How to Write a Successful Expository Essay
More often than not, you will be tested using expository papers that require you to give detailed information about a specific theme. This kind of writing is straight forward, and all you need to do is provide information. If you are wondering how exactly to write an expository paper, read on to find out more.
What Is an Expository Essay?
An expository essay is one in which the author explains and gives information on a particular subject. The word expository means ‘that which provides a comprehensive description.’ The primary purpose of expository essay writing is to explain a subject logically and straightforwardly. Unlike argumentative essays; expository papers neither choose nor defend one side. Instead, they clarify on a topic of your choice. Therefore, they have a neutral tone that does not lean to either side.
There are five types of expository compositions:
- Descriptive essay – describes an event, place, or occurrence.
- Comparison essay – compares and contrast two or more items.
- Cause and effect essay – shows the cause reasons for something and its consequences.
- Problem/solution essay – presents a problem and provides resolutions to it.
- Process essay – explains the procedure or a series of actions completed to achieve something.
Expository Essay Prompts
Essay prompts are short passages that focus on a particular issue. They evoke a response in an essay which tests a student’s analytical, reasoning, and writing skills. Expository essay prompts could be a single sentence or even a paragraph. They serve to give you an idea you are to focus on as you write. Essay prompts make writing simpler as opposed to being given a blank paper and asked to write with a composition.
They are commonly used in standardized college essay but can be created by an author. Since the prompt gives you an idea on what you need to focus on when creating your piece, you need to pay attention to it. Read and understand before you start drafting your paper.
Tips for Writing an Expository Essay
Now that you can comfortably answer the question “what is an expository essay?” it is time you understand how to write one. Here are vital guidelines that you will find useful when writing.
- Carefully read through the instructions and the essay prompt. Understand what you are required to write. Write, keeping in mind the provided guidelines. Do not go out of topic or add your own set of instructions.
- Create a clear and solid thesis statement. The thesis forms the basis of your writing. It presents the main idea you intended to discuss to your reader.
- Thoroughly research your topic. Use reliable sources that date to only ten years back. The library would be a great place to find information. You can also use scholarly papers, articles, journals, and books. The internet also provides several websites. Some contain credible information, while some have scanty information that will mislead you. Take caution. Remember to cite your sources at the end of your paper.
- Create an outline. Write down the main points and what you plan to include in every section. An overview helps you schedule your work before you get to the actual writing.
- Write a rough draft first. Edit it and make corrections. Leave the key points and cross out the weak ones. Afterward, write a clean draft with proper sentences and well-explained ideas. Ensure that you keep your whole paper interesting.
- Revise your work. After you finish writing, put it aside for a few hours, then get back to your essay, and read through it again. Correct any mistakes, be it punctuation, spelling, or grammatical errors. Have a friend read it also. They might spot errors that you missed out.
Expository Essay Format
Usually, the 5 paragraph format is used for expository writing. It comprises the introduction, body paragraphs, and conclusion. There is no other known type of expository essay format.
- The introduction
It is the beginning of your writing and gives the writer background information about what you intend to write. Create a hook to capture your reader’s attention. You can use an exciting fact or relevant quote. Also, formulate a strong thesis and place it in the middle or towards the end of the introductory paragraph.
Here you put your points across in detail. Every main point should be backed up by facts. Each paragraph should contain one main idea. You can accompany it with a relevant example also. The body should contain at least three paragraphs. Note that this might vary depending on the instructions you are given. Ensure that there is a smooth flow between the paragraphs. Use convincing yet straightforward language.
This is the last section and contains a summary of your main points. Do not add new information. In a clear, compelling manner wind up your topic. Also, remember to restate your thesis.
Expository Essay Topics
When it comes to selecting topics for expository essay, then you are spoilt for choice. You can write about anything. It is advised that when picking a theme, you choose one that you have interest in. It should also not be too broad or narrow. Also, ensure that you can get adequate information about the choice you choose to write on.
Here are sample expository essay topics:
- Technology in the 21st century
- Environmental pollution
- Gender inequality
- What are the reasons behind the increasing rates of depression?
- The greatest invention of all time
- Slavery in contemporary society
- What is the effect of social media on interpersonal relationships?
- How to deal with bullying
- Why do college students resort to drug and substance abuse?
- The revolution of art
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