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How to Write an Expository Essay | Structure, Tips & Examples

Published on July 14, 2020 by Jack Caulfield . Revised on December 7, 2022.

“Expository” means “intended to explain or describe something.” An expository essay provides a clear, focused explanation of a particular topic, process, or set of ideas. It doesn’t set out to prove a point, just to give a balanced view of its subject matter.

Expository essays are usually short assignments intended to test your composition skills or your understanding of a subject. They tend to involve less research and original arguments than argumentative essays .

Table of contents

When should you write an expository essay, how to approach an expository essay, introducing your essay, writing the body paragraphs, concluding your essay, frequently asked questions about expository essays.

In school and university, you might have to write expository essays as in-class exercises, exam questions, or coursework assignments.

Sometimes it won’t be directly stated that the assignment is an expository essay, but there are certain keywords that imply expository writing is required. Consider the prompts below.

The word “explain” here is the clue: An essay responding to this prompt should provide an explanation of this historical process—not necessarily an original argument about it.

Sometimes you’ll be asked to define a particular term or concept. This means more than just copying down the dictionary definition; you’ll be expected to explore different ideas surrounding the term, as this prompt emphasizes.

An expository essay should take an objective approach: It isn’t about your personal opinions or experiences. Instead, your goal is to provide an informative and balanced explanation of your topic. Avoid using the first or second person (“I” or “you”).

The structure of your expository essay will vary according to the scope of your assignment and the demands of your topic. It’s worthwhile to plan out your structure before you start, using an essay outline .

A common structure for a short expository essay consists of five paragraphs: An introduction, three body paragraphs, and a conclusion.

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Like all essays, an expository essay begins with an introduction . This serves to hook the reader’s interest, briefly introduce your topic, and provide a thesis statement summarizing what you’re going to say about it.

Hover over different parts of the example below to see how a typical introduction works.

In many ways, the invention of the printing press marked the end of the Middle Ages. The medieval period in Europe is often remembered as a time of intellectual and political stagnation. Prior to the Renaissance, the average person had very limited access to books and was unlikely to be literate. The invention of the printing press in the 15th century allowed for much less restricted circulation of information in Europe, paving the way for the Reformation.

The body of your essay is where you cover your topic in depth. It often consists of three paragraphs, but may be more for a longer essay. This is where you present the details of the process, idea or topic you’re explaining.

It’s important to make sure each paragraph covers its own clearly defined topic, introduced with a topic sentence . Different topics (all related to the overall subject matter of the essay) should be presented in a logical order, with clear transitions between paragraphs.

Hover over different parts of the example paragraph below to see how a body paragraph is constructed.

The invention of the printing press in 1440 changed this situation dramatically. Johannes Gutenberg, who had worked as a goldsmith, used his knowledge of metals in the design of the press. He made his type from an alloy of lead, tin, and antimony, whose durability allowed for the reliable production of high-quality books. This new technology allowed texts to be reproduced and disseminated on a much larger scale than was previously possible. The Gutenberg Bible appeared in the 1450s, and a large number of printing presses sprang up across the continent in the following decades. Gutenberg’s invention rapidly transformed cultural production in Europe; among other things, it would lead to the Protestant Reformation.

The conclusion of an expository essay serves to summarize the topic under discussion. It should not present any new information or evidence, but should instead focus on reinforcing the points made so far. Essentially, your conclusion is there to round off the essay in an engaging way.

Hover over different parts of the example below to see how a conclusion works.

The invention of the printing press was important not only in terms of its immediate cultural and economic effects, but also in terms of its major impact on politics and religion across Europe. In the century following the invention of the printing press, the relatively stationary intellectual atmosphere of the Middle Ages gave way to the social upheavals of the Reformation and the Renaissance. A single technological innovation had contributed to the total reshaping of the continent.

An expository essay is a broad form that varies in length according to the scope of the assignment.

Expository essays are often assigned as a writing exercise or as part of an exam, in which case a five-paragraph essay of around 800 words may be appropriate.

You’ll usually be given guidelines regarding length; if you’re not sure, ask.

An expository essay is a common assignment in high-school and university composition classes. It might be assigned as coursework, in class, or as part of an exam.

Sometimes you might not be told explicitly to write an expository essay. Look out for prompts containing keywords like “explain” and “define.” An expository essay is usually the right response to these prompts.

An argumentative essay tends to be a longer essay involving independent research, and aims to make an original argument about a topic. Its thesis statement makes a contentious claim that must be supported in an objective, evidence-based way.

An expository essay also aims to be objective, but it doesn’t have to make an original argument. Rather, it aims to explain something (e.g., a process or idea) in a clear, concise way. Expository essays are often shorter assignments and rely less on research.

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Quick and Easy Guide on How to Write an Expository Essay

expository essay help

Understanding What Is an Expository Essay

If you clicked on this article, then you must have recently been assigned an expository essay homework. There is also a possibility that you are here because you enjoy exploring different ideas and concepts rather than solely scratching the surface. Well, that explains why you decided to research more about expository essay writing. We won't leave you hanging, so let's delve right into the expository essay definition.

It's only reasonable to first give you a clear explanation of what is an expository essay and what this kind of paper tries to accomplish. Simply put, an expository essay presents information on a topic. It explains something about a situation, person, idea, or occurrence and communicates knowledge about it to the reader. It does not attempt to persuade the reader of a certain point of view or present a convincing case. An expository essay depends on facts rather than personal opinion since it aims to inform the reader about a subject.

Expository writing involves anything from sharing your day to outlining a job assignment. Therefore it wouldn't be unfair to say that it is the most popular type of writing in the world.

Expository Essay Topics

Speaking of the above, there must be plenty of options to write your expository paper on, right? You're correct! But one needs a properly worded title that would make great expository essay topics. That's why our research paper service covered some interesting areas below. You can browse myriads of choices and find one that is just right for your endeavor!

Expository Essay Topics About Education

Expository Essay Topics About Mental Health

Expository Essay Topics About Society

Expository Essay Topics About Politics

How to Write an Expository Essay with an Expository Essay Outline

Outlining is one of the most vital steps for knowing how to write an expository essay. Many believe that creating an outline is a waste of time, but in reality, the more complete your expository essay plan is, the fewer hours you will have to devote to research and writing. An expository essay outline divides each paragraph of the essay into various components. By doing so, you may divide a more complex activity into more manageable components and better understand how various pieces of information will work together. Let's go through each section of the expository essay format prepared by our college admission essay writer .

essay outline

I. Introduction

So, how to start expository essay on a strong note? Consider opening with a bold claim that is related to your topic. After that, go on to briefly describe your subject's significance. Finally, make a statement about your essay's core thesis or objective.

II. Body Paragraphs

In your first body paragraph. introduce the first major point that backs up your primary statement. Then, support your claim with instances or facts, and then explain how these examples or evidence link to your thesis and support your core notion. Remember to include a transitional sentence that relates to the following paragraph.

If you follow a five paragraph essay format, then feel free to develop three body paragraphs with the similar order.

III. Conclusion

In your concluding paragraph, try restating your thesis statement in a different way to successfully conclude your work. Then put your essay's essential ideas in a brief summary before concluding with a powerful remark that will stay with your readers.

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How to Write an Expository Essay

Even though you now know a lot about the expository essay format, there are other things to keep in mind as well. In this section, we'll go over the specific steps you should take when figuring out how to write an expository essay.

Brainstorming Ideas

The absolute first thing you should do when given an expository essay assignment is to carefully go over the guidelines. Make sure you completely understand what is required of you. If it is for class, you may be limited to certain topics and word counts, there may be restrictions on the quality of sources you can use, etc. You might write an incredible essay but get a low grade because you missed out on some small restriction or guideline.

Once you know exactly what you are supposed to do, it's time to think about different concepts you would like to explain. Make sure you are aware of the different types of expository essays so that when you brainstorm topics you have a tentative idea of what type of expository essay would be best suited for that topic.

Think about what has been covered in class, what the teacher might expect, and what you find interesting to try and come up with a list of topics. Do a little bit of research on each topic to figure out whether you can easily find reputable sources and to gain a further understanding of the topic. After keeping all these things in mind, you should end up with an expository essay topic that is appropriate, engaging, and high-scoring.

Fill Up an Outline

Once you have zeroed in on a topic it's time to do research. One of the best ways to plan your writing is to use an expository essay outline to organize interesting information. While conducting research focus on the body paragraphs rather than on the introduction or conclusion. Think about three main ways you can explain the topic and put information that fits into those subtopics under the appropriate body paragraphs.

While conducting research and filling out an outline, think about potential thesis statements. Coming up with a thesis statement too early will restrict your research, so it is better to develop a thesis statement as you find out more and more information. That being said, by the end of the planning stage you should have a finalized thesis statement

Planning out your essay beforehand will give direction to your research, cut down on the amount of time you spend on the assignment, improve the overall flow of the final essay, and make the actual writing process much easier.

Write the First Draft

Now is the time to translate your outline into full sentences. It is often useful to leave the writing of the introduction till the end because after writing the body paragraphs you will have a better idea of what to say in an introduction, but make sure that you write down your thesis statement.

Use the information you have found to create a cohesive analysis of the topic in each body paragraph. Make sure that the information you present is on topic and connects to the other facts around it. Think about what the purpose of each body paragraph is and question whether the information you are presenting fits that purpose or not. Make sure to use transition words within the paragraph and use transition sentences between paragraphs to improve overall comprehensibility and flow.

Finalize Your Draft

Go over the first draft of the essay and focus on whether the different paragraphs make sense or not. Don't be afraid to reorganize sections or completely get rid of some pieces of information. As you write your draft, new ways of expressing the information can come to mind that will make the overall essay more powerful.

Make sure that you are not trying to make a persuasive argument and that you are using facts rather than opinions as evidence.

Go over each sentence to make sure that it is clear and that it fits the purpose of the paragraph it is in. Look at the information you have included and make sure that it is useful and enhances understanding of the topic. It is better to have less information than more if the information is distracting or does not add anything to the essay.

Try and read the paper as if it is the first time you are coming across the topic to see if it makes sense or not. Congratulations, you are just one step away from being able to submit an expository essay!

Editing and Proofreading

Go over the final draft of your essay and check for formatting errors, grammatical errors, spelling mistakes, etc and make sure that it complies with all the guidelines of the assignment. Finally, ask a friend or relative to go over the paper to do the last check. If you feel like you still need to make a lot of changes, don't be disheartened, spend the extra time to make the changes or reach out to a professional service.

Expository Essay Examples

One of the best ways to learn how to write an expository essay is to look at an expository essay example. Looking at expository essay examples can give you a deeper understanding of what is expected as well as how to write an essay that flows well. Make sure that you use any examples you find as inspiration rather than a place to directly source information or text!

Expository Essay Example

The shift from traditional to current methods in treating diseases has improved the quality of many services, products, and processes. However, many regions worldwide are still applying traditional medicines (Stefanov et al., 2020). Therefore, conventional western medicine and alternative Eastern medicine are two recognized approaches to treating multiple diseases. Researchers have developed the foundational differences between these two approaches that have helped establish the pros and cons of each. Each approach has advantages and drawbacks. There have been debates on which approach is cheaper in terms of time and cost of treatment. Also, there is ongoing concern on which approach is safer than the other.
As of 2019, there were over 3.5 billion social media users globally, and this figure still increases by 9% each year. It is impossible to deny that social media has become an important part of many people’s lives. There are various positive effects linked with the platforms, including better connectivity. However, addiction to social media platforms, the increased comparisons between individuals, and the fear of missing out have increased depression and sadness. Social media addiction has become rampant, which has negatively influenced the lives of many individuals in society. Checking and scrolling through the different social media platforms has become increasingly popular over time, leading to excessive and compulsive use.

FAQs on Expository Essay Writing

If the information was not quite enough for you to create an outstanding paper, our college essay writer has yet to supply you with further details about expository essays. Below you'll find the most frequently asked questions on this matter, so you won't have to spend extra time and effort researching any unanswered questions.

What are the Different Types of Expository Essays?

Since expository writing may take various forms, understanding the different sorts of essays will help you pick a topic and organize the essay's general trajectory and framework.

essay types

What is the Most Important Part of the Expository Essay Structure?

The core of the outline for expository essay is your thesis. It's what your essay's audience will remember. It is critical to select a thesis statement that is both intriguing and provocative yet accurate and true. It is what makes the structure of expository essay powerful and constructive.

What is the Main Idea in Expository Writing?

Identifying the core concept, or the most crucial message the author wishes to convey, is the fundamental objective for all expository papers. The text's main concepts are frequently introduced early, generally in the introductory paragraph.

Using headings, subheadings, and other emphasis techniques, you may further emphasize key ideas. Main concepts, meanwhile, can also be inferred from the text and not explicitly expressed. Occasionally, you must draw the major concept from the text's specifics, assertions, and justifications.

Now that you know whats an expository essay, you must agree that writing an expository essay is a great method to learn how to effectively communicate information while also pursuing an interest of yours. Therefore, there are many ways in which knowing how to convey ideas and explain things will help you both professionally and individually.

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What is an Expository Essay? (And How to Write an Amazing One)

Female student getting answers to the question what is an expository essay

You may have heard this term floating around in your course syllabus a few times and are now asking yourself these questions. If so, you’re not alone.

If you’re sitting there looking at your assignment instructions and having a small panic attack looking at the words “expository essay,” you can take a deep breath and relax – it’s actually not as terrifying as it may sound. An expository essay is actually a very common type of essay that you’ll encounter at some point in your academic career, so it’s best to bite the bullet and learn what it’s all about now while you’re ahead of the game.

In this blog, you’ll get the answer to the question, “What is an expository essay?” as well as many other answers you didn’t even realize you needed to questions you didn’t know you had. If you’re ready to start acing your assignments and improve your expository writing, keep reading!

Female college student working on a descriptive essay for class

The Basics: What is an Expository Essay?

So, let’s start off by answering the main question right off the bat: what is an expository essay? After all, that’s the real information you’ve come here to find.

It does sound a little complex. Here’s the kicker, though. You’ve likely already written an expository essay before because it’s the most common type of academic writing assignment in college and university. In fact, you may have written plenty of them by now without realizing that’s what you were doing.

The official definition of the term “expository” is “to explain or describe something.” Therefore, expository writing is a technique used to explain something or explore a particular topic with facts and data.

Therefore, an expository essay is any type of essay that takes a topic or idea, investigates and analyzes it in detail, and then produces a conclusion. You’re not taking a stand or making an argument about it, but instead going over all of the facts and exploring the topic in depth. Your goal is to remain neutral and not form an opinion one way or another.

In simpler terms, you’re giving your reader a rundown of everything they should know about the topic to come to the same conclusion you did.

This will be a little different than a persuasive essay or argumentative essay in that you’re not always required to take a stand on a particular topic. The conclusion you make about the topic doesn’t have to be an argument specifically and could instead just be a summarized point from your research.

What is the Main Purpose of an Expository Essay?

So, let’s answer the next question you probably have. Now that you know what one is, what is an expository essay meant to do?

It may seem kind of weird to you that you’ll need to explain a topic that’s already been covered in class. However, from your professor’s perspective, the point of writing an expository essay is to test your comprehension skills . Essentially, your professor wants to see that you completely understand the subject matter or topic and that you’ve reviewed all of the facts or information.

Writing an expository essay also shows your ability to conduct research and practice critical thinking. There is a significant amount of information out there that can be accessed in so many different ways, from browsing the web to visiting your campus library. You need to be able to sift through all of the data out there and use your own critical thinking skills to pick out the real facts. In today’s day and age, this is an extremely important skill to have outside of the academic world as well.

Further, the benefits of expository writing go beyond simply passing your assignment. This type of writing is an essential component for many different career fields including journalism, business and entrepreneurship, science, and many more. Essentially, any field that you may need to provide a neutral explanation or background knowledge of something will require the use of expository writing.

White tone image of hands typing out an expository essay on a mac keyboard

How Do You Know if an Essay is Expository?

You can usually tell if an essay is expository by the use of expository writing. By expository writing, we mean descriptive writing that takes facts and credible information and processes that data into digestible chunks with a clear, concise conclusion.

Essentially, anything that provides an explanation of something is expository writing. Here are some examples:

● How something works

● Why or how something happened

● What something means

● How to do something

● The importance of something

With an expository essay, you need to be able to teach your reader about a subject. In order to teach someone about a subject, you need to fully understand it first. Therefore, if you read an essay and come out of it feeling like you understand the topic better or that you have a more well rounded knowledge of it, it is likely effective expository writing.

Female student writing an expository essay at a table outside

Expository Essay Types

We can’t possibly answer the question “what is an expository essay?” without going over the different essay types that could fall under this category. Below are a few of the most common types of expository essays that you’re going to see, or that you might have already seen at this point in your academic career.

● Cause and effect essays: In a cause and effect essay, you’re taking a topic and explaining how one thing leads directly to one or more specific outcomes. You can either show how one thing causes multiple effects, or how one effect is caused by multiple things.

● Classification essays: A classification essay takes a core topic and breaks it down into different categories or sub-topics, explaining how each sub-topic or category is defined or how something is sorted.

● Descriptive essays: Also referred to as a definition essay, a descriptive essay is an essay wherein you describe and define a particular topic to tell your reader what it is or what it means. Think of it as a long, informative, descriptive definition of something.

● Compare and contrast essays: In a compare and contrast essay, you’re taking one idea, concept, or sub-topic and comparing it to another. You could write about anything, from characters in a story to concepts and ideas.

● Process essays: A process essay is essentially a how-to guide. In this type of essay, you’ll take a topic or subtopic and explain how it works or go over the procedure.

● Problem and solution essays: In this type of essay, you would describe a problem and then offer a solution on how to fix it through detailed instructions and explanations.

Female college student conducting brainstorming in the writing process

Choosing a Topic For Your Expository Essay

Here’s another question you might be asking yourself: What is an expository essay usually about?

The great thing about this type of essay is that you can write an expository essay on just about anything. One of the only challenges you’ll find is choosing a topic that fits within the scope of your assignment or your course. In many cases, your professor will either assign a topic to you or give you a list of topics you can choose from that are covered within your class. However, once in a while you might be left to your own devices and need to come up with something yourself.

When choosing a good topic for an expository essay, ask yourself the following questions:

● What do I already know about this topic? It’s much easier to explain something to your reader if you already have a base of knowledge about it – even if it’s just a little bit.

● Am I interested in this topic? You need to be at least a little interested in a topic to write a good essay about it. Otherwise, you’re going to get buried in the research and lose motivation quickly.

● How hard will it be to find credible sources on this topic? If it’s hard to access sources for your topic, it’s going to be even harder to write an entire essay about it and still get good marks.

● Is this topic relevant enough to my course? Float your topic or ideas for your topic by your professor just to be sure. Even if you write an award winning essay, you could fail the entire assignment if your topic isn’t relevant.

Examples of Good Expository Essay Topics

Great expository writing makes your reader feel that they have all of the necessary information to form an opinion on your conclusion or thesis. That’s why it’s so important to make sure you’ve chosen the right topic for your essay.

Here are some examples of some expository essay topics you could use to write and formulate an expository essay:

● The importance of investing money after college

● What is the best renewable energy source to help fight climate change?

● How the invention of the printing press altered Western society in the 1400s

● Why some countries have different views on Communism than others

● Explain the connection between food and emotions

● The significance of the Golden Era of Hollywood and its impact on modern films

● How to become an entrepreneur

● Compare and contrast online school versus traditional in-class school

Of course, all of this depends on the topic of your course and your professor’s discretion. If they’ve assigned you the topic, you don’t really have much of a choice, so you’ll need to consider how you want to break down that topic to find something that interests you.

A pair of male college students sitting outside helping each other write an expository essay

What is an Expository Essay Supposed to Include?

At this point, you may have grasped the concept of an expository essay, but you may still be wondering what you’re supposed to be including in it. The good news is if you’ve ever written an academic essay before, this type of essay isn’t very far off.

The core elements of a good expository essay include the following:

● Sold facts from credible sources where possible.

● A clear and concise thesis statement that communicates your main argument or point.

● Introduction, conclusion, and body paragraphs that transition into one another seamlessly.

● Refined explanations that give your reader a full understanding of the topic.

● A creative voice that keeps your reader’s attention.

Now that we’ve shown you what your essay should include, let’s take a brief look at what an expository essay should NOT include:

● Spelling and grammar mistakes – always proofread your work before you submit your final draft.

● First person voice – be sure to write in the third person at all times.

● Opinions – an expository essay is meant to provide a neutral explanation of a topic. It’s not the place to discuss your personal opinion on the subject.

The Outline of an Expository Essay

Depending on which of the expository essay types you’re using, your outline might be a little varied. For example, if you’re writing a compare and contrast essay, you may choose a different outline than you would for a classification essay.

Despite all the variations and essay types, most of the time your expository essay will follow the 5-point essay format. It looks like this:

1. Introduction

2. Body paragraph 1 (first main idea)

3. Body paragraph 2 (second main idea)

4. Body paragraph 3 (third main idea)

5. Conclusion

While this is the basic structure of a 5-point essay, you’re free to change the number of body paragraphs as you see fit. It’s important to make sure that each body paragraph focuses on one idea, so if you need to include more than three ideas, or if your essay is over 5 pages long, you can include more paragraphs. This will also make your essay easier to read and digest, which will help you get better marks.

College student sitting on a picnic blanket in a park working on her descriptive essay

Introduction and Thesis Statement

Like any good essay, your expository essay needs to begin with a great introduction that includes a well crafted thesis statement. Start with an attention-grabbing hook that makes your reader want to know more. Then, move on to a brief but concise background where you provide some quick context about your topic. It doesn’t need to go into a lot of detail, but it should give your reader a clear idea of what they need to know before you make your point.

At the end of your introduction, you’ll include your thesis statement. Think very carefully about this, as it’s very difficult to write a good essay if you don’t have a good thesis statement that clearly indicates the core point you’re making. It’s best to think about your thesis statement like the roadmap for the entire essay, so you have to get it right.

If you’re really stuck on coming up with a good thesis statement you can always download our e-book, The Official Pocket Guide: Everything You Need to Know About Thesis Statements . This guide breaks down all of the information you need to create the perfect thesis statement for your expository essay, as well as any other type of assignment you might need to write.

Body Paragraphs

Each of your body paragraphs should focus on one idea or explain one aspect of your topic. This allows your reader to easily follow your train of thought while keeping your entire essay as clear and concise as possible.

All of your body paragraphs should follow the same structure. Start with your topic statement that introduces the idea you’ll be discussing in that paragraph. Then, move on to the discussion where you’ll introduce facts and evidence and then explain them in detail. End your paragraph with a conclusion statement that transitions into the next paragraph or idea.

Your body paragraphs contain the most important parts of your essay. This is where the bulk of your explanation will be, so you want to make sure your writing flows properly and logically. Your professor will be paying close attention to the flow of your paper when they’re marking it.

College student reviewing notes and facts sitting alone in a coffee shop

In your conclusion paragraph, you’ll sum up the main points and ideas you’ve discussed in the body paragraphs of your essay. This section of your paper is meant to leave a lasting impression on your reader and give them something to think about.

You can learn more about crafting the perfect essay conclusion in our blog here, but here are some key points to remember when it comes to wrapping up your expository essay:

● Start by restating your thesis statement.

● Don’t introduce any new information you haven’t covered in your body paragraphs.

● Use the opposite structure of your introduction: start narrow, and then build out.

● Focus on the main points only. You only have so much room to summarize your essay, so stick to the most important things.

Avoiding Plagiarism and Looking at the Facts

No matter which of the academic essay types you’re working with, you need to make sure you use credible facts and cite them properly to avoid plagiarism. Getting flagged for plagiarism, even if it’s completely unintentional, can ruin your entire academic career and get you into some serious trouble.

Using facts from credible sources provides your reader with the most accurate information about the topic. The last thing you want to be doing is giving your reader this very long and detailed explanation that isn’t even true. If you can’t fact check the data and find a clear truth, don’t use that particular piece of information if you can avoid it.

No matter what facts you use in your expository essay, you need to make sure every idea that isn’t your own is properly cited. Your professor will usually provide you with assignment instructions that indicate which citation style you need to use. If they don’t, stick with one of the three most common citation styles: MLA Style, APA Style , or Chicago Style.

Student brainstorming notes by hand to start the writing process

How to Prepare for an Expository Essay on Your Exam

Due to the fact that they are designed to show your professor your understanding of a topic, expository essays aren’t always going to be assigned to you as a major paper. In many cases, you may encounter an expository essay on your final exam. When that happens, you’re not going to have the means to go and look for credible facts, statistics, and sources on the spot. Instead, you’ll need to rely on your own depth of knowledge. That’s why knowing how to produce good expository writing is important.

Here are some ways you can improve your expository writing in the event that you don’t have time to prepare a specific topic in advance for an expository essay:

● Take really good notes in each class.

● Practice using descriptive essay writing techniques.

● If you have even a rough idea of the topic ahead of time, prepare a practice outline.

● Practice explaining your topic to friends, family members, or roommates who are willing to listen. Ask them if they still have any questions about it when you’re done.

● Give yourself enough time to study and avoid pulling all-nighters whenever you can.

Closeup of hands typing an expository essay on a laptop

Still Wondering What is an Expository Essay? Stop Questioning and Make Your Life Easier

If you’re still not sure you got the answers you needed and are continuing to ask yourself, “What is an expository essay?” you can stop wondering. With our help, you don’t even need to know how to write your essay in the first place because we can do it for you.

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200 Exclusive Expository Essay Topics That Will Help You

Table of Contents

Writing an expository essay is different when compared to other types of essays. Most importantly, it requires good writing skills and knowledge of various expository essay topics. Right now, do you need to submit an expository essay for your assignment? Are you searching for the best expository essay topics to score top grades? Don’t worry! We are here to help you.

Continue reading this blog post and get interesting expository essay topic ideas to focus on. Also, learn how to choose a good expository essay topic from a wide list of ideas.

Tips for Choosing a Good Expository Essay Topic

The first step in the essay writing process is to identify a good essay topic. As expository essay writing is a vast discipline with numerous essay topics and ideas, it is really tough to pick one specific topic. So, in order to help you to choose a good expository essay topic, here, we have listed a few important tips to keep in mind during the essay topic selection.

Also, before finalizing the essay topic, in addition to the above-mentioned tips, make sure to check whether the topic you have selected stands in line with the instructor’s writing guidelines.

Expository Essay Topics

List of Expository Essay Topics and Ideas

When it comes to writing an expository essay, you need to invest a lot of effort and time to search and find the essay topic. Hence, to make your topic selection process easier, we have compiled a list of exclusive expository essay topics and ideas from different categories.

List of Expository Essay Topics

Explore the complete list of ideas mentioned below and pick an expository essay topic of your preference.

Expository Essay Topics on Ethical Issues

Expository Essay Topics

Expository Essay Topics on Education

Expository Essay Topics on Health

Read more: Good Health Essay Topics and Ideas To Focus On

Expository Essay Topics on History

Expository Essay Topics on Literature

Expository Essay Topics on Music

Expository Essay Topics on Personal Experience

Expository Essay Topics on Religion and Philosophy

Expository Essay Topics on Culture

Expository Essay Topics on Science and Technology

Expository Essay Topics on Social Issues

Expository Essay Topics for College Students

Expository Essay Topics for High School Students

Read more: Impressive Funny Speech Topics and Ideas To Consider

The Bottom Line

We hope you have identified a unique essay topic of your choice from the list of expository essay topics suggested above. In case you haven’t found a good topic or if you are not sure how to craft an extraordinary expository essay, then take top-quality Case Study writing help from us. We have a team of well-experienced essay writers to assist you in writing plagiarism-free academic essays of any type on the best essay topics as per your requirements at a reasonable rate. Just place your order and get your work done before the deadline.

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How to Write an Expository Essay Outline: Structure, Example, and Template

26 Dec 2021

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❓What Is an Expository Essay?

☝️Expository Writing Purpose

📑Structure of Expository Essay Outline

✏️Expository Essay Format and Style

📃Expository Essay Outline Example

Writing an expository essay is observed to be one of the most problematic and tedious for students. If you are required to write an expository essay, you are being challenged to lay out the facts. Although this work involves a lot of competence, it is a handy tool for demonstrating an in-depth analysis of the selected topic. Also, the text can include features of evaluation, research, and argumentation of the idea. Papersowl will provide professional assistance to help you craft an effective expository essay.

What Is an Expository Essay?

An expository essay is a paper that contains an in-depth analysis of the problem or presents an opinion based on a specific fact. The main purpose of this genre is to clarify a particular topic by revealing a process or set of ideas. It is important to realize that the work is not intended to prove a point but to provide the reader with a balanced view of the topic. The work should be written objectively and impartially.

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The purpose of an Expository Writing

Expository writing aims to educate the reader by providing a comprehensive explanation of a topic, assuming little to no prior knowledge. This is accomplished by simplifying complex ideas into smaller, more manageable components and utilizing straightforward and succinct language. While entertainment or persuasion may be secondary advantages, the primary intention is to showcase the author's knowledge and expertise, often illustrating how they acquired it.

By the way, the purpose of expository writing is also to inform, explain, describe, or define a particular topic or concept clearly and concisely. This type of writing requires the author to present factual information, provide examples, and use evidence to support their claims. Expository essay, for instance, is often used in academic settings, but it can also be found in everyday life, such as in news articles, business reports, or even blog posts.

Another important aspect of expository writing is the use of evidence. The author must provide evidence to support their claims and help the reader understand the topic more thoroughly. This can include statistics, research studies, or even personal anecdotes. In a nutshell, expository writing aims to give the reader a deeper understanding of a particular topic or concept through comprehensive explanation, clear language, factual information, and evidence.

Structure of an Expository Essay Outline

Although writing any essay is primarily creative, it should have a clear structure and plan. The structure is one of the most important elements because it involves highlighting the main meaningful elements of the text and establishing logical connections between them. An expository essay outline includes an introduction, body paragraphs, and a conclusion. Your outline should show which three main arguments you want to discuss in each paragraph. 

Usually, the introductory part of any essay is similar to each other. If, even on this part, the idea of writing an outline for an expository essay scares you, or if you have particular questions, don't hesitate to contact expository writing services online . We will gladly take this odious problem upon ourselves.

The very structure of the text plays a very important role in expressing the structure. First of all, its main function is to interest and encourage the reader to read the covered topic. Second, it will give the reader an idea of your research topic. 

Your first sentence statement should be like a hook that captures the reader's thoughts from the first second. A great tip for this is to start with a general statement about your topic. It can be anything, such as a certain quote, a question, an anecdote, a fascinating fact, or a dilemma that needs to be solved.

If, at this point, you have thoughts like who would write essays for me , then don't worry. We already have a solution. That way, after learning something new in the first sentence, people will be interested to see what you talk about next. The following sentences briefly present the main points and emphasize their connection with the thesis. It is important to add that the thesis of an essay, as a rule, is also based on facts and not on one's thoughts. 

The main part of the essay is where the most difficulties and problems arise with understanding where to start and how to write an essay. The main part consists of one or several paragraphs. First, start with a general sentence that expresses the paragraph's main idea. Most body paragraphs have three sections covering concepts, explanations, and any arguments that may arise. To make things easier, write out specific textual evidence from other sources that you use to support your thesis. A variety of apt quotes and paraphrases are suitable for this. It is also essential to use reliable facts. An extraordinary hint on how to write an expository essay outline is also useful here. Avoid using the first or second person. When moving from one paragraph to another, it is important to remember to use transitional words. Each paragraph should be connected by one or two sentences that demonstratively lead from one idea to the next. This is necessary to ensure the linguistic flow is maintained.

After writing the two parts listed above, you are ready to complete the text. This part of the work is also quite responsible. How is it built? Conclusion - specific and brief information about what was listed in the introduction and body. In simple words - a simplified version of the entire text. Despite its brevity, it should be a strong enough reinforcement not to spoil the general impression and all previous efforts. Here it can be useful to restate the main idea of your subject but in different words to emphasize its importance. In addition, this technique nicely directs the reader's attention to important things. Remind him why this topic should interest him. Do not introduce new information in this part, as this will lead to a new discussion.

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An Expository Essay Format and Style

The main feature of this genre that distinguishes it from others is the provision of all relative information without the author taking any specific point of view.

Recognizing the format and style required for writing an expository essay is essential. Also, it is necessary to present details and various examples clearly and concisely. Use facts to reinforce the content of the text. If you do not understand what style to choose for writing and doubt your decision, remember whether the professor gave you a certain task. Usually, they guide you. If not, then use the well-known APA and MLA standards. If you still do not know how to choose a citation style , then realize that the topic often determines the style of writing. So, for example, if your work concerns the discussion of humanities, it can be foreign languages or history, it is better to use MLA. If the chosen topic concerns expressing ideas in psychology or social sciences, APA is the most appropriate format.

What is a Good Expository Essay Outline Example?

Below is an expository essay template that you can follow.

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It is important to know that the body paragraphs of an expository essay may consist of two or more parts. The outline for expository essay includes the following:

I. Introduction Hook sentence to grab the reader's attention  Background statements Clear, focused thesis statement Body paragraphs II. Main concept 1  Fact 1 and testimony to support the main idea  Fact 2 and testimony to support the main idea  Analysis III. Main concept 2  Fact 1 and testimony to support the main idea  Fact 2 and testimony to support the main idea  Analysis  IV. Main concept 3 Fact 1 and testimony to support the main idea  Fact 2 and testimony to support the main idea  Analysis V. A conclusion Summarize the question of the thesis  Discuss the large significance Reveal unanswered question

To sum up, there are four main kinds of essays, each with its role and task. As for the expository essay, it is needed to transmit information that is based on real facts. To write it correctly, you need to play on contrasts, your strong facts should speak for themselves, and it is equally important to provide commentary analysis. Be sure to take enough time to write an outline of an expository essay. That's how your paper will gain new colors. If you don't have time to write this essay, you can always pay for college papers . This is a great way to get a top quality paper without spending too much time and effort.

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9 Expository Essay Writing Tips To Help You Finish Faster

Expository essay writing tips

Table of Contents

Is there a better way.

Writing is a hard vocation. There are many known and unknown variables that writers need to acknowledge and balance in the writing to ensure the final product has the desired effect on the readers.

Expository essay writing is considered to be the hardest among other essay types. It is because it relies on research and an objective approach to the subject matter. Students in schools and colleges often get stumped when they have to write an expository essay. Since there is always a better way to write, this guide will help writers understand that way and incorporate it into their workflow.

Expository Essay Writing

Expository essays are not hard to define and identify among other types. They are objective in their approach to the subject matter. This is one of the distinguishing hallmarks. Apart from this, the primary motive behind expository writing is to provide unambiguous information to the readers that they can follow in practice. That’s why common types of expository writing include how-to articles and manuals where readers can follow the writing verbatim to achieve a goal.

The structure and formatting of expository essays are the same as that of other essays. They have an introduction to provide the context and thesis statement; the main body that makes the arguments and evidence of the essay; and a conclusion to summarize the discussion for the readers.

When it comes to expository essay writing, research and proofreading are a must because writers cannot produce arguments and proofs through the sheer power of their memories and minds. This is what makes it harder than other essays.

Differences Between Expository And Persuasive Essays

Expository essays are often compared with argumentative or persuasive essays but they are different from each other. A persuasive essay is often charged with subjectivity where a writer defends a single argument based on personal experience or opinion. On the contrary, an expository essay is about providing factual information based on evidence from credible sources. 

The main point of difference between these two types of essays is that one is subjective and opinionated whereas the other is objective and neutral. One carries a single argument throughout the length of the essay whereas the other can have three or more in the main body.

Practical Expository Essay Writing Tips

Many times, teachers assign topics to the students. These are based on what they have taught them and what would help students understand the world better. It is also a practice in schools and colleges where a teacher shares multiple options for the whole class and they can choose one based on their preferences. If that is the case, the first step in writing excellent expository essays is to choose the right topic that can check all the boxes for you.

Whether your instructor assigned a topic or problem to you or you came up with one for your own sake, it is necessary to understand its needs and demands. This will help you get started on the right foot and ensure that your expository essay is on the mark. You can also determine the type of expository essay you have to write to illuminate the subject. So, this is one of the crucial things to remember before you get started.

Many students make the mistake of thinking that a topic is a title. This a common misconception as there are a lot of differences between them. A topic is a broad category of subjects, whereas a title is something more specific and sharp. For instance, a topic can be SUV vehicles, but the title can be characteristics of those SUVs such as engine performance, durability, etc. After choosing the topic, it is necessary to turn it into a catchy title.

Before the internet, it was a vocation on its own to research and gather data from multiple sources. The virtual world has made it easier for us to access and sample works from libraries across the world through online portals. Still, it is necessary to understand the quality and quantity of data collected for expository essay writing. It will directly affect your essay and how it fares in terms of grades. Using multiple, credible sources is the key.

Writing intuitively is the way for fiction writers because it keeps the narrative fresh, even for themselves. But when it comes to expository essay writing, it is important to trace the steps beforehand. This starts with creating a roadmap or an outline for the complete essay. Apart from saving time and writer’s block, this can help writers to determine the level of research and scope of the finished product. Without a roadmap, there are chances of writers losing the path.

An expository essay is about showcasing extensive knowledge and research skills to the readers. The hallmark of this essay type is clear, unambiguous, instruction-like prose. That’s the reason the language and vocabulary of the essay should be pertinent to the problem at hand. There is no need to dabble into flowery prose and phrases, but it should not be flat or bland to bore the readers to death. Reading other expository essays by experts can help students improve their own.

The quality and quantity of references and citations often determine the overall worth of an expository essay. Contrary to narrative and descriptive essays, writers need to rely on credible sources to stake their arguments and postulates. That’s why it is necessary to start by collecting these resources while outlining the essay. This will speed up the process and ensure that writers are on the right track. Anything less and it will be hard for students to start and finish a quality essay.

The distinguishing characteristics of expository essays include a hard-boiled approach toward the facts of the topic. There is no room for subjectivity or personal experience because these are the hallmarks of argumentative essays. Students often get suggestive or opinionated when it comes to writing expository essays. This can harm the outcomes of the essay, either in poor structure and format or the scores from the instructors. The voice and tone should also be in line with the norms of expository writing.

The conclusion is one of the crucial parts of the essay. This is where the readers sign off the essay with key takeaways. These takeaways should be clear and camp up on the main arguments and points made in the body of the essay. There is no need to add new points to the discussion or change the premise of the essay in the end. The conclusion should conclude on a high note to make things memorable for the readers.

What is the structure of an expository essay?

The structure of an expository essay is the same as that of a narrative or an argumentative essay. But experts emphasize organized information in this because the purpose of writing one is to help readers reach a predictable conclusion.

Here are the main sections of an expository essay:

How can I balance the elements in an expository essay?

The elements of an expository essay include an objective approach, unbiased, neutral voice and tone, pieces of evidence for all the arguments, and organized information. Through outlining and researching at the same time, you can balance all the elements. In addition, you can see the integrity of all the elements in the proofreading and editing phase.

Is there a strict word count for school and college essays?

There is no strict word count or rules of length for expository essays. But there is a common norm that advises students to keep the essay around 1200 to 1500 words. In any case, it should not be any less than 1000 words. 

Can I use emotional language in expository essays?

The expository essays are composed of mere facts and supporting evidence. There is no room for writers to show their opinions and comments, even when they add value. The information should be actionable with no subjectivity or bias. So, you cannot use emotional language in expository essays because it will denature it.

What are the differences between expository and descriptive essays?

Expository essays are objective, actionable essays where only factual information is provided to the readers. They are highly structured and come in different types, including classification essays, definition essays, process essays, and so on. Descriptive essays, on the other hand, are the description of subjects under consideration, including a person, a thing, a place, an event, or even an idea.

How can I ensure maximum scores in my essay?

While writing an expository essay, these tips will help you to get maximum scores in your writing:

Striving To Excel In Expository Essay Writing

It is an unending journey to excel in writing. For expository essay writing, students need to learn the art and craft of data gathering, writing, and editing to ensure they get maximum scores in the essay.

In this blog, we have covered 9 of the best and most practical tips for expository essay writing . These include the basics, such as understanding the problem and choosing the right topic, to using multiple and credible sources for expository essay writing. We have also shared answers to some frequently asked questions that will clear the doubts of students about different things.

So, if you were having a hard time getting started with your essay, we hope that these tips would have paved the way to sure success for you!

Courtesy of PerfectEssay

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How to Write an Expository Essay

Last Updated: December 13, 2022 References Approved

This article was co-authored by Tristen Bonacci . Tristen Bonacci is a Licensed English Teacher with more than 20 years of experience. Tristen has taught in both the United States and overseas. She specializes in teaching in a secondary education environment and sharing wisdom with others, no matter the environment. Tristen holds a BA in English Literature from The University of Colorado and an MEd from The University of Phoenix. There are 10 references cited in this article, which can be found at the bottom of the page. wikiHow marks an article as reader-approved once it receives enough positive feedback. In this case, 80% of readers who voted found the article helpful, earning it our reader-approved status. This article has been viewed 558,120 times.

Expository essays are often assigned in academic settings. In an expository essay, you need to consider an idea, investigate the idea, then explain the idea. Some expository essays may include an argument, while others are purely informative. [1] X Trustworthy Source Purdue Online Writing Lab Trusted resource for writing and citation guidelines Go to source While it may seem overwhelming, writing an expository essay is easy if you take it one step at a time.

Sample Essay Conclusion

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Planning Your Essay

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Introducing Your Essay

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Expressing Your Main Points

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Concluding Your Essay

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Before you write an expository essay, take some time to jot down ideas for your essay. Try the clustering method by writing a brief explanation of your subject in a bubble in the center of your page. Then, draw 3 or more lines extending from the circle and jot down idea bubbles that connect to your main theme. Once you have a plan for your expository essay, write out an outline to organize what you’re going to say. Make sure to begin your outline with an engaging introduction sentence. After the introduction sentence, provide some background information and include your thesis statement, which is your main argument. If you’re writing a 5 paragraph essay, you should include 3 body paragraphs after your introduction then a conclusion paragraph that summarizes your main points. However you organize your essay, make sure to include credible sources for important information, like statistics, so your teacher knows that it’s accurate. To learn how to use transitions in your essay, read more from our Writing co-author. Did this summary help you? Yes No

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Expository Essay

Expository Essay About A Person

Betty P.

The Ultimate Guide to Writing an Expository Essay About a Person

Published on: Dec 27, 2022

Last updated on: Jan 24, 2023

Expository Essay About a Person

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Do you have to write an expository essay about a person? Are you feeling overwhelmed because you don't know where to start?

Worry no more!

In this blog post, we will teach you everything you need to know about writing an expository essay about a person.

You will get example essays for you to read and learn from. Plus, you will learn steps and tips on how to write your own expository essay on a person.

So let's dive in! 

What is an Expository Essay?

An expository essay is a type of essay in which you describe and explain something. They are often written to discuss topics in an informative way.

These essays present facts and information instead of personal opinions. In short, expository writing requires evidence-based research.

Moreover, there are four different types of expository essays. These include descriptive essay, compare & contrast essay, process essay, and cause & effect essay.

What is an Expository Essay About a Person?

An expository essay about a person aims to provide an in-depth look at the person’s life, experiences, and accomplishments. It is usually a descriptive essay.

It is important to provide readers with relevant information about the person. You should explain their background, family life, and upbringing. You can also talk about their education, career experiences, and accomplishments.

In addition to providing background information, it is also important to explain why the person is significant. For example, you could discuss how they have made an impact in their field of work or how they have contributed.

However, an expository essay about a person is different from a biography. A biography is a narrative of someone’s life. Whereas, an expository essay about a person requires facts rather than a narrative story.

Now that you know the definition and requirements of this type of essay, let’s look at a few examples.

Expository Essay About a Person Examples

Reading essays written by others is a great way to understand how an essay should be written.

Here are some examples to help you get started:

Expository Essay About a Person Sample PDF

Expository Essay About a Person PDF Example

Expository Essay About Someone You Admire

Expository Essay PDF about Admirable Person

You can check out more expository essay examples on other topics as well. 

So once you've finished reading these examples, try writing your own expository essay.

Read on to find out the steps you need to follow to write a good essay.

How To Write an Expository Essay About a Person

Writing an expository essay about a person can be tricky if you don’t know how to go about it. However, following proper steps and guidelines can make the process easier.

Here are the steps you should follow:

Step 1: Choose a Person

Choose a person who has had a significant impact on your life or in history.

Make sure to choose someone who inspires you and that you can find enough information about them to write your essay.

Furthermore, decide which aspect of a person's life should be the focus of your essay. For example, decide whether you want to discuss their professional life or family background. Also, determine which period of their life should be the central topic of your essay.

Check out other expository essay topics to see what else you could write about.

Step 2: Research Your Topic

Conduct in-depth research to learn more about the person.

You should consult books, articles, and other sources to get information. Make sure that all your sources are reliable and accurate.

Step 3: Structure Your Essay

Once you have gathered enough information, it’s time to structure your essay. Start by making an expository essay outline.

Arrange the facts and evidence you gathered during research in a logical flow. While making an outline, include the main ideas of each paragraph and their supporting evidence.

An expository essay structure includes an introduction, body paragraphs, and a conclusion.

Making an outline will ensure that your essay will be coherent and structured correctly.

Step 4: Write a Compelling Introduction

Introduce the person in your essay in an interesting and engaging way. Be sure to include relevant background information that provides context.

Moreover, your introduction should include a thesis statement . A thesis statement provides an overview of your essay’s main points.

Step 5: Write Body Paragraphs

In your body paragraphs, discuss the aspects of the person’s life that you outlined in your introduction. Each body paragraph begins with a topic sentence, which introduces the main point of the paragraph. 

Provide evidence and examples to support each point. Also, remember to make connections between different points.

You should connect the body paragraphs through transition words. These will help your essay flow naturally.

Step 6: End with a Strong Conclusion

In your conclusion, summarize the main points and ideas of your essay.

More importantly, conclude your essay with a strong closing statement. This should be an opinion or thought-provoking idea about the person and their impact on you or history.

Step 7: Proofread and Edit Your Essay

Read through your essay to check for errors and make sure that the argument is clear. Make sure to use correct grammar and punctuation as well.

You can also take help from a professional expository essay writer to proofread your essay. Having your essay read by a professional will help you to identify any mistakes and improve the quality of your essay.

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Tips for Writing an Expository Essay About a Person

Here are some tips to help you write a successful expository essay about a person:

When writing an expository essay about a person, it is important to choose the right person for your essay.

Consider factors such as their significance, impact on society, or interesting life story. Think about who would make for an intriguing subject for your essay and why.

Make sure to include evidence to support your claims throughout your essay.

Evidence can include facts, quotes, statistics, and other relevant data. Be sure to cite any sources you use in your essay.

Don’t forget to make connections between different points throughout your essay.

Connecting the evidence and arguments in your essay will help to make it more cohesive and well-structured. Use transition words to make these connections.

Remember to maintain an objective tone throughout your essay. Avoid using biased language or making subjective statements.

Your goal should be to give a clear and unbiased overview of the person’s life and impact.

With these tips, you can write a successful expository essay about any person.

To sum it up,

Writing an expository essay about a person can be challenging, but it doesn’t have to be. With the right approach and preparation, you will be able to write an engaging and informative essay.

In this blog, you got essay samples and steps to help you write an expository essay about a person. Follow what you've learned to write an effective essay.

Still having difficulty writing an essay or running out of time? Don't worry, we've got your back!

At MyPerfectWords.com, our experienced expository essay writing service is ready to provide you with professional assistance on any topic. Get in touch today and get your essay done right away from our trusted essay writing service .

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Betty P. (Literature)

Betty is a freelance writer and researcher. She has a Masters in literature and enjoys providing writing services to her clients. Betty is an avid reader and loves learning new things. She has provided writing services to clients from all academic levels and related academic fields.

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How to Write Excellent Expository Essays

Expository Essay Writing Guide for Students and Teachers

In this guide, we will take you through a complete understanding of an expository essay is how to structure an expository essay so you can write one like a pro. You can then explore some expository essay writing examples and writing prompts. Let’s get started.


expository essays | what is an expository essay | How to Write Excellent Expository Essays | literacyideas.com

A significant clue lies in the word itself. Expository writing ‘exposes’ something to the reader.

Though the term is sometimes used to include persuasive writing , a proper expository text does not allow the writer’s personal opinion to intrude into the text.

An expository text aims to explain, inform, or describe a topic logically and straightforwardly.

types of expository essay

There are many different types of expository texts (e.g. encyclopaedias, travel guides, information reports , etc.), but there are also various expository essays.

The most common types of these expository essays are:

Let’s take a quick look at each of these in turn. In the following section, you’ll find a brief description of each expository essay type. Some notable features have been listed, and a suggested expository essay title has been provided for each.

And remember, if you are looking for expository essay topics, check out our essay writing prompts page here .


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This how-to essay often takes the form of a set of instructions. Also known as a procedural text , the process essay has some very specific features that aim to guide the reader on how to do or make something.

If you want to learn more about this type of writing, check out our information-packed article here .

Features of a process essay

Some of the main features of the process essay include:

Suggested Title: How to Create Your Own Website


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expository essays | expository essay types4 | How to Write Excellent Expository Essays | literacyideas.com

The purpose of a cause-and-effect essay is to explore the causal relationships between things. Essays like this often bring the focus back to a single cause. These essays frequently have a historical focus.

As an expository essay, the text should focus on facts rather than assumptions. However, cause-and-effect essays sometimes explore hypothetical situations too.

There are two main ways to structure a cause-and-effect essay.

The Block Structure presents all the causes first. The writer then focuses on the effects of these causes in the second half of the essay.

The Chain Structure presents each cause and then immediately follows with the effects it created.

Suggested Title: Covid-19 Restrictions and the Effects on Family Life

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expository essays | expository essay types5 | How to Write Excellent Expository Essays | literacyideas.com

In this type of essay, the writer first identifies a problem and then explores the topic from various angles to ultimately propose a solution. It has many similarities with the cause-and-effect essay.

While the problem and solution essay can use the block and chain structures as outlined above – substitute cause with problem and effect with a solution – it will also usually work through the following elements:

Suggested Title: What Can Be Done to Prevent Bullying in Schools?


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In this type of essay, students evaluate the similarities and differences between two or more things, ideas, people, etc. Usually, the subjects will belong to the same category.

The compare-and-contrast expository essay can be organized in several different ways. Three of these are outlined below.

In the three structures outlined, it is assumed that two subjects are being compared and contrasted. Of course, the precise number of paragraphs required in the text will depend on the number of points the student wishes to make and the number of subjects being compared and contrasted.

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This type of essay provides a detailed description and definition of a word or phrase. This can be a concrete term such as car or glass or a more abstract concept such as love or fear .

A definition essay comprehensively explains a term’s purpose and meaning. It will frequently contain some or all of the following elements:

Suggested Title: What Is Beauty?


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Similar to a definition essay, a classification essay sorts or organizes things into various groups or categories. This type of essay then explains each group or category in detail.

Classification essays focus on:

Suggested Title: Vacation Destinations


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To help students gain some experience identifying the features of the different expository essay types, gather together a selection of different essays and challenge students to work together in groups to classify each essay according to the criteria above.


TEXT ORGANIZATION Organize your thoughts before writing.

CLARITY Use clear and concise wording. There is no room for banter.

THESIS STATEMENT State position in direct terms.

TOPIC SENTENCE Open each paragraph with a topic sentence.

SUPPORTING DETAIL Support the topic sentence with further explanation and evidence.

LINK End each body paragraph by linking to the next.


PROCESS Tell your audience how to achieve something, such as how to bake a cake.

CAUSE & EFFECT Explore relationships between subjects, such as climate change and its impact.

PROBLEM & SOLUTION Explain how to solve a problem, such as improve physical fitness.

COMPARE & CONTRAST Compare and contrast two or more items, such as life in China life vs life in the United States or Australia.

DEFINITION Provides a detailed definition of a word or phrase such as self-confidence.

CLASSIFICATION Organizes things into categories or groups such as types of music.


While there are many types of expository essays, the basic underlying structure is the same. The Hamburger or 5-Paragraph Essay structure is an excellent scaffold for students to build their articles. To learn more about this essay format, check out our detailed article here .

But let’s take a quick look at the expository essay outline.


This is the top bun of the burger, and here the student introduces the topic of the exposition. This will usually consist of a general statement on the subject, providing an overview of the essay. It may also preview each significant section, indicating what aspects of the subject will be covered in the text. These sections will likely relate to the headings and subheadings identified at the planning stage.

If the introduction is the top bun of the burger, then each body paragraph is a beef patty. Self-contained in some regards, each patty forms an integral part of the whole.


Each of the body paragraphs deals with one idea or piece of information. For more complex topics, these may be grouped under a common heading, and the number of paragraphs will depend on the complexity of the topic. For example, an expository text on wolves may include a series of paragraphs under headings such as habitat, breeding habits, what they eat, etc.

Each paragraph should open with a topic sentence indicating to the reader what the paragraph is about. The following sentences should further illuminate this main idea through discussion and/or explanation. Encourage students to use evidence and examples here, whether statistical or anecdotal. Remind students to keep things factual – this is not an editorial piece for a newspaper!


“I hate mosquitoes because they annoy me while I am outside. For example, whenever we have barbeques, they want to swarm all around the food. Also, when I go fishing with my Dad, we always have to wear bug spray. The bug spray always stinks to high heaven! Then, if you do not want to use bug spray, the only other way to get them to leave you alone is to wear long sleeves. Yet, who wants to wear long sleeves when it is hot outside? Nothing ruins your day like bloodsucking mosquitoes” – This paragraph uses a first-person perspective to identify a problem. (mosquitoes.)


Generally, the conclusion of any essay should neatly close the circle by summarizing the information through restating the main ideas in a unique way. This bottom bun of the hamburger essay is no different. Remind students that a proper expository essay is objective in nature and to beware of injecting their opinion or bias into the piece. The purpose here is to inform rather than persuade.


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Expository writing is usually not the place for flowery flourishes of figurative imagery! Students should be encouraged to select a straightforward language that is easy for the reader to understand. After all, the aim here is to inform and explain, and this is best achieved with explicit language.

As we’ve seen, there are several variations of the expository essay, but the following are the most common features that students must include.

The title should be functional. It should instantly inform the reader what they will learn about in the text. This is not the place for opaque poetry!

A table of contents in long essays will help the reader locate helpful information quickly. Usually, the page numbers found here will be linked to headings and subheadings to be found in the text.


These assist the reader in finding information by summarizing the content in their wording.

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Usually listed in alphabetical order, the glossary defines unusual or topic-specific vocabulary and is sometimes accompanied by pictures, illustrations etc.

The index allows the reader to identify where to find specific information in longer texts. An index is much more detailed than a table of contents.


Expository essays sometimes support the text with visuals, such as:

These can be used to present a central idea or concept within the text and are often accompanied by a caption explaining what the image shows. Photographs can offer a broad overview or a close-up of essential details.

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Diagrams are a great way to convey complex information quickly. They should be labelled clearly to ensure the reader knows what they are looking at.

These are extremely useful for showing data and statistics in an easy-to-read manner. They should be labelled clearly and correspond to the information in the nearby text.

Maps may be used to explain where something is, or was, located. 

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Teaching Resources

Use our resources and tools to improve your student’s writing skills through proven teaching strategies.

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One of the best ways to understand the different features of expository essays is to see them in action. The sample essay below is a definition essay, but it shares many of its features with other expository essays.

expository essays | expository essay example | How to Write Excellent Expository Essays | literacyideas.com


expository essays | How to Write Excellent Expository Essays | literacyideas.com


Your students will need a good understanding of the basic features of expository writing and a firm grasp of the hamburger essay structure itself. As with any writing genre , the prewriting stages are essential too. This is particularly true for expository writing. 

As this genre of writing is designed primarily to inform the reader, sound research and note-taking are essential for your students to produce a well-written text. Expository writing offers excellent opportunities for students to develop these critical skills, skills that will be very useful to them as they continue in their education. 

Likewise, the redrafting and editing of their texts are very important. Facts and statistics should be checked and rechecked, and the language is edited tightly to ensure that language is clear and concise throughout. 

The ability to produce a well-written expository essay is a highly beneficial skill for a student to possess as they move through life. It encourages good organizational skills and enriches students’ understanding of the world around them. 

And, while we grade their efforts, we might even learn a thing or two ourselves!


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How to Start an Essay with Strong Hooks and Leads

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How to write a perfect 5 Paragraph Essay

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Top 5 Essay Writing Tips

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Top 5 Expository Essay Writing Tips

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Top Research strategies for Students

The content for this page has been written by Shane Mac Donnchaidh.  A former principal of an international school and English university lecturer with 15 years of teaching and administration experience. Shane’s latest Book, The Complete Guide to Nonfiction Writing , can be found here.  Editing and support for this article have been provided by the literacyideas team.

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Tips and Examples for Writing Thesis Statements

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This resource provides tips for creating a thesis statement and examples of different types of thesis statements.

Tips for Writing Your Thesis Statement

1. Determine what kind of paper you are writing:

If you are writing a text that does not fall under these three categories (e.g., a narrative), a thesis statement somewhere in the first paragraph could still be helpful to your reader.

2. Your thesis statement should be specific—it should cover only what you will discuss in your paper and should be supported with specific evidence.

3. The thesis statement usually appears at the end of the first paragraph of a paper.

4. Your topic may change as you write, so you may need to revise your thesis statement to reflect exactly what you have discussed in the paper.

Thesis Statement Examples

Example of an analytical thesis statement:

The paper that follows should:

Example of an expository (explanatory) thesis statement:

Example of an argumentative thesis statement:


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  1. How to Write an Expository Essay

    The structure of your expository essay will vary according to the scope of your assignment and the demands of your topic. It's worthwhile to plan out your structure before you start, using an essay outline. A common structure for a short expository essay consists of five paragraphs: An introduction, three body paragraphs, and a conclusion.

  2. How to Write an Expository Essay in 5 Steps

    The main types of expository essays are: 1. Cause and effect essay: This essay type requires the writer to explain why something occurred and what happened as a result. 2. Compare and contrast essay: For a comparison essay, the writer takes two subjects or ideas and analyzes their similarities and differences. 3.

  3. Expository Essays

    The expository essay is a genre of essay that requires the student to investigate an idea, evaluate evidence, expound on the idea, and set forth an argument concerning that idea in a clear and concise manner. This can be accomplished through comparison and contrast, definition, example, the analysis of cause and effect, etc.

  4. Expository Essay Guide With Definition & Examples

    An expository essay is an essay that communicates factual information. Broadly, this type of writing is known as expository writing. Expository essays rely on different structures to communicate their positions, like compare and contrast, process essays, and analyzing cause and effect. Expository writing is one of the four main types of writing ...

  5. How to Write an Expository Essay: Topics, Outline, Examples

    Since expository writing may take various forms, understanding the different sorts of essays will help you pick a topic and organize the essay's general trajectory and framework. Process Essays - In a typical process essay, the introduction presents what you will learn, the body paragraphs offer step-by-step instructions, and the conclusion ...

  6. How to Write an Expository Essay

    Make sure that it is not making any arguments or persuasive for one side of an issue. 4. Create an Outline. The easiest way to plan an interesting expository essay is by using an outline. When writing an expository essay, the main points of your argument should be clear in both the introduction and conclusion.

  7. Expository Essay Examples For All Academic Levels

    The typical 5 paragraph essay consists of 1 introduction, 3 body, and 1 conclusion paragraph. Below we have given an expository essay structure example to help you learn how to structure an expository essay. Take help from it and structure your essay properly. Expository Essay Structure Example.

  8. Expository Essay Examples

    When writing an expository essay, you need to show the deeper side of your chosen subject. Check out our expository essay samples to better understand the process of writing one yourself. Experts in writing can help you write better! Check out this resource to get answers to academic writing questions, learn how to write better.

  9. What is an Expository Essay?

    The official definition of the term "expository" is "to explain or describe something.". Therefore, expository writing is a technique used to explain something or explore a particular topic with facts and data. Therefore, an expository essay is any type of essay that takes a topic or idea, investigates and analyzes it in detail, and ...

  10. 200 Exclusive Expository Essay Topics That Will Help You

    As expository essay writing is a vast discipline with numerous essay topics and ideas, it is really tough to pick one specific topic. So, in order to help you to choose a good expository essay topic, here, we have listed a few important tips to keep in mind during the essay topic selection. The topic should match your interest.

  11. How to Write an Expository Essay Outline [Structure]

    An expository essay outline includes an introduction, body paragraphs, and a conclusion. Your outline should show which three main arguments you want to discuss in each paragraph. Usually, the introductory part of any essay is similar to each other. If, even on this part, the idea of writing an outline for an expository essay scares you, or if ...

  12. 9 Expository Essay Writing Tips To Help You Finish Faster

    For expository essay writing, students need to learn the art and craft of data gathering, writing, and editing to ensure they get maximum scores in the essay. In this blog, we have covered 9 of the best and most practical tips for expository essay writing. These include the basics, such as understanding the problem and choosing the right topic ...

  13. 110 Excellent Expository Essay Topics for Students

    Social Problems Expository Essay Topics. Social Psychology: Understanding Social Problems and Improving Social Situation. Unemployment as a Social Problem in Pakistan. Sociological Imagination and Problems of University Students in African Countries. The Social Media Impact, Mental Health Problems And Access To Weapons As The Main Reasons For ...

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    An expository essay asks for a critical explanation of a specific idea, theory, or topic. Our expert tips can help you write a well-structured and informative piece. ... Answering those questions can help you get started on your expository essay and build a thesis, which you can then modify and adjust as you get deeper into your essay writing ...

  15. 4 Easy Ways to Write an Expository Essay

    Write a brief explanation of the subject of your expository essay on the center of a piece of paper and circle it. Then draw three or more lines extending from the circle. Write a corresponding idea at the end of each of these lines. Continue developing your cluster until you have explored as many connections as you can.

  16. Writing an Expository Essay About a Person: A Guide

    Here are some tips to help you write a successful expository essay about a person: Choosing a Person to Write About; When writing an expository essay about a person, it is important to choose the right person for your essay. Consider factors such as their significance, impact on society, or interesting life story. Think about who would make for ...

  17. Expository Writing: Definition and Examples

    Expository writing, as its name implies, is writing that exposes facts. In other words, it's writing that explains and educates its readers, rather than entertaining or attempting to persuade them. When you read a scholarly article, a textbook page, a news report, or an instructional guide, you're reading expository writing. Strike the ...

  18. How to write Excellent Expository Essays

    A complete guide on writing excellent expository essays, including expository prompts and the expository essay outline for teachers and students. ... A table of contents in long essays will help the reader locate helpful information quickly. Usually, the page numbers found here will be linked to headings and subheadings to be found in the text. ...

  19. PDF Planning An Expository Essay

    handouts on the Critical and Persuasive Essays to see which one is a better match for your writing purpose. When writing any paper, you will most likely have to follow these six steps. This handout takes you through all six steps in the process of writing an Expository Essay. Step 1. Organizing your Thoughts (Brainstorming) Step 2.

  20. Creating a Thesis Statement, Thesis Statement Tips

    Tips for Writing Your Thesis Statement. 1. Determine what kind of paper you are writing: An analytical paper breaks down an issue or an idea into its component parts, evaluates the issue or idea, and presents this breakdown and evaluation to the audience.; An expository (explanatory) paper explains something to the audience.; An argumentative paper makes a claim about a topic and justifies ...


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