What Is The Structure of An Expository Essay

October 22, 2022 F WP
structure of expository essay

What Is The Structure of An Expository Essay

Table of Contents

The Need For Organized Information

One of the main purposes behind writing is to inform the readers by imparting information. Writers keep the structure and cohesion among the different sections of the whole in mind when they are writing an essay. This is because this provides a solid foundation for readers to follow the content through and understand its true nature.

That’s why we have always seen instructors stressing over the mechanics of writing, including formatting, content flow, and most importantly, structure.

This blog post is dedicated to helping students understand the structure of an expository essay.

Expository Essay Writing – Brass Tacks

There are many ways to define or describe an expository essay. It is the type of essay writing where all the information is conveyed objectively and backed by evidence. Or, it is the form of writing that is devoid of any emotion or sentiment. Still, something is missing from the core.

In a nutshell, an expository essay is a form of essay writing where only tried and tested facts get a place. There is no need for the writer to showcase his personal opinions or even use opinionated, highly charged language. Objectivity and unbiased content are the hallmarks of expository essay writing. 

The typical format of these essays is just the same as descriptive and narrative essays, with clearly defined sections, including an opening, the main boy, and a closing.

Purpose of Expository Essay Writing

The primary motive behind writing an expository essay, or any form of expository writing, is to convey the information to the reader factually and objectively. Writers stay away from flowery prose and adorned writing so that there is no ambiguity or room for interpretation in what they have already said. That’s why common examples of expository writing include manual, and how-to articles as well. 

The purpose of constructing an objective and unbiased essay is to help readers achieve a goal. For instance, if a reader opens a manual to repair an engine, it should deal with the problem based on clear and tested information. The writer cannot share his opinion because it will affect the integrity of the text and the value behind the content.

The Structure of An Expository Essay

Among all the types of essays, expository essays need a cohesive structure. The reason is that the contents of the essay are based on facts that are further elucidated by the evidence. Compared to this, other essay types can go in the opposite direction of the structure, such as narrative essays written in non-chronological narratives or told through an unreliable narrator. 

That’s the reason we have dedicated a whole blog to the structure and formatting of an expository essay so that students can learn the ins and outs before actually trying their hands-on writing.

Opening With A Hook & A Thesis Statement

The opening of an essay is the first connection with the readers. That’s why it should be meticulously thought out and carefully composed. Writers often use literary devices and tactics to grab the readers’ attention. They are called hooks. These hooks can be statistics that can directly connect with the contents of the essay. It can be a direct question posed by the writer to the readers. It can also be a quotation from a reference that is well-known and understood by the readers. After setting up the stage, the introduction is usually finished with a thesis statement. A thesis statement is the summary of the topic and its implications for the writer. It foreshadows the contents of the main body and ties both sections together.

Main Body Paragraphs Explain & Evaluate

When it comes to the meat and bones of the expository essays, the main body of the content takes the cake. Out of five total paragraphs, three are allocated to the main body because of its unique requirements. This is the place where writers can explain and indulge in spilling information from several yet credible sources. In each of the three paragraphs, a writer can present a point and elucidate it with evidence and explanation. It is necessary to limit the point to one paragraph. If a need arises, the writer can split the paragraphs further and form four or five out of three. The idea here is to keep the flow of the content without limiting the scope by struggling with rigid structures.

Conclusion To Tie The Loose Ends

Many students dread the idea of opening an essay whereas closing one is a more difficult task. The introduction has its importance but the conclusion is something that readers read at the end of the essay and probably remember the most. That’s the reason why writers should give everything they have toward honing the closing of the essay. As for the contents of this section, it summarizes the main points and discussion of the essay in a compact manner. Many experts argue that the conclusion in an exclusion essay should be a miniature of the main body. Its contents should be self-sufficient and stand alone on their own. Even though this standard may seem extreme, it is not devoid of its own merits. After all, the idea here is to write the best essay.

Professional Tips To Write Great Expository Essays

Merely sharing the brass tacks is not enough for students who are still learning their ways of writing. They always need something more, something practical, that can help them jump-start the process. Since there is no shortcut to writing a good piece, tips and hacks can help them work around several pitfalls. In this section, we are sharing some of the best tips for writing winning expository essays for school and college. Students should take it as advice and not a definitive guide because the application for a tip can change with the case.

Using Objective Language

Objective language is the most important aspect of expository writing, just like figurative language is the part and parcel of descriptive writing. Writers need to be very careful in composing their sentences and paragraphs, especially the opening, closing, and thesis statements. Everything should be unbiased and align with the main idea. Many novice writers make the mistake of leaving opinions in the conclusion which is not ideal for expository essays. So, that should be kept in mind while writing and editing an expository essay.

Providing Evidence From Credible Sources

A piece of evidence or reference is as credible as the source it came from. An expository essay is the epitome of objective writing as everything is backed by solid arguments, pieces of evidence, and explanations. Since there is no room for subjectivity, the sources of the extracted references should be reliable. Students should conduct all the research and collect necessary information from credible sources before the writing phase. This will save them time and keep them on the right course.

Adhering to The Topic & Thesis Statement

A topic is a specific niche that the writer intends to explore in an essay. A thesis statement, however, is the distillation of the writer’s take on the subject concerning cause and effect, process, and compare and contrast methods. We have seen that many writers take detours and run astray while writing on a specific topic. This can jeopardize the whole process of writing an expository essay as it should be true to the subject. If students want to earn good scores, this is the tip to write by.


An expository essay is filled with necessary information presented objectively and factually. The understanding of the essay is crucial for the reader because he may have the practical need for it. That’s why writers need to adhere to a uniform structure while writing an expository essay.

The best way to write a good expository essay in a short period is by dividing the task into several parts. Start with research and outlining and then move on to the writing phase. Then, let the manuscript rest for a while and then take it on with a new perspective to proofread and edit.

An expository essay has no place for emotions or sentiments. It is a write-up that is based on hard and fast rules with no biases and subjectivity to create ambiguity. That’s the reason writers should be objective while writing an expository essay. They cannot even use opinionated or charged language. 

The standard essay structure remains the same for all essay types. It has three distinct sections with different purposes. The introduction is about opening to provide the context and lead to the thesis statement. The main body makes up the bulk of the essay with postulates and pieces of evidence. The conclusion ties all the loose ends by summarizing major developments.

It is best to follow the five-paragraph rule when it comes to essay writing. It is because it provides the necessary structure and heading to the readers and writers. However, for the sake of expository essays, writers can alter the structure to accommodate their information in a better way.

An expository essay is about imparting objective and factual information to the readers in an unbiased tone and rational voice. Since writers rely on other sources to provide evidence for the points raised in the essay, those sources should be credible and widely accepted across the industry. Otherwise, they will be turned down by the instructors as being unreliable.

Summing It Up

There is no denying that expository essays are much harder to research and write compared to other essay types. It is based on empirical evidence with no room for emotions and sentiments. The salient features of expository essays include a structured body, objective and unbiased tone, professional voice, and factual information backed by references from credible sources.

By understanding the structure and values of expository essays, students will learn how to plan and write their essays with ease. This will also help them in writing other essays and write-ups as well.

So, connect to this source whenever you are having problems understanding the structure and applying the theory to practice!

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