Cathy A.
Cathy A.

Expository Essay Writing - Types, Format, Topics & Examples

11 min read

Published on: Apr 24, 2020

Last updated on: Sep 1, 2023

Expository essay writing

Writing an expository essay can be a daunting task, leaving many students feeling overwhelmed and uncertain about where to begin. The lack of clear guidance and structured resources often leads to frustration and subpar results.

However, fear not! 

We understand the struggles you face when attempting to craft a compelling and informative expository essay. 

In this comprehensive guide, we will break down the entire process of writing an expository essay into manageable steps.

By following these tips and examples, you'll gain the confidence and skills needed to excel in your expository writing endeavors.

So let’s get started!

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What is an Expository Essay?

An expository essay can be defined as an essay that investigates and evaluates an idea or an event. This essay type requires a student to form an argument related to the concept and prove it using different techniques.

An expository essay is often assigned to high school students. They are used to explain a topic logically by presenting a balanced analysis using facts.

What is the Purpose of an Expository Essay?

When writing an expository essay, you should use facts and logic rather than subjective truths and personal opinions. 

The main purpose of writing the expository is to:

  • Educate and inform the reader
  • Define the concept in detail
  • Examine one or more arguments
  • Investigate the topic in detail

You can also check out this video guide for expository essay writing!

Types of an Expository Essay

Knowing the different types of expository essays can help you choose a topic as well as plan your essay structure. 

The following are the common types of expository essay:

  • Definition Essay - A definition essay defines a topic to give a more precise image to the readers. 
  • Process Essay - A process essay is defined as a type of essay explaining and discussing the making of something. 
  • Problem and Solution Essay - A problem and solution essay discusses a problem in detail by providing solutions.
  • Cause and Effect Essay - The cause and effect essay analyzes all the causes and effects of an action or an event. 
  • Compare and Contrast Essay - The compare and contrast essay highlights all the similarities and differences between the subjects.
  • Classification Essay - The classification essay thoroughly examines the topic by splitting it into different categories. 

Expository Essay Structure 

The five-paragraph essay is a common structure for expository writing. This means there will be an introduction, followed by three body paragraphs and a conclusion. 

Here is the expository essay structure that you can use for your help.

Introduction

  • Hook 
  • Background information
  • Thesis statement 

Main Body Paragraphs

  • Discuss the main idea
  • Supporting facts and evidence

Conclusion

  • Summary of the main topic
  • Restate the thesis statement 

Expository Essay Format

Just like other formal pieces of writing, an expository essay also requires a proper format. However, there is no set of rules to format your essay, but there are general elements that your essay should have.

Below-given is an example of how you should format your expository essay correctly.

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Expository Essay Outline

Many people think making an outline isn't worth the time. However, it'll save more precious minutes in research and typing up materials later on.

The outline is a great way to break down each paragraph of your expository essay into different sections. It also helps you visualize how all the information will come together and make sense as well!

Now let's go over each section in more detail:

Expository Essay Introduction

The introduction of an essay is the first thing somebody reads. It's your chance to impress and explain what you're going to cover in more detail. Thus, it must be clear and engaging. 

The essay introduction is written to let the audience know what the essay is about. In this paragraph of the essay, the writer presents the following information:

  • Hook statement - An opening sentence of the introduction paragraph drafted to grab the reader’s attention.
  • Building sentences - Present the background information after the hook statement to give context to the topic to the readers. 
  • Thesis Statement - The last part of the introduction is the thesis statement. It is the main argument of the writer on the topic.

Expository Essay Body Paragraphs 

After the introduction, the body paragraphs of the expository essay serve as the foundation.   Here, we will explore the importance of topic sentences and thesis statements.

This section is based on the following elements:

  • Topic Sentence - It is the first sentence of a body paragraph that expresses the idea provided in that particular paragraph.
  • Supporting Sentences - They support the topic sentence and the thesis statement using examples, explanations, evidence, and logic. 
  • Concluding Sentence - It concludes a paragraph and links the next paragraph with the previous one.

Expository Essay Conclusion 

All the essay’s body paragraphs lead to the conclusion section, where the writer sums up his discussion. Include the following things in the expository essay conclusion:

  • Restated Thesis Statement - The conclusion paragraph is started with a restated thesis statement in different words.
  • Summary of the Main Points - Following the thesis comes a summary of the major points in the content. 
  • Final Verdict - Finally, the essay is concluded by providing some final thoughts on the topic. 

Expert Tip

You can also check out this blog on expository essay outline to thoroughly understand how to create one!

How to Write an Expository Essay? 5 Easy Steps

Students often find it hard to write an expository essay. It requires a firm knowledge of the topic and a good analysis.

The following are the steps that you should follow to write an impressive expository essay.

1. Choose an Engaging Topic

The first step is to decide on an expository essay topic. This step might sound easier, but it can be challenging for the students. Thus, your essay topic should fulfill all the basic requirements.

Keep the following things in mind while selecting a good topic for your essay.

  • The topic should be interesting for the audience as well as for yourself.
  • It should be informative enough.
  • It should be broad as well to be explained in detail.

If you have not assigned a topic for the essay, you can be creative and choose a topic you like.

2. Gather Information

The purpose of drafting an expository essay is to inform the audience about the topic in-depth. For this reason, the essay content should be informative and well-written.

Note the points you know about the topic to start the research. Conduct comprehensive research by going through multiple sources of information. Analyze every aspect and investigate the topic from every angle.

3. Create an Expository Essay Outline

The gathered information needs to be arranged in proper order to give your content logic. For this purpose, an outline is created to divide the essay’s content into different sections.

According to the traditional outline, there are three parts into which your essay is divided:

  • Introduction
  • Main Body
  • Conclusion

4. Start Writing

The actual writing is the easiest part of any essay. Just put your thoughts down on paper that you need to add.
This is a great way to get started with writing. You can use the outline that you have created before your writing step. 

5. Revise Your Essay

After completing the essay, the next essential step is to revise what you have written. Without proofreading the content, you will probably submit unstructured and imperfect content. It can affect your grades.

Thus, proofread your essay a couple of times and do the editing. Ensure that the essay should be free from punctuation, grammar, and vocabulary mistakes.

Expository Essay Examples

It is always suggested by professionals to first go through examples when writing something important. If you are confused about the assignment, search for already existing samples related to your topic. With this, you will understand how professionals have approached the essay writing process.

Below are some useful examples of expository essays to help you understand the expository essay structure.

Expert Tip

Explore more expository essay examples to learn how to craft an engaging essay!

Expository Essay Topics

Finding a good topic for an expository essay is important because it will help in your research and writing phase. When you choose the essay topic, make sure you follow these tips. 

  • Pick something you are passionate about; it will make your entire process enjoyable.  
  • The topic you choose should not be too broad or narrow. Broad topics are easier to write about, but they don’t allow you to do in-depth research. 
  • Choose a topic that is too specific. 
  • Always select a topic that you have enough information about.    
  • Brainstorm several ideas and then pick the best one. 

Expository Essay Topics About Education 

  • Explain the consequences of not getting a degree in professional life.
  • Describe what you would like to change about your school and why? 
  • What is the history of your college?
  • Why is tuition so high in the US?
  • The Impact of culture on education
  • Dealing with the college bully
  • Ways to avoid becoming a study’s slave.
  • Criticism of the British education system
  • What are the most effective ways of studying?
  • Benefits of online education 

Expository Essay Topics About Mental Health

  • How does physical activity affect mental health?
  • Explain why the majority of teenagers are in depression?
  • Describe some material things that make people happy.
  • Describe the damages of consuming drugs to mental health.
  • Difference between anxiety disorders
  • What causes anorexia?
  • Society’s stigma towards mental illness
  • Mental health counseling
  • What is a mental health crisis? 
  • Effective mental health 

Expository Essay Topics About Society 

  • Explain why strict parents raise disturbing children?
  • Explain how music influences a student’s life?
  • Explain who a true leader is?
  • Explain the reasons behind the rise in the suicide rate in America?
  • Describe the effects of marijuana.
  • Describe the importance of physical activities in college
  • Describe what interests you to be in your choice of field?
  • Describe photosynthesis.
  • Explain why people should live in a house and not in an apartment? 
  • Describe some productive activities that students can do in their leisure time. 

Expository Essay Topics About Politics 

  • Democracy: pros and cons.
  • Discuss the role that politics play in the country
  • The importance of international relations 
  • Is our national security really secure?
  • Philosophy of politics
  • Election tampering
  • What are the traits of a leader?
  • The role of women in politics
  • Define the term ‘politics’? 

Expert Tip

If you want to explore more expository essay topics, check out our blog!

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Expository Essay Writing Tips

Students always require extra support and assistance when it comes to essay writing. Follow the tips below to write your expository essay easily.

  • Choose an interesting topic to make your essay attractive to the readers.
  • Choose clear and concise wording for the text.
  • Avoid using vague and lengthy terms and descriptions.
  • Always draft your expository essay from the third-person perspective if not asked otherwise.
  • Write a strong thesis statement and argument to make the essay powerful.
  • Each body paragraph should present a single idea. Avoid stating multiple ideas and concepts in one paragraph.
  • Arguments should be provided in proper order. Use a pyramid approach to arrange the order of the arguments.
  • Use transition words to connect and link ideas and paragraphs.
  • Always cite your sources in the content to avoid plagiarism.
  • Draft a compelling conclusion to leave your audience with something to remember.

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Frequently Asked Questions

What are the three main parts of an expository essay?

The three main parts of an expository essay are: 

  • Introduction 
  • Body paragraphs 
  • Conclusion 

What are the features of an expository essay?

The main features of an expository essay are: 

  • Informative 
  • Clarity 
  • Unbiased 
Cathy A.

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Cathy A. (Literature, Marketing)

For more than five years now, Cathy has been one of our most hardworking authors on the platform. With a Masters degree in mass communication, she knows the ins and outs of professional writing. Clients often leave her glowing reviews for being an amazing writer who takes her work very seriously.

For more than five years now, Cathy has been one of our most hardworking authors on the platform. With a Masters degree in mass communication, she knows the ins and outs of professional writing. Clients often leave her glowing reviews for being an amazing writer who takes her work very seriously.

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