Tips for writing an expository essay

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Have you ever had to expound a complex or technical topic? You may rack your brain on how to present your work after being given such a task. What would be the best type of essay most suitable for this need?  There are many types of essays but the expository would suite such an assignment best. It is aimed at proving an argument or reinforcing a writer’s point of view on a subject.

An expository essay is systematic and logical. It requires a student to research an idea, assess the evidence, discuss the main idea, and make a clear argument on the issues at hand. Expository writing is an invaluable skill in different fields such as business, journalism, and science. Here are a few tips to become an expert in expository essay writing.

Pick out an essay structure

You first need to identify an essay structure for your expository essay. Expository essays generally consist of five paragraphs: the introduction, three paragraphs, and the conclusion. This should lead to a standard essay of 500-800 words.

The introduction should captivate the attention of the reader and make them interested in your essay. The thesis statement should also be included in the introduction stating your position in the argument.

Make an outline

You may need to make some relevant notes to your subject as you perform some research on your expository essay. Once you are done brainstorming, create a basic outline for your essay. An expository essay outline details what information you plan to include in each of your body paragraphs.

Remember to write in third person point of view and not state your personal opinions in your essay. You may, however, write the essay in the first or second person while narrating personal experiences.

Lay emphasis on clarity

An expository essay requires clear and coherent language that your audience will understand. Do not use jargons or figurative language in your essay. Your readers may not recognize such terms.

If you need to define the terms for your readers, do so before diving into complex details. Your readers need to have a clear understanding of what they are reading for the intended information to be passed on to them.

Write the thesis statement

The thesis statement is the most significant part of any essay. It is a summary of your main argument. Consider the assignment details and requirements while coming up with a thesis statement. Writing an effective thesis statement has a huge impact on making your essay interesting.

Create a great introduction

The introduction is where you place your thesis statement. Your thesis statement needs to be accompanied by a striking introduction that holds the reader’s attention.

The introduction should draw the readers and give them a feeling of what to expect in the essay. In case you are stuck, you may review some well-written introductory paragraphs and draw some tips.

Write the body paragraphs

The body comprises of the largest part of your essay. As you take into account the thesis statement and write your paragraph’s topic sentence, remember to introduce only one idea per paragraph. Think of the analogy of an arc. Your paragraphs must warm up the argument, reach a climax, and cool down the argument with a resolution.

Select a few strong ideas to be the backbone of your paragraphs. Each paragraph should answer this question, “Does this paragraph support my thesis statement?” Take the thesis statement into account while writing the arguments of your paragraph.

Transitioning between paragraphs

As you move from one paragraph to another, your essay should have a smooth flow by the use of transition words and sentences. Examples of transition words include furthermore, however, besides, another, finally, similarly, etc.

Your transition words should be coherent to ensure your essay remains logical. Your audience must be able to follow your train of thought without losing you.

Add support information

Any expository essay worth reading has statistics and facts that back up the arguments of the writer. Include case studies and previous research from authorities in your topic of study within your expository essay.

Ensure all the data you enter to support your arguments is relevant to your topic. Remember to cite your sources. You may need to write a literature review for long essays with complex topic.

The conclusion

Your conclusion should not just repeat your thesis statement. It should comprise a concise summary of your arguments. A strong conclusion should restate your argument, summarize the facts, and suggest a way forward for your research.

The conclusion is your last chance to help your audience understand your point of view on the subject matter. Consider leaving your audience with a call to action or rhetorical question.

Proofread your work

The first task of proofreading your work is ensuring your thesis statement has been supported or refuted by the arguments in your paragraph. Ensure all the information presented is unbiased and all the arguments are logical. Finally, correct your grammatical errors and fix poor word choices.

In a nutshell

An expository essay allows a clear explanation of a complex subject/issue. Writing an expository essay requires a writer to explain technical topics creatively.

The structure of the essay and writing formats go into the making of a great essay. In case you are stuck while writing your expository essay assignment, follow the tips above and get down to writing.

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