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Explanatory Essay: Definition, Outline, Writing Steps & Samples

Explanatory_essay
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An explanatory essay is a type of essay that aims to explain or describe a particular topic or subject. The purpose of an explanatory essay is to provide readers with information and to educate them about a topic in a concise manner.

In this article, we will discuss an explanatory writing definition, provide an outline of key components, and guide you through how to write an explanatory essay. Additionally, we will provide a well-written explanatory essay example to further illustrate required structure and format of writing the paper. Whether you are a college student or a professional, this article will offer all the tools you need to write a clear and effective explanatory essay. Our professional essay writers did their best to share all essential details on an explanatory essay – beginning with an introduction and ending with a conclusion. Let’s get started!

What Is an Explanatory Essay: Definition

An explanatory essay is a type of academic writing in which the writer presents an explanation or analysis of a specific topic or idea. Its main goal is to provide the reader with a clear, unbiased and well-supported understanding of the subject matter, through use of evidence and logical reasoning. 

Instead of persuading or arguing with the reader, explanatory essays provide relevant information to them. Therefore, a writer must present information objectively, without injecting their own personal opinions or biases. 

Additionally, explanatory writing can be used in professional settings as well, for example, in a scientific report, or in a business proposal to explain the process of a product or service creation, or to provide data analysis. According to definition of explanatory writing, it explains why things happen the way they are.

What is the Purpose of an Explanatory Essay?

Explanatory essay purpose is to provide an explanation or clarification of a particular topic or subject. This type of assignment is used to inform or educate readers about a specific concept or idea. Similarly to writing an informative essay, the focus is on offering a clear and comprehensive understanding of topic, rather than arguing about a particular point of view. 

A writer should present information, define terms, and use evidence to support their explanations. Explanatory essay also aims to explain complex ideas in a clear and concise manner, making information accessible and understandable to reader.

Explanatory Essay Outline

Explanatory essay outline varies depending on information that author is trying to present. Aim of explanatory outline is to organize points into paragraphs and provide a framework on how to write an explanation paper. You can find an example of an essay outline online that can help guide you on what to do. 

Below is an example of an explanatory essay outline template.

  • Introduction
    • Background information on the topic.
    • Thesis statement.
  • Body Paragraph 1
    • First point supporting thesis statement.
    • Evidence or examples to support this point.
    • Explanation of evidence provided.
    • Concluding statement.
  • Body Paragraph 2
    • Second point supporting thesis statement.
    • Evidence or examples to support point.
    • Explanation of evidence provided.
    • Concluding statement.
  • Body Paragraph 3
    • Third point supporting thesis statement.
    • Evidence or examples to support point.
    • Explanation of evidence provided.
    • Concluding statement.
  • Conclusion
    • Summarize main points
    • Restate thesis statement
    • Call to action or future implications.

Explanatory Essay Structure

Structure of an explanatory essay typically includes an introduction, body, and conclusion

Writing an explanatory essay begins with drafting an introduction. Introduction provides background information on topic and  thesis statement in closing sentence. Thesis statement offers the main idea of paper. Subsequent parts of an explanatory essay support the developed thesis statement using valid evidence. 

Body of the paper is where writers present evidence, examples, and explanations to support their thesis statement. Body typically contains several paragraphs, each focusing on a specific aspect of topic and providing evidence to support it. 

Finally, conclusion summarizes main points and arguments of the writing, and restates thesis in different ways. It also provides a final perspective on topic, and may offer some recommendations or suggestions for further reading or research.

Explanatory Essay Introduction

Have you been wondering how to write an explanatory essay introduction? A good introduction for an explanatory essay should have three main elements:

  • Hook
  • Background information
  • Thesis statement

The hook is an attention-grabbing and interesting sentence that entices reader to continue reading. It can be a surprising fact, a quote, or a thought-provoking question.

Background information provides context for the topic being discussed and helps readers to understand significance of the issue. This section should be brief and to the point.

Last part of introduction paragraph for an explanatory essay is a thesis statement. This is a statement that author will support by using facts, quotes and examples throughout the body of paper before concluding with personal opinion based on provided evidence.

Explanatory Essay Thesis Statement

It is important to know what is an explanatory thesis statement before exploring its purpose. Thesis is a statement that presents main idea or topic in a clear and concise manner. Thesis statement for an explanatory essay is an essential element as it serves as a roadmap for the entire work. It should be specific and arguable. 

Thesis statement should be presented early in paper, typically in introduction, to guide reader's understanding of essay's main points. It should be specific enough to clearly convey a topic, but not so specific that it limits the paper’s scope. Additionally, it should be arguable, meaning that it should be open to interpretation and debate. 

With this information, you can practice how to write a thesis statement for an explanatory essay.

Explanatory Essay Body

Next step after introduction is to write a body paragraph for an explanatory essay. Explanatory essay body paragraph provides evidence that supports thesis statement. It should include facts, statistics, expert opinions, examples and other evidence that help to prove thesis statement is accurate. 

Body paragraphs should be written in a clear and logical manner, making a strong case for thesis statement. It should also be written in a way that is easy for readers to understand and follow, ensuring that evidence is presented in a clear and convincing manner. 

To effectively convey information in the body of an explanation essay, it is important to use a variety of different techniques and strategies. This may include use of images, infographics, examples, theories, quotes, and other relevant information. By incorporating these different elements, writers can more effectively engage readers and provide a more comprehensive understanding of topic at hand. Additionally, use of these different techniques can help to break up text and make it more visually appealing and easier to read.

Explanatory Essay Conclusion

An explanatory essay conclusion is the final section of the paper that summarizes main points and restates the thesis statement. Conclusion for explanatory essays should be written in a way that ties all of information presented in paper together, providing a clear and concise summary of main ideas. 

Steps on how to write a conclusion for an explanatory essay are as follows:

  1. Restate the thesis statement.
  2. Summarize main points: conclusion should sum up key points and evidence presented in paper, highlighting most important information.
  3. Provide a sense of closure: indicate that paper has come to an end and that main points have been fully discussed. Your conclusion must show that the ideas have been explored fully.
  4. Emphasize significance of the topic.
  5. Provide final thoughts or recommendations: give reader something to consider after reading your work.

How to Write an Explanatory Essay Step-by-Step?

Best way to understand how to write an explanatory essay is by practicing certain steps involved in the process. By following these steps, writer will have a clear understanding of process and be able to effectively present information in a logical and easy-to-understand manner. Subsequent section will discuss how to do an explanatory essay by covering some important tips and considerations for each step, to help you produce a high-quality writing. Details on each step are discussed below.

1. Produce an Idea

First step in producing an idea in an explanatory essay is by thinking about what you are passionate about or interested in. This will make writing process more enjoyable and will also make it easier for you to have a strong understanding of the topic. When brainstorming a topic in explanatory essay writing, you should consider your audience and what they may be interested in reading about. More ways to brainstorm new ideas include looking at current events or trending topics in your field of study or area of interest. 

Narrow down your list of ideas by evaluating which explanatory essay topics would make most interesting and informative writing. Once you have a topic in mind, do some preliminary research to ensure that there is enough information available to write a comprehensive paper.

2. Make a Detailed Research

Before writing an explanatory essay, you should do detailed research to collect relevant information. Here are some steps to follow when gathering information:

  1. Identify topic and focus of your research paper. This will help you determine what types of sources to look for and where to find them.
  2. Search for sources using a variety of methods, such as online databases, library catalogs, and search engines.
  3. Evaluate credibility of each source. Check for things like author's credentials, publisher, and date of publication.
  4. Take detailed notes as you read through your sources. Be sure to note author, title, and publication date for each source, as well as any key information or quotes that you plan to use in your paper.
  5. Finally, review all sources again, and make sure they are reliable and trustworthy before you use them in your explanatory paper.

3. Use Appropriate Examples

Examples in explanatory writing are an effective way to explain a concept or idea because they provide a concrete illustration of topic being discussed. They can make complex ideas easier to understand by providing a real-world context. Using an appropriate explanatory essay example can help to strengthen credibility of information being presented. Sources used in this paper should be applicable to the real world. Examples can be used to persuade readers to see a certain point of view. For instance, when discussing a controversial topic, providing examples can help to demonstrate validity of the writer's argument. Also, providing illustrations helps the reader to understand unfamiliar concepts.

4. Create an Explanatory Essay Outline

Best way to know how to write an explanatory essay outline is to consider the amount of information gathered through detailed research and obtaining logical arrangement to ensure flow of ideas. Created through identifying a specific idea from detailed research and ensuring readers can easily relate logical flow throughout the paper. Appropriate outline for explanatory essay entails introduction, body and conclusion each containing specific information arranged in a logical manner to provide flow of your paper. 

Example of an outline provided above follows a general structure and provides the best organization of communicating directly to readers. Moreover, a sample above shows a flawless way of obtaining information and opinion of an author. Besides, it provides an outline in a manner that is easy to follow and comprehend.

5. Write an Outstanding Beginning

Capturing attention of the reader to go ahead and read entire paper is dependent on the introduction. Therefore, providing a hook seems like the best way on how to start an explanatory essay. First step to capture your audience’s attention is usually to write an introduction paragraph for an explanatory essay. Introduction becomes the first paragraph in any type of writing, and it is important in capturing interest among readers. 

Writing an effective introduction involves providing a hook and general description of the topic, background information and thesis statement. These elements provide an overview of your paper and instigate readers to expect more detailed information about your topic throughout the writing.

Explanatory Essay Introduction Example

Introduction paragraph is the beginning of paper and helps to introduce general ideas about topic and to capture attention and interest of your readers to continue reading. Introduction must begin with a hook, followed by scope of the topic and closing sentence should include a debatable thesis statement. Revising explanatory essay introduction examples can help you understand the concept better. Below is an example of introduction paragraph.

6. Come Up With an Explanatory Essay Thesis Statement

Understanding how to write a thesis statement for an explanatory essay is essential in ensuring that the reader comprehends whole idea author is trying to prove. Thesis statement for explanatory essays provides main idea in a precise manner. It is usually written in concluding statement of introduction paragraph of explanation writing. 

Effective thesis statement should be specific but must consider scope of the work. In addition, an outstanding thesis statement doesn’t include your emotions or opinion. Save arguments and viewpoints for an argumentative essay.

Explanation Essay Thesis Statement Example

Thesis statement is written in the concluding sentence. It is supposed to be specific and concise in providing the main idea of your paper. Additionally, to make it effective, thesis statement should be outstanding and debatable with open interpretation. Thesis statement sums up central point of the writing, and should articulate it in a few words without providing too much information. However, reader has to note specific ideas that author is trying to relay. 

Example of an explanatory essay thesis statement is stated as follows:

7. Support Your Ideas With Evidence

The central idea that author intends to express can only be validated through relevant evidence from credible sources. Supporting thesis statement is based on how well one knows how to write an explanatory body paragraph. Body of an explanatory essay entails evidence to support your topic. Evidence supporting the idea is obtained from detailed research conducted after identifying a specific idea. 

Main aim of the body paragraph is to prove thesis statement. Some ways used to communicate in body include examples, facts and opinions among other evidence that are deemed relevant and credible. Having an effective body in writing requires presenting evidence in a clear and convincing way that will enable reader to easily relate important ideas to thesis statement. Including different techniques of presenting evidence in body of report, provides vivid understanding and wider perception of the topic.

Example of an Explanatory Essay Body Paragraph

Body paragraph provides evidence that supports thesis statement. Below is a perfect explanatory body paragraph example about factors that cause suicide among teenagers.

8. Summarize Your Explanatory Paper

Last section of the explanatory essay writing is to summarize your evidence to support the thesis statement. Explanatory summary restates thesis statement and highlights important information presented throughout the work. Main idea is to link all information in the paper together to provide a common relationship between main ideas and thesis statements. Opinion of author is provided in summary section, which is dependent on depth of evidence provided in body. Author can agree or disagree with thesis statement, if it is efficiently supported by credible and relevant sources. Besides, the summary provides necessity of the topic at hand and possible recommendations.

Example of Explanatory Essay Conclusion

Conclusion paragraph starts by restating thesis and summarizing main points. Sample of an explanatory essay conclusion as one provided below will help you understand concept better.

9. Proofread an Explanatory Essay

Final step in writing an explanatory article involves proofreading your work properly. It entails revising paper a couple of times to check if it has proper flow of thoughts, communicate to audience with the clear ideas, and understand if conclusion provides a concise value of the thesis statement. It is usually done a day after completion to easily spot mistakes. Moreover, proofreading explanatory essays aims at detecting minor errors and grammatical mistakes that might affect clarity and quality of the paper. During proofreading, any error or mistake is noted and necessary editing done to improve the value of the paper.

Explanatory Essay Format

Format for an explanatory essay depends on the discipline provided in the paper. There are different formats to write an explanatory essay including APA style format, MLA format and Chicago style paper format which are provided in instructions. Format provided in paper also dictates the style of structure and citation of sources used in the paper. The format does not have any influence on content of the paper and is usually based on a system preferred by the author. Writer uses the recommended format that seems easier and familiar. Therefore, explanatory papers can take any format with similar structure and enable the author to communicate effectively to readers.

Explanation Essay Examples

Explanatory writing examples  provided below show the required structure of the essays. Under the structure there are possible sections with some clarifications to help the reader understand the main idea. Explanatory essay samples are necessary to readers because they help in understanding how to build up the topic under study. Moreover, each of the example of explanatory writing provided below is important in learning different formats of writing, conveying a general idea of the work.

Explanatory Essay Writing Tips

Writing tips are essential in ensuring an excellent explanation essay. Some of these writing tips are listed below:

  1. Take advantage of transition and linking words and write a hook for an explanatory essay.
  2. Cite sources from which facts were drawn. Sources should be credible and recent to ensure high value of paper. Following examples of explanatory essays is the best way of learning how to cite.
  3. Proofread the paper. This involves revising work to ensure topic is analyzed in a logical manner that follows correct explanatory essay layout which is easily understood by audience.
  4. Edit an essay. Follows after identifying and noting errors and mistakes during proofreading. It is done a day after completion of writing to ensure all mistakes are edited and paper’s value improved.
  5. Share the paper with a close person as a way of further improving its value and ensuring explanatory essay meaning is maintained. In addition, by sharing, authors can get feedback on where to make necessary corrections and changes to ensure writing is more understandable and clearly communicates to the audience.

Explanatory Essay Checklist

Before final submission of the explanatory essay, there are several checks it should go through first to ensure a proper flow in the paper and that the intended information is easily understood by the reader. The checklist enables one to write a good explanatory essay. The checklist includes the following:

Bottom Line on How to Write an Explanatory Essay

The question of what is explanatory writing has various definitions but generally,  it is usually academic writing which provides analysis of a specific topic or idea to readers. Explanatory essay template provides the basic structure that can be followed in explanatory writing. Besides, explanatory essay examples provide vivid understanding on how to write a good explanatory paper. Through using templates and examples, one can master steps and structure of writing an explanatory essay. 

Structure of explanatory paper has three parts that are logically arranged to enable readers to easily understand what the author intends to prove.  Besides, flow of ideas in a logical manner enables relating different evidence provided in body to thesis statement and accounting for correct conclusion. If you need more help on writing, feel free to seek more suggestions in our Blog. From guides on exemplification essay to tips on evaluation essay, you will find tutorial fitting any academic need.

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Article posted on:Mar 2, 2023
Article updated on:May 19, 2024

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