How to Write an Expository Essay: Useful Guide for Students

Expository writing is a very common type of assignment at school, in college, and at the university. Furthermore, many careers require it, and that is why it is better to master this type of writing while studying at school. Hitting the books to conduct research takes most of the process, so this type of writing is time-consuming and quite complicated.

From this post, you will learn more about writing an expository essay – from the purposes of this assignment to its structure and outline. You will also find out where to get fast, professional help with it.

What Is an Expository Essay? Definition and Types

To expose means to uncover, to describe something. In this respect, an expository paper is an academic assignment that should interpret, illustrate, or explicate the specific subject or process to make it clear for the audience. When having to do such a task, you are usually expected to conduct an investigation and assessment of an object or concept.

This type of essay can belong to one of the following categories:

  • Descriptive writing: An author describes the selected topic using sensory info.
  • Process writing: An author develops a step-by-step guide to doing something so that others can repeat it and achieve the desired results.
  • Compare and contrast: In this type of academic writing, a student should find differences and similarities between various objects, situations, or people.
  • Cause and effect: A writer must list the reasons for something to take place and the consequences of such actions.
  • Problem-solution: A writer states the problem and offers different solutions to it.

Specify which type of essay you should write if your teacher does not mention it in the assignment instructions. In some cases, you can choose the suitable form yourself.

How to Start an Expository Essay: Choosing the Topic

Writing an expository paper always starts with the topic selection. We recommend picking the one based on your preferences and interests, but you should consider the subjects covered in class as well. You can brainstorm the ideas surfing the web or consult the teacher or course mates. Try to pick an original topic as it may add credits to your work.

At the same time, most students find it hard to select a topic for this type of essay, but in fact, it’s a great opportunity to show your strengths if a teacher allows you to do it on your own.

How to Write a Good Expository Essay: Step-by-Step Writing Guide

To write a good expository essay, you should understand the difference between this type of writing and argumentative writing. While in an expository paper you should simply explain and investigate for the purpose of information and clarification using a neutral tone, in an argumentative paper, you should state your specific position regarding a certain issue. This type of writing does not sound neutral or objective.

Now, it is time to discuss the structure and the outline of this academic assignment.

Expository Essay Outline: General Template

An expository essay should always consist of no less than 4-5 paragraphs depending on the number of claims. It should be properly organized and formatted according to the recommended writing style (citation format). The format can be MLA, APA, Harvard, Turabian, etc.

Even if the teacher does not insist on including an outline in your assignment, you should still have a logical plan to follow since it is the key to success. Here is a template that you can use while crafting an outline for your paper:

  • The opening paragraph is an introduction, which should have a hook and be informative. Do not make it very long.
  • Proceed with a 3-paragraph body section (in some cases, the body may contain 4-5 paragraphs depending on how many claims you include to support the thesis statement). The body should have an analysis and all findings (results).
  • Finish with a conclusion, which has to provide a summary of the body without any new information.

Now, you may find a detailed example of the structure provided.

An Example of the Expository Essay Structure

You should always start with an informative yet brief introduction. You can give this section the same name as the title of the entire piece. For example, you are writing an essay about the correlation between unemployment rates and homeless people. Your intro may have this title: “The Impact of High Unemployment Rates on the Number of Homeless People.”

Then, move to the body paragraphs. Each of them should include a topic sentence and a couple of detail sentences. You can first discuss the reasons for the increased unemployment rates, then provide statistics for homelessness in the second body paragraph, and, finally, draw the parallel between these two phenomena.

Your concluding part could be named simply “Conclusions.”

Writing a Great Expository Essay Introduction

Present the topic of your expository essay with the help of a thesis statement and development plan (POD). In your thesis, you should stress the importance of the discussed issue and why it matters. Many students believe that a thesis statement should come in the last sentence(s) of the intro, but it’s not true, especially when it comes to writing an analytical paper. You should back up the thesis statement in the last few sentences of your opening paragraph. In other words, inform the audience how you plan to prove your central argument.

In your POD, you may explain why you decided to cover the specific topic and the way you are going to prove the thesis statement (things you will discuss in the body part).

To grab the readers’ attention, students also may involve some facts, statistics, jokes, quotes, etc. That would be hook sentences.

The next goal is to support the thesis statement and prove your hypothesis by writing a powerful body of your essay.

How to Write an Expository Essay Body

The main goal of the body section is to set the scene and share the supporting details. Each body paragraph should start with a topic sentence that represents one of the claims to support the thesis statement.

Then, add a couple of detail sentences. Those could be supporting details, examples, quotations, etc. from credible sources.

When you’re done with the third paragraph of your essay’s body, move to the concluding part.

Writing an Excellent Expository Essay Conclusion

Sometimes, writing a conclusion before the intro makes sense since for some students, it is easier to work this way. Paraphrase a thesis statement at the beginning of the conclusion – do not just copy-paste the original thesis from your intro. Instead, provide a summary of all topic sentences from each body paragraph.

To leave a long-lasting impression on your readers, add another hook at the end of the conclusion. Never include new information there, but you can end up with a rhetorical question. It will motivate the audience to think more about the issue and keep on researching.

So What’s Next?

Once you’re done with the writing, make sure to double-check the text to delete any sorts of mistakes and duplicated content. Before submitting your paper to your teacher, you are recommended to consult professional academic writers and editors. Our team of experts can either improve your draft by changing some parts of it or compose an original custom text. The best thing about ordering an expository essay from our online essay writing service is that you can buy custom solutions to your tasks at an affordable price. Place an order here and check it out!