How to Write an Expository Essay

The aim of writing an expository essay lies in exposing of a particular theme and introducing the facts to the readers from various angles. The difficulty is that such an essay is quite variable, and it can be equally applicable for both 4th – 6th and upper-grade school pupils and university graduate students during a lesson or exam. While writing the text, you need to explain your personal ideas together with the material that you have acquired for the presentation of the topic. It is necessary to state the thought clearly so that all those people who will engage in reading your text could apprehend what you mean. Nobody but yourself can teach you how to do it.

A lot of students take an expository essay for an argumentative one as these two types of academic writing have a lot of common points. However, there is one thing that shows the difference between these two tasks. During the argumentative essay writing, you always need to prove some thoughts while supporting it with the information. In addition, you need to state your personal attitude towards the case. The expository essay concentrates on writing the information and the point of view of the writer should remain neutral without showing any personal involvement.

The expository paper is the most frequently issued task during tests and even during class work as it proves the student’s apprehension of the material. There are simple steps which go one by one and which ensure a decent writing of an expository thesis. Go on reading them and be sure that your essay will be a quality one and will hook the readers.


Decide on the Type of Your Expository Essay

The work always begins with the selection of a topic. But this is not the case with an expository essay. In this case, you need to figure out a type in which you should write as there are 5 basic options available and each of them concentrates upon some peculiar aspects of the topic. The type is usually given by the professor or a teacher, but there are cases when you are allowed to make a personal approach to the situation. Below, you can see the list of the basic expository essay types with their characteristic features.

  • Process essay. This type of writing concentrates on the description of some events or processes in a language that are clear to the reader. You need to describe the principle of work with all the elements which make it possible to take place. Basically, this type of an essay answers the question “How does it work?”.
  • Descriptive essay. This is an essay that is issued at schools most often. The aim of this task is to describe something from various aspects. This essay is the best proof of student’s apprehension of the material. Writing the descriptive essay is probably the easiest one to do. It answers the question “How does it look?”.
  • Cause and effect essay. This is a more serious type of writing which shows the capability of the researcher to gather the data, organize it according to the categories, and show the interconnection between them. This is a popular task for sociology and history majors as the events are regarded as the unity of causes and their impact on the society. This type of an essay answers the question “How did it happen?”.
  • Comparison essay. Another type of an expository essay that concentrates on the gathering and structuring of the data. In this case, the goal is to select the objects of investigation and compare them. This essay answers the question “How are they different?”
  • Problem solution essay. The final type of the essay regards the ability to apprehend the material and state the existing problem. This one is probably the most personally involved and similar to argumentative one. In this case, you need to state the problem to the audience and at the end of the text you should find out a potential solution for the case giving the answer to the question “How to deal with the problem?”

After you have selected the type of the essay, you can start searching for inspiration sources to come up with a topic for writing.

Developing a Nice Idea for Writing

Before you start writing, it is important to select the topic that is worth writing about. Sometimes, you are given the theme or at least a vector of writing, but there are situations when you are on your own and need to develop a personal theme. In this aspect, the following steps will help you organize all your thoughts and develop a catchy theme for writing.

  • Check the trends. Depending on the subject of writing, you can always browse the Internet in search of some popular investigations or news. Based on the received information, you can find some interesting topics to write about.
  • Create the list. In the aspect of generating the ideas, brainstorming knows no equals. Just write down all the potential thoughts that come to your mind and set the list aside. After a day or so, look at the text with a fresh mind and select the most attractive one.
  • Grouping of the data. It would be wise to categorize the information according to some peculiar criteria. It may help you narrow down the topic of writing and prepare a specified topic regarding some definite aspects.
  • Go questioning. Students often underestimate the knowledge of their professors. However, if you come with a question regarding the potential topic, you will not be refused. The professor will gladly advise you a topic or give a hint on some interesting one. It is also possible to attend the forums on your subject to find some good ideas or search for information in an analytical book.

Be sure that after active stimulation of the brain, it will reward you with some fancy topics for writing. If you’re stuck at this point, check a trusted online company offering a cheap essay to buy to get professional assistance with the topics choice.

Gather and Validate the Material for Writing

Now, when you finally figured out the topic for writing, you can start gathering the material and that will be your introductory phase of work. There are numerous sources of information which are available for use. Some people prefer classical method and go to the library. Fortunately, modern days offer some contemporary solutions for information search which can greatly reduce the time needed for writing.

The Internet databases can provide the students with the most recent information. Moreover, a simple combination of CTRL+F can instantly find the necessary information. The internet grants you access to multi-linguistic investigations, publications, statistics, and other material that can be helpful during the writing.

Mind that not all the material online is good for utilization. Some portion of validation is needed before you can consider the usage of the source for quotation:

  • Always check the date of creation as some old investigations which were accurate in the past became wrong at present.
  • Check the credibility of the author as the reputation plays a great role in the world of science. Check other works of the author and if he/she was quoted by other people as well.
  • Do not stick to one point of view and gather the material for various sided investigation which can prove or disprove the correctness of your statements.
  • Try to use the sources of the first level. Some articles could have been quoted and re-quoted several times, and a part of the sense could be lost or distorted. Check the originals for better understanding of the situation.

With all the material at hand, you can proceed to the creation of the outline base on the data in your possession.

Work on the Outline

The work on the outline is, probably, the most underestimated part of essay writing work. It is hard to believe but most students actually skip this stage and start immediate writing. As a result, the text becomes somewhat uneven, and it can be hard to trace the thoughts of the author.

You need to create an outline not because it is compulsory, but because you will have a personal benefit from it. A decent structure of a paper can assist you in the creation of the essay that will correspond the conventional demands. A standard essay consists of the following parts:

  • Introduction. At this point, you need to conduct a statement where you describe the situation and what should be done in the following paragraphs. Basically, this is an expression of ideas.
  • Paragraph 1. This part depicts one side of the situation.
  • Paragraph 2. This part deals either with opposite side or addition to the first but from a different aspect.
  • Paragraph 3. Correlation between the first and the second paragraphs that slowly leads to the conclusion.
  • Conclusion. The final part of the essay, where you find a solution, summarizes everything or states the results of the investigation.

With an order of your thoughts depicted on paper, you can start working on the draft.

Do Some Drafting First

Remember! Drafting is not the work that will be given in. Do not waste time on polishing of something that should be polished later. During this step, concentrate on the fast writing of the text material so that you could have it ready in a contextual way.

Just stick to the outline and write until it is ready and consider yourself in the middle stage of writing. Do not worry about the mistakes as you will deal with them later during the editorial procedure. You need to create a single textual entity out of separate sentences and facts. Do not forget about transitions in the text to unite the separate parts of it in a natural manner.

Revising and Editing of the Text

Here, we are at the final gates to finalizing the essay. You will spend most of the time while editing as this is a rather time-taking process. To accomplish this step, you need to consider the following points:

  • Check if the data in the text does not contradict with one another.
  • Proofread the text for grammar, lexical, and contextual mistakes. This can be done through special services if you face difficulties fixing the text.
  • Does your conclusion reveal the topic as required by the intro?
  • Is all the information relevant and fresh?
  • Make sure that the text follows the outline.

After finishing all the steps stated above, you will acquire a well-written expository essay that will be positively accepted by scientific society.

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Angelina Bennett

Angelina Bennett is a college adventurer, shopaholic and dreamer. She has, perhaps, the widest circle of offline friends, but despises aggressive online presence. “Be true” is her motto. She explains her life philosophy in her personal blog at – a website for international students.

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