What is an Expository Essay?

When it comes to essay writing, the aim of the essay determines the structure. Some essays are meant for storytelling, but others provide information. An expository essay is one of those essays aimed at sharing information.

what is an expository essay

On average, essays are relatively easy to write. However, expository essays require understanding of how to handle research and present findings. Keep reading to learn how to write an expository essay.

‌What is an expository essay with examples?

An expository essay is a type of academic essay that investigates a particular topic. The essay describes, explains, and provides important data about the topic. This method of writing is common in various fields other than academia. Expository essay examples include; journals, newspaper articles, magazine articles, instruction manuals, textbooks, encyclopedia articles, and other forms of writing like academic essays.

It is similar to writing a case investigation report. You must provide plenty of facts, details, examples, and explanations in an organized and logical manner. You can do this by including the following;

  • Anecdotes
  • Comparisons
  • Quotations
  • Statistics
  • Descriptive details
  • Definitions
  • Charts and graphs

What is the main purpose of an expository essay?

So, what is the purpose of an expository essay? Expository writing seeks to present factual information objectively. Ideally, you assume the reader has no prior knowledge of the topic and then proceed to inform them in detail.

What does an expository essay mean?

Expository comes from the word expose, which means to illuminate. As such, expository writing focuses on sharing information. You should revise your essay to make this the priority all through.

What are The Different Types of Expository Essays?

Below are the various types of expository writing;

Problem And Solution

In this essay, you first identify the problem, then provide details about it to explain it and suggest potential solutions. Ensure you justify the solution with facts. You should also propose ways to implement those solutions.

Cause And Effect

This expository essay type conveys why something happened and its potential effects. The outcomes suggested can be true or hypothetical, but they must be based on facts.

Compare And Contrast

In this type of expository writing, the essay compares the similarities and contrasts the differences between the two subjects. Ensure the subjects belong to the same category—for example, a comparative study between infrared and steam saunas.

Definition And Classification

  • Definition:- The essay provides a complete description of a subject, elaborating on the meaning, types, and examples.
  • Classification: This essay categorizes objects, ideas, or organisms.


This type of writing is instructive and teaches the reader how to do something or perform a task. The format offers step-by-step instructions. Examples include cookbooks and user manuals.

What are four examples of expository?

Below are examples of expository essays from the different types of expository essays;

  1. Problem and solution essay – Write about a contagious disease such as TB or Corona and how to prevent the spread of the disease.
  2. Cause and effect essay – You can write about the Causes of climate change and the anticipated long-term effects.
  3. Compare and contrast essay – Select two subjects in a similar niche in the same category and compare and contrast their features. Such as two types of grapes or apples.
  4. Classification essay – This entails categorizing types of items and delving into deeper details regarding each subcategory. Such as different types of fabrics and their features.
  5. Process essay – This can be a tutorial on how to do a particular thing, such as make croissants or replace a damaged electronic component.

What are the five elements of an expository essay?

An expository essay is generally made up of five key elements.

Below are the key elements of an expository essay;


The structure of an expository essay typically comprises five paragraphs:

  • Introduction
  • 1st body paragraph
  • 2nd body paragraph
  • 3rd body paragraph
  • Conclusion

However, the structure can vary in academic writing based on the teacher’s or professor’s preferences.

Topic Sentence, Thesis Statement, and Subtopics

A thesis statement summarizes the key points of the essay. Let your chosen expository essay topic guide you into writing your thesis statement.

How to write a thesis statement for an expository essay

When writing your thesis statement, clearly state the central point you want to make. And mention the key elements you’ll explain. Shorten the thesis statement by stating your point in one or two sentences.

Ideally, the statement should be a claim that requires verification through further research. Avoid statements that are already known facts, as this will invalidate your essay.


This is a seamless way of hopping from one section to the other. You will need several transitions in your expository essay. You will need one after the thesis statement; before starting your first paragraph. And before starting the second paragraph immediately after stating facts relating to your subtopic.

Another transition sentence is required after the second and third subtopics, respectively. Lastly, you will need a final transition sentence before getting to the conclusion.  

Evidence and Examples

This is essentially the whole point of the essay. The evidence and examples form the basis for the arguments supporting your topic and thesis statement.


Wrap up the content of your essay in this section.

How to write a conclusion for an expository essay

The conclusion of an expository essay should recap the main information in the essay. You should also restate the thesis statement to remind the reader about the essay’s purpose.

How to start an expository essay

The hook is the most important part of your introduction. This is what gets the reader hooked. Define a key term to get readers to see a controversial issue in a new way. You can even ask a question that will pique the reader’s interest.

Pro tip: If you have difficulty writing the introduction, do it last. You will better understand what you can say to get the reader interested in the topic.

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