Expository Essay Writing Guide

When writing an expository essay, one must explain a topic using a forthright and logical manner. There must be no references to emotions or opinions; the essay should present an analysis based on facts. Expository essay writing is definitely not easy; it’s very difficult not to inject one’s viewpoint on a subject when writing. This writing guide will explain the necessary steps to producing a great expository essay.

  1. Structure – There are usually 5 paragraphs in the essay. They are the introduction, three paragraphs in the body of the essay and the summary or conclusion. The thesis statement is contained in the introductory paragraph, usually at the end right before the body of the essay. The thesis statement tells the reader what will be covered in the next 3 paragraphs.
  2. Prewriting – this phase involves brainstorming, writing down thoughts that come to your mind, researching and taking notes. These notes are then used to formulate the outline for the essay, organizing them in a logical sequence.
  3. Drafting the essay – this step may seem to be the biggest and take the most time, but if the prewriting stage was done effectively the writing of the essay will be a lot quicker and flow more smoothly. The parts of the draft include:
    • The introductory paragraph. This is possibly the most important part of the entire essay, because it’s what entices the reader to continue reading. It also delivers the thesis statement which tells the reader exactly what will be contained in the essay.
    • Each of the three paragraphs of the body of the essay should cover a separate point that was in the thesis. There should be facts or examples in support of these main points.
    • The final paragraph is the summary or conclusion and should not introduce anything new.
    • Expository essays should always be written in the third person tense.
  4. Revising and editing the essay – this is the polishing step. Once all the information has been written and the previous steps are all completed, it’s time for making the essay the best it can possibly be. Look for strengths and weaknesses. What parts would be better if revised? Does one paragraph lead right into the next without losing focus? Is there value and meaning in the concluding paragraph? Will it leave a lasting impression? Once revisions have been made a final proofreading to catch errors is essential.

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