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Expository essays

Expository essays are explanatory types of writing. It is an organised piece of writing explaining a particular topic or set of ideas to an audience. It serves the purpose of explaining, informing or describing. In other words, expository essays provide analysis and information. Expository essays are different from a persuasive research paper from the level of research and the kind of argument it uses. It lacks an in-depth level of research as opposed to a major research paper, although it illustrates a point with very specific examples. For instance, if you are writing a standardised test, the examples that you employ to support your point hinges on the knowledge already in your head.

When writing expository essays, you ought to investigate an idea, evaluate your evidence, elucidate on the idea, and come up with an argument that concerns that idea in a manner that is clear and concise. This is achieved through comparison and contrast, definition, examples or the analysis of cause and effect.

Elements that make an expository essay strong

The baseline requirements for all types of expository essays include the following:

  • A clear and concise thesis that founds and sustains your focus
  • An effective introduction that introduces your thesis
  • Body paragraphs that utilise specific evidence to explain your points of information or analysis points
  • Smooth transitions that show the progression of thought throughout between the paragraph and the entire essay
  • A conclusion that re-emphasises your central idea without repetition

The above elements are essential in making your expository essay much more effective and you can use examples of expository essays to see how they are executed. This is how you can contextualise them.

  • A clear and concise thesis that founds and sustains your focus
    Your thesis statement must be appropriately narrowed down to conform to all the guidelines that the assignments are following. Failure to write down a better thesis statement will make the writing process confusing to the student. Your thesis must be debatable and should transcend the mere provision of details. It should show why something is good or effective. The thesis statement is housed in the introduction of your essay.
  • An effective introduction that introduces your thesis
    This is the paragraph that introduces to the audience, the context of your essay. It should be interesting enough to capture the attention of the audience. Since it is the first paragraph of the entire essay, the writer must ensure that he uses a captivating lead that leads up to the rest of the essay. The introduction also introduces your thesis statement to the audience. Your thesis statement is supposed to come as the last sentence of your introductory paragraph. You can see this on the examples of expository essays that you come across.
  • Body paragraphs that utilise specific evidence to explain your points of information or analysis points
    Just like any other form of essay writing, respective paragraphs in expository essays should discuss a single idea. It makes the essay more clear, and the reader can know the direction that the writer is taking. It also enhances the readability of the essay for the audience. Every paragraph, irrespective of the idea it is discussing, must connect logically to the central argument made known in the introduction paragraph.
  • Use of evidence to support the argument
    In most cases, students are required to write expository essays with little or no preparation at all. As such, they do not apply any substantial evidence to support their idea. However, if there is enough time to come up with such an essay, you can back your ideas by using statistical, logical, or factual evidence.
  • Creativity
    When writing expository essays, try going beyond the formulaic nature and employ your creativity. You have to write something so interesting that it will leave a lasting impression on the person reading your essay. Just remember that you are not writing the next bestselling novel, you are just looking out for a better grade. Creativity and looking at examples of expository essays will help you reach there.
  • Smooth transitions that show the progression of thought throughout between the paragraph and the entire essay
    Your reader will find it hard to follow your thoughts in the essay if there are no smooth transitions. Ensure that the transition between the paragraphs is clear enough. The way you structure the last sentence of your paragraph should usher the reader into the first sentence of the subsequent paragraph without breaking the flow. Smooth transitions enhance the structure of your essay. It shows the logical progression of your thoughts.
  • A conclusion that re-emphasises your central idea without repetition
    You must go beyond restating your thesis statement at this point. However, some student may find this a struggle, but if you have been following what you were writing, this should not be a problem. Remember that you want to leave a lasting impression on the mind of the audience. As such, your conclusion must be effective and logical. You should never introduce any new information, facts, or evidence in the conclusion. Instead, synthesise all the information and conclude your essay in light of the evidence present in your expository essay.

How to write expository essays

The most common formula is the 5-paragraph essay. If you are a beginner, then this formula is best applicable when you are starting because it is straightforward and basic. It incorporates all the elements of introduction, three body paragraphs, and a conclusion that sums up the paper by reevaluating your central idea about the evidence you have discussed in the essay.

The five-paragraph formula is one among many, but other factors determine its usage in types of expository essays. When you think of complexity and the length of your essay, then you want to know the best formula to use. If you are writing an essay that is three to four pages long, that goes beyond the five paragraphs. The five-paragraph formula will still apply even though the paragraphs will be more than five, regardless of the examples of expository essays that you have seen. The introduction, body paragraphs, and the conclusion will still play their basic role

Most of the expository essays written by students respond to a prompt. They are required to explain or expose a specific topic. In other cases, one will be required to come up with a topic for an expository essay. The significant step is to ensure that the topic you select is interesting enough and can elicit debate at all levels. These are some of the topics for various examples of expository essays. You can use them as starting points for your expository essay assignments.


  • How to stop bullying in schools
  • Do aliens exist?
  • The impact of technology on relationships
  • How to treat with severe allergic reactions
  • Genius IQ, what does it mean to have one?
  • The effects of video games on children
  • How to become a happy camper
  • The positive impact of the internet on communication
  • The negative and positive characteristics of materialism
  • Choosing the perfect pet
  • Advantages and disadvantages of teen curfews
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