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Beginner’s Guide to Write an Expository Essay

Beginner’s Guide to Write an Expository Essay

Expository essays provide an investigation of an event, a place, or experience, evaluating the evidence. It requires a lot of effort, time, and good writing skills as this essay explains the idea in detail. It requires you to do research to collect strong evidence and add ample details related to the topic.

Are you looking for an expository writing guide?

Read on to know more about it and to learn how to write an expository essay step by step.

What Is an Expository Essay?

The expository essay is a genre of academic writing that discusses a topic in detail. It explains the main topic by providing the information in chronological order. This type of essay aims to provide the reader with all the information that they need to understand a topic easily.

According to the expository essay definition:

“It is a type of essay in which a writer investigates the topic by evaluating the evidence to explain, clarify, and illustrate the idea in a way that it becomes clear for the reader.”

An expository essay may seem like a descriptive essay but it is different from it. Similarly, an argumentative essay looks similar but it is not. An argumentative essay is written to present an argument and to prove a certain point of view. Whereas, expository essays are written to provide information, define, and illustrate a certain topic.

Features of an Expository Essay

features of expository essay

Types of Expository Essay

There are six types of expository essay:

  1. 1. Compare and contrast essay: It is a type of essay that compares and contrasts two things. Learn to write a compare and contrast essay from our ultimate guide.
  2. 2. Cause and effect essay: This essay tries to find out the causes of some things and their effects on something. Learn cause and effect essay writing with this guide.
  3. 3. Process essay: This essay explains the process of making or doing something.
  4. 4. Problem and solution essay: This essay presents a problem and provides its possible solutions.
  5. 5. Classification essay: In this essay, the topic is divided into categories. The examples, ideas, and characters are defined for each category in the form of groups. Follow the link for a detailed guide of classification essay writing.
  6. 6. Definition essay: This essay defines what the topic exactly means. A definition essay provides clear and specific information about the topic and uses examples to clarify it.

Difference Between Persuasive Essay And The Expository Essay

Expository essay

Persuasive essay

Describe and explain the topic in detail with the help of evidence

Define and explain the topic on the basis of a personal point of view

Written to provide details on a specific topic

Written to persuade the reader

Written in the third person

Written in the first person

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Expository Essay Format

The format for every essay is generally the same. It has an introduction, a thesis statement, body paragraphs, and a conclusion. What makes these essays different from each other is the purpose due to which they are written. A typical 5 paragraph expository essay follows the pattern given below:

  1. 1. Introduction
    • a. A captivating hook statement
    • b. Brief background information
    • c. An intriguing thesis statement
  2. 2. Body Paragraphs
    • a. Body paragraph 1: First main point, its supporting evidence and transition to the second body paragraph
    • b. Body paragraph 2: Second main point, its supporting evidence and transition to the third body paragraph
    • c. Body paragraph 3: Third main point, its supporting evidence and transition to the conclusion
  3. 3. Conclusion
    • Reinstate the thesis statement
    • Summarize all the main points
    • Provide a good message

The expository essay structure is no different as far as the sections are concerned. However, it is different because of its highly explanatory nature. It explains the specific topic in detail while evaluating the evidence.

Expository Essay Graphic Organizer

expository essay graphic organizer

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How to Write an Expository Essay

Before you start writing your essay, make sure that you have enough evidence and credible information to explain your idea.

1. Choose a Topic

Pick an interesting and good expository essay topic to write an essay on. The topic must be captivating and fascinating enough that immediately catches the reader's attention.

2. Create an Expository Essay Outline

An expository essay outline helps you give a proper structure to your essay. The idea of an outline is to organize all the content that helps in compiling a good expository essay.

3. Write the Introduction

Expository writing informs the readers or explains a certain topic. Therefore, adding an unknown and engaging fact will help you hook your reader and keep them glued to your essay.

Don’t assume that your reader already knows everything about the topic. Create a background regarding your topic for the readers. This will help them understand the topic better.

Pay careful attention to the opening lines and take into account the following points while writing an introductory paragraph:

  • Provide interesting information or ask a question
  • Introduce all the necessary information to help the reader understand what the expository paper is all about
  • Write an effective thesis statement

4. Prepare the Body Paragraphs

The body paragraphs are written to provide supporting evidence and to explain the topic in detail. Every paragraph discusses a separate point of the topic.

Each body paragraph begins with a topic sentence, provides facts and opinions to expand and explain the topic. Transition words are used to logically connect the paragraphs and to maintain the smooth flow of the essay.

The number of body paragraphs can vary according to the topic. Keep in mind the following points when you proceed to the body of the essay:

  • Provide a key idea of each paragraph
  • Include supporting sentences in each of your body paragraphs
  • Explain the significance of your provided facts and examples

5. Craft a Conclusion

To conclude your essay, begin the concluding paragraph by restating your thesis statement. Your conclusion should be strong and powerful to give a concise overview of your topic.

Add questions or propose further action to engage the readers. Don’t add any new details in the concluding paragraph, just wrap up your essay and restate the thesis briefly.

Ensure the following information to come up with an effective and interesting expository composition.

  • Provide an overview of the essay
  • Discuss the possible solutions
  • Discuss the importance of your research

6. Revise Your Essay

Do not forget to revise your essay as a good thorough read helps you refine your essay. Revise your essay to check the following things:

  • Correct any spelling and grammatical errors
  • Correct the punctuation errors
  • Make sure that your essay is making sense
  • Check if your content is in a logical flow
  • Check the sentence structure
  • Remove any irrelevant information

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Expository Essay Topics

Below are some useful expository essay topics and ideas for your ease.

  • Effects of diversity in a classroom
  • Why are some people dog lovers while others are cat lovers?
  • Explain the relationship between education and quality of life
  • What is the reason for fantasy books becoming best sellers these days?
  • What is a smart consumer?
  • What changes need to be done in your lunchroom?
  • Explain why parents are strict at times
  • Explain why teenagers indulge in drugs
  • What are the consequences of selling drugs?
  • Describe productive ways a student can utilize their free time
  • Explain why kids have a rough time when their parents are getting a divorce
  • Explain how music affects your life
  • Describe the effects of marijuana
  • Describe the consequences of taking drugs

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Expository Essay Examples

Here are some expository essay examples to further clarify how an expository essay should look like. Read the essay examples and know the basic structure of this essay.

Expository Essay Sample (PDF)

Expository Essay on Education (PDF)

Expository Essay On Global Warming (PDF)

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Frequently asked questions

What is the purpose of an expository essay?

An expository essay's purpose is to provide a balanced, objective description of its topic with the format allowing for a clear and logical explanation instead of proving a point or providing a personal opinion.

How long is an expository essay?

Expository essays are often assigned as a writing exercise or as part of an exam, in which case you'll usually be given guidelines regarding length. You may also want to ask for some help if needed with your 800-word essay about the topic at hand.

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