A Simple Guide on How to Write an Excellent Expository Essay
Students have to write an expository essay at least once during their academic studies . Despite being a fairly simple piece of work, it does require some serious research skills.
A good expository essay should be straightforward, cohesive, and factual. So, what’s the main trick about it? The analysis needs to be conducted in a logical manner without any emotion or personal opinion being involved. And this can be quite hard for students who feel very passionate about this or that topic. Now, let’s get into more details by exploring the concept behind the expository essay.
What Is an Expository Essay?
When it comes to the definition, expository essay is the type of writing that aims to examine a specific view, concept, or consideration and support it with the relevant evidence. This is where the writer informs the audience about a particular book, movie, event or series of events, or any other selected subject. Being based on facts, a good expository essay should not include the writer’s personal feelings or emotions. Instead, it explains, illustrates, or discusses something in a way that it becomes clear for everyone. This way, the reader can gain a certain level of knowledge and eliminate all the misunderstandings related to the covered topic.
The expository essay is widely used for academic evaluation. With this type of writing, the teacher can examine the students’ analytical skills properly.
Expository vs Argumentative Essay
Argumentative and expository essays are two types of writings in which only factual information is used . The blurred line between them causes much confusion to students. The main difference you should know is that an argumentative essay aims to convince the reader to agree with the writer’s opinion, while an expository essay aims to provide information and explanations in a logical way to the reader. In other words, an argumentative essay tends to take a side, while an expository essay is staying neutral.
Main Types of Expository Essays
An expository essay can have different forms. Do you want to clarify something? Do you want to discuss the differences between several subjects? Do you want to clarify the principle of work of a particular subject? Depending on the writer’s intention, here are the most common types of expository essays:
Descriptive: This type of expository essay aims to provide explanations about a particular subject. It can cover anything, from a specific object like a location, an object, or an action, to an abstract idea like freedom, loyalty, or hate.
Process: This type of essay explains the process of doing or making something. Being based on a chronological order, it usually involves step-by-step instructions for doing something. This essay requires the writer to have sufficient knowledge to explain the particular process so that the reader could easily understand it.
Compare and Contrast: This type of essay establishes the similarities and differences between at least two objects, places, people, or views. By conducting thorough research and collecting sufficient information about the specific subject, you will be able to outline every aspect of it. The best way of writing this essay is to select themes around which you can make your comparisons.
Cause and Effect: This type of essay detects the reasons that caused something and then discusses the results or consequences. In order to estimate the cause and effect connections between several ideas, you need to provide supporting evidence.
Problem and Solution: This type of essay describes a problem related to a particular situation and offers possible solutions or recommendations. It is important to examine the selected subject from different angles in order to find the solution to the given problem and convince the reader in its eligibility. In this type of essay, you can offer several potential solutions and highlight the strong and weak sides of each one. Considering those strengths and weaknesses, you will be able to make your personal suggestions for readers, while still leaving space for them to decide.
How to Choose a Topic for an Expository Essay?
Before you start writing an expository essay, the very first step you should take is to honestly reflect on the subject matter that you want to address. Whether it comes to a description of factual things or an explanation of evidence, you need to find suitable material for that. While the variety of expository essay topics is huge, you should choose one that can be easily researched. With a sufficient amount of information, you will have more chances of creating worthy content.
While choosing the topic, you should think about how comfortable you are with the specific material. Do you know enough about the subject matter to expand on its ideas and collect the necessary evidence to support your view? Ideally, you write down some questions about the topic and make sure you can answer them. This will provide you with a better understanding of how much you can say about the covered subject matter.
Also, you should write about something that you are personally interested in. Tackling a topic that is dull and boring to you won’t take you anywhere. You will hardly impress your professor with an unenthusiastic piece of work. If you already have an inspiration for writing about something, feel free to wrap it up into an interesting and engaging topic.
Expository Essay Outline
While an expository essay format is similar to any other essay, it won’t be hard for you to organize the whole content properly. The major difficulty comes when you need to decide what kind of information to integrate into each section. Let’s have a look at the entire process from top to bottom.
Prewriting: Without planning your essay, you will end up nowhere. Instead of just stepping into the writing process, think how you can express the ideas in a logical manner. Also, you should make it clear what kind of information you can put in each section.
Preparing the first draft: In order to create the first draft, you should make a list of details for each section. An expository essay has the following structure:
Introduction. It is an opening paragraph where you briefly mention the main points of your essay. This is where you include a hook to get the reader’s attention.
A clearly-stated thesis statement. This statement determines the plot and informs the reader about the main theme and purpose of your essay. While the thesis statement needs to be brief, don’t go deep into details here.
A body section. It consists of three paragraphs, each of which represents a particular idea. Of course, you can be flexible with the number of paragraphs if you need more or fewer words to complete your paper. The body section aims to explore, analyze, and provide the main ideas along with the supporting evidence. Each body paragraph should be started with a topic sentence that addresses the main idea of that paragraph. Don’t forget to support every idea with the relevant sources.
Conclusion. The last paragraph wraps up all the ideas that have been covered in the essay through the prism of the thesis statement and the final outcome. While this is the last time you talk to the reader, your closing paragraph needs to be worth remembering.
Final revision: This is where you correct, modify, and rewrite your essay by adjusting it to the initial instructions and thesis statement. While revising it, you need to answer some questions: Does it fulfill the initial requirements? Have you covered all the main ideas? Is there a proper flow between words, sentences, and paragraphs? Are all the sections consistent and properly structured?
Proofreading: Once you are done with the task, don’t forget to proofread the entire essay before submitting it. While it feels a bit boring and tiresome, this part cannot be ignored. Proofread the essay thoroughly to see if everything is in the order. At this stage, you can still make the changes.
Have no idea how to start an expository essay or how to structure it properly? There are many ways of writing this kind of academic task. Let’s have a look at the POET method as one of the available options.
“P” for Purpose. You should define the purpose of writing an expository essay. While it needs to be consistent, you cannot stop following the major purpose.
“O” for Organization. You should create an expository essay with a clear structure, including five or more body paragraphs. The major structural components such as an introduction, body, and conclusion also need to be there.
“E” for Evidence. You should present an idea while supporting it with the evidence from the well-trusted sources. Don’t forget about proper citing in order to avoid plagiarism issues.
“T” for Thesis. You should write a thesis statement that includes the main idea of your essay. This way, you will inform the reader about the theme of your writing.
Expository Essay Examples
With so many expository essay ideas, you may need some help deciding which one to write exactly. Checking a few samples is the best way to master the basics of writing an expository essay. To get started, just visit the following links:
Now that you know the expository essay definition, its types, and structure, you are almost ready to get down to work. But before you start, check out some useful tips to set yourself up for transparency, concision, and a striking argument.
Make your wording clear and concise. It’s hard to make a strong argument when the reader is confused with the topic. You should preserve clarity throughout the text. If you lost the reader before they read through the arguments, it’s a lost cause.
Use third-person pronouns only. You need to write an expository essay from an objective, third-person angle, using the pronouns he, she, it. A first-person (I or me) or second-person (you) angle can be used in rare cases when a personal experience needs to be described.
Create a strong thesis statement. You need to write a thesis statement where you will state a claim and then argue its validity. With a well-written thesis statement, you can proceed with writing a topic sentence for each of your body paragraphs. It is important that all body paragraphs appeal to whatever you stated in the beginning.
Make body paragraphs accurate . Each body paragraph should state only one idea. This way, you need to make your paper progress from your thesis statement into each paragraph’s topic sentence.
Use transition words. You should put all your paragraphs together by adding transition words and sentences (for example, however, nevertheless, such as, because, meanwhile, and so on). This way, your expository essay will flow more smoothly.
Write a killer conclusion. You should pay attention to your closing paragraph where you restate your argument, sum up your facts, and make some suggestions for further actions. Thus, it’s your last opportunity to leave a lasting impression on the reader.
College and university years can be quite busy, regardless of what year you’re on. Excessive academic pressure affects all spheres of your life. With so many things to juggle at the same time, you may find yourself confused and frustrated.
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