How to write an expository essay

It's easy to confuse an expository essay with a persuasive and argumentative essay. Writing an expository essay relies on objective: to expose. An expository essay is a form of essay that aims to expose and in the process, inform, illustrate, explain, and enlighten the reader about a certain subject. In this post, we will attempt to expose you to an expository essay in hopes that by the end of this discussion you will understand and know how to write an expository essay.

How to Write an Impressive Expository Essay

Things to remember

  • Fact and reason - Contrary to an argumentative/persuasive or personal narrative essay, knowing how to write an expository essay requires that you focus on facts and on facts alone. Your paper must contain a rich amount of information, details, samples, clarifications and they must be organized in a way that will make the reader fully understand the issue.
  • No emotion, no opinion - You must refrain at all times from expressing your personal opinion or appealing to the reader’s emotion, however passionate you may feel about the issue you’re writing about. You focus only on facts and reason and the thesis statement. Understand the executive summary: you collect, present, and analyze facts about the issue.
  • Formal language – An expository essay requires that you write in a formal and academic manner, most preferably in the third person. Unlike the other more informal types of essays, an expository essay requires an approach that is farthest from personal. It requires you to take a neutral approach like a reporter and be informative like a teacher, both at the same time.
  • Start from the top – You must assume that the readers do not have any knowledge about the issue. Do not hesitate to explain even the littlest details, even if you are personally sure that the reader must have even the slightest idea about them.
  • Focus on the issue – Avoid going away from the main issue. While you need to cite examples and other relevant facts, the focus must remain on the main issue. You must ensure that the number of examples does not reach a level where it can be distracting to the reader.
  • Be efficient – An expository essay needs to be written in a concise manner. Avoid using deep, unfamiliar words, do not construct confusing and lengthy sentences, and do not inject any intent to impress the reader with your vocabulary. Remember, you are writing to expose, not narrate.

The writing part

An expository essay, surprisingly, follows the same structure as those of other essay types.

  • Knowledge - At all times, it is best to fully familiarize yourself with the issue first before writing. Doing so saves time, effort, and energy.
  • The title – Be brief. The title should instantly give the reader a clue of what your essay is about.
  • Introduction –It’s important to use a good hook. You may begin with a general statement about the issue that grabs the reader’s attention and curiosity. You may also pose a question that will make the reader want to finish your essay. Or, you may start by simply defining the issue or by writing the basic information that the reader has to know. Then you can declare your thesis statement.
  • The body – Depending on the word count/number of paragraphs required, start off with the main idea and back it up with evidence from reputable sources. After this, you must provide a thorough analysis of the evidence you cited and explain why the evidence is enough to support your thesis statement. The frequency of this cycle depends on the number of paragraphs required. Regardless of the number of paragraphs your essay body has, the paragraphs should smoothly transition to one another and they have to have a sense of continuity. 
  • The conclusion – Present the reader a summary of the issue. After this, emphasize its importance as expressed by the flow of the issue in the essay’s body. Close the conclusion by stating the new elements created by your essay - the new questions, possible solutions, or further explanation.

Knowing how to write an expository essay does not only involve writing. It involves research, educating yourself about the issue, placing importance on facts, and keen analysis. When done correctly, your expository essay will successfully educate the reader.

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