What makes a good expository essay: 5 steps to the highest grade
The main goal of an expository essay is to explain the chosen topic being at the same time maximum straightforward and following a logical order. In general, it is a thorough analysis based on facts with no expressions of personal opinions or references. A typical essay of this type will include a lot of words like explain, expound, interpret, define etc and according to requirements, you need to do it in a simple and easy-to-understand way. Let’s point out the main things you should pay close attention to when writing an expository essay.
Structure and formatting
Structuring your essay helps you make a plan and move step by step: writing becomes much easier because you already know what to write about, just need to extend each point with more information. With clear structure you will not be afraid to miss something and you also make sure that all topics are covered properly.
- Start with an outline: it should not be too formal but clearly show the connections between your ideas, statements and evidence;
- Proceed with famous 6+1 traits: interesting ideas, logical organization, good vocabulary, grammar, distinct voice, smooth sentences and excellent presentation.
Formatting matters too: traditionally, it is a five-paragraph essay that includes introduction, the main body (three paragraphs with subtopics) and conclusion. However, expository essays cannot be limited to five paragraphs only. As long as your introduction has a thesis statement and the paper is based on real facts, your essay’s length does not matter.
Types of expository essays
There are many types of essays in academic world, but there are also many types in the category of expository essays. You need to distinguish such of them as:
- classification essays (divide a broad topic into smaller pieces and define them);
- definition essays (explain a concrete meaning of a word, term, concept etc according to the dictionary);
- contrast essays (describe similarities and differences between two subjects);
- process essays (explain how something is done step by step);
- cause and effect essays (describe the relationship between two subjects and how they impact each other).
5 steps to successful essay
You may doubt the utility of expository essay writing skills but you will be surprised how many times you will use it in your professional and personal life. Usually your essay is based on five paragraphs, so let’s learn how to get maximum results investing minimum efforts:
- Step 1: preview. In this phase you should do some research on your topic, take notes and try to come up with a strong outline. Structure your essay so that all the info is presented in a logical order and fully covered;
- Step 2: draft version. Express all your ideas on paper not caring about formatting or mistakes – you will correct it after revising. The most important thing in your introduction is the topic sentence expressing the main idea so pay special attention to it. Clearly state the thesis and scope of work that will be considered in your paper, but do not give any opinions or references. Each body paragraph should have a subtopic with facts and evidences, and the conclusion should not give any new material.
- Step 3: revision. Here you can make changes and reorganize your paper. Make sure that your essay gives a logical analysis, the facts are relevant, the information is expressed clearly and the conclusion expresses the value of your work.
- Step 4: edit. Now it is time for proofreading, checking spelling and grammar and having someone look through the document with a fresh perspective.
- Step 5: publish. Send an essay to your professor and use their feedback to make your future essays better.
The best thing about expository essays is that you need to operate with facts. In addition to your A+ you receive priceless experience and skills to apply in the future.