Expository Essay

An expository essay provides an explanation or information of something through the use of factual data. Facts can be further explained by using clear and concise ideas. Towards the end of the expository essay, the writer should be able to gradually build an argument out of the facts provided. This can be achieved by using cause and effect analysis, comparison and contrast, as well as by giving definitions or further examples of the central topic. Here are the steps in writing an expository essay.

Step 1. Identify the main topic.

Step 2. Gather facts and other information relevant to the topic.

Step 3. Write your clear and concise thesis statement in your expository essay's first or introductory paragraph.

Step 4. Distribute your facts in your body paragraphs. Group your facts according to their commonalities.

Step 5. Provide logical and smooth transition sentences between paragraphs.

Step 6. Conclude your essay. 


Try applying this structure to your own writing: write sentences for the corresponding elements of your introduction, body paragraphs and conclusion in the space provided below.


Begin your paper with a opening sentence or “hook” about your topic that catches the reader’s attention. Reference the list on the front for ideas.

Include context: provide the information the reader will need to understand the topic.

State your thesis, your arguable position on the topic. What side will you take? What will you prove in your paper? What are you going to explore?

One Practice Body paragraph:

Write a general topic sentence that states the main idea of the paragraph for your first body paragraph, or for one you are having difficulty organizing.

Write down the specific textual evidence or evidence from other sources that you are using to support your thesis.

Analyze your evidence: tell the reader what is significant or important about this evidence. How does the piece of evidence support your thesis? Why did you choose to include it?

Don’t forget a transition sentence: Connect each paragraph with a sentence or two that demonstrates how each idea leads into the next.


Make connections for the reader in your conclusion. You should refer back to your thesis, but don’t simply restate it. Use some of the following questions to guide you:

1. Did you propose any solutions? Are there solutions yet to be discovered? 

2. What questions still need to be answered? 

3.What is the larger significance of the topic you chose to write about? 

4. What should the reader do or think after reading your paper?