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How To Write An Expository Essay

How To Write An Expository Essay

How To Write An Expository Essay

The main purpose of an expository essay is to inform, explain, or describe. This type of essay presents exhaustive information on a topic. In addition, the essay is written in 3rd person using, ‘it’, ‘he’, ‘she’, ‘they’, and uses formal language to discuss someone or something.

Below are the six steps to follow when writing an Expository Essay:

  1. Brainstorm

Take an inventory of what you know about your topic first and sort out the different ways you can use to write the essay.

  • Free writing – writing quickly without stopping, editing, or self-correcting to become aware of what you already know, think, or feel about a topic.
  • Subject tree – related ideas, connecting outwards from the main topic, in a tree form.
  • List – free flow of ideas on a topic
  • Clustering – main topic is in the middle circle, all related associations are linked to the main topic.
  • Outline – the framework of an essay, which includes main points, followed by the breakdown into sub-points.

Once your thoughts are on paper, you can start organizing them by grouping ideas and identifying areas where more information is required.

  1. Researching Your Topic

Research may require going to a library or searching online.  All research should be current (check with your instructor for acceptable time frames). Acceptable sources are reference works, books, and scholarly articles by experts. Encyclopedias and popular magazines should not be used in academic writing.

  1. Develop A Thesis Statement

A thesis consists of two main components – a claim and the supporting details that sustain it.

A claim is a one-sentence statement that:

  • Makes an assertion or takes a stance
  • Is based on a generalization
  • Is not a fact
  • Is debatable
  • Must be presented in the introduction of the essay

Supporting details provide the means for reinforcing the claim, and can be organized in different patterns

  • Categories/topics
  • Time frames/chronological periods
  • Cause/effect

To create a thesis statement, combine the claim and the supporting details in one sentence.  The direction of your essay can change depending on the pattern in which you organize the supporting details.

  1. Write The Introduction

The introduction is the most general part of the paper.  It helps provide a roadmap for further discussion or analysis. This simplified formula offers components for a basic introduction:

Definition: Identify, define, and/or describe the topic, concept, or literary theme.  What will you be talking about?

Relevance: Show the importance of your topic, concept or theme.  How does it relate to or impact society?

Thesis: Copy the thesis statement generated in the previous step.

  1. Writing The Body Of The Essay

The body of the essay is the most detailed part. It involves addressing each supporting detail in a separate, fully developed paragraph.  Make sure to include the necessary evidence from your research.

It is imperative that each supporting detail be announced or introduced within the text.  This introduction is called a topic sentence and it is found at the beginning of a paragraph.  The topic sentence is a statement you make about the supporting detail.

  1. Writing The Conclusion

Conclusion brings the paper to a close.  It should be similar to the introduction, but worded differently. It allows you to reiterate and summarize the main points of the essay. The following components comprise a conclusion:

Relevance:   Repeat the importance of your topic.

Review: Reiterate the points you discussed.

Summary: Summarize your conclusions

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