How to Write an Expository Essay

Posted on Posted in expository essay, writing tips

Have you never heard of an expository essay, but now you have to write one? Here are some tips on what’s required.

Have You no Idea How to Write an Expository Essay

Before you actually sit down to start writing an expository essay, you need to know what it is! It is not a type of essay that many students are familiar with; they’re more used to writing cause & effect essays, and often know exactly how to write an argumentative essay. So they can end up baffled with the different requirements of this new type of essay. But knowing how to write an expository essay isn’t as complicated as you might think; you just need to understand what you’re being asked to do.

An expository essay simply means explaining or defining an issue. That doesn’t sound so complicated now, does it? Other than that, you need to approach it as you would any other essay, first thinking about the issues, doing your research, writing the first draft, then refining the essay and checking it for errors. Perhaps the hardest part is finding the right reading material and turning your notes into a coherent paper. You really shouldn’t worry about an expository essay being too difficult, as it’s no more difficult than most other types of essay.

Here’s How to Write a Good Expository Essay

  1. How to write a good expository essay introduction

Your introduction needs to give an outline of the issues concerned. You should briefly mention what the topic is about, and what you intend to cover in the essay. Be careful that you do not discuss too much about what more properly belongs in the main body of the essay, as you will then just be repeating yourself. A good introduction needs to be brief, and say enough but no more. It should draw your reader in and make them believe that this will be an essay they want to read in its entirety.

  1. How to write an expository essay outline

It’s always a good idea to create an outline of your essay before you begin, whether it’s an expository essay or any other type. Doing so will help you shape your essay and decide whether you have a plan that will lead to the essay you need to write. Obviously, every essay begins with an introduction (see above). You should then plan three or four points you wish to cover in your essay (you have to be selective, as you can’t possibly cover everything). Give a couple of examples of facts for each point and outline some evidence for each point. Finish with a conclusion; remember that when you come to write this it should not simply repeat the main body of your essay. Instead, it needs to summarise what you have discussed, comment on how this relates to the wider picture, and suggest any room for further investigation. Xpertwriters.com can help if you’re really stuck.

  1. How to write a hook for an expository essay

A hook is a line that will attract your reader’s attention and make them curious to read further. What are you going to say if they continue? The hook must intrigue them, and inspire them to read on. You can do this by one of the several methods:

  • Asking a question. In fact, you can ask two or three questions. This will show what you intend to discuss in your essay. It could be the very question that your readers have been asking themselves, so they will be curious about which answers you have come up with.
  • Giving an anecdote. Anecdotes can be very revealing about an issue, as they illustrate what people think or how they react.
  • Presenting a hypothetical situation for your readers
  • Making a statement that goes against what people would normally think
  • Giving a quote
  1. How to Write a Conclusion for an Expository Essay

Your conclusion should wrap up the essay. Avoid bringing in any new ideas or material, although you can offer suggestions for where the further investigation into the topic could be done. Your conclusions should be logical in the light of what you have already discussed and supported the main body of your essay. There needs to be a sense that you have completed your discussion and not left the subject hanging.

Wondering How to Write an Expository Essay Step by Step?

So how do you write an expository essay step by step? We’ve put together an easy guide for you to follow. This will give you a good idea of the process you need to follow and make the work of completing your essay easier.

  • Make some notes about the topic and brainstorm some ideas. You may well discard most of your ideas, and that’s fine. It’s just as useful to discover which ideas don’t work for you, or that there isn’t enough evidence to support
  • Choose the ideas you want to work on
  • Start doing your research. Make a list of useful reading material. Take plenty of notes, including where you have found the material
  • Create an outline for your essay
  • Write a first draft, including introduction and conclusion.
  • Read back through your essay. What could you add or take away? Have you failed to support any of your ideas properly?
  • Write a second draft. Ensure that the essay flows, reading it aloud if necessary
  • Check for spelling and content errors


The key to writing an expository essay is having a clear understanding of what is required – exactly like any other type of essay really. And like any other essay, you will make it easier to write and give yourself the chance of higher marks or a better grade if you write an essay plan and stick to it. Ensure you include enough information to demonstrate your good understanding of the topic and gain extra marks for referencing your resources and research materials.

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