- Academic Research and Writing Tips / Tutorial

Writing the Expository Essay

What is an expository essay? How is it different than other types of essays? The purpose of the expository essay is to give information about a topic. It explains the topic in a way the audience will understand. Often facts and statistical data are used in this type of essay. The expository essay is well-structured with the construction of three paragraphs with clearly defined evidence to support the thesis. The expository essay gives the information on a topic in detail without any criticism as it analyses the topic giving evidence that the thesis is true.

Expository Essay

The expository essay requires a thesis that outlines the facts and values of the topic. The writer must know who the audience is and the level of understanding they have concerning the topic. If the audience has read Romeo and Juliet in class several times the essay writer would not have to give as many details about the topic as an audience who has never read Romeo or Juliet. The details are explained where the reader does not have to guess about what the writer is trying to say. On the other hand, the essay writer does not want to bore the readers with information they already know.

Expository essays are often used in many different types of jobs as the employee explains different topics so the reader will clearly grasp the meaning of the topic. Often professional employees will produce expository essays that will include analysis, interpretation, and explanation of a topic. Knowing how to write expository essays is important because this type of essay will be used often in the future.

Writing an expository essay requires the writer to express the topic in such a way that it makes the idea his and the writer understands the topic so well that he/she is able to express the topic clearly. The writer must understand the topic for him/her to be able to do this. The best way to begin writing an expository essay is to brainstorm ideas about the topic to get a grasp on what the writer knows and how much research must be done. Once the ideas are listed the next step is to create an outline. The outline should define the thesis with its supporting evidence.

It is important to remember that an expository essay is not a summary or paraphrase. Paraphrasing or summaries simply state what the text is about usually listing the title, author, and specific points from the text. The expository essay teaches the reader about a topic as it explains it specific purpose. An expository essay does more than restate the text. It must explain the text so the reader can clearly understand it.

Any type of writing including the expository essay should be revised several times. It is written to clearly express the thoughts of the writer. It should not have any grammar errors or spelling errors. Imagine giving your expository essay that has several typing errors to a group of physicians. This would be embarrassing. The importance of revising the essay until it is free of errors is important. The best way to begin is to read the essay out loud listening to each word to see if the word makes sense and adds to the essay. Eliminate unnecessary words. Do not repeat the same words over and over. Take a look at the punctuation to make sure it is correct. A thorough revising will create a great expository essay.

The expository essay begins with a hook or something that grabs the reader such as an anecdote, statistic facts, or question. Researching the topic is a great way to get statistical data or important facts to use throughout the essay. An example of this might be: "One out of every four women have some type of eating disorder." The reader thinks Wow! I did not know that. The reader wants to know more about the topic.

The next step is stating the name of the author and the title of the article. A brief summary is given with the thesis stated and the supporting points of the essay. Each supporting paragraph should have a clear topic with evidence backing the topic. Prior research will give evidence to back each paragraph main idea. The conclusion should wrap up what has been stated while leaving the readers with a take-away point that has them thinking days after reading the essay.

Expository essays are one of the most important essays to learn how to write because they are used in many different types of careers. An expository essay is an essay that does more than summing up an article or book. It explains or teaches information in a way the audience will grasp the meaning and purpose of the author's work.