Expository Essay Writing-Step by Step Guide

expository essay

An expository essay is one of the major types of essay writing. In an expository essay, the writer communicates factual information. These essays ‘expose’ information on a certain topic.

Different types of essays deal with the topics differently. An expository essay exposes a certain event, concept, or subject. It is different from argumentative and persuasive essays as it is solely based on explaining a specific thing.

This makes these essays different and factual in nature. It relies on different kinds of structures that will be discussed in the blog here.

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What is an Expository Essay?

As per the expository essay definition, it is an academic essay type that discusses the topic in great detail. Expository essays elucidate the topic by communicating facts and observations in a structured manner.

It provides all the details to the reader regarding the topic. It involves topic investigation and evaluation of evidence to clarify and explain the topic effectively.

What is the purpose of expository writing?

The main and foremost purpose of expository writing or an expository essay is to educate and inform the readers. Besides, it also entertains and persuades the audience. A well-written expository essay will demonstrate the writer’s ability to explain something in detail.

Features of an Expository Essay

Following are the features of an expository essay:

  • Description and Explanation - An expository essay provides a comprehensive description and explanation of the topic

  • Information - One of the primary purposes of writing an expository essay is to provide relevant information about the topic.

  • Clarification - An expository essay makes the writer clearly present what they want to say. A good expository essay would have no vague statements and would provide clear and factual knowledge of the topic.

  • Organization - An expository essay provides an organized presentation of knowledge and information about the topic.

  • Neutrality - Expository essays present an unbiased exposition of information to the reader.

How is an Expository Essay Different from a Persuasive Essay?

Here are the key differences between expository and persuasive essays;

Expository Essay Persuasive Essay
A detailed and comprehensive explanation of the topic. Discussion and explanation of the topic on the basis of the writer’s point of view.
Aimed to provide detailed factual information about the topic Persuasive essays are written to pursue the writer’s stance on the topic.
An expository essay is written in first-person pronoun. A persuasive essay is written in the third person pronoun.

They are different from descriptive essays and they are different from argumentative essays. A good expository essay requires in-depth analysis and explanation of a respective topic.

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Types of Expository Essay

Following are the six major types of expository essays:

  • Compare and contrast essay: This type of expository essay involves comparison. It compares and contrasts two entities.

  • Cause and effect essay: In this essay type, causes and effects of a certain phenomenon, issue, or incident have been discussed.

  • Process essay: In the process essay, the writer exposes the procedure to perform a task.

  • Problem and solution essay: In this type of expository essay the writer discusses a problem and suggests possible solutions.

  • Classification essay: Classification essays divide the topic into different categories by using a single categorization technique.

  • Definition essay: This essay clearly defines and explains the meaning of the topic and provides topic-specific information. These essays are usually written to develop a clear understanding of the topic.

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Expository Essay Format

The format of an expository essay does not differ much from other essay formats. It also has one introduction paragraph with a thesis statement.

Following the introduction, there are 3 to 5 body paragraphs discussing different categories of the topic and a concluding paragraph.

Following is a format of a typical 5 paragraph expository essay.

Introduction Paragraph

  • An engaging Hook Statement.
  • Quick overview of the topic’s background.
  • A thought-provoking thesis statement.

Body Paragraphs

  • First body paragraph explaining the first key point with evidence.
  • Second body paragraph describing the second key point with evidence.
  • Third body paragraph elucidates the third key point with evidence.


  • Restatement of a thesis statement.
  • Summarization of key points.
  • Significance of topic being discussed.

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How to Write an Expository Essay?

Following is a step-by-step explanation of the writing process of an expository essay.

  1. 1. Good Topic Choice

    Making a topic choice is one of the first and most crucial points in writing an expository. Choose a topic that is captivating enough to convince the reader to read about it. Putting your efforts on dull, boring, and typical topics won’t be of any use.

  2. 2. Create a Well-Structured Outline

    A well-formulated essay outline will help you structure your information in a more organized manner. It will improve the coherency and chronological order of your essay.

  3. 3. Write an Engaging Introduction

    The introduction of an essay can be a turning point for your essay. Most of the time, after reading the introduction the readers decide whether they want to read the whole essay or not.

    If you want your reader to read your whole essay, make sure the introduction of your essay is captivating enough.

    Starting your introduction with an interesting unknown fact would be a good way to kick start your introduction.

    A good introduction will contain a captivating hook statement, brief topic background, and a logical and effective thesis statement.

  4. 4. Structure the Body Paragraphs

    An expository essay is a paragraph essay. Well-structured body paragraphs can help you effectively communicate your point. Body paragraphs are written to explain the subject matter with evidence.

    Every paragraph in the body of the essay explains the separate point of the topic. An ideal body paragraph starts with a topic sentence.

    Then there is a brief explanation of the point. Then there is evidence supporting the writer’s stance on the topic. Finally, the paragraph ends with transition words that connect the paragraphs.

  5. 5. Write an Appealing Conclusion

    A strong conclusion can help you make your writing more impactful. The conclusion starts with the restatement of the thesis statement.

    After thesis restatement, the conclusion summarizes key points being discussed in the essay. To engage your reader, end your conclusion with a call to action or an interesting relevant question.

  6. 6. Give a Thorough Revision to Your Essay

    Revise your essay thoroughly. This will not only refine your essay but will also save you from embarrassing mistakes e.g. incorrect spellings, wrong grammar, or misplaced punctuation.

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Expository Essay Topics

Following are some creative and interesting expository essay topics for your essay assignment.

  • Effects of diversity on Social Integration.
  • Why do people have different pet choices?
  • Explain the impacts of education on quality of life.
  • Explain why fantasy books are becoming top sellers.
  • Explain and discuss the concept of smart consumers
  • Explain how the interior impacts the moods.
  • Explain different parenting styles.
  • Explain the reasons for rising drug addiction in teens.
  • Explain and suggest the ways to stop drug dealing.
  • Explain how productive leisure activities can increase productivity.

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Expository Essay Examples

Following are some good expository essay examples. These samples will help you improve your understanding of writing an expository essay.

Expository Essay Sample (PDF)

Expository Essay Sample

Expository Essay on COVID-19 (PDF)

Expository Essay on COVID-19

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