How to Write an Expository Essay
As a student, you should know how to write an expository essay because teachers and professors ask students to write expository essays for different courses in college. Among the courses that involve expository essay writing include English, social sciences and history. An expository essay is an essay that explains a given concept, investigates a specific idea or presents evidence for a specific opinion.
Most exams and in-class assignments entail the use of the format of expository essays. This is because this essay uses a style that does not entail deep research. While developing an expository essay, you can use different patterns to organize it depending on the writing prompt, topic or assignment. Example of an expository essay is an essay in which the prompt requires the student to study and analyze a given work, expose or explain a topic or describe a given process.
What you should know even before knowing how to write an expository essay
An expository essay has certain characteristics that distinguish it from other essays.
- An expository essay is written to describe, inform or explain
- The writer of an expository essay acts like a teacher
- This essay presents information on the chosen topic exhaustively
- It is written in third person
A guide on how to write an expository essay in six steps
Step One: Organize your thoughts
Once the instructor, teacher or professor has given you the expository essay writing prompt or assignment, the first thing that you should do is to read it carefully and organize your thoughts. You will most probably have something to say about any topic that the instructor assigns you. Even if you do not know much about the assigned subject matter, you will realize that there is something you have read, heard or experienced about it. It is important that you brainstorm or consider what you already know about the topic. This will enable you to sort out your mind before you start writing.
To organize your thoughts, you can do one of the following:
- Free write: This entails writing what comes from your mind quickly without editing, stopping or self-correcting.
- List clustering: This entails allowing ideas to flow freely on the topic. The main topic is at the center of a circle with its associations linked to it.
- Subject tree: This involves a tree form in which the related ideas are connected to the main topic.
- Outlining: This entails the use of an essay framework in which the main points are included and sub-points’ breakdown.
While organizing thoughts, do not evaluate your ideas but outpour ideas on what you already know about the topic. With ideas on a paper, organize them into groups of ideas then identify the most important areas.
Step Two: Research the topic
At this step, you can conduct online research or visit a library. Conduct a research of current events but be careful to adhere to the time frames set by your instructor. Use acceptable sources such as books, scholarly articles and reference works. If you use a web site as a source, evaluate it first for reputability and timeliness. It is also important that you consider the purpose of a website, reliability of the sponsors and author’s credibility.
Step Three: Develop a thesis statement
To be effective, your thesis statement should express the major focus of your expository essay while stating an arguable claim. A thesis statement acts like a bridge of your essay. This is because it has a claim and its supporting details. Being able to develop a tentative thesis is an important step of a guide on how to write an expository essay. Therefore, come up with a claim or sentence that takes a stance on the given topic, debatable, and based on generalization. Ensure that your thesis statement tells readers the point that you will be making in the essay. Also include supporting details to reinforce your claim.
Claim: Depression as a condition is complex.
Supporting details: It can be caused by different factors including environmental, genetic and biological factors.
Thesis statement: Depression as a condition is complex because it can be caused by environmental, genetic and biological factors combined.
Step Four: Write the introduction
The introduction of your expository essay should reveal or introduce your topic while establishing a context for your essay to the readers. It is important that you consider your audience while writing the introduction. Make them excited or curious to read your essay. Give readers background information about your topic to enable them to understand the key point in your essay. Use the introduction to establish a roadmap for the analysis or discussion of the essay.
Step Five: Write the body
The body of an expository essay is a detailed part in which you present or address your supporting details in fully-developed, separate paragraphs. It is important that you include relevant information or evidence as gathered from research. Introduce the supporting details of your essay using a topic sentence to open each paragraph.
Generally, the body of an expository essay should have the following:
- A topic sentence
- Specific details and their explanation
- An example such as a quotation
- A transition paragraph that links one paragraph to the next
A good expository essay should have at least two body paragraphs with each having a minimum of 100 words.
Example of a topic sentence:
There are several factors which cause depression.
Step Six: Write the conclusion
The conclusion should bring your expository essay to a close. Though a conclusion ought to be like an introduction, it should be worded differently. Using the conclusion, you should summarize and reiterate your main points.
A good conclusion should have the following:
- Relevance: It should repeat the topic’s importance.
- Review: It should reiterate the main points of the essay.
- Summary: It should summarize the conclusions made in the essay.
Relevance: Thousands of women, children and men are affected by depression each year and majority of them do not get help.
Review: The focus of this essay was on causes, symptoms and the available depression treatments.
Summary: There are many devastating consequences of depression apart from its effects on the sufferers and those living with them. Through education however, people affected by this painful condition can be reached.
The conclusion should be like an introduction but it should restate the stated thesis statement using different words. Note that no new information should be included in the conclusion. Leave readers with a feeling that your expository essay has come to an end logically by wrapping up the main thoughts while reviewing the main points.
Five bonus tips on how to write an expository essay
- Structure your expository essay properly
Regardless of the pattern that you choose for organizing your expository essay, include an introduction that has a defined, clear thesis statement at the end. Have body paragraphs that cover your main points. Have a clear topic sentence for each body paragraph. Additionally, make sure that the information that you include in the body paragraphs is factual, statistical, anecdotal or logical. Finally, end your expository essay with a conclusion that reflects your thesis statement and main points of your body paragraphs. To know how to structure an expository essay, use an expository essay sample. Click here for an example of an expository essay.
- Write about something good
When allowed the freedom to choose the topic of your expository essay, choose something good. For instance, if you are required to write about a short story, read and understand before you start writing your expository essay. While reading, ask yourself questions that will enable you to understand the story better. For instance, what you would do if you were a character in the story? Do you like or hate the characters and why? Such questions will enable you to synthesize the story before you start writing.
- Make your essay informative
Remember that expository is the same as informative. Therefore, an important tip on how to write an expository essay is to flood readers with ideas or knowledge. However, make sure that they are relevant. Visit the library, read magazine and conduct online research to get detailed information. Be prudent and sensible while conducting research and reference your sources accordingly.
- Ensure that your brain is a roaring and seething idea-generator
Combine different techniques to generate ideas for your expository essay. Use graphical presentation and clustering to generate ideas. Ask meticulous questions and be self-inquisitive throughout the process of writing an essay.
- Revise your essay
Once you have written your essay, revise it and rewrite where necessary to ensure coherent flow of ideas and paragraphs. Make sure that each paragraph is developed properly with ideas flowing logically. Make sure that the main thesis statement is supported by the paragraphs of the body directly. The conclusion should match the essay.
Get online help with your expository essay now
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How to Write an Expository Essay for Kids
The skills on how to write an expository essay for kids are critical for enhancing your oral and written communication capabilities. In fact, there is so much that you can achieve with good essay writing skills both in and outside school. In the following section, we will offer you well-illustrated and clear guidelines, along with professionally crafted sample essays to enlighten you on how to write an expository essay for kids.
The aim of an expository essay is to explain or discuss a topic in a logical and straightforward manner that readers can understand. In this case, you should note that the readers or audience are kids. Therefore, the essay must be written in a simple manner that can be easily read and understood by minors.
A good expository essay should always present a balanced analysis of the particular subject under discussion, based on facts, without reference to your opinions as the writer. Considering that essays are written in almost the same formats, knowledge on how to write an expository essay for kids can as well be used in crafting other academic papers or assignments.
Guidelines on how to write an expository essay for kids
Writing an expository essay is a test of your analytical and writing skills. Besides, writing one for kids even requires you to filter your statements further since they are some things or phrases that may offend them.
The following tips will assist you in knowing how to write an expository essay for kids
Read and understand the question of the paper
Do not rush into outlining or even writing an essay paper without first understanding what is required of you. Take time to carefully read and digest the question in order to know the direction to pursue in crafting the essay.
While reading, do take notes or highlight the key phrases depicting the requirements for the paper. Most expository essay paper will use such words like, explain, describe among others.
By understanding the question, you will be able to clearly define the purpose of the expository essay.
Consider your audience
Knowing your specific readers can be helpful in choosing the best words, tone and even mood in order to make the essay appealing to them.
In the case of an expository essay for children, you should always remember to make your points simpler and detailed enough that they can digest the message.
Writing for kids requires you to first keenly select an interesting topic that can be important to them. This means that you should also take note of some of the things that scare kids, so they can be avoided in the essay.
There are several topic ideas for kids’ expository essays, however, you should always choose something that is not complicated or may require a lot of research. You can pick a general topic that is related to children or go for a specific angle.
When collecting ideas for the paper, it is also important to note that an expository essay can play various roles including, informing an audience, enhancing a story, persuasion, showing significance among others.
Try out activities like listing, clustering, free writing and questioning to generate points for the paper. Listing is whereby you simply list all the ideas that you can think of about the essay then come back later to analyze them and choose the best points.
Clustering is whereby you write a short description of your essay at the center of a paper. After that, you can start writing any corresponding ideas to it until you have enough points to use in writing the expository essay.
Questioning entails the five Ws and H; Who? What? When? Where? Why? And How? Answering these questions with regards to your topic can be a great way of obtaining ideas.
Develop a thesis
A thesis is the key argument or claim that you discussion will be proving in the paper. It shows the focus of the essay and should be something that is arguable.
A good thesis should be specific and provide enough detail so your readers can know exactly what to expect in the paper. Avoid just stating that something is bad or good but go ahead to tell why it is so or what makes it to be the way it is.
Refine your ideas
With reference to the thesis, keenly analyze your points in order to choose the most appropriate ones to use in this particular essay. Identify the strongest points that will be used as topic sentences to support the thesis.
The topic sentences should match the number of paragraphs that you intend to have in the paper.
It is also important that you identify examples or evidences that will be mentioned in the essay to make the argument more compelling and logical. For every topic sentence, try to identify about two examples to use.
Create an outline
Using the ideas that you have identified for the essay, you should develop an outline showing how they will be presented.
The outline should clearly indicate your topic, thesis, ideas for the introduction, body paragraphs and conclusion as they will be discussed in the paper. An outline should only be a guide and source of reference when writing, so avoid too much explanations therein. Instead, simply state your key points.
Procedures on how to write an expository essay for kids
Follow the steps outlined below to easily master the art of how to write an expository essay for kids.
Open the essay with an engaging sentence that drives straight into the subject. Keep in mind the essay is for children so you may need to start with something interesting to kids while also revealing the main idea of the essay.
Give a brief background information to put the topic into context and guide your readers on what they should know about the paper.
Towards the end of the introduction paragraph, you should write a strong thesis that vividly expresses your key argument.
Although you can always choose the number of paragraphs to include in a paper, most expository essays are written in five paragraphs. The length may vary based on the topic of your paper. In case you are directed to stick a particular length, go with that.
A five paragraph essay should have three body paragraphs, implying three topic sentences. In every paragraph, clearly give the topic sentence or main argument to back up the thesis. This should be further discussed using examples and evidence listed in the outline.
Every topic should present a new idea that is related to and supportive of the thesis statement. Try to always write short paragraphs with well-defined information that children can easily get. Elaborate your evidence or examples comprehensively to give a clearer message.
At the end of every paragraph, make an analysis of the ideas expressed therein. Try to show the connections between your thesis and the pieces of evidence given. Besides, you should also remember to make proper transitions between the paragraphs for smooth flow.
In the final part of the essay, you should re-state the thesis statement and also tell readers about the importance of the ideas discussed therein. Summarize and review the main points without introducing new information. Finally, you should give a final thought on the topic and call to action.
Remember kids are not always good at reading and easily lose concentration, so try to make your essay short and clear to the point. Besides, also take time to read through the essay and make the necessary corrections.
Sample Expository Essays for kids
For more insights and motivation on how to write an expository essay for kids, read the following sample papers.
Expository Essay; ‘’Why Children Should Be Encouraged to Play Outside’’
‘’About twenty years ago, when the Internet was not easily accessible, and daily life was not spammed with all kinds of gadgets and electronic toys, children used to spend much more time outdoors. Today, however, children prefer to spend free time at home, as this way they can watch more TV, play xBox or Playstation, play games on their parent’s tablets, and so on…’’Read the rest of this sample essay here.
Sample Expository Essay; ‘’No Escape for Malnourished Children’’
‘’Hunger and malnutrition are tremendous problems in our world today. According to the magazine, Population Reports, about 18 million people, mostly children, die each year from starvation, malnutrition, and related causes. The magazine also states that almost 200 million children under five years- 40 percent of all children this age, lack sufficient nutrition for full development…’’Simply click here to read the whole sample.
Expository Essay; ‘’The Great Paw Paw’’
‘’Memory. The dictionary defines it as the mental ability to recall past experiences. We think of it as a picture we saw, the words we said. Who in your life is so vivid in your memory that you could describe him or her without a second thought? For me, it’s my grandpa…’’Read the whole sample here.
In case you may need assistance on how to write an expository essay for kids, talk to us. You can also refer to our homepage for more information on how to acquire our professional essay writing help online.