All About Expository Essay Writing

Expository essay writing tips

There are times when a writer wants to inform the audience about a certain aspect, process or even phenomenon, living or non-living. As such, the author is trying to make the information clearer. The author will be trying to pass information to the audience in the best way the audience can recall in the future. The author explains the topic of their choice in a straightforward and logical manner. As such, other than the bells and the whistles, an expository essay presents a balanced analysis on a given subject with facts. Thus, expository essays do not include the opinion of the author, rather it is a presentation of the facts on a given topic. As such, even the prompts for the essays will include the words like explain, discuss and elaborate among others. As such, most of the expository essay writing prompts will be framed in such a way that it`ll sound as forming an argument or an opinion. Unlike other skills in writing, expository writing is required in most of the careers on a daily basis. It is also the case when it comes to the other writing within the other courses, where students will be required to give objective descriptions of a topic of choice.

expository essay writing

Topics for an expository essay writing

There are a number topics that can be used when writing an expository essay. The following are some of the expository essay writing topics can be used in such essays:

  • How can human manage allergies?
  • How do volcanic mountains form?
  • Is it possible for aliens to exist?
  • Why is there an increase in the level of inflation in the United States of America?
  • What does it mean when person has a genius IQ?
  • How does gaming affect the performance of children in their studies?
  • What are the positive and negative aspects of materialism?
  • Elaborate on how the internet has changed the way people communicate.
  • Discuss the need for peace in the interaction of different cultures.
  • Explain why most care enthusiasts prefer manual transmissions on the cars to automatic transmissions.
  • Discuss the various reasons which cause couples to breakup.
  • How can person choose the right pet?
  • How to maintain a manual transmission car.

Expository essay structure

There are four parts of an expository essay, which make up the expository essay`s structure. Thus, regardless of the topic in question, the following parts that make the structure have to be included. The basic structure is maintained with minimal changes regardless of the topic being discussed. It is basically essential to make sure that ideas discussed in the paper follow some order and logic for the audience to connect through such and make it easier for them to understand.

When writing an expository essay, the outline acts as a guide to the various parts of the essay. Giving the author a platform to bring together the various ideas in the essay into one coherent piece. The main parts of the outline include the introduction, thesis statement, body paragraphs, and conclusion.

The four main parts in discussion are:

  • Introduction
  • Thesis statement
  • Body paragraphs
  • Conclusion


In the expository essay, introduction is the first part of the paper. This is a section that is crucial for the author, relative to affecting the attitude of the readers. Ideally, the introduction is the part of the paper which leaves the readers wanting to read further and get to the bottom of the essay. As such, the introduction is started off with a general statement to catch the readers’ attention. It may frame in the form of an analogy, fascinating fact, anecdote, relevant quotation, a dilemma that requires a solution. This part of an essay is used in such a way that the author is able to get the attention of readers and make them read the text until it ends. As such, when writing an introductory paragraph, the writer will have to make sure the information in this paragraph keeps the readers interested.

Thesis Statement

Other part of the structure is referred to as the thesis statement. This is a part of essay that states the writers arguable statement. Ideally, this is a crucial part of the structure. It is relative to the fact that, it is the expository essay thesis statement which provides guidance when writing the rest of the paper. The statement is related with the topic of the paper, with a twist on the argument the writer tries to bring out. A good thesis statement is debatable, while a bad thesis statement is one that does not give the audience the room to form opinions.

Body Paragraphs

The other part of the paper which forms the main section of the rest of the paper is body. This section is also divided further into body paragraphs. Each of the paragraph in this section carries its own breakoff point. At the start of every new paragraph is the topic sentence that gives the reader an idea of what the paragraph entails. After the topic sentence, the writer then brings up the supportive evidence to tie down the argument brought out in the topic sentence. The writer in this section uses cited quotes, summaries, textual evidence in support of the thesis statement as well.  It is also common for the writers to use anecdotes, interviews and some of the experiences.  The part which follows in the paragraph is related to the analysis of the information presented. At this stage of the paper the writer tries to explain to the audience the significance of the evidence presented. As such, the writer explains why they chose to include the information in the first place and how is the information tied to the thesis statement. The last part of each of the paragraph is quite crucial to the logical flow of ideas throughout the paper. The transition is the last part of each of the paragraphs found in an expository essay. This is a section which helps the writer to tie all the ideas together in one section of the paragraph with the next one that follows. Ideally, expository essays try to pass information about a certain aspect, all the ideas about the stated aspect have to be tied together. As such, at the end of each of the paragraph there must be a transition that allows the readers to connect the ideas in the first paragraph to the ones in the next. This creates an element of flow in the information. Without the transition statements at the end of the paragraph, much of the information thought factual and supportive of the main paper argument would appear disjointed. It would complicate the learning processes of the readers as they would have to struggle trying to connect the different ideas presented in the paper. Thus,the paper lacks coherence and logical presentation of the ideas.


The last part of the structure is the concluding paragraph. Unlike the rest of the paragraphs that make up the body, this one is different and it helps the writer to present the closing remarks on the topic being discussed in the paper. Thus, the expository essay conclusion will have the highlights of the ideas raised in the paper. At the same, time the writer uses this paragraph to highlight the progress of the ideas being brought forth. It is also important to note, that sometimes the paper does not just answer a question, but it also raises one. Sometimes the development of the paper will lead to questioning some of the aspects of the topic in discussion. These are questions that have not been answered by the paper at hand and require further scrutiny. They are questions, which are out of the scope of the paper, or the writer in this case did not have the right resources to establish the answers to the questions raised. Other than the questions that may come up, generally the conclusion does not just restate the thesis statement, but also shows the significance of the synthesis of the information.

expository essay tips

Sample of an expository essay draft on “Managing allergies” topic:

  • Managing allergies.
  • What are allergies?
  • What are the symptoms?
  • How to avoid the allergens?
  • How to treat the symptoms?
  • Medicine.
  • Other forms of treatment.
  • When to see a health professional?


When presenting information on an expository essay, most of the ideas in the paper will be from other sources. This is relative to the fact that the writer will have to use supportive evidence in their paper. It is crucial that the writer references the works from other writers. Further building on the credibility of the writer academically, as they give credit to the rest of the writers that have also discussed the topic in the past. Some of the ways that the writer can reference other people’s work are Modern Language Association (MLA) and American Psychological Association (APA). The MLA style of referencing requires the writer to edit their references with the following aspects included in order; author, title of the source, title of the container, other contributors, version, number, publisher, publication date and the location. When referencing a book in MLA this is a good example of how references should look like.

Kezia, John. Skills for College Writers: From Expository Essays to Research Papers. Paramus, N.J: Homa&Sekey Books, 2007. Print.

In the case of the APA referencing, the writer has to include the contributors’ name, the last date that the material was edited, title of the resource and where it was retrieved from. In the example given earlier, the APA referencing format would take on the following arrangement and order;

Kezia, J. (2007). Skills for college writers: From expository essays to research papers. Paramus, N.J: Homa&Sekey Books.

Where the material in question is from the internet, the following example would follow;

Popely, R. (2016). Are Manual Transmissions Cheaper to Repair and Maintain Than Automatics? Retrieved 23 December 2016, from

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