I. Expository or Explanatory Essays Explained
Learning how to write expository essay is one of the fundamental skills that every student and professional should have. From the Medieval Latin word expositorius, the primary goal of exposition is to describe. As human beings who are used to describing objects, events, ideas, or circumstances, among others, whether for interpersonal communication or for work-related reasons, this alone suggests the prime importance of knowing how to write an exposition.
In this article, a fundamental and working grasp of the concept of expository or explanatory essays, their purpose, and how they may be helpful to an individual, collective, or business will be discussed in great detail.
A. What is Expository Essay?
In its general and simplest form, an expository essay is one that describes.
In its more technical sense, however, it may be defined as a type of essay which requires the investigation of an idea, research, and evaluation of relevant evidence, and the proposition of an argument or categorical statement while paying attention to conciseness and clarity throughout the expository essay. An expository essay is also called an explanatory essay.
While there may be other classifications of expository essays out there, the most recognized types of expository essay are (1) classification, (2) process, (3) comparison and contrast, and (4) cause-and-effect.
All of these will be discussed in greater detail in the succeeding sections. But before that, let us review some of the basics of exposition.
B. An Expository Essay should be Objective.
Most expository essay topics are discussed by providing a well-organized presentation of information and synthesis of data relative to a given hypothesis. This is in line with one of the essential characteristics of exposition writing – objectiveness.
Accordingly, such ideas must also be accompanied by clear, organized, and well-thought-out arguments. Thus, in line with their objectivity, explanatory or expository essays should focus less on the author’s personal opinions and more on providing the readers with an informative and well-balanced explanation.
C. What are the Purposes of an Exposition?
Plainly enough, an expository essay is designed to explain and/or describe. It states facts regarding the topic discussed, such as The History of Japan, How to Start an Expository Essay, or A Tutorial on How to Make Iced Coffee, to name a few examples.
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D. Types of Expository Essay:
Now that we have discussed various fundamentals such as expository writing definition, the element of objectivity, and the purpose of exposition writing, let us dig deeper into the various types of expository essay.
Note that similar to other kinds of works, these types are flexible and may include a combination of various classes/classifications combined together. In turn, expert writers utilize various strategies for different sections depending on the need and their case use.
- Classification essays: expository essays which fall under this type are meant to classify different subgroups within a specific general subject.
- Process essays: Explanatory essays within this category explain a step-by-step process of something. Most essays that fall under this category are tutorials on how to do things.
- Comparison and Contrast essays: expository essays such as these explain the difference and similarities between two ideas or concepts.
- Cause-and-Effect Analysis essays: as understood by their name, expository essays of this kind explain the relationship between two events or phenomena by understanding or seeking to explain whether or not there is a relationship wherein the happening of the other is dependent on the existence of the other event.
II. How to Write Expository Essay Easily
A. How to Start an Expository Essay?
The problem with any kind of academic or professional writing task is knowing how to start. Suppose that you already have your topic (in case you don’t have a topic yet, I recommend that you check our post mentioned below) and your argument. What’s next?
Do you start writing immediately? Conduct additional research? Or, do you try to find the kind of approach for your work?
Note that while expert and experienced writers could start anywhere, best practices would suggest starting with the P.O.E.T. Method.
What is the P.O.E.T. method for expository essays?
Some experts feel strongly about the P.O.E.T. method for making expository essays. This is due to the objective, structured, and singular approach relative to a given topic. Nevertheless, P.O.E.T. stands for Purpose, Organization, Evidence, and Thesis.
Purpose, as the term describes, refers to the overall goal of your essay.
On the one hand, this includes questions such as ‘what, how, and for whom are you writing’ among others. In other words, a consideration of the 5Ws and 1H of your writing task.
On the other hand, this also pertains to how you would apply this purpose to the kind of essay (and even the expository essay topics) that you are going to write. Are you going to (1) classify, (2) describe and/or enumerate a process, (3) compare and contrast, or (4) determine a cause-and-effect in your writing?
One piece of advice that experts give during this phase is to set aside momentarily any data and information you have gathered and focus more on the purpose of your essay, especially if you have multiple topics to choose from. This way, you could already see whether your chosen expository essay topics (or topic) would serve the ultimate purpose of your writing.
The organization phase refers to figuring out your outline and determining the structure of how you will present your data, considering the introduction, bodies, conclusions, and other relevant parts of any text.
Simply said, this refers to determining your expository essay outline and finding out the relevant headings, sub-headings, and contents that you can place on each of them.
In my decade of experience writing and teaching others how to write expository essay strategically, I always advice my students to focus on brainstorming and filling up their outline for expository essay. However, this can only be done by conducting a short but effective research plan since only then can one have an idea about the important details to include and where to include them in the first place.
Thus, it is best to set aside any evidence at this point and focus more on skimming relevant literature first.
Similar to other kinds of essays, an expository essay’s evidence deals with facts, statistics, quantitative or qualitative sources, and anecdotes, to name a few. This is in line with the importance of objectiveness in writing an expository essay.
However, note that the relative importance of evidentiary support would depend on the type of expository essay you are trying to write. For example, if you are writing a Process Essay, with the end goal of enumerating the series of steps that the reader would have to take, then relevant evidence may not be needed anymore. Ever imagine seeing an IKEA Assembly Instruction Guide needing a reference page for its sources?
Additionally, experts would also suggest leveling the credibility of your evidence relative to your audience. Similar to a research paper (and perhaps other kinds of objective essays), the level of your evidence should conform to the sophistication of your readers.
Last but not least is your thesis or thesis statement.
In its general meaning, the thesis or thesis statement is an encapsulation of your idea from start to finish. It is the idea that guides the flow, entices the reader, and provides them with a bird’s eye view of how your expository essay would go.
On the other hand, it also assists the writer in keeping him or her on track when writing the expository essay. Thus, having a clear, concise, and robust thesis statement is essential, especially for those who are only learning how to write expository essay.
If you are still looking for some expository examples to guide your learning, you can check Amazon One Step’s collection of Pre-written Essays. You can also get an expository example above.
B. Key Elements for Effective Expository Essays
Take note of the following key elements in an effective expository essay’s outline and structure. This is important even in buying an expository essay because it allows you to check any errors or lapses in its content:
1. A Clear, Concise, and Robust Thesis Statement
An effective thesis statement is narrowed and well-defined in order to guide both the writer and the reader in following the text.
Many writers overlook this part of expository essay writing, but it cannot be understated how important a well-written thesis statement is for the composition of an effective explanatory or expository essay.
Check out our featured post below if you want to learn how to write an effective thesis statement for your exposition (and other kinds of essays).
2. Good Transitions
Smooth and logical transitions bind the expository essay’s introduction, body, and conclusion into one cohesive whole. It also provides the reader with a memorable experience of reading your work from start to finish.
Transitions and what some people call “signposting” signal the logical progression of thought and help the reader to follow the essay’s flow.
3. Clear Presentation of Evidence
A good expository essay avoids dumping multiple ideas into a few paragraphs. Imagine reading pages of texts, without clear organization, logical progression, and even a little bit of ‘spice.’ This would surely be the easiest way to bore your readers and prevent them from reading further.
A good rule of thumb in expository essay writing is that each paragraph must focus on a primary idea. This improves the direction, clarity, and even readability of your expository essay.
As mentioned earlier, the presentation of evidence and information should be handled with good logical transitions.
4. Evidentiary Support
If each paragraph is to be devoted to the explanation of evidence and information, there must be, in the first place, evidence and information. Data for expository essay topics may range from anecdotal statistical to factual.
Often, students are required to write expository essays with little or no preparation; therefore, such essays do not typically allow for a great deal of statistical or factual evidence. Nonetheless, even if expository essays would usually require less evidence than a full-blown research paper, it wouldn’t hurt using timely, credible, and verified sources.
5. Strong Conclusions
A strong conclusion is characterized as not a simple thesis restatement but a wrap-up of the thesis statement and idea and the evidence provided throughout the body.
As with any kind of paper, the conclusion is mainly focused on the synthesis and is often the most important part of an expository essay. This is because a significant number of readers will go straight to the conclusion should they not be interested in reading the entirety of the essay.
III. Examples of Explanatory Essay Topics
The following are some popular expository essay topics: law, education, history, armed conflict, social media, politics, science, movies, books, poems, alternative media and art, economics, psychology, literature, and many more.
Expository essay topics are broad and well-populated thanks to the immediate strength of the genre of the essay, which is that it is flexible and can tackle a wide range of issues and subject matters.
For a more detailed list of expository essay topics, you can check our post on 150 Interesting Topics for 2021.
Hopefully, these tips have provided the needed clarity on how to construct persuasive and well-written expository essays.
This article has tried to explain several topics, such as (1) the basic definitions of the expository essay, (2) its various genres, (3) its purposes, and (4) some tips and guidelines as to how to make the structure and expository more cohesive.
A. Additional Tip – Should you Buy an Expository Essay
If you have determined that you lack time to write your own essay, then it would be best to check previous samples of expository essays that your essay provider wrote.
You can ask for an example of previous expository essays that they have written and then check whether (1) all the elements are present, (2) the flow and structure are sound, and (3) whether all the claims are backed with sufficient data.
However, for those who do not have the time to do this by themselves, it would be best to check your essay-writing provider’s quality, experience, and reputation.
Several essay-writing services like AOS Essays only hire well-versed and experienced writers. This allows you to know whether they have the right skills, experience, and knowledge in writing, synthesizing, and creating an award-winning expository essay based on your requirements.
Therefore, always make sure that you take the time to review these tips before you choose whether to write or buy expository essays. You can also download the free expository essay sample from our download link above as a token of our appreciation.