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Give your thoughts a good shape in an expository essay

What often happens to the students who start writing is comparable with the famous Ryōan-ji temple in Kyoto. There are 15 stones in the garden of this temple, but regardless from the point of observation, only 14 of them are in view. It happens that you try to approach the topic in several paragraphs, write different sentences, but the essence slips away. To secure your writing from being a stone garden, follow this nugget of advice on how to write expository essay pieces of different types.

What is expository essay writing, anyway?

Exploratory, informative, factual, or expository essay is a piece of non-fiction writing that approaches the subject from a disinterested viewpoint. An essay in which an author advocates his or her stand is called judgmental. Such essays may take up argumentative or persuasive form. By contrast, expository essays are by nature neutral, presenting a fact, an idea, a phenomenon, or anything else without any evaluative judgments.

Depending from the way of reasoning, this group of essays is commonly divided into:

  • Descriptive essays in which something is described, e.g., the aforementioned Zen temple or the process of its building
  • Sequential papers presenting the order of events
  • Cause and effect essays exploring the relations between remote events or facts
  • Essays of comparison making parallels between different phenomena
  • Problem and solution papers, identifying a problem and ways of dealing with it.

You may choose whatever design for your topic and proceed to creating an outline of your essay.

Organize your expository essay well

To write a well-organized essay, start with a controversial idea and reduce the tension in your thesis statement. Mind that thesis statement is a kind of your essay’s skeleton, its backbone and the most important sense. State it clearly – don’t make a skeleton in the closet out of it.

Here is an example:

Nowadays, the students are being assigned both argumentative and persuasive papers. But these two types of writing are very close. Why, then, we need to master argumentative writing? The reason may be that too often, we have to advocate our opinion aggressively. (A description of occurrences of such aggressive arguments may follow).

Continue creating your expository essay paragraph by paragraph in accordance with your general design. You can read more about different designs in the corresponding sections of this website. Here are some tips to make your structure better:

  • Avoid so-called paragraph sprawls. Just like urban sprawl, paragraph sprawl is illogical and looks terribly. It occurs when the sentences deviate from the main theme of a paragraph. Try to explain your thoughts consistently and follow one line of thought at a time.
  • Conclude your essay with a summary and some observation that follows from it. For instance, if we come back to our sample topic, we may conclude that aggressive educational practices that occur in the described cases need more measures to deal with them than just introducing argumentative assignments.

If you feel that additional help will further clarify expository essay writing to you, do not hesitate to contact our writing specialists at!