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

Published on July 14, 2020 by Jack Caulfield . Revised on July 23, 2023.

“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 .

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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, other interesting articles, 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.

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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.

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.

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expository research essay example

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.

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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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5 Expository Essay Examples (Full Text with Citations)

An expository essay attempts to explain a topic in-depth, demonstrating expert knowledge and understanding.

Unlike an argumentative essay, it aims to remain objective and neutral throughout.

It generally follows this essay format:

expository essay format and structure template

Below are five expository essays to demonstrate style and tone.

Expository Essay Examples

#1 impacts of technology on education.

955 words | 4 Pages | 15 References

impact of technology on education essay

Thesis Statement: “The integration of technology in education represents a complex and critical area of study crucial for understanding and shaping the future of educational practices.”

#2 Impacts of Globalization on Education

1450 words | 5 Pages | 9 References

impacts of globalization on education essay

Thesis Statement: “This essay examines the profound and multifaceted effects of globalization on education, exploring how technological advancements and policy reforms have transformed access to, delivery of, and perceptions of education.”

#3 The Role of Emotional Intelligence in Interpersonal Relationships

1211 Words | 5 Pages | 22 References

emotional intelligence essay

Thesis Statement: “The central thesis is that EI, defined as the ability to perceive, understand, and manage emotions, is a crucial determinant of success and well-being.”

#4 The Future of Renewable Energy Sources and Their Impact

870 words | 4 Pages | 20 References

renewable energy essay

Thesis Statement: “The essay posits that although renewable energy sources hold immense promise for a sustainable future, their full integration into the global energy grid presents significant challenges that must be addressed through technological innovation, economic investment, and policy initiatives.”

#5 The Psychology Behind Consumer Behavior

1053 words | 4 Pages | 17 References

consumer behavior essay

Thesis Statement: “The thesis of this essay is that consumer behavior is not merely a product of rational decision-making; it is deeply rooted in psychological processes, both conscious and subconscious, that drive consumers’ choices and actions.”

How to Write an Expository Essay

expository essay definition and features, explained below

Unlike argumentative or persuasive essays, expository essays do not aim to convince the reader of a particular point of view.

Instead, they focus on providing a balanced and thorough explanation of a subject.

Key characteristics of an expository essay include:

  • Clarity and Conciseness
  • Structured Organization (Introduction, Body, Conclusion)
  • Objective Tone
  • Evidence-Based (Cite academic sources in every body paragraph)
  • Objective thesis statement (see below)
  • Informative purpose (Not argumentative)

You can follow my expository essay templates with AI prompts to help guide you through the expository essay writing process:

Expository Essay Paragraph Guide

How to write a Thesis Statement for an Expository Essay

An expository thesis statement doesn’t make an argument or try to persuade. It uses ‘is’ rather than ‘ought’ statements.

Take these comparisons  below. Note how the expository thesis statements don’t prosecute an argument or attempt to persuade, while the argumentative thesis statements clearly take a side on an issue:

💡 AI Prompt for Generating Sample Expository Thesis Statements An expository essay’s thesis statement should be objective rather than argumentative. Write me five broad expository thesis statement ideas on the topic “[TOPIC]”.

Go Deeper: 101 Thesis Statement Examples

Differences Between Expository and Argumentative Essays

Expository and argumentative essays are both common writing styles in academic and professional contexts, but they serve different purposes and follow different structures.

Here are the key differences between them:

  • Expository Essay : The primary purpose is to explain, describe, or inform about a topic. It focuses on clarifying a subject or process, providing understanding and insight.
  • Argumentative Essay : The goal is to persuade the reader to accept a particular point of view or to take a specific action. It’s about presenting a stance and supporting it with evidence and logic.
  • Expository Essay : It maintains a neutral and objective tone. The writer presents information factually and impartially, without expressing personal opinions or biases.
  • Argumentative Essay : It often adopts a more assertive, persuasive, and subjective tone. The writer takes a clear position and argues in favor of it, using persuasive language.
  • Expository Essay : The reader is expected to gain knowledge, understand a process, or become informed about a topic. There’s no expectation for the reader to agree or disagree.
  • Argumentative Essay : The reader is encouraged to consider the writer’s viewpoint, evaluate arguments, and possibly be persuaded to adopt a new perspective or take action.

Go Deeper: Expository vs Argumentative Essays

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Expository Essay Template

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Expository Essays

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The Modes of Discourse—Exposition, Description, Narration, Argumentation (EDNA)—are common paper assignments you may encounter in your writing classes. Although these genres have been criticized by some composition scholars, the Purdue OWL recognizes the wide spread use of these approaches and students’ need to understand and produce them.

What is an expository essay?

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.

Please note : This genre is commonly assigned as a tool for classroom evaluation and is often found in various exam formats.

The structure of the expository essay is held together by the following.

  • A clear, concise, and defined thesis statement that occurs in the first paragraph of the essay.

It is essential that this thesis statement be appropriately narrowed to follow the guidelines set forth in the assignment. If the student does not master this portion of the essay, it will be quite difficult to compose an effective or persuasive essay.

  • Clear and logical transitions between the introduction, body, and conclusion.

Transitions are the mortar that holds the foundation of the essay together. Without logical progression of thought, the reader is unable to follow the essay’s argument, and the structure will collapse.

  • Body paragraphs that include evidential support.

Each paragraph should be limited to the exposition of one general idea. This will allow for clarity and direction throughout the essay. What is more, such conciseness creates an ease of readability for one’s audience. It is important to note that each paragraph in the body of the essay must have some logical connection to the thesis statement in the opening paragraph.

  • Evidential support (whether factual, logical, statistical, or anecdotal).

Often times, students are required to write expository essays with little or no preparation; therefore, such essays do not typically allow for a great deal of statistical or factual evidence.

  • A bit of creativity!

Though creativity and artfulness are not always associated with essay writing, it is an art form nonetheless. Try not to get stuck on the formulaic nature of expository writing at the expense of writing something interesting. Remember, though you may not be crafting the next great novel, you are attempting to leave a lasting impression on the people evaluating your essay.

  • A conclusion that does not simply restate the thesis, but readdresses it in light of the evidence provided.

It is at this point of the essay that students will inevitably begin to struggle. This is the portion of the essay that will leave the most immediate impression on the mind of the reader. Therefore, it must be effective and logical. Do not introduce any new information into the conclusion; rather, synthesize and come to a conclusion concerning the information presented in the body of the essay.

A complete argument

Perhaps it is helpful to think of an essay in terms of a conversation or debate with a classmate. If I were to discuss the cause of the Great Depression and its current effect on those who lived through the tumultuous time, there would be a beginning, middle, and end to the conversation. In fact, if I were to end the exposition in the middle of my second point, questions would arise concerning the current effects on those who lived through the Depression. Therefore, the expository essay must be complete, and logically so, leaving no doubt as to its intent or argument.

The five-paragraph Essay

A common method for writing an expository essay is the five-paragraph approach. This is, however, by no means the only formula for writing such essays. If it sounds straightforward, that is because it is; in fact, the method consists of:

  • an introductory paragraph
  • three evidentiary body paragraphs
  • a conclusion

expository research essay example

Quick and Easy Guide on How to Write an Expository Essay

expository research essay example

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

  • School Dress Codes: A Physical And Mental Stress
  • The Idea Of Free Higher Education
  • The Issue With High School Massacres
  • The Importance of College Success
  • STEM versus STEAM educational approaches
  • How literate people differ from uneducated ones
  • The advantages of studying foreign languages.
  • What changes should be made to the educational system in your nation?
  • Does 'educated' have the same connotation as 'smart'?
  • Can someone receive a top-notch education at home?

Expository Essay Topics About Mental Health

  • Is it true that music impacts our mental and physical health?
  • Are acts of heroism and patriotic acts typical in terms of mental health?
  • Is there a need to increase mental health benefits under health insurance?
  • Comparatively speaking, does the American mental health system lag behind other nations?
  • Effects of mental health law
  • The connection between antisocial personality disorder and parenting methods
  • Learning-disabled kids can benefit greatly from school programs.
  • How social anxiety is influenced by digital communication
  • Patients with mental illness receiving physical care
  • Issues with mental health and grief therapy

Expository Essay Topics About Society

  • Advertisements seen via the lens of social science.
  • Prejudices towards African Americans.
  • The social implications of feminism.
  • Global refugee crisis.
  • Constructing a wall to separate Mexico and the US.
  • The psychology of implicit racial prejudice and discrimination
  • The effects of racism at work on the economy and mind.
  • Gender roles in society: shifting perspectives and effects on families.
  • Who was responsible for the cost of the War on Terror?
  • Is peace education receiving enough attention from society?

Expository Essay Topics About Politics

  • The connection between politics and religion
  • What are the pros and drawbacks of democracy?
  • How powerful are NGOs?
  • What are the UN's primary responsibilities?
  • What are the disadvantages of not having a state?
  • Has the US soured relations with its European allies?
  • What does the Human Development Index mean?
  • Celebrity Influence in political campaigning
  • What objectives does the anti-globalization movement seek to achieve?

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 writer.

expository 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.

  • Background information
  • Thesis statement

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.

  • Topic sentence

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.

  • Restate thesis
  • Closing sentence

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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 expository essay writing 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.

expository essay types

  • 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 discusses the significance of what you have taken away.
  • Compare and Contrast Essays - The purpose of comparing and contrasting is to present facts and allow readers to reach their own conclusions. This is still an expository essay and not an evaluation of one over the other. A contrast essay may highlight differences, similarities, or both.
  • Cause and Effect Essays - Cause and effect essays examine the reasons behind events or speculate on possible effects. They can also draw attention to relevant connections or provide details about a cause or consequence.
  • Classification Essays - In classification essays, distinct items in the same category are compared, stressing their differences while pointing up the similarities that place them in the same category. Classification essays may be quite intriguing when attempting to classify something into a category it often does not belong to.
  • Definition Essays - Apart from an argumentative essay format , the basic objective is to define a topic by providing information. In contrast to just providing the word's dictionary definition, a definition essay also builds on the term's general notion while thoroughly defining it.

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.

And if you ever feel like you need an extra push towards pursuing your dream academic life, consider us your go-to college life partner. We won't criticize you no matter how many times you need essay writing help . The EssayPro team is loyal, always reliable, and never judgmental! 

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How to Write an Expository Essay

Published by Grace Graffin at August 17th, 2021 , Revised On July 26, 2023

Expository means “to describe or explain something” . It is related to the words ‘exposition’, ‘expound’, and ‘expose’ – to explain or reveal the meaning, to lay open, speak one’s mind.

Whenever there is a need to gather research and describe an idea, a  topic , or a process clearly and logically, it is done in the form of an expository  essay .

An expository essay requires the writer to take a balanced approach to the subject matter rather than justifying a particular point of view.

Expository essays are assigned to students to evaluate their subject knowledge and composition skills. When compared with  argumentative essays , they involve a lot less research.

Definition of Expository Essay

“The expository essay is the  type of essay  that involves an investigation of an idea or topic, appraises relevant supporting evidence material, and presents an argument in a clear and concise manner. ”

When to Write an Expository Essay

Your school or university could assign an expository essay to you as coursework or as part of an online exam.

However, the guidelines may or may not clearly state that your assignment is an expository essay. If that is the case, then look for keywords like ‘explain’, ‘describe’, ‘define’, etc., to be sure that what has been asked for is an expository essay.

You might even be asked to explain and emphasise a particular concept or term. Writing a simple definition will not be enough because you will be expected to explore the ideas in detail.

Writing an Expository Essay

An expository essay should not be based on your  personal  experiences and opinions. It rather takes an objective approach. You will be expected to explain the topic in a balanced way without any personal bias.

Make sure to avoid the first and second person (“I” and “You”) when writing an expository essay.

How to Structure an Expository Essay

The  structure  and format of your expository essay assignment will depend on your school’s guidelines and the topic you are investigating. However, it is always a good idea to develop an outline for your  essay  before starting to work.

The Five-Paragraph Essay Writing Approach

An expository essay will require you to take the five-paragraph essay approach: an  introductory paragraph , a main body paragraph , and a concluding paragraph . This is often referred to as the hamburger style of the essay because, like a hamburger, it contains five main parts: the introduction and conclusion being the bun that encapsulates everything.

Rationale and Thesis Statement

Start your essay  with a rationale and thesis, also known as the  thesis statement , so your readers know what you set out to achieve in your expository essay assignment. Ensure the thesis statement is narrow enough to follow the guidelines in the assignment brief. If the thesis statement is weak and too broad, you will struggle to produce a flawless expository essay.

The Framework

Construct a framework, so you know what elements will constitute the basis of your essay.

Expository Essay Introduction

Like other  essay types , an expository essay begins with an  introduction , including a hook, background to the topic, and a thesis statement. Once you have grabbed the readers’ interest, it will be easier to get them to read the remaining essay.

Frequently Asked Questions

Will i need the skill of expository writing after i finish my studies.

It depends on what you are studying for. While you might or might not write any more expository essays after your formal education has ended, the skill will be very useful in certain careers, such as business reports, journalism, and in scientific and technical writing.

How does an expository essay differ from an argumentative essay?

An argumentative essay is usually longer and requires more research. It starts with a claim about something that will need supporting evidence. And both sides of the argument need to be discussed. In an expository essay, there is no requirement to make an original argument and defend/support it.

What is the purpose of expository essays?

This style of essay is necessary when you have to showcase your knowledge on a given subject, or your ability to gather research on one and present your findings.

How long is an expository essay?

There is no fixed length but an expository essay could be part of an exam, in which case it might only be 1,000 words or less. They are usually shorter than argumentative essays . It can depend on the subject under discussion. You will likely be given instructions on the required word count.

Are there different types of expository essay?

There are six different types of expository essay, each with a different purpose.

The six types are:

Process essay – describing a task, a method, how to complete something Cause and effect essay – why something happened and its effects Problem-solution essay – provide analysis of problems and their solutions Compare and contrast essay – describe the similarities and differences between two subjects Definition essay – define the topic in detail and explain the how, what, and why Classification essay – separate the topic’s categories and define them in detail

When you are assigned your essay, you should be able to distinguish which of these approaches you are required to take.

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Expository Essay

Caleb S.

Complete Guide to Expository Essays: Writing Help and Topics

11 min read

Published on: Jul 29, 2018

Last updated on: Nov 14, 2023

Expository Essay

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Writing essays can be a real challenge for many students. They often struggle to organize their thoughts and convey them clearly in expository essays.

This struggle leads to essays that lack clarity and fail to captivate the reader’s interest.

But worry not! This guide is your go-to helper. We're going to break down the ins and outs of expository writing using simple steps. Plus, we’ve included some tips and topic ideas, so you can craft essays that are both clear and engaging!

So, keep reading!

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What is an Expository Essay?

An expository essay is a type of essay that seeks to inform, describe, or explain a particular subject or topic. 

It's distinct in its approach as it emphasizes presenting facts, analyzing information, and providing a comprehensive understanding without incorporating personal opinions or biases.

Why Write an Expository Essay?

The purpose of writing an expository essay extends beyond academic requirements. 

This form of writing nurtures the ability to research deeply, logically organize thoughts, and articulate information coherently. 

Developing these skills not only enhances academic performance but also prepares individuals for effectively communicating complex ideas in various real-world scenarios.

Expository Essay Vs. Argumentative Essay

Expository and argumentative essays vary in their purposes and approaches. 

Expository essays aim to inform or describe a topic without personal opinions, using a neutral, informative tone. 

On the other hand, argumentative essays seek to persuade by presenting a clear viewpoint and supporting it with evidence. 

Expository essays follow a simpler structure, providing information, while argumentative essays involve complex structures, presenting and countering arguments. Understanding these differences helps in choosing the right essay type for specific writing goals.

Types of Expository Essay

Before we dive into the different types of expository essays, let's check out five common ones:

Descriptive Essays

Descriptive essays aim to create a detailed image or sensory experience in the reader's mind by vividly describing a particular place, object, person, or event. 

They use rich language and sensory details to paint a clear picture and evoke emotions, making the reader feel like they're experiencing what's being described.

Process Analysis Essays

In a process analysis essay , the writer breaks down a series of steps needed to achieve a specific task or goal. 

They provide a clear, step-by-step guide, making complex tasks easy to understand. For example, they might explain how to bake a cake, fix a bicycle, or perform a scientific experiment.

Compare and Contrast Essays

Compare and contrast essays focus on exploring the similarities and differences between two or more subjects. 

They present a balanced view, showing how things are alike and how they're different. Whether it's comparing different cultures, products, historical events, or ideas, these essays aim to offer insights into relationships and contrasts.

Cause and Effect Essays

Cause and effect essays delve into examining the causes that lead to specific effects or the effects that arise from certain causes. 

They analyze the relationship between events, explaining why things happen and what outcomes result from those actions or occurrences. They aim to provide a clear understanding of the connections between different elements.

Problem and Solution Essays

Focused on a specific issue, problem and solution essays identify a problem, its causes, and effects, and propose solutions to address and resolve the problem. 

They aim to offer practical, effective solutions to real-life issues, providing a roadmap for solving problems or improving situations.

Structure of an Expository Essay

An expository essay typically comprises three main parts: the introduction, body paragraphs, and conclusion. Here's what the general structure of an expository essay looks like:

Introduction

The introduction of an expository essay is where the writer presents the topic, provides background information, and ends with a clear thesis statement . 

This section aims to grab the reader's attention and set the stage for the discussion that follows.

Body Paragraphs

The body of the essay contains a series of paragraphs that delve deeper into the topic. 

Each paragraph should begin with a topic sentence that introduces the main idea or argument. 

These paragraphs present evidence, examples, or explanations supporting the thesis statement. Smooth transitions between paragraphs ensure a coherent flow of information.

The conclusion of an expository essay restates the thesis statement using different wording. It summarizes the key points discussed in the body paragraphs. 

Finally, it offers a sense of closure, wrapping up the essay's main ideas. It's not just a repetition of earlier information but rather a synthesis of the key points to leave a lasting impression on the reader.

How to Write an Expository Essay?

Writing an expository essay involves a step-by-step process to effectively communicate information. Here's a guide to crafting an expository essay:

Select a Topic

When selecting a topic for an expository essay, it's crucial to choose something that's not only interesting but also suitable for an informative discussion. 

Consider the following pointers while choosing an expository essay topic:

  • Select a topic that personally interests you.
  • Choose a topic that can be explained within the essay's scope
  • Choose subjects allowing for an objective, fact-based analysis.
  • Consider prevalent issues or areas of curiosity for discussion.

Conduct Research

When researching for your expository essay, explore diverse and credible sources like books, scholarly articles, and reputable websites. 

Ensure the information gathered directly relates to your topic and is from reliable sources. Verify the credibility by checking the author's credentials and publication dates. 

Consider various perspectives to present a well-rounded view. Organize your findings systematically, keeping detailed notes for citation. This approach helps in crafting a well-informed and supported expository essay.

Create an Outline

Develop a structured outline for your essay. Organize your thoughts, decide on the main points, and arrange them logically. 

Here's what the general structure of an expository essay looks like:

This outline template provides a clear structure, allowing for a well-organized and coherent expository essay.

View this in-depth guide on creating an expository essay outline for a structured essay!

Write The Introduction

The introduction of an expository essay plays a pivotal role in engaging the reader and setting the stage for the discussion. Here are the essential components:

  • Engaging Hook : Begin your essay with a captivating fact, question, quote, or story related to the topic to captivate the reader's attention and encourage them to continue reading.
  • Background Context: Offer essential background information about the topic, providing the necessary context for the reader to understand its relevance and importance.
  • Clear Thesis Statement: End the introduction with a clear thesis statement. It should express the main idea or argument of your essay. This statement helps guide the reader, indicating the purpose and direction of your essay.

Compose Body Paragraphs

The body paragraphs serve as the essay's core. 

Each paragraph starts with a topic sentence introducing the main idea. Back up this idea with evidence or examples to support your point. 

Make sure each paragraph smoothly connects to the next for a logical flow of ideas. This structured approach ensures a coherent and well-supported discussion throughout your expository essay.

Write the Conclusion

In the conclusion of your expository essay, recap the main points without introducing new information. 

Restate the thesis in different words to reinforce the main argument. Additionally, offer closing thoughts or discuss the broader implications related to the topic. This section serves as a summary, emphasizing the significance of the essay's ideas and their broader relevance.

Revise and Edit

Revision and editing are crucial steps in the essay writing process. 

Review the content for coherence and logical flow, ensure the essay structure is smooth and well-organized, and focus on clear, concise language. 

Check for grammar, punctuation, and spelling errors, verify citations, and seek feedback for improvements. Finally, perform a final proofread to ensure the essay is error-free and polished for submission.

Expository Essay Example

Below is an example illustrating the concept of climate change and its effects, exploring the causes, impacts, and potential solutions.

This essay serves as a basic example of how an expository essay on climate change might be structured, offering insights into its causes, effects, and potential solutions.

Need more examples? Check out these expertly crafted expository essay examples on multiple topics and themes!

Tips for Writing a Good Expository Essay

Here are some tips for writing a good expository essay:

  • Ensure the essay has a clear and narrowly defined topic for effective exploration.
  • Present facts, statistics, and evidence without incorporating personal opinions or biases.
  • Utilize a well-structured format with logical sequencing of ideas and paragraphs.
  • Provide detailed and comprehensive explanations to support each point or idea.
  • Use diverse and relevant examples to illustrate and reinforce key points.
  • Present information in a concise and easily understandable manner, avoiding unnecessary details.
  • Use transitional words and phrases for seamless connections between paragraphs and ideas.
  • Make sure that all information presented is relevant and sourced from credible, reputable materials.

Expository Essay Topics

Expository essay topics typically revolve around subjects that can be explained, clarified, or described without personal opinions. 

They cover a wide array of areas such as science, technology, education, health, social issues, historical events, and more. These topics should allow for in-depth exploration and factual analysis.

Here are some essay topics for students:

Expository Essay Topics for High School Students

  • The Impact of Social Media on Teenagers
  • Benefits of Exercise and Healthy Lifestyle Choices
  • Exploring Climate Change: Causes and Effects
  • The Importance of Education in Today's Society
  • Understanding Cyberbullying and its Impact
  • Analyzing a Historical Event: The Civil Rights Movement
  • The Advantages and Disadvantages of E-Learning
  • Explaining the Process of Photosynthesis
  • The Effects of Video Games on Adolescents
  • The Role of Leadership in Problem Solving

Expository Essay Topics for University Students

  • The Future of Artificial Intelligence and its Ethical Implications
  • Analyzing the Impact of Globalization on World Economies
  • Climate Change: Policy Interventions and Global Strategies
  • The Psychology Behind Procrastination and Ways to Overcome It
  • Exploring Renewable Energy Sources and Their Viability
  • The Evolution of Social Media and its Societal Impact
  • Gender Disparities in the Workplace: Causes and Solutions
  • The Effects of Stress on Mental Health in Modern Society
  • Analyzing the Influence of Cultural Diversity in Global Business
  • Understanding Quantum Mechanics: Principles and Applications

Can’t pick a topic? Have a look at these extensive expository essay topics and get more ideas!

With our steps, tips, and topics, you have all you need to get started on your expository essay.

If you're still encountering challenges in composing your expository essay, our custom essay writing service is here to help. 

Our proficient writers specialize in creating well-structured, informative expository essays. With our expert support, you can be sure you’ll receive a top-quality, plagiarism-free essay.

Reach out to our expository essay writing service today to get the help you need. Place your order today!

Caleb S. (Literature, Marketing)

Caleb S. has been providing writing services for over five years and has a Masters degree from Oxford University. He is an expert in his craft and takes great pride in helping students achieve their academic goals. Caleb is a dedicated professional who always puts his clients first.

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What is an Expository Essay and How to Write It

What is an expository essay and how to write it

You’ve been asked to write an expository essay on a particular topic. You know that an essay is generally a written composition that is usually limited in length and reflects the author’s perspective. However, the “expository” part is a little less clear. Keep reading, and you’ll get enough information to understand what an expository essay is and how to create an effective expository essay that meets the assignment requirements.

Table of Contents

What is an expository essay, what is the purpose of expository writing, when should you write an expository essay, 5 types of expository essays, how to structure an expository essay, how to write an expository essay, key takeaways, frequently asked questions about expository essays.

The expository essay is the appropriate type of essay to write if you need to inform your audience. If your intent is to critically compare, argue, or persuade, you will want to consider a different essay format. To explain it in more detail:

  • An expository essay is a type of academic writing that aims to present a balanced and objective analysis of a specific topic.
  • Expository essays often employ various techniques to enhance clarity and understanding. These techniques may include definition, comparison and contrast, cause and effect analysis, problem and solution exploration, or descriptive explanations. The writer should also ensure that the essay maintains a neutral and objective tone, avoiding personal biases or emotional language.
  • In an expository essay, the writer typically starts with an introduction that presents the topic and provides an overview of what will be discussed in the essay. The body paragraphs then delve into the details, presenting evidence, examples, and relevant information to support the main points. Each paragraph should focus on a specific aspect or subtopic, and the information should be organized logically and coherently.
  • Expository essays are commonly assigned in academic settings as they encourage critical thinking, research skills, and the ability to present information in a clear and concise manner.
  • The ability to write an expository essay is an essential skill for students and professionals. It promotes critical thinking, objectivity, and clear and concise communication.

expository research essay example

The primary goal of expository writing is to explain or clarify a concept, process, or phenomenon using evidence, examples, and logical reasoning. Unlike persuasive or argumentative essays, the purpose of an expository essay is not to convince the reader of a particular viewpoint or opinion, but rather to provide clear and concise information.

The main objectives of expository writing are:

  • Informing: Expository writing aims to educate and provide readers with new or valuable information. It seeks to convey facts, details, concepts, or ideas about a topic in a straightforward and concise manner.
  • Explaining: Expository writing helps readers grasp complex subjects by breaking them down into simpler terms. It aims to clarify abstract concepts, processes, or phenomena, making them more accessible and understandable.
  • Instructing: Expository writing provides step-by-step instructions or guidelines on how to perform a task, accomplish a goal, or understand a process. It offers a clear sequence of actions or explanations to ensure readers can follow and replicate the instructions.
  • Presenting an analysis: Expository writing often involves analyzing and evaluating information, data, or evidence related to a particular subject. It may include comparing and contrasting different viewpoints, examining cause-and-effect relationships, or offering an objective evaluation of a situation.

Overall, the purpose of expository writing is to provide readers with accurate, unbiased, and well-organized information about a specific topic. It aims to enhance understanding, broaden knowledge, and facilitate learning by presenting information in a clear, coherent, and logical manner.

An expository essay is a good choice when the goal is to inform, explain, describe, or instruct. You may be assigned an expository essay as part of an in-class exam or coursework assignment. Here are some common situations in which writing an expository essay would be appropriate:

  • Academic Assignments: Expository essays are frequently assigned in educational settings. Teachers often use this type of essay to assess students’ understanding of a particular subject or to teach them how to research and present information effectively. They are common in subjects such as English, history, science, social studies, or any discipline that requires a clear explanation or analysis of a topic.
  • Instructional or How-to Writing: When you want to provide step-by-step instructions or guidance on how to perform a task, solve a problem, or achieve a specific outcome, an expository essay can be an appropriate format. This type of writing is commonly used in manuals, guidebooks, tutorials, or any instructional material.
  • Journalism or News Writing: Expository writing is prevalent in journalism, where the goal is to inform readers about current events, news stories, or investigative reports. Journalists strive to present objective information, provide background details, and explain complex issues clearly to their audience.
  • Professional or Technical Writing: In various professional fields, such as business, healthcare, engineering, or law, expository writing is utilized to convey information to colleagues, clients, or the general public. This includes writing reports, memos, manuals, research papers, or any form of communication that requires clear and factual presentation of information.

expository research essay example

Expository essays can serve different purposes and present information in various ways. Here are five common types of expository essays:

  • Descriptive essay: This type of expository essay focuses on describing a person, place, object, event, or any subject in detail. It aims to create a vivid and sensory-rich portrayal of the topic, using language that appeals to the reader’s senses and emotions.
  • Process essay: Also known as a “how-to” essay, a process essay explains a sequence of steps or procedures to accomplish a task or achieve a particular outcome. It provides clear instructions and guidance, breaking down complex processes into manageable and easy-to-follow stages.
  • Compare-and-contrast essay: This type of expository essay explores the similarities and differences between two or more subjects. It involves examining various aspects, characteristics, or elements of the subjects and highlighting their similarities, differences, or both.
  • Cause-and-effect essay: A cause-and-effect essay explores the reasons (causes) behind an event, situation, or phenomenon, as well as the consequences (effects) that result from it. It aims to analyze and explain the relationship between causes and effects, demonstrating how one factor leads to another.
  • Problem-and-solution essay: In this type of expository essay, a specific problem or issue is identified and analyzed, followed by the presentation of potential solutions or strategies to address it. The essay outlines the problem, examines its causes and effects, and proposes practical solutions or recommendations.

It’s important to note that these are not the only types of expository essays, and there can be variations or combinations of these types. Additionally, within each type, the specific approach and structure can vary depending on the requirements of the assignment or the writer’s purpose.

Structuring an expository essay involves organizing your thoughts, ideas, and information in a clear and logical manner. Here is a commonly used structure for an expository essay:

  • Begin with an attention-grabbing hook to engage the reader.
  • Provide some background information on the topic to set the context.
  • Present a clear and concise thesis statement that states the main idea or purpose of the essay.
  • Start each paragraph with a clear topic sentence that introduces the main point of the paragraph.
  • Support your topic sentence with evidence, facts, examples, or expert opinions that relate to the main point.
  • Provide detailed explanations, analysis, or descriptions to clarify and develop your ideas.
  • Use transitional words and phrases to ensure smooth flow and coherence between paragraphs and ideas.
  • Each paragraph should focus on a specific aspect or subtopic related to the main idea.
  • Restate the thesis statement but rephrase it in a way that reinforces the main idea.
  • Summarize the main points discussed in the body paragraphs.
  • Avoid introducing new information or ideas in the conclusion.
  • End with a closing statement that leaves a lasting impression.

Writing an expository essay involves a systematic approach to presenting information in a clear and objective manner. Here is a step-by-step guide on how to write an expository essay:

  • Understand the purpose and requirements: Familiarize yourself with the purpose of the essay and any specific guidelines or requirements. Then, determine the topic or subject of your expository essay and gather relevant information and resources.
  • Conduct research and gather information: Conduct thorough research on your topic to gather factual information, examples, evidence, or expert opinions.
  • Plan and outline: Develop a clear and coherent outline that includes an introduction, body paragraphs, and conclusion. Decide on the main points or subtopics you will cover in each paragraph of your expository essay and arrange your ideas in a logical order that flows well.
  • Write the introduction: Be sure to include a clear and concise thesis statement that states the main idea or purpose of your expository essay.
  • Write the body paragraphs: Write one paragraph for each main idea, using transitions to ensure a smooth flow throughout.
  • Write the conclusion: Restate your thesis statement and summarize the evidence.
  • Revise and edit: Review your expository essay for clarity, coherence, and logical flow, and check for grammar, spelling, and punctuation errors. Remember to always maintain an objective tone and focus on presenting information rather than expressing personal opinions.

As you can see, effective expository essays vary widely based on their topic and ultimate purpose. However, they have several important characteristics in common. When you’re writing an expository essay, keep the following tips in mind:

  • Use clear, concise, and formal language, avoiding unnecessary jargon or complex terms.
  • The thesis statement needs to be clear, concise, and appropriately focused.
  • Provide sufficient evidence and examples to support your claims and make your writing more credible.
  • Consider the logical flow of your ideas and make sure they are presented in a coherent manner.
  • Use appropriate transitions to connect your sentences, paragraphs, and ideas.
  • Remember that the specific structure of your expository essay may vary depending on the requirements of your assignment or the complexity of your topic. Adapt the structure as needed while ensuring that your essay is organized and focused on conveying information effectively.

You should consider writing an expository essay when you need to explain, inform, or describe a particular topic or subject to your readers. Expository essays are usually assigned in academic settings, but they can also be used in other contexts, such as writing articles or blog posts. For example, an expository essay would be appropriate for purposes such as explaining the benefits of a healthy lifestyle, describing the process of a scientific experiment, or discussing the impact of technology on society.

Expository essay: The main purpose of an expository essay is to explain, describe, or inform the reader about a particular topic or subject. It should be written in a neutral manner, focusing on presenting facts, explaining concepts, and offering a clear understanding of the topic. Argumentative essay: The primary purpose of an argumentative essay is to present a well-structured argument or position on a specific issue. The writer takes a clear stance on a topic and provides strong arguments, counterarguments, and evidence to support their position. The language used may be more passionate and persuasive to convince the reader.

The length of an expository essay can vary depending on the specific requirements or guidelines provided by your instructor or the purpose of your writing. Expository essays can range from a few hundred words for shorter essays to several thousand words for more in-depth or research-based essays. The number of body paragraphs typically range from three to five, but it can vary based on the complexity of the topic and the amount of information you need to convey.

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expository research essay example

An expository essay is a type of writing that aims to explain, clarify, or provide information on a particular subject using facts, evidence, and logical reasoning. While the thought of writing an expository essay may seem overwhelming, following these four easy steps can make the process smooth and enjoyable.

1. Select a topic and clarify your purpose:

Picking an appealing and relevant topic is the first step in writing an expository essay. Brainstorm ideas, considering the interests of your target audience as well as your own passion for the subject matter. Once you’ve chosen a topic, define your main purpose or goal – do you want to inform, explain, or analyze? Being clear about your objective will help you stay focused throughout the writing process.

2. Conduct thorough research:

Invest time in researching your topic to gather credible facts, evidence, and data that will support your claims. Use reliable resources such as books, academic journals, newspaper articles, and official websites to ensure accuracy in your essay. Organize your materials systematically by taking notes for each significant point you wish to include in your essay.

3. Craft a solid thesis statement:

Your thesis statement is the foundation of your expository essay. It should be clear, concise, and provide a brief overview of what readers can expect from the rest of your essay. To create a strong thesis statement, think about the main ideas you want to convey and find a way to state them succinctly.

For example: “This article explores four easy ways to write an expository essay by discussing selecting an appropriate topic, conducting thorough research, crafting a solid thesis statement, and organizing ideas in a logical manner.”

4. Outline and organize your ideas:

Begin by outlining the structure of your expository essay – typically including an introduction (with the thesis statement), body (where you’ll present supporting evidence), and conclusion (summarizing and reinforcing your main points). In the body paragraphs, each paragraph should focus on a single idea or piece of evidence, described clearly and logically. To maintain the flow of your essay, use appropriate transitions and topic sentences to connect your arguments.

In conclusion, writing an expository essay doesn’t have to be daunting. By choosing an interesting topic, conducting thorough research, crafting a solid thesis statement, and organizing your ideas with care, you can create an informative and engaging essay that effectively informs readers about your chosen subject.

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expository essay

What is expository essay definition, usage, and literary examples, expository essay definition.

An  expository essay  [ik-SPOZ-ih-tohr-ee ess-ay] is an essay in which the writer researches a topic and uses evidence to inform their readers or clarify the topic. They can take many forms, including a how-to essay, an essay that defines something, or an essay that studies a problem and offers a solution.

The Five-Paragraph Model

Most expository essays follow the five-paragraph essay model:

  • Introduction:  The introduction contains the thesis statement or main point of the essay. Here, the writer describes the subject and gives necessary  context .
  • Body:  This section is usually three or more paragraphs and offers supporting evidence for the thesis.
  • Conclusion:  The conclusion revisits the thesis and summarizes the writer’s main points.

Types of Expository Essays

There are several types of expository essays that can be written.

  • Cause and Effect:  These essays question why something happened and the outcome of that occurrence. For example, an essay of this type might question why there’s a large homeless population in Seattle and what effects it has on the city and its citizens.
  • Classification:  These break a broad subject down into several, in-depth subcategories. A classification essay might study the various kinds of movies, define genres, and break the most common genres down by subgenre (for example, action thriller and action adventure as subgenres of the action genre).
  • Compare and Contrast:  These essays lay out the similarities and differences of at least two subjects. One such essay might compare two different novels by the same author. These essays can explore the pros and cons of different choices as well, like living in the city versus living in the country.
  • Definition:  As indicated, a definition essay describes or defines something. For example, it might define the internet and provide a detailed explanation of how it works.
  • How-To:  Also called a process essay, a how-to essay gives the reader steps for creating or doing something. For example, a process essay might walk its reader through setting a table, step by step.
  • Problem and Solution:  This type of essay explores a problem and, using evidential support, offers potential solutions. For example, a writer might consider the example of Seattle’s homeless population, cite a solution that other cities have used successfully, and propose that same solution for Seattle.

Other Forms of Expository Writing

In addition to the aforementioned, there are other uses for expository writing. Most commonly:

  • Newspaper articles
  • Encyclopedic entries
  • Manuals/assembly instructions

Expository vs. Argumentative Essays

Expository essays are like argumentative essays in that they both require research. Unlike argumentative essays, expository essays are meant to inform their audience rather than persuade it.

Argumentative essays are often controversial and contain the writer’s personal opinions, whereas expository essays give factual information and explore a topic from many  perspectives . Educational spheres often use expository essays to test writing ability, reading comprehension, and/or the writer’s understanding of a topic.

Examples of Expository Essays

1. Susan Sontag, “Notes on ‘Camp’”

This is a definition essay that explores the meaning and usage of the slang word  camp . When she wrote the essay in 1964, people used the word to describe a person or thing as exaggerated, effeminate, or theatrical. Sontag suggests that camp isn’t a solid concept but rather a sensibility, and she acknowledges its connection to contemporary gay culture. Her definition of camp is given in the following passage:

[Camp] is not a natural mode of sensibility, if there be any such. Indeed the essence of Camp is its love of the unnatural: of artifice and exaggeration. And Camp is esoteric–something of a private code, a badge of identity even, among small urban cliques.

2. David Foster Wallace, “Consider the Lobster”

Herein, Wallace reviews the 2003 Main Lobster Festival and questions the morality of boiling lobsters alive. He examines the problem from all facets, including whether a lobster feels pain, without directly asserting his opinion. After descriptions of the festival, physical properties of lobsters, and the common use of the crustaceans, Wallace poses the main question of the essay:

So then here is a question that’s all but unavoidable at the World’s Largest Lobster Cooker, and may arise in the kitchens across the U.S. Is it all right to boil a sentient creature alive just for our gustatory pleasure? A related set of concerns: Is the previous question irksomely PC or sentimental? What does “all right” even mean in this context? Is it all just a matter of individual choice?

3. Rebecca Solnit, “The Longest War”

From Solnit’s 2014 book of essays,  Men Explain Things to Me , “The Longest War” explores issues of male violence against women. Solnit uses both statistical and  anecdotal  evidence to inform her audience of the issue, which supports some of her argumentative essays that appear later in the book:

[T]hough a rape is reported only every 6.2 minutes in this country, the estimated total is perhaps five times as high. Which means that there may be very nearly a rape a minute in the United States. It all adds up to tens of millions of rape victims. A significant portion of the women you know are survivors.

Further Resources on Expository Essays

You can find more examples of expository essays on  LiteraryDevices.net .

Bibme.org  offers guidance for writing expository essays.

Essaytigers.com  provides step-by-step writing instructions and an additional argumentative essay and expository essay comparison.

Related Terms

  • Argumentative Essay
  • Expository Writing

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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.

WHAT IS EXPOSITORY ESSAY WRITING?

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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:

  • Process Essays
  • Cause and Effect Essays
  • Problem and Solution Essays
  • Compare and Contrast Essays
  • Definition Essays
  • Classification Essays

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 .

THE PROCESS ESSAY

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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:

  • ‘How to’ title
  • Numbered or bullet points
  • Time connectives
  • Imperatives (bossy words)
  • List of resources

Suggested Title: How to Create Your Own Website

THE ULTIMATE NONFICTION TEACHING RESOURCE

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THE CAUSE AND EFFECT ESSAY

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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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THE PROBLEM AND SOLUTION ESSAY

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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:

  • Identifies a problem
  • Contains a clear thesis statement
  • Each paragraph has a topic sentence
  • Supports with facts, examples, evidence
  • The conclusion summarizes the main points

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

THE COMPARE AND CONTRAST ESSAY

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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.

Suggested Title: In-Class or Remote Learning: Which Is Best?

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DEFINITION ESSAYS

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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:

  • A definition of the term
  • An analysis of its meaning
  • The etymology of the term
  • A comparison to related terms
  • Examples to illustrate the meaning
  • A summary of the main points

Suggested Title: What Is Beauty?

CLASSIFICATION ESSAYS

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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:

  • Sorting things into functional categories
  • Ensuring each category follows a common organizing principle
  • Provides examples that illustrate each category.

Suggested Title: Vacation Destinations

TYPES OF EXPOSITORY ESSAYS SORTING ACTIVITY

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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.

EXPOSITORY ESSAY STRUCTURE

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.

EXPOSITORY ESSAY TYPES

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.

THE BASIC STRUCTURE OF AN EXPOSITORY ESSAY

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.

INTRODUCTION:

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.

EXPOSITORY PARAGRAPHS

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!

EXPOSITORY PARAGRAPH EXAMPLE

“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.)

EXPOSITORY CONCLUSION:

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.

FEATURES OF EXPOSITORY WRITING

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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.

HEADINGS / SUBHEADINGS:

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.

VISUAL FORMS OF INFORMATION

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

  • Pictures / Illustrations / Photographs:

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.

  • Charts and Graphs:

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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EXPOSITORY ESSAY EXAMPLE

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.

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EXPOSITORY WRITING PROMPTS

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FINAL THOUGHTS

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!

ESSAY WRITING CHECKLIST & RUBRIC BUNDLE

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EXPOSITORY ESSAY TUTORIAL VIDEO

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ARTICLES RELATED TO EXPOSITORY ESSAY WRITING

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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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Expository Essay Examples

An expository essay is a quintessential part of academic writing that delves into explaining or clarifying a topic in a comprehensive manner. This type of essay requires the writer to investigate an idea, evaluate evidence, expound on the idea, and set forth an argument concerning that idea in a clear and concise manner. Discovering exemplary essay examples can greatly enhance understanding and mastery of this style. Here, we provide a complete guide with examples to empower students and educators in crafting effective expository essays

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Download Expository Essay Bundle

In school, it is an unavoidable truth that you will be asked to write something about a topic which sometimes you are so eager to finish. There are also times when you feel like you do not want to write anything at all. Well, that is just normal. We all go through those times.One of the things that we do in school is essay writing . As we all know, it is never an easy job to write especially college essays . However, having the right disposition and enthusiasm makes it all so easy. By the time you start to write, all those ideas keep coming and you wouldn’t realize you’re already done.

What Is an Expository Essay?

An Expository Essay, often synonymous with an Informative Essay , is a genre of writing that focuses on explaining, describing, or informing the reader about a specific topic. The primary purpose of this essay is to present a balanced and factual analysis of a subject, relying heavily on facts, statistics, and examples. Unlike persuasive essays , which aim to convince the reader, expository essays are explanatory in nature. They offer a comprehensive understanding of a topic, making them a staple in educational settings. This clear and objective approach makes the expository essay an essential tool for conveying information effectively.

Expository Essay

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College Expository Essay

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High School Expository Essay

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Essay Format

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Short Expository Essay

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Expository Essay Sample

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How to Write an Expository Essay?

Crafting an expository essay requires a methodical approach, emphasizing clarity, coherence, and thorough understanding. This process is crucial across various forms, be it a detailed analysis in a Literature Essay or a reflective composition in a Portfolio Essay.

  • Grasping the Prompt Initiate by fully comprehending the assignment’s requirements. Discern the specific expository essay style needed, whether it’s a reflective Portfolio piece or a research-intensive APA Essay .
  • Topic Selection Opt for a topic that is well-defined yet offers ample scope for exploration. For Literature Essays, this might involve honing in on a particular thematic or character study, while a Portfolio Essay might focus on personal growth or academic achievements.
  • In-depth Research Engage in comprehensive research, ensuring that your sources are both reliable and pertinent. For essays requiring APA format , meticulous organization of references is essential.
  • Outlining the Essay Construct a well-organized outline, segmenting your essay into an introductory segment, detailed body sections, and a concluding summary.
  • Introduction Crafting Begin with an engaging opener, followed by necessary background context, culminating in a succinct thesis statement. In Portfolio Essays, introduce the key experiences or themes under examination.
  • Body Paragraphs Development Each section should focus on a singular idea or aspect, backed by evidence and illustrations. In Literature Essays, this might entail textual evaluations and critical insights.
  • Concluding Effectively Your conclusion should reiterate the thesis and encapsulate the essay’s primary arguments. Reflect on the wider implications or lessons learned, particularly in reflective or academic essays .
  • Revision and Refinement Thoroughly review your essay, ensuring logical flow and consistency in argumentation. Pay attention to formatting requisites, especially in APA Essays.
  • Final Adjustments Confirm adherence to formatting standards, particularly for APA-style essays. Verify the accuracy of your references and citations.

Employing these steps will enable you to construct a compelling, informative expository essay. It’s crucial to present facts and arguments clearly, regardless of whether the essay is a reflective piece like a Portfolio Essay or an analytical work like a Literature Essay

Expository Education

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College Expository

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Basic Expository Essay

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Types of Expository Essays

Expository essays are a fundamental aspect of expository writing , encompassing various forms that cater to different academic requirements and personal expressions. Each type serves a unique purpose and requires a specific approach to effectively convey information and ideas.

  • Definition Essay This type of essay explores the meaning of a concept or term. It goes beyond the basic dictionary definition, providing deeper insights and personal interpretations. Ideal for exploring abstract concepts, a Definition Essay encourages critical thinking and analytical skills.
  • Classification Essay In a Classification Essay, objects or ideas are sorted into categories. This form of essay is particularly useful for organizing complex information into more digestible sections, making it easier for the reader to understand and analyze the topic.
  • Process Essay Also known as a “How-To” essay, the Process Essay outlines the steps required to complete a task or procedure. It is sequential and detailed, ensuring the reader can follow along and understand each stage of the process.
  • Comparison and Contrast Essay This essay type examines the similarities and differences between two or more subjects. It’s a powerful tool for analysis, helping students develop critical thinking by evaluating various aspects of the subjects being compared.
  • Cause and Effect Essay The Cause and Effect Essay delves into the reasons behind a specific event or situation (the cause) and its outcomes (the effect). It’s essential in academic settings for developing a student’s ability to establish logical connections and reason systematically.
  • Problem and Solution Essay This essay identifies a problem and proposes one or more solutions. It not only encourages critical thinking but also fosters creativity and problem-solving skills as students explore viable solutions to real-world issues.

Each of these types of expository essays serves as a tool for students and educators to explore and convey complex ideas and information. From high school essays to more advanced academic essays, the ability to effectively write various types of expository essays is a valuable skill in educational development. Whether it’s a personal essay reflecting on individual experiences or a concept essay explaining abstract ideas, mastering these forms equips students with the capability to communicate effectively and think critically

Guidelines to Write Expository Essay

Some people find expository writing harder than descriptive writing . Probably because it is at times difficult to present an idea and expand it so the readers can get a grasp of it. Here are a few guidelines you can use.

  • Do an intensive research. Oftentimes, the problem with expository writers is that they don’t have enough points to present for the idea. Do your research.
  • Widen your vocabulary. It is easier to write when you have the right words to use. You don’t have to browse your dictionary from time to time.
  • Design a method. Be a little creative. There may be some methods that people use to write but it is still better if you have one for your own.

Benefits of Expository Essay

Essay writing provides a lot of benefits to students in the academe. Not only it gives them credits from their teachers, it also boosts their confidence in expressing their ideas.

Expository essays provide a better understanding of a certain topic. We cannot avoid that at times, there are things that are presented vaguely making us question what it really means. Expository essay conclusion explains it logically so we can grasp the its true meaning.

Another benefit is expository essays present a fair and balanced analysis of the idea. It eliminates writer’s opinions and emotions just like in a persuasive writing .

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Expository Essay Examples and Samples

  • Cause and Effect Essay Examples and Samples 2024
  • Definition Essay Examples and Samples
  • Reflective Essay Examples and Samples
  • Analytical Essay Examples
  • Evaluation Essay Examples and Samples
  • Argumentative Essay Examples and Samples

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Expository Essay Examples: Master the Art of Informative Writing with Examples and Tips

Are you looking to improve your expository essay writing skills? Want to learn from real-life examples and get practical tips? You've come to the right place! In this article, we will provide you with a comprehensive guide on expository essay writing, including examples and tips to help you master the art of informative writing!

This article is a comprehensive guide on expository essay writing, aimed at helping readers enhance their skills in informative writing. It will provide a thorough understanding of what an expository essay is, its purpose, structure, and key components. The article will also include a variety of examples covering different topics, styles, and formats of expository essays. Moreover, it will provide practical tips and techniques to help readers improve their writing skills and create well-crafted and engaging expository essays.

Ready to level up your expository essay writing skills? Sign up for our newsletter to receive regular updates, writing tips, and exclusive resources to help you become a master of informative writing!

Understanding Expository Essays

Expository essays are a type of academic writing that aims to provide information, explain, or describe a particular topic or concept clearly and concisely. They are often used in educational settings to assess a student's understanding of a subject, and they can also be found in professional and everyday writing.

A sort of academic writing known as an informative essay tries to educate readers about a specific topic. This kind of essay's goal is to inform the reader about the subject, not to support or refute a particular viewpoint. As a result, it calls on the author to provide information clearly and succinctly, supporting their statements with proof.

The purpose of an expository essay is to convey factual information, provide an explanation or clarification of a complex concept, or describe a process or procedure. Unlike persuasive essays, which aim to convince the reader of a particular viewpoint, expository essays strive to present objective and evidence-based information without expressing personal opinions or biases.

There are several types of expository essays, including:

Descriptive essays: These essays focus on describing a person, place, object, event, or phenomenon in detail. The writer uses sensory details and vivid language to paint a clear picture for the reader.

Process essays: Also known as "how-to" essays, these essays explain a step-by-step process or procedure. They are often used to describe how something is done or how to accomplish a specific task.

Comparison/contrast essays: These essays analyze and highlight the similarities and differences between two or more subjects or concepts. They may focus on either the similarities or the differences, or both, and may be organized in a point-by-point or block method.

Cause and effect essays: These essays explore the relationship between a cause and its effects or consequences. They examine the reasons behind an event or phenomenon and its outcomes, and may also discuss multiple causes or effects.

Definition essays: These essays define and explain the meaning of a term, concept, or idea. They may provide a standard definition, a dictionary definition, or an extended definition that includes examples and explanations to clarify the meaning.

Problem/solution essays: These essays identify a problem or issue and propose possible solutions or ways to address it. They typically present evidence of the problem and then provide logical and well-supported solutions.

Expository Essay Structure

Expository essays should be well-organized, with a clear introduction, body paragraphs that provide evidence and examples to support the main points, and a conclusion that summarizes the main ideas and restates the thesis statement. They should also be written in a formal and objective tone, avoiding personal opinions and biases, and citing credible sources when necessary to support the information presented.

The structure of an expository essay typically consists of three main parts: an introduction, a body, and a conclusion. Each of these sections has a specific purpose and plays a crucial role in conveying the information or explaining the topic in a clear and organized manner.

Introduction: The introduction is the first part of the essay and serves to grab the reader's attention and provide a context for the topic. It typically includes an opening statement or hook that engages the reader, followed by some background information on the topic to provide context and establish the importance or relevance of the subject matter. The introduction should end with a clear and concise thesis statement, which is the main point or argument that will be developed and supported in the body paragraphs.

Body: The body of the essay is where the writer presents the main content and information on the topic. It usually consists of several paragraphs, each focusing on a separate subtopic or supporting point that is related to the thesis statement. Each body paragraph should have a topic sentence, which is a clear statement that introduces the main idea of the paragraph. The body paragraphs should provide evidence, examples, facts, statistics, or other relevant information to support the main idea or thesis statement. It is important to use logical and coherent transitions between paragraphs and ideas to ensure a smooth flow of information and ideas.

Conclusion: The conclusion is the final part of the essay and serves to summarize the main points and restate the thesis statement differently. It should not introduce new information but rather provide a concise summary of the key ideas discussed in the body paragraphs. The conclusion should leave a lasting impression on the reader and provide a sense of closure to the essay. It may also include a call to action, a reflection, or a final thought that encourages further thinking or exploration of the topic.

Overall, the structure of an expository essay should be well-organized, with a clear and engaging introduction , informative body paragraphs, and a concise and impactful conclusion. Following a coherent structure helps the reader to understand the information presented and enhances the overall effectiveness of the essay.

Key Components of Expository Essays: Thesis Statement, Evidence, and Analysis 

Expository essays typically include several key components that work together to effectively convey information and explain a topic or concept. These components include:

Thesis Statement: The thesis statement is a clear and concise statement that presents the main point or argument of the essay. It is usually located in the introduction and serves as a roadmap for the rest of the essay. The thesis statement should be specific, focused, and debatable, and it should indicate what the essay will be about. It provides a clear direction for the essay and helps the reader understand the main purpose or point of the writing.

Evidence: Evidence is the information, facts, examples, statistics, or other types of support that the writer uses to substantiate the thesis statement and make the essay more credible and persuasive. Evidence should be reliable, relevant, and properly cited from credible sources. It helps to back up the claims made in the essay and provides support for the ideas and arguments presented.

Analysis: Analysis is the process of examining, interpreting, and explaining the evidence presented in the essay. It involves breaking down the evidence and discussing its significance, relevance, and implications for the thesis statement. Analysis helps to demonstrate the writer's critical thinking skills and ability to conclude from the evidence. It also provides a deeper understanding of the topic and strengthens the overall argument of the essay.

Organization and Structure: The organization and structure of the essay are important components of expository writing. The essay should be well-organized with a clear and logical flow of ideas. The introduction should introduce the topic and present the thesis statement, the body paragraphs should present evidence and analysis in a coherent and organized manner, and the conclusion should summarize the main points and restate the thesis statement. The paragraphs should be structured with a topic sentence, supporting evidence, and analysis to ensure clarity and coherence.

Clarity and Conciseness: Clarity and conciseness are essential components of expository essays. The writing should be clear, easy to understand, and free of ambiguity. Complex concepts should be explained straightforwardly and concisely. The use of appropriate language, precise vocabulary, and clear sentence structure helps to convey the information effectively and makes the essay more reader-friendly.

In summary, key components of expository essays include a clear and debatable thesis statement, reliable evidence, thorough analysis, effective organization and structure, and clarity and conciseness in writing. These components work together to present information in a coherent, informative, and persuasive manner.

Examples of Expository Essays:

The importance of recycling for environmental conservation .

The importance of recycling for environmental conservation is a crucial topic that can be explored in an expository essay. The essay could delve into the significance of recycling in reducing waste, conserving natural resources, and mitigating environmental pollution.

The thesis statement for this essay could be something like: "Recycling plays a pivotal role in environmental conservation by reducing waste, conserving natural resources, and mitigating pollution, thereby contributing to a more sustainable and eco-friendly future."

The body paragraphs of the essay could discuss the following key points:

Waste reduction: The essay could explain how recycling helps in reducing the amount of waste that ends up in landfills or incinerators. It could discuss the environmental impacts of landfilling and incineration, such as soil and water contamination, air pollution, and greenhouse gas emissions. The essay could also highlight the importance of reducing waste generation through recycling, as well as the role of waste reduction strategies, such as source reduction and waste minimization.

Conservation of natural resources: The essay could elaborate on how recycling conserves natural resources, such as timber, water, and minerals. It could discuss the extraction and processing of raw materials for manufacturing and the environmental impacts associated with resource extraction, such as deforestation, water pollution, and habitat destruction. The essay could also highlight the benefits of recycling in reducing the demand for virgin materials, conserving natural resources, and promoting a circular economy.

Mitigation of pollution: The essay could discuss how recycling helps in mitigating environmental pollution. It could explore the environmental impacts of pollution, such as air pollution, water pollution, and soil contamination, and how recycling helps in reducing pollution by reducing the need for extraction, processing, and manufacturing of raw materials. The essay could also discuss the importance of proper waste management practices, such as recycling programs, waste separation, and recycling technologies, in preventing pollution and protecting the environment.

The conclusion of the essay could summarize the main points discussed in the body paragraphs and reinforce the importance of recycling for environmental conservation. It could emphasize the need for individuals, communities, and governments to promote and participate in recycling practices to protect the environment and contribute to a more sustainable future.

The Impact of Technology on Modern Society

The impact of technology on modern society is a widely debated and intriguing topic that can be explored in an expository essay. The essay could delve into the various ways in which technology has influenced and transformed different aspects of modern society, including communication, economy, education, healthcare, and social interactions.

The thesis statement for this essay could be something like: "Technology has had a profound impact on modern society, revolutionizing communication, transforming the economy, revolutionizing education and healthcare, and reshaping social interactions."

Communication: The essay could explore how technology has revolutionized communication in modern society. It could discuss the advent of the internet, social media, smartphones, and other communication technologies, and how they have transformed the way people interact, communicate, and share information. The essay could also discuss the benefits and challenges of modern communication technologies, such as increased connectivity, global reach, and instant communication, as well as issues related to privacy, cyberbullying, and misinformation.

Economy: The essay could elaborate on how technology has transformed the economy in modern society. It could discuss the impact of automation, artificial intelligence, and digitalization on the job market, businesses, and industries. The essay could also discuss the benefits and challenges of technology in the economy, such as increased efficiency, economic growth, and job displacement, as well as issues related to inequality, workforce skill gaps, and the digital divide.

Education and healthcare: The essay could discuss how technology has revolutionized education and healthcare in modern society. It could explore the use of technology in online learning, e-learning platforms, and virtual classrooms, as well as the impact of telemedicine, electronic health records, and health monitoring devices on healthcare delivery. The essay could also discuss the benefits and challenges of technology in education and healthcare, such as increased access, personalized learning, and improved patient care, as well as issues related to data privacy, accessibility, and ethics.

Social interactions: The essay could explore how technology has reshaped social interactions in modern society. It could discuss the impact of social media, online communities, and virtual reality on human relationships, socialization, and identity formation. The essay could also discuss the benefits and challenges of technology in social interactions, such as increased connectivity, social awareness, and online activism, as well as issues related to social isolation, addiction, and cyberbullying.

The conclusion of the essay could summarize the main points discussed in the body paragraphs and highlight the complex and multifaceted impact of technology on modern society. It could emphasize the need for critical analysis, ethical considerations, and responsible use of technology to harness its benefits and mitigate its challenges in shaping the future of society.

The Process of Making Chocolate from Cocoa Beans

The process of making chocolate from cocoa beans is a fascinating and complex process that can be explored in an expository essay. The essay could detail the different stages involved in the production of chocolate, from harvesting cocoa beans to the final product that we enjoy.

The thesis statement for this essay could be something like: "The process of making chocolate from cocoa beans involves several stages, including harvesting and fermenting cocoa beans, drying and roasting, grinding and conching, and tempering and molding, which collectively result in the delicious chocolate we savor."

Harvesting and fermenting cocoa beans: The essay could describe the process of harvesting cocoa beans, which are typically grown in tropical regions. It could explain how cocoa pods are harvested, and the seeds (cocoa beans) are extracted from the pods. The essay could also detail the crucial step of fermenting cocoa beans, which involves allowing them to ferment in banana leaves or wooden boxes for a few days. This process is essential for developing the flavor and aroma of the chocolate.

Drying and roasting: The essay could discuss the next step of drying and roasting the fermented cocoa beans. It could explain how the beans are spread out and dried in the sun or using artificial drying methods to reduce their moisture content. The essay could then detail the roasting process, where the dried cocoa beans are roasted to bring out their rich flavor and aroma. The temperature and duration of roasting can vary depending on the desired characteristics of the chocolate.

Grinding and conching: The essay could describe the grinding and conching process, where the roasted cocoa beans are ground into a fine paste. It could explain how the grinding process involves using heavy machinery or stone grinders to reduce the cocoa beans into a liquid called cocoa liquor or cocoa mass. The essay could then detail the conching process, which involves mixing the cocoa liquor with sugar, vanilla, and other ingredients, and continuously stirring and kneading the mixture to develop its smooth texture and remove any bitterness.

Tempering and molding: The essay could explain the final steps of tempering and molding the chocolate. It could describe how the tempered chocolate is heated and cooled to specific temperatures to stabilize its crystalline structure and give it a shiny appearance and a satisfying snap when bitten. The essay could then detail the process of pouring the tempered chocolate into molds and allowing it to set, resulting in the familiar shapes and forms of chocolate bars, truffles, or other confections.

The conclusion of the essay could summarize the main steps involved in the process of making chocolate from cocoa beans and highlight the complexity and artistry involved in crafting this beloved treat. It could also emphasize the importance of sustainability, fair trade practices, and ethical considerations in the cocoa industry to ensure the sustainability and social responsibility of chocolate production.

Essay inspiration ideas for Expository Essays:

Expository essays are a common type of academic writing that aims to explain or describe a particular topic or concept. If you are looking for inspiration for an expository essay, here are some ideas:

The benefits and drawbacks of social media: In this essay, you could explore how social media has changed our society, for better or for worse. You could discuss the impact of social media on communication, relationships, mental health, and privacy.

The importance of education: This essay could focus on the benefits of education, such as increased earning potential, improved job opportunities, and personal growth. You could also explore the challenges faced by students, such as access to education, funding, and discrimination.

The impact of technology on our lives: This essay could explore how technology has changed the way we live, work, and communicate informative essays, expository essay examples, and structure. You could discuss the impact of technology on various aspects of our lives, such as health, education, relationships, and the environment.

The effects of climate change: In this essay, you could explore the causes and effects of climate change, as well as the measures that can be taken to mitigate its impact. You could also discuss the challenges faced by policymakers, scientists, and individuals in addressing this global issue.

The history and impact of a particular invention or innovation: This essay could focus on the history and impact of a particular invention or innovation, such as the internet, the automobile, or the smartphone. You could explore the cultural, social, and economic impact of the invention, as well as its future potential.

These are just a few ideas to inspire your expository essay. Remember to choose a topic that interests you and that you have knowledge of so that you can provide an informative and engaging essay.

Tips for Writing Expository Essays:

Conducting thorough research papers and using reliable sources.

Conducting thorough research papers and using reliable sources is essential for writing a high-quality expository essay. Here are some tips to help you with this aspect of your essay:

Start with reputable sources: Use reliable sources for your research, such as peer-reviewed journals, reputable websites, books from reputable publishers, and credible experts in the field. Avoid using unreliable sources, such as blogs, forums, or Wikipedia, as they may not always provide accurate or credible information.

Verify the credibility of sources: Assess the credibility of your sources by evaluating the author's expertise, the publication or organization's reputation, and the evidence and references provided. Look for sources that are well-known, peer-reviewed, and published in reputable journals or by respected organizations.

Use multiple sources: Rely on a variety of sources to gather diverse perspectives and evidence on your topic. Avoid over-relying on a single source, as it may introduce bias or limit the validity of your arguments. Use a mix of primary and secondary sources, and strive for a balanced representation of different viewpoints.

Conduct thorough research: Take the time to conduct in-depth research on your topic, using various sources to gather comprehensive and reliable information. Take notes, highlight key points, and organize your research findings to facilitate later reference and citation.

Fact-check your information: Double-check the accuracy of your information by cross-referencing it with multiple sources. Verify facts, statistics, and data to ensure they are reliable and up-to-date. Avoid spreading misinformation or making unsupported claims in your essay.

Cite your sources properly: Give credit to the original authors by properly citing your sources in your essay. Follow the appropriate citation style, such as APA, MLA, or Chicago, and provide in-text citations and a bibliography or works cited page at the end of your essay. This shows academic integrity and allows readers to verify your information.

By conducting thorough research and using reliable sources, you can ensure that your expository essay is based on accurate and credible information, enhancing its credibility and persuasiveness.

b. Crafting a Clear and Concise Thesis Statement:

Your thesis statement should be a clear and concise statement that summarizes the main point or argument of your essay.

It should be specific and focused, indicating what the essay will discuss or argue.

Avoid vague or broad thesis statements that lack clarity or precision.

Revise and refine your thesis statement as you develop your essay to ensure it aligns with the content and structure of your essay.

c. Organizing Ideas and Information in a Logical and Cohesive Manner:

Organize your essay logically and coherently, following a clear structure with an introduction, body paragraphs, and conclusion.

Use appropriate headings, subheadings, or transitions to guide the reader through your essay and make it easy to follow.

Group related ideas and information together, and present them in a logical and coherent sequence.

Use effective paragraph structure with topic sentences, supporting details, and clear transitions to ensure smooth flow and coherence in your essay.

d. Providing Strong Evidence and Analysis to Support Arguments:

Support your arguments or claims with strong evidence from reliable sources, such as facts, statistics, research findings, or expert quotes.

Analyze and interpret the evidence to explain how it supports your argument and why it is relevant to your topic.

Avoid unsupported assertions or generalizations, and strive to provide compelling evidence that strengthens your argument and makes your essay persuasive.

e. Using Appropriate Language and Tone for the Target Audience:

Consider your target audience and use language and tone that is appropriate and engaging for them.

Use clear, concise, and precise language to convey your ideas and arguments.

Avoid jargon, technical terms, or complex language that may confuse or alienate your readers.

Consider the tone of your essay, whether it should be formal, objective, or subjective, depending on your topic and audience.

f. Revising, Editing, and Proofreading for Clarity and Precision:

Revise and edit your essay carefully to ensure clarity, precision, and coherence in your writing.

Check for grammar, punctuation, and spelling errors, and make necessary corrections.

Review your essay for logical flow, coherence, and consistency in ideas and arguments.

Seek feedback from peers, teachers, or mentors to get different perspectives and improve your essay.

By incorporating these tips into your writing process, you can elevate the quality of your expository essay, making it more compelling, informative, and impactful for your readers.

Conclusion: 

In conclusion, expository essays serve as a valuable form of informative writing, providing readers with a balanced understanding of a specific topic. To excel in this art, conduct thorough research, craft a clear thesis statement, organize ideas logically, provide strong evidence, and revise for clarity. By mastering these techniques, you can create engaging, informative, and credible expository essays.

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Expository Thesis Statements vs. Argumentative Thesis Statements

Fleming, Grace. “How to Write a Solid Thesis Statement.” ThoughtCo, Feb. 11, 2020, thoughtco.com/thesis-statement-examples-and-instruction-1857566.

A  thesis statement  provides the foundation for your entire  research paper  or essay. This statement is the central assertion that you want to express in your essay. A successful thesis statement is one that is made up of one or two sentences clearly laying out your central idea and expressing an informed, reasoned answer to your research question.

Usually, the thesis statement will appear at the end of the first paragraph of your paper. There are a few different types, and the content of your thesis statement will depend upon the type of paper you’re writing.

Key Takeaways: Writing a Thesis Statement

  • A thesis statement gives your reader a preview of your paper’s content by laying out your central idea and expressing an informed, reasoned answer to your research question.
  • Thesis statements will vary depending on the type of paper you are writing, such as an expository essay, argument paper, or analytical essay.
  • Before creating a thesis statement, determine whether you are defending a stance, giving an overview of an event, object, or process, or analyzing your subject

Expository Essay Thesis Statement Examples 

An  expository essay  “exposes” the reader to a new topic; it informs the reader with details, descriptions, or explanations of a subject. If you are  writing an expository essay , your thesis statement should explain to the reader what she will learn in your essay. For example:

  • The United States spends more money on its military budget than all the industrialized nations combined.
  • Gun-related homicides and suicides  are increasing after years of decline.
  • Hate crimes  have increased three years in a row, according to the FBI.
  • Post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD) increases the risk of stroke and arterial fibrillation (irregular heartbeat).

These statements provide a statement of fact about  the topic  (not just opinion) but leave the door open for you to elaborate with plenty of details. In an expository essay, you don’t need to develop an argument or prove anything; you only need to understand your topic and present it in a logical manner. A good thesis statement in an expository essay always leaves the reader wanting more details.

Types of Thesis Statements 

Before creating a thesis statement, it’s important to ask a few basic questions, which will help you determine the kind of essay or paper you plan to create:

  • Are you defending a stance in a  controversial essay ?
  • Are you simply giving an overview or describing an event, object, or process?
  • Are you conducting an analysis of an event, object, or process?

In every  thesis statement , you will give the reader a preview of your paper’s content, but the message will differ a little depending on the  essay type .

Argument Thesis Statement Examples 

If you have been instructed to take a stance on one side of a controversial issue, you will need to write an  argument essay . Your thesis statement should express the stance you are taking and  may  give the reader a preview or a hint of your evidence. The  thesis of an argument essay  could look something like the following:

  • Self-driving cars are too dangerous and should be banned from the roadways.
  • The exploration of outer space is a waste of money; instead, funds should go toward solving issues on Earth, such as poverty, hunger, global warming, and traffic congestion.
  • The U.S. must crack down on illegal immigration.
  • Street cameras and street-view maps have led to a total loss of privacy in the United States and elsewhere.

These thesis statements are effective because they offer opinions that can be supported by evidence. If you are writing an argument essay, you can craft your own thesis around the structure of the statements above.

Analytical Essay Thesis Statement Examples 

In an analytical essay assignment, you will be expected to break down a topic, process, or object in order to observe and analyze your subject piece by piece. Examples of a thesis statement for an analytical essay include:

  • The criminal justice reform bill passed by the U.S. Senate in late 2018 (“ The First Step Act “) aims to reduce prison sentences that disproportionately fall on nonwhite criminal defendants.
  • The rise in  populism and nationalism  in the U.S. and European democracies has coincided with the decline of moderate and centrist parties that have dominated since WWII.
  • Later-start school days  increase student success for a variety of reasons.

Because the role of the thesis statement is to state the central message of your entire paper, it is important to revisit (and maybe rewrite) your thesis statement after the paper is written. In fact, it is quite normal for your message to change as you construct your paper.

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This video covers: • Review of Expository Essays and Elements • What a Thesis is • Important parts of a Thesis • Tips for writing a quality thesis

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  1. How to Write an Expository Essay

    Essay How to write an expository essay How to Write an Expository Essay | Structure, Tips & Examples Published on July 14, 2020 by Jack Caulfield . Revised on July 23, 2023. "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.

  2. 5 Expository Essay Examples (Full Text with Citations)

    Expository Essay Examples #1 Impacts of Technology on Education 955 words | 4 Pages | 15 References Thesis Statement: "The integration of technology in education represents a complex and critical area of study crucial for understanding and shaping the future of educational practices." Read Essay #2 Impacts of Globalization on Education

  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 Examples For All Academic Levels

    1. What is Expository Essay Writing? 2. Expository Essay Examples 3. How to Write an Expository Essay - Example What is Expository Essay Writing? An expository essay is a form of academic writing that aims to inform, explain, or describe a particular topic to the reader.

  5. PDF Writing an Expository Essay

    Section 1 Essay structure An essay is a piece of writing made up of a number of paragraphs. Each paragraph has a specifi c role in an essay. In a fi ve-paragraph essay, the fi rst paragraph is an introduction; the second, third, and fourth paragraphs form the body of the essay; and the fi fth paragraph is a conclusion (see diagram on page 4).

  6. Expository Writing: Definition and Examples

    Lindsay Kramer Updated on September 16, 2021 Writing Tips 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.

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

    Annie L. March 21, 2023 12 min read Share the article 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.

  8. Expository Essay Guide With Definition & Examples

    Write with Grammarly What is an expository essay? 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.

  9. How to Write an Expository Essay

    The Framework Construct a framework, so you know what elements will constitute the basis of your essay. Expository Essay Introduction Like other essay types, an expository essay begins with an introduction, including a hook, background to the topic, and a thesis statement.

  10. How To Write An Expository Essay

    1. What is an Expository Essay? 2. Expository Essay Vs. Argumentative Essay 3. Types of Expository Essay 4. Structure of an Expository Essay 5. How to Write an Expository Essay? 6. Expository Essay Example 7. Tips for Writing a Good Expository Essay 8. Expository Essay Topics What is an Expository Essay?

  11. What Is an Expository Essay and How to Write It

    Expository essays are commonly assigned in academic settings as they encourage critical thinking, research skills, and the ability to present information in a clear and concise manner. The ability to write an expository essay is an essential skill for students and professionals. It promotes critical thinking, objectivity, and clear and concise ...

  12. How To Write an Excellent Expository Essay: Expert Tips and Examples

    An expository essay asks for a critical explanation of a specific idea, theory, or topic. ... Exposition is about exposing information or ideas that may lie deeper within a subject through research and critical analysis. Differences Between Expository, Narrative, and Descriptive Essays ... If you're writing an expository essay about a poem ...

  13. 4 Easy Ways to Write an Expository Essay

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  14. What Is an Expository Essay? Examples and Guide

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  15. Expository Essay in Literature: Definition & Examples

    Examples of Expository Essays. 1. Susan Sontag, "Notes on 'Camp'". This is a definition essay that explores the meaning and usage of the slang word camp. When she wrote the essay in 1964, people used the word to describe a person or thing as exaggerated, effeminate, or theatrical. Sontag suggests that camp isn't a solid concept but ...

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  17. PDF Expository Essay Handout SP2020

    If you are writing an expository essay, your thesis statement should explain to the reader what they will learn in your essay. For example: "The United States spends more money on its military budget than all the industrialized nations combined.". "Post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD) increases the risk of stroke and arterial ...

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    Here, we provide a complete guide with examples to empower students and educators in crafting effective expository essays Download Expository Essay Bundle In school, it is an unavoidable truth that you will be asked to write something about a topic which sometimes you are so eager to finish.

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    Measles Essay Sample, Example. 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.

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    Expository essay examples serve as a powerful tool for presenting factual information, exploring ideas, and providing clear explanations. By employing a structured approach, these essays aim to educate, enlighten, and engage readers. This guide delves into the world of expository essays. These types of essays are widely used across academic ...

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  24. Expository Thesis Statements vs. Argumentative Thesis Statements

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