CheapestEssay’s Best Blog on Expository Essay: Outline, Topics, And Examples

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Expository essays are typically brief assignments designed to assess your writing abilities or subject knowledge. They are less likely to include original research and arguments than argumentative essays.

The term “expository” means “to explain or describe something.” An expository essay explains a specific topic, process, or set of ideas in a clear and focused manner. Its goal is not to prove a point but rather to provide a balanced view of its subject matter.

What is an expository essay?

An expository essay is one of the primary essay types in which facts are communicated. Expository essays use various structures to communicate their points of view, such as compare and contrast, process essays, and cause and effect analysis.

Understanding how to write an expository essay and other types of essays is a necessary skill for any student to master. Expository writing isn’t where you can be cute, clever, or edgy; it’s the type of writing in which you position facts and observations to allow them to speak for themselves as effectively as possible. 

It’s the type of writing you do when you’re analyzing the information you’ve been assigned to study, thinking critically about concepts covered in class, and explaining the processes and reasons for your conclusions.

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The goal of expository writing

Expository writing’s goal is to convey information to the reader, and as such, you encounter many types of writing in your daily life that are expository. This includes articles from newspapers, magazines, social media websites, and listicles, as well as scientific papers, textbooks, business communication, and a variety of other publications. 

Typically, this type of writing is the most common type in the world because it can range from conveying information about your day to explaining a work project. In short, expository writing has one central purpose: to educate the reader. 

Remember that the main difference between expository writing and other types of writing is that the goal is to furnish information rather than to convince or persuade someone. However, this doesn’t mean that you can’t use techniques from the descriptive, narrative, or persuasive writing to spice up your exposition. 

Adopting techniques from descriptive or narrative writing can make the information you convey more natural in the reader’s mind. Additionally, when presenting facts and figures for persuasive writing, you automatically use expository writing techniques.

When writing an expository essay, use facts and logic instead of personal opinion or subjective truths. An expository essay is “one of the essay types that aims to expose the facts about a specific topic.” This means that the reader can expect trustworthy information about a topic presented logically. 

Depending on the kind of expository writing, you may need to structure it differently. Still, an expository essay outline will always help you organize your research and visualize the flow of the essay. Later in this article, you will find a detailed section on expository essay outlines.

Examples of some good expository essay topics

Now that you understand expository writing consider what topics you would like to write about. Finding the right topic is critical because it will guide your research and help you determine the specific pieces of information you will incorporate in the final essay.

The most important piece of advice when choosing the best essay topic is to choose one that you are personally interested in. Researching and reporting information can be tedious, but the entire process can become more enjoyable if you choose something you are passionate about. 

Therefore, make sure that –

  • The topic you choose is not too vast. That’s because broad topics may appear to be easier to write about, but they do not allow you to present in-depth research or bring up interesting facts. 
  • On the other hand, avoid selecting a topic that is too specific. You must ensure that there is sufficient information available from credible sources to support any point you are attempting to make.
  • Don’t just pick the first topic that springs to mind. Brainstorm several ideas and research each to find a topic that you are interested in and one that has enough information about it.

The essential thing to remember when choosing an expository essay topic is that it does not attempt to convince or persuade someone of something but rather simply conveys information.

Here are some interesting expository essay topics for you to think about and get ideas from.

Expository Essay Topics About Mental Health:

  • Culturally specific mental disorders.
  • What are some of the most effective personality disorder treatments?
  • What are the immense benefits of meditation on mental health?
  • How does depression differ depending on socioeconomic status?
  • A look at social media psychologists.
  • How has the treatment of mental illnesses evolved over the last century?
  • How can I assist a friend suffering from anxiety disorders?
  • Potential sources of assistance for improving mental health.
  • What constitutes a substance abuse disorder?
  • What effect does war have on mental health?

Expository Essay Topics About Literature:

  • Literature Expository Essays
  • Dorian Gray: Victim or Villain?
  • Create a woman character in “A Doll’s House” by characterizing her.
  • Define the principal icons in “Leaves of Grass.”
  • Examine the secondary characters’ roles in a play.
  • The Epic’s effect on the image of a Hero in Art in Beowulf
  • Harry Potter: The Consequences of Being Chosen
  • John Snow is a noble cretin.
  • The impact of H. G. Wells’ “Time Machine”
  • Describe the comedy crafts used in “The Golden Compass.”

Expository Essay Topics About Education:

  • What is the Western educational system’s history?
  • What are the most efficient study methods?
  • When should children start school?
  • Are good grades the most accurate predictor of future success?
  • What are the advantages and disadvantages of a college education versus a technical education?
  • What impact has the pandemic had on education?
  • Compare public and private high schools.
  • What are the real-world advantages of STEM education?
  • Are there any advantages to homeschooling?
  • How video games can help rural children get a better education.

Expository Essay Topics About Politics:

  • Contrast and contrast various political systems.
  • How does democracy benefit marginalized groups in society?
  • The steps to becoming a senator.
  • Methods for becoming involved in local government.
  • What are the primary distinctions between conservatives and liberals?
  • Describe a famous politician’s life.
  • How does oil influence politics?
  • Follow the history of the United Nations.
  • Examine Jean-Paul Sartre’s philosophy.
  • Why are the youth getting more interested in politics now?

Expository Essay Topics About Ethics:

  • How do you decipher the phrase “code of ethics”?
  • In the event of a divorce, which parent would you prefer and why?
  • What should a 17-year-old do if his girlfriend announces that she is pregnant?
  • Consequences of gun control policy
  • Would you agree to your loved one committing suicide?
  • Would you repeal the death penalty, and why?
  • Is there a concept of ‘honor’ in today’s world?
  • How will you stop racism?
  • Explain your moral perspective.
  • Should abortion be illegal?

What are the different types of expository essays?

One can find that expository essays come in several forms. Understanding these various types can help you choose a topic and plan the overall flow and structure of the essay. Below is the list of expository essay types that is not exhaustive but includes the most common ones you will encounter in an academic setting.

Process essay

A process essay can be thought of as a formal how-to manual. The objective of this essay type is to provide a detailed explanation of how to do something. In a typical process essay, the introduction paragraph introduces what you will learn, the body paragraphs provide step-by-step instructions, and the conclusion discusses the significance of what you have learned. 

A process essay can cover anything from “how to change the battery” to “6 ways to expand your online influence across social media platforms.”

Cause and Effect essay

Cause and effect essays investigate how something occurred or the impact of something that just unfolded. It provides information about the connection between two things. For instance, a cause-and-effect essay might be about the impact of bullying on one’s self-esteem as an adult. 

These types of essays investigate why something happened or what the impact of something might be, and they can highlight interesting connections or information about a cause or effect.

Compare and contrast essay

Compare and contrast essays examine how one topic is similar to or different from another. Please remember that this is still an expository essay, so the main goal of comparing or contrasting isn’t to decide which is better or worse but rather to provide information and allow the reader to make their own decision. Comparison essays can concentrate on either similarities or differences or both.

Descriptive essay

A definition essay, also known as a descriptive essay, is one of the unadulterated forms of expository writing because its purpose is to provide information that defines a topic. This can be made more intriguing by presenting information about the topic’s history, the etymology of the word, and how the definition has changed over time or will change over time. 

This essay does not simply provide the dictionary definition of the word; it provides information that expands on the overall concept of the term while explaining it thoroughly.

Classification Essays

The classification essays compare different things in the same category, highlighting what distinguishes them while also noting what groups them together. An essay about casual video games, for example, could discuss games like Mario Party and Candy Crush and explain why they are both considered casual games even though they exist on different platforms. 

These essays can be particularly interesting when attempting to fit something into a classification to which it does not usually belong.

Let’s talk about the expository essay structure

If you’re writing a basic or standard expository essay, you’ll probably stick to the regular 5-paragraph essay structure/format. This simply means that there will be an introductory paragraph, three body paragraphs, and a conclusion. While the format of an expository essay can and should vary depending on the assignment and audience, below is the general expository essay outline.

Introduction paragraph

  • A hook sentence
  • Background information
  • A thesis statement explaining the primary purpose of the essay
  • One transition sentence at the end

Body paragraph 1

  • A topic sentence about the first main argument, idea, or fact that is being presented
  • Supporting evidence and facts
  • Transition sentence to the second body paragraph

Body paragraph 2

  • A topic sentence about the second main argument, idea, or fact that is being presented
  • Supporting evidence and facts
  • Transition sentence to the third body paragraph

Body paragraph 3

  • A topic sentence about the third main argument, idea, or fact that is being presented
  • Supporting evidence and facts
  • Transition sentence to the conclusion paragraph

Conclusion

  • Summary or overview of the main arguments presented above
  • Restate the thesis statement or primary purpose
  • Final thoughts or concluding note

Let’s talk about the expository essay outline

Making an outline is one of the essential steps before writing an essay. Many people believe that creating an outline is a waste of time; however, the more comprehensive your expository essay outline, the lesser the time you will expend in researching and writing.

An outline divides each paragraph of the essay into sections. This allows you to divide an enormous task into manageable chunks and visualize how various pieces of information will fit together. Let’s go over each section of the expository essay structure one by one.

Expository Essay Introduction

The first thing someone reads is the introduction. It is your first chance to impress the reader and explain the topic of the essay. Writing a good introduction can be difficult, but if you follow the outline below, you will have a clear and engaging introduction.

The first sentence of the introductory paragraph must include a hook sentence to grab the reader’s attention. A great hook for your expository essay can include a question or state an interesting fact to engage the reader quickly.

Whether you are composing an article or writing a school assignment, making the reader interested from the start will help you stand out.

The following sentences of the introduction paragraph should provide background information on the topic you wish to discuss. This does not need to be unduly specific because you will expand on these points in the body paragraphs, but make sure the background information you present is both captivating and directly related to the topic. Following these sentences, the reader should have a fundamental understanding of some of the principal concepts and terms that will be addressed in the paper.

The thesis statement follows the hook sentence in the introduction. It is a one- or two-sentence declaration of the paper’s purpose. A thesis statement for an expository paper clearly states the topic being explained and how it will be explained. As is customary in expository writing, ensure that your thesis statement does not attempt to make an argument or be persuasive.

You can either end the paragraph with your thesis statement or use a one-sentence transition to the body paragraphs. This transition sentence is more commonly used when writing articles rather than academic papers.

Expository Essay Body Paragraphs

Your research should be placed in the body paragraphs. You don’t need to build an argument in an expository essay, which makes body paragraphs easier to write. However, that doesn’t mean you must just throw out information at random. Typically, you must include at least three body paragraphs, each discussing a different aspect of your topic.

When conducting research, narrow down the three main ways you want to explain your topic and explain each in a separate paragraph of the body. Although you may be tempted to present as much information as possible, an overly dense paper can be challenging to understand. The objective of the body paragraph is to express information in a clear, logical, and interesting manner.

Start each body paragraph with a unique topic sentence that expresses clearly what the paragraph will be about. Make sure to connect the topic sentence to the overall topic and explain how they are related to the reader.

After that, present the facts and information, ensuring that each fact is appropriately cited and comes from a reliable source. Because the goal of an expository essay is to explain something, the quality of your sources is critical objectively.

Finally, end the body paragraph with a smooth transition sentence that either summarises the information or hints at what the next paragraph will cover. Transition sentences enhance the flow of an essay by providing a recap of important information to the reader or by clearly marking the end of one subtopic and connecting it to the next.

Expository Essay Conclusion

The goal of the conclusion of an expository essay is to recap the main points of the essay and retell the hypothesis to remind the reader of the purpose of the writing.

You can summarise the main points by looking at your topic sentences and transition sentences. Include all the vital information relating to your thesis so the reader is reminded of it.

You must restate the thesis statement so that the readers understand how the information presented in the body paragraph relates to the essay’s primary purpose. Following this, explain why the topic is essential, highlight interesting connections, and identify other exciting ways to explain the information.

Let’s define how to write an expository essay

Even though you now have a good understanding of the expository essay format, there are a few other things to consider. In this section, we’ll go over the steps you should take when figuring out how to write an expository essay.

Brainstorming Concepts

When given an expository essay assignment, the first thing you should do is carefully read the guidelines. Make sure that you completely grasp what is expected of you. If it is for a class, you may be restricted to specific topics and word counts, as well as the quality of sources you can use. You could write an excellent essay but receive a low grade because you overlooked a minor restriction or guideline.

Once you’ve determined what you’re supposed to do, consider the various concepts you’d like to explain. Make sure you understand the various types of expository essays so that when you brainstorm topics, you have a rough idea of what type of expository essay would be best suited for that topic.

Consider what has been covered in class, what the teacher might expect, and what interests you to generate a list of topics. Do some research on each topic to see if you can easily find reputable sources and to gain a better comprehension of the subject. After considering all of these factors, you should have an expository essay topic that is appropriate, engaging, and high-scoring.

Completing an Outline

When you’ve decided on a topic, it’s time to do some research. Using an expository essay outline to organize interesting information is one of the best ways to plan your writing. Focus on the body paragraphs rather than the introduction or conclusion when conducting research. 

Consider three main ways to explain the topic and place information that falls under those subtopics in the appropriate body paragraphs. Consider potential thesis statements as you conduct research and create an outline. Coming up with a thesis too early will limit your research, so it is better to develop a thesis statement as you learn more. That being said, you should have a finalized thesis statement by the end of the planning stage.

Planning your essay ahead of time will help you focus your research, reduce the amount of time you spend on the assignment, and help improve the overall flow of the final essay. Furthermore, it makes the writing process much more manageable.

Complete the First Draft

Now is the time to turn your outline into complete sentences. It is often beneficial to leave the introduction until the end. That is because you will have a better idea about what to include in an introduction after writing the body paragraphs. However, make sure to write down your thesis statement in the beginning. 

Use the information you’ve gathered in each body paragraph to create a cohesive analysis of the topic. Make sure the information you present is relevant and connects to the other facts. Consider the purpose of each body paragraph and whether the information you’re presenting fits that purpose or not.

To improve overall comprehensibility and flow, use transition words within paragraphs and transition sentences between paragraphs.

Complete Your Draft

Examine the first draught of the essay to see if the various paragraphs make sense. Don’t be afraid to reorganize sections or remove entire sections of information. As you write your draught, new ways of expressing the information may occur to you, making the overall essay stronger.

Check that you are not attempting to persuade anyone and that you are using facts rather than opinions as evidence.

Examine each sentence to ensure that it is clear and fits the purpose of the paragraph in which it is found. Examine the information you’ve included to ensure that it’s useful and adds to your understanding of the subject. If the information is disconcerting or does not add anything to the essay, it is better to have less than more.

Read the paper as if it were the first time you heard about the topic to see if it makes sense. 

Editing and Proofreading

It is especially important in an expository essay that your writing is error-free. Spelling and grammatical errors in your writing undermine your credibility as a writer, so even if your ideas and insights are fantastic, readers will not get as much out of your work as they would if it was error-free.

That is why proofreading is essential. Examine the final draft of your essay for formatting errors, grammatical errors, spelling errors, and so on, and ensure that it follows all of the assignment guidelines. Finally, have your friend or relative go over the paper to double-check it. 

If you feel like you need to make a lot of changes, take some extra time to make the changes or contact a professional service.

Let’s see some of the expository essay examples

Looking at an expository essay example is one of the best ways to learn how to write an expository essay. Expository essay examples can help you understand what is expected of you as well as how to write an essay that flows well. Make sure to use any examples you find as inspiration rather than a source of information or text!

Example 1: Impact of social media on mental health

As of 2019, there were around 3.5 billion social media users worldwide, which is still growing at a 9 percent annual rate. It is difficult to deny that social media has become integral to many people’s lives. Platforms have a variety of positive effects, including improved connectivity. However, addiction to social media platforms increased comparisons between people, and the fear of missing out has all contributed to an increase in depression and sadness. Addiction to social media has become widespread, and it is negatively impacting the lives of many people in society. Checking and scrolling through various social media platforms has grown in popularity over time, resulting in excessive and compulsive use.

Example 2: Bryan and McKinley

Every election is heavily influenced by the country’s political and economic situation during and before. Every previous event was to serve as a foreshadowing. The 1986 elections were no exception to this general historical rule. William McKinley, the Republican presidential candidate, won a landslide victory in the Electoral College, with 271 electoral votes to Bryan’s 176. William McKinley was nominated on the first ballot at the Republican National Convention in St. Louis in June of 1896. Bryan was portrayed as socialist and radical. However, in the campaign, “McKinley was dubbed as a tool of the business.”

Conclusion

Writing an expository essay can be challenging if you don’t choose the right topic and don’t have a plan. Expository papers, on the other hand, are a fun way to learn about something you’re interested in while also learning how to share information effectively. This type of writing is one of the most common types of writing, and you will most likely use it during your life. 

Learning how to put forward information and explain things will help you both professionally and personally, so good luck!

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