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Expository Essay: Definition, Outline, Topics & Examples of Expository Essays


Expository Essay! When it comes to essay writing, there are a whole variety of essay types and it can become confusing to choose the correct one for your needs. In this article, we are going to be taking a look at the expository essay and what this type of essay is used for. We are also going to be looking at some tips and ideas for writing an excellent expository essay yourself. Alongside this we are going to explore some interesting topics on which you might write your expository essay as well as taking a look at a pre-written example.

What Is An Expository Essay?

An expository essay is one which is used to explain something, in the most simple terms. The word expository comes from the word expose, and this means to uncover something so that other people are able to understand it for what it is. This type of essay is therefore used as a way of explaining or clarifying the subject for the reader.

It might function as an evaluation or an investigation, but it could also function as an argument surrounding the idea for clarification. It is easy to confuse this type of essay with the argumentative essay but the key difference is that the expository essay will remain neutral whereas the argumentative essay tends to take a side.

A good expository essay will allow the reader to gain a certain level of knowledge on the subject that is being explained and will clear up any misunderstandings that the reader may have had. The essay serves as a way of looking neutrally at any given topic and does not give the writers personal views.

How To Write An Expository Essay

Now that we are clear on what an expository essay is used to discuss, we are ready to begin writing one for ourselves. However, as with any type of essay, there are certain rules that you must follow in order to achieve the best results. We are now going to take a look at the steps you should take in order to write a great expository essay.

Select A Topic

The most crucial part of any essay planning is selecting the right topic, and there are so many to choose from when it comes to writing an expository essay. You should choose a topic that can be easily researched so that you can get a good amount of information for both sides of the story but also one which strike an interest in you. Let’s take a look at some examples of topics you might write on.

  • Explain Religion and which one you should introduce your child to.
  • Explain Global warming.
  • Explain Science and its effect on the world.
  • Explain the best countries to visit for families/singles/couples
  • Explain what life is like for an illegal immigrant
  • Explain how music has an influence on our way of life
  • Explain the best time period of the last 500 years.
  • Write an essay on a certain sport.
  • Explain why parents need to be strict with their children.
  • Explain cryptocurrency and how it has affected the economy.
  • Explain why your admire someone.

Research The Topic

Once you have selected your topic, it is important that you perform the relevant research. When writing an essay, it is critical that you present data and facts that are up to date and correct. This means that research should be an integral part of your preparations in writing an expository essay.

Choose Some Examples

In order to properly explain the topic, you should present your readers with some examples and choosing the right ones will not only keep your reader engaged but will also serve to explain the topic in the most detailed and easy to understand way. For example, if you have decided to write about which religion you should introduce your children to, you might select one or two of the major religions which you believe to the most relevant, for example Islam and Christianity.

Outline Your Essay

Every essay needs a good essay outline in order for the author to be able to write the piece effectively. Creating your essay outline is one of the most integral parts of the process and good attention should be paid to it.

  • Introduction – In your introduction, you should include a hook to get the attention of the reader and a short description of what the essay is going to be about. You should also include your thesis statement which will tell the reader the purpose of the essay.
  • Body paragraphs – usually an essay will be made up of three body paragraphs, however you can be flexible with this should you need more or less words to complete your work. In each of these paragraphs you should include one argument point along with any data and sources to back this up.
  • Conclusion – The conclusion will wrap up all the ideas that were talked about during the essay and will refer back to the thesis statement once again.

Write Your Essay

Remember that the purpose of an expository essay is to clarify something to the reader and so it is important that you write in clear terms which are easy to understand.

You should include any examples of the topic which are backed up by data and statistics as this will give the reader a greater knowledge on the subject by the end of the essay.

Once you have finished writing, it is very important to go back over your work and check for any spelling errors or grammar mistakes as well as adding and taking away any necessary information.

An Example Of An Expository Essay

As a way to gain a further understanding on what an expository essay should look like and how it should be written, we are now going to take a look at a passage taken from an expository essay called ‘Learning to read’ written by Malcolm X.

It is because of my letters I happened to come across beginning to acquire a form of homemade education.

I was becoming more and more frustrated in not being able to say what I had wanted to convey in a letter, particularly ones which were written to Mr E Muhammad.

On the street, I’d been the hustler who was most articulate and has commanded everyone’s attention when I had said something. However, now whilst attempting to write in simple English, not only was I not articulate but I was not even functional. What would I sound like if I wrote in slang, a way I would normally say it, something along the lines of ‘Hey daddy, lemme pull ya coat about the cat’

Many of the people who hear me today either in person or on the television, perhaps who read something said by me, assume that I went to school for much longer than just the 8th grade. This is an impression given entirely because of my prison studies.

Expository Essay Infographic

Expository Essay

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