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How To Write An Expository Essay Step By Step

write an expository essay

Expository writing is the most common type of writing in existence and it is surely the most widely used in the world of Academia. You may find an example of it in your History coursebook, in a PDF with the latest research findings or even as a ppt file presentation that your instructor is giving during the lecture. Its main goal is to “expose” – that is, uncover, show, shine light upon the subject.

What Is An Expository Essay?

First of all, let’s remember the four main types of writing styles:

  • Expository – explains the subject
  • Descriptive – uses all five senses to recreate experiences in writing
  • Narrative – tell a story
  • Persuasive – aimed to change reader’s opinion on the subject

An expository essay, therefore, is an essay that explains it’s topic objectively without giving the writer’s views and without trying to sway the reader’s opinion.

This kind of essay is often used for evaluations and exams, such as The High School Proficiency Assessment (HSPA), or at the end of a module. This is only natural because to explain something, a student must have a solid knowledge of the subject.

Students write the bulk of expository essays between the 4th grade when their skills are strong enough for a comparatively long cohesive text and 7th grade where analytical skills are introduced and essay assignments start skewing to argumentative pieces. However, expository essay writing prompts keep popping up throughout middle school, high school, and even college.

Therefore, knowing how to write a good expository essay is necessary on all academic levels. In college, the relative simplicity of the format is often compensated by the complexity of the topic. For example, college essays on Education may investigate why student fail examination; an essay in Psychology may list signs of healthy relationships in long-term couples, while essays on Social Studies may deal with such difficult topics as child abuse or war atrocities.

In fact, some topics require a high level of academic expertise in a particular field, therefore it’s only natural that you might feel uncertain and anxious approaching them. If you aren’t sure you can cope on your own, why not ask for help? Use our cheap paper writing service instead of wasting your precious time! Our expert writers are accomplished academics and they can manage any topic under the sun!

If you are determined to fend for yourself, let’s look closer at how do you write an expository essay.

Tips On Writing An Expository Essay

Expository essays include other sub-types that all share basic characteristics but have a particular focus within its subject. Examples of expository essays include:

  • compare and contrast essays
  • process essays
  • cause and effect essays
  • problem and solution essays

Concrete steps to writing each of the sub-times may vary. However, here are some tips that apply to all expository essays:

  1. Don’t skip the research even if you think you know everything about the subject. You will have to provide evidence and proper citation for every source: even something as common as the Cambridge or Mariam-Webster dictionary.
  2. What is the appropriate format for writing an expository essay? As usual, following the 5-paragraph template:
    1. The Introduction
    2. Body Paragraph #1
    3. Body Paragraph #2
    4. Body Paragraph #3
    5. Conclusion
  3. Note that for your essay to flow naturally, there must be strong relationships of logic, theme, and causality between each writing rubric and the next one.
  4. When you write a body paragraph, don’t forget that each paragraph should present and explore a new separate idea, which is nonetheless relevant and refers back to the main idea summarized in the introduction.
  5. Since your goal is to teach or explain something objectively, refrain from using personal pronouns “I” and “you” and stick with the third-person statements.
  6. The best structure is chronological to help your readers follow the ideas you present.

How To Write An Expository Essay Introduction

In the introduction, obviously enough, you introduce your topic to the audience. When you introduce a person, it usually sounds something like this: “Hello! Let me introduce Laurie, my classmate. She plays in a band. She can give you some tips on how to get your first gig”.

Your introductory paragraph should mirror this structure:

  • You attract attention (Hello! – this is where your hook sentence goes)
  • Introduce the topic (Let me introduce Laurie, my classmate – in a nutshell, what’s the topic of your essay and your position towards it)
  • What aspects of your topic will be explored and why it is interesting/useful/relevant for your audience (She plays in a band. She can give you some tips on how to get your first gig. – That’s where you put your thesis statement).

How To Write A Hook For An Expository Essay

A perfect expository essay is more than a list of facts. It must spark interest in your readers – make them WANT to read it through. You must be objective and factual but you don’t have to be dry and boring. Give your essay some zest by starting with a great hook sentence. For example:

  • Interesting fact: One million Earths could fit inside the Sun – and the Sun is an average-size star.
  • Surprising/shocking statistic: In the USA, four children die daily from child abuse and neglect.
  • Quote: “Learning a language is like doing a jigsaw puzzle of a million pieces with a picture that keeps changing”
  • Metaphor: Octopus is an alien from Earth and the closest thing we have to Mr. Spock.
  • Question: When was the last time you laughed?

How To Write A Thesis Statement For An Expository Essay

A thesis statement is the crux of your essay. It says what are you going to do with your topic and defines the genre of your essay. For example, your topic is artificial intelligence. For a compare and contrast essay, your thesis statement would look approximately like this: “Let us compare the strong and the weak sides of AI driving system and human drivers”. For cause and effect essay, it might be “This essay investigates where does public anxiety and mistrust to AI stem from”.

Note that your thesis statement should not be longer than one or two sentences. Imagine that floor turns to lava in ten seconds and you cannot move until you’ve explained what your essay is about. That’s how brief it must be.

How To Write A Conclusion Paragraph For An Expository Essay

The conclusion depends heavily on the type of essay you’ve chosen to write. For example, for a compare/contrast essay, the best way to conclude it is by making a brief summary of the main points, while to end a problem/solution essay, it’s better to include some call-to-action.

Other ways to end your essay with a bang rather than a fizzle:

  • Ask a question to start a discussion
  • Warn your audience to provoke thoughts
  • Paint a vivid image to make your essay memorable
  • Universalize to show how the information provided in your essay applies to other situations

How To Write A Conclusion For An Expository Essay: The Wrong Way

Unfortunately, many students underestimate the importance of the conclusion and write it only for the sake of appearances. Here are some of the most frequent mistakes they make:

  • Simply repeating the thesis statement without significant changes
  • Focusing on some minor point instead of a big picture
  • Introducing new information/idea/subtopic to cover up for an incomplete structure
  • Apologizing (“I am not an expert, and this is only my opinion”)

As you can see, even such a straightforward thing as an expository essay has many nuances and requires careful research, creativity, and thoughtfulness. Our writers know all about expository essays and any other type of academic paper. Order your essay here and you will get the best result!

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