How to Write an Expository EssayWhat is an Expository Essay?
While expository is just a synonym for information, strict guidelines of the expository essay ensure that the information it contains is clear and concise. An easy way to get off on the right foot in writing an expository essay is to remember that the root of expository is expose. The writer's job is to totally expose the topic in a way that makes the information unmistakably clear to his/her audience.
However, the expository essay is a totally objective composition. Differing from many other types of essay, the writer's job is to explain and inform without offering an opinion or developing an argument. To that end, the expository essay is an impartial analysis of facts and evidence. Further evidence of its impartiality is that the expository essay is always written in the third person.
Know Your Audience
More so than in any other type of essay, when composing an expository essay it's important to write to your audience. Judge how much background information you'll need by asking yourself if your readers are familiar with your topic. It's as important not to "overstate the case" as it is to provide all the relevant information on your topic. In other words, although you want to fully inform your audience, you don't want to patronize your readers by filling your essay with general information.
The goal of an expository essay is provide the reader with a full understanding of a complex process or situation.
The Expository Essay Format
The expository essay follows the standard essay format of Introduction, Body, and Conclusion. Although it is distinctly different from other types of essay, it may use the techniques of compare and contrast, cause and effect, divide and categorize, use examples, statistics and or definitions in order to meet its goal.
The expository essay introduction is a statement of the essay's thesis and the sub-topics that will be developed within the essay body. The expository essay is generally a short composition that attempts to completely cover a narrow topic. To achieve this objective, the essay thesis needs to be well defined and narrow.
Each paragraph of the body of the expository essay must have a dominant point that directly relates to the essay thesis. All supporting sentences within each body paragraph must have a direct and factual relationship to the dominant point.
Appropriate use of transitions is also crucial to a good expository essay. Transitions confirm the organization and the logic of your composition as they allow the reader to move smoothly from point to point of your essay.
Keep sentence structures simple and clear in anticipation of potential misunderstandings. Stay away from slang and colloquialisms. Be sure to use technical terms in context and accurately. Explain acronyms and those terms that may be unfamiliar to your reader.
Conclude your expository essay by restating your thesis and summarizing the points that lead to your conclusion.
Concluding the Expository Essay
After you've finished your first draft, along with checking for mechanical errors, check your essay to see if you have explained your topic thoroughly. Be sure that your thesis relates to every paragraph and that supporting sentences directly relate to your dominant points.
Reorganize your essay as needed to keep your logic clear and you information in an appropriate sequence. The real conclusion of your expository essay is when your composition is a well-ordered, easy-to-understand analysis of your topic.