ understanding of a particular subject or to teach them how to research and present information effectively. They are common in subjects such as English, history, science, social studies, or any discipline that requires a clear explanation or analysis of a topic.
  • Instructional or How-to Writing: When you want to provide step-by-step instructions or guidance on how to perform a task, solve a problem, or achieve a specific outcome, an expository essay can be an appropriate format. This type of writing is commonly used in manuals, guidebooks, tutorials, or any instructional material.
  • Journalism or News Writing: Expository writing is prevalent in journalism, where the goal is to inform readers about current events, news stories, or investigative reports. Journalists strive to present objective information, provide background details, and explain complex issues clearly to their audience.
  • Professional or Technical Writing: In various professional fields, such as business, healthcare, engineering, or law, expository writing is utilized to convey information to colleagues, clients, or the general public. This includes writing reports, memos, manuals, research papers, or any form of communication that requires clear and factual presentation of information.

rules of an expository essay

Expository essays can serve different purposes and present information in various ways. Here are five common types of expository essays:

  • Descriptive essay: This type of expository essay focuses on describing a person, place, object, event, or any subject in detail. It aims to create a vivid and sensory-rich portrayal of the topic, using language that appeals to the reader’s senses and emotions.
  • Process essay: Also known as a “how-to” essay, a process essay explains a sequence of steps or procedures to accomplish a task or achieve a particular outcome. It provides clear instructions and guidance, breaking down complex processes into manageable and easy-to-follow stages.
  • Compare-and-contrast essay: This type of expository essay explores the similarities and differences between two or more subjects. It involves examining various aspects, characteristics, or elements of the subjects and highlighting their similarities, differences, or both.
  • Cause-and-effect essay: A cause-and-effect essay explores the reasons (causes) behind an event, situation, or phenomenon, as well as the consequences (effects) that result from it. It aims to analyze and explain the relationship between causes and effects, demonstrating how one factor leads to another.
  • Problem-and-solution essay: In this type of expository essay, a specific problem or issue is identified and analyzed, followed by the presentation of potential solutions or strategies to address it. The essay outlines the problem, examines its causes and effects, and proposes practical solutions or recommendations.

It’s important to note that these are not the only types of expository essays, and there can be variations or combinations of these types. Additionally, within each type, the specific approach and structure can vary depending on the requirements of the assignment or the writer’s purpose.

Structuring an expository essay involves organizing your thoughts, ideas, and information in a clear and logical manner. Here is a commonly used structure for an expository essay:

  • Begin with an attention-grabbing hook to engage the reader.
  • Provide some background information on the topic to set the context.
  • Present a clear and concise thesis statement that states the main idea or purpose of the essay.
  • Start each paragraph with a clear topic sentence that introduces the main point of the paragraph.
  • Support your topic sentence with evidence, facts, examples, or expert opinions that relate to the main point.
  • Provide detailed explanations, analysis, or descriptions to clarify and develop your ideas.
  • Use transitional words and phrases to ensure smooth flow and coherence between paragraphs and ideas.
  • Each paragraph should focus on a specific aspect or subtopic related to the main idea.
  • Restate the thesis statement but rephrase it in a way that reinforces the main idea.
  • Summarize the main points discussed in the body paragraphs.
  • Avoid introducing new information or ideas in the conclusion.
  • End with a closing statement that leaves a lasting impression.

Writing an expository essay involves a systematic approach to presenting information in a clear and objective manner. Here is a step-by-step guide on how to write an expository essay:

  • Understand the purpose and requirements: Familiarize yourself with the purpose of the essay and any specific guidelines or requirements. Then, determine the topic or subject of your expository essay and gather relevant information and resources.
  • Conduct research and gather information: Conduct thorough research on your topic to gather factual information, examples, evidence, or expert opinions.
  • Plan and outline: Develop a clear and coherent outline that includes an introduction, body paragraphs, and conclusion. Decide on the main points or subtopics you will cover in each paragraph of your expository essay and arrange your ideas in a logical order that flows well.
  • Write the introduction: Be sure to include a clear and concise thesis statement that states the main idea or purpose of your expository essay.
  • Write the body paragraphs: Write one paragraph for each main idea, using transitions to ensure a smooth flow throughout.
  • Write the conclusion: Restate your thesis statement and summarize the evidence.
  • Revise and edit: Review your expository essay for clarity, coherence, and logical flow, and check for grammar, spelling, and punctuation errors. Remember to always maintain an objective tone and focus on presenting information rather than expressing personal opinions.

As you can see, effective expository essays vary widely based on their topic and ultimate purpose. However, they have several important characteristics in common. When you’re writing an expository essay, keep the following tips in mind:

  • Use clear, concise, and formal language, avoiding unnecessary jargon or complex terms.
  • The thesis statement needs to be clear, concise, and appropriately focused.
  • Provide sufficient evidence and examples to support your claims and make your writing more credible.
  • Consider the logical flow of your ideas and make sure they are presented in a coherent manner.
  • Use appropriate transitions to connect your sentences, paragraphs, and ideas.
  • Remember that the specific structure of your expository essay may vary depending on the requirements of your assignment or the complexity of your topic. Adapt the structure as needed while ensuring that your essay is organized and focused on conveying information effectively.

You should consider writing an expository essay when you need to explain, inform, or describe a particular topic or subject to your readers. Expository essays are usually assigned in academic settings, but they can also be used in other contexts, such as writing articles or blog posts. For example, an expository essay would be appropriate for purposes such as explaining the benefits of a healthy lifestyle, describing the process of a scientific experiment, or discussing the impact of technology on society.

Expository essay: The main purpose of an expository essay is to explain, describe, or inform the reader about a particular topic or subject. It should be written in a neutral manner, focusing on presenting facts, explaining concepts, and offering a clear understanding of the topic. Argumentative essay: The primary purpose of an argumentative essay is to present a well-structured argument or position on a specific issue. The writer takes a clear stance on a topic and provides strong arguments, counterarguments, and evidence to support their position. The language used may be more passionate and persuasive to convince the reader.

The length of an expository essay can vary depending on the specific requirements or guidelines provided by your instructor or the purpose of your writing. Expository essays can range from a few hundred words for shorter essays to several thousand words for more in-depth or research-based essays. The number of body paragraphs typically range from three to five, but it can vary based on the complexity of the topic and the amount of information you need to convey.

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How to Write Excellent Expository Essays

Expository Essay Writing Guide for Students and Teachers

In this guide, we will take you through a complete understanding of an expository essay is how to structure an expository essay so you can write one like a pro. You can then explore some expository essay writing examples and writing prompts. Let’s get started.

WHAT IS EXPOSITORY ESSAY WRITING?

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A significant clue lies in the word itself. Expository writing ‘exposes’ something to the reader.

Though the term is sometimes used to include persuasive writing , a proper expository text does not allow the writer’s personal opinion to intrude into the text.

An expository text aims to explain, inform, or describe a topic logically and straightforwardly.

types of expository essay

There are many different types of expository texts (e.g. encyclopaedias, travel guides, information reports , etc.), but there are also various expository essays.

The most common types of these expository essays are:

  • Process Essays
  • Cause and Effect Essays
  • Problem and Solution Essays
  • Compare and Contrast Essays
  • Definition Essays
  • Classification Essays

Let’s take a quick look at each of these in turn. In the following section, you’ll find a brief description of each expository essay type. Some notable features have been listed, and a suggested expository essay title has been provided for each.

And remember, if you are looking for expository essay topics, check out our essay writing prompts page here .

THE PROCESS ESSAY

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This how-to essay often takes the form of a set of instructions. Also known as a procedural text , the process essay has some very specific features that aim to guide the reader on how to do or make something.

If you want to learn more about this type of writing, check out our information-packed article here .

Features of a process essay

Some of the main features of the process essay include:

  • ‘How to’ title
  • Numbered or bullet points
  • Time connectives
  • Imperatives (bossy words)
  • List of resources

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THE CAUSE AND EFFECT ESSAY

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The purpose of a cause-and-effect essay is to explore the causal relationships between things. Essays like this often bring the focus back to a single cause. These essays frequently have a historical focus.

As an expository essay, the text should focus on facts rather than assumptions. However, cause-and-effect essays sometimes explore hypothetical situations too.

There are two main ways to structure a cause-and-effect essay.

The Block Structure presents all the causes first. The writer then focuses on the effects of these causes in the second half of the essay.

The Chain Structure presents each cause and then immediately follows with the effects it created.

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THE PROBLEM AND SOLUTION ESSAY

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In this type of essay, the writer first identifies a problem and then explores the topic from various angles to ultimately propose a solution. It has many similarities with the cause-and-effect essay.

While the problem and solution essay can use the block and chain structures as outlined above – substitute cause with problem and effect with a solution – it will also usually work through the following elements:

  • Identifies a problem
  • Contains a clear thesis statement
  • Each paragraph has a topic sentence
  • Supports with facts, examples, evidence
  • The conclusion summarizes the main points

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THE COMPARE AND CONTRAST ESSAY

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In this type of essay, students evaluate the similarities and differences between two or more things, ideas, people, etc. Usually, the subjects will belong to the same category.

The compare-and-contrast expository essay can be organized in several different ways. Three of these are outlined below.

In the three structures outlined, it is assumed that two subjects are being compared and contrasted. Of course, the precise number of paragraphs required in the text will depend on the number of points the student wishes to make and the number of subjects being compared and contrasted.

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DEFINITION ESSAYS

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This type of essay provides a detailed description and definition of a word or phrase. This can be a concrete term such as car or glass or a more abstract concept such as love or fear .

A definition essay comprehensively explains a term’s purpose and meaning. It will frequently contain some or all of the following elements:

  • A definition of the term
  • An analysis of its meaning
  • The etymology of the term
  • A comparison to related terms
  • Examples to illustrate the meaning
  • A summary of the main points

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CLASSIFICATION ESSAYS

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Similar to a definition essay, a classification essay sorts or organizes things into various groups or categories. This type of essay then explains each group or category in detail.

Classification essays focus on:

  • Sorting things into functional categories
  • Ensuring each category follows a common organizing principle
  • Provides examples that illustrate each category.

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TYPES OF EXPOSITORY ESSAYS SORTING ACTIVITY

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To help students gain some experience identifying the features of the different expository essay types, gather together a selection of different essays and challenge students to work together in groups to classify each essay according to the criteria above.

EXPOSITORY ESSAY STRUCTURE

TEXT ORGANIZATION Organize your thoughts before writing.

CLARITY Use clear and concise wording. There is no room for banter.

THESIS STATEMENT State position in direct terms.

TOPIC SENTENCE Open each paragraph with a topic sentence.

SUPPORTING DETAIL Support the topic sentence with further explanation and evidence.

LINK End each body paragraph by linking to the next.

EXPOSITORY ESSAY TYPES

PROCESS Tell your audience how to achieve something, such as how to bake a cake.

CAUSE & EFFECT Explore relationships between subjects, such as climate change and its impact.

PROBLEM & SOLUTION Explain how to solve a problem, such as improve physical fitness.

COMPARE & CONTRAST Compare and contrast two or more items, such as life in China life vs life in the United States or Australia.

DEFINITION Provides a detailed definition of a word or phrase such as self-confidence.

CLASSIFICATION Organizes things into categories or groups such as types of music.

THE BASIC STRUCTURE OF AN EXPOSITORY ESSAY

While there are many types of expository essays, the basic underlying structure is the same. The Hamburger or 5-Paragraph Essay structure is an excellent scaffold for students to build their articles. To learn more about this essay format, check out our detailed article here .

But let’s take a quick look at the expository essay outline.

INTRODUCTION:

This is the top bun of the burger, and here the student introduces the topic of the exposition. This will usually consist of a general statement on the subject, providing an overview of the essay. It may also preview each significant section, indicating what aspects of the subject will be covered in the text. These sections will likely relate to the headings and subheadings identified at the planning stage.

If the introduction is the top bun of the burger, then each body paragraph is a beef patty. Self-contained in some regards, each patty forms an integral part of the whole.

EXPOSITORY PARAGRAPHS

Each of the body paragraphs deals with one idea or piece of information. For more complex topics, these may be grouped under a common heading, and the number of paragraphs will depend on the complexity of the topic. For example, an expository text on wolves may include a series of paragraphs under headings such as habitat, breeding habits, what they eat, etc.

Each paragraph should open with a topic sentence indicating to the reader what the paragraph is about. The following sentences should further illuminate this main idea through discussion and/or explanation. Encourage students to use evidence and examples here, whether statistical or anecdotal. Remind students to keep things factual – this is not an editorial piece for a newspaper!

EXPOSITORY PARAGRAPH EXAMPLE

“I hate mosquitoes because they annoy me while I am outside. For example, whenever we have barbeques, they want to swarm all around the food. Also, when I go fishing with my Dad, we always have to wear bug spray. The bug spray always stinks to high heaven! Then, if you do not want to use bug spray, the only other way to get them to leave you alone is to wear long sleeves. Yet, who wants to wear long sleeves when it is hot outside? Nothing ruins your day like bloodsucking mosquitoes” – This paragraph uses a first-person perspective to identify a problem. (mosquitoes.)

EXPOSITORY CONCLUSION:

Generally, the conclusion of any essay should neatly close the circle by summarizing the information through restating the main ideas in a unique way. This bottom bun of the hamburger essay is no different. Remind students that a proper expository essay is objective in nature and to beware of injecting their opinion or bias into the piece. The purpose here is to inform rather than persuade.

FEATURES OF EXPOSITORY WRITING

expository essays | BlueandCreamSimpleExpositoryGraphicOrganizer | How to Write Excellent Expository Essays | literacyideas.com

Expository writing is usually not the place for flowery flourishes of figurative imagery! Students should be encouraged to select a straightforward language that is easy for the reader to understand. After all, the aim here is to inform and explain, and this is best achieved with explicit language.

As we’ve seen, there are several variations of the expository essay, but the following are the most common features that students must include.

The title should be functional. It should instantly inform the reader what they will learn about in the text. This is not the place for opaque poetry!

A table of contents in long essays will help the reader locate helpful information quickly. Usually, the page numbers found here will be linked to headings and subheadings to be found in the text.

HEADINGS / SUBHEADINGS:

These assist the reader in finding information by summarizing the content in their wording.

expository essays | How to Write Excellent Expository Essays | literacyideas.com

Usually listed in alphabetical order, the glossary defines unusual or topic-specific vocabulary and is sometimes accompanied by pictures, illustrations etc.

The index allows the reader to identify where to find specific information in longer texts. An index is much more detailed than a table of contents.

VISUAL FORMS OF INFORMATION

Expository essays sometimes support the text with visuals, such as:

  • Pictures / Illustrations / Photographs:

These can be used to present a central idea or concept within the text and are often accompanied by a caption explaining what the image shows. Photographs can offer a broad overview or a close-up of essential details.

expository essays | How to Write Excellent Expository Essays | literacyideas.com

Diagrams are a great way to convey complex information quickly. They should be labelled clearly to ensure the reader knows what they are looking at.

  • Charts and Graphs:

These are extremely useful for showing data and statistics in an easy-to-read manner. They should be labelled clearly and correspond to the information in the nearby text.

Maps may be used to explain where something is, or was, located. 

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Teaching Resources

Use our resources and tools to improve your student’s writing skills through proven teaching strategies.

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EXPOSITORY ESSAY EXAMPLE

One of the best ways to understand the different features of expository essays is to see them in action. The sample essay below is a definition essay, but it shares many of its features with other expository essays.

expository essays | expository essay example | How to Write Excellent Expository Essays | literacyideas.com

EXPOSITORY WRITING PROMPTS

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FINAL THOUGHTS

Your students will need a good understanding of the basic features of expository writing and a firm grasp of the hamburger essay structure itself. As with any writing genre , the prewriting stages are essential too. This is particularly true for expository writing. 

As this genre of writing is designed primarily to inform the reader, sound research and note-taking are essential for your students to produce a well-written text. Expository writing offers excellent opportunities for students to develop these critical skills, skills that will be very useful to them as they continue in their education. 

Likewise, the redrafting and editing of their texts are very important. Facts and statistics should be checked and rechecked, and the language is edited tightly to ensure that language is clear and concise throughout. 

The ability to produce a well-written expository essay is a highly beneficial skill for a student to possess as they move through life. It encourages good organizational skills and enriches students’ understanding of the world around them. 

And, while we grade their efforts, we might even learn a thing or two ourselves!

ESSAY WRITING CHECKLIST & RUBRIC BUNDLE

writing checklists

EXPOSITORY ESSAY TUTORIAL VIDEO

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ARTICLES RELATED TO EXPOSITORY ESSAY WRITING

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How to write a perfect 5 Paragraph Essay

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Top 5 Essay Writing Tips

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Top 5 Expository Essay Writing Tips

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The content for this page has been written by Shane Mac Donnchaidh.  A former principal of an international school and English university lecturer with 15 years of teaching and administration experience. Shane’s latest Book, The Complete Guide to Nonfiction Writing , can be found here.  Editing and support for this article have been provided by the literacyideas team.

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  • Knowledge Base

The Beginner's Guide to Writing an Essay | Steps & Examples

An academic essay is a focused piece of writing that develops an idea or argument using evidence, analysis, and interpretation.

There are many types of essays you might write as a student. The content and length of an essay depends on your level, subject of study, and course requirements. However, most essays at university level are argumentative — they aim to persuade the reader of a particular position or perspective on a topic.

The essay writing process consists of three main stages:

  • Preparation: Decide on your topic, do your research, and create an essay outline.
  • Writing : Set out your argument in the introduction, develop it with evidence in the main body, and wrap it up with a conclusion.
  • Revision:  Check your essay on the content, organization, grammar, spelling, and formatting of your essay.

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Table of contents

Essay writing process, preparation for writing an essay, writing the introduction, writing the main body, writing the conclusion, essay checklist, lecture slides, frequently asked questions about writing an essay.

The writing process of preparation, writing, and revisions applies to every essay or paper, but the time and effort spent on each stage depends on the type of essay .

For example, if you’ve been assigned a five-paragraph expository essay for a high school class, you’ll probably spend the most time on the writing stage; for a college-level argumentative essay , on the other hand, you’ll need to spend more time researching your topic and developing an original argument before you start writing.

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Before you start writing, you should make sure you have a clear idea of what you want to say and how you’re going to say it. There are a few key steps you can follow to make sure you’re prepared:

  • Understand your assignment: What is the goal of this essay? What is the length and deadline of the assignment? Is there anything you need to clarify with your teacher or professor?
  • Define a topic: If you’re allowed to choose your own topic , try to pick something that you already know a bit about and that will hold your interest.
  • Do your research: Read  primary and secondary sources and take notes to help you work out your position and angle on the topic. You’ll use these as evidence for your points.
  • Come up with a thesis:  The thesis is the central point or argument that you want to make. A clear thesis is essential for a focused essay—you should keep referring back to it as you write.
  • Create an outline: Map out the rough structure of your essay in an outline . This makes it easier to start writing and keeps you on track as you go.

Once you’ve got a clear idea of what you want to discuss, in what order, and what evidence you’ll use, you’re ready to start writing.

The introduction sets the tone for your essay. It should grab the reader’s interest and inform them of what to expect. The introduction generally comprises 10–20% of the text.

1. Hook your reader

The first sentence of the introduction should pique your reader’s interest and curiosity. This sentence is sometimes called the hook. It might be an intriguing question, a surprising fact, or a bold statement emphasizing the relevance of the topic.

Let’s say we’re writing an essay about the development of Braille (the raised-dot reading and writing system used by visually impaired people). Our hook can make a strong statement about the topic:

The invention of Braille was a major turning point in the history of disability.

2. Provide background on your topic

Next, it’s important to give context that will help your reader understand your argument. This might involve providing background information, giving an overview of important academic work or debates on the topic, and explaining difficult terms. Don’t provide too much detail in the introduction—you can elaborate in the body of your essay.

3. Present the thesis statement

Next, you should formulate your thesis statement— the central argument you’re going to make. The thesis statement provides focus and signals your position on the topic. It is usually one or two sentences long. The thesis statement for our essay on Braille could look like this:

As the first writing system designed for blind people’s needs, Braille was a groundbreaking new accessibility tool. It not only provided practical benefits, but also helped change the cultural status of blindness.

4. Map the structure

In longer essays, you can end the introduction by briefly describing what will be covered in each part of the essay. This guides the reader through your structure and gives a preview of how your argument will develop.

The invention of Braille marked a major turning point in the history of disability. The writing system of raised dots used by blind and visually impaired people was developed by Louis Braille in nineteenth-century France. In a society that did not value disabled people in general, blindness was particularly stigmatized, and lack of access to reading and writing was a significant barrier to social participation. The idea of tactile reading was not entirely new, but existing methods based on sighted systems were difficult to learn and use. As the first writing system designed for blind people’s needs, Braille was a groundbreaking new accessibility tool. It not only provided practical benefits, but also helped change the cultural status of blindness. This essay begins by discussing the situation of blind people in nineteenth-century Europe. It then describes the invention of Braille and the gradual process of its acceptance within blind education. Subsequently, it explores the wide-ranging effects of this invention on blind people’s social and cultural lives.

Write your essay introduction

The body of your essay is where you make arguments supporting your thesis, provide evidence, and develop your ideas. Its purpose is to present, interpret, and analyze the information and sources you have gathered to support your argument.

Length of the body text

The length of the body depends on the type of essay. On average, the body comprises 60–80% of your essay. For a high school essay, this could be just three paragraphs, but for a graduate school essay of 6,000 words, the body could take up 8–10 pages.

Paragraph structure

To give your essay a clear structure , it is important to organize it into paragraphs . Each paragraph should be centered around one main point or idea.

That idea is introduced in a  topic sentence . The topic sentence should generally lead on from the previous paragraph and introduce the point to be made in this paragraph. Transition words can be used to create clear connections between sentences.

After the topic sentence, present evidence such as data, examples, or quotes from relevant sources. Be sure to interpret and explain the evidence, and show how it helps develop your overall argument.

Lack of access to reading and writing put blind people at a serious disadvantage in nineteenth-century society. Text was one of the primary methods through which people engaged with culture, communicated with others, and accessed information; without a well-developed reading system that did not rely on sight, blind people were excluded from social participation (Weygand, 2009). While disabled people in general suffered from discrimination, blindness was widely viewed as the worst disability, and it was commonly believed that blind people were incapable of pursuing a profession or improving themselves through culture (Weygand, 2009). This demonstrates the importance of reading and writing to social status at the time: without access to text, it was considered impossible to fully participate in society. Blind people were excluded from the sighted world, but also entirely dependent on sighted people for information and education.

See the full essay example

The conclusion is the final paragraph of an essay. It should generally take up no more than 10–15% of the text . A strong essay conclusion :

  • Returns to your thesis
  • Ties together your main points
  • Shows why your argument matters

A great conclusion should finish with a memorable or impactful sentence that leaves the reader with a strong final impression.

What not to include in a conclusion

To make your essay’s conclusion as strong as possible, there are a few things you should avoid. The most common mistakes are:

  • Including new arguments or evidence
  • Undermining your arguments (e.g. “This is just one approach of many”)
  • Using concluding phrases like “To sum up…” or “In conclusion…”

Braille paved the way for dramatic cultural changes in the way blind people were treated and the opportunities available to them. Louis Braille’s innovation was to reimagine existing reading systems from a blind perspective, and the success of this invention required sighted teachers to adapt to their students’ reality instead of the other way around. In this sense, Braille helped drive broader social changes in the status of blindness. New accessibility tools provide practical advantages to those who need them, but they can also change the perspectives and attitudes of those who do not.

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Checklist: Essay

My essay follows the requirements of the assignment (topic and length ).

My introduction sparks the reader’s interest and provides any necessary background information on the topic.

My introduction contains a thesis statement that states the focus and position of the essay.

I use paragraphs to structure the essay.

I use topic sentences to introduce each paragraph.

Each paragraph has a single focus and a clear connection to the thesis statement.

I make clear transitions between paragraphs and ideas.

My conclusion doesn’t just repeat my points, but draws connections between arguments.

I don’t introduce new arguments or evidence in the conclusion.

I have given an in-text citation for every quote or piece of information I got from another source.

I have included a reference page at the end of my essay, listing full details of all my sources.

My citations and references are correctly formatted according to the required citation style .

My essay has an interesting and informative title.

I have followed all formatting guidelines (e.g. font, page numbers, line spacing).

Your essay meets all the most important requirements. Our editors can give it a final check to help you submit with confidence.

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An essay is a focused piece of writing that explains, argues, describes, or narrates.

In high school, you may have to write many different types of essays to develop your writing skills.

Academic essays at college level are usually argumentative : you develop a clear thesis about your topic and make a case for your position using evidence, analysis and interpretation.

The structure of an essay is divided into an introduction that presents your topic and thesis statement , a body containing your in-depth analysis and arguments, and a conclusion wrapping up your ideas.

The structure of the body is flexible, but you should always spend some time thinking about how you can organize your essay to best serve your ideas.

Your essay introduction should include three main things, in this order:

  • An opening hook to catch the reader’s attention.
  • Relevant background information that the reader needs to know.
  • A thesis statement that presents your main point or argument.

The length of each part depends on the length and complexity of your essay .

A thesis statement is a sentence that sums up the central point of your paper or essay . Everything else you write should relate to this key idea.

The thesis statement is essential in any academic essay or research paper for two main reasons:

  • It gives your writing direction and focus.
  • It gives the reader a concise summary of your main point.

Without a clear thesis statement, an essay can end up rambling and unfocused, leaving your reader unsure of exactly what you want to say.

A topic sentence is a sentence that expresses the main point of a paragraph . Everything else in the paragraph should relate to the topic sentence.

At college level, you must properly cite your sources in all essays , research papers , and other academic texts (except exams and in-class exercises).

Add a citation whenever you quote , paraphrase , or summarize information or ideas from a source. You should also give full source details in a bibliography or reference list at the end of your text.

The exact format of your citations depends on which citation style you are instructed to use. The most common styles are APA , MLA , and Chicago .

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How to Write an Expository Essay?

27 April, 2020

12 minutes read

Author:  Tomas White

Mastering the art of writing a good expository essay is the backbone of writing A grade essays. This extensive guide written by the Handmade writing team will help define exactly what an expository paper is in fact. This is done by examining it in relation to other genres of essays as well as giving you a broad view on a range of different essays that fall into this category.

Expository Essay

What is an expository essay?

The definition of an expository essay is to expose an idea by explaining the evidence and facts surrounding the topic. Its purpose is to explain or clarify information on a subject. It is important to present the topic in an impartial and non-biased fashion without forming a conclusion.

All types of academic papers such as argumentative and persuasive essays include expository writing in some shape or form. Due to this, it can be hard to define where the expository paper ends, and the other papers begin. To get a clear understanding of how expository writing differs, it is best to compare it to different essay genres.

Is an argumentative essay an expository essay?

An expository essay is objective, neutral and focuses on explaining all sides of a situation, whereas an argumentative essay is about arguing for and supporting one side of the debate by contrasting it with different viewpoints. Below is an illustration of the conventions and structures of both essay genres.

is an argumentative essay an expository essay

How are a persuasive essay and an expository essay different?

A persuasive essay and an argumentative essay are extremely similar in format and will follow most of the rules outlined for argumentative essays. A persuasive writing is used to persuade. Expository writing is used to inform.

How to write an expository essay

The main points of what an expository essay should contain have been summarized in the graphic above. Good expository writing needs you to know how to present and write the information in the correct format. This guide will take you through the things you need to do to write a fantastic and detailed paper step by step. The first step is understanding what type of expository essay you are going to write.

What are the main types of expository essays?

Good writers understand the purpose of their essays. Identify the type of paper that you need to write and focus on answering the question in a suitable format. Here are five main types of expository papers:

Main types of expository essays

A Descriptive Essay

The purpose of a description is to describe something in detail. It could be a person you know, a place that you have visited or even describing the steps in a natural process such as photosynthesis. You should explain the subject matter in detail but not necessarily include any conclusion or analysis.

A Process Essay

The purpose of a process essay is to recount the steps taken. Good examples are scientific reports of experiments or a guide on how to create something. The essay explains the process that was taken and the results that were gained without judgment.

A Comparison Essay (Compare and Contrast Essay)

A comparison essay’s purpose is to compare and contrast two subjects. Examples of this can be how a theme is present in two books, two perspectives on social theory or even a flowers appearance. The essay should just list the differences without any kind of analysis or argument attached.

A Cause and Effect Essay

A cause and effect essay identify the reason why a phenomenon occurs and what happens as a consequence. These essays lend themselves to social research in topics like “ What causes dyslexia and what effects will it have on learning? ” Or history topics that discuss the cause of policies and their effects on society. An expository essay should detail the causes and effects without any further analysis.

A Problem and Solution Essay

A problem and solution essay will identify problems in a system and offer solutions that could fix or lessen the burden of those problems. As an expository paper there shouldn’t be an argument for one solution but an outline of all possible solutions.

Read the question you have been set or the criteria of your assignment and measure it against these expository essay formats to choose the best question for you. For more in-depth advice on how to write the styles of essays detailed above please follow the embedded links!

How to choose a title for an expository essay?

When you are given free reign, it can be hard to decide what to write an essay on. The easiest method of how to start an expository writing is to decide on the topic and title. A simple way of coming up with a basic title for an essay is to insert its type into the title.

  • A description of Stephen King/Harlem/Photosynthesis
  • The process of baking a cake/testing Boyle’s law/of camping.
  • A comparison of Byron’s poetry / international social policy / political stances on taxation.
  • The cause and/or effects of potato blight/obesity/voter apathy
  • The problems and/or solutions to gun regulation / gendered language/stigmatization of mental issues.

Creating a basic title will give your essay direction, and a subject to focus on. It can act as a primary thesis statement as research and can be narrowed and to a more meaningful title later. News channels&papers and websites are sources of current and ongoing issues to discuss.

Formulating a clear title will help clarify the purpose of your paper by giving the reader your topic and the context in which you are reporting on it. When choosing a title and essay type always consider whether they are appropriate to the guidelines and subject matter. The most important thing is to choose a subject you enjoy.

where to look for topic for an expository essay

Feel free to buy essay online with our top-level essay writers .

Expository essay topics for high school and college

Being given the freedom to choose an essay topic in high-school or college is a hard assignment. Here are some general expository essay topics for high school and college students to help you brainstorm and decide on a subject.

Keep in mind that learning to write good essays has benefits that go beyond your academic life. Good writing skills are essential for your future career as well. As many as 80 percent of corporations with employment growth potential evaluate the writing skills of their applicants during the hiring process.

Here are some colorful examples of topic titles that we suggest looking into.

Process titles

  • The perfect recipe for an amazing summer vacation
  • How to test the resistance of an electrical current

Comparison titles

  • A comparison of positivism and communist perspectives on social education
  • Compare and contrast the use of technology in Harry Potter and Frankenstein

Cause and effect titles

  • Explain how the Treaty of Versailles contributed to Hitler’s rise to power.
  • What are the causes and consequences of climate change?

Problems and solution titles 

  • What problems arise from the depiction of violence on in the media?
  • What can you do to help someone with a hearing impairment adapt to mainstream education?
  • How is the representation of women a problem in video-gaming and what can game developers do to stop it?

Expository essay Outline

The structure of this essay type usually consists of five paragraphs. These include the introduction, three supporting paragraphs that comprise the body of your essay, and a conclusion that sums up your points.

Start your introduction with a strong sentence that pulls the readers in. The introduction of your expository essay is the first thing that readers will see, so it directly influences how they receive your essay. You should take your time to make it effective. Keep in mind that the purpose of your introduction is to hook your readers and provide a guideline for your topic and main argument, known as the thesis statement. This hook should tell your readers something they didn’t know before, for example, an interesting fact, a surprising statistic, or a quote from a well-known person.

Related Posts: How to write an Essay outline | Essay format guide  | How to write an Essay introduction  

Next, the best expository writing format is to choose three items about the topic that you will discuss in the body of your essay. These are the points that you introduced in your introduction and should discuss in more detail in the body.

No matter the style or the type of essay  – choose three points about the subject that you can elaborate on and explain in detail.

Finally, your conclusion should restate your thesis statement and give details about the end goal. You can also make a prediction based on the discussion of your essay and provide closure for your readers.

What should I include in the introduction?

The introduction of an expository essay should  have a thesis statement . The thesis statement here is simply to introduce the subject you are explaining and in what context.

How should I write the body paragraphs?

Each paragraph of the body paragraph should discuss a single idea on the subject. The first sentence of each paragraph should introduce the topic that you will discuss. The following sentence should elaborate and describe the subject in detail. Use facts, evidence, and quotations to support the statement and elaborate. The final sentence should be conclusive to signal the topic has ended. Writing in this formula will sign-post your work and make it easier to read.

All information should be objective and written in the third person.

An expository writing purpose is to describe subjects in detail to explain and clarify. As such the focus should be on simple, clear sentences with concentrate messages. It is important to stay focused on the topic at hand and not go off on tangents.

How to write a conclusion?

The conclusion of an expository paper should recap all the points made previously and avoid coming to a conclusion about which side of the argument is right or adding new ideas to the essay. You can signal the end of the paper with a final general point, for example:  “Only by evaluating all aspects of homelessness we can come to an understanding of what causes it and how to implement better solutions.”

Expository essay example

Do’s and don’ts of expository essays.

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How to Write an Expository Essay: 6 Basic Steps

Essays are a principal component of academic writing. Scholars and students need to write a plethora of essays on a recurring basis as a core requirement of their research or curricula. Depending on the writing purpose, these essays can be persuasive, narrative, descriptive, or expository. This article expounds on expository essays and suggests some helpful steps to write an expository essay.

rules of an expository essay

Essays are a principal component of academic writing . Scholars and students need to write a plethora of essays on a recurring basis as a core requirement of their research or curricula. Depending on the writing purpose, these essays can be persuasive, narrative, descriptive, or expository. This article expounds on expository essays and suggests some helpful steps to write an expository essay.

What are expository essays?

Expository essays aim to peruse a subject matter, assess the available factual information regarding that subject matter, and educate the readers on it. As opposed to persuasive/argumentative essays that try to convince the readers of the credibility of the author’s arguments, expository writing is formal and objective with the purpose of presenting information to the readers in a cogitable manner without taking sides.

Let us consider, for example, an essay on the detrimental effects of the Great Depression on the psyche of middle-class Americans. This essay will briefly mention what brought about the Great Depression and explain how the deteriorating economy negatively affected the mental health of the less financially well-off citizens. It will not include the author's opinions on corruption, malpractices, human rights issues, etc., and how the government could have mitigated them in those times. Also, since expository writing is straightforward, writers should avoid using tricky language, allusions, slang, and ilk.

Steps to writing expository essays

Expository essays are some of the most systematic and well-structured essays in academic writing. Hence, one needs to follow all the structural and writing guidelines of expository writing.

1. Conduct extensive research on the topic at hand

The first step to writing an essay is to have sound knowledge of the subject matter. This implies locating trustworthy sources, referring to them constantly, and writing plenty of notes.

Once sufficient information is collected, writers should then move on to creating a rough outline of the essay. Having an essay outline enables one to arrange the available information in a comprehensible manner. However, one should not strive to draft the perfect outline at the outset.

Also, one should not do the writing and research parallelly, as doing so will deteriorate the quality of their essays.

2. Pick a structure for the essay

Essays typically comprise five paragraphs:

Introduction

1st body paragraph

2nd body paragraph

3rd body paragraph

But one does not have to necessarily abide by this essay structure and can consult the teachers or supervisors for the word count and the number of paragraphs.

3. Formulate a thesis statement

A thesis statement is fundamental to any essay as it accentuates the crux of the essay. It is generally subsequent to the introductory paragraph and is one or two sentences long. The ideal way to write a thesis statement is to create a rough draft and revise it as the writing process progresses toward completion. Doing so ensures that the thesis statement is in line with the contents of the essay.

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4. Write an introductory paragraph with a hook

The introductory paragraph carries the onus of ensuring whether the readers will read the whole essay or leave midway. Thus, it is imperative for writers to write a compelling introductory paragraph , complete with a hook statement, that will pique the interest of the readers and tell them that the essay is worth their time.

5. Write the body paragraphs

The body paragraphs are equally important as the introductory as they carry the entire weight of the essay. Therefore, writers should make sure to include only incontestable and properly cited information. Also, since an essay is composed of several paragraphs, one should ensure that the transition from one paragraph to the other is seamless and there are minimal instances of incoherence.

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Most Common Citation Styles: APA | Chicago | MLA

6. Summarize the expository essays

The final paragraph, i.e., the conclusion or summary, consists of reinstating the thesis statements with some input from the other paragraphs. A good conclusion effectively brings together the essay, ties all loose ends, and does not divulge any new information. As such, writers should not treat it as a mere obligation.

Expository essays are analytical, evidential, formal in tone, and educational. This makes it essential to have strong language skills and a knack for explaining complex concepts with ease. Hence, students and scholars should actively practice their writing skills and follow this guide to master expository writing.

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How to write an expository essay

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Expository Essay

Expository Essay Examples

Caleb S.

Free Expository Essay Examples For Students

Published on: Aug 14, 2018

Last updated on: Jan 16, 2024

expository essay examples

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Are you a student struggling to understand the intricacies of expository essay writing? 

Do you find yourself in need of clear guidance and practical examples to master this essential skill? Look no further! 

In this guide, we'll look into 10+ expository essay examples, providing you with the knowledge you need to start writing. From understanding the fundamentals to dissecting real examples, we've got you covered. 

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What is Expository Essay Writing?

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

The primary purpose of an expository essay is to provide a clear presentation of facts, ideas, or concepts, often without the writer's personal bias or opinion. The expository essay is a genre of essay that is similar to a descriptive essay .

There are several types of expository writing , including:

  • Definition essay
  • Classification essay
  • Process analysis essay
  • Cause and effect essay
  • Problem solution essay  
  • Compare and contrast essay  

Newspaper articles, journals, and essays that define and explain a particular topic demonstrate expository essay writing.

Read the examples and learn to write a good expository essay for your school or college assignment.

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Expository Essay Examples 

While writing an expository essay, you might face difficulties in formatting and logically connecting your information. Below we have presented some amazing examples to help you understand how to write and organize an expository essay.

Expository Essay Outline Examples

Whenever you write an expository essay, the first thing you should do is craft an outline. The expository essay outline gives shape to your essay and keeps you organized. 

Here are some good expository essay outline examples that you can follow to outline your essay.

Expository Essay Outline Example

Expository Essay Outline Template Sample

Expository Essay Format Example

While writing an essay, you need to follow a proper format to present your information in a logical sequence. 

The typical 5 paragraph essay consists of 1 introduction, 3 body, and 1 conclusion paragraph. 

Below we have given expository essay format examples in both APA and MLA format to help you understand the formatting. Check out: 

Expository Essay Examples APA Format

Expository Essay Examples MLA Format

Short Expository Essay Examples

As we have discussed above, expository essay writing requires you to describe and explain a particular subject in detail. Achieving this level of detail can be quite challenging when working with a limited word count. 

To illustrate how to effectively convey information within limited words, we have provided a short expository essay example.

Short Expository Essay Example

Expository Essay Examples for Middle School

Here are some informative expository essay examples for middle school students to help you grasp the basics of expository essay writing.

Expository Essay Example For Middle School

Expository Essay Example Grade 7

Expository Essay Examples 5th Grade

Expository Essay Examples 4th Grade

Expository Essay Examples for High School

Here are some helpful expository essay examples PDFs for high school students. Check out:

Expository Essay Examples For High School

Expository Essay Examples for College

Looking for a college-level expository essay example? Check out the pdf below:

Expository Essay Examples For College

Expository Essay Examples for University 

Here are some good sample expository essay pdf examples for university students. 

Expository Essay Example About Life

Expository Essay Examples About Covid 19

Informative Expository Essay Example

How to Write an Expository Essay - Example

While writing an expository essay, you need to follow a proper structure. So that you can easily present your information and evidence in a logical sequence.

Here is a step-by-step process of how to write an expository essay:

Step 1. Choose an Appropriate Topic

  • Brainstorm different ideas to select a compelling expository essay topic. Check out our expository essay topics blog for inspiring ideas.
  • Ensure it has the potential to turn into an informative essay by being able to explain and inform effectively.

Step 2. Craft an Engaging Introduction

  • Begin with a captivating hook statement to grab the reader's attention.
  • Provide a brief background on the chosen topic to clarify its relevance.
  • Formulate an informative thesis statement that encapsulates the core idea of your essay.

Step 3. Develop the Body Paragraphs

  • Start each body paragraph with a clear topic sentence , representing the main idea of that particular paragraph.
  • Support the topic sentence with credible evidence, facts, or examples that bolster your thesis statement.
  • Ensure a smooth transition between paragraphs for a logical flow of ideas.

Step 4. Conclude Effectively

  • Start the essay conclusion paragraph by reasserting your thesis statement.
  • Summarize the key points and main arguments presented in the essay.
  • Encourage the reader with a call to action, prompting them to contemplate or engage further with the topic.

Step 5. Proofread and Edit 

  • Proofread your essay for grammatical and spelling mistakes and check if the information is presented in a proper sequence. 
  • Write multiple drafts and edit as needed to ensure your essay is free of errors.

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In conclusion, these expository essay examples offer a valuable resource for students. They serve as effective learning tools, providing insight into the art of expository writing. By studying these examples, students can improve their writing skills, and gain a deeper understanding of essay structure.

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Frequently Asked Questions

What are 3 examples of expository.

The three main examples of expository are; 

  • Scientific reports 
  • Magazine articles 
  • Academic essays 

What are the 4 characteristics of expository text?

The main characteristics of expository text are; 

  • Informative 
  • Clarity 
  • Unbiased 
  • Impersonal 
  • Organization of the text 

What is the first important step in writing an expository essay?

To write an expository essay, you must first decide how to structure your work. An expository essay generally contains an introduction, followed by three body paragraphs and a conclusion. 

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  1. How To Write An Expository Essay in 6 Steps

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  2. Expository Anchor Chart

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  3. What Is an Expository Essay? Examples and Guide

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  4. How to Write an Expository Essay: Examples and 25 Topic Ideas

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  5. What Is an Expository Essay and How to Write It

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  6. How To Write an Excellent Expository Essay: Expert Tips and Examples

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  1. What is an Expository Essay? Essay Writing Guide #essay

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  6. How to write an Expository Essay?

COMMENTS

  1. How to Write an Expository Essay

    Knowledge Base Essay How to write an expository essay How to Write an Expository Essay | Structure, Tips & Examples Published on July 14, 2020 by Jack Caulfield . Revised on July 23, 2023. "Expository" means "intended to explain or describe something."

  2. Expository Essay Guide With Definition & Examples

    Write with Grammarly What is an expository essay? 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.

  3. How to Write an Expository Essay: Topics, Outline, Examples

    12 min read Share the article Table of Contents Understanding What Is an Expository Essay If you clicked on this article, then you must have recently been assigned an expository essay homework. There is also a possibility that you are here because you enjoy exploring different ideas and concepts rather than solely scratching the surface.

  4. 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.

  5. 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

  6. How To Write an Excellent Expository Essay: Expert Tips and Examples

    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.

  7. 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.

  8. 4 Easy Ways to Write an Expository Essay

    1 Define your purpose for writing. Think about why you are writing an expository essay. Jot down some of the reasons why you are writing an expository essay and what you hope to do with your completed essay. [2] If you are writing an expository essay for an assignment, read the assignment guidelines. Ask your instructor if anything seems unclear. 2

  9. How to Write an Expository Essay

    " 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.

  10. How to Write an Expository Essay in 5 Steps

    How to Write an Expository Essay in 5 Steps Written by MasterClass Last updated: Jun 7, 2021 • 3 min read Learning how to write a good expository essay is an academic writing skill that lays the foundation for the type of expository writing that's necessary for numerous professions.

  11. Expository Writing: Definition and Examples

    Expository writing is: Factual Usually presented in a linear format Always presented in a logical format Objective Clear about its purpose Expository writing is not: The author's opinion An attempt to change the reader's mind or shape their perspective Subjective Nonlinear or otherwise unconventional in how it presents content

  12. What Is Expository Writing?

    It explains, informs, and describes. Types of Expository Writing In composition studies, expository writing (also called exposition) is one of the four traditional modes of discourse. It may include elements of narration , description, and argumentation.

  13. What Is an Expository Essay and How to Write It

    Key takeaways Frequently asked questions about expository essays What is an expository essay? The expository essay is the appropriate type of essay to write if you need to inform your audience. If your intent is to critically compare, argue, or persuade, you will want to consider a different essay format. To explain it in more detail:

  14. The Four Main Types of Essay

    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 ...

  15. How to write Excellent Expository Essays

    A significant clue lies in the word itself. Expository writing 'exposes' something to the reader. Though the term is sometimes used to include persuasive writing, a proper expository text does not allow the writer's personal opinion to intrude into the text.. An expository text aims to explain, inform, or describe a topic logically and straightforwardly.

  16. The Beginner's Guide to Writing an Essay

    Essay writing process. The writing process of preparation, writing, and revisions applies to every essay or paper, but the time and effort spent on each stage depends on the type of essay.. For example, if you've been assigned a five-paragraph expository essay for a high school class, you'll probably spend the most time on the writing stage; for a college-level argumentative essay, on the ...

  17. Tips on Writing an Excellent Expository Essay

    Writing an expository essay is easy with our step-by-step guide. First, read the article and find the outline and best topics for your paper. ... A persuasive essay and an argumentative essay are extremely similar in format and will follow most of the rules outlined for argumentative essays. A persuasive writing is used to persuade. Expository ...

  18. How to Write an Expository Essay

    The expository essay is a genre of nonfiction writing in which a writer aims to explain a topic or concept. In this genre of essay writing, the writer is not required to put forward an original argument, but rather aims to educate the reader on a topic. This contrasts with the argumentative and persuasive essay genres, in which the writer takes ...

  19. How to Write an Expository Essay: 6 Basic Steps

    Introduction. 1st body paragraph. 2nd body paragraph. 3rd body paragraph. Conclusion. But one does not have to necessarily abide by this essay structure and can consult the teachers or supervisors for the word count and the number of paragraphs. 3. Formulate a thesis statement.

  20. Expository Essay Examples For All Academic Levels

    An expository essay is a form of academic writing that aims to inform, explain, or describe a particular topic to the reader. The primary purpose of an expository essay is to provide a clear presentation of facts, ideas, or concepts, often without the writer's personal bias or opinion.

  21. Expository vs Explanatory: Differences And Uses For Each One

    The essay was written in an expository tone, presenting the facts and information in a straightforward manner. ... Exceptions To The Rules. While expository and explanatory writing styles are generally used in specific situations, there are some exceptions to the rules. Here are some cases where the rules for using expository and explanatory ...

  22. Expository Essay Rules

    reason for determining the kind of expository essay it is to help in determining the purpose of the exposition as a whole. Next, the third step to analyzing an expository essay is to perform the Get more content on StudyHub Why Is It Important To Follow School Rules Childhood is a totalitarian regime, and schools are the mental concentration camps.

  23. Rules For An Expository Essay

    Rules For An Expository Essay. The writers of PenMyPaper establish the importance of reflective writing by explaining its pros and cons precisely to the readers. They tend to 'do my essay' by adding value to both you (enhancing your knowledge) and your paper. Pricing depends on the type of task you wish to be completed, the number of pages ...