Student life is full of surprises. Sometimes, you need to write the expository essay. But what is this? This guide will help you understand what it is and how to write it effectively.
The expository essay is a genre of writing that requires the student to investigate an idea, evaluate evidence, expound on the idea, and set forth an argument concerning that idea in a clear and concise manner. This can be accomplished through comparison and contrast, definition, example, the analysis of cause and effect, etc. Please note that this genre is commonly assigned as a tool for classroom evaluation and is often found in various exam formats.
When should a student write an expository essay?
In Collage and University, there are four main reasons why you might be asked to write an expository essay:
- To inform: Expository essays are generally written with the purpose of informing or persuading readers about a certain issue.
- To explain: Sometimes, especially in beginning writing classes, students will be asked to write expository essays to explain something they have read or learned about.
- To analyze: A more advanced type of expository writing, the purpose of analyzing an expository essay can be to examine, evaluate, or even critique something.
- To persuade: The fourth and final reason you might be asked to write an expository essay is to persuade your reader about a certain course of action.
What is the structure of an expository essay?
The structure of an expository essay usually follows one of the standard essay formats, such as the five-paragraph essay format, which includes an introduction, three body paragraphs, and a conclusion. However, because of the nature of the expository essay and the need to fully investigate an idea, evaluate evidence, and expound upon a thesis, a more extended format may be used.
The five-paragraph format is generally used for class assignments and short essays, such as in-class writing exercises, exams, and so on. This format includes an introduction paragraph (with a thesis statement), three body paragraphs (each with a topic sentence), and a conclusion paragraph.
A more extended format may be used when writing research papers, dissertations, or theses. In these cases, the expository essay will generally include an introduction (with a thesis statement), literature review, methodology, results, discussion, and conclusion sections.
What are the components of an expository essay?
The main components of an expository essay are as follows:
- Thesis statement: This is the most important component of the expository essay, as it states the main idea of the paper. The thesis statement should be clear, concise, and arguable.
- Body paragraphs: The body paragraphs of the expository essay provide the evidence and analysis that support the thesis statement. Each body paragraph should focus on a single piece of evidence, and each piece of evidence should be analyzed thoroughly.
- Conclusion: The conclusion of the expository essay restates the thesis statement and provides a final thoughts section, which gives the reader a final opportunity to understand the main idea of the paper.
- Works cited/References: The expository essay will generally require a works cited or reference page, which documents all of the sources used in the paper.
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What are the different types of expository essays?
There are Five main types of expository essays:
- Descriptive essays:- The descriptive essay is a genre of essay that asks the student to describe an object, person, place, experience, emotion, situation, etc. This genre encourages the student’s ability to create a written account of a particular experience.
- Process essays:- A process essay is typically written to help guide readers through a process. These essays generally use a lot of technical language and require a detailed understanding of the topic at hand.
- Comparison essays:- A comparison essay is used to compare two different objects, ideas, or concepts. These essays will often use point-by-point or block method to write.
- Cause/effect essays:- As the name suggests, a cause and effect essay looks at the causes (or reasons) for something, and then discusses the effects (or results). These essays can be written on a variety of topics, ranging from personal experiences to historical events.
- Problem/solution essays:- A problem/solution essay looks at a problem that needs to be solved, and then provides a solution. These essays are usually written in response to a social issue or problem.
An expository essay is a genre of essay that requires the student to investigate an idea, evaluate evidence, and expound upon a thesis. These essays can be written on a variety of topics, ranging from personal experiences to historical events. There are five main types of expository essays: descriptive, process, comparison, cause/effect, and problem/solution.
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If you need more help with your essay, there are plenty of online resources available to you. Here are a few to get you started:
The Purdue Online Writing Lab: This website offers a comprehensive guide to writing an expository essay, including tips on brainstorming, choosing a topic, and crafting your thesis statement.
University of North Carolina Writing Center: This site provides helpful advice on how to organize your thoughts before you start writing, as well as how to create strong body paragraphs and a solid conclusion.