How To Write A Expository Essay: Outline, Topics, Examples and Step-By-Step Guide

access_timeMarch 22, 2018

Chances are you have already had an assignment which required a report on a given subject. That means you were writing an expository essay, a common type of writing style that many professors and teachers assign to their students. How to improve writing skills and get a better grade next time? This guide will help you out.


An expository essay is a writing style wherein an author exposes or informs readers about a series of events, idea, book, historical event, or some other subject. The main purpose of this essay is to explain a topic in a precise, straightforward, and logical manner. The expository essay requires a great deal of research in order to provide a deep insight into the topic. Unlike some other types of an essay, a writer doesn’t need to take sides and develop an argument. Writing style should be in the third person and unbiased.

Benefits of writing an expository essay

Every school assignment has its own unique purpose and an expository essay is not the exception. No, the purpose of this essay isn’t a lecturer’s desire to have you glued to the subject they teach, but to help you develop and improve some valuable skills. Below, you can see the most important benefits or skills you can gain with expository essays:

  • Research – expository essay is all about research. The more you do it, the better your skills are. You’ll need research skills throughout your life. Expository essay teaches you how and where to look things up for maximum results
  • Critical thinking – while the expository essay involves an unbiased approach to the subject, you still need your critical thinking skills in order to approach the subject from different angles
  • Reporting – the expository essay is like a huge report, but it is still necessary to be concise and present facts in a coherent and easy-to-follow manner. As your skills improve, you’ll be more efficient in the way you express yourself in other aspects of your life
  • Organizational skills – this type of paper revolves around the facts on a given subject, but they need to be represented in an organized manner. You can’t write them randomly because the essay would be cluttered and difficult to follow. Therefore, you need to organize your paper. Since practice makes perfect, you’ll notice soon that your organizational skills developed significantly

Areas of interest

Like many other essay types, the expository essay is versatile. You can write about anything you’d like, including:

  • Education
  • Family
  • Health
  • History
  • Law
  • Literature
  • Movies
  • Music
  • Personal relationships
  • Politics
  • Religion
  • Science
  • Social media
  • Taboo
  • Wars

Expository essay outline

The outline is like a blueprint; its function is to act as a guide that you can use to build a house, or in this case an essay. Without the outline the risk of straying off the subject increases. It’s needless to mention you get confused due to a multitude of ideas that you don’t know where to place. Let’s take a look at the outline you should follow when writing an expository essay:

  • Introduction – your opportunity to make a positive first impression. It should consist of the:
    • Hook – the first sentence of the essay; it can include quote, statistics, anecdote, or anything else you find catchy
    • Background info and context – a brief info about the topic itself
    • Thesis statement – specifies the exact topic you’re going to write about, things you will analyze
  • Body paragraphs – the central part of the essay. The number of paragraphs isn’t specified, you can write as many as you need to thoroughly analyze the subject. In most cases, 3-5 paragraphs are enough. They should be written in the following manner:
    • Topic 1 – fact 1 + evidence, fact 2 + evidence etc. – basically, each paragraph starts with a topic sentence that announces what aspect of the subject you’re going to discuss. Within the paragraph, you mention the facts you discovered while researching supported by evidence
    • Topic 2 – fact 1 + evidence, fact 2 + evidence etc.
    • Topic 3 – fact 1 + evidence, fact 2 + evidence etc.
  • Conclusion – summary of the thesis, facts, and evidence. It also discusses the importance of the subject, raises more questions that make a reader think, and finishes with call-to-action

Writing tips

An expository essay is similar to working as an investigative journalist on some super important assignment. Your job is to investigate a topic thoroughly and report facts, regardless of your own opinion about them. In order to write a top-quality expository essay, follow these tips:

  • Research topic thoroughly and try to learn more even though you may already be familiar with it
  • Use evidence to support every claim or fact you include
  • Use only reputable sources for evidence e.g. studies, official figures and announcements, journals, and other similar sources
  • Avoid fabricating information just because you want to emphasize something
  • Avoid showing how you feel about the topic
  • Organize facts in a manner that will be easier to follow e.g. chronologically, based on priority etc.
  • Use concise and clear language
  • Prioritize quality over quantity; it’s not about how many facts you introduce, but how strong they are
  • If the essay describes a process or activity, second person writing can be used too
  • Vary sentence length throughout the paper to add more rhythm
  • Avoid vague expressions, be precise

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Essay help

There is no need to get frustrated due to a lack of inspiration or proper guidance when you can get essay help. Below, you can see different ways to simplify expository essay writing process.

Essay topic generator

Are you tired of browsing the internet for essay topics? Of course, you are! Edusson Magic Essay Topic Generator saves time and your nerves by providing a plethora of topics in one single location. You can search for topics based on a keyword, category, alphabet, it’s your choice. Getting inspired has become easier than ever, just scroll and read titles, you’ll find the one (or more) you truly like in a matter of seconds.

Essay examples

Edusson Magic Help features a massive database of essay examples that you can use whenever you want. Simply browse for expository essays, find the ones you’d like to read and you can even save them into a library with a subscription plan. Reading these essays can be a great way to get inspired and understand what you should or shouldn’t do while working on this type of paper

Essay checker

Do you prefer a DIY approach to essay writing? If so, it doesn’t mean you’re out of tools you can use to enhance the quality of the paper. With Robot Don essay checker you can easily boost your expository essay’s quality and get a better grade. Robot Don is a hard-working little robot that analyzes your paper and grades it in a way your teacher would too. The platform checks essay for plagiarism, word choice, sentence structure, readability, and other factors.

Essay writing service

Essay writing service is a great way to have your assignment completed when you’re too busy with other projects and lectures. Some students use essay writing services so they can get a custom-made sample to use for practice. Regardless of your needs, Edusson’s writing service is here to help you out. What makes our writing service stand out is full transparency and the fact that you as a customer are in charge of every part of the process. That way, the essay you receive matches all your needs and preferences

Essay editing service

Do you prefer writing an essay on your own, but need help with editing? After all, we usually can’t be objective and unbiased toward our own work so it’s useful to have professionals work on this part of the assignment. Edusson’s essay editing service is your go-to place for this task. Our proofreaders and editors make sure your expository essay is 100% error free before you send it to your professor or teacher. They correct grammar and spelling mistakes, improve style and formatting, sentence structure, and so much more

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