How to Write an Expository Essay

An expository essay is considered one of the most systematic essay types. It requires writers to explore an idea, elaborate it, evaluate the evidence, and express their arguments. The aim is to explain the facts. Generally, an expository essay is written to explain to readers what something is or how it works. 

The word expository is obtained from exposition, which is a noun of the word expose, which means to uncover something. An expository essay illustrates something in a manner that it becomes clear for readers. 

In this post, we will learn some tips to write an impressive expository essay, but before that, let’s take a quick look at different types of expository essays.

Types of Expository Essay 

The expository essay is categorized into the following five types. 

  • Descriptive Essay: This type of essay explains something, some experience, or some situation through sensory information. 
  • Process Essay: As the name indicates, a process essay shows the process of doing something.  
  • Comparison Essay: A comparison essay makes contrasts and comparisons between two things.
  • Effect/Cause Essay: This essay finds out the reasons and consequences of something. 
  • Problem/Solution Essay: This essay shows a problem and its solutions.


Structure of an Expository Essay

A five-paragraph approach is an ideal approach for an expository essay. It works out to be somewhere between 500 to 1000 words. This approach should look like this:

  • Introduction
  • Paragraph 1
  • Paragraph 2
  • Paragraph 3
  • Conclusion 


This is the first section of your expository essay, where you engagingly introduce your topic. Place your thesis statement summarizing what your essay is about. If you’re given an assignment, you should stick to its guidelines.


In the body section, you need to add all three paragraphs with smooth transitions. Transitions are a thread that combines the entire essay together

Limit each paragraph to one general idea. You can think of it as a path that your essay needs to follow. You need to choose three strong ideas in three paragraphs and use them to reach the final thoughts. Raise an intense climax and end it with a resolution. Don’t forget that your final thought must go back to or recall your thesis statement.


In the conclusion section, summarize all your main arguments with clarity. If your main points are already harkening back to your thesis, there is no need to restate them. You can end your essay with a rhetorical question.

Now you know the structure, let’s learn some tips to write a winning expository essay.


Tips to Write an Expository Essay

Use Clear and Concise Wording

Since the aim of expository writing is to explain a subject logically and straightforwardly, don’t confuse your readers with wordy and complicated sentences. If you are assigned a complex topic, define it before you dive into other details. Be clear about your meaning. Go for words, which accurately express your thoughts. It is advisable to write your thesis statement as per the guidelines set for the assignment. 

Use 3rd Person Pronouns

While first-person such as “I” or “me” or a second person like “you” is acceptable, you should try to stick to third-person pronouns. Writing in 3rd person gives you more flexibility and objectivity.

Note: If an assignment guideline wants you to describe a personal experience, use first-person pronouns.

Each Paragraph Should Cover Only a Single Topic

Make sure each body paragraph focuses on one topic and present one main idea. It will help you bring more clarity throughout the essay. Also, make sure all sections have logical transitions. Remember, without a logical progression; it will be difficult for readers to follow your argument. Make sure each paragraph has the same logical connection to the thesis statement.

Arrange your Arguments Accordingly

While this is a topic of debate, most academics prefer to make the most vital point in the beginning as it helps you get the audience on your side for the rest of the essay.  

Use of Transition Words 

To connect all your paragraphs smoothly, use transition sentences or words. You may connect your sentences with words like “such as”, “however”, “similarly”, “likewise”, “for example”, “likewise”, etc.

Evidence Support

Citing your sources is quite essential when writing an expository essay. Remember, a successful expository is logical and factual, not subjective. Provide evidence support for your statements carefully and make it easier for readers to see the facts. Evidence helps you strengthen your thesis and assertion you make related to it. 


Generally, creativity is not associated with essay writing, but you may use a bit of it. You don’t need to run your imagination wild, but try to leave a lasting impression on your readers. To add decent creativity to your essay, you can do small things. For example, you can write an attention-grabbing opening or mention exciting details about the subject. 

Write a Great Conclusion

A lot of writers struggle to write an impressive conclusion. It is the portion of the essay that should leave the immediate impression on the reader’s mind. Consequently, it should be logical and practical. An ideal conclusion should restate your argument, sum up your facts, and propose the next steps for further discussion.  

You should strictly avoid introducing new information at this point; instead, come to an ending concerning the information you provided in the body.


Editing is something worth paying attention to. Once you have written your essay, make sure to edit it completely. It will help you make your writing more polished. Usually, this process consists of eliminating irrelevant information, adding information, examining your sentence structure, and proofreading.

To make your essay better, you should consider the following when editing.

  • Does your expository essay give an unbiased analysis of the subject and provide relevant facts?
  • Is the information practical and communicated to the reader?
  • Do the transitions help the readers move from one paragraph to another smoothly?
  • Does the conclusion convey the primary idea of the thesis and support it?

You can also use our editing checklist to make sure that you’ve covered everything.

So these are a few tips to write an expository essay. We hope you will find them helpful.


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