Academic Writing TipsEssay

What is an expository essay?

An expository essay is a type of essay in which you choose a topic, investigate it and describe it by giving pieces of evidence. What differentiates an expository essay from an argumentative essay is that it does not require an argument and is less original in its content. In other words, you only put a specific subject under investigation and explain it through facts and statistics to inform the readers. It also takes an objective position on the topic. An expository essay mainly examines your skill in composition and your comprehension ability.

Recommended article: How to write an argumentative essay step by step?

The topics you write about in an expository essay are diverse. Often, you are assigned a topic by a professor/teacher. Nevertheless, if you have a choice, there are many subjects to choose as your topic. Most students pick to write about science, politics, social media, personal experiences, animals, health, education, history, and geography. After selecting your topic, you can search for the information and pieces of evidence of your explanation.

What is an expository essay?
What is an expository essay?

Every academic essay has a certain number of purposes. So, the format and characteristics of an essay are significant to every writer and reader. A successful essay writer follows the basics the essay requires. When writing an expository essay, you should remember some of the features it has:

  • It is to be presented with an unbiased perspective
  • It follows a balanced, logical structure consisting of 3rd person point of view
  • Its information is comprehensive and factual
  • Its validity is established by the supporting evidence you provide for it
  • There is no need for proving and developing an argument

Expository essay examples for university and high School

Although there are different situations, like business and science, in which you are to write an expository essay, you generally face this task during school and university. You may confront writing an expository essay in an exam, assignment, or class question. You may choose your topic, or your teacher or professor may decide to give you a specific topic. In both cases, you have to write an essay that follows an expository essay’s rules since it helps you show your writing skill.

Recommended article: Topics for high school students

Remember that you are not always directly asked to write an expository essay, but you may confront a question or hint that requires this type of essay. For example, when you see this kind of sentence, “Explain the cause of tree’s growth,” you have to write an expository essay about the reasons a tree grows. Here, the word “explain” is a good sign for an expository essay.

Types of expository essays

Charged with writing an expository essay, you may wonder how you should do it. Don’t panic because different types of expository essays will help you understand it better and write it more skillfully. The question you receive makes it easier for writing it too. There are five major types of expository essays:

  • Compare and Contrast Essay: You select two subjects and explain their similarities and differences through comparing and analyzing. Choose two subjects related to the same category. For example, you are asked to compare and contrast two animals’ skin similarities and differences.
  • Cause and Effect Essay: You analyze what the causes of something are and explain them. Then you explain their effects in detail. For example, “what causes hair loss and what are its effects?”
  • Descriptive Essay: You describe and explain a topic. It may be a term that you define. The terms may be abstract or concrete. Extend the definition since a dictionary definition is not sufficient. Here, you have more freedom to write on the topic. For example, “describe a book” or “describe happiness.”
  • Process Essay: You write and teach your reader how to do something step by step. You write about a procedure bit by bit and guide your reader to make or do it. For example, you explain how to bake a chocolate cake.
  • Problem and Solution Essay: You explain and clarify a problem by giving evidence and proposing and providing solutions. For example, “Explain the air pollution problem and suggest solutions for it.”

How to write an Expository Essay?

After learning what an expository essay is and what purposes it serves, it’s time to know how to write it. Firstly, before doing anything, brainstorm your ideas on a piece of paper to have a general view of what you will write. Like many other essays, an expository essay can be a five-paragraph type. Then start your essay by writing a clear and concise thesis statement. Continue introducing your topic in the first paragraph. Write three body paragraphs by giving supporting ideas and providing evidence for the subject. Pay attention to your tone because you should not put your prejudiced views in writing. In the conclusion paragraph, summarize what you have introduced and conclude by stating factual information differently.

Knowing about an expository essay will help you become a professional writer in writing different tasks in different fields, as mentioned above. Here you learned about what an expository essay is and what purposes it serves. If this article is helpful to you, comment below.


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