The format of an expository essay is about as basic as it gets. It’s not exactly the most creative or exciting in its format, but that just gives more opportunity for your actual writing to shine. It’s when an expository essay looks into its subject matter in more depth, for example, by exploring the history of an item. A thesis statement outlines your argument and lists the main points of your essay. Expository essays are fact-based and share information with the audience in an objective, academic tone. Do not assume the audience has prior knowledge of the essay subject. Include background information to provide context and define any technical terms.

What is a good closing sentence?

Restate the big idea of the topic sentence using different words or a different order. Think about your message. What do you want your reader to know or understand and introduce that idea in one sentence. Summarize the big idea of the paragraph without repeating the exact same words.

An 1895 cover of Harpers, a US magazine that prints a number of essays per issue. Huxley adds that the most satisfying essays “…make the best not of one, not of two, but how to present a quote of all the three worlds in which it is possible for the essay to exist.” On this Wikipedia the language links are at the top of the page across from the article title.

Top 5 Essay Writing Tips

The comparison highlights the similarities between two or more similar objects while contrasting highlights the differences between two or more objects. Each of the body paragraphs deals with one idea or piece of information. For more complex topics, these how long is 1000 word paper may be grouped under a common heading, and the number of paragraphs will depend on the complexity of the topic. For example, an expository text on wolves may include a series of paragraphs under headings such as habitat, breeding habits, what they eat, etc.

expository essay meaning

Do not postpone this step as you might forget where facts you write about come from. As many writers think, planning is the most important part of a writing process. This is the stage where you organize all your ideas into a structured expository essay outline. As a result, you get a piece that can effectively convey your message to the audience and, what is important for students, that deserves an excellent grade.


This post explains what this essay is and provides tips, examples, and templates for completing this paper. Look back at the main idea of each section/paragraph, and try to summarize the point using words different from those you have already used.

  1. You need to make sure that there is enough information out there from reputable sources to back up any point you are trying to make.
  2. As we’ve seen, there are several variations of the expository essay, but the following are the most common features that students will need to include.
  3. Two filmmakers whose work was the antecedent to the cinematic essay include Georges Méliès and Bertolt Brecht.
  4. These sections will likely relate to the headings and subheadings identified at the planning stage.
  5. Use the referencing guidelines required at your educational institution.
  6. An expository essay is a type of academic writing where you investigate the topic by evaluating the evidence and expounding the idea to describe, explain, and provide the information to a reader.
  7. When reading these examples, try to study how the content matches the outline provided in this guide.
  8. You may use anything to underpin your argument, starting from the historical development of a term to examples of its current use.

Bacon’s essays, published in book form in 1597 , 1612, and 1625, were the first works in English that described themselves as essays. Ben Jonson first used the word essayist in 1609, according to the Oxford English Dictionary. Other English essayists included Sir William Cornwallis, who published essays in 1600 and 1617 that were popular at the time, Robert Burton (1577–1641) and Sir Thomas Browne (1605–1682). In Italy, Baldassare Castiglione wrote about courtly manners in his essay Il Cortigiano. In the 17th century, the Spanish Jesuit Baltasar Gracián wrote about the theme of wisdom. While Montaigne’s philosophy was admired and copied in France, none of his most immediate disciples tried to write essays. But Montaigne, who liked to fancy that his family was of English extraction, had spoken of the English people as his “cousins”, and he was early read in England, notably by Francis Bacon.

Expository Essay Examples

Its structure normally builds around introduction with a topic’s relevance and a thesis statement, body paragraphs with arguments linking back to the main thesis, and conclusion. In addition, an argumentative essay may include a refutation section where conflicting ideas are acknowledged, described, and criticized. Each argument of an argumentative essay should be supported with sufficient evidence, relevant to the point.

expository essay meaning

Finding the right topic is incredibly important because it will guide your research as well as help you determine the specific pieces of information that you will include in the final essay. This type of writing can include essays, newspaper and magazine articles, instruction manuals, textbooks, encyclopedia articles and other forms of writing, so long as they seek to explain. Expository writing differs from other forms of writing, such as fiction and poetry. In fact, this lesson itself is an example of expository writing. In countries like the United States and the United Kingdom, essays have become a major part of a formal education in the form of free response questions. Secondary students in these countries are taught structured essay formats to improve their writing skills, and essays are often used by universities in these countries in selecting applicants .

The Structure of an Expository Essay

Whether you are a high school, college, or university student, the academic curriculum you follow will always include essay writing assignments. The importance of expository essays can’t be overestimated. Such papers, sometimes also known as informative essays, help students hone their critical thinking and provide unbiased information on a specific topic. Explaining a complicated concept is a very useful skill to pick up in life which is why ways to start a quote expository essays are one of the four basic types of essays taught in school. We might think we’re good at explaining but writing an expository essay is a challenge because it requires critical thinking, research skills, and the ability to present your ideas clearly. Once you have zeroed in on a topic it’s time to do research. One of the best ways to plan your writing is to use an expository essay outline to organize interesting information.

expository essay meaning

As this genre of writing is designed primarily to inform the reader, sound research and note-taking are essential for your students to produce a well-written text. Expository writing offers excellent opportunities for students to develop these critical skills, skills that will be very useful to them as they continue in their education. The index how to be a good american examples allows the reader to identify where to find specific information in longer texts. An index is much more detailed than a table of contents. Expository writing is usually not the place for flowery flourishes of figurative imagery! Students should be encouraged to select a straightforward language that is easy for the reader to understand.

Types of Expository Writing

Smooth transitions that connect the ideas of adjoining paragraphs in specific, interesting ways. Classification essays compare different things in the same category, highlighting what makes them different from each other but also noting what puts them in the same category. Classification essays can be particularly interesting when trying to fit something into a form of classification it usually does not belong. Cause and effect essays look at how something came about or what the impact of something was. It provides information about the relationship between two connected things.

expository essay meaning

Again, you must provide explanations from credible sources. Process essay – A process (how-to) paper shows how something is done from the ground up. This often serves as a step-by-step manual for those who want to know how to do a specific thing—a recipe, for instance—but aren’t aware of the required steps. Do not worry if your draft does not look perfect at this stage. It is only a first try; you will have time to polish it afterward.

Expository Essay Introduction

As you will see in Section 4.5, some essay forms may require even more than five paragraphs or sections because of how many points are necessary to address. For the rest of this chapter, the term paragraph will also imply section. Complete your outline by thinking of an interesting, meaningful way to end the essay. Remember how long is a 1000 word essay that the conclusion should sum up your central points without merely repeating what you’ve said earlier. You might suggest the larger implications of what the essay has discussed and analyzed. One way to do this is to offer a concise review of what you’ve covered combined with a forecast or recommendations for the future.

  1. Be clear and concise.Readers have a limited attention span.
  2. Avoid too general topics; narrow your research sphere, be specific, and make your expository essay clear and concise.
  3. 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.
  4. Restate your thesis in an interesting way and summarize the essay’s main points.
  5. This allows you to break down a larger task into manageable chunks as well as helps you visualize how different pieces of information will fit together.
  6. A thesis statement outlines your argument and lists the main points of your essay.

The knowledge, skills, and abilities necessary for the successful performance of a position are contained on each job vacancy announcement. KSAs are brief and focused essays about one’s career and educational background that presumably qualify one to perform the duties of the position being applied for. This section describes the different forms and styles of essay writing. These are used by an array of authors, including university students and professional essayists. The concept of an “essay” has been extended to other media beyond writing. A film essay is a movie that often incorporates documentary filmmaking styles and focuses more on the evolution of a theme or idea.

English Literature

Expository writing is the most common form of writing in the world because it includes everything from conveying information about your day to explaining a work project. There are different types of expository writing that are used for different purposes.

What are good transition words?

and, again, and then, besides, equally important, finally, further, furthermore, nor, too, next, lastly, what's more, moreover, in addition, first (second, etc.)

It literally means “to expose.” Exposition can be found in writing or oral discourse, but for the sake of this article, we’ll stick with expository writing. A thesis statement is a constitutive part of every paper.


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