Expository papers are part of school life—every single student at one point in their academic paths will come across this type of essay. Truth be told, an expository essay is a paper that you may need to write many times throughout your school life, especially during college. One characteristic that sets expository essay writing apart from other types of essay writing is the need for thorough research. If you plan on writing expository essays, know that it is comparable to writing research papers, because essentially, expository papers are minor research papers. With time and skill, expository writing sounds like an exercise that can stimulate your brain juices. Otherwise, your college expository paper means headache. You hardly have time for other things in life now, and now you are faced with this? Unfortunately, this assignment is just one of the many writing tasks you will be made to do in college. It drives you to think that professors intentionally disregard the personal lives of students because of all these writing tasks. You are more or less correct, we say.
What is an Expository Essay?
An expository essay is a type of essay that explains, illustrates, clarifies, or explicates a subject matter with the aim of informing its readers. An expository does not make a stand on the topic, rather it shines a light on it in an objective way.
Compared to other essay types, expository essay writing is way harder. Unlike a narrative or descriptive essay that will test only your memory, creativity, and vocabulary, an expository essay can be likened to a mini research paper. So, yes, expository writing involves extensive research. What is the main purpose of an expository essay? Your aim is to write in a completely logical way not to convince the reader but to clarify and expose things to them.
How to write an expository essay
Topic selection. It is possible to write an expository essay on any topic, however, what affects your essay is the angle in which you will approach the said topic. Expository essay topics should be narrow enough and manageable but also interesting for you.
Thesis statement. A clear thesis statement is significant in an expository essay. It should detail the topic, scope, and purpose of your expository essay. Do not rush in writing your thesis statement as this could make or break your essay.
Organization. As with any type of essay, organization is key to a successful essay. Your expository essay should logically and clearly present the information you have. To make this easier, make an outline before proceeding to write. List down all major divisions accordingly—introduction, body, and conclusion—as well as sub-sections to ensure that your essay will flow smoothly.
Paragraphs. For optimum clarity in your paragraphs, make sure that each one contains the following:
- Topic sentence – this sentence introduces the main idea of the paragraph
- Evidential support – this usually follows your main point; it validates or provides proof for the point you have made
- Transitional sentence – connects the ideas and paragraphs to ensure coherence and smooth flow
These three elements ensure that your paragraphs meet the objective of your expository essay.
Introduce evidential support. You can incorporate factual, logical, anecdotal, or statistical evidence to either infer, draw conclusions, clarify a statement, distinguish a concept, or to emphasize a point. Your evidential support will be successful when you introduce or contextualize your evidential support.
Creative conclusion. Restating your thesis statement is a great way to end your essay, but you can step it up a notch by synthesizing the information you presented and conclude with an additional insight based on the synthesis.
Revise and edit your paper. As with all essays, proofreading is crucial. You are bound to make mistakes so never skip this part. If possible, edit and revise your paper more than once.
What are the characteristics of expository writing?
As explained earlier, an expository essay aims to expose or explain an idea to inform its readers. Depending on its penultimate goal and topic, an expository essay may take on these characteristics:
- Descriptive. Expository writing involves description, usually to provide background or context for the topic. In an expository essay, your description must be concise and logical.
- Explanatory. Your expository essay should be able to communicate your points to the reader, and that often includes explaining theories and logical connections.
- Illustrative. Explanations in expository essays should be explicit and illustrative for it to truly enlighten the reader. Illustrative explanations go beyond the theoretical and so serve as the bridge for the reader to reach thorough understanding of the subject matter.
- Analytical. The expository essay needs to be able to tactically break down and analyze the topic as intended. The writer should be able to demonstrate critical thinking.
- Clarity. All ideas, explanations, and examples must be clearly explained and analyzed. Any piece of writing’s success in communicating with the reader lies in the clarity of the writer’s writing style. Clarity can be achieved by following the essay structure for expository essays, but you also need to practice writing clear sentences.
- Unbiased. You should approach your expository with an unbiased eye. Your objectivity will show in your writing.
- Impersonal. Expository essays are a type of formal essay, so do not use first-person pronouns when you write. This also helps you maintain an objective tone in your essay.
Free examples of expository essay
Download this basic expository essay example written in APA template for free: Sample Expository Essay by Custom Essay Meister.docx
Here are other samples of an expository write-up:
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