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Has your teacher asked you to write an expository essay and you are not sure exactly what it is?
If you are looking for the answers to these questions, you have found the right place for yourself.
How to define expository essay effectively and specifically? We broke down the process for your ease.
The general definition of the term expository is something intended to explain or describe.
Explaining anything in great detail is the meaning of “expository”.
To describe what is expository writing in simple words, it is a form of academic writing that informs or discusses a topic in detail with the information provided in chronological order.
You might have come across an essay that provided in-depth details of a certain topic and was super informative and interesting that you still remember it in great detail!
If yes, then it must have been an expository essay. This type of essay aims to provide the reader with all the information that they might need to understand a topic easily.
This is the kind of essay you should write, and to do so, you will need to research the topic thoroughly because if you understand it only then, you will be able to explain it to your reader.
Writing these kinds of essays require a lot of effort and time because you need to back them up with supporting evidence.
Along with exhaustive research, the fact that these essays don’t have any room for fiction and are based strictly on factual evidence makes it different from other essay types along with extensive research, organization of material and its exploratory nature.
When writing such essays, brainstorm as much as you can and make sure to focus on in-depth analysis of your topic.
Among all other types of essay, it becomes confusing to differentiate what is the purpose of an expository essay. An expository is written to serve the following purposes in academic writing.
Whenever you are writing an essay, your essay should serve at least one of the purposes mentioned above.
Being one of the 4 most used types of essays in academic writing, expository writing has managed to extend its branches into other disciplines as well.
All the reports, press releases and study of business involves exposition.
Further types of expository writing like compare and contrast, process analysis, etc. are now used in scientific writing and research journals.
Every news serves the basic purpose of expository writing, which is to describe, explain, inform and clarify any event to the viewers or readers.
For writing an essay, you should know how many paragraphs are in it.
A typical expository essay format is the traditional 5-paragraph essay. It consists of the introduction, body paragraphs and conclusion.
The first paragraph is the introduction. A thesis statement is also a part of the introductory paragraph. Body paragraphs are 3 in number, typically. Each paragraph has a different sub topic according to the essay topic.
It is not necessary that the number of body paragraphs should be limited to 3. The number can vary according to the topic.
The conclusion is the last paragraph of the essay that summarizes the entire context of the essay. For writing an essay effectively, make sure that your essay is based on facts and not on opinions.
Writing an expository essay can be pretty challenging, but the process can be made easier by adopting a defined pattern.
The succeeding sections talk about the structure and steps that must be followed for expository writing.
Introduction, body and conclusion are the three main parts of an essay that you need to focus on to write an explanatory essay.
For your expository writing help, continue reading for expository essay structure examples, how to structure your essay according to the outline and expository examples.
Writing this essay is similar to writing any other type of essay. You need to start the essay with an attention grabber or hook to catch the attention of your readers.
In the case of an expository essay, you can also use an interesting fact that might not be known to the readers. Expository writing is usually done to inform the readers or explain a certain topic. New information will hook your readers 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 better understand the topic. Your reader will only be interested in the topic if he can actually understand it.
The most part of your introduction, in fact your entire essay, is the thesis statement. The thesis statement is the crux of the entire essay. It summarizes the topic in just a single sentence.
Your thesis statement will tell the reader what is the ultimate point of your essay and what will be discussed in the body paragraphs. If the reader finds your thesis statement interesting, he will continue with your essay.
While writing an essay, make sure that your thesis statement is unbiased and purely based on facts.
Here are some examples to guide you on how the thesis statement of your essay should look like.
Your thesis statement will be explained in the body paragraphs of your essay. Every paragraph discusses a separate point of the topic. Usually, there are 3 paragraphs that compose the body of the essay. Every paragraph has a different point of the topic.
You can have three different takes on a topic. You can mention three solutions to a problem. You can compare and contrast in three different ways depending on the topic. Any essay, which contains less than 3 body paragraphs, is too short to be considered an essay.
Each paragraph should begin with a topic sentence. Every topic sentence should support your thesis statement. Add details to expand and explain your topic.
The number of body paragraphs can vary according to the topic. While writing this essay, you have to perform extensive research on the topic and discuss it in the body of your essay.
An expository essay is made up of facts. Make sure that the details you are using are based on facts. No biased opinions should be a part of your essay. Don’t forget to use transition words to connect the paragraphs.
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 to the readers.
You can also propose further action or suggest solutions to the problem in the last paragraph of your essay. You can add questions to ask the readers and to engage them. Don’t add any new details in the concluding paragraph. Wrap up the already discussed areas to write an effective conclusion.
Here is a detailed expository essay outline example that you can use while writing your essay.
Now you are familiar with the basic outline. But that is not enough. Composition of the essay is important to write an effective essay.
Here are some tips to write an expository essay that you need to keep in mind to craft a detailed essay.
Brainstorm different ideas write them down on a piece of paper. It does not matter if the idea is good or bad at this stage. Once you have a list of different topics, research them a little.
Once you try to find content on the topics, you will know, which topics have enough content that you can write an essay on. Make sure that the topic has enough content to compose an essay.
An essay on a too broad topic will be vague. Similarly, a narrow topic won’t have enough information to compose an effective essay. Choose the topic keeping this factor in mind.
Now following the outline that you have made for your essay, create a rough draft.
There should be a clear and logical transitions between paragraphs for a smooth flow. Without transition words, new content might seem confusing to the readers. To keep logic in the argument or the information presented, transition words are important to hold your essay together.
An expository essay is entirely based on factual information and evidence. Use facts in each body paragraph to explain your topic. For this, you need to do extensive research on the topic and collect relevant and logical facts for your essay.
The facts presented should support the thesis statement. This will help you write your essay in a better way and explain everything clearly to the readers. Readers will follow your essay easily if the information is clear.
Don’t try to copy someone else’s writing style. Yes, presenting facts might seem boring, but you can make it interesting and engaging for the readers. Use interesting facts in your essay, ask questions from the readers to keep them involved.
You can also add quotations, anecdotes, statistics, graphs and other descriptive details in body paragraphs.
It is likely that your reader will go through the entire essay if he is not bored. Don’t use the same, monotonous academic style in your writing.
Once you have written the content of your essay, double check if the writing is according to the basic rules of expository writing. There should be no opinions or biased facts in expository writing.
If there is anything that still needs to be added in the essay, take another look at your essay and thesis statement. Form the essay according to the thesis statement.
Once you are done with the first draft, proofread your essay to check for any mistakes. No matter what type of academic writing it is, you should not ignore the basic rules of literature. There should be no grammatical, spelling or punctuation mistakes in your essay.
You can also take the help of your friends and family to proofread your essay. Sometimes, you can overlook mistakes. This is where a fresh mind helps.
When you ask your friends to proofread your essay, you can also take their feedback. They can help you spot mistakes if there are any.
A fresh mind can suggest new ideas and a different point of view. They can help you by suggesting another perspective that you can include in your essay to make it better.
This is a type of academic writing, but it also has further sub-types. Every expository essay fall into either one of the types. The different types of expository writing examples are discussed below to further explain expository writing.
As the name suggests, such essays discuss the cause of something and its effects, or the cause or effect alone. For example, you can be asked to discuss the cause and effects of the popularity of fast-food chains.
There are two ways to write a cause and effect essay:
If you are writing your essay in a block structure, first write down all the causes and then the effects of your topic.
If you are writing in the chain structure, every cause is followed by the effects.
Choose your way of writing before you start your essay. This will help you create your outline.
If you are having trouble understanding how to begin writing such essays, then head on to our detailed article on writing cause and effect essays.
Problem and solution essays require you to describe a problem being faced and also provide solutions to overcome these problems. These essays are quite popular in different types of exams.
It is important to examine the topic from a different point of view and then present a solution to the topic. Try to prove how your solution is better than the ones already presented.
For example, the increase in eating junk food is causing obesity in teenagers. How can fast food culture be stopped?
In classification essays, students are required to classify and organize things according to the predefined criteria. A broad topic is divided into different sections and then every section is discussed into details.
Also, make sure that each category is defined clearly and separately. This is proven useful when studying unique features of different things.
This is a type of a short-essay where a student is asked to discuss the similarities and differences between two or more things. A compare and contrast essay is similar to cause and effect essays as they both use the block and chain structure.
When writing in a block structure, you will first write the information about one object being compared first and then of the other.
In a chain structure, you will write one similarity or difference of one object, followed by a point about the other object.
For example, IELTS vs. TOEFL
If you need more compare and contrast essay topics, visit our blog to get 100+ interesting topics.
These essays are purely based on the meaning and explanation of different terms and are thorough in nature. When you start a definition essay, you provide a standard definition of complicated terms. In body paragraphs, you can break down the definition into different sections.
In the first paragraph, you can explain the origin of the word. In the second one, you can clarify a misconception regarding the topic. In the third paragraph, you can provide your definition with examples.
For example, the civil war.
A process essay explains the procedure of how something works.
For example, how to repair an engine?
In the introduction, you can tell about the problem. In the body paragraphs, you can explain how it works and the steps to complete this procedure. In conclusion, you can conclude the entire procedure. It’s better to choose a topic from daily life to make it more relatable.
If your teacher has given you the freedom of writing an essay on your desired topic, use it to your advantage and come up with a brilliant topic sentence.
If you have to choose a topic yourself for your assignment, here is a list of expository essay topics you can choose from to craft a good essay.
Following are the fundamentals of writing an expository essay.
Now, we are leaving you with all the necessary information required to produce a high-quality essay.
Here are some expository essay examples to further clarify how an essay should look like.
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