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Expository Essay - What is It? How to Write an Expository Essay?

  The point of the expository essay is the objectivity. Professional writers know that it reveals a particularly chosen topic from different points of view, and lets the reader see the unbiased exposition.


Expository essay writing


For instance, when the author writes an expository essay about computer games, the text will describe their history, genres, development process, current industry state, market capitalization, future perspectives, etc. The feature of the expository essay is also neutrality. An author does not have the aim or intention to prove any viewpoint or to solve some trouble.

Argumentative and Expository Essay: There is a Difference 

Students frequently confuse those kinds of academic assignments. In case the professor asks you to write an argumentative essay, then your goal is to state an opinion and then prove it right. On the contrary, expository writing is not about any conviction.

Let’s review the same case with videogames. An argumentative essay author should prove that video game violence is a problem, and this kind of interactive entertainment is likely to turn people into potential criminals. You are also free to stand for the opposite view when speaking of argumentative writing. Unlike an expository essay, an argumentative one is subjective.

Expository Essay Writing Stages

Here are some professional recommendations on ways to deal with the task. Try to keep up to them, and your grades will possibly become higher. 

Stage One: Topic Choice

Sometimes professors assign expository essay topics themselves, but they also like letting students choose. To avoid confusion and writing block, try using the system we described below.

At first, the very best expository essay topic is the one you know at least a little. In case there is something interesting and familiar to you excellently, you are lucky. Think about your hobbies, interests, and all the knowledge you have, and then choose what you like the most.

Trying to write an essay about something you don’t know at all is exhausting torture. Additionally, you’ll never explain it to the reader adequately. Avoid that. 

Let’s suppose you are interested in war history. Then, think of the period you know and like the most, shape the topics, and you’re done. It won’t be a problem for you to find trustworthy references and data sources, and to expose the chosen theme to your readers. Oppositely, when you don’t really know anything about farming, you most likely won’t write anything interesting.

When it comes to choosing an expository essay topic, setting up a list of your interest fields is the best tactic.

Here is what it may look like:  

  • Sports cars
  • Modern politics
  • Action movies
  • Soccer
  • War history
  • Veterinary care
  • Engineering

When the topic list is complete, cut down the points you don’t know well enough. The goal here is to find the field you can and want to research and describe. It is not obligatory, a favorite hobby, or an exciting science. You can be an engineering freak. Still, think about explaining some of its features and aspects in simple words to shape an expository essay language for an average reader. It won’t be the easiest deal in your life.

Points to think over when you choose an expository essay topic:

  • The topical knowledge you gained previously.
  • The level of your interest in the subject.
  • The availability of trustworthy reference materials.
  • Critical subject points and your ability to explain them through the written text.

Stage Two: Research


So, the theme is chosen. The research follows. No matter how much knowledge you have about the topic already, skipping this stage is not an option. Any expository essay needs some references and sources cited. Additionally, research means exploration. It is never wrong to find out something new about your favorite fields.

To start research, read a broad set of relevant topical articles. It is how you will define which aspects are common among students and scientists to discuss and explore. Later, you should begin narrowing the process. Choose only trustworthy resources (expert websites, texts published by respected institutions, etc.). It is an excellent choice to note points on subtopics you would potentially like to describe in an expository essay.

Stage Three: Examples

A standard essay contains nearly 500 words. That means you most likely won’t be able to use the gained information about all the fields your research covered. How to choose examples then? A solution is quite simple: try mixing the most and the least discussed fields.

Let’s suppose your expository essay describes the particular war history episode: World War II. Most probably, you’ll write about the Pacific and Atlantic battles, the Battle of Britain, the Normandy landing, and the Western Front events. Along with that, you can mention less "popular" fields of research like the Eastern Front events and Maquis, the French partisan movement against Nazis.

Stage Four: Plan

After you have defined the examples for an expository essay, it is time to write its outline. Here is the short plan it may be like:

  1. Introduction. At this point, you present the topic in a way that should intrigue the reader. You need to catch their attention with some staggering statistics. The other way to start an expository essay is to insert a quote summing up the topic. Additionally, the intro will show the thesis statement of the entire paper.
  2. Example 1. A paragraph containing the first thesis example.
  3. Example 2. A paragraph containing the second thesis example.  
  4. Example 3. The third thesis example paragraph.
  5. Conclusion. It’s time to knock the reader out by providing him or her with a summary proving the importance of the chosen topic. If it is relevant, an essay can suggest directions to continue research or discussion.

Stage Five: Thesis Statement

A student who frequently completes argumentative texts might feel a temptation to choose a particular viewpoint on the problem and stand for it or argue it in a thesis statement. Nevertheless, you shouldn’t do that in an expository statement. This kind of text has a thesis statement giving the reader some information about the further topic. Besides, it is fine to show them why they should worry about it. 

For instance, if you write an expository essay on action movies, a valid thesis statement could be like this:

The development of action movies has had a significant impact on the entire film industry and even American culture.

When you choose such a statement, you let the reader understand that the main point of your text will be the way action movies changed Hollywood and influenced the culture. At the same time, this thesis shows that you are not going to argue any topical point.  

Stage Six: Draft

You already have a plan and a thesis statement shapes. Now, it is time to use the research data and preparation to create the first expository essay draft. While working on each paragraph, you should stick to the topic and refer to the thesis.

Transition words are additional helpful solutions. When you state a supporting fact, they serve as reinforcement for it (moreover, furthermore, additionally) or the counterpart (but, on the other hand, instead, however).

Stage Seven: Editing

After you finished the draft, have a break. Do not even look at the text for at least a couple of hours. This will help you analyze the essay with a fresh eye then.

Here are some practical tips on editing:

  • Ask your friend (it is okay if they are good students) or relative to read an essay through.
  • Reading an expository essay aloud will let you reveal trouble zones, such as bad phrasing and grammar mistakes. The use of editing software or special service to check the text is a solid way to make an expository essay even more readable and improve your grades.


Essay editing


To Conclude

When writing an expository essay, you should keep its main differences from argumentative writing in your mind. Conduct careful and thorough research to find proper topic examples, both well-known and not so standard ones. Come up with an excellent thesis statement, and don’t forget to plan some time for editing.   

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