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How to Write a Successful Expository Essay?

The main aim of writing an expository essay is to provide logical explanations on the chosen or assigned topic. This type of essay should include a thorough analysis and valid arguments to support your main points. When you need to write an expository essay, you should keep in mind that providing your personal opinion on the chosen topic is not a priority task. Most importantly, you should define the main notions and concepts, and provide a clear explanation on the topic you are to investigate. For example, you might have such task, “Write an essay explaining how technologies have affected communication.” Pay attention that you are not asked to provide your personal viewpoint on the change in communication or argue on the advantages and disadvantages. You just have to explain in detail HOW technologies have changed the way people communicate.

Five Steps of Writing an Expository Essay

Even though expository papers are a common type of writing, it can be rather challenging for one to provide an effective essay. Still, when adhering to the detailed instructions and writing what is asked from you, you will definitely learn how to write a successful essay.

Structure of the Expository Essay

As a rule, this paper should have five paragraphs: an introduction, the main body (usually three paragraphs), and a conclusion. The introduction is aimed to introduce the main topic of the paper (or the main idea the paper conveys). Usually, a thesis statement is provided at the end of the introductory paragraph. The body comprises paragraphs that deal with the essay question and develop the idea expressed in the thesis. A conclusion summarizes the key aspects discussed in the paper and restates the thesis statement (but in other words).

The following is a detailed description of the main steps towards writing a successful expository essay:

Prewriting stage

Before starting writing, you should analyze the subject in detail and come up with the main aspect you want to focus on. Besides, it might as well be needed to conduct thorough research on the chosen or assigned topic. Thus, it is advisable to jot down the most important facts and note all aspects that might be helpful in examining the subject. When you have gathered enough information, go on with preparing an outline. It has to be properly organized: you should include all points that you want to discuss in every body paragraph. Remember to develop the paragraphs in a logical manner.

Getting ready with the draft

When providing a draft, follow such guidelines:

  • The most essential constituent of the introduction is the topic sentence as it presents the central argument. The thesis, in its turn, should be a strong, well-developed, and coherent statement, which will be developed and supported throughout the following body paragraphs. Besides, the thesis statement should be written in such a way that it does not impose a certain opinion on the readers regarding the topic.
  • Each body paragraph should be devoted to a separate idea, which should, in its turn, be directly related to the thesis statement. The body paragraphs should be developed well enough to fully cover the topic.
  • The conclusive paragraph should restate the thesis statement and provide a summary of the key ideas explored in the paper. Make sure you do not introduce any new aspects of the topic.
  • All in all, the main task of an expository essay is to analyze the topic and not reflect on it or relate to the writer’s own experience. Thus, do not use 1st or 2nd person in the paper (“I,” “we,” and “you”) but write in the 3rd person (“he,” “she,” “it”).

Revising the written text

Revision stage is aimed at improving the paper and making the necessary changes if necessary. Revision helps to look at the paper with a fresh eye and thus notice some flaws, mistakes or misprints. Very often, revision helps to organize the paper in a more logical way. So, to make sure you get an A for your paper, please take the following questions into account:

  • Does the paper provide an unbiased and thorough analysis of the topic?
  • Do you provide enough examples and facts to support the topic?
  • Is the information presented easy to comprehend?
  • Is there any information that might confuse the reader or distort the message you aim to convey? If yes, please get rid of it.
  • Are the body paragraphs structured in a logical way?
  • Have you provided transitions between body paragraphs?
  • Have you explained the importance of the thesis statement in the conclusion?
  • Is the paper accurate enough? If not, please look through the thesis statement and topic sentences once more. These constituents are a guarantee of successful writing.


Before submitting the paper, make sure to proofread and edit it. Do not merely rely on software checkers – proofread the paper attentively and look for all possible spelling, grammar or punctuation mistakes. Pay special attention to the writing tone and style. Make sure it is not only comprehensible but also interesting and appealing for the reader’s eye. You may as well ask your friend or relative to look through it and tell you his/ her opinion about the writing.

Submitting the paper

You might get equally anxious and excited before presenting your paper for the public. Be attentive when the professor makes some comments – try to grasp them all in order to avoid the same mistakes and flaws in your future papers.

Types of Essays

There is hardly a student who has never written an academic paper. Yes, writing academic papers is one of the most frequent assignments in any educational establishment. When studying, a student has to write numerous types of essays and other academic papers. Check out the following types of writing assignments:

  1. A definition essay focuses on providing a definition for a specific term (either assigned by a professor or of your own choice). You may define concrete and abstract notions alike. Besides, this kind of essay discussed both connotation and denotation of a given word.
  2. The main task of writing a classification essay is to categorize, or classify, some items into groups. First, it is important to cover the general group and then move on to its specific constituents.
  3. Compare and contrast paper explores the subject from the perspective of comparing and contrasting its characteristics with those of other subjects. The amount or number of the compared items can be any. This kind of essay helps define what is similar and what different between the points under discussion.
  4. A process essay gives a thorough explanation of a particular process, i.e. this type of academic writing provides clear directions on how to undergo a specific procedure.
  5. A cause and effect essay demonstrates how the objects under discussion are connected and which impact they have on one other. Therefore, the main task is to establish a link between the analyzed issues and show which of them refers to the “cause” and which the “effect.”

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