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Understanding Expository Essay Writing
Expository essay writing is considered a tough vocation by students, especially when compared to other essay types. It follows a rigid structure, has many types, and does not have room for subjective interpretations of the subject.
In a nutshell, an expository essay provides factual and actionable information to the readers using only facts and figures. The information should be presented in a way that the results can be produced practically. That’s why how-to articles and manuals are a form of expository writing. When it comes to structure and formatting, these essays follow a similar structure. The opening or introduction gets started, the main body makes the bulk with ideas and evidence, and the conclusion summarizes it all.
Ideal Length of An Expository Essay
Students often struggle to make the word count for their expository essays. Some do not even know the ideal length for an expository essay in schools and colleges. The ideal length for an expository essay can be determined by going through the sections. The introduction and the conclusion parts are one paragraph each. By allocating 200 to 250 words to each of the paragraphs, the word count will be around 400 to 500. The main body covers three paragraphs and makes around 600 to 750 on average. According to these standards, students can understand that the ideal length is somewhere around 1000 to 1200 words. This is still an estimation and the word count of an individual essay can vary according to the scope and reach of the topic.
What Makes Expository Essays Different From Other Essays
Students write different types of essays in academic institutions. Many of these essays share traits with their counterparts but they are different in their own right. The best way to understand an essay is to learn the thing about them that can differentiate them from others. Narrative essays are known for the story and sequences of events. Descriptive essays are recognized by the description of the subject. When it comes to expository essays, they are known for their factual and stern approach to the subject. There are no adornments in language and expression. Writers need to employ a neutral voice and tone to present the facts and ensure that readers understand the theme or the central idea of the essay.
A Simple Guide To Compose An Expository Essay
When it comes to learning and understanding anything related to writing, merely learning and understanding is not enough. It is necessary to put the theory into practice and identify its strengths and weaknesses. In this section, we will share a simple guide for novice writers and students who struggle to get started or to finish. The demands of their specific essays may be different but this guide will serve its purpose to all.
Hallmarks of An Expository Essay
To write good expository essays, writers need to understand the characteristics that make this kind of essay unique and different from others. Where narrative essays are distinguished by their stories and descriptive essays by their figurative language and sensory experience, expository essays have their share of characteristics.
This section will help students to learn the hallmarks of expository essays so that they can incorporate them into their writing.
Detached, Objective Approach
Writers have almost nothing to show when it comes to their writing style and technique. It is because the premise of expository writing is about presenting facts and figures in an objective and detached way. There is no room for emotions and sentimentality because they would affect the actionable nature of the content. This is one of the most important things that these essays must carry. Otherwise, it will not be an expository essay.
Neutral Language & Tone
Language plays an important role in the overall character and looks of the essay. When it comes to academic writing, only narrative and descriptive essays can have the liberty to go the subjective route. The language can be charged and suggestive. However, expository essays use neutral language and tone to ensure that everything is unambiguous. Many students provide opinions in the conclusion which denatures the essay. It is best to keep it neutral and objective.
Essays follow a rigid structure to provide the information tangibly and cohesively. This is true for all kinds of essays but truer for these types of essays. Expository essays have different types, but each one can benefit a lot from organized information because it makes it easier for the readers to follow. Writers can structure information based on the scope and length of the essay but it should have predictable conclusions.
Expository essays have different types based on the subject matter and the angle a writer wants to explore. Following are the types of expository essays:
- Definition essays
- Classification essays
- Process essays
- Problem and solution essays
- Cause and effect essays
- Compare and contrast essays
This is true for argumentative or persuasive essays because students need to carry a single argument and provide supporting evidence for it. In expository essays, there can be more than one argument carried throughout the essay in the main body.
The three main sections of an expository essay are as follows:
- Introduction/ opening (1 paragraph)
- Main body (3 paragraphs)
- Conclusion (1 paragraph)
Usually, instructors do not mention the type of expository essay they need to write. It is at their discretion to choose the essay type that covers the premise. We have covered the types of essays in another question and a whole blog post to discuss their features.
The following tips will help students secure maximum scores in expository essays:
- Researching and outlining at the same time
- Coming up with a thesis statement
- Introducing the premise in the opening
- Covering main arguments in the main body
- Concluding by highlighting the main points again
The conclusion should wrap up the discussion without adding to it. Many students make the mistake of adding to the original argument of the main body. An ideal conclusion reiterates the premises without adding to them and closing on a high note.
Summing Up The Discussion
Writing an expository essay is hard. Compared to other essay types, it is more difficult and requires in-depth research and references to even get started. In this post, we have covered different bases for the students so that they can understand and improve their writing. A simple guide has divided the whole process of conceiving the idea and writing the essay into six simple steps. We have also shared the hallmarks of expository essays that help writers and readers recognize the essay.
So, if you want to score the highest marks in expository essay writing, this is the best place to start!