How to Write Expository Essays

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Are you ready to write your next essay, and you want to make sure that you’re doing it correctly? What is an expository writing? If you’ve been assigned an expository essay, you’re in the right place. We’re going to talk about how to write an expository essay as well as the different aspects of this essay. We’re actually going to look at each of the various sections of your essay.

Once we’ve gone through how to write an expository essay step by step, we’re even going to explain what they are, some general tips you definitely need to know, and even some sample expository essay topics. That way, you’re going to be more than happy with the result that you have available. Plus, you’re going to be able to get a better grade from your class with proper expository composition.

What is an Expository Essay?

What is an Expository Essay?

What is an Expository Essay?

First, let’s start from the top, just what is an expository essay? This type of essay is designed to help you explore a specific idea. From there, you’re going to approach the essay in one of several different ways. You can actually use compare and contrast, definitions, examples, or analyze cause and effect in your essay.

The important thing is to evaluate the information you get from your teacher and make sure that you are following the right process. In most cases, you’ll be able to use your expository essay in your own way to make sure that you are investigating your idea in the right direction. We’ll dive into the features of an expository essay next.

How to Write an Expository Essay

How to Write an Expository Essay

Let’s take a look at how you’re going to write an expository essay. We’re going to start by looking at how you’re going to prepare for your essay (later, we’ll talk about the primary and general tips you need to think about). So, what do you need to know in order to write your essay correctly? You’re definitely going to need to know more about the types of essays in this category.

Create a thesis. A thesis is the main point of your essay, so you want to make sure that it’s going to be a strong point. It needs to be something that you can discuss thoroughly over the course of the essay, but not something that will be too broad or too narrow to fit well within your word count.

Create an outline. Having an overview is going to make it a whole lot easier for you to write up the rest of your essay. Start your outline by creating a thesis statement or the main point of your essay. Then, lay out each body paragraph with a single central point and an idea of how you’re going to support it.

Look for sources. In this type of essay, you’re generally going to need sources and information to back up what you’re saying. Make sure you look for references before you actually need them. Once you’ve created an outline, it’s a good idea to look for sources that help back up your points.

Choose a topic you know well. Absent that, choose a topic that you’re willing to spend a lot of time learning about and researching. You need to be able to fully explain the topic that you’ve chosen so that the reader feels like you’re an expert, and they’re going to learn from you. This will help you with how to write a hook for an expository essay.

How to Start an Expository Essay Introduction

How to Start an Expository Essay Introduction

How to Start an Expository Essay Introduction

One of the most essential parts of your expository essay is going to be the introduction. You want to make sure that you have a strong intro that’s going to draw your reader into the rest of your essay. You want to make sure that you are introducing your point and that you’re leading into it in the right way with these characteristics of expository writing.

State your thesis. The thesis must be stated right in the introduction, but it shouldn’t be the first line. Instead, put the thesis in the last sentence before you get to the body of the essay. This is where you’re going to express what the ultimate point of your essay is.

Keep it focused. Remember, this is a place to state your thesis and get out. You are not supposed to present a lot of information here. The introduction should be only a few sentences, no more than four, and it should quickly and concisely inform the reader of what you’re going to explain throughout the rest of the essay.

Keep the point in mind. What type of expository essay are you writing? You should know and stick to this when you’re creating the introduction. If you’re writing a compare and contrast essay, don’t get sucked into writing an introduction that’s better for a definition essay instead.

Start broad. You’ll generally want to start with a slightly broad idea that draws the reader in and gets them interested in reading more about your topic. Keep in mind that you want to start with something related to the topic that you’re going to be diving deeper into, however. Don’t start on a completely different point.

What to Include in the Body of an Expository Essay

What to Include in the Body of an Expository Essay

What to Include in the Body of an Expository Essay

When it comes to the body of your essay, you’re looking at all of the content. This is where you’re going to explain the main points of what you want to talk about. It’s where you’re going to delve into the idea or start evaluating the contrary evidence you’ve found or where you’re going to put out an argument. You’ll also need to set out a thesis. So, let’s dive into this a little bit more.

One point per paragraph. Remember that you need to focus your essay on specific points. Each paragraph should be one supporting point or one aspect that you need to explain, but no more. This will keep your essay concise and easier to read. It also helps to get your point across more easily.

Analyze the information. One of the best things you can do in the body of your essay is to analyze what you’re talking about. Don’t just present facts and leave them alone. Actually, break down the facts that you’re finding and how they apply to the thesis or the main point of your essay.

Relate back to the thesis. Make sure that each point you’re making is enhancing the point that you’re trying to make. You want to make sure that while they’re reading your essay, your reader understands why you’re making each of the points that you are and why you’re not saying other things.

Don’t get sidetracked. It can be easy to get distracted when you’re writing an essay and start talking about issues that aren’t important to the main point. Make sure that every piece of your essay is relating back to the main point and that they each make sense with what you’re saying.

How to Write a Great Conclusion for an Expository Essay

How to Write a Great Conclusion for an Expository Essay

How to Write a Great Conclusion for an Expository Essay

The conclusion is definitely the most essential part of the entire thing. You really need to make sure that you wrap everything up well and that you’re coming to a proper conclusion. After all, you want to make sure that you are leaving your reader with the impression that you’re looking for. By the time they get to the end, you want to make sure that they agree with you or at least know what your point was.

Overview of the essay. Use this paragraph to give a very brief summary of what you’ve discussed in the rest of the essay. You want to make sure that if someone were to read only this paragraph, they would have a synopsis of what you’ve said throughout the essay. Make sure to restate your thesis and back it up with facts.

Don’t present new information. New information in the conclusion only confuses the reader. Instead, make sure that you are only summarizing the information that you’ve already discussed and that you’re wrapping it all up in a way that’s easy for the reader to understand.

Give an idea toward the future. If your essay lends itself to making recommendations for the future or making proclamations of some type, then go ahead and do it. You want to make sure that you are defining exactly what you want your reader to do once they’ve finished reading your essay or what you want them to think.

How to Cite Sources for an Expository Essay

How to Cite Sources for an Expository Essay

How to Cite Sources for an Expository Essay

Sources are generally going to be quite crucial for an expository essay. You’re going to need to explain the point that you’re trying to make, and you absolutely need to make sure that you are backing up everything you say. So, just how are you going to make sure that you’re citing your sources the right way? You’ll want to follow these necessary steps to make sure you’re doing it right.

Use the proper citation method. Take a look at the citation method that your teacher has requested or recommended. You want to make sure that you’re using that format and that format only. You could end up losing points on your essay for using the wrong format.

Research citation methods. If you’re not positive about how to use a specific citation method, make sure you look it up online or use a citation generator such as EasyBib.com. These will let you plug in all of your information and get a citation back that you can use in your references section and for in-text citations.

Cite everything you use. If you use a direct quote, statistics, or general idea from another source, it’s a good idea to cite that source. This is going to lend more credibility to your essay, and it’s also going to make it less likely that your teacher will accuse you of plagiarism.

Other Expository Essay Tips and Best Practices

Other Expository Essay Tips and Best Practices

Other Expository Essay Tips and Best Practices

We’re almost done, but right here, we’re going to talk about some of the essential expository essay tips that you need to know to write your essay correctly. We’re going to talk about some of the simple things you can apply to any essay to make sure that you’re going to get a good start and a better grade. What do you really need to know?

Use the third person. You are not writing a firsthand account, and you are not writing about a specific memory of your own. Rather, you’re writing a well-researched essay. That means you should be using the third person as you present all of your information. Avoid using words like ‘I,’ ‘me,’ ‘you,’ or ‘my.’ These words convey first or second person and could take away from the formality of your work.

Know the type of essay you’re creating. Just because it’s an expository essay doesn’t mean that it’s entirely the same. There are different types of these essays that you should think about, and each has slightly different rules.

Definition essay. This type of essay is meant to define something. So, you would explain what a specific word or phrase or concept means. This could be something physical or concrete, or it could be something abstract, but it should be about the dictionary definition and any associations.

Classification essay. This type of essay is about discussing a broad category and the underlying subcategories that go along with it. In this type of essay, you’re going to discuss each of these subcategories to get a better understanding of the subject as a whole.

Compare and contrast essay. This is going to be just like what it sounds like. You’re going to talk about two or more objects, people, or places and discuss what the similarities and differences are. You want to explain how they’re similar and how they’re not so that an outsider could understand.

Cause and effect essay. With this type of essay, you’re going to talk about how two or more things actually interact with one another and how they may or may not be dependent upon one another. That means discussing what causes an event and what happens as a result.

How to essay. In this final version of the expository essay, you’re going to talk about exactly how to get something done. It’s procedural or similar to a small instruction manual telling someone how to accomplish a specific goal.

Example Expository Essay Prompts and Topics

Example Expository Essay Prompts and Topics

Example Expository Essay Prompts and Topics

What if you know how to write the essay, but you’re still not really sure what you should write about? Well, here are a few great expository essays prompts and topics that you can take a look at. You’ll be able to make a good impression with each of these, and you might be able to tweak them in order to fit some of the different categories or topics that your teacher has given you.

1. Explain why X person is a good leader.

2. Is the death penalty an ethical procedure?

3. Why is fast-food harmful?

4. Analyze the role of the secondary character in Macbeth.

5. Describe the invention of gunpowder.

3 Other Resources to Find Example Expository Essays

3 Other Resources to Find Example Expository Essays

The final thing we’re going to leave you with is a few resources that you can use to find expository essay examples. These examples are going to make it a whole lot easier for you to see what and how you should be writing. After all, you want to make sure that you’re writing correctly, and if you’re not sure what that looks like, it’s going to be difficult. Check out these sources to find out more.

1. Literary Devices. On this website you’re going to get some information about what an expository essay is and a little more definition of the different types of essays that fall under this category. Then, you’ll get a few examples from some well known books and writings. That way, you can get an idea of different styles of expository writing at the same time.

2. AcademicHelp.net. With this website, you’re going to get several different expository essay samples, which will help you figure out just how you’re going to write these types of work. You’ll be able to see how quality essays are written using sample topics. Plus, you’re going to get a little bit more information about these types of essays and topics you could use.

3. Homework Lab. Here you’re going to see a few simple expository essay samples that are going to give you a good idea of how to start out your essay. They aren’t complete essays, but you’re definitely going to have enough information that you can start working on your own and hopefully see just what your teacher is looking for (or a better idea at least).

Hopefully, each of these tips and tricks is going to make it easier for you to create a high-quality expository essay for your course. Whether you’ve never written one before or you just want to make sure you’re on a better track this time, the topic ideas, examples, and definitely the tips we’ve mentioned are going to set you up for an even better result.

Did you enjoy this post? Then you’ll love the other posts related to writing essays. Check them out below:

> How to Write Descriptive Essays

> How to Write Persuasive Essays

> How to Write Narrative Essays

Professor Conquer
Professor Conquer

Professor Conquer started Conquer Your Exam in 2018 to help students feel more confident and better prepared for their tough tests. Prof excelled in high school, graduating top of his class and receiving admissions into several Ivy League and top 15 schools. He has helped many students through the years tutoring and mentoring K-12, consulting seniors through the college admissions process, and writing extensive how-to guides for school.

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