How to Write an Expository Essay
This is a complete guideline on how to write an expository essay. Here we discuss the structure and features of an expository essay, share 10 effective tips for successfully writing one, and finally give a sample of an expository essay.
An expository essay is not merely a collection of information, but rather it establishes a particular decision by providing adequate data, reasoning, and evidence with the information. If you want to learn how to write an expository essay, these guidelines and tips will help you.
Expository Essay Writing: Structure, Tips & Example
Expose means to uncover or lay something bare, or to discover something in a way that others know what it is. Expository is derived from the word exposition which means to expose. Therefore, an Expository Essay is a genre essay that requires the students to investigate an idea, evaluate evidence, expound on the idea, and set forth an argument concerning that idea in a clear and concise manner.
While the writer of an argumentative essay chooses a position for or against the topic, the expository essay writer explores many angles of the topic in a neutral way. An expository essay is usually written in the third person. The writer is objective in presenting his facts findings. That is, the writer does not take a side. An expository essay is revealing and explanatory in nature.
Expository Essay Format
Title: This is a caption given to the essay. The title is the topic of the discussion.
Introduction: This is the first paragraph of the essay. This contains the topic sentence of the essay. Three or more main ideas which will be explained in the body of the essay are also briefly stated.
Body: This is the longest section of the essay. It contains three or more fully developed paragraphs. The main ideas which were briefly highlighted in the introduction are explained in each paragraph. Transition words and phrases are used in the body of the essay to help move readers from one idea to the next (example: also, another reason, in addition, secondly, etc).
Conclusion: This is the closing paragraph of an essay. Here, the writer restates 3 or more main ideas discussed in the essay. He does so without repeating the exact words in the introduction. It may also end with a strong statement or an appeal to the emotions.
10 Tips for Writing an Expository Essay
1. Select the correct structure:
The first step in writing an expository essay is to determine a structure and sentence-style for your essay to match what you are about to say. It can vary depending on the type of subject. The language will be ordinary and the length of the essay will be comparatively less if it is a light or humorous subject, but a subject of literature or research demands rhetorical language and long discussion. This is how you plan your essay.
However, in general, expository essays consist of 500 to 800 words, and an essay is composed of roughly five paragraphs. It begins with a brief introduction, ends with a conclusion, and has three body paragraphs in between, focusing on the main point.
2. Take note of the outline:
In a few words, write down the draft of your original idea on a piece of paper and put it in front of you. What is your position on the issue? What is the argument in favor of that position? Now, think about it and divide what comes to mind into three parts. Write them down on a piece of paper in a few words. With these three points, you will compose three body paragraphs of your essay.
3. Keep yourself neutral
In expository essays, the author has to keep a distance from the written subject. That’s why it’s usually best to use a third-person pronoun (“he,” “she” or “it”). However, if you have your own experience, it is better to use the first person (‘I’). Though, in this case, the great writers are seen to use it in the plural form (‘we’). The purpose is to make sure that the reader does not feel that your position is biased.
4. Write simple and concise
The language of the expository essay needs to be clear, and the statement needs to be concise. Then the readers can easily understand. Do not use difficult words and metaphorical language. Use a dictionary and find simple synonyms. If the reader is stuck in your language, he will not be able to grasp what you mean. As a result, your writing may fail. If the subject is complex, first define difficult terms.
5. Make a thesis statement
If you are thinking of writing an academic essay, make a thesis statement. Whatever you say in your essay, the thesis statement will contain its essence in one or two sentences. It should be precise and reasonable. The thesis statement is usually placed at the end of the first paragraph.
However, it is not needed in creative literary essays. You may check a few examples of thesis statements here.
6. Write an attractive introduction
The most important part of an expository essay is its introduction. After reading this, the reader will decide whether he will read the whole of your essay or not. So, in the introduction, mention what things you are going to highlight in your essay.
7. Compose the body paragraphs
The body of your essay is that key part, where you will explain your key points. Divide your idea into three points and compose one paragraph for each. Note that a paragraph is limited to one point. Then, see if each paragraph supports your thesis statement.
8. Use appropriate transition words
A good composition is like a chain. Just as every kink in a chain clings to one another, so every sentence in a good essay clings to each other. Keep an eye on that in your essay as well. Connect each of the sentences with the other by transition words like ‘however, ‘since’, ‘for example, ‘in brief’, ‘in fact’ etc.
9. Include necessary information and data
A quality expository essay should contain relevant information and data. It is unrealistic to expect that the reader will accept every personal opinion and point of view of the author. So, when you make a claim in your essay, come up with acceptable arguments and evidence for it. This will make your essay strong and authentic. Be sure to mention the source of the information presented.
10. Write an influential conclusion
The conclusion in your essay gives you the last chance to leave the final message for your readers. Here, you should not just repeat what you said earlier, but summarize your entire article in fewer words. Write the words in such a way that it can leave a deep impression on your reader’s mind, change his perspective as you wish. Also mention what the next steps should be in this regard.
Samples of Expository Essays
Below is a sample of an expository essay. It’s about the importance of sex education in school.
Importance of Sex Education in School
School is an institution of learning and that should include sex education. One of the inherent natures of Human Beings is their sensual appetite; usually during and after puberty with the increased production of sexual secondary hormones in both males and females. This sexual drive starts becoming more real and pronounced in every young person. This nature coupled with the characteristic curiosity of young children makes it a necessity for the introduction of sex education into the school curriculum.
Students even at their tender age are inquisitive about changes in their body and the sudden urge to want another so as to explore and possibly express this emotional feeling. Boyfriend and girlfriend are common words among students and video clips of students in uniform engaging in sexual intimacy abound online. With the scientific and technological advancement available through smartphones, Laptops, Decoders, and other electronic gadgets there is no more secrecy or restriction of access to all kinds of information. The ease of internet access to students avails them the possibility of watching explicit movies and browsing porn sites to satisfy their curiosity since most students are used to surfing the net in search of information and for assignment purposes.
Therefore, in the absence of sex education in school, these students will resort to pornography to get the answers they seek and appeal to their senses. This singular act will be disastrous to their future which School is meant to shape and in turn lead to moral decadence in the society. In addition, we are in the world of increased pedophile and rapist activities; Students are the most vulnerable since they are young, naive, and weak.
In conclusion, Sex education in Schools will help instruct the students on how they can protect and defend themselves against such terrible people. More so, the rise in universal nude marketing with almost every product advertisement carrying scantily dressed men and women in billboards and labels as well as multiple nude scenes and dancers in many movies and music videos has deepened. It becomes imperative for the adoption of Sex education in schools to foster moral discipline and educate the young ones on the dangers of sexually transmitted infections, the damage in early pregnancy, and abortion to their lives and destiny.