How to Write an Expository Essay: Guide With Examples

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Many students experience challenges when writing expository essays. It is quite a challenge if the student lacks experience in writing such an essay. Lack of interest in the topic or having no prior knowledge of the subject matter makes the experience even more intimidating. However, writing an expository essay is not that difficult. You only need to understand what an expository essay is, how to go about it, and the best practices for writing a good essay. This article reveals the tips used by professional writers in writing a first-class expository essay. If you’re stuck, you can hire one of our experts to help you write your expository essay. Just click, Write my Expository Essay to connect with an expert.

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What is an Expository Essay?

The word expository means “intended to describe or explain something.” Therefore, expository writing aims to provide facts about a given subject matter.

An expository essay can be defined as a clear and focused essay that requires a student to investigate an idea, evaluate evidence, and establish an argument. It is important to note that an expository essay does not set out to prove a point. It simply gives a balanced view of the topic. Expository essays are often short and involve fewer personal opinions than argumentative essays.

Expository Essay Topics

Expository writing relays information to the reader rather than attempting to make a convincing argument. It includes scientific papers, newspapers, listicles, business communication, social media websites, textbooks, etc. In our day-to-day lives, expository writing is common. Conveying information about your day, explaining a work project, and writing a school report are examples of expository writing. In university, college or high school, you might have to write expository essays as coursework assignments, exam questions, or in-class exercises.

Most times, teachers don’t directly state that the assignment is an expository essay. Instead, you will be given essay prompts to explain or define something.

Examples of expository essay prompts

  1. Explain the effects of online video gaming on teenagers.
  2. Describe the issues in multicultural education in the United States.
  3. Explain the global impact of COVID-19.
  4. Define “free speech” and explore how it is used today.
  5. What are your thoughts on environmental problems?
  6. Are good grades the best predictor of future success?
  7. Explain the relationship between parenting styles and mental health disorders.
  8. How does risk management improve an organization’s performance?
  9. Describe the effects of alcohol and substance abuse.
  10. How does social media affect mental health?

Features of Expository Writing

Once you recognize that the assignment you’ve been given is an expository essay,  you should ask yourself what makes an excellent expository essay.

 The features of a good expository essay include the following:

  • Informative- It informs the reader about a topic using facts, details, and examples.
  • Impersonal and unbiased- An expository essay is based on facts, not personal opinion.
  • Clarity- It conveys information in clear and concise language to avoid confusing the reader. Each paragraph focuses on a single point.
  • A bit of creativity!- Borrowing techniques from narrative and descriptive writing can help you relay the information in an interesting way to readers. Always strive to make a lasting impression.
  • Good organization- Good expository essays follow the 5-paragraph structure and are easy to follow.
  • A clear, concise, and defined thesis statement- The first paragraph contains a thesis statement that signposts the reader as to what they should expect in the essay.
  • Evidential support (factual, logical, statistical, or anecdotal)- It supports the points with evidence.
  • Clear and logical transitions between the paragraphs- Adding a transition sentence to the end of each paragraph or the beginning of the next paragraph is crucial in an expository essay to show how they relate to one another. Good expository essays have a logical flow of ideas.
  • Concludes by readdressing the thesis statement in light of the evidence provided- The conclusion brings the reader back to the essay’s main argument, leaving no doubt as to the essay’s intent.

 

Types of Expository Essays

Understanding the various types of expository essays is paramount. This knowledge can help you choose a topic for your paper and plan for the content. There are six common types of expository essays, namely:

  1. Cause and Effect Essay

Cause and Effect essays explore the relationship between two connected things. They explain why things happen (the cause) and the positive and negative consequences (the impact). The main goal of this type of essay is to provide supporting evidence to demonstrate the cause-effect relationship between two items. These types of essays are common in literary studies and humanities.

Sample cause and effect topics:

  • Explore the relationship between sociocultural factors and eating disorders.
  • Discuss the causes and effects of the obesity epidemic in the United States.
  • Analyze the causes of natural disasters and their effects on public health.
  1. Process Essay

Process Essays are also called procedure or “How To ” essays. They give a step-by-step explanation of how to do something. In a typical process essay, the introduction introduces what will be learned, the body paragraphs explain the procedure, and the conclusion summarizes the key points.

Sample process essay topics:

  • How to expand your online digital marketing business.
  • Six steps to achieve academic success in college.
  • How to turn your hobby into a profitable venture.
  1. Compare and Contrast Essay

Compare and contrast essays analyze the similarities and differences between specific ideas or objects. Note that they do not provide judgment on which is better or worse. They only provide information for the reader to make an informed choice.

Sample compare and contrast essay topics:

  • Compare and contrast the experiences of private versus public school students.
  • Traditional budgeting versus zero-based budgeting.
  • What are the main similarities and differences between a leader and a manager?
  1. Definition Essay

Definition essays are also known as descriptive essays. They provide a complete description of a topic. While some words have concrete meanings, such as book and glass, others have abstract meanings, for example, kindness and love. A definition expository essay answers the questions “what,” “why,” and “how” about the topic to help the reader understand.

Sample definition essays:

  • Explain multiculturalism.
  • What is environmental justice?
  • Define gender equality.
  1. Classification Essay

A classification essay is a formal piece of writing that categorizes and divides items into various groups. The body paragraphs define the characteristics of the items in a particular group and provide examples. These essays highlight the similarities and differences between certain objects, characters, or ideas, showing why they belong in specific classes, not others.

Sample classification essay topics:

  • Types of students.
  • What are the common forms of political systems used today?
  • Describe four genres of music popular among the youth.
  1. Problem and Solution Essay

Problem and solution essays are somewhat similar to cause-and-effect essays. Here, the student identifies a problem, provides context for the issue, then proposes a solution.

Sample IELTS problem/solution essay topics:

  • “Overpopulation in many major urban centers around the world  is a significant problem. Explain the causes of this issue and how it can be solved.”
  • “An increasing number of professionals, such as teachers and doctors, are leaving their countries to work in more developed nations. Explain the problems brought about by this situation, and propose solutions to deal with it.”
  • “Many small, local shops are closing because they are unable to compete with large supermarkets in the area. How does this affect local communities, and how can the situation be addressed.”

The Structure of an Expository Essay

A typical expository essay for school follows the 5-paragraph format. It has one introductory paragraph, three developmental body paragraphs, and a concluding paragraph. The structure may differ according to the assignment’s scope and the topic’s demands. Still, the standard expository essay should look like this:

Expository essay outline

  • Introduction

A hook

Supporting sentences

Thesis statement

  • Body paragraph 1

Topic sentence introducing the first argument

Supporting evidence

Concluding sentence

  • Body paragraph 2

Topic sentence introducing the second argument

Supporting evidence

Concluding sentence

  • Body paragraph 3

Topic sentence introducing the third argument

Supporting evidence

Concluding sentence

  • Conclusion

Restate the thesis statement

Summarize key arguments

What should be done?

Components of an Expository Essay

  1. Introduction

A good introduction is vital to the success of your expository essay because it determines whether the reader will continue reading your essay or not. The main objective of the introductory paragraph is to tell the reader what the paper is about. Your introduction should have three main parts: a hook, context, and thesis statement.

The first sentence of your expository essay should be a hook that grabs the attention of the reader. A hook can be a quote, shocking statistic, question, or anecdote. It should always be related to the overall topic of the paper.

The hook is usually followed by some background information about the topic. Here, you can explore some interesting facts and explain the relevance of the subject matter to society and your field of expertise. Providing context clarifies the topic for the reader and enables them to understand its magnitude and impact. These facts should be presented in a logical manner, building up the thesis statement.

The final part of the introduction is the thesis statement. It is the most important part of the introduction since it summarizes the contents of the paper. In an expository essay, the thesis statement tells the reader what will be explained. Remember not to take a stand in case of a compare and contrast expository essay. Just state what you will be comparing and contrasting and why. Yours is to provide facts for the reader to make their own judgment.

  1. Body Paragraphs

Expository essays typically have three body paragraphs but may be more for longer essays. The paragraphs cover the topic in depth with supporting evidence and examples. Each paragraph introduces a new topic related to the overall subject matter. The ideas are presented logically, with a smooth transition between paragraphs.

Each paragraph should convey information to the reader clearly and concisely. It should start with a topic sentence, which introduces the paragraph’s main idea and links it to the thesis statement. It is followed by supporting sentences that provide evidence and examples. All information should be appropriately cited and from credible sources.

Body paragraphs should end in a concluding or transition sentence. A concluding sentence summarizes the contents of the paragraph, while a transition sentence hints about the next paragraph. Concluding with these sentences marks the end of a paragraph and ensures a smooth flow of ideas.

  1. Conclusion

The conclusion of an expository essay does not introduce any new points. Instead, it reinforces the key points made throughout the paper. A good conclusion starts with restating the thesis statement in different words. This brings the reader back to the main argument of your essay. It is followed by a summary of the main points of the paper. Here, you can highlight interesting connections in the ideas presented.

Expository essays end in a closing statement. A closing statement of an expository essay can be a recommendation, a prediction, or a question. In a compare and contrast essay, for example, you can ask the reader a provocative question that leaves them pondering on the stand they would take of the different ideas presented.  

Expert Tips for Writing an A+ Expository Essay

  • Research and brainstorm topic ideas
  • Map out your essay using an outline
  • Compose the first draft, adhering to the structure of a good expository essay.
  • Avoid using first-person pronouns such as ‘I’ and ‘my.’
  • Avoid figurative language and focus on communicating clearly
  • Adequately support your ideas with evidence
  • Adhere to the formatting guidelines provided
  • Ensure you have cited borrowed information appropriately
  • Edit and Proofread the essay

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Even after reading this article, you may still want professional help with your expository essay. UWriterPro is a reliable and trustworthy essay writing service that provides quality services at affordable rates. Over the years, many students have boosted their grades by utilizing the invaluable skills of our professional writers. You, too, can forget about bad grades, looming deadlines, and sleepless nights doing assignments. Contact us today for expository essay help.

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