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Expository Essay Writing Manual

When you enter college, you may come across something known as an expository essay. In this brief manual, we’d like to show you what an expository essay is and how you can structure one.

What is an expository essay?

In short, an expository essay is an essay where you, the student, explore an idea via the use of evidence. You then need to take that idea and present an argument based upon it. These are frequently used by professors to test your ability to develop a logical argument based upon facts and evidence that you are presented.

Layout of an expository essay

Here is the basic layout of most expository essays. There are many ways to write these essays, but most people go with a five-paragraph approach that includes an introduction, a conclusion, and three paragraphs in between. The three in-between paragraphs present a different point related to the topic at hand. Here are some things to keep in mind while writing.

  • Thesis statement. Found in the first paragraph, the thesis statement should be clear and concise, so the person(s) reading your essay can easily determine what you are exploring.
  • Transitions. As you transition between paragraphs, you should be clear and logical in your writing.
  • Body. As mentioned above, each part of the body should focus on a different point. Each of these points is meant to prove your thesis. Make sure that you are clear in your arguments. The evidence in these paragraphs is usually anecdotal or logical, but if you have access to facts or statistics, you can use them readily.
  • Conclusion. Many students make the mistake of restating the thesis in the conclusion. This is acceptable, but the best way to work with a conclusion is to readdress the thesis in relation to the three or more points that you discussed in the body of your expository essay. This will help “wrap it up” and share your train of those with those who read your essay.

After Completing the Essay

If you have completed your essay and have some time, make sure to take time to read over the essay as well. Check to make sure that your argument(s) is logical, that your transitions are clean, and that your spelling, grammar, and punctuation are all correct. After cleaning up your essay a bit, you’re finally done! The process takes more effort in terms of brainstorming and other writing processes, but this is a basic guide to help you work through how an expository essay should work.

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