Expository Essay

Updated: Nov 9, 2016

Expository essays can be fairly accurately termed 'informative essays'. They serve to explain a topic in a logical manner and are structured according to the 5 paragraph approach.

What is an Expository Essay?

An expository essay is a type of written discourse that serves the purpose of explaining, describing and providing information to the reader. Expository essays can be fairly accurately termed ‘information’ or ‘informative’ essays.

Did You Know What Expository Essay Is

Its difference with other essays is that it seeks to use facts and objective information to guide a reader. You, therefore, have to use information from reputable sources instead of subjective information that relies heavily on opinions, impressions, and evaluations. It is a common tool assigned for classroom evaluation and you will often find it in numerous exam formats.

Function of the Expository Essay

An expository essay simply serves to explain a topic in a logical and straightforward manner. Without many complications, these essays present fair and balanced analyses of different subjects based on facts, without any references to the author’s opinions or emotions. A typical expository essay will prompt a writer to use the words “explain” or “define”. This prompts the writer to “explain” in a simple, plain and direct manner.


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In addition, it also teaches college and high school students to express their thoughts clearly and organize their writing logically. For the reader to understand your essay, you need to use clear writing and thorough organization. This prepares students to enter next stage of their academic life – writing research and term papers and gradually transitions into a dissertation and thesis writing.

Our experienced writers will come up with a tailor-made solution that fully matches your requirements and will help you to master expository writing.

Expository Essay Format and Outline

Format

The common method of writing an expository essay is a 5-paragraph approach. However, this is not the only formula for writing such essays but it provides a basic and clear outline for easy reading by the reader. This format gives the essay an introduction, 3 body paragraphs, and a conclusion, hence the name is a 5-paragraph approach. Basically, the paragraphs entail:

Introduction. The introduction brings up the main thoughts of the essay and can be a great tool to capture your reader.

Three body paragraphs. The body paragraphs discuss and provide in-depth information to the reader regarding the mentioned topic. Your thoughts should flow well, and get interesting one after the other to keep your reader interested in wanting to know more.

Conclusion. The conclusion echoes your introduction by showing that the introductory statement has been verified or explained in detail.

Outline

Analyzed events of situations should be reviews from several sources to make the essay stay focused on the context and be objective. The conclusion in your essay should never come as a surprise to the reader as they need to be easily throughout the essay. The conclusions and the analysis should be well connected to not leave your reader guessing what you meant.

Language and Connection Words

Expository essays require you to avoid incorporating your emotions or opinions, therefore, you have to write in a way that will enable you to remain objective and imperative. The 3rd person writing is the most logical in this case. You need to keep a neutral voice and avoid pronouns like (I, We, and You) among more. Connection words such as for example, such as, furthermore, whereas, similarly, and conversely among more are used in these articles.

5 Easy steps for writing an expository essay

Step 1. Pre-write the expository essay. Students should take time to brainstorm on the topic and main ideas, research, and take notes. Design an outline to show how the information will be presented in each paragraph in a logical sequence.

Step 2. Draft the expository essay. Consider how you will present your ideas with the 5-paragraph approach. Consider how the introductory paragraph will be, the 3 body paragraphs, and how the conclusion will spice up your essay.

Step 3. Revise the expository essay. Here you will need to review, modify and reorganize the work with the goal of making it the best it can be. Has the information been clearly communicated to the reader?

Step 4. Edit the expository essay. Proofread and correct the grammatical errors, and edit to improve the style and clarity.

Step 5. Publish the expository essay. Share your essay with the class or friends to get some reviews and know how they feel about it.

Expository essay graphic organizer

The expository essay can be presented in a simple graphic organizer. This organizer can be made of various shapes, including circles, rectangles, squares and ovals among more. Basically, many organizers depict the 5-paragraph expository essay approach, meaning they have some shape representing the introduction, 3 shapes covering for the body paragraphs, and one shape for the conclusion at the bottom.

What makes a good expository text?

A great expository essay is made by:

  • A clear, concise, and well-defined thesis statement that is presented in the first paragraph.
  • Clear and very logical transitions between the introduction, body paragraphs and the conclusion. Without logical progression of thought in your essay, a reader is unable to follow the essay’s argument, and its structure will crumble.
  • Body paragraphs with reliable evidence support. These can be logical, factual or anecdotal. The body paragraphs should also have some or a strong logical connection to the thesis statement in the opening paragraph.
  • Creativity to give your readers a lasting impression on essay’s evaluation.
  • A catchy conclusion that spices up your essay content in style. It should not restate the thesis but instead, refer to it with reference to the evidence provided. 

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