Blog Essay Guide

How to Write an Expository Essay

Many students hope to learn how to write an expository essay. Not surprising, considering that this task is one of the most common ones in college. Writing assignments are always tricky since they follow specific rules and demand a mix of research and creativity. 

What Is an Expository Essay? Expository paper is an academic piece where you explore an issue and explain it to your audience. It has some key features, such as total objectivity and descriptiveness. By realizing how to deal with this task, students gain better explanatory skills, learning how to share information with others while staying neutral on the topic. Our experts prepared some great writing tips. Check them out for seeing what your plan of writing actions should be.

5 Steps of Expository Essay Writing

Writing could be an exciting process where time flies quickly and ideas keep accumulating. But for succeeding with expository paper, students should know which parts it includes and in what sequence they should be writing. Here are the guidelines you’ll need.

1. Choose a topic you consider interesting.

Sometimes students don’t have any options: they get a list approved by the professor and have to select a topic from there. But very often, the choice is yours, and it’s as terrifying as it is exciting. Don’t pick just any topic for an expository essay — look for something exciting. Think about subjects that you know or would like to know about. Go through your online search history, check out your books, even simply scroll down some news site, and focus on a favorite theme.

2. Locate supportive sources.

Any academic essay must be based on reliable evidence. Expository type is not an exception: you cannot simply present your own views, they have to be supported with words or findings of some credible scholars. So, begin your research. Find at least one source per each expository paragraph. Take them from the Internet, via search systems like Google Scholar. Visit the college library. Look for books released by academic houses — make sure they are relatively new. Professors prefer it when sources aren’t older than 5 years.

3. Create a detailed outline.

If you rolled your eyes as soon as you’ve seen this step, it’s understandable! Working on a paper is already time-consuming, but when you also have to write an expository essay outline, the amount of effort seems to double. In reality, though, that’s not the case. An outline will be essential once you start trying to combine your ideas and present them in a logical order. Brainstorm and fill it with details. How many paragraphs will your essay have? What could each one focus on? Facilitate your task by planning its content in advance.

Read also: How to write an essay outline?

4. Follow all structure rules.

Most students tasked with writing essays already know which sections should be present there. But even they make mistakes since there are more nuances at play that they usually realize. For example, introduction should have three undefined parts. The first is called the hook: it is the very first sentence where a writer should stir the interest among the readers. The following several sentences are background: they disclose some circumstances of your subject, such as when it came to be and what makes it relevant. Expository thesis statement is the last sentence of introduction that functions as a direct claim. State what your subject revolves around: don’t waste time on irrelevant phrases like “this essay is going to explore…”. Body should be developed via paragraphs, with each idea explored in each bit. Conclusion is about restating points a writer has already covered.  

Edit, proofread, re-read. The last thing to do after you finished writing an expository essay is editing. Give your work a second look. Does the content flow logically? Are there enough explanations about your chosen subject?  Try fishing out mechanical errors like typos because they could hurt your chances at getting a great grade. Rewrite moments that aren’t descriptive or relevant enough, and submit your essay only after making sure it’s perfect.

Learn how to structure an essay.

How to Start an Expository Essay From Scratch

How about some helpful writing suggestions? When students know how to follow the right steps, it’s great, but sometimes this isn’t enough. If you are wondering what you should be doing, we have a great answer. Explore these five ways of improving your composition.

  • Rely solely on facts. In expository papers, there is no place for having an argument. Writers need to focus on objective reality and ensure that their points are factual. You cannot select a point of view and argue for it — your attention must be placed solely on what the evidence claims. Follow it by explaining what it means and what implications it has.
  • Select which expository characteristics you’ll stick to. Among expository writing tips, this one is pretty subjective. It’s writers’ call to decide what they’d like their essay to look like. For example, it could have purely explanatory nature, with you listing facts and disclosing what they mean. It could also be analytical, where you’ll have to conduct an analysis. Remember that it’ll have to be objective as well, though.  Descriptive form could also work: concentrate on describing what you have seen in a variety of sources.
  • Follow expository essay format. General format for such essays requires 5 paragraphs. One is for introduction, one is for conclusion, and the remaining three are for the body. It’s not a necessity — some expository papers could be longer, but since this is a fairly simple format of an essay, extra content is usually not needed. In any case, clarify this with your professor and follow their advice — this way, you won’t be able to make a wrong decision!
  • Find out more about expository methods. There are several methods students could apply for creating their essay. For instance, there is a cause and effect option: consider exploring the reasons and consequences of some issue. Extended definition method works, too. As an example, you could provide expository essay definition by researching its background, history, evolution, etc. Compare and contrast model would also be fitting: you could objectively assess several things and analyze them together. Combine several methods or pick one — that’s up to you. Just focus on the facts and avoid giving your personal opinion, no matter how big the temptation is.
  • Seek out another opinion. The way the audience perceives an expository essay determines its success. Professors are trained enough to say whether a student did good or not. You cannot really know it in advance since you cannot be objective about your own writing. So, find another perspective. Ask a friend to read what you wrote; switch with your classmates, helping them with their work as they help you with yours. If they understand your subject clearly, then you succeeded! If some places remained confusing, work on improving them.

Find Inspiring Topics For Your Expository Essay

If students are told to settle with a topic by themselves, many of them get stuck. No matter how ironic it might seem, remembering what you enjoy is tough when this is literally the basis for your academic task. For students who need some assistance in this area, we created lists with sample titles. They have all been verified by trustworthy experts, including professors, and we guarantee that they are original enough to make your work stand out. Check our website and go through various topic categories. It’s completely free, so take what you need and start creating.

How using the best writing services online can help you improve academic performance.

Discover Essay Samples Before Starting Out

Many people ask themselves, what is expository writing? They might read tons of theoretical materials without forming a clear understanding of how to approach their essay writing. That’s why practice is so essential. Read some samples for different expository essays. We’ve gathered many of them here, on our platform. They’ve undergone evaluations by academic experts, so you can rely on them as on your guides. Check how long they are, what thesis they have; explore their content, sources, body paragraphs.  Keep this in mind once you start telling your own story.

Enjoy Writing and Ask For Assistance If Stuck

Now that you’ve learned how expository essays should be structured and what they are, it is time for starting on your own work. Be careful and thorough when you do. Pick only amazing topics you love, find information from solid sources, and follow the guidelines we’ve outlined above. But in case you are still hesitating and have questions, consider asking for help. Students have busy lives, and they cannot always do all tasks they are given. So, let us know what you need and we’ll help you out. Our experts have been writing expository essays for years, so they could easily do that for you, too. Fill an order form and you’ll get your grade without any efforts! 

Posted by Chris M., January 22, 2021