Step-by-step Guide on How to Approach Expository Essays


Have you ever heard of expository essays, or is it a completely new term for you? You’re most likely to encounter it if you’re a high school student or a freshman. How come? Professors often use this type of essay to evaluate the students’ acquaintance with a topic. Expository essays are usually brief tasks committed to assessing your subject comprehension and writing skills.

Therefore, you will be writing an expository essay in class or during an exam in most cases.

Learn How to Write an Expository Essay Inside out

First, students should understand the essence of this type of writing. So, what is expository writing? The clue lies in the name as the term derives from the word ‘exposition.’ When writing an essay, your main goal is to research an idea or theory. Then, you must explain it using supportive pieces of evidence.

Remember that this type of essay wants to reveal how well you master your particular topic. That is why it is often seen as part of an exam. Accordingly, you must focus on presenting the issue without stating your personal opinion and strictly sticking with the facts.

There are five types of expository writing, and they are:

  • Descriptive essay, in which you have to define an idea, theory, thing, or person.
  • The process essay’s goal is to explain how something can be done.
  • A comparison essay is one in which you have to contrast two ideas and determine their resemblances and contrasts.
  • Cause and Effect essay, in which your main goal is to answer questions like “Why and how something happened?” or “What are the consequences?”
  • A problem and solution essay are where you have to introduce a particular issue and present possible solutions.

An expository essay can vary in length based on your assignment scope. However, the basic structure includes less than 1,000 words with five paragraphs. If you don’t have specific requirements, check out if your guideline provides that information. If not, ask your professor.

How to Choose a Topic for Expository Essays

If you’re writing a paper during the lesson, there is no need to develop a topic as the teacher will give it to you. However, if it’s an out-of-class assignment, you will have to figure out the matter yourself. The first tip here is to choose an idea or concept that you’re familiar with. It would be much easier for you to bring relevant supporting evidence if you have prior knowledge. The picture should fascinate you.

Then, before learning how to start an expository essay, consider all the expository essay types. Your approach to the topic choice and your way of thinking depend on that.

Basic Outline of the Expository Essay: How to Create a Cohesive Structure

A traditional structure for an expository essay consists of five paragraphs: an introductory with a thesis statement, three body paragraphs, and a conclusion.

When writing an expository essay, analyze every stage carefully and objectively. Avoid the first and the second personal pronouns to make you sound convincing. Your audience wants your personal experiences to be a piece of supportive information and not a basis. Instead, your goal is to average out facts with evidence. It’s worthwhile to plan out your outline before you start. Then, it’s time to dive through the paragraph parts to ace your task.

How to Introduce an Expository Essay

Expository essays start with an intro whose primary goal is to catch the reader’s attention. Suitable opening methods vary from rhetorical questions to influential quotes. Next, try to interest your reader by briefly introducing your topic with hook statements. Afterward, provide a thesis statement summarizing and stating your main idea.

However, the expository thesis is slightly different from other essay types like argumentative or definition. Here, you don’t have to make an argument or state your opinion. Instead, outline the main topic, including some background information to familiarize your reader with the case.

How to Write Bodies of an Expository Essay

The body of your essay is to present your topic according to your thesis. It often consists of three or more paragraphs. First, make sure you provide verified information to overcome negative consequences. Then, you expand the body and add some evidence-based support. As you may be short of time, it’s hard to do in-depth research.

You have to define the topic experienced and learned by you, in this case, arranged clearly and in a logical order. Finally, finish every body paragraph with proper solutions.

How to Conclude an Expository Essay

The conclusion of an expository essay recaps the topic step by step. It should not present any new information or evidence but instead, focus on backing up the earlier points. Your conclusion is there to wrap up the essay engagingly.

How to Write Expository Essay: Key Points

Gather your thoughts and reflect and focus on the issue of your writing. Organize the information so that it makes sense to the reader. Choose the topic carefully, deriving from your expository essay type. Topic sentences and thesis statements form the substance of what you want to say. It is what you are eager for the reader to think about.

Use key phrases and words to bridge one idea to the next smoothly. Next, prove your case with examples, personal experience, and evidence. Only persuasive and well-grounded information can challenge your audience’s thinking. So, if it doesn’t challenge, it doesn’t change.

And finally, write your conclusion shortly, rewording your thesis and position. Your statement should bond the ideas, transitions, and examples to give the reader something to ponder.


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