How to Write an Expository Essay
Before learning how to write expository essays, it is first important to understand the meaning of the term ‘expository’. Expository literally means ‘to expose’ or explain. Hence, students learning how to write expository essays should aim to provide detailed information by explaining a particular topic or theme comprehensively. The development of a thesis is one of the primary aspects for writing an expository essay, which will in turn need to be supported by effective evidence in the form of arguments, data and information from credible resources. Where possible, students should also use statistics and examples for supporting the main thesis of their expository essay.
Objectivity is an essential quality, which students will need to develop when learning how to write expository essays. Personal opinion, bias and prejudice leads to subjectivity which in turn leads to a weak argument or thesis in expository essay writing. Sentimentality and emotion should be the first thing which should be completely avoided when learning how to write expository essays and all claims should be objectively stated with evidence from credible and authentic sources. Students should not use I statements and the expository essay should be written in the third person.
One of the very first steps for learning how to write an expository essay is the development of a thesis or a main theme on which the essay will be based. It is extremely important to brainstorm your ideas and write the down so that you can systematically develop them later during the course of writing your expository essay. Some important steps which will help you learn how to write an expository essay are:
- Brainstorm and write all your original ideas – this is the primary stage in which you will write down all that comes to your mind. Your expository essay writing process begins here.
- Create an outline – begin with creating a skeleton outline, bulleted or numbered. You can initially write only main headings and later add subheadings during the course of writing your expository essay.
- Devise a thesis statement – The thesis statement is the road map of your expository essay and will clearly indicate what the theme of your essay will be. One of the first things you will need to learn when learning how to write an expository essay is the creation of an effective thesis statement which will state the purpose and rationale for writing the expository essay. Generally the final statement of your introductory paragraph, the thesis statement guides the entire essay and should be interesting and captivating enough to attract the reader’s attention.
- Put your thoughts in order under suitable headings in the outline – your expository essay should have an introduction with a thesis statement, main body paragraphs with topic sentences and a conclusion followed by a reference/bibliography page.
- Research and study – take notes. This is an important exercise for students when learning how to write expository essays. The research will be based on the thesis statement and all information should be in support of it.
- Begin writing, revise and edit several times – when learning how to write expository essays, students should pay attention to relating the claims and information to the main thesis of the essay. All the topic sentences of the main body paragraphs should relate to the thesis and must be clearly explained. Generally 3, 6 or 9 paragraphs long, the main body of the essay should be used to effectively explain the theme and supported with suitable references and resources. The conclusion of the expository essay should reiterate the thesis statement and all the main ideas presented in the essay. There should never be any new topic of statement in the conclusion which should only be a summation of the entire essay in w rational and logical manner.