How to Write an Expository Essay

How to Write an Expository Essay

Does Expository Writing Have You Confused?

Maybe you find yourself on this page because your instructor asked you to write an expository essay, and you aren’t exactly sure what’s expected of you—if so, you’ve certainly found the right place. Expository writing, or exposition, is a type of discourse used to describe, explain, define, inform, or clarify. It literally means “to expose.” Exposition can be found in writing or oral discourse, but for the sake of this article, we’ll stick with expository writing. You are likely familiar with expository writing already, even if the name sounds unacquainted. Common examples include newspaper articles, how-to manuals, and assembly instructions. Expository writing is also the most frequent type of academic writing !

Present the facts, and only the facts

If you are asked to write an expository essay, then you are essentially being asked to present the facts; there is no place for bias or opinion in expository writing. In a way, this makes writing elementary—it is a matter of gathering and presenting the facts about a certain topic. Something significant to keep in mind when writing exposition is that you should not assume your readers have any skill of the topic; don’t gloss over basic or significant details, even if you think they’re common skill. When writing expository essays, it is best to use third person narration, albeit 2nd person is acceptable in some instances, such as for instructions—or articles on expository writing.

Characteristics of expository writing

There are a few characteristics of expository writing you should recall when crafting an expository essay. The very first is to keep a taut concentrate on the main topic, avoiding lengthy tangents, wordiness, or unrelated asides that aren’t necessary for understanding your topic. In the same vein, be sure to pick a topic that is narrow, but not so narrow that you have a hard time writing anything about it (for example, writing about ice fluid would be too broad, but writing about ice juices sold at your local grocery store inbetween Five:00 and Five:15 pm last Saturday would be too narrow). You must also be sure to support your topic, providing slew of facts, details, examples, and explanations, and you must do so in an organized and logical manner. Details that can support your expository writing include:

  • Anecdotes
  • Comparisons
  • Quotations
  • Statistics
  • Descriptive details
  • Definitions
  • Charts and graphs

Formatting an expository essay

The typical format for an expository essay in school is the traditional five-paragraph essay. This includes an introduction and a conclusion, with three paragraphs for the assets of the paper. Most often, these three paragraphs are limited to one subtopic each. This is the basic essay format, but expository writing does not need to be limited to five paragraphs. No matter how long your essay is, be sure your introduction includes your thesis statement and that the paper is based on facts rather than opinions. And, as with all good essay writing. make sure to connect your paragraphs with transitions.

Methods for writing an expository essay

There are a few different methods for writing an expository essay. These include:

  • Compare and contrast
  • Cause and effect
  • Problem and solution
  • Extended definition
  • Generally, you will want to pick one method for each lump of expository writing. However, you may find that you can combine a few methods. The significant thing is to stay focused on your topic and stick to the facts.

    Now that you have a clearer understanding of expository writing, you’re ready to write your essay. One final peak: be sure to give yourself slew of time for the writing process. After you’ve ended your very first draft, let your paper sit for a few days—this lets you comeback to it with fresh eyes. If you’d like a 2nd opinion, our essay editors are always available to help.

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