Expository Essay

The expository essay is one of the most iconic types of essays as the one has to know how to successfully write such type of work to understand techniques required for more complicated ones, such as research papers. The expository essay is usually referred to as the accomplishment of a simple goal of establishing an idea in a coherent piece of writing. Development of the thinking process and creation of referral links to specific arguments, linking them to evidence, is what is usually expected from students who write an expository essay. Hence, learning how to successfully complete such a task is important to advance academically as well as evolve as a writer.

General Rules

The expository essay is assigned in an academic setting mostly. A student is required to consider an idea, examine it, expound on it, and make a conclusive judgment. However, the decision made should be concise and clear. Employ the following aspects to have a clear and concise view: definition, example, and the study of cause and the effect. As a fact, this genre of essay structure is a life skill, because, most careers use it. Expository essays are usually made up of five paragraphs. Hence, like other genres, the introductory section must contain the thesis statement. Nevertheless, the other parts offer details which support the thesis. Also, restate the main ideas in the concluding paragraph. Consequently, writing an expository essay calls for adhering to the following measures: plan the theme, introduce it, express the main points, and conclude the article.


Planning the essay is a crucial part of writing an expository piece. Firstly, define the purpose of writing. Have an apparent reason for writing the article and what to do with it once completed. Secondly, in case it is an assignment, carefully read the provided guidelines. The next step is to consider the audience. For example, if the essay is a class assignment, observe your instructor’s expectations for the paper. Put into consideration the expectations and needs of your readers before writing. Finally, generate ideas for the article. To sufficiently achieve this, write down all the thoughts, free write, try clustering, and end up with questioning.

Expository Essay

How to Start Writing an Expository Essay

Before putting everything on the paper and turning it in, the one should consider writing a draft. Writing first thoughts is crucial when it comes to the establishment of a coherent piece of writing. In the majority of cases, each paper requires various revisions before the one can call it “final draft.” Hence, there are many useful techniques that can help the writer to find the way to establish the roadmap that will be called the outline of the essay and than putting everything together in the perfect writing masterpiece.

Free Writing

List all the ideas that you have thought of and go through it. Group the ideas that are similar together. Then, start free writing. Firstly, write anything that comes to mind without editing, for a minimum of ten minutes. Secondly, once through, review your paper and highlight what is most useful for the article. Apparently, you may repeat this activity using the highlighted passages as a starting point. Also, this exercise can be repeated severally to continue developing and refining ideas. Additionally, you may employ clustering technique. Write a short explanation about the topic on a paper and circle it.  Moreover, draw lines extending from the circle. Write a related idea towards the end of each line. Develop this cluster until you have satisfactory ideas.


Another alternative is to use questioning. On a paper, write out “What? Who? Why? When? Where? How?” (Purdue OWL). To each question, provide as many details as possible. Then, try to outline what you are willing to write. Find credible sources. Evaluating the source for credibility purposes before using them is crucial. Identify the author and his qualifications. Confirm if there are citations to ensure the author has well researched the topic. Check if there is any bias to establish wether or not the author has given an objective and a well-reasoned account of the matter. Finally, create a tentative thesis. As a fact, effectual thesis statements show the focus of a paper and indicate an arguable claim. It should be one sentence. Ensure it is concise, clear and well-defined. Moreover, since it is the author’s main point, carefully narrow it to explain where the essay heads.

Introduction of the Expository Essay

The second part of writing an expository essay is to write an introduction. Start the paper with an excellent opening statement, which is direct to the topic (Purdue OWL). Hence, an excellent introduction will easily capture the reader’s attention. It should identify the critical idea of the paper and act as a preview. Present context to guide readers through the article. For instance, think about what they will need to know to comprehend the essay. However, in a book scenario, provide the name of the author, the work, and a synopsis. Nevertheless, it is important to note that the context needs to lead to the thesis statement.

Main Body of the Expository Essay

After writing the introduction of your expository essay, express your points in paragraphs. They make the body of the essay (Purdue OWL). In most cases, the number of sections is five, which refers to three body paragraphs. Evidence in all three should support the thesis. Each body paragraph should have new supporting evidence. The facts obtained from credible sources should be in the form of summaries, cited quotes or paraphrased ideas. Analyze the supporting evidence after elaboration. Explain to the reader the importance of the facts and how they relate to the thesis, then transition to the next paragraph. It is essential to note that the sections should connect, make use of transition words for this purpose. Some creativity is allowed in this genre of writing. Do not get caught on the prescribed nature of expository writing. Make sure not to exaggerate the creative thought.

Concluding the Expository Essay

Concluding the essay is the last step of expository essay writing. Rephrase and restate the thesis statement in the first paragraph of the conclusion (Purdue OWL). However, avoid introducing new information. Remember, this last paragraph is your final chance to offer a lasting impression on the readers. The next thing to do is to review and summarize your main ideas. For example, revisit the most compelling facts and elaborate on how they support the main point. Last but not least, present the final thought or call to action. Make a definitive statement about the topic in the concluding sentence. You can ask a new question or offer a solution to the issue. Finally, show how the subject influences the reader, indicate how it applies to a broader observation or theme, call the reader to more exploration on the topic or call to action.

Wrap Up

Therefore, during writing an expository essay, a student is required to consider an idea, examine it, expound on it, and make a conclusive judgment. The decision made should be concise and clear. Expository essays are usually made up of five paragraphs. Like other genres, the introductory section must contain the thesis statement. The other parts offer details which support the thesis due to essay structure standards. To have a compelling expository essay, one should, plan the theme, introduce the topic, express the main points in detail and finally conclude the article in a manner that leaves the reader with an excellent impression. Also, people must understand how to write a thesis statement.

Work Cited

Purdue OWL. “Introductions, Body Paragraphs, and Conclusions for an Expository/Persuasive Essay.” 2019, https://learning.hccs.edu/faculty/judy.bouvier/purdue-owl-introductions-body-paragraphs-and-conclusions-for-an-expository-persuasive-essay.

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