Exposition is explanatory communication, whether in speech or writing. So an expository essay is an organized piece of prose which explains a specific topic or set of ideas to a defined audience. Expository essays include those written for exams or for standardized tests like the SAT. They may also be assignments composed outside of class.
Expository essays provide information and analysis. An expository essay may or may not have an overt central argument, though it does set forth points of view on the topic. It differs from the persuasive research paper in the level of research and argument it employs. While an expository essay should be focused on a particular topic and illustrate its points with specific examples, it doesn’t usually have the depth of research or argument that you need in a major research assignment. With an exam or a standardized test, for instance, the examples you use to support your points will be based on the knowledge already inside your head.
What Are the Elements of an Expository Essay?
An expository essay does have certain baseline requirements that are standard in nearly every essay type:
- A clear thesis or controlling idea that establishes and sustains your focus.
- An opening paragraph that introduces the thesis.
- Body paragraphs that use specific evidence to illustrate your informative or analytic points.
- Smooth transitions that connect the ideas of adjoining paragraphs in specific, interesting ways.
- A conclusion that emphasizes your central idea without being repetitive.
How Do You Write an Expository Essay?
One common formula for the expository essay is the 5-Paragraph Essay. If you don’t have much experience with essay writing, this is a good method to start with, since it’s basic and straightforward. The 5-Paragraph Essay incorporates the elements listed above in the following basic structure:
- Introductory paragraph with a clear, concise thesis.
- Three body paragraphs that offer evidence and analysis connecting that evidence to the thesis.
- A concluding paragraph that sums up the paper by reevaluating the thesis in light of the evidence discussed in the essay’s body.
While the 5-paragraph structure gives you a helpful formula to work with, it’s only one among many valid options, and its suitability will depend on other factors like the length and complexity of your essay. If you’re writing a paper that’s more than 3 or 4 pages long, it should be more than 5 paragraphs. In most cases, the structure of a longer essay will be similar to that of the 5-paragraph essay, with an introduction, a conclusion and body paragraphs performing the same basic functions—only the number of body paragraphs will increase. The length of the paragraphs may also increase slightly in proportion to the length of the essay.
Composing an Expository Essay: A Process Guide
- Begin by reading the assignment carefully to make sure you understand it. Then find a topic that fits the assignment. It’s important that you narrow your topic so that it’s directly relevant to the assignment. But make sure your topic is not so narrow that it lacks significance.
- Start a brief outline by writing a tentative thesis statement that addresses the assignment prompt. Try to come up with an interesting, original perspective on your topic, and word the thesis so that it reflects that originality.
- Think of specific examples you can use to illustrate your major points about your topic. These examples may come from your learning or from personal experience. Each example should have some clear connection to your central idea.
- Your essay should devote one body paragraph to each of your major examples. So continue your outline by writing a topic sentence about each major example for each of your body paragraphs. Since the topic sentence will be part of each paragraph transition, it should make a clear, logical connection between your thesis and the evidence that paragraph will discuss.
- Complete your outline by thinking of an interesting, meaningful way to end the essay. Remember that the conclusion should sum up your central points without merely repeating what you’ve said earlier. You might suggest the larger implications of what the essay has discussed and analyzed. One way to do this is to offer a concise review of what you’ve covered combined with a forecast or recommendations for the future.
- If this is an assignment that you’re completing at home rather than in a timed exam, you might want to experiment with writing the body paragraphs before you write your introduction. The details of analysis in the body of the paper often help you to determine more precisely how to word your thesis and the way you introduce it in your opening paragraph.
- Your essay should perform several of the following tasks that overlap and merge smoothly with each other:
- Define your key terms or ideas.
- Describe specific evidential examples.
- Investigate the common thread among your examples.
- Compare and contrast your examples and their relation to your thesis.
- Analyze cause-and-effect relationships among your examples.
- Connect your examples explicitly to your central idea and to each other.
- Polish your essay through revision to make it artful, original, and interesting. Avoid clichéd language or the most obvious examples. You want your reader to learn something new and compelling, whether it’s an unusual fact or a novel perspective on your topic.
If you are going to write an expository essay, be prepared to spend much time hitting books. Creating an effective essay of this type may seem to be a more difficult task compared to other essays. The main idea here is to explain some situation or describe how a certain process works.
From its name, you may guess that you should have a clear picture of a certain thing in order to provide your reader with a clear and concise explanation. It is impossible to talk about the topic you either don’t know anything about or are not interested in. That’s why you should do a great pre-writing job looking for the attractive topic, which you would like to present to your target audience.
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Writing an essay isn’t as easy as ABC, especially, if you can’t do without making a research instead of developing a work based on your own experience. You can include information based on your personal life findings, but it shouldn’t be the only source.
The key to success in the process of essay writing is a proper organization of work and an understanding why you are going to do this task. You may face a range of questions, which will be answered here. It is possible to write an A-grade expository essay only by following the guidelines and step-by-step instructions.
What is an Expository Essay?
If it is the first time when you hear the name “an expository essay”, you may wonder: “What is an expository essay and how it should be written?” First of all, it is necessary to understand what it is all about. To explain what is an expository essay in simple words, you should memorize one easy formula: information plus analysis.
Imagine that your friend has asked you about something and you need to give him as many details as possible analyzing how something works. Sounds easy, doesn’t it?
After you have answered the most important question “What is an expository essay?” you should start searching for the relevant information. Be careful using materials taken from the internet since not all sources are reliable and for this paper type credible sources are of utmost important. Find the trustworthy information for the essay topic you are going to work on.
Look at the expository essay samples, which one can easily find on the Internet nowadays. Before you get started, not only read the essay type definition but have an illustrative example, which will be helpful while writing an essay.
Top-Rated Expository Essay Examples
Look at the expository essay examples to have a clear picture of the writing style and requirements.
An expository essay sample on the topic “The effective methods to feel happy.”
An expository essay example on the topic” How to react to the teenager’s wish to date?”
These two expository essay examples may be helpful while creating your own essay.
Expository Essay Definition
An expository essay is an essay that requires to examine a specific topic and give arguments. It involves a presentation of the main thought in a clear manner using the contrast and comparison and including the relevant examples and explanations of certain phenomena.
Unique Expository Essay Topics
There are a lot of expository essay topics to choose from. Haven’t been assigned a definite topic yet and need to make a choice on your own? Then you should focus on your reader. Brainstorm ideas and choose the topic which is able to attract your audience. Avoid general topics and be specific. Narrow your research sphere, making it clear and concise.
Here you will find expository essay topics, which will help you come up with the most suitable one, depending on your educational establishment requirements.
Expository Essay Topics 8th Grade
- Explain how you like spending free time and why.
- Whom would you like to look after and why?
- Give instructions how to ride a bicycle.
- How to memorize new English words?
- How do you feel when you get bad grades?
Great Expository Essay Topics
- How to lead a healthy lifestyle on a tight budget?
- How to stop bullying in high educational establishments?
- What is the impact of new information technologies on people’s relations?
- How do computer games influence kids?
- How not to be materialistic?
Good Expository Essay Topics
- How to manage your time and not be late?
- Which strong points do you have?
- Which effect does Internet have on modern communication?
- How not to become shopping addicted person if you have money?
- What is the reason for the high percentage of divorces?
Expository Essay Topics for High School Students
- Who is your favorite film superhero and why?
- Do people need to stay independent?
- How do you understand “love”?
- Explain what is friendship for you?
- What is the secret of successful people?
Topics for Expository Essays for College
Find the best college essay topics:
- How to minimize the negative influence of media on people’s lives?
- Where to invest money in and why?
- Which writer is your favorite one and why?
- How to become a leader?
- How does music influence people’s life?
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How to Write an Expository Essay
Are you ready with the topic? Then the next step will be to learn more about the expository essay structure. Those who have already written essays know how to write an expository essay as the structure is somewhat similar to the one other papers have.
It should be well-organized and sound logical. As any other essay, there is an introductory part, a body consisting of not less than 4-5 paragraphs, and a conclusion.
Each one has its own features, which you can check out here.
Expository Essay Outline
When writing an expository essay, remember that a key to success is a logical plan. Before you write your essay from scratch, you should work on an outline.
- Start with an introduction, which should be short but informative;
- Proceed with five-paragraph main body, containing analysis and all findings;
- Make a conclusion, which should summarize but not include any new facts.
Expository Essay Introduction
An introduction is the most important part of your piece of writing. If you don’t succeed in making it eye-catchy, your reader is unlikely to continue reading your essay.
It is very important to pay special attention to the opening sentence. Take into account these three main prompts.
- Provide an interesting dilemma or ask a disputable question;
- Introduce all necessary pieces of information to help a reader understand the intention of your writing;
- Write an effective expository essay thesis statement.
How to Write an Expository Essay Thesis?
- Present facts to your reader;
- Help them understand the main idea;
- Explain which aim you have set writing this essay.
Expository Essay Main Body
When you proceed to the main body, make sure you know how to write properly:
- Write the key idea for each paragraph;
- Provide your paragraphs with enough supporting sentences;
- Explain why you are sure that the provided facts play a significant role.
Expository Essay Conclusion
If you have already come to the end of the essay, you should ensure you know how to write a conclusion for expository essay.
- Give an overview;
- Brainstorm possible problem solutions;
- Prove the necessity of your research.
Most Effective Advice from Expert
An expository essay is a genre of writing that will expose your writing skills and talent if written properly. First of all, you should get the meaning of the expository essay definition and choose the topic you know well or at least find it interesting to learn more about. If a person feels enthusiastic about something, they will be ready to spend much time making a research and will achieve success.
Remember that the main accent is on the author's personality, which means you are the most important figure in your essay. Your reader will see all details through the prism of your ideology.
That's why be attentive to details and develop your creative thinking as the top-quality work should contain a solid point of view supported by facts and unquestionable truth.
Imagine that your pieces of information are just pieces of a puzzle that you have to collect. Find the appropriate place for each one so that it sounds logical. And don’t try to copy other writers as only essays having their own voice are worth A-grades. Pay attention to your language as it should be eerror-free
Imagine that your essay is a precious stone and make all of its faces shine using an easily readable and original language.
Be wise and get started only if you are inspired to create a masterpiece.
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