Success in writing an expository essay starts with a clear understanding of what this type of paper means. Remember that at the center of discussion are the facts and not a personal point of view. Your task is to provide readers with information while avoiding personal opinions. Below are the expository essay writing tips that, we believe, might be very helpful in your academic endeavors.
How to Write an Expository Essay Step by Step
1. Prewriting Stage: Think and Research
The prewriting phase sets the tone for the whole paper. Here, take time to think about the topic and what you already know about it. Research information to fully cover the question being asked. Next, choose the best way to present the facts taking into account your topic. Here are the standard methods of development and examples of topics you can use for the particular type of expository writing:
What does it mean to be a genius?
What is it like to start a new job?
Describe three objects that symbolize your culture
- Cause and Effect
Why is there an increase in depression in the US?
Explain a positive effect of the Internet on communication
Explain the causes and effects of impulse buying
- Classification and Division
Describe the ways you help out at home
Describe the things that bring you happiness
The most popular pets in different countries
- Comparison and Contrast
What are the positive and negative aspects of materialism?
Country in war compared to country in peace
Living at home or living on campus
What effect does technology have on relationships?
Explain why some students have to leave school when they turn sixteen
Describe some productive ways the students can spend their free time
- Extended Definition
The perfect shopping experience
What healthy living means
How you define family
- Process Analysis
How to eat healthy while living on a college student’s budget
How to prevent bullying in schools
How to treat an uninvited guest
You can combine these methods of development to reinforce the main idea of your essay. But think how you will do it before you start drafting your paper in order to not mess up your writing and deliver your point to the reader.
2. Drafting Stage: Put Your Thoughts on Paper
There is not a single rule as to where you should begin you paper. There is a common outline you should follow (introduction, body paragraphs, conclusion), but the starting point is up to you. You can even try a reverse technique and begin with writing a conclusion. However, we suggest to start with listing key points of your essay that will be transformed further into the topic sentences of your body paragraphs. Then, compose a thesis summarizing the claims of your topic sentences.
Don’t forget about the attention grabber. If you are to focus on facts, it does not mean your essay must be boring. Hook your reader’s attention with something interesting, exciting, or shocking. Put this phrase at the very beginning and then add more sentences that will lead to the thesis logically.
Readdress your thesis statement in a conclusion of an expository essay: make the same point using new language. Summarize the claims you have made in your body paragraphs and answer the question “So what?” telling why your reader should care about your essay.
3. Editing Stage: Polish Your Wordings
Do not underestimate the editing phase. It is as important as two previous ones. Try to look at your paper critically (it will be easier to do if you move to editing the next day after drafting the essay). Besides correcting grammatical mistakes, editing the sentence structure, and checking the word choice, put yourself in the place of a reader. Tell honestly if your paper gives an objective analysis of the topic. Does it include relevant facts and examples? Are your points clear and logical? Is it free of unnecessary details? If your essay is missing something, change it, do not hope that your professor won’t notice.
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