How To Write An Expository Essay – A Step-by-Step Guide

October 20, 2022 F WP
expository essay step by step

How To Write An Expository Essay – A Step-by-Step Guide

Table of Contents

Taking A Side & Proving Its Worth

When you write something, there is always a need to prove a point or to illuminate the matter for the readers so that they can conclude it. That’s why being clear and writing with a purpose are the hallmarks of good writing.

In essay writing, narrative and descriptive essays provide much artistic freedom to the writers. They are free to indulge in literary techniques and devices to form a narrative or to describe the subject under consideration. But when it comes to writing an expository essay, it is about taking a side and then proving its worth through facts and empirical evidence.

Expository Essay Writing 101

In a nutshell, expository essay writing is about conveying empirical, factual information to your readers without being opinionated and biased. Whereas other essay types offer subjectivity and biases to help writers compose better stories, expository essays restrict the “character” and thinking of the writer in the text and make it almost scientific.

It is one of the most common types of essay writing that is done in schools and colleges, after narrative and descriptive essays. The rationale behind training students to write expository essays is to help them understand complex ideas and phenomenons and then ask them to prove it through facts and reliable figures.

An expository essay follows the same structure as that other essays. It has an introduction section which, instead of starting with a hook, provides context and leads to the thesis statement of the essay. The main body paragraphs make the case and prove it through evidence. The conclusion summarizes the discussion and reiterates the insights from the main body in a more compact form.

Purpose of Writing An Expository Essay

Most of the time, the essence of writing something can be determined by its purpose At its core, the purpose of writing an expository essay is for the writer to take a stand regarding a conflict or a debate and then academically present the evidence. This is done by different types of expository essays, such as cause and effect essays, compare and contrast essays and process essays.

In schools and colleges, students learn to write expository essays so that they can secure better marks than their peers. In the practical field, they can benefit a lot from learning how to compose exceptional essays to prove their points.

If an expository essay fails to prove the point the writer is trying to make, then the purpose of writing that essay is yet to be fulfilled.

A Simple Guide To Writing Exceptional Essays

Even after getting lectures and classes, students often do not understand the concept of writing an expository essay. They think they have learned it all from the class but whenever they sit down to write, things just do not work out.

In this scenario, a guide can be of great service. That’s why this section is dedicated to providing a simple guide to writing exceptional expository essays for schools and colleges. The guide will walk the writers through the steps of writing and editing a solid expository essay so that they can secure good marks and graduate first class.

Collecting Necessary Information

Narrative and descriptive essays can do when a writer relies even too much on memory and imagination since it is about weaving a story and describing a thing, fictional or otherwise. On the other hand, an expository essay does not enjoy such luxury as it is completely dependent on hard facts and figures. So, the first natural step in writing a good essay is about collecting the necessary information. Mostly, online resources such as books and journals are consulted to collect trustworthy data. That’s why data should be collected only from reliable sources that can stand professional scrutiny.

Outlining The Whole Essay

Many writers prefer to write on instincts. This can add a sense of suspense and thrill in narrative and descriptive essays. But expository essays are different. While writing these essays, students need to be objective and follow the norms to the core. The best way to make sure that students do not get off the straight line to the conclusion is by outlining the whole essay. A detailed outline can stave off writer’s block as well as keep the heading true for the content. That’s why students should work on one before getting started. It will save them a lot of time and frustration.

Opening With A Solid Context

In other essays, the opening is used to hook the readers through different literary devices and techniques, such as quoting an author, posing a direct question, or making an outrageous claim. An expository essay does not have any place for such theatrics. It is concerned with making an objective point backed by hard facts and figures. That’s why the opening of an expository essay should be used to provide the context to the whole debate and then move on to the thesis statement. A thesis statement is a distillation of what the whole essay is about as it explains the stance of the writer in a single or couple of sentences.

Writing Body Paragraphs

When compared to other major sections of the expository essay, the main body has the advantage of a better word count and a place to prove all the points. Mostly, there are three paragraphs designated for the main body of the essay. So, these should be employed in a way where a point is described and then proved through deliberation and empirical evidence. With three paragraphs, a writer can provide three examples or proofs to ensure that readers can understand the point and follow the idea of the writer. The main body should stay true to the thesis statement and the overall central idea of the essay.

Summarizing The Facts In The Conclusion

The conclusion is often overlooked by novice writers as something that does not require much attention and effort. In reality, this is the section that readers will read at the end and will probably remember the most about the essay. The brass tacks of conclusion for an expository essay are about summarizing the facts discussed in the main body. It should be able to stand on its own. Another thing that writers must keep in mind is that they should not make or prove a new point to upset the chain of thoughts. The best conclusions are succinct and memorable.

Proofreading And Editing

No matter how much care and attention a writer puts into his first draft, it will remain the first draft. It means that it will have countless errors and inconsistencies, both syntactical and contextual, and cannot be submitted for evaluation. That’s why after finishing the first draft, it should be set aside for some time and then should be approached with a fresh perspective. That way, novice writers will be able to pick up mistakes and rectify them so that they can submit an error-free essay. Otherwise, it will not be able to fetch good scores.

Practical Tips To Finish Your Expository Essay Faster

We have seen that merely teaching a craft is not enough. Students often need some insights from masters to speed up their process. For the sake of writing expository essays quickly without compromising the quality, here are some of the tips that can help you with your ordeal.

Researching Before Writing

Research is the key, whether you are writing a narrative essay or an expository essay. When it comes to the latter, the importance grows manifolds because you cannot rely on your imagination or memory to conjure up empirical facts and figures. Also, it is best to finish the research before starting to write. Outlining and researching should go hand in hand so that there are discrepancies while writing the first draft.

Finishing First Draft Quickly

There is a common thread that connects novice writers when it comes to writing first drafts. Many of them take too long to write the first drafts. This results in poor cohesion and often the drafts do not touch the finish line. That’s why the best piece of advice a writer can get is to finish the first draft quickly. It does not matter if there are mistakes because they will be there no matter what.

Using Online Tools For Proofing And Editing

Manual editing and proofreading can take a lot of time. In many cases, students even abandon the pursuit of perfection and submit essays with errors and inconsistencies. Instead of sacrificing scores, they can use online tools to speed up the process. Grammarly and Hemingway Editor are the best free tools that can save effort and scores for students, without spending too much time on them.


The main purpose of writing an expository essay is to provide factual, objective information to the readers. It is not adorned with flowery prose and metaphors but with facts and figures to provide clear information. Readers should be able to understand the stance of the writer after going through the essay.

There is no need to start with a hook when it comes to writing an expository essay. The best way to do this is by providing the background information and context of the essay and topic so that readers will be able to understand the thesis statement and the main body better.

Among all the essay types, an expository essay should be concluded, as effectively. It is because it should have key takeaways from the main body that can help readers better understand the discussion and sign off with memorable lines.

A narrative essay is a personal account of an incident or experience that left a deep effect on the writer as well as the chain of events leading to the future. It is adorned with literary devices and figures of speech. On the other side, an expository essay is based on objective information and only provides factual information to the readers. It depends on reliable sources to provide evidence for the thesis.

Following are some of the aspects of essay writing that can help you stand out from the crowd:

  • Choose an attractive topic
  • Do in-depth research
  • Formulate a bold and sufficient thesis statement
  • Write error-free content
  • Proofread and edit before submission

The major sections of an expository essay are as follows:

  • Opening/ Introduction (1 paragraph)
  • Main body (3 paragraphs)
  • Closing/ Conclusion (i paragraph)

This is the same as that of narrative and descriptive essays but its language and format are objective and fact-based rather than subjective and biased.

Mastering Expository Essay Writing

Apart from training, practice, and perseverance, it takes guidance and grit to master the art and science of expository essay writing. Students are often stumped with questions and doubts when they sit down to write winning essays. The solution is not that hard as it requires focusing on research and writing.

This blog was dedicated to teaching students how to write a good expository essay through a step-by-step guide. We have also shared some practical tips to speed up the process but the requirements remain the same. 

So, if you want to score excellent scores in expository essay writing, this is the best place to get started!

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