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Strategies for Writing Expository Essays

Updated on February 25, 2015
Expository Essentials
Expository Essentials


Maybe your teacher asked you to write an expository essay, and you aren't sure exactly of what's expected of you— have you ever written interesting facts about a person, place, or thing? That’s exactly what an expository writing is about.

Expository essay is honest, genuine and straight-forward it is the writing that seeks to clarify, illuminate or expose i.e. where the word, 'expository' comes from. Expository writing explains, defines, describes, gives information, or informs about a topic in a logical manner. An expository essay has the writing style which is formal, standard and academic where the reader or listener has erstwhile knowledge or understanding of the topic that is written or discussed. Expository essays are written for a general audience which can include essays, journals, newspaper and periodical articles, instruction manuals, encyclopedia articles, textbooks and other forms of writing, so long as they seek to explain.

There are different methods of writing an expository essay. These include:

  • Compare and contrast
  • Cause and effect
  • Problem and solution
  • Extended definition

One of the most important tools to improve skills in exposition is to improve the text. Good expository writing:

▶ announces the main idea and progresses it with evidences and supportive details

▶uses transition words to connect ideas

▶draws a conclusion based on the facts and information presented

▶ gives important information about a precise topic

▶reviews research from a variety of sources

Most expository essays have an introductory paragraph, in which a thesis or the main objective is stated; quite a few main body paragraphs that explain what is in the introduction; and a concluding paragraph in which everything is summed up. It’s important to write an expository essay with the assumption that the audience has little or no knowledge about the topic. If asked to write an expository essay, then you are basically asked to present the facts; there is no place for bias or opinions in expository writing. In an organized and logical manner be sure to support the topic, provide plenty of facts, particulars, illustrations, and descriptions. Remember your purpose and audience while writing an Expository writing.

Steps for Writing Expository Essay
Steps for Writing Expository Essay

The Five-Step Writing Process for Expository Essays

  • Prewriting for the Expository Essay
  • Drafting the Expository Essay
  • Revising the Expository Essay
  • Editing the Expository Essay
  • Publishing the Expository Essay

So an expository essay is a systematized portion of prose which explains a specific topic or set of ideas to a well-defined audience. Polish the essay through amendment to make it artful, innovative, and interesting. Think of definite explicit examples you can use to exemplify your major points about the topic. Avoid clichéd language or the most obvious noticeable examples. Each example should have some strong clear connection to the central idea. The examples may come from learning or from personal experience. A conclusion that highlights the main idea without being monotonous sums up the essay by reconsidering the thesis in light of the data discoursed in the essay’s body. You want your reader to learn something new and convincing, whether it’s an unfamiliar fact or a novel standpoint on your topic.


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