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Expository Essay Type

By writing an expository essay, you explain or describe some set of ideas and your view of the subject. It only needs a little research to prove the point, so these are usually short writing assignments to demonstrate your composition skills. You do not need to provide and prove unique arguments, either.

A student has to research an idea and evidence, express it in a consistent and balanced way, compare and contrast some things or definitions, or analyze the cause and effect.

This type of essay is commonly used in the classroom and on exams.

When You Need Expository Essays

You will come across this type in high school and university in the form of classroom assignments, exam questions, or writing tasks in the coursework.

The assignment may not indicate directly that it is an expository essay, but the formulation of the task may contain some prompts which will tell you that this type is required. The words ‘explain’ or ‘define’ are usually used in the task.


‘Explain how the invention of electricity influenced the development of industry in Europe at the beginning of the 20th century.’
This means that you need to provide an explanation responding to this prompt but not put forward an original argument of your own.

Or, ‘Define the term ‘metaphor’ and explore how it is used in poetry.’
You should provide a definition of the concept to demonstrate that you understand it properly. You should not just copy the definition taken from your course or dictionary entry but research some ideas of the concept and explain them.

How to Write an Expository Essay

Infographic about How to Write an Expository Essay

What Is Essential to Know about an Expository Essay

To make your expository essay a success that deserves high scores, you have to remember the following things.


  1. A clear and well-defined thesis statement is a must for the introduction.
    The thesis statement should be narrowed down to meet the assignment requirements.
  2. All the transitions between the introduction, main body, and conclusion should be logical and clear.
    They have to provide a consistent foundation for the essay and show its logical progression.
  3. Evidence is an important part of the main body.
    You should provide one piece of evidence in one paragraph. The evidence should be logically connected to the thesis statement.
  4. Evidence can include facts, statistics, or real-life anecdotes.
  5. You should be creative while writing an expository essay.
    Do not try to follow the formal structure only but try to express the ideas and provide explanations in a consistently creative manner and order.
  6. Turn the conclusion into the summary of all the evidence provided without a restatement of the thesis idea.
    It needs to be effective and create a positive impression that you truly understand the topic in your readers. Never introduce any new information in the conclusion.

There are some other creative ideas on how to write an expository essay. For example, you can make it look like a conversation or debate with your colleague. Even if you put things forward like this, it should be logically disposed into the beginning, middle part, and end of the conversation.

Final Thoughts

You can see from this article that writing an expository essay is not too difficult. However, it requires your in-depth knowledge of the subject matter and using accurate and logical approaches. If you follow the structure and use the ideas provided above, your essay will be a success.

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