Expository Essay

You may have heard the term thrown around often, but what exactly is this type of assignment? When you’re writing this sort of essay, it draws on more than just simply describing things as they are – there is much more to do here. The main purpose of these types of essays is to investigate a certain idea as best as you can. Unlike description, you will have to use evaluative methods in order to expand on ideas. An argument has to be proposed for or against a certain topic and you need to make this convincing to the reader. It isn’t called expository for anything – this is all about arguing your case and making this clear to the audience that’s reading. It is widely known that this type of assignment is extremely common within classroom environments, so it is good that you’re reading this article and try to get help for yourself because we're going to take you through everything you need to know in order to get top marks in your essay.

Types Of Essay

In order to get a bit more understanding, you can most commonly choose one of five different types of main expository essay. Let’s take a look at them.

  1. The process essay is much like a how-to argument. You’re going to be talking through how to approach something. It can be anything, but trying to find something that really resonates with you, not just something banal like how to open a packet of peanuts. Your essay is your time to shine, so really talk about something that is true to your heart.
  2. When you’re writing a descriptive essay, you will be describing something to the audience. You could look at different situations, places, experiences et cetera – the choices are endless. Here it is quite an exciting essay type to choose because of the freedom that you have to write about almost anything you want.
  3. Comparison essays are one is where your critically approaching more than one subject. As the name suggests, comparisons are made, i.e. differences and similarities. This is the place where you will want to analyse and go beyond the baseline comparisons that everyone can see straight away. Dive deep and really get into your topic.
  4. Problem/solution essays are all about what the name suggests. You need to present a problem for your reader. After that, you will want to explain solutions and you can use evaluative methods to weigh up potential solutions. What solution is better than another and why? There is much that you can explore and clarify with a problem/solution essay.
  5. Cause and effect essays are related to what creates something and how that something has an impact. When you’re thinking about impact, you can assess things and be evaluative in your approach.

Structure

Let’s start with the structure and see how to go about writing such a piece because it is very important to have an easy flow to your work.

Starting this type of essay is all about defining your point. Within the introduction of your work, you will want to create a clear statement, better known as a thesis statement. So what exactly is this and why should it matter? This thesis statement will serve as the one true message and you will have to revert back to it throughout your work. The reader needs to be convinced of your ideas and your statement will serve as a sort of blueprint to draw the reader back in and hone in on your main points. Other then this statement, the introduction should be very concise and clearly written because you don't want your points to be misunderstood. A solid argument is based on a solid foundation, laid down with a great introduction.

After your introduction and your incredible thesis statement, you want to move onto the body of the essay. All too often there is confusion on how to best structure the body, but it is actually a lot easier to break down then you think. The key is to create an easy flow and content which is easy to read. A great way of doing this is to introduce only one key idea within each paragraph – any more and you’ll run the risk of confusing your reader and not letting ideas flow smoothly. It is rather like changing gears in a car, i.e. you would want a smooth transition between ideas just like you would want to make in your vehicle. The best way to do this is to stick to the idea of one concept per paragraph.

Last but not least, the reader needs to be taken back to the thesis statement in the conclusion. This is absolutely not the place to introduce any new ideas into the mix, because this needs to function much as an executive summary would. The conclusion is a place to summarise in a concise manner, so don’t even think about discussing anything you haven’t talked about before. Really hone in on your arguments within this section as this is the place to do it within the essay.

Evidence

The fact that you want to provide clarity on the topic within an expository essay is exactly why you’ll want to get the best evidence you can. Please do not neglect the value of evidence in order to support and substantiate any claims that you make. Insufficient evidence could result in your ideas being labelled as pure speculation rather than being recognised as solid ideas, which could result in a lot of marks lost. When you’re looking for evidence, turn to publications and books that are recognised. Peer-reviewed journals and articles are the best source of evidence to turn to, rather than magazine articles or Internet quotes that may be written by any old person who has no clue what they’re talking about.

Don’t forget also to be creative. Just because you are dealing with facts and evidence, doesn’t mean that you can neglect the art form of writing. Of course you’re not looking to craft the next greatest novel or Shakespearean sonnet, however, you will want your writing to be presentable. Take this advice to heart.

How Can You Approach This Essay?

A lot of people wonder about how to approach writing such an essay, so it’s good to think about this as if you were trying to have an argument or debate with a friend or classmate. If you were to imagine approaching a situation where you were arguing with your friend about something controversial, how would you go about doing it? You would need to have your point and have something to talk about, but most importantly you need to have logic and evidence to back things up. Your argument should be logical and coherent within your expository essay.

Amongst essay writers and academics, one of the most common and industry-standard methods is to use the five-paragraph approach. This is by no means an absolute formula into writing an essay, but it is a great way of writing when you’re not sure. The five-paragraph approach can be summed up as follows: your introduction, three body paragraphs and your conclusion. It’s as simple as that!

Wrap Up

We sincerely hope that with the information we’ve provided, you’ll be well on your way to writing the best expository essay that you can. Remember to choose a subject that is interesting to – don’t just go for the popular pick that everybody else is looking at and don’t just go for something which is easy and an easy win. Your essay is the time to write about something that you are really interested in, so pick a topic which you will find enjoyable. By doing this, you will really want to write your essay and it will be a pleasure to read.

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