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Expository Writing That Your Teacher Will Love

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An expository essay is a type of academic writing that aims to explain a particular topic or idea. Student's task is to provide information or clarify a concept to the reader. Expository essays can be written in different styles, including  process analysis, comparison and contrast, cause and effect, or problem and solution.

Have you received an expository writing assignment and wondered where you should start? Don’t worry, we’ve got you covered! This article will explain what are the main criterias of the expository writing style. We will also cover the typical pitfalls and ways to overcome these difficulties. Pick some techniques we’ll share and choose your personal approach to discussing complex facts in a simple way. After a good start it would be easier to find proper words which would make their way to your audience’s hearts. Let’s see how!

What Is Expository Writing?

Let’s define ‘expository writing’ first. It is essential that your audience is familiar with the context of your topic. If you aren’t sure about that – then, obviously, it is your task to explain the context for them. The name of the style itself suggests that you ‘expose’ a topic in a clear and logical way. This step ensures that your readers understand what is actually going on.

So, what is the purpose of expository writing? In short, it must provide simple information on a complex topic. It requires students to study an idea, work with facts, and offer an objective explanation. Unlike an argumentative essay, expository writing shouldn’t include an author’s subjective opinion. Instead, it should give general information on the matter.  

Types of Expository Writing

Depending on the approach to introducing a reader to the context, several different types of expository writing can be defined.

  1. Cause and effect Author puts events in the order in a cause and effect essay explaining their effects and the links between them. Your purpose is to demonstrate what has caused a certain problem and what were (or could be) its consequences.
  2. Classification Your task is to break the topic into several parts or categories. Then, you should describe each of them in a separate paragraph or subsection. This gives a logical structure to an essay.
  3. Compare and contrast Objects, events or situations are described in comparison to each other. Highlighting similarities and differences between them helps to give your readers more information about an entire situation.
  4. Definition Topic is explained in detail. What is it? What are its characteristics? What forms can it take? Why does it matter? Which consequences could it have?
  5. Problem-solution Main problem is presented; its solution is proposed then. It is better to have a well-grounded solution.
  6. Process Description of actions necessary to achieve a certain result given step by step.

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Expository Writing Outline

The first step is to compose your expository writing outline. This may seem like some extra work. But it helps you quickly organize all thoughts and arrange them logically. An outline should not be long. Just make sure each of your key ideas and objects are defined. Once done, you can review it and see if anything important is missing. It will be easier to check missing pieces at this stage.
If you do not have any topic ideas, look through our blog with more than one expository writing topic to choose from.

Let’s look at this outline example so that you get how to structure expository writing.  

  1. Introduction (4-5 sentences)
    1. Hook sentence
    2. Background information
    3. Thesis statement
  2. 3 Body paragraphs (6-7 sentences each)
    1. Topic sentence introducing your key point
    2. Evidence from credible sources
    3. Analysis of examples
  3. Conclusion (4-5 sentences)
    1. Summary of all 3 points
    2. Significance of your topic
    3. Food for thought

Then, you can add more details, transitional words for expository essays, captivating phrases, and extra explanations.

Introduction to Expository Writing

An expository essay introduction should start with an engaging hook. Then, explain why this topic was chosen or what should make it interesting. This will work like a context. An opening paragraph must also contain a key statement of your essay. Present it to your audience in a clear way. For example, you should use technical or scientific terms to present a recent discovery. But use simpler words when giving advice on how to properly train your pet. Make sure you have described your thesis well, but avoid making this part too wordy.

A good expository writing introduction must help your audience understand an idea. At the same time, it should leave some questions that will be answered in the main part of your paper. Extra details, commentaries and conclusions will be written later.  

Writing the Body of an Expository Essay

Once the introduction is done, write a body of an expository essay. Go ahead and present all necessary facts, evidence, explanations and assumptions to your readers. Body paragraphs should answer all questions proposed in your introduction. The body should contain at least 3 paragraphs, or more. This depends on the size of your essay and general complexity of your topic.

You will usually expose a separate idea in each body paragraph. If you have some illustrative material prepared to back up your writing, add it here as well. Here’re several ideas on examples you can include:  

  • Literary devices
  • Photographs
  • Statistical graphs
  • Diagrams.

Just don’t forget to cite these references in your text. Also, make sure all paragraphs have a proper logical connection to each other. Make a smooth and clear transition from one paragraph to another. Different essay body paragraph examples can help you with it. 

Conclusion for Expository Writing

A conclusion for expository writing will leave a pleasant impression on your readers. A concluding part is where you summarize everything that has been written in the body. It should clearly answer your main thesis formulated in the introductory part and completely illustrate your own research on a topic. Do not introduce any new information here. All facts should be given in the body part while the conclusion should contain only a summary of this information, highlighting its meaning and suggesting its outcomes.

If you plan to write more on this topic in the future, you can mention this in your conclusion as well. A conclusion should not be long or wordy. In general, its volume shouldn’t exceed 4-5 sentences. Typically, 1 concise paragraph would suffice for a college essay. Remember that you can always consider to buy an essay online due to time shortages or writer's block.

>> Read more: How to Do an Essay

Bottom Line

As you can see, expository writing is nothing close to any hidden knowledge for chosen ones. Just follow these simple rules listed above and you can easily compose a proper essay. Choose your topic, do some research and try to understand how to make this information sound interesting for your readers. Write an outline and review it carefully. Add any useful or curious details that would help to captivate the audience. Then, write complete paragraphs – and your expository essay is ready! 

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1. How long is an expository essay?

Typical an expository essay length is around 800 words. It also depends on a topic and a way it is presented to your readers. You might include some necessary details and supporting materials, so at the end it might come out longer. In any case, it would be wise to consult with your teacher once you have performed some initial research on the chosen topic.

2. What are the elements of expository writing?

The main elements of expository writing are:

  • Organization: Order of all paragraphs should be logical and clear for the audience.
  • Statements: Main topic and subtopics (if any) should be stated clearly and separately.
  • Transitions: Paragraphs should have a smooth connection between each other.
  • Evidence: Reference materials you have found are necessary to support your ideas.
  • Conclusion: Should paraphrase a thesis statement and be backed up by information from your main body.

3. How do narrative and expository writing differ?

Expository writing provides explanation for the topic and its context in a detailed and logical manner. It may highlight differences between people, things or events. Such essays can also put them in a contrast for better illustration of the author's ideas. Narrative writing is about telling a story and describing its context, without any significant explanations or reference material supporting a thesis.

4. Why is expository writing important?

A key skill that can be practiced in expository writing is performing research and being able to support results with proper evidence. This type of writing teaches how to organize your thoughts and put them in a logical order. This helps a lot when the task is to inform your audience about something important or describe any complex process.

Article posted on:Apr 27, 2022
Article updated on:May 22, 2024


Leave your comment here:
6/22/2022 1:19 PM
Hi, you have info on the difference between expository and narrative writing. I'd like to know how narrative and expository essays are the same. Somehow they do get confused, after all.
6/23/2022 11:40 AM
Hello David,

Narrative essays explain what took place in chronological order. Expository essays give information on the topic. They both don't take sides. The narrative essay is expository but an expository essay may not be necessarily narrative.
We hope this helps!
7/5/2022 4:35 PM
Hello! Adding to the previous commentator: what is the difference between creative writing and expository writing? Really curious here.
7/5/2022 5:08 PM
Hi Luke,

Creative writing is based on your own imagination or experiences. Expository writing is based on published content or on facts. Creative writing encompasses novels, short stories and poetry. Expository writing covers a broad variety of writing, such as academic articles and academic papers (magazine newspapers, websites, and magazines) which are based on the facts.