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What is an Expository Essay - Guide for Students

If you are willing to learn what an expository essay is and how to write it without any stress, you are in a right place! Just continue reading and get all the information you may need along the way.

Expository essay definition is very simple: it is a written paper, which explains a certain subject to a chosen audience. These papers are widely assigned not only in classes but also at exams and SAT tests. That is why you need to master an expository essay to be able to succeed in class not depending on its academic level.

The main goal of such a task is to provide analysis and information on a given topic. Your paper should contain the key argument, specified in the thesis statement. Unlike a research, your essay doesn’t require a deep analysis of the topic, which makes it a bit easier to complete. However, you should still take into account all the main elements such task needs to contain to be able to deliver great results. They include:

  • A thesis statement. Your expository essay should always contain a clear central idea, which will be supported throughout the text. Make sure your thesis is simple and explained in an understandable manner, without complex terms and definitions;
  • An introductory paragraph, which contains the main details of the work and brief explanation of the subject. It should also contain a hook to catch interest of the reader. It may be a joke, a question, a quote or an interesting fact depending on the subject you are discussing;
  • Main paragraphs, containing evidence and supportive details. Make sure all the sources you use are credible and reliable. Don’t forget to cite all of the sources properly;
  • Conclusion, which repeats all the ideas of your work;
  • Transition words, which connect every paragraph and make your work look smooth and simple to read.

Now, when you can define expository essay and know what parts it should consist of, it is a right time to get familiar with the main mistakes most of the students complete:

  • Bad topic. It should be up-to-date, interesting, relevant and not used by too many students before you;
  • Weak argumentation. You should always start your work with collecting proper material. Make sure you use only reliable sources, which will surely make your essay strong and powerful;
  • Wrong method. If you don’t choose a right technique, you risk puzzling the reader and not making required conclusions. First, analyze the topic and then choose one of the appropriate methods to base your work on;
  • In-text mistakes. If you don’t pay enough attention to editing, you risk your grades. Make sure you check every sentence a couple times and eliminate all the grammar and lexical errors, typos and any other imperfections before the delivery before the delivery.
expository essay examples

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Expository Essay Examples

expository essay format

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Expository Essay Format

expository essay outline

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Expository Essay Outline

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Expository Essay Rubric

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Expository Essay Structure

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Expository Paper Examples

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Real Expository Essay Examples

If you still don’t know whether you have understood the assignment properly, you have a unique chance to simplify the process. Nowadays many students turn to expository essay examples and use them to understand the task’s structure and requirements.

It is a great alternative if you want to complete an outstanding task on your own but still need some support and assistance. Just download a sample on the similar topic, read it carefully and mark all the elements you want to include to your own essay! What can be simpler than that?

Expository Essay: Format & Outline

We have prepared a very simple but detailed guide on how to write an expository essay with minimum time and efforts. To get started, you need to remember to follow a widely accepted format and structure.

Your expository essay should consist of five paragraphs, including introduction (with a clear and understandable thesis), main paragraphs with key evidence and sources analysis, and conclusion, which acts like a summary of the whole work.

However, you need to follow a five-paragraph format only if else is not indicated by your professor. You should also get familiar with the main demands considering the formatting style and requirements. In most of the cases, you will need to use an accepted pattern of MLA or APA styles, which have quite specific demands.

In case you can format your essay on your own, make sure the fonts you use are tidy and the spaces are double. If you want to keep in mind all of these requirements, you can complete an expository essay outline, which will contain a list of all the things you need to include to your text. They act like expository essay prompts and help to stick to the structure of the work without missing out any important details.

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If you want your essay to meet the requirements, you should always know which variation of the task to use. They can be as follows:

  • Definition. This type of an essay requires explanation of the term or a certain matter. This can be a subject, an object or an abstract definition, like love or kindness. When completing this essay, you need to concentrate on the definition of the word, associations and connotation;
  • Classification. When completing this assignment, you will be asked to break a certain definition or subject into smaller categories or groups. You will need to organize your work from the broadest definition to the most specific one;
  • Cause and effect. If you are asked to complete a cause/effect essay, you need to explain what caused particular matters and what are their outcomes.;
  • 'How to'. This paper acts like instruction or a manual, explaining how something works or should be used. This may be a technical device or a procedure;
  • Compare and contrast, which describes similar and different elements of two or more subjects.

In most of the cases, you will need to choose the method on your own. This means that first you should analyze the topic and then decide which technique will be the most suitable. Sometimes you can use several methods if the subject is broad and complex.

Expository Essay Topics & Prompts

It is hard to say what students like more: choosing the topic on their own or being assigned with one. Everything depends on the subject and professor but being able to select the topic you like may surely help you to stay motivated along the way.

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We have prepared a list of great expository essay topics, which may help you to generate your own ideas!

  • How you prefer spending your evenings and why;
  • What feelings you have after arguing with the people you love?
  • Teach the reader how to remember new information;
  • How can a person follow a healthy nutrition with a limited budget?
  • How to remain positive in all circumstances?
  • Basis of time management: how to do everything on time;
  • What are your strongest qualities?
  • The impact of social media on the modern society;
  • What is kindness and compassion to you?
  • Should computer games be forbidden to children?
  • Why there are so many divorces in the modern society?
  • How to prevent impulsive purchases if you have enough funds?
  • Who is your favorite book character and why?
  • What friendship means to you?
  • What have you learned from your favorite movie?

If you want your expository essay to get high grades and grab interest of the audience, you should always choose the topic you like. In such a way, you will remain passionate and will be able to complete the task even if you are out of time and energy!

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