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Expository essay

An expository essay is an organised piece of writing explaining a specific topic or set of an idea to an audience. They provide information and analysis. They may or may not have an explicit central idea, although it sets forth the perspective on the subject. An expository essay is different from a persuasive essay on a research level and the kind of arguments it utilises. An expository essay does not go into the depths of research like a persuasive essay although it uses illustrating to focus on a specific topic. When an expository essay is used in the context of an exam or a standardized test, the examples that it employs mainly comes from the knowledge already in the writer’s mind. Now that you know what is an expository essay, let us look at something else.

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Elements of an expository essay

This type of essay does not have distinct requirements apart from the standard ones that apply to every type of essay. It should have the following elements to ensure it sticks together:

  • A clear thesis or controlling idea stabilising and sustaining your focus
  • An introduction that outlines your thesis statement
  • Body paragraphs that contain specific evidence to demonstrate your informative or analytic point
  • Smooth transitions that link the ideas of adjoining paragraphs in a specific and interesting manner
  • A conclusion that restates your central argument
  • A clear thesis or controlling idea stabilising and sustaining your focus

This occurs in the introductory paragraph of your essay. The introduction is the one that is used to hook the attention of the reader. When writing your introduction, ensure that you include your thesis statement in the last sentence. It should link the introduction with the first sentence of the text body. It should be focused to meet the guidelines that have been set for the assignment. Failure to write it in good way destroys your chances of writing an effective expository essay.


  • Body paragraphs that contain specific evidence to demonstrate your informative or analytic point
    When writing the paragraphs for your expository essay, ensure that each paragraph discusses a single idea. The exposition should be done in such a way that the paragraph connects with the central argument of your essay. It should include evidential support that allows for clarity and direction in the entire paper. The evidential support can be factual, logical, statistical, or anecdotal. This implies that the student has to be well prepared and knows what is an expository essay.
  • Smooth transitions that link the ideas of adjoining paragraphs in a specific and interesting manner
    The stability of your expository essay partly depends on the transitions that you create between the introduction, the body, and the conclusion. When writing your body paragraphs, ensure that transitional words connect all ideas. Lack of transitions will disintegrate your essay, and the reader will not be able to follow your thought progression. For instance, when you are writing the concluding sentence of a paragraph, ensure that it creates a smooth flow to the opening sentence of the next paragraph. The reader will have an easy time while reading this essay.
  • A conclusion that restates your central argument
    Your conclusion should not just restate your thesis. It should re-emphasise it concerning the amount of evidence presented in your essay. Students often struggle with this paragraph. You have to remember that the conclusion leaves an immediate impression in the minds of the audience. As such, it must be logical and effective. The rule of thumb is to never introduce a new fact, information, or evidence in conclusion. You have to synthesise and conclude whatever you have been discussing in your essay.
  • Employ creativity
    Essay writing has not always been associated with artfulness and creativity, but it is still an art. Do not get stuck on the formulaic nature of your expository essay at the expense of writing something that is fascinating. Remember you are not writing the next bestselling novel. Instead, you want to get that good grade and leave a lasting impression in the minds of your audience.

A process guide of composing an expository essay

  • Read the assignment and understand it
    The first thing you do after you receive an expository essay assignment is to read the instructions and ensure you have a full understanding of it. This will enable you to find a topic that fits the assignment, and it is crucial that you narrow down that subject to make it remains relevant to the assignment. Ensure that your topic is not too narrow to lack significance.
  • Formulate a brief outline and a tentative thesis statement that highlights the assignment prompt. You have to come up with an engaging, interesting, and original perspective on your topic. Word your thesis in a manner that reflects its origins.
  • Ponder to the types of examples that you will be using to illustrate your major arguments that concern your topic. The examples can emanate from your learning or personal experiences. Every example you provide must relate to the central argument of your essay.
  • Every paragraph of your essay should discuss single ideas and should contain a major You are writing your essay outline by including a topic sentence for each major example to be used in your essay paragraphs. The topic sentence is part of your paragraph transitions, ensure it has a clear and logical connection to your thesis and the evidence that that paragraph will be discussing.
  • Conclude your outline as you think about a fascinating way to end your essay. The conclusion is supposed to summarise your major points without repeating what you said earlier. Suggest larger implications of your discussion and analysis. You can do this by giving a clear review of what you have covered coupled with some future recommendations.
  • If the expository essay is an assignment that you are writing away from school, you can experiment with the body paragraphs before you write your introduction. With the analysis details, you will be able to determine the wordings of your thesis statement and the way you introduce it in the opening paragraph.
  • Once you finish writing your essay, it should be able to perform most of the following tasks if not all:
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  • Coming up with a catchy title

    The expository essay topics  are the best way to capture your reader’s attention. Many people judge a book by its cover, but you can take advantage of that and ensure that once they set eyes on your paper; they will go beyond the cover and take time to read your essay.

  • Research on your topic

    You have to research before you start writing the contents for your expository essay topics essay. Research is not supposed to only conform to your argument, but also it should come from credible sources. It’s a way to show you know what is an expository essay. The research should be up to date and relevant to the topic that you are dealing with.

  • Consider your audience

    This is a crucial step to take before you start writing. Consider the expectations of the audience and if there is specific guidance as to how you are supposed to write your expository essay, follow them to the letter. Everything expected by your instructor must be met.

  • Creating a thesis

    This is the main argument of the paper and should make a clear stance on an issue. It is not supposed to go beyond two sentences.  Ensure that it is debatable and should provide enough details.

  • The length and format of your expository essay

    The length of your essay hinges on the points that are a discussion. The higher the number of the points, the more the paragraphs of your essay. The expository essay takes the format of the introduction, the body, and the conclusion. Mostly, the five-paragraph format has been used to write expository essays, which means it is a safe style to use. The expository essay takes the introduction, paragraph one, paragraph two, paragraph three and conclusion.

  • Crafting an intriguing opening paragraph

    Expository essays are not opinionated pieces of writing, and as such, you cannot use the introductions that incorporate personal plight. You can start by using a discovery, significant occurrence since it will give you points that are more factual.

  • Informative body

    It should contain two to three arguments and counterarguments, although this is optional. Every argument should have its paragraph. Supporting evidence should also be included depending on the information that is under discussion. You can also include the opposing opinion on your essay. It demonstrates that you have discussed the paper from all angles.

  • Conclusion

    In light of the evidence provided, close your expository essay with a strong conclusion that summarises everything.

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