Last Updated on February 7, 2024 by Pius

A Guide to Writing Excellent Expository Essays

Understanding how to write an expository essay is mandatory for any student. Although expository essays are common in learning institutions, it does not make writing them easier. Not only does it require critical thinking, but also follows a specific structure. Writing expository articles is a crucial skill in various disciplines like science, journalism, and business. Learn how to write an outstanding expository essay from our essay writing service AssignmentHacks for high performance.

What Is an Expository Essay?

Just from the name expository, you get that it aims to ‘expose’ information. It is a form of writing that explores specific issues and presents discovered information in a simple way using logic and hard evidence. Basically, expository essays focus on explaining facts without including writers’ emotions or opinions. For instance, you are asked to “explain how early exposure to screens affects children.” You don’t have to form an opinion on whether this statement is true or false. Instead, you only focus on elaborating the topic using evidence to back it up. Expository articles are all about giving a balanced view on the subject in question. You don’t have to prove a point. Teachers usually give such assignments to assess your understanding of a topic or writing composition skills.

Differences Between Expository and Argumentative Essays.

Students often confuse expository articles with argumentative ones and vice versa. While they may seem similar, their main difference lies in their purpose. With an argumentative essay, the writer targets to persuade the readers to agree with their position on an issue. On the other hand, an expository paper requires a neutral viewpoint with nothing but factual analysis. In short, argumentative essays are subjective while expository articles are objective. Expository essays are usually written in the third person tone unless stated otherwise while argumentative are in the first person. Also, when you are writing an expository paper, your thesis statement should show your topic rather than your argument as in an argumentative article.

Types of Expository Essays

Expository essays are very common in learning institutions. However, they come in different variations which determines their content and structure. The five primary types of an expository essays include:

Definition essay

This kind of essay involves explaining the meaning of a term, concept, or word. It is more than just copying the definition from a dictionary. You have to expand its literal meaning and other associated ideas from the term. You can also include examples, and originality, and even rectify any wrongful assumption surrounding the concept.

Classification essay

In a classification essay, critical thinking is important for dividing large topics into categories. This depends on their unique features. It is advisable to present the examples and reasons as to why you have sorted them that way. An example of a classification essay is “types of wood.”

Compare and contrast essay

This type of essay explores the similarities and differences of places, people, concepts, ideas, or objects. You can submit your findings through the block, alternating, and combination techniques. An example of a compare and contrast topic include:

Cause and effect essay

When writing cause and effect, you should focus on finding the relationship between two concepts. How do they affect and(or) depend on one another? Explain the results (effect). Some examples include:

  • “Causes of high teen pregnancy”
  • “What are the reasons for high blood pressure in the obese?”

How-to essay

Also known as a process essay. It instructs readers on the step-by-step process of how to do something. it can be a technical procedure or even a recipe. for instance:

  • “How to repair a leaking sink”
  • “How to roast a chicken”

Problem and solution essay

This expository essay identifies a problem, analyzes and offers possible solutions.

Expository Essay Format

Although you may have different structures to write and present your ideas in expository articles, there are two common types:

Chain structure

This format is more effective on longer articles. With chain structure, you discuss all important aspects of a concept point by point before moving to the next. For instance, in a classification essay when discussing “types of wood” the format looks like this:

  • Type 1
  • Features
  • Type 2
  • Features

Block structure

This method allows you to address one issue at a go and possibly across various paragraphs.

  • Type 1
  • Type 2
  • Features of type 1
  • Features of type 2

Whichever type of format you choose, just ensure that it has an easy transition and good flow for readers.

Step-by-Step Guide on How to Write an Expository Essay

Now that you understand the different kinds and crucial features of expository essays, let’s tackle how to write an expository essay. A standard essay usually consists of five paragraphs; the introduction, three body paragraphs and a conclusion paragraph. Here are five proven steps for writing an excellent expository essay:


In this first step, brainstorm relevant ideas and pick a topic if not provided. However, ensure to follow all your teacher’s guidelines. A good topic should be significant, manageable, and interesting. Check out our list of expository essay topics for more ideas on a good topic. The pre-writing stage also includes research. Read wide to get an in-depth understanding of the topic and note down important points. It provides the knowledge you need to write an informative paper.

Expository essay outline

Writing a clear outline makes writing simpler and guides you to organize your ideas in a logical manner. Expository essays contain five paragraphs as follows:


An introduction is important because it determines whether a reader will be interested in the article or not. Therefore, it should be catchy. This paragraph should include the hook statement, a little background information, and a thesis statement to introduce your topic. You can check out expository essay samples for more tips on writing an effective thesis statement

Body paragraphs

This is where you discuss the topic and get into details. For a five-paragraph essay, there are three body paragraphs. However, this might be different for longer articles. When writing, focus on one idea per paragraph. Remember to present them in a logical order and include transition words for easy follow-up. Also, use facts and evidence from valid sources to support your points. Each paragraph should have:

  • a topic sentence that presents the first point while making it relevant to the topic.
  • Statics and facts are important features of expository essays. Use them together with examples to back up your paragraph’s topic.
  • Concluding paragraph to link the point discussed to the thesis statement.

Conclusion paragraph

This part is all about summarizing all the information explained in the article. Remember to not introduce any new concepts at this stage. You need to restate your topic, mention your main points and close up the discussion.


Now that you have a thesis and an outline, it is time to get to the actual writing. This step requires you to explore and expand the points in your outline. Use transition words to connect and combine sentences and paragraphs. Keep in mind to use reputable sources and cite them accordingly. Refrain from stating your personal opinions and ensure to write in the third person.

Edit and proofread

With the hard job out of the way, you can take a break to cool off and check your paper later with fresh eyes. Look for punctuation, grammar, and spelling mistakes. You can use grammar-checking tools to ensure that your article is perfect. Also, confirm the readability test, tone, style, and clarity of your work. Is the thesis clear and supported with facts? Would you like to add or remove anything? Ask for help from a colleague, friend, or parent for the editing and proofreading part.

Sum Up

Writing an expository essay is all about adequate planning and preparation. Besides, choosing the right expository essay type allows you to come up with a proper outline for your essay. Once you settle on a topic, do thorough research and present your points with factual backup. At AssignmentHacks, we understand that writing essays can be intimidating even with all information at hand. Hire our essay writing service to help with academic tasks like expository essays and improve your grades.


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