Definition:An expository essay requires the writer to research and investigate an idea, gather supporting evidence, and present a point of view or argument on the topic. This can be done through multiple methods, including compare and contrast, cause and effect, or examples. Simply put, and expository essay is a research paper.
How to write a great one:There are many ways to write a great essay, however all expository essays follow the same basic steps. One effective method of writing is known as the POET method.
P for Purpose
- Every expository essay has a purpose. Sometimes the topic is selected by your teacher. Other times, it is up to you to select a topic to write about.
- If you are selecting your own topic to write about, be sure to choose one that is specific enough to tackle within the confines of an essay.
- If your teacher has chosen the purpose or topic for you, be sure to pay attention to the verbs in the prompt. Look for words such as analyze, compare, connect.
- Strong essays are consistent throughout, never deviating from the central purpose.
O is for Organization
- Start your essay with an introductory paragraph. This should set the stage for the rest of the paper and include your thesis statement, which we will discuss later. The introductory paragraph is your opportunity to grab the reader’s interest and attention for the rest of the paper.
- A good essay should be well organized into body paragraphs, with each describing a certain supporting piece of evidence and how it connects to your purpose.
- Each paragraph should have a topic sentence, which demonstrates to the reader what the paragraph will be focusing on. Be sure to focus on how each body paragraph supports your thesis.
- End your paper with a conclusion paragraph. This should not simply be a re-statement of the thesis statement. Instead, think of how each piece of evidence you presented ties back to your thesis. Be sure to avoid introducing new ideas in the conclusion.
E is for Evidence
- Great essays do more than simply make claims. Instead, they present an idea that is backed up by evidence found in outside sources.
- Your evidence should be from reputable and well-respected sources.
- Be sure to cite each source that you use to form the evidence of your paper. This is very important, as it demonstrates your commitment to research for your topic, and will prevent accusations of plagiarism. BibMe has citation services that can help you create a bibliography in MLA format, APA format, or other citation styles.
T is for Thesis
- Your thesis statement is the driving idea for the rest of your paper. It is the point of your paper, and is what each body paragraph and piece of evidence attempts to support.
- Generally, your thesis statement should be the last sentence of your introductory paragraph.
- Be careful not to simply re-state the purpose or prompt. Instead, it should preview what your thoughts on the topic are, and how you plan to solidify your claim. Be as specific as possible.
Weak thesis: Too much time spent on a digital device is bad for children.
Strong thesis: Although electronic devices can provide educational content, parents should regulate the amount of time children spend on digital platforms, as they can inhibit social interaction, shorten attention spans, and cause unhealthy sleeping habits.
Before turning in your paper, don’t forget to do a final proofread of your paper. It’s a good practice to review your final draft for spelling, formatting, consistency, and other grammar considerations. There are also online grammar check services that automatically scan and proofread our paper for you.
These steps will create a more robust, well-thought-out essay. Now that you know the basics, go out and begin writing with confidence!
Need APA citations? Or citations in MLA, Chicago, Harvard, or another style? Try BibMe’s citation services.
Every student has to write an expository essay at least once in their educational career. These are actually fairly simple essays to write, but they do require some serious research skills. Like most academic essays, the expository essay requires formal writing with an introduction, body, and conclusion.
Tips for Writing a Kick-Butt Essay
Want to really impress your professor? Here are a few ways you can turn an ordinary essay into something that will blow their socks off.
Focus on the Thesis
Your thesis is the central point of the entire essay, so if it’s amazing, you’re off to a great start. Begin with this and make sure you decide on something that is impressive to kick off the essay.
Listen to the Assignment
Your professor may give you hints on what they’re looking for. If you just write down the basics of the assignment, you could miss out on some key points. For example, your professor may hint at a preferred topic or give tips that could result in a higher score. Write it all down and then analyze what is wanted before you write.
Long before you actually put pen to paper or fingers to keyboard to write the essay, you need to complete the pre-writing phase. This is where you do research and outline your essay. You’ll be amazed at how much better your writing is when you have these basic elements in place first. If you need help with these basic elements consider using an Expository Essay Template.
Explain, Don’t Argue
If you’re not careful, an expository essay can turn into a persuasive or argumentative essay. Focus on explaining the topic, rather than convincing people of something about it.
Revise and Edit, Revise and Edit
Going over the essay once to edit and polish isn’t really enough. If you’re tight on time, such as when writing an essay for an exam, just once will do. However, if you have time, it’s a good idea to edit immediately, then let the essay sit overnight or even longer. When you come back, you won’t be as close to the writing and can look at it more objectively.
Choosing the Right Topic
Topics for an expository essay vary widely, but ideally, you should select something you’re interested in writing about. Topics can answer a question such as “How can we prevent bullying in school?” or they can describe something like a historical building in your area. Other interesting topics to inspire you include:
- How does technology affect our relationships?
- How to treat a burn
- What are the must-haves for a freshman in college?
- How to handle anxiety attacks naturally
- How to train your dog to stop barking on command
- Research the history of a monument in your area
- Why roller skating is a great exercise
As you can see, there’s no limit to the types of topics you can choose for your essay and it really comes down to what the professor assigns you and what you enjoy writing about. How narrow your topic is will also depend on how much you plan to write. An entire history of the Civil War won’t fit into two page, for example, so you’ll need to narrow it down to a specific battle or element of the Civil War.
Writing an expository essay can actually be a fun experience if you approach it the right way. When you enjoy the topic and are interested in it, your essay will show that and will stand out from those written out of boredom.
Finally, if you’re ever facing writer’s block for your college paper, consider WriteWell Essay Templates to help you get started.
Referred to any sources in your work? Cite them in your paper in MLA format, APA format, and other styles with EasyBib citation tools!