Library homepage

  • school Campus Bookshelves
  • menu_book Bookshelves
  • perm_media Learning Objects
  • login Login
  • how_to_reg Request Instructor Account
  • hub Instructor Commons
  • Download Page (PDF)
  • Download Full Book (PDF)
  • Periodic Table
  • Physics Constants
  • Scientific Calculator
  • Reference & Cite
  • Tools expand_more
  • Readability

selected template will load here

This action is not available.

Humanities LibreTexts

4.1: Expository Essays

  • Last updated
  • Save as PDF
  • Page ID 4531

Learning Objectives

  • Understand the function and use of expository essays
  • Identify eight types of expository essays
  • Apply expository essay structure

What Is an Expository Essay?

An essay that explains a writer’s ideas by defining, explaining, informing, or elaborating on points to allow the reader to clearly understand the concept.

Many of your future academic workplace writing assignments will be expository–explaining your ideas or the significance of a concept or action. An expository essay allows the writer the opportunity to explain his or her ideas about a topic and to provide clarity for the reader by using:

  • Explanations
  • Definitions

It may also include the writer outlining steps of a procedure in a way that is straightforward for the reader to follow. It is purely informative and often contains elements of summary.

Imagine you need to verbally explain a concept to your classmates, maybe a behavioural theory. What are the key elements on which you would focus? How would you organize the information? You could explain who came up with the theory, the specific area of study to which it is related, its purpose, and the significant details to explain the theory. Telling these four elements to your classmates would give them a complete, yet summarized, picture of the theory, so they could apply the theory in future discussions.

Although you did this verbally, you were still fulfilling the elements of an expository essay by providing definition, details, explanations, and maybe even facts if you have a really good memory. This is the same process that you would use when you write an expository essay. You may actually be doing this all the time; for example, when you are giving someone directions to a place or explaining how to cook something. In the following sections of the chapter, you will practise doing this more in different expository written forms.

The Structure of an Expository Essay

Sections versus paragraphs.

Before looking at the general structure of an expository essay, you first need to know that in your post-secondary education, you should not consider your essay as writing being constructed with five paragraphs as you might have been used to in high school. You should instead think of your essay in terms of sections (there may be five), and each section may have multiple paragraphs.

To understand further why you need to think beyond the five-paragraph essay, imagine you have been asked to submit a six-page paper (approximately 1,500 words). You already know that each paragraph should be roughly 75 to 200 words long. If you divide the required word count by five paragraphs (1,500 by 5), you end with 300 words per paragraph, way above the number you should have in a paragraph. If your paragraphs are too long, they likely have too many ideas and your reader may become confused. Your paragraphs should be two-third of a page at most, and never longer than a page.

Instead, if you think of your essays being divided into sections (with possibly more than one paragraph per section), your writing will likely be more organized and allow your reader to follow your presentation of ideas without creating too much distance between your paragraph’s supporting points and its topic sentence.

As you will see in Section 4.5, some essay forms may require even more than five paragraphs or sections because of how many points are necessary to address. For the rest of this chapter, the term paragraph will also imply section.

Sections of an Expository Essay

An expository essay, regardless of its purpose, should have at least five sections, which are:

  • Introduction
  • First body section/paragraph
  • Second body section/paragraph
  • Third body section/paragraph
  • Conclusion.

The introduction should state the topic of your paper: your thesis statement as well as brief signposts of what information the rest of the paper will include. That is, you only want to mention the content of the body paragraphs; you do not want to go in to a lot of detail and repeat what will be in the rest of the essay.

The first body section or paragraph should focus on one of your main points and provide evidence to support that point. There should be two to three supporting points: reasons, facts, statistics, quotations, examples, or a mix of these. Both the second and third body sections should follow the same pattern. Providing three body sections with one point each that supports the thesis should provide the reader with enough detail to be convinced of your argument or fully understand the concept you are explaining. However, remember that some sections will require more explanation, and you may need to separate this information into multiple paragraphs.

You can order your sections in the most logical way to explain your ideas. For example, if you are describing a process, you may use chronological order to show the definite time order in which the steps need to happen. You will learn about the different ways to organize your body paragraphs in the next chapter.

The concluding paragraph , or conclusion, can be a little tricky to compose because you need to make sure you give a concise summary of the body paragraphs, but you must be careful not to simply repeat what you have already written. Look back at the main idea of each section/paragraph, and try to summarize the point using words different from those you have already used. Do not include any new points in your concluding paragraph.

Consider Your Audience: How Much Do They Know?

Later in this chapter, you will work on determining and adapting to your audience when writing, but with an expository essay, since you are defining or informing your audience on a certain topic, you need to evaluate how much your audience knows about that topic (aside from having general common knowledge). You want to make sure you are giving thorough, comprehensive, and clear explanations on the topic. Never assume the reader knows everything about your topic (even if it is covered in the reader’s field of study). For example, even though some of your instructors may teach criminology, they may have specialized in different areas from the one about which you are writing; they most likely have a strong understanding of the concepts but may not recall all the small details on the topic. If your instructor specialized in crime mapping and data analysis for example, he or she may not have a strong recollection of specific criminological theories related to other areas of study. Providing enough background information without being too detailed is a fine balance, but you always want to ensure you have no gaps in the information, so your reader will not have to guess your intention. Again, we will practise this more in Section 4.9.

What Comes Next?

In the next eight sections (4.2 through 4.9), we will look at different expository modes, or rhetorical modes, you will often be assigned. These are:

  • Illustration
  • Description
  • Classification
  • Process analysis
  • Compare and contrast
  • Cause and effect

Rhetorical modes refers simply to the ways to communicate effectively through language. As you read about these modes, keep in mind that the rhetorical mode a writer chooses depends on his or her purpose for writing. Sometimes writers incorporate a variety of modes in any one essay. In this chapter, we also emphasize the rhetorical modes as a set of tools that will allow you greater flexibility and effectiveness in communicating with your audience and expressing your ideas.

In a few weeks, you will need to submit your first essay–an expository sample–and you will be given the choice of topic: one from each of the modes. Think about which types of expository essays are easier and which are more challenging for you. As mentioned, as you progress through your studies, you will be exposed to each of these types. You may want to explore a mode you find more challenging than the others in order to ensure you have a full grasp on developing each type. However, it is up to you. As you work through the sections, think about possible topics you may like to cover in your expository essay and start brainstorming as you work through the self-practice exercises.

After we explore each of the individual modes in the eight sections that follow, we will look at outlining and drafting; it is at this point you will want to fine tune and narrow the topic you will write about, so you can focus on that when doing the exercises.

Purdue Online Writing Lab Purdue OWL® College of Liberal Arts

Expository Essays

OWL logo

Welcome to the Purdue OWL

This page is brought to you by the OWL at Purdue University. When printing this page, you must include the entire legal notice.

Copyright ©1995-2018 by The Writing Lab & The OWL at Purdue and Purdue University. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, reproduced, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed without permission. Use of this site constitutes acceptance of our terms and conditions of fair use.

What is an expository essay?

The expository essay is a genre of essay that requires the student to investigate an idea, evaluate evidence, expound on the idea, and set forth an argument concerning that idea in a clear and concise manner. This can be accomplished through comparison and contrast, definition, example, the analysis of cause and effect, etc.

Please note : This genre is commonly assigned as a tool for classroom evaluation and is often found in various exam formats.

The structure of the expository essay is held together by the following.

  • A clear, concise, and defined thesis statement that occurs in the first paragraph of the essay.

It is essential that this thesis statement be appropriately narrowed to follow the guidelines set forth in the assignment. If the student does not master this portion of the essay, it will be quite difficult to compose an effective or persuasive essay.

  • Clear and logical transitions between the introduction, body, and conclusion.

Transitions are the mortar that holds the foundation of the essay together. Without logical progression of thought, the reader is unable to follow the essay’s argument, and the structure will collapse.

  • Body paragraphs that include evidential support.

Each paragraph should be limited to the exposition of one general idea. This will allow for clarity and direction throughout the essay. What is more, such conciseness creates an ease of readability for one’s audience. It is important to note that each paragraph in the body of the essay must have some logical connection to the thesis statement in the opening paragraph.

  • Evidential support (whether factual, logical, statistical, or anecdotal).

Often times, students are required to write expository essays with little or no preparation; therefore, such essays do not typically allow for a great deal of statistical or factual evidence.

  • A bit of creativity!

Though creativity and artfulness are not always associated with essay writing, it is an art form nonetheless. Try not to get stuck on the formulaic nature of expository writing at the expense of writing something interesting. Remember, though you may not be crafting the next great novel, you are attempting to leave a lasting impression on the people evaluating your essay.

  • A conclusion that does not simply restate the thesis, but readdresses it in light of the evidence provided.

It is at this point of the essay that students will inevitably begin to struggle. This is the portion of the essay that will leave the most immediate impression on the mind of the reader. Therefore, it must be effective and logical. Do not introduce any new information into the conclusion; rather, synthesize and come to a conclusion concerning the information presented in the body of the essay.

A complete argument

Perhaps it is helpful to think of an essay in terms of a conversation or debate with a classmate. If I were to discuss the cause of the Great Depression and its current effect on those who lived through the tumultuous time, there would be a beginning, middle, and end to the conversation. In fact, if I were to end the exposition in the middle of my second point, questions would arise concerning the current effects on those who lived through the Depression. Therefore, the expository essay must be complete, and logically so, leaving no doubt as to its intent or argument.

The five-paragraph Essay

A common method for writing an expository essay is the five-paragraph approach. This is, however, by no means the only formula for writing such essays. If it sounds straightforward, that is because it is; in fact, the method consists of:

  • an introductory paragraph
  • three evidentiary body paragraphs
  • a conclusion

The Write Practice

Expository Essay: 3 Building Blocks to Propose an Idea and Defend It

by Dixie-Ann Belle | 0 comments

Want to Become a Published Author? In 100 Day Book, you’ll finish your book guaranteed. Learn more and sign up here.

If you saw the words “expository essay” on a writing assignment, would your mind draw a blank? Would you immediately feel as if you had stumbled into unexplored territory?

Well there's good news.

expository essay

This post is written by guest writer Dixie-Ann Belle. You can learn more about Dixie-Anne at the end of this article. Welcome Dixie-Ann! 

You might not realize it, but chances are this is not your first encounter with this type of essay. Once you have been writing essays in academic environments, you have probably already worked on expository writing.

In this article, I hope to help you recognize this essay type and understand the expository essay outline. Comprehending the building blocks is instrumental in knowing how to construct an exceptional expository essay.

Lay a Strong Foundation

Over the years, I have taught and tutored college students one on one as they write academic essays, in face to face classrooms and online, and I have noticed a pattern. They often approach essays in one of two ways.

Some consider them with apprehension and are fearful of making mistakes. Others feel confident that they have written many essays before and think they have already mastered expository writing.

Interestingly, it's the latter who often end up the most shaken when they realize that they are not as familiar as they think with this type of writing.

What I hope to instill in my students is that they should not feel intimidated whatever their situation or essay assignment.

I encourage them to make sure they understand the foundations of the expository essay structure. I try to get them to grasp the basic blocks that need to be there, and once they do, they have a good chance of crafting a substantial piece of writing.

What is an Expository Essay?

Students are typically assigned one of at least four types of essays: the persuasive/argumentative essay, the descriptive essay, the technical essay, or the expository essay.

Writing an expository essay is one of the most important and valuable skills for you to master.

According to the Purdue Online Writing Lab:

The expository essay is a genre of essay that requires the student to investigate an idea, evaluate evidence, expound on the idea, and set forth an argument concerning that idea in a clear and concise manner.

Keep in mind that your expository writing centers on giving your reader information about a given topic or process. Your goal is to inform, describe, or define the subject for your readers.

As you work to achieve this, your essay writing must be formal, objective, and concise. No matter what your discipline, it's almost guaranteed that you will be required to write this common type essay one day.

Some expository essay examples could include:

  • Define the term ‘democracy'
  • Compare and contrast the benefits of cable television vs streaming
  • Outline the process that generates an earthquake
  • Classify the different types of tourism
  • Outline the aspects of a good fitness program

The possibilities are endless with expository writing, and it can cover a wide variety of topics and specialties.

3 Building Blocks of a Great Expository Essay

To make sure you're on the right track with this type of paper, it helps to understand the three building blocks of the expository essay format and how to apply them to the final expository essay structure .

1. Write an introduction

Most students know that an introductory paragraph should grab the interest of the reader. However, they might not realize that it should also provide context for the essay topic.

Ask yourself : What are you talking about in this essay? Why is this topic important? Some background details could help to establish the subject for your reader.

For example:

If you were writing an essay on the impact smartphones have on society, you might want to start with some information on the evolution of smartphones, the number of smartphones in society, the way people use the phones and more.

The introduction should start off with general information.

You then work your way down to the more specific and principal part of your introduction and the crown of your whole essay, the thesis statement.

What is the thesis statement?

Your thesis statement states in concise language what this essay is going to be about. It is one clear sentence which expresses the subject and the focus of this piece of writing. If there is a prompt, the thesis statement should directly answer that prompt.

Our smart phones topic might create a thesis statement like:  Smart phones have many positive impacts for adults in the business world.

Right away the reader has some idea of what's ahead.

2. Write your body paragraphs

With your thesis statement clear in your mind and your introduction setting the scene, it is time to write your body paragraphs.

Each body paragraph contains supporting information including factual evidence for your essay topic. Each paragraph should each focus on one idea.

Depending on your word count and the teacher requirements, you can write any number of body paragraphs, but there are usually at least three for a basic five paragraph essay.

Each body paragraph should start with a topic sentence. A topic sentence is one single statement that explains the point of the paragraph. It directly refers to your thesis statement and tells you what the body paragraph is going to be about.

Remember our smart phone thesis statement? You need something that will relate to that thesis sentence and will alert the reader to what is to come.

Here's one possibility: 

Smart phones can help increase productivity  for professional adults.

This topic sentence not only reminds us that you are talking about positive impacts for adults with smart phones, it now shows us what the following paragraph will cover.

The best body paragraphs will go on to include different types of details, all of which would support your topic sentence. A good abbreviation to encapsulate the different details is spelt TEEES.

The TEEES Body Paragraph Structure

Let's break down this abbreviation and explore the types of details you'll need in your body paragraphs

T: Topic sentence

You'll begin with your topic sentence establishing the purpose of this paragraph. We'll use our example from above:

Smartphones can help increase productivity for professional adults.

E: Explanation

This is where you expand on your topic and include additional supportive information.

If you were talking about smartphones and productivity, maybe you could mention what elements of the smartphone make it optimal for productivity.

E: Evidence

This is the information from reputable sources you researched for your topic. Here's where you can talk about all the information you have discovered from experts who have carefully studied this subject.

For our smartphone essay, perhaps you could mention a quote from a technology reporter who has been following the rise of smartphones for years.

E: Examples

This would be concrete subject matter to support your point.

Maybe here you can list some of the smartphone apps which have proven to increase productivity in the workplace.

S: Significant/Summarizing sentence

This is the last sentence in the body paragraph which summarizes your point and ends this part of your essay. There should be no doubt in the reader's mind that you have finished talking about your topic, and you are moving on to another in the next paragraph. Here's how we could conclude this paragraph on smartphones and productivity:

Smartphones have transformed the productivity of the modern workforce.

3. Write the conclusion

Once you have written your body paragraphs, you're in the home stretch. You have presented all of your points and supported them with the appropriate subject matter. Now you need to conclude.

A lot of students are confused by conclusions. Many of them have heard different rules about what is supposed to be included.

One of the main requirements to keep in mind when ending an expository essay is that you do not add new information.

This is not the time to throw in something you forgot in a previous body paragraph. Your conclusion is supposed to give a succinct recap of the points that came before.

Sometimes college students are instructed to re-state the thesis, and this puzzles them. It doesn't mean re-writing the thesis statement word for word. You should express your thesis statement in a new way.

For example, here's how you could approach the conclusion for our smartphone essay.

You've come up with three points to support your thesis statement, and you've explored these three points in your body paragraphs. After brainstorming, you might decide the benefits of smartphones in the workplace are improved productivity, better communication, and increased mobility.

Your conclusion is the time to remind your reader of these points with concise language. Your reader should be able to read the conclusion alone and still come away with the basic ideas of your essay.

Plan Your Essay Based on an Expository Essay Outline

While writing fiction, it is sometimes okay to “pants” it and just leap into writing your story.

When writing essays in academia, this is rarely a good idea. Planning your essay helps organize your ideas, helps you refine many of your points early on and saves time in the long run.

There are lots of great brainstorming techniques you can use to get your ideas together, but after that, it's time to create a topic to sentence outline.

There are three steps to creating your topic to sentence essay outline.

  • Develop a powerful thesis statement. Remember, this is the overarching idea of your entire essay, so you have completed a significant step once you have one done.
  • Come up with the ideas you would like to support your thesis statement.
  • Based on your points, craft your topic sentences.

Here is an example of a topic to sentence outline:

Having these important foundation details completed is a great way to develop your essay as you build on each part. It is also an effective method to make sure you are on the right track.

Depending on your instructor (or tutor, if you have one), you can show your outline to them to get feedback before you launch into your entire essay.

Even if you don't have anyone to provide a critique, the outline can make it easier to revise how you will approach the rest of your paragraph essay.

You now have some firm foundations to help you as you construct your expository essay.

How do you organize an expository essay?  Let us know in the comments .

Take fifteen minutes to practice writing your own expository essay.

First, choose an expository writing assignment topic. If you can't think of one, use one of the expository essay examples below .  

  • What are the nutritional elements of a healthy breakfast?
  • What are some of the most influential types of music?
  • Compare and contrast the benefits of electric and gas cars. 
  • What are the major steps to planning a stress-free vacation?
  • How do smartphones affect mental health?
  • Define true love.

Craft a thesis statement about your topic. Then, write three topic sentences for your body paragraphs.

With the time you have left, start writing your essay. You might be surprised how much you can write in fifteen minutes when you have a clear outline for your essay!

When your time is up, share your outline and your essay in the Pro Practice Workshop here . After you post, please be sure to give feedback to your fellow writers.

Happy writing!

what are the 4 parts of the expository essay

Join 100 Day Book

Enrollment closes May 14 at midnight!

' src=

Dixie-Ann Belle

Since she started scribbling stories in her notebooks as a child, Dixie-Ann Belle has been indulging her love of well crafted content. Whether she is working as a writing teacher and tutor or as a freelance writer, editor and proofreader, she enjoys helping aspiring writers develop their work and access their creativity.

Submit a Comment Cancel reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

Submit Comment

Join over 450,000 readers who are saying YES to practice. You’ll also get a free copy of our eBook 14 Prompts :

Popular Resources

Book Writing Tips & Guides Creativity & Inspiration Tips Writing Prompts Grammar & Vocab Resources Best Book Writing Software ProWritingAid Review Writing Teacher Resources Publisher Rocket Review Scrivener Review Gifts for Writers

Books By Our Writers

Vestige Rise of the Pureblood

You've got it! Just us where to send your guide.

Enter your email to get our free 10-step guide to becoming a writer.

You've got it! Just us where to send your book.

Enter your first name and email to get our free book, 14 Prompts.

Want to Get Published?

Enter your email to get our free interactive checklist to writing and publishing a book.

  • Link to facebook
  • Link to linkedin
  • Link to twitter
  • Link to youtube
  • Writing Tips

How to Write an Expository Essay

4-minute read

  • 29th March 2020

An expository essay explains something. This means investigating an idea, looking at evidence, coming to a conclusion, and explaining your thinking. But how do you write a strong expository essay? Our top tips include:

  • Read the essay prompt carefully and using it to guide your research.
  • Come up with a thesis statement (i.e., a position that you’ll explain).
  • Plan the structure of your essay before you start writing.
  • Once you have a first draft, revise and proofread to make sure it is perfect.

For more advice on how this works, check out the guide below.

1. Read Your Essay Prompt

Most expository essay prompts will ask you to do one of the following:

  • Define and explain a concept or theory.
  • Compare and contrast two ideas.
  • Examine a problem and propose a solution.
  • Describe a cause and effect relationship.
  • Explain a step-by-step process.
  • Analyze a broad subject and classify examples into groups.

When you’ve been set an expository assignment, then, check the prompt or question carefully. You can use the phrasing to guide your research. You may also need to select a topic to write about. If so, try to think of something:

  • You already know at least something about.
  • You find interesting enough to research.
  • That fits with the instructions in the essay prompt (e.g., if you’ve been asked to contrast two things, you’ll need a topic that allows for a comparison).
  • That is narrow enough to discuss in one essay.

Start by brainstorming topics, then narrow it down to one or two ideas.

2. Come Up with a Thesis Statement

Once you have a topic, you’ll need to do some research and develop a thesis statement. This is the proposition or position that you’ll explain in your essay.

Your thesis statement should be something you can back up with evidence and facts, as well as something that answers the question in your essay prompt. Keep in mind, too, that an expository essay should present a balanced account of the facts available, not personal opinions. For instance, we’ve come up with thesis statements for a few example essay prompts:

When you’ve selected a thesis, make sure you’ve got evidence to back it up! This may mean doing a little more research before you start writing.

Find this useful?

Subscribe to our newsletter and get writing tips from our editors straight to your inbox.

3. Structuring an Expository Essay

The exact length and content of your essay will depend on the topic and prompt. However, most expository essays follow a similar basic structure:

  • Introduction – A paragraph where you introduce the essay topic and your thesis statement (i.e., the issue or idea you will explain in the essay).
  • Main Body – A series of short paragraphs in which you explain your thesis statement, providing evidence and arguments to support each point.
  • Conclusion – A final paragraph where you restate your thesis and how your evidence supports this. Try not to introduce any new information here (if it’s important, it should go in the main body).
  • References – If required, include a bibliography of sources you’ve used.

Before you start writing, then, create an essay outline with the structure above in mind and plan what each paragraph will say.

4. Editing and Proofreading

When you have a first draft, take a break and re-read it. Now comes the redrafting ! This is where you go back over your essay and look for areas to improve. Do you provide enough evidence? Is your argument clear? Even a few tweaks may increase your mark, so make sure to redraft at least once!

Finally, make sure to have your essay proofread before you submit it for marking. This will ensure your writing is error free and easy to read, giving you an even better chance of getting the grades you deserve.

Share this article:

Post A New Comment

Got content that needs a quick turnaround? Let us polish your work. Explore our editorial business services.

3-minute read

How to Insert a Text Box in a Google Doc

Google Docs is a powerful collaborative tool, and mastering its features can significantly enhance your...

2-minute read

How to Cite the CDC in APA

If you’re writing about health issues, you might need to reference the Centers for Disease...

5-minute read

Six Product Description Generator Tools for Your Product Copy

Introduction If you’re involved with ecommerce, you’re likely familiar with the often painstaking process of...

What Is a Content Editor?

Are you interested in learning more about the role of a content editor and the...

The Benefits of Using an Online Proofreading Service

Proofreading is important to ensure your writing is clear and concise for your readers. Whether...

6 Online AI Presentation Maker Tools

Creating presentations can be time-consuming and frustrating. Trying to construct a visually appealing and informative...

Logo Harvard University

Make sure your writing is the best it can be with our expert English proofreading and editing.

Logo for BCcampus Open Publishing

Want to create or adapt books like this? Learn more about how Pressbooks supports open publishing practices.

Chapter 4: What Are You Writing, to Whom, and How?

4.1 Expository Essays

Learning Objectives

  • Understand the function and use of expository essays
  • Identify eight types of expository essays
  • Apply expository essay structure

What Is an Expository Essay?

An essay that explains a writer’s ideas by defining, explaining, informing, or elaborating on points to allow the reader to clearly understand the concept.

Many of your future academic workplace writing assignments will be expository–explaining your ideas or the significance of a concept or action. An expository essay allows the writer the opportunity to explain his or her ideas about a topic and to provide clarity for the reader by using:

  • Explanations
  • Definitions

It may also include the writer outlining steps of a procedure in a way that is straightforward for the reader to follow. It is purely informative and often contains elements of summary.

Imagine you need to verbally explain a concept to your classmates, maybe a behavioural theory. What are the key elements on which you would focus? How would you organize the information? You could explain who came up with the theory, the specific area of study to which it is related, its purpose, and the significant details to explain the theory. Telling these four elements to your classmates would give them a complete, yet summarized, picture of the theory, so they could apply the theory in future discussions.

Although you did this verbally, you were still fulfilling the elements of an expository essay by providing definition, details, explanations, and maybe even facts if you have a really good memory. This is the same process that you would use when you write an expository essay. You may actually be doing this all the time; for example, when you are giving someone directions to a place or explaining how to cook something. In the following sections of the chapter, you will practise doing this more in different expository written forms.

The Structure of an Expository Essay

Sections versus paragraphs.

Before looking at the general structure of an expository essay, you first need to know that in your post-secondary education, you should not consider your essay as writing being constructed with five paragraphs as you might have been used to in high school. You should instead think of your essay in terms of sections (there may be five), and each section may have multiple paragraphs.

To understand further why you need to think beyond the five-paragraph essay, imagine you have been asked to submit a six-page paper (approximately 1,500 words). You already know that each paragraph should be roughly 75 to 200 words long. If you divide the required word count by five paragraphs (1,500 by 5), you end with 300 words per paragraph, way above the number you should have in a paragraph. If your paragraphs are too long, they likely have too many ideas and your reader may become confused. Your paragraphs should be two-third of a page at most, and never longer than a page.

Instead, if you think of your essays being divided into sections (with possibly more than one paragraph per section), your writing will likely be more organized and allow your reader to follow your presentation of ideas without creating too much distance between your paragraph’s supporting points and its topic sentence.

As you will see in Section 4.5: Classification , some essay forms may require even more than five paragraphs or sections because of how many points are necessary to address. . For the rest of this chapter, the term paragraph will also imply section.

Sections of an Expository Essay

An expository essay, regardless of its purpose, should have at least five sections, which are:

  • Introduction
  • First body section/paragraph
  • Second body section/paragraph
  • Third body section/paragraph

The introduction should state the topic of your paper: your thesis statement as well as brief signposts of what information the rest of the paper will include. That is, you only want to mention the content of the body paragraphs; you do not want to go in to a lot of detail and repeat what will be in the rest of the essay.

The first body section or paragraph should focus on one of your main points and provide evidence to support that point. There should be two to three supporting points: reasons, facts, statistics, quotations, examples, or a mix of these. Both the second and third body sections should follow the same pattern. Providing three body sections with one point each that supports the thesis should provide the reader with enough detail to be convinced of your argument or fully understand the concept you are explaining. However, remember that some sections will require more explanation, and you may need to separate this information into multiple paragraphs.

You can order your sections in the most logical way to explain your ideas. For example, if you are describing a process, you may use chronological order to show the definite time order in which the steps need to happen. You will learn about the different ways to organize your body paragraphs in the next chapter.

The concluding paragraph , or conclusion, can be a little tricky to compose because you need to make sure you give a concise summary of the body paragraphs, but you must be careful not to simply repeat what you have already written. Look back at the main idea of each section/paragraph, and try to summarize the point using words different from those you have already used. Do not include any new points in your concluding paragraph.

Consider Your Audience: How Much Do They Know?

Later in this chapter, you will work on determining and adapting to your audience when writing, but with an expository essay, since you are defining or informing your audience on a certain topic, you need to evaluate how much your audience knows about that topic (aside from having general common knowledge). You want to make sure you are giving thorough, comprehensive, and clear explanations on the topic. Never assume the reader knows everything about your topic (even if it is covered in the reader’s field of study). For example, even though some of your instructors may teach criminology, they may have specialized in different areas from the one about which you are writing; they most likely have a strong understanding of the concepts but may not recall all the small details on the topic. If your instructor specialized in crime mapping and data analysis for example, he or she may not have a strong recollection of specific criminological theories related to other areas of study. Providing enough background information without being too detailed is a fine balance, but you always want to ensure you have no gaps in the information, so your reader will not have to guess your intention. Again, we will practise this more in Section 4.10: Purpose, Audience, Tone, and Content .

What Comes Next?

In the next eight sections (4.2 through 4.9), we will look at different expository modes, or rhetorical modes, you will often be assigned.

H5P: Let’s take a moment to see how much you already know about types of Expository Essays. Match the type of Expository Essay to the most correct description.

Descriptions:

  • the art of storytelling
  • to show or demonstrate something clearly
  • writing that appeals to our senses
  • to break down broad subjects into smaller parts
  • to explain how to do something or how something works
  • establish the way in which people communicate ideas
  • analyze two subjects in relation to each other
  • to determine how various phenomena relate

Expository Essay Type:

  • Process analysis
  • Illustration
  • Compare and contrast
  • Description
  • Cause and effect
  • Classification

Answer Key:

Rhetorical modes refers simply to the ways to communicate effectively through language. As you read about these modes, keep in mind that the rhetorical mode a writer chooses depends on his or her purpose for writing. Sometimes writers incorporate a variety of modes in any one essay. In this chapter, we also emphasize the rhetorical modes as a set of tools that will allow you greater flexibility and effectiveness in communicating with your audience and expressing your ideas.

In a few weeks, you will need to submit your first essay–an expository sample–and you will be given the choice of topic: one from each of the modes. Think about which types of expository essays are easier and which are more challenging for you. As mentioned, as you progress through your studies, you will be exposed to each of these types. You may want to explore a mode you find more challenging than the others in order to ensure you have a full grasp on developing each type. However, it is up to you. As you work through the sections, think about possible topics you may like to cover in your expository essay and start brainstorming as you work through the self-practice exercises.

After we explore each of the individual modes in the eight sections that follow, we will look at outlining and drafting; it is at this point you will want to fine tune and narrow the topic you will write about, so you can focus on that when doing the exercises.

Writing for Success - 1st Canadian H5P Edition Copyright © 2021 by Tara Horkoff is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-ShareAlike 4.0 International License , except where otherwise noted.

Share This Book

what are the 4 parts of the expository essay

Expository Essay

Caleb S.

Complete Guide to Expository Essays: Writing Help and Topics

11 min read

Expository Essay

People also read

Interesting Expository Essay Topics For Your Next Paper

How to Write an Expository Essay Outline Like a Pro

Types of Expository Writing - Definition and Examples

Free Expository Essay Examples For Students

Ultimate Guide to Writing an Expository Essay About a Person

Learn to Write an Expository Essay About Yourself

Learn the Basics of Crafting an Expository Essay about a Book

Learn to Write Expository Essay About Mental Health - Examples & Tips

How to Write an Expository Essay about Bullying: A Guide

Expository Essay About Dogs: Steps, Examples & Topics

A Guide to Writing an Expository Essay about Education

Expository Essay About Friendship: A Writing Guide

Discover How to Write Expository Essays About Music – A Step-by-Step Guide

Writing essays can be a real challenge for many students. They often struggle to organize their thoughts and convey them clearly in expository essays.

This struggle leads to essays that lack clarity and fail to captivate the reader’s interest.

But worry not! This guide is your go-to helper. We're going to break down the ins and outs of expository writing using simple steps. Plus, we’ve included some tips and topic ideas, so you can craft essays that are both clear and engaging!

So, keep reading!

Arrow Down

  • 1. What is an Expository Essay?
  • 2. Expository Essay Vs. Argumentative Essay
  • 3. Types of Expository Essay
  • 4. Structure of an Expository Essay
  • 5. How to Write an Expository Essay?
  • 6. Expository Essay Example
  • 7. Tips for Writing a Good Expository Essay
  • 8. Expository Essay Topics

What is an Expository Essay?

An expository essay is a type of essay that seeks to inform, describe, or explain a particular subject or topic. 

It's distinct in its approach as it emphasizes presenting facts, analyzing information, and providing a comprehensive understanding without incorporating personal opinions or biases.

Why Write an Expository Essay?

The purpose of writing an expository essay extends beyond academic requirements. 

This form of writing nurtures the ability to research deeply, logically organize thoughts, and articulate information coherently. 

Developing these skills not only enhances academic performance but also prepares individuals for effectively communicating complex ideas in various real-world scenarios.

Expository Essay Vs. Argumentative Essay

Expository and argumentative essays vary in their purposes and approaches. 

Expository essays aim to inform or describe a topic without personal opinions, using a neutral, informative tone. 

On the other hand, argumentative essays seek to persuade by presenting a clear viewpoint and supporting it with evidence. 

Expository essays follow a simpler structure, providing information, while argumentative essays involve complex structures, presenting and countering arguments. Understanding these differences helps in choosing the right essay type for specific writing goals.

Types of Expository Essay

Before we dive into the different types of expository essays, let's check out five common ones:

Descriptive Essays

Descriptive essays aim to create a detailed image or sensory experience in the reader's mind by vividly describing a particular place, object, person, or event. 

They use rich language and sensory details to paint a clear picture and evoke emotions, making the reader feel like they're experiencing what's being described.

Process Analysis Essays

In a process analysis essay , the writer breaks down a series of steps needed to achieve a specific task or goal. 

They provide a clear, step-by-step guide, making complex tasks easy to understand. For example, they might explain how to bake a cake, fix a bicycle, or perform a scientific experiment.

Compare and Contrast Essays

Compare and contrast essays focus on exploring the similarities and differences between two or more subjects. 

They present a balanced view, showing how things are alike and how they're different. Whether it's comparing different cultures, products, historical events, or ideas, these essays aim to offer insights into relationships and contrasts.

Cause and Effect Essays

Cause and effect essays delve into examining the causes that lead to specific effects or the effects that arise from certain causes. 

They analyze the relationship between events, explaining why things happen and what outcomes result from those actions or occurrences. They aim to provide a clear understanding of the connections between different elements.

Problem and Solution Essays

Focused on a specific issue, problem and solution essays identify a problem, its causes, and effects, and propose solutions to address and resolve the problem. 

They aim to offer practical, effective solutions to real-life issues, providing a roadmap for solving problems or improving situations.

Structure of an Expository Essay

An expository essay typically comprises three main parts: the introduction, body paragraphs, and conclusion. Here's what the general structure of an expository essay looks like:

Introduction

The introduction of an expository essay is where the writer presents the topic, provides background information, and ends with a clear thesis statement . 

This section aims to grab the reader's attention and set the stage for the discussion that follows.

Body Paragraphs

The body of the essay contains a series of paragraphs that delve deeper into the topic. 

Each paragraph should begin with a topic sentence that introduces the main idea or argument. 

These paragraphs present evidence, examples, or explanations supporting the thesis statement. Smooth transitions between paragraphs ensure a coherent flow of information.

The conclusion of an expository essay restates the thesis statement using different wording. It summarizes the key points discussed in the body paragraphs. 

Finally, it offers a sense of closure, wrapping up the essay's main ideas. It's not just a repetition of earlier information but rather a synthesis of the key points to leave a lasting impression on the reader.

How to Write an Expository Essay?

Writing an expository essay involves a step-by-step process to effectively communicate information. Here's a guide to crafting an expository essay:

Select a Topic

When selecting a topic for an expository essay, it's crucial to choose something that's not only interesting but also suitable for an informative discussion. 

Consider the following pointers while choosing an expository essay topic:

  • Select a topic that personally interests you.
  • Choose a topic that can be explained within the essay's scope
  • Choose subjects allowing for an objective, fact-based analysis.
  • Consider prevalent issues or areas of curiosity for discussion.

Conduct Research

When researching for your expository essay, explore diverse and credible sources like books, scholarly articles, and reputable websites. 

Ensure the information gathered directly relates to your topic and is from reliable sources. Verify the credibility by checking the author's credentials and publication dates. 

Consider various perspectives to present a well-rounded view. Organize your findings systematically, keeping detailed notes for citation. This approach helps in crafting a well-informed and supported expository essay.

Create an Outline

Develop a structured outline for your essay. Organize your thoughts, decide on the main points, and arrange them logically. 

Here's what the general structure of an expository essay looks like:

This outline template provides a clear structure, allowing for a well-organized and coherent expository essay.

View this in-depth guide on creating an expository essay outline for a structured essay!

Write The Introduction

The introduction of an expository essay plays a pivotal role in engaging the reader and setting the stage for the discussion. Here are the essential components:

  • Engaging Hook : Begin your essay with a captivating fact, question, quote, or story related to the topic to captivate the reader's attention and encourage them to continue reading.
  • Background Context: Offer essential background information about the topic, providing the necessary context for the reader to understand its relevance and importance.
  • Clear Thesis Statement: End the introduction with a clear thesis statement. It should express the main idea or argument of your essay. This statement helps guide the reader, indicating the purpose and direction of your essay.

Compose Body Paragraphs

The body paragraphs serve as the essay's core. 

Each paragraph starts with a topic sentence introducing the main idea. Back up this idea with evidence or examples to support your point. 

Make sure each paragraph smoothly connects to the next for a logical flow of ideas. This structured approach ensures a coherent and well-supported discussion throughout your expository essay.

Write the Conclusion

In the conclusion of your expository essay, recap the main points without introducing new information. 

Restate the thesis in different words to reinforce the main argument. Additionally, offer closing thoughts or discuss the broader implications related to the topic. This section serves as a summary, emphasizing the significance of the essay's ideas and their broader relevance.

Revise and Edit

Revision and editing are crucial steps in the essay writing process. 

Review the content for coherence and logical flow, ensure the essay structure is smooth and well-organized, and focus on clear, concise language. 

Check for grammar, punctuation, and spelling errors, verify citations, and seek feedback for improvements. Finally, perform a final proofread to ensure the essay is error-free and polished for submission.

Expository Essay Example

Below is an example illustrating the concept of climate change and its effects, exploring the causes, impacts, and potential solutions.

This essay serves as a basic example of how an expository essay on climate change might be structured, offering insights into its causes, effects, and potential solutions.

Need more examples? Check out these expertly crafted expository essay examples on multiple topics and themes!

Tips for Writing a Good Expository Essay

Here are some tips for writing a good expository essay:

  • Ensure the essay has a clear and narrowly defined topic for effective exploration.
  • Present facts, statistics, and evidence without incorporating personal opinions or biases.
  • Utilize a well-structured format with logical sequencing of ideas and paragraphs.
  • Provide detailed and comprehensive explanations to support each point or idea.
  • Use diverse and relevant examples to illustrate and reinforce key points.
  • Present information in a concise and easily understandable manner, avoiding unnecessary details.
  • Use transitional words and phrases for seamless connections between paragraphs and ideas.
  • Make sure that all information presented is relevant and sourced from credible, reputable materials.

Expository Essay Topics

Expository essay topics typically revolve around subjects that can be explained, clarified, or described without personal opinions. 

They cover a wide array of areas such as science, technology, education, health, social issues, historical events, and more. These topics should allow for in-depth exploration and factual analysis.

Here are some essay topics for students:

Expository Essay Topics for High School Students

  • The Impact of Social Media on Teenagers
  • Benefits of Exercise and Healthy Lifestyle Choices
  • Exploring Climate Change: Causes and Effects
  • The Importance of Education in Today's Society
  • Understanding Cyberbullying and its Impact
  • Analyzing a Historical Event: The Civil Rights Movement
  • The Advantages and Disadvantages of E-Learning
  • Explaining the Process of Photosynthesis
  • The Effects of Video Games on Adolescents
  • The Role of Leadership in Problem Solving

Expository Essay Topics for University Students

  • The Future of Artificial Intelligence and its Ethical Implications
  • Analyzing the Impact of Globalization on World Economies
  • Climate Change: Policy Interventions and Global Strategies
  • The Psychology Behind Procrastination and Ways to Overcome It
  • Exploring Renewable Energy Sources and Their Viability
  • The Evolution of Social Media and its Societal Impact
  • Gender Disparities in the Workplace: Causes and Solutions
  • The Effects of Stress on Mental Health in Modern Society
  • Analyzing the Influence of Cultural Diversity in Global Business
  • Understanding Quantum Mechanics: Principles and Applications

Can’t pick a topic? Have a look at these extensive expository essay topics and get more ideas!

With our steps, tips, and topics, you have all you need to get started on your expository essay.

If you're still encountering challenges in composing your expository essay, our essay writing service is here to offer custom essay help . 

Our proficient writers specialize in creating well-structured, informative expository essays. With our expert support, you can be sure you’ll receive a top-quality, plagiarism-free essay.

Reach out to our expository essay writing service today to get the help you need. Place your order today!

AI Essay Bot

Write Essay Within 60 Seconds!

Caleb S.

Caleb S. has been providing writing services for over five years and has a Masters degree from Oxford University. He is an expert in his craft and takes great pride in helping students achieve their academic goals. Caleb is a dedicated professional who always puts his clients first.

Get Help

Paper Due? Why Suffer? That’s our Job!

Keep reading

Expository Essay Topics

Transizion

The Admissions Strategist

Expository writing: how to write an incredible expository essay.

Expository essays are frequently assigned in  English classes  and are evaluated in various standardized exams.

But what exactly  is  an expository essay, and how do you write a good one?

In this article, we’ll tell you everything you need to know to pen a high-scoring expository paper.

What Is an Expository Essay?

The word  expository  means “intended to explain or describe something.”

An expository essay requires you to investigate an idea, gather supporting evidence, and present your point of view on a topic.

  • You may be wondering how this differs from a persuasive essay.
  • While both essay types require you to provide evidence to support a claim, persuasive essays are more argumentative.

A persuasive essay includes a counterargument, which addresses and rebuts an opposing viewpoint.

Expository essays, on the other hand, focus on clearly explaining and supporting  your  point of view.

Parts of an Expository Essay

A strong expository essay should consist of:

  • An introductory paragraph with a clear thesis
  • Evidence that supports the thesis (typically in three body paragraphs)
  • A conclusion

Below, we’ll look at how to construct the expository essay piece by piece.

For clarity, we’ll focus on a somewhat formulaic process for expository writing.

Once you’ve mastered these basics, you can take risks and sprinkle more creativity throughout your essays.

Introduction

The introduction frames the topic of your essay.

It also provides readers with any necessary background information or context.

A simple format for your introduction is:

  • Grabber/Hook  – A compelling sentence or two that draws readers into your essay.
  • Background Information (as needed)  – Any basic information the reader needs to know about the topic to understand your essay.
  • Thesis Statement  – This is the most important sentence of your entire essay. See below for more information.

Thesis Statement

The thesis statement is the roadmap for your entire essay, so it must be clear and concise. It should state your point of view on the topic.

  • The thesis may also  briefly  mention the supporting evidence you’ll expand on in the body of the essay.

For instance, a thesis statement might say:

Students should read more literature because it improves vocabulary, reading comprehension, and empathy.

The writer’s viewpoint is immediately clear: Students should read more literature.

The writer also indicates that her supporting evidence will mention several benefits of reading literature: improved vocabulary, better reading comprehension, and increased empathy.

  • Most likely, each of these points will form one of the writer’s body paragraphs.

If your teacher (or a standardized test) assigns you a topic, here’s another way to think of a thesis statement: The thesis is your answer to the question being asked.

  • Let’s say you receive a prompt that says, “Your community is thinking of starting a program encouraging people to limit car usage. Explain how limiting car usage would benefit your community.”

This prompt is essentially asking, “How would limiting car usage benefit your  community ?”

  • Thus, your thesis could answer the question by saying something like, “Limiting car usage would benefit the community because it would decrease traffic, improve public health, and reduce air pollution.”

This approach ensures that you’re on topic and directly addressing the prompt.

Supporting Evidence

Once you’ve clearly stated your point of view, it’s time to support it. To do this, you’ll need  evidence . Sometimes, this will mean doing your own research.

On other occasions, especially exams, you’ll be provided with relevant resources.

These may include newspaper articles, primary sources, photos, or even audio recordings.

  • Your job is to sort through these resources and find evidence that supports your thesis. It’s important to note that if you can’t find evidence supporting your thesis, you’ll need to change it.

Strong evidence may include research findings, quotes from experts, and statistics. Make sure that your evidence is from credible sources and clearly supports your thesis statement.

Organizing Evidence

After finding your supporting evidence, you’ll organize it into body paragraphs, typically three of them.

Each body paragraph should focus on one general idea.

In addition, each of these general ideas should be logically connected to your thesis statement.

  • Your body paragraphs should start with a topic sentence that introduces the idea that the body paragraph will elaborate upon.

Remember our sample thesis about students reading more literature?

  • The topic sentence of the first body paragraph could read, “To start with, reading literature is essential because it expands students’ vocabulary.”

After the topic sentence, the paragraph should introduce 2-3 pieces of evidence supporting this idea.

If a piece of evidence doesn’t clearly relate to the body paragraph’s topic sentence, it needs to be moved or deleted.

Analyzing Evidence

When you introduce a piece of evidence, follow it up with a sentence analyzing the evidence in your own words.

  • Explain the connection between the evidence and your thesis statement.
  • How does it support your point of view?
  • How do you interpret this evidence?

Remember that essays don’t only reflect your writing skills; they also reflect your critical thinking skills.

Instead of merely quoting evidence, you must also explain your thought process.

As a result, an effective body paragraph can follow this formula:

  • Topic sentence
  • Evidence #1
  • Analysis of Evidence #1
  • Evidence #2
  • Analysis of Evidence #2
  • Evidence #3 (Optional)
  • Analysis of Evidence #3 (Optional)
  • Concluding/transitional sentence

The final sentence of the body paragraph should remind readers of the paragraph’s main point and connect it to the next paragraph.

Transitions are important because they help readers follow your train of thought without confusion.

They smoothly guide readers through your paper.

Transition words and phrases include:

  • For example
  • For instance
  • To illustrate
  • Specifically
  • On the other hand
  • Consequently
  • As a result
  • Additionally
  • Furthermore

Get personalized advice!

Like stories,  essays  have a beginning, middle, and end.

  • The introduction is your beginning, the body paragraphs form the middle, and the conclusion brings the paper to an end.

The conclusion synthesizes the information included in your essay.

As the name suggests, it also draws a conclusion from the information presented.

  • Instead of simply restating the thesis, you should revisit the thesis in light of the supporting evidence you’ve provided. Do not introduce any new information in the conclusion.

Remember that the conclusion is your last chance to make an impression on the reader. It should be logical and convincing.

Try to end with a strong and/or memorable final sentence.

In total, an expository essay includes these pieces:

– Introduction

  • Hook/grabber
  • Background information

– Body paragraphs (usually three)

– conclusion.

  • Synthesis of evidence
  • Explanation of what this evidence shows (connected to thesis)
  • Strong final sentence

If you include each of these pieces, you’ll have a clear, logical, and effective expository essay.

Once you become comfortable following this formula, you may wish to vary it or infuse it with your own style.

Just make sure that all the essential pieces are present in your essay.

The Expository Essay Writing Process

Before you can effectively assemble an expository essay, you’ll need to gather information and plan your approach.

Typically, the writing process includes:

  • Carefully reading the prompt (if applicable)
  • Brainstorming
  • Gathering evidence
  • Revising/editing

Let’s take a closer look at each step in the process.

1. Reading the Prompt

If you’re provided with a prompt, understanding it is an essential first step.

Misinterpreting the prompt will result in a low score, even if your essay is well-written.

  • Read the prompt at least 2-3 times, underline key words and phrases. If the prompt is complicated, you may want to rewrite it in your own words.

Does the prompt have multiple parts? If so, make sure you understand each part and that your essay clearly addresses all of them.

2. Brainstorming

Once you’ve read the prompt, begin brainstorming how you will approach it.

  • If you’ve been provided with relevant resources, this may also include a first read-through or skimming of these texts.

What position will you take? How are you planning to support your viewpoint? Jot down any idea that pops into your head.

  • It doesn’t matter if the idea is good—right now, you’re just trying to find inspiration. You’ll change, add, or remove information later.

If you haven’t been provided with a prompt, you’ll need to brainstorm a topic that interests you.

It should also be a topic on which you’re at least somewhat knowledgeable.

3. Gathering Evidence

At this point, you’ll find evidence that supports your point of view.

  • It helps to write at least a rough draft of your thesis statement before beginning this step.
  • This way, you’ll have a clear idea of what sort of evidence you need to find.

After writing your thesis statement, find credible evidence that supports it.

  • This may require you to go to the library or browse scholarly databases on the Internet.

Alternatively, you may have been provided with resources.

In that case, read through the resources carefully, underlining or circling evidence that reinforces your thesis.

4. Planning

Planning ensures that your essay is organized, focused, and cohesive.

It also allows you to catch potential mistakes  before  they happen.

  • For instance, you might realize that some of your evidence doesn’t fit, or that one of your body paragraphs is lacking support.

You can then address these areas of weakness before writing your essay.

  • At the top of your planning sheet (or a document on your computer) write your thesis statement.
  • Continually reference the thesis to ensure that you’re focused and on topic.
  • Next, determine the focus of each body paragraph and the 2-3 pieces of evidence that will support it.

Sometimes, students think that planning is too time-consuming.

However, a plan will save you time in the long run.

With all your quotes and evidence organized in one place, writing your essay is much faster and easier.

Once you have a completed plan, begin writing your essay.

  • Remember to analyze each piece of evidence and clearly connect your points with transitions.

Use a formal, academic tone and avoid slang or overly casual language.

Vary your sentence structure, including both short and long sentences. Pay attention to spelling, grammar, and punctuation.

6. Revising

Students often skip the revising and editing step of the writing process.

This is a mistake. Slowly read through your essay  at least  once before submitting it.

  • Look for misspelled words, incorrect verb tenses, and punctuation or grammar mistakes. Does your writing flow well? Does everything make sense?
  • Are all of your points clear? Have you used the same word or phrase repetitively? (If you have, try to substitute a synonym.) Did you use transitions connecting your ideas?

Ensure that you submit the best, most polished version of your essay possible. Mistakes and unclear sentences make a poor impression.

Advice From the Experts:

From Dr. Carrie Brown, professor of English and creative writing at Sweet Briar College and novelist :

When I’m working with students on expository writing — on writing in any rhetorical mode, really — I remind them that almost inevitably they have to stumble their way through some lousy sentences before they discover what they actually want to say. (This takes us back to that famous question: How do I know what I mean until I see what I say?) Some messy writing usually precedes orderly, elegant writing, and every writer needs patience during that messy process, because that process is important: out of that process emerges clear thinking, which is the true key to clear writing. Once  writers have waded around in the muck for a while, then they can step back and examine those sentences or numbered phrases or bulleted points — whatever method felt most natural to the writer by which to set down emerging thoughts — to discover which are relevant, which are simply repetitions of earlier thoughts, which are superfluous or meaningless, and in what order they ought to proceed. A trick that seems to work for students with a strong tendency toward auditory learning can actually record themselves speaking aloud, trying to address the topic, and then play back that recording, meanwhile transposing ideas — and usually improving and clarifying them — as they go.

From Adam Cole, author and writing expert:

Know your audience – Whatever you are writing, you will get the best results if you are thinking about who is reading it, why they are reading it, and what you should do to make sure the interaction between you and the reader is optimal. While the audience for an expository piece may be obvious, writing directly to that audience is not so obvious. It affords you an opportunity to think clearly and write clearly without having to worry about your identity, ego or success. If you are in school, the audience for expository writing is your professor, and you should be fulfilling the boxes in their rubric to the letter. If they haven’t given you a rubric, ask for one. If they won’t, find one or create one based on conversations with them, their former students, or another professor.

From Tangela Walker-Craft –  Simply Necessary, Inc. , Family and Parenting Blogger:

Write in complete sentences. Write in paragraph form. Each paragraph should contain 3 to 5 sentences for short essay questions, and 5 to 10 sentences for long essay questions. Vary sentence length and structure; try not to begin sentences with the same word or words. Use facts and information taken from reading passages to answer questions; refer back to the reading passage to stay focused. Underline important information in reading passages to make it easier to go back to them when answering questions. Proofread. Proofreading sentences backwards makes finding spelling mistakes and punctuation errors easier because it forces test-takers to focus on individual words instead of automatically “seeing” what he or she intended to write.

From Peter Donahue,  a writing expert  and teacher:

1. Write for clarity, not formality. As a teacher, I see a lot of expository writing where the writer is more concerned with following the conventions of academic jargon than she is with expressing ideas. A good example is the use of “utilize” instead of “use,” because it “sounds more formal,” or the avoidance of the pronoun “I” because it “sounds too informal.” So, rather than trying to appear formal, expository writing should aim to be clear. George Orwell’s 1946 essay, “Politics and the English Language,” says more on this topic, and is a worthwhile read. 2. Think synthetically, write analytically. Synthetic thinking starts with small details, or an open-ended question. As thoughts continue to develop, the main idea is clarified (or discovered) at the end the process. Contrariwise, Analytical thinking starts with a “given:” a major premise or generalization. It then proceeds to break down the main idea into its components and deal with each separately. Expository writing is usually presented most effectively in an analytic format — the main idea first, the support afterwards. On the other hand, literary writing, like a poem or discursive essay, is often presented synthetically. The key is knowing the difference between thought process and written format. We can think something synthetically, and then write it analytically. And in fact, this process can be the key to effective expository writing for many people. Don’t assume that because a thesis appears in the first paragraph, you have to think of it first. You could try drafting it synthetically, to clarify your thinking. Then rewrite it analytically to present it more effectively for your reader.

From Jessica Moody,  curriculum expert :

Expository writing is first about structure, second about clarity, and third about content.  Depending on the type of expository writing there is a specific structure expected.  Even in college essays each sentence on the essay has a purpose and can be labeled as a thesis statement, topic sentence, evidence, or explanation of evidence. If the structure is not there, most of the time there is not much clarity and the content is lacking because it is confusing.  This is the same for any type of expository writing. My suggestion for people becoming better at expository writing is to study the structure of the piece, the paragraph structures and the sentence structures.  If you understand how to break down the structure then you can learn to replicate any style or form you want.

Final Touches: Expository Essay Writing

Writing an excellent expository essay isn’t as complicated as it seems. Simply follow the steps and include the essential pieces outlined here.

Your essay is sure to showcase both your thinking and  writing skills —and earn you a high score!

Learn how we can help you with college and career guidance! Check out our YouTube channel!

Click Here to Schedule a Free Consult!

what are the 4 parts of the expository essay

Calm your anxiety by learning every aspect of the college application process and how to excel at navigating it.

A sheet of music

  • Ethics & Honesty
  • Privacy Policy
  • Join Our Team

(732) 339-3835

[email protected]

what are the 4 parts of the expository essay

  • PRO Courses Guides New Tech Help Pro Expert Videos About wikiHow Pro Upgrade Sign In
  • EDIT Edit this Article
  • EXPLORE Tech Help Pro About Us Random Article Quizzes Request a New Article Community Dashboard This Or That Game Popular Categories Arts and Entertainment Artwork Books Movies Computers and Electronics Computers Phone Skills Technology Hacks Health Men's Health Mental Health Women's Health Relationships Dating Love Relationship Issues Hobbies and Crafts Crafts Drawing Games Education & Communication Communication Skills Personal Development Studying Personal Care and Style Fashion Hair Care Personal Hygiene Youth Personal Care School Stuff Dating All Categories Arts and Entertainment Finance and Business Home and Garden Relationship Quizzes Cars & Other Vehicles Food and Entertaining Personal Care and Style Sports and Fitness Computers and Electronics Health Pets and Animals Travel Education & Communication Hobbies and Crafts Philosophy and Religion Work World Family Life Holidays and Traditions Relationships Youth
  • Browse Articles
  • Learn Something New
  • Quizzes Hot
  • This Or That Game
  • Train Your Brain
  • Explore More
  • Support wikiHow
  • About wikiHow
  • Log in / Sign up
  • Education and Communications
  • College University and Postgraduate
  • Academic Writing

How to Write an Expository Essay

Last Updated: December 13, 2022 Fact Checked

This article was co-authored by Tristen Bonacci . Tristen Bonacci is a Licensed English Teacher with more than 20 years of experience. Tristen has taught in both the United States and overseas. She specializes in teaching in a secondary education environment and sharing wisdom with others, no matter the environment. Tristen holds a BA in English Literature from The University of Colorado and an MEd from The University of Phoenix. There are 10 references cited in this article, which can be found at the bottom of the page. This article has been fact-checked, ensuring the accuracy of any cited facts and confirming the authority of its sources. This article has been viewed 565,112 times.

Expository essays are often assigned in academic settings. In an expository essay, you need to consider an idea, investigate the idea, then explain the idea. Some expository essays may include an argument, while others are purely informative. [1] X Trustworthy Source Purdue Online Writing Lab Trusted resource for writing and citation guidelines Go to source While it may seem overwhelming, writing an expository essay is easy if you take it one step at a time.

Sample Essay Conclusion

what are the 4 parts of the expository essay

Planning Your Essay

Step 1 Define your purpose for writing.

  • If you are writing an expository essay for an assignment, read the assignment guidelines. Ask your instructor if anything seems unclear.

Step 2 Consider your audience.

  • If you are writing your essay for a class assignment, consider what your instructor will expect you to include in your essay.

Step 3 Generate ideas for your expository essay.

  • Try listing. List all your ideas for your expository essay. Then look over the list you have made and group similar ideas together. Expand those lists by adding more ideas or by using another prewriting activity. [6] X Research source
  • Try freewriting. Write nonstop for about 10 minutes. Write whatever comes to mind and don’t edit yourself. After you finish writing, review what you have written. Highlight or underline the most useful information for your expository essay. Repeat the freewriting exercise using the passages you underlined as a starting point. You can repeat this exercise many times to continue to refine and develop your ideas. [7] X Research source
  • Try clustering. Write a brief explanation of the subject of your expository essay on the center of a piece of paper and circle it. Then draw three or more lines extending from the circle. Write a corresponding idea at the end of each of these lines. Continue developing your cluster until you have explored as many connections as you can. [8] X Research source
  • Try questioning. On a piece of paper, write out “Who? What? When? Where? Why? How?” Space the questions about two or three lines apart on the paper so that you can write your answers on these lines. Respond to each question in as much detail as you can. [9] X Research source

Step 4 Make an outline.

  • Trustworthy internet sources usually include academic institutions like universities or research labs, government websites, and non-profit organizations.

Step 6 Evaluate your sources to determine their credibility before you decide to use them.

  • Identify the author and his or her credentials. Think about what qualifies this person to write about their subject. If the source has no author or the author does not have adequate credentials, then this source may not be trustworthy.
  • Check for citations to see if this author has researched the topic well enough. If the author has provided few or no sources, then this source may not be trustworthy.
  • Look for bias. Think about whether or not this author has presented an objective, well-reasoned account of the topic. If the author seems to value a particular argument or slant that is not supported or only thinly supported by fact, then this source may not be trustworthy.
  • Consider the publication date to see if this source presents the most up to date information on the subject.
  • Cross-check some of the information in the source. If you are still concerned about a source, cross-check some of its information against a trustworthy source.

Step 7 Read your sources well.

  • Show when you have quoted a source word for word by putting it into quotation marks. Include information about the source such as the author’s name, article title or book title, and page number.
  • Write down the publishing information of each source. You will need this information for your "References," "Bibliography," or "Works Cited" pages. Format this page according to your instructor's guidelines.

Step 9 Develop your tentative thesis.

  • Make sure your thesis is arguable. Do not state facts or matters of taste. For example, "George Washington was the first president of the United States," is not a good thesis because it states a fact. Likewise, "Die Hard is a great movie," is not a good thesis because it expresses a matter of taste. [16] X Trustworthy Source University of North Carolina Writing Center UNC's on-campus and online instructional service that provides assistance to students, faculty, and others during the writing process Go to source
  • Make sure your thesis provides enough detail. In other words, avoid just saying that something is "good" or "effective." Instead, say what makes something "good" or "effective. [17] X Trustworthy Source University of North Carolina Writing Center UNC's on-campus and online instructional service that provides assistance to students, faculty, and others during the writing process Go to source

Introducing Your Essay

Step 1 Begin with an engaging sentence that gets right into your topic.

  • An engaging hook can take many forms. You could start with an anecdote, an informative and attention-grabbing quote, a bold opinion statement, or anything that will make your readers want to continue with your essay.

Step 2 Provide context.

  • If you are writing about a book, provide the name of the work, the author, and a brief summary of the plot.
  • If you are writing about a specific day in history, summarize the day's events. Then, explain how it fits into a broader historical scope.
  • If you are writing about a person, name the person and provide a brief biography.
  • Keep in mind that your context should lead up to your thesis statement. Explain everything your reader needs to know to understand what your topic is about. Then narrow it down until you reach the topic itself.

Step 3 Provide your thesis statement.

Expressing Your Main Points

Step 1 Determine how many paragraphs to include.

  • A five-paragraph essay should include three body paragraphs. Each body paragraph should discuss a piece of supporting evidence that supports your thesis.
  • Even if your essay is longer than five paragraphs, the same principles still apply. Each paragraph should discuss a piece of supporting evidence.

Step 2 Begin each paragraph with a topic sentence.

  • "Dogs played an active role in Marine Corps missions in the Pacific."
  • "The Doberman Pinscher was the official dog of the US Marine Corps during WWII, but all breeds were eligible to train as war dogs."
  • "War dogs were even eligible to receive military awards for their service."

Step 3 Elaborate on your supporting evidence.

  • Most of your evidence should be in the form of cited quotes, paraphrases, and summaries from your research.
  • Your evidence could also come from interviews, anecdotes, or personal experience.
  • Try to provide at least two to three pieces of evidence to support each of your claims.
  • For example, if a paragraph starts with, "War dogs were even eligible to receive military awards for their service," the supporting evidence might be a list of dogs who got awards and the awards they were given.

Step 4 Analyze the significance of each piece of evidence.

  • You could write, "Even though Dobermans were the most common breed used in WWII, they were not the only breed, and were not the only dogs recognized for their help."

Concluding Your Essay

Step 1 Restate and rephrase your thesis.

  • Note that the second sentence repeats the information provided in your original thesis. It just says it in a new way while also hinting at the information you included in the body of the essay.

Step 2 Summarize and review your main ideas.

  • Explain how the topic affects the reader
  • Explain how your narrow topic applies to a broader theme or observation
  • Call the reader to action or further exploration on the topic
  • Present new questions that your essay introduced

Expert Q&A

Tristen Bonacci

  • If you are unsure about anything as you work on your essay, talk to your instructor or meet with a writing tutor for help. Thanks Helpful 2 Not Helpful 0

what are the 4 parts of the expository essay

You Might Also Like

Write an Essay

  • ↑ https://owl.purdue.edu/owl/general_writing/academic_writing/essay_writing/expository_essays.html
  • ↑ https://www.grammarly.com/blog/expository-essay/
  • ↑ Tristen Bonacci. Licensed English Teacher. Expert Interview. 21 December 2021.
  • ↑ http://writing.ku.edu/prewriting-strategies
  • ↑ https://grammar.yourdictionary.com/grammar-rules-and-tips/tips-on-writing-an-excellent-expository-essay.html
  • ↑ http://www.writing.utoronto.ca/advice/reading-and-researching/notes-from-research
  • ↑ http://writingcenter.unc.edu/handouts/thesis-statements/
  • ↑ https://writingcenter.unc.edu/tips-and-tools/thesis-statements/
  • ↑ https://owl.purdue.edu/owl/research_and_citation/using_research/quoting_paraphrasing_and_summarizing/index.html
  • ↑ https://owl.purdue.edu/owl/general_writing/common_writing_assignments/argument_papers/conclusions.html

About This Article

Tristen Bonacci

Before you write an expository essay, take some time to jot down ideas for your essay. Try the clustering method by writing a brief explanation of your subject in a bubble in the center of your page. Then, draw 3 or more lines extending from the circle and jot down idea bubbles that connect to your main theme. Once you have a plan for your expository essay, write out an outline to organize what you’re going to say. Make sure to begin your outline with an engaging introduction sentence. After the introduction sentence, provide some background information and include your thesis statement, which is your main argument. If you’re writing a 5 paragraph essay, you should include 3 body paragraphs after your introduction then a conclusion paragraph that summarizes your main points. However you organize your essay, make sure to include credible sources for important information, like statistics, so your teacher knows that it’s accurate. To learn how to use transitions in your essay, read more from our Writing co-author. Did this summary help you? Yes No

  • Send fan mail to authors

Reader Success Stories

Freida Ghabiliha

Freida Ghabiliha

Nov 24, 2017

Did this article help you?

what are the 4 parts of the expository essay

Qutaiba Raid

Jan 31, 2018

Maryanne Waqa

Maryanne Waqa

Aug 23, 2018

Anonymous

Apr 9, 2018

Anonymous

Nov 25, 2017

Am I a Narcissist or an Empath Quiz

Featured Articles

Know What You Want in Life

Trending Articles

What Do I Want in a Weight Loss Program Quiz

Watch Articles

Make Sugar Cookies

  • Terms of Use
  • Privacy Policy
  • Do Not Sell or Share My Info
  • Not Selling Info

wikiHow Tech Help Pro:

Develop the tech skills you need for work and life

what are the 4 parts of the expository essay

How to Write an Expository Essay: Definition, Outline, Writing Tips, and Examples

what are the 4 parts of the expository essay

In the realm of academic writing, this type of essay stands as a beacon of clarity, demanding writers to illuminate a subject with precision and objectivity. Whether you're a seasoned essayist or a student embarking on your first exploration of this genre, mastering the art of expository writing is a valuable skill that transcends disciplines. This form of essay invites you to delve into expository essay topics, dissect their intricacies, and present your findings in a straightforward manner. 

In this comprehensive guide, we will explore the terrain of expository writing, unraveling the techniques and strategies that transform a mere composition into a beacon of insight. From understanding the fundamental principles to honing your ability to craft a compelling thesis, join us on a journey that promises to demystify the process of writing, empowering you to articulate ideas with clarity and purpose. Or, you can get our essay writing help and take care of other important tasks set for today.

What Is an Expository Essay

An expository essay is a form of academic writing that aims to elucidate, clarify, and present a balanced analysis of a particular topic or idea. Unlike other essay types that may delve into personal opinions or narratives, the expository essay emphasizes objectivity and factual accuracy. The primary objective is to provide a clear and comprehensive explanation of the chosen subject, exploring its various facets, presenting evidence, and ensuring a logical progression of ideas. 

What Is an Expository Essay

According to an expository essay definition, this genre requires the writer to delve into research, organize information systematically, and deliver a coherent and informative piece that educates the reader on the chosen topic. Whether investigating a scientific concept, historical event, or literary work, it serves as a vehicle for conveying knowledge in a concise, lucid manner.

Expository Essay Examples

An expository essay example serves as a valuable tool for students, offering a concrete illustration of the structure, style, and depth expected in this genre of writing. By studying examples, students gain insights into effective thesis formulation, organizing ideas within paragraphs, and integrating supporting evidence to bolster arguments. 

Additionally, examples showcase how to balance factual accuracy and engaging prose, providing a model for clear and concise communication. Students can draw inspiration from the content and presentation of well-crafted expository essays, honing their own skills in research, analysis, and effective expression. By the way, we have an interesting autobiography example , so check it out!

Example 1: “The Evolution of Artificial Intelligence”

This expository essay explores the multifaceted evolution of artificial intelligence (AI), examining its historical roots, contemporary applications across various industries, and the consequential societal impact. It provides a comprehensive overview of AI's journey from philosophical debates and early computational developments to its current role as a transformative force in healthcare, finance, manufacturing, and entertainment. Additionally, the essay addresses ethical considerations surrounding the widespread adoption of AI, including concerns related to job displacement, privacy, and responsible development. Ultimately, it navigates the complex landscape of artificial intelligence, shedding light on its remarkable advancements and its challenges to our ever-changing society.

Example 2: “The Benefits of Outdoor Education for Children”

This essay highlights the advantages of outdoor education for children, emphasizing its positive impacts on their physical, mental, and social development. It argues that outdoor activities like hiking, camping, and team sports not only promote physical health by encouraging movement and reducing sedentary behavior but also contribute to mental well-being by providing a respite from everyday stressors and fostering a connection with nature. Furthermore, it suggests that exposure to outdoor environments cultivates environmental awareness and a sense of stewardship among children.

Need some help with your homework? 

Get help from our service! Leave us a notice and we'll make your tasks asap.

Types of Expository Essay

Expository essays come in several distinct types, each serving a unique purpose and requiring specific approaches to convey information effectively. One common categorization includes:

  • Descriptive Expository Essay. This type focuses on painting a vivid picture of a subject, using sensory details to engage the reader's imagination. It aims to create a clear and sensory-rich portrayal of a person, place, object, or experience.
  • Process Expository Essay. Here, the writer breaks down a complex process or procedure into manageable steps, providing a detailed and sequential explanation. This type of essay is instructional, guiding readers through a series of actions to achieve a specific outcome.
  • Comparison and Contrast Expository Essay. This form involves analyzing similarities and differences between two or more subjects, offering insights into their shared characteristics or divergent qualities. It requires a careful examination of the chosen elements to highlight their relationships.
  • Cause and Effect Expository Essay. Focused on exploring the reasons behind an occurrence and its subsequent consequences, this type delves into the cause-and-effect relationships within a given topic. Writers elucidate the connections between actions and outcomes, fostering a deeper understanding of the subject matter.
  • Problem and Solution Expository Essay. Addressing real-world issues, this essay type identifies a specific problem, analyzes its root causes, and proposes viable solutions. It encourages critical thinking and problem-solving skills, compelling readers to consider alternative approaches to challenges.
  • Definition Expository Essay. This essay seeks to clarify and explain the meaning of a particular term, concept, or idea. Writers provide a comprehensive definition, often including examples and illustrations to ensure readers grasp the essence of the subject.
  • Cause and Effect Expository Essay. This type of essay examines the reasons behind a particular phenomenon or event and explores its subsequent effects. It aims to establish a clear cause-and-effect relationship, allowing readers to comprehend the interconnected elements of the topic.

Understanding these diverse types of essays empowers writers to choose the most suitable approach for effectively conveying information and achieving their communicative goals. Our experts can rewrite essay that you already did according to any of the above-mentioned types.

Expository Essay Topics

Selecting compelling expository essay topics requires thoughtful consideration of both personal interest and the potential engagement of the intended audience. Start by identifying subjects that genuinely captivate your curiosity or align with your expertise, as this enthusiasm will naturally infuse vigor into your writing. Additionally, assess the topic's relevance in the broader context, ensuring it addresses contemporary issues or timeless themes. 

Consider the audience's interests, aiming for subjects that resonate with their experiences or evoke a sense of shared relevance. Striking a balance between uniqueness and accessibility is key—opt for topics that allow you to offer fresh perspectives while ensuring there is ample research material available. Ultimately, the best topics seamlessly blend your passion, the audience's interests, and the broader significance of the chosen subject, ensuring a captivating and informative exploration for both writer and reader alike. Here are expository essay ideas from our writers for your inspiration:

Expository Essay Topics

  • The influence of art on human emotions.
  • Exploring the life cycle of a star.
  • Tips for sustainable living in urban areas.
  • The impact of social media on political awareness.
  • How to cultivate a positive mindset in challenging times.
  • The history and cultural significance of tattoos.
  • The process of recycling electronic waste.
  • Benefits of incorporating meditation into daily routines.
  • The role of laughter in maintaining mental health.
  • Understanding the psychology of decision-making.
  • The impact of fashion on individual expression.
  • Tips for effective conflict resolution in relationships.
  • The science behind the sense of taste.
  • The significance of biodiversity in ecosystems.
  • Exploring the history of traditional folk music.
  • How to foster a sense of community in a neighborhood.
  • The benefits of learning a musical instrument.
  • The evolution of communication technologies.
  • The process of seed germination in plants.
  • Tips for creating a productive home office space.
  • The impact of artificial intelligence on job markets.
  • Understanding the concept of emotional intelligence.
  • The benefits of practicing gratitude daily.
  • The history and cultural importance of tea.
  • How to develop effective public speaking skills.
  • Exploring the world of virtual reality technology.
  • The significance of water purification methods.
  • Tips for maintaining a healthy work-life balance.
  • The process of making sustainable food choices.
  • The role of literature in shaping societal norms.

Expository Essay Outline

An outline for expository essay is a structured plan that serves as a roadmap for organizing the main ideas and supporting details of the essay in a logical and coherent manner. While the specific structure may vary based on the assignment or preferences, a typical outline generally includes the following components, beginning with how to start an expository essay:

expository essay outline

Expository Essay Introduction

  • Hook or attention-grabbing statement.
  • Background information on the topic.
  • Clear thesis statement that presents the main idea.

Body Paragraphs (usually three or more)

  • Topic sentence for each paragraph, presenting a main point or supporting idea.
  • Supporting evidence, facts, or examples to illustrate and explain the topic sentence.
  • Analysis or interpretation of the evidence to connect it back to the thesis.

Expository Essay Conclusion

  • Restatement of the thesis in different words.
  • Summary of the main points discussed in the body paragraphs.
  • Concluding thoughts or insights, possibly suggesting implications or future considerations.

Transitions

  • Smooth transitions between paragraphs to ensure a cohesive flow of ideas.
  • Clear connections between sentences and paragraphs to guide the reader through the essay.

Revising and Editing

  • Space for notes on areas that may need revision or improvement.
  • Consideration of clarity, coherence, and overall effectiveness.

By creating an expository essay outline, a college essay writer can organize their thoughts, ensure a logical progression of ideas, and maintain a clear and concise structure. This framework helps writers stay focused on the main purpose of the essay – to inform, explain, or analyze a particular subject – while providing a roadmap for readers to follow and comprehend the information presented.

How to Write an Expository Essay Step by Step

Writing an expository essay involves a systematic process that ensures clarity, coherence, and effectiveness in conveying information. Here is a step-by-step guide to help you craft an expository essay:

Choose a Topic

  • Select a topic that interests you and aligns with the purpose of an expository essay – to inform, explain, or analyze a subject.

Conduct Research

  • Gather relevant and credible information to support your chosen topic. 
  • Utilize reputable sources such as academic journals, books, and reliable websites.

Create an Outline

  • Develop a clear and organized outline that includes the introduction, body paragraphs, and conclusion.
  • Each section should have a specific purpose and contribute to the overall coherence of the essay.

Write the Introduction

  • Start with an attention-grabbing hook that relates to your topic. 
  • Provide background information and context, leading to a concise and focused thesis statement that outlines the main idea.

Develop Body Paragraphs

  • Each body paragraph should begin with a clear topic sentence that introduces the main point. 
  • Support the topic sentence with evidence, facts, or examples. 
  • Ensure a logical flow between paragraphs, using transitions to guide the reader.

Provide Evidence

  • Support your points with credible evidence and examples. 
  • Ensure that each piece of evidence directly relates to the topic sentence and supports the overall thesis of the essay.

Analyze and Interpret

  • After presenting evidence, analyze and interpret it. 
  • Explain the significance of the evidence and how it relates to your thesis. 
  • This step helps to ensure that your audience understands the relevance of the information presented.

Write the Conclusion

  • Summarize the main points discussed in the body paragraphs without introducing new information. 
  • Restate the thesis in different words and offer concluding insights or implications related to the topic.

Revise and Edit

  • Review your essay for clarity, coherence, and consistency. 
  • Check for grammatical errors and awkward phrasing, ensuring a smooth flow of ideas. 
  • Consider feedback from others or take a break before revising to gain a fresh perspective.
  • Carefully proofread your essay to catch any remaining errors, typos, or issues. 
  • Pay attention to grammar, punctuation, and argumentative essay format .

By following these steps, you can systematically approach the writing process and create a well-organized and informative expository essay. Remember to stay focused on the purpose of informing, explaining, or analyzing the chosen topic throughout the entire writing process.

Final Thoughts

Learning how to write an expository essay offers students several important advantages. First off, it helps them express their thoughts clearly and organize ideas effectively, skills that are useful not only in academics but also in various professional situations where clear communication is key. 

Moreover, writing expository essays improves critical thinking as students practice analyzing information, connecting ideas, and presenting well-supported arguments. This skill is valuable in everyday decision-making and problem-solving scenarios. 

Additionally, the process of crafting such essays enhances research abilities, teaching students how to find, evaluate, and use information effectively. Overall, mastering expository writing equips students with practical, transferable skills that can positively impact their academic and professional pursuits. You can use our research paper service to cope with assignments better and faster.

Want to Ace Your Expository Writing? 

Your wish is our command - order now and experience the excellence of our expert writers!

What are the Different Types of Expository Essays?

What is the most important part of the expository essay structure, what is the main idea in expository writing, related articles.

persuasive essay

What Is Expository Writing?

How to Write an Expository Essay

  • Ph.D., Rhetoric and English, University of Georgia
  • M.A., Modern English and American Literature, University of Leicester
  • B.A., English, State University of New York

Expository writing is used to convey factual information (as opposed to creative writing, such as fiction). It is the language of learning and understanding the world around us. If you've ever read an encyclopedia entry, a how-to article on a website, or a chapter in a textbook, then you've encountered examples of expository writing.

Key Takeaways: Expository Writing

  • Just the facts, M'am: Expository writing is informational, not creative writing.
  • Anytime you write to describe or explain, you use expository writing.
  • Use a logical flow when planning an expository essay, report, or article: introduction, body text, and conclusion.
  • It's often easier to write the body of your article first, before composing the introduction or conclusion.

Expository writing is everywhere in everyday life, not just academic settings, as it's present anytime there's information to be conveyed. It can take form in an academic paper, an article for a newspaper, a report for a business, or even book-length nonfiction. It explains, informs, and describes.

Types of Expository Writing

In  composition studies , expository writing (also called exposition ) is one of the four traditional  modes of discourse . It may include elements of  narration ,  description , and  argumentation . Unlike creative or  persuasive writing , which can appeal to emotions and use anecdotes, expository writing's primary  purpose  is to deliver information about an issue, subject, method, or idea using facts.

Exposition may take one of several forms:

  • Descriptive/definition:  In this style of writing, topics are defined by characteristics, traits, and examples. An encyclopedia entry is a kind of descriptive essay. 
  • Process/sequential:  This essay outlines a series of steps needed in order to complete a task or produce something. A recipe at the end of an article in a food magazine is one example.
  • Comparative/contrast:  This kind of exposition is used to demonstrate how two or more subjects are the same and different. An article that explains the difference between owning and renting a home and the benefits and drawbacks of each is one such an example.
  • Cause/effect:  This kind of essay describes how one step leads to a result. An example is a personal blog chronicling a workout regimen and documenting the results over time.
  • Problem/solution: This type of essay presents a problem and possible solutions, backed by data and facts, not just opinion.
  • Classification: A classification essay breaks down a broad topic into categories or groupings.

Tips for Expository Writing

As you write, keep in mind some of these tips for creating an effective expository essay:

Start where you know the information best. You don't have to write your introduction first. In fact, it might be easier to wait until the end for that. If you don't like the look of a blank page, move over the slugs from your outline for the main body paragraphs and write the topic sentences for each. Then start putting in your information according to each paragraph's topic.

Be clear and concise.  Readers have a limited attention span. Make your case succinctly in language that the average reader can understand. 

Stick to the facts.  Although an exposition can be persuasive, it should not be based on opinion only. Support your case with facts, data, and reputable sources that can be documented and verified.

Consider voice and tone.  How you address the reader depends on the kind of essay you're writing. An essay written in the first person is fine for a personal travel essay but is inappropriate if you're a business reporter describing a patent lawsuit. Think about your audience before you begin writing.

Planning Your Essay

  • Brainstorm: Jot down ideas on a blank piece of paper. Connect them with arrows and lines, or just make lists. Rigor doesn't matter at this stage. Bad ideas don't matter at this stage. Just write down ideas, and the engine in your head will lead you to a good one. When you've got that idea, then repeat the brainstorming exercise with ideas that you want to pursue on that topic and information you could put in. From this list, you'll start to see a path emerge for your research or narrative to follow.
  • Compose your thesis: When your ideas coalesce into a sentence in which you can summarize the topic you're writing about, you're ready to compose your thesis sentence. Write down in one sentence the main idea that you'll explore in your paper.
  • Examine your thesis: Is it clear? Does it contain opinion? If so, revise that out. For this type of essay, you stick to the facts and evidence. This isn't an editorial. Is the thesis' scope manageable? You don't want your topic too narrow or too broad to be covered in the amount of space you have for your paper. If it's not a manageable topic, refine it. Don't be dismayed if you have to come back and tweak it if your research finds that your initial idea was off-kilter. It's all just part of the process of focusing the material.
  • Outline: It may seem inconsequential, but making even a quick outline can save you time by organizing your areas of pursuit and narrowing them down. When you see your topics in an organized list, you may be able to discard off-topic threads before you research them—or as you're researching them and you find they just don't work.
  • Research: Find your data and sources to back up the areas you want to pursue to support your thesis statement. Look for sources written by experts, including organizations, and watch for bias. Possible sources include statistics, definitions, charts and graphs, and expert quotes and anecdotes. Compile descriptive details and comparisons to make your topic clear to your reader, when applicable.

What Is an Expository Essay?

An expository essay has three basic parts: the introduction, the body, and the conclusion. Each is crucial to writing a clear article or effective argument.

The introduction: The first paragraph is where you'll lay the foundation for your essay and give the reader an overview of your thesis. Use your opening sentence to get the reader's attention, and then follow up with a few sentences that give your reader some context for the information you're about to cover.

The body:  At a minimum, include three to five paragraphs in the body of your expository essay. The body could be considerably longer, depending on your topic and audience. Each paragraph begins with a topic sentence where you state your case or objective. Each topic sentence supports your overall thesis statement. Then, each paragraph includes several sentences that expand on the information and/or support the topic sentence. Finally, a concluding sentence offers a transition to the following paragraph in the essay.

The conclusion:  The final section of your expository essay should give the reader a concise overview of your thesis. The intent is not merely to summarize your argument but to use it as a means of proposing further action, offering a solution, or posing new questions to explore. Don't cover new material related to your thesis, though. This is where you wrap it all up.

Expository Examples

An expository article or report about a lake, for example, could discuss its ecosystem: the plants and animals that depend on it along with its climate. It could describe physical details about its size, depth, amount of rainfall each year, and the number of tourists it receives annually. Information on when it was formed, its best fishing spots, or its water quality could be included, depending on the audience for the piece.

An expository piece could be in third person or second person. Second-person examples could include, for example, how to test lake water for pollutants or how to kill invasive species. Expository writing is useful and informative.

In contrast, someone writing a creative nonfiction article about a lake might relate the place to a defining moment in his or her life, penning the piece in first person. It could be filled with emotion, opinion, sensory details, and even include dialogue and flashbacks. It's a much more evocative, personal type of writing than an expository piece, even though they're both nonfiction styles.

  • The Ultimate Guide to the 5-Paragraph Essay
  • Definition and Examples of Analysis in Composition
  • How to Write a Solid Thesis Statement
  • Understanding Organization in Composition and Speech
  • Development in Composition: Building an Essay
  • How To Write an Essay
  • How to Structure an Essay
  • Definition and Examples of Body Paragraphs in Composition
  • Tips for Writing an Art History Paper
  • Understanding What an Expository Essay Is
  • What an Essay Is and How to Write One
  • 6 Steps to Writing the Perfect Personal Essay
  • Write an Attention-Grabbing Opening Sentence for an Essay
  • Expository Essay Genre With Suggested Prompts
  • Tips on How to Write an Argumentative Essay
  • How to Write a Narrative Essay or Speech

More From Forbes

Ai and the municipal bond market.

  • Share to Facebook
  • Share to Twitter
  • Share to Linkedin

AI is rapidly reengineering the $4 trillion Municipal Bond Market. No part of the market is going to be untouched. Trading, pricing, underwriting, credit analysis, compliance, disclosure, regulations—every bit of it is being transformed. In five years, the municipal bond market as it exists today will look vastly different. Wringing out existing inefficiencies and opaqueness, AI will ultimately create billions in value for investors and save issuers billions in interest expenses.

Artificial intelligence robot touching futuristic data screen.

Okay, okay. That sounds a bit hyperbolic, but I’m going to stand by it. Yes, AI has been hyped to atmospheric levels, with grandiose pronouncements that it will surpass human intelligence in just two years. On the other hand, one wag quipped when I mentioned I was writing about Artificial Intelligence in the muni market, “I thought most intelligence in the muni market was artificial.”

Snark all you want or dismiss this as starry eyed overenthusiasm for the latest shiny new toy, but AI is driving the world forward in incalculable ways. Be it robotics or breast cancer detection or fashion choices , AI often does it better than its human counterparts.

The municipal bond market is not immune. AI is moving the market into the 21st century, whether some like it or not.

Sony Is Making A Truly Terrible Mistake With Helldivers 2 Update Sony Reverses Course

Google tests much needed google photos feature upgrade, ‘baby reindeer’: stephen king writes essay praising netflix stalker series.

My confidence stems from two powerful forces gripping the municipal bond market in an ever tightening vise: economics and technology.

The Vise of Economics and Technology

At the close of 2023, Morningstar Morningstar Direct and the Federal Reserve reports show close to 72% of $764.3 billion in municipal bonds assets under management (AUM) by open-end mutual funds were held in the portfolios of the top 10 municipal bond fund managers. Morningstar Direct also reports roughly $496.7 billion of municipal bonds are held in hundreds of thousands of separately managed accounts. Other sources have the number at nearly triple that.

But wait, there’s more. The Federal Reserve report also notes ETF assets at $122.3 billion AUM. It’s a stunning 700% increase in over the last decade.

That’s $1.3 trillion of assets under professional management, which doesn’t include the billions of bonds held by individuals in brokerage and trust accounts.

The operational management alone keeping track of vast sums of money requires technology for accounting, recordkeeping, compliance, valuation, trading, and the myriad of other day-to-day processes.

(For the intrepid, data on municipal bond holdings of the entire market is in the Municipal Securities section of the Board of Governors of the Federal Reserve System , Federal Reserve Statistical Release Z.1 Table L.212 Financial Accounts of the United States, Flow of Funds, Balance Sheets, and Integrated Macroeconomic Accounts).

Because of this combined asset growth and concentration, money management has become a saturated, hypercompetitive ecosystem, forcing managers to limbo dance ever lower on fees as they have to vault ever higher to find investment returns.

Put yourself in the seat of a senior executive at an asset management company faced with this situation. You quickly realize you need solutions and processes offering automation, speed, execution, and efficiency at a cost lower than whatever you are doing currently.

The AI Arms Race

Technology is the solution that checks all those boxes and it’s AI doing the checking. With massive amounts of data growing at a pace never before seen and with hitherto unimagined compute speeds to analyze it, AI brings increasingly sophisticated quantitative analytics to create solutions.

Hence a technological arms race to apply AI is on. Unfolding at breathtaking speed amongst broker dealers and money managers, each competitor realizes that without a technological advantage, they’re going to lose.

Amid all this sits the $4 trillion municipal market—fragmented, opaque, inefficient, and stale—redolent with time-honored (and increasingly anachronistic) traditions, embedded biases, dated processes.

A Big Fat Ripe Target

In short, it is a big, fat target ripe for an overhaul by financial technology companies armed to hilt with AI and not afraid to use it.

A Big Target

But the question is how? After all, the municipal bond market didn’t get and stay the way it is for no reason. Entrenched incumbents, be they bond lawyers or rating agencies or bond issuers, think they see no incentives to alter their behavior or business models. They have built thick barriers to entry. Or so they confidently assume.

Also, there have already been some pioneering fintech firms who, seeing this messy market, thought they could “disrupt” it by imposing technological organization the same way a software engineer codes an app. It didn’t work. They were right in intent, just off on the timing.

Why is today different? To answer that, this series of articles over the next few weeks presents the five top-level components of the municipal bond market where fintech and AI are driving advances in the most essential market functions and processes. These components are, in order, Data , Pricing , Credit , Platforms , and Algorithmic Trading .

Visualize them as a three dimensional Venn diagram. Inextricably linked, they are a neural network, each independent and interdependent, acting and reacting, an infinite feedback loop. This is why they are driving the market.

But first, a fundamental question. What is AI?

What is AI?

When most of us think of AI, maybe we think of Chat GPT. Enter a question and the algorithm spits out an answer, accurate or otherwise. We see it when sentences get autocompleted writing emails. Or maybe it’s that picture of the Pope wearing a puffy coat. Or a trout.

Generative AI

The fact artificial intelligence is now a buzzword already simply referred to as “AI” (you didn’t have to Google Google what AI meant when you saw it in the title of this article, right?) is in and of itself a comment as to how fully integrated a part of our culture it has become.

But none of that actually explains what AI is . AI is Large Language Models, preceded by Machine Learning which isn’t Deep Learning but Deep Learning is a type of Machine Learning which has Neural Networks with Neurons, Multilayer Perceptrons (with Input and Weight Vectors), which, applying Backpropagation and/or Gradient Descent to train the network—which are sometimes but not always integral in training Recurrent Neural Networks, Convolutional Neural Networks, and Generative Adversarial Networks—on either structured or unstructured data for predictive analytic outcomes.

Did you get all that?

What AI Is. And Isn’t.

Actually, it’s really pretty simple. At its core, AI is just a set of various methods to analyze data and generate outcomes.

Big data technology

The data component is essential. No data, no AI. So what is data? Anything a number can be attached to—and there is nothing a number can’t be attached to. Human behaviors to Shakespeare’s plays to photos of cats to bond prices. Everything.

AI analytic methodologies and functions applied to that data generate outcomes. Outcomes may be to answer questions, test hypotheses, find trends, identify groupings, determine correlations or, well, anything you can do with data analysis. That includes putting a puffy coat on a Pontiff to predict the weather.

Perhaps not so much on that last one, at least not with perfect accuracy, which makes a key point. Artificial intelligence, for all of its many strengths and capabilities, is not perfect. Depending on how it is used, it can be 100% right, just not all the time. Like anything, it has its pitfalls and limitations. However even if it is mostly right most of the time, it is far better than anything we have today without it.

For those intrepid souls seeking a deeper understanding of AI, IBM IBM , MIT , and Stanford offer numerous free YouTube lectures by world renowned faculty. They explain the specifics far better than can be related here, so you are encouraged to pursue those. Which I highly recommend you to do.

But for our purposes, it’s more important to grasp the implications of how AI is being applied in the municipal bond market than to get lost in understanding how it does it. Put another way, you can still use your iPhone or Droid without a thorough knowledge of IEEE 802.11 for WLANs, MAC, and PHY functions . (That’s the technical term for WiFi—see what I mean?)

With that, let’s go.

Chauffeur opening a luxury car door.

An AI View of the Municipal Bond Market:

Data, Pricing, Credit, Platforms, and Algorithmic Trading

Since without data there is no AI, the first article in the series starts with data. And when it comes to data, the municipal bond market has oceans of it. Trading levels, financial performance, deal structures, yield curves, professional publications. Just about name a type of data and it exists. And, from an AI standpoint, the data is very, very good.

The second article will focus on pricing. Ask nearly any municipal bond market investment professional their opinion about pricing in the market and a phrase that rhymes with “it pucks” is likely to be in the first words out of their mouth.

The frustration of market participants with bond pricing and valuation services is legion. It stems from what is genteelly referred to as the market’s “structural problem”: barely 2% of the market’s outstanding bonds actively trade, and those that do vary in block sizes from the millions to only a few thousand, with no up-to-the minute posting for prices or yield curves. All of that make it nearly the perfect problem for AI engineers to tackle. Which they are. With vigor.

The third article examines credit analysis . The municipal bond market considers itself credit driven, with fundamental credit analysis at its core. Unfortunately, that analysis is of financial information at times over a year old and reported in PDF form. Extruding the pixelated information requires a process akin to unscrambling an egg. Moreover, lacking a consistent reporting taxonomy, credit analysis is hobbled in comparative testing to determine the probabilistic weights of its metrics. In an AI world, analog credit assessment methodologies increasing look like something resembling cephalomancy . More to the point, if an investment grade rated municipal bond’s default rate is 0.08%—not even 1/10 th of 1.00%, exactly what credit is there to analyze?

Alternative Trading Systems (ATS) platforms have grown dramatically over the last decade, the implications of which are explored in the fourth article. As MSRB reports show, at the close of the first quarter of 2024 , almost 15% of all customer trades were executed with dealers associated with an ATS. In 2015 , it was a mere 2.9%. Readily scalable and offering automation, connectivity, best execution, trading efficiency, lower cost, speed, and transparency, it is rapidly becoming the trading platform of choice. Traditional broker dealers, who had handled much of the market’s trading volume with human traders, have taken the “if you can’t beat ‘em, join ‘em” approach, replacing traders with computers and quants holding Ph.D.’s. As ATS platforms continue to grow, it is not hard to imagine these platforms coming to resemble a municipal bond market exchange in the not-so-distant future.

The final article closes with algorithmic trading . Using data, pricing, and ATS, algorithmic trading in many ways closes the circle. Perceptions of algo trading (as the market slang calls it) are usually conjure up images of a mysterious, secretive cabal of Ph.D.’s generating endless lines of thickly quant-driven code, their computers roaming the market to find and profit by trading misvalued bonds.

Other than the mysterious and cabal part (well, maybe still a bit mysterious), the perception is generally accurate. Fragmented and opaque with copious amounts of data, the municipal bond market is somewhat of an easy mark for algorithmic trading, which is why algo-trading strategies drawn from AI methodologies are sweeping into the market. Be it hedge funds or proprietary trading desks (“hedgies” and “prop desk” respectively—the market loves catchy abbreviations) to broker/dealers trying to execute trades on behalf of clients, the more it gets used the more others will have to use it. With ATS platforms simplifying access and ever increasing asset growth in SMAs and fund managers, algo trading is going to continue to take an ever larger component of customer trades.

The Good News

All of this is good news for investors and issuers alike. AI unlocks tapped value, a key opening greater liquidity with better pricing, tighter bid-ask spreads, and lower execution costs. Improving the valuation on the $4 trillion of outstanding municipal bonds by just one basis point—1/100 th of 1%—fattens wallets by billions.

A Pile of Money

Equally, issuers will find better price discovery and more precise deal structuring when they come to market. In 2023, $325 billion of tax exempt municipal bonds came to market. If issuers shave off just one basis point of interest expense, the savings would top $300 million. Two basis points…well, you get the idea.

A lot got covered here and there is a lot more to go. Buckle up. It’s going to be quite a ride.

Next in the series, Data . The municipal bond market has oceans of it. But who has it, who can access it, and what are collectors and users doing with it?

Barnet Sherman

  • Editorial Standards
  • Reprints & Permissions
  • Share full article

Advertisement

Supported by

Serge Schmemann

Student Protest Is an Essential Part of Education

Student protesters at Columbia University being removed from campus by plainclothes police officers in 1968.

By Serge Schmemann

Mr. Schmemann is a member of the editorial board and a former Moscow bureau chief for The Times. He was a first-year graduate student at Columbia in 1968.

Anyone who was at Columbia University in the spring of 1968 cannot help but see a reprise of those stormy, fateful and thrilling days in what is happening on the Morningside Heights campus today.

But there is a troubling and significant difference. If the students back in ’68 were divided into rebellious, longhaired pukes and conservative, close-cropped jocks, with a lot of undecided in between, the current protests at Columbia — and at the growing number of other campuses to which they have spread — have witnessed personal and often ugly divisions between Jewish students and Arab or Muslim students or anyone perceived to be on the “wrong” side of the Israeli-Palestinian conflict.

That, in turn, has thrust the protests squarely into the polarized politics of the land, with politicians and pundits on the right portraying the encampments as dangerous manifestations of antisemitism and wokeness and demanding that they be razed — and many university administrations calling in the police to do just that.

The transformation of the protests into a national political football is perhaps inevitable — everyone up to President Richard Nixon sounded off about students in ’68 — but it is still a shame. Because student protests, even at their most disruptive, are at their core an extension of education by other means, to paraphrase Carl von Clausewitz’s famous definition of war.

The hallowed notion of a university as a bastion of discourse and learning does not and cannot exclude participation in contemporary debates, which is what students are being prepared to lead. From Vietnam to apartheid to the murder of George Floyd, universities have long been places for open and sometimes fiery debate and inquiry. And whenever universities themselves have been perceived by students to be complicit or wrong in their stances, they have been challenged by their communities of students and teachers. If the university cannot tolerate the heat, it cannot serve its primary mission.

The counterargument, of course, is that without decorum and calm, the educational process is disrupted, and so it is proper and necessary for administrations to impose order. But disruption is not the only byproduct; protests can also shape and enhance education: a disproportionate number of those who rose up at Columbia in 1968 went into social service of some sort, fired by the idealism and faith in change that underpinned their protests and by the broader social movement of the ’60s.

I was a first-year graduate student at Columbia in ’68, living in the suburbs and so more of a witness than a participant in events of that spring. But it was impossible not to be swept up in the passions on the campus.

The catalyst was a protest by Black students over the construction of a gym in Morningside Park , which touched on many Black grievances against the university — the way it was pushing into Black neighborhoods, the gym’s limited access and separate door for area residents, many of them Black. The slogan was “Gym Crow must go.”

The Black sit-in quickly galvanized students from all the other social and political causes of that turbulent era — a war that was killing scores of American boys and countless Vietnamese every week, racism that just weeks earlier took the life of the Rev. Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. and, yes, a celebration of flower power and love. The gym issue at Columbia was quietly resolved, but by then, other students were occupying several buildings. Finally, Columbia’s president, Grayson Kirk, called in the police.

I have a snapshot embedded in my memory of groups of students milling about the grounds, which were littered with the debris of the confrontation, many of them proudly sporting bandages from the injuries inflicted by the violent sweep of the Tactical Patrol Force. Psychedelic music blared from some window, and a lone maintenance man pushed a noisy lawn mower over a surviving patch of grass.

The sit-ins had been ended, and order was being restored, but something frightening and beautiful had been unleashed, a faith that mere students could do something about what’s wrong with the world or at least were right to try.

The classic account of Columbia ’68, “The Strawberry Statement,” a wry, punchy diary by an undergraduate, James Simon Kunen, who participated in the protests, captures the confused welter of causes, ideals, frustrations and raw excitement of that spring. “Beyond defining what it wasn’t, it is very difficult to say with certainty what anything meant. But everything must have a meaning, and everyone is free to say what meanings are. At Columbia a lot of students simply did not like their school commandeering a park, and they rather disapproved of their school making war, and they told other students, who told others, and we saw that Columbia is our school and we will have something to say for what it does.”

That’s the similarity. Just as students then could no longer tolerate the horrific images of a distant war delivered, for the first time, in almost real time by television, so many of today’s students have found the images from Gaza, now transmitted instantly onto their phones, to demand action. And just as students in ’68 insisted that their school sever ties to a government institute doing research for the war, so today’s students demand that Columbia divest from companies profiting from Israel’s invasion of Gaza. And students then and now have found their college administrators deaf to their entreaties.

Certainly there’s a lot to debate here. Universities do have a serious obligation to protect Jewish students from antisemitism and to maintain order, but it is to their students and teachers that they must answer, not to Republicans eager to score points against woke “indoctrination” at elite colleges or to megadonors seeking to push their agendas onto institutions of higher learning.

Like Mr. Kunen, I’m not sure exactly how that spring of 1968 affected my life. I suspect it forced me to think in ways that have informed my reporting on the world. What I do know is that I’m heartened to see that college kids will still get angry over injustice and suffering and will try to do something about it.

The Times is committed to publishing a diversity of letters to the editor. We’d like to hear what you think about this or any of our articles. Here are some tips . And here’s our email: [email protected] .

Follow the New York Times Opinion section on Facebook , Instagram , TikTok , WhatsApp , X and Threads .

Serge Schmemann joined The Times in 1980 and worked as the bureau chief in Moscow, Bonn and Jerusalem and at the United Nations. He was editorial page editor of The International Herald Tribune in Paris from 2003 to 2013.

IMAGES

  1. How To Write An Expository Essay (7 Best Tips)

    what are the 4 parts of the expository essay

  2. Expository Essay: Examples and Tips of a Proper Writing That Will Be

    what are the 4 parts of the expository essay

  3. How To Write An Expository Essay in 6 Steps

    what are the 4 parts of the expository essay

  4. Expert Tips to Write A Compelling Expository Essay!

    what are the 4 parts of the expository essay

  5. Expository Essay: Examples and Tips of a Proper Writing That Will Be

    what are the 4 parts of the expository essay

  6. 🔥 Parts of expository writing. Expository Writing and How to Make It

    what are the 4 parts of the expository essay

VIDEO

  1. Analysis By Division Essay Example

  2. 4.7.24 Sermon: An Appeal for Forgiveness (Philemon 1:1-25)

  3. types of paragraph with examples

  4. Why Expository Essays?!

  5. PARTS OF ESSAY|| STEPS TO WRITE A GOOD ESSAY|| JAVERIA AAMIR

  6. Types of Essay

COMMENTS

  1. How to Write an Expository Essay

    The structure of your expository essay will vary according to the scope of your assignment and the demands of your topic. It's worthwhile to plan out your structure before you start, using an essay outline. A common structure for a short expository essay consists of five paragraphs: An introduction, three body paragraphs, and a conclusion.

  2. How to Write an Expository Essay: Writing Tips & Structure

    What are the 4 parts of the expository essay? An expository essay is composed of four parts: an introduction, three body paragraphs, and a conclusion. It provides a clear and organized explanation of a specific topic.

  3. 4.1: Expository Essays

    An essay that explains a writer's ideas by defining, explaining, informing, or elaborating on points to allow the reader to clearly understand the concept. Many of your future academic workplace writing assignments will be expository-explaining your ideas or the significance of a concept or action. An expository essay allows the writer the ...

  4. How to Write an Expository Essay (Professor Approved Guide)

    Step One: Research Your Topic. An expository essay starts with research. You need to understand the topic before you write about it. You also need to understand what points the reader needs to know to comprehend the subject. The internet has been outstanding in terms of helping people get access to information.

  5. Expository Essays

    The expository essay is a genre of essay that requires the student to investigate an idea, evaluate evidence, expound on the idea, and set forth an argument concerning that idea in a clear and concise manner. This can be accomplished through comparison and contrast, definition, example, the analysis of cause and effect, etc.

  6. How to Write an Expository Essay (Updated for 2021)

    When you write an expository essay, you are exposing the main ideas of the subject, expounding on a topic in detail, or explaining the meaning of a topic, idea, or phenomenon. You will typically be expected to have an introduction, body, and conclusion, plus a strong thesis statement to keep your ideas focused.

  7. Expository Essay: 3 Building Blocks to Propose an Idea and Defend It

    The expository essay is a genre of essay that requires the student to investigate an idea, evaluate evidence, expound on the idea, and set forth an argument concerning that idea in a clear and concise manner. Keep in mind that your expository writing centers on giving your reader information about a given topic or process.

  8. How to Write an Expository Essay

    1. Read Your Essay Prompt. Most expository essay prompts will ask you to do one of the following: Define and explain a concept or theory. Compare and contrast two ideas. Examine a problem and propose a solution. Describe a cause and effect relationship. Explain a step-by-step process.

  9. What Is an Expository Essay? Examples and Guide

    An expository essay is a type of essay that involves explaining an idea or theme within a given subject or topic. We guide you through writing one with examples. Dictionary ... While every part of an essay is important, you should devote most of your time to the body paragraphs. This is where you'll do most of your analysis, exposition, and ...

  10. How to Write an Expository Essay

    The introduction part consists of a hook, background information, and a thesis statement. A typical expository essay should have at least three body paragraphs. The essay should be concluded by tying back to the thesis statement (in the introduction). Then, the main parts of the essay should be summarized.

  11. 4.1 Expository Essays

    An expository essay allows the writer the opportunity to explain his or her ideas about a topic and to provide clarity for the reader by using: Facts. Explanations. Details. Definitions. It may also include the writer outlining steps of a procedure in a way that is straightforward for the reader to follow. It is purely informative and often ...

  12. How To Write An Expository Essay

    An expository essay typically comprises three main parts: the introduction, body paragraphs, and conclusion. Here's what the general structure of an expository essay looks like: Introduction. The introduction of an expository essay is where the writer presents the topic, provides background information, and ends with a clear thesis statement.

  13. Expository Writing: The Guide to Writing an Expository Essay

    While both essay types require you to provide evidence to support a claim, persuasive essays are more argumentative. A persuasive essay includes a counterargument, which addresses and rebuts an opposing viewpoint. Expository essays, on the other hand, focus on clearly explaining and supporting your point of view. Parts of an Expository Essay

  14. Expository Essay Definition and Structure (Outline)

    The purpose of expository essay writing is to present some information to the reader in a clear and objective way. As brought up above, expository essays shouldn't contain personal viewpoints on the topic. Here, the writer's job is to do factual analysis, find the most reliable sources, and include them in the essay.

  15. 4 Easy Ways to Write an Expository Essay

    3. Generate ideas for your expository essay. Before you begin writing your essay, you should take some time to flesh out your ideas and get some things down on paper. Invention activities like listing, freewriting, clustering, and questioning can help you to develop ideas for your expository essay. [5]

  16. Topics, Outline, Examples

    Writing an expository essay involves a systematic process that ensures clarity, coherence, and effectiveness in conveying information. Here is a step-by-step guide to help you craft an expository essay: Choose a Topic. Select a topic that interests you and aligns with the purpose of an expository essay - to inform, explain, or analyze a subject.

  17. What Is Expository Writing?

    Key Takeaways: Expository Writing. Just the facts, M'am: Expository writing is informational, not creative writing. Anytime you write to describe or explain, you use expository writing. Use a logical flow when planning an expository essay, report, or article: introduction, body text, and conclusion. It's often easier to write the body of your ...

  18. How to Write an Expository Essay in 5 Steps

    Level Up Your Team. See why leading organizations rely on MasterClass for learning & development. Learning how to write a good expository essay is an academic writing skill that lays the foundation for the type of expository writing that's necessary for numerous professions.

  19. Expository Essays

    An expository essay is an unbiased, factual piece of writing that provides an in-depth explanation of a topic or set of ideas. It aims to explain a topic from all angles and takes no decisive stance on it. Expository essays make no new arguments on a topic but rather explain preexisting information in a structured format.

  20. PDF Writing an Expository Essay

    the body of the essay; and the fi fth paragraph is a conclusion (see diagram on page 4). This book will focus exclusively on the fi ve-paragraph essay. Although essays may vary in length, the fi ve-paragraph essay structure can be adapted for longer or shorter essays. 1. Introductory paragraph

  21. The Four Main Types of Essay

    An essay is a focused piece of writing designed to inform or persuade. There are many different types of essay, but they are often defined in four categories: argumentative, expository, narrative, and descriptive essays. Argumentative and expository essays are focused on conveying information and making clear points, while narrative and ...

  22. AI And The Municipal Bond Market

    AI is rapidly reengineering the $4 trillion Municipal Bond Market. No part of the market is going to be untouched. Trading, pricing, underwriting, credit analysis, compliance, disclosure ...

  23. Opinion

    The hallowed notion of a university as a bastion of discourse and learning does not and cannot exclude participation in contemporary debates, which is what students are being prepared to lead.