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How to Write an Expository Essay | Structure, Tips & Examples

Published on July 14, 2020 by Jack Caulfield . Revised on July 23, 2023.

“Expository” means “intended to explain or describe something.” An expository essay provides a clear, focused explanation of a particular topic, process, or set of ideas. It doesn’t set out to prove a point, just to give a balanced view of its subject matter.

Expository essays are usually short assignments intended to test your composition skills or your understanding of a subject. They tend to involve less research and original arguments than argumentative essays .

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Table of contents

When should you write an expository essay, how to approach an expository essay, introducing your essay, writing the body paragraphs, concluding your essay, other interesting articles, frequently asked questions about expository essays.

In school and university, you might have to write expository essays as in-class exercises, exam questions, or coursework assignments.

Sometimes it won’t be directly stated that the assignment is an expository essay, but there are certain keywords that imply expository writing is required. Consider the prompts below.

The word “explain” here is the clue: An essay responding to this prompt should provide an explanation of this historical process—not necessarily an original argument about it.

Sometimes you’ll be asked to define a particular term or concept. This means more than just copying down the dictionary definition; you’ll be expected to explore different ideas surrounding the term, as this prompt emphasizes.

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An expository essay should take an objective approach: It isn’t about your personal opinions or experiences. Instead, your goal is to provide an informative and balanced explanation of your topic. Avoid using the first or second person (“I” or “you”).

The structure of your expository essay will vary according to the scope of your assignment and the demands of your topic. It’s worthwhile to plan out your structure before you start, using an essay outline .

A common structure for a short expository essay consists of five paragraphs: An introduction, three body paragraphs, and a conclusion.

Like all essays, an expository essay begins with an introduction . This serves to hook the reader’s interest, briefly introduce your topic, and provide a thesis statement summarizing what you’re going to say about it.

Hover over different parts of the example below to see how a typical introduction works.

In many ways, the invention of the printing press marked the end of the Middle Ages. The medieval period in Europe is often remembered as a time of intellectual and political stagnation. Prior to the Renaissance, the average person had very limited access to books and was unlikely to be literate. The invention of the printing press in the 15th century allowed for much less restricted circulation of information in Europe, paving the way for the Reformation.

The body of your essay is where you cover your topic in depth. It often consists of three paragraphs, but may be more for a longer essay. This is where you present the details of the process, idea or topic you’re explaining.

It’s important to make sure each paragraph covers its own clearly defined topic, introduced with a topic sentence . Different topics (all related to the overall subject matter of the essay) should be presented in a logical order, with clear transitions between paragraphs.

Hover over different parts of the example paragraph below to see how a body paragraph is constructed.

The invention of the printing press in 1440 changed this situation dramatically. Johannes Gutenberg, who had worked as a goldsmith, used his knowledge of metals in the design of the press. He made his type from an alloy of lead, tin, and antimony, whose durability allowed for the reliable production of high-quality books. This new technology allowed texts to be reproduced and disseminated on a much larger scale than was previously possible. The Gutenberg Bible appeared in the 1450s, and a large number of printing presses sprang up across the continent in the following decades. Gutenberg’s invention rapidly transformed cultural production in Europe; among other things, it would lead to the Protestant Reformation.

The conclusion of an expository essay serves to summarize the topic under discussion. It should not present any new information or evidence, but should instead focus on reinforcing the points made so far. Essentially, your conclusion is there to round off the essay in an engaging way.

Hover over different parts of the example below to see how a conclusion works.

The invention of the printing press was important not only in terms of its immediate cultural and economic effects, but also in terms of its major impact on politics and religion across Europe. In the century following the invention of the printing press, the relatively stationary intellectual atmosphere of the Middle Ages gave way to the social upheavals of the Reformation and the Renaissance. A single technological innovation had contributed to the total reshaping of the continent.

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An expository essay is a broad form that varies in length according to the scope of the assignment.

Expository essays are often assigned as a writing exercise or as part of an exam, in which case a five-paragraph essay of around 800 words may be appropriate.

You’ll usually be given guidelines regarding length; if you’re not sure, ask.

An expository essay is a common assignment in high-school and university composition classes. It might be assigned as coursework, in class, or as part of an exam.

Sometimes you might not be told explicitly to write an expository essay. Look out for prompts containing keywords like “explain” and “define.” An expository essay is usually the right response to these prompts.

An argumentative essay tends to be a longer essay involving independent research, and aims to make an original argument about a topic. Its thesis statement makes a contentious claim that must be supported in an objective, evidence-based way.

An expository essay also aims to be objective, but it doesn’t have to make an original argument. Rather, it aims to explain something (e.g., a process or idea) in a clear, concise way. Expository essays are often shorter assignments and rely less on research.

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How to Write a Solid Thesis Statement

The important sentence expresses your central assertion or argument

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A thesis statement provides the foundation for your entire research paper or essay. This statement is the central assertion that you want to express in your essay. A successful thesis statement is one that is made up of one or two sentences clearly laying out your central idea and expressing an informed, reasoned answer to your research question.

Usually, the thesis statement will appear at the end of the first paragraph of your paper. There are a few different types, and the content of your thesis statement will depend upon the type of paper you’re writing.

Key Takeaways: Writing a Thesis Statement

  • A thesis statement gives your reader a preview of your paper's content by laying out your central idea and expressing an informed, reasoned answer to your research question.
  • Thesis statements will vary depending on the type of paper you are writing, such as an expository essay, argument paper, or analytical essay.
  • Before creating a thesis statement, determine whether you are defending a stance, giving an overview of an event, object, or process, or analyzing your subject

Expository Essay Thesis Statement Examples

An expository essay "exposes" the reader to a new topic; it informs the reader with details, descriptions, or explanations of a subject. If you are writing an expository essay , your thesis statement should explain to the reader what she will learn in your essay. For example:

  • The United States spends more money on its military budget than all the industrialized nations combined.
  • Gun-related homicides and suicides are increasing after years of decline.
  • Hate crimes have increased three years in a row, according to the FBI.
  • Post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD) increases the risk of stroke and arterial fibrillation (irregular heartbeat).

These statements provide a statement of fact about the topic (not just opinion) but leave the door open for you to elaborate with plenty of details. In an expository essay, you don't need to develop an argument or prove anything; you only need to understand your topic and present it in a logical manner. A good thesis statement in an expository essay always leaves the reader wanting more details.

Types of Thesis Statements

Before creating a thesis statement, it's important to ask a few basic questions, which will help you determine the kind of essay or paper you plan to create:

  • Are you defending a stance in a controversial essay ?
  • Are you simply giving an overview or describing an event, object, or process?
  • Are you conducting an analysis of an event, object, or process?

In every thesis statement , you will give the reader a preview of your paper's content, but the message will differ a little depending on the essay type .

Argument Thesis Statement Examples

If you have been instructed to take a stance on one side of a controversial issue, you will need to write an argument essay . Your thesis statement should express the stance you are taking and may give the reader a preview or a hint of your evidence. The thesis of an argument essay could look something like the following:

  • Self-driving cars are too dangerous and should be banned from the roadways.
  • The exploration of outer space is a waste of money; instead, funds should go toward solving issues on Earth, such as poverty, hunger, global warming, and traffic congestion.
  • The U.S. must crack down on illegal immigration.
  • Street cameras and street-view maps have led to a total loss of privacy in the United States and elsewhere.

These thesis statements are effective because they offer opinions that can be supported by evidence. If you are writing an argument essay, you can craft your own thesis around the structure of the statements above.

Analytical Essay Thesis Statement Examples

In an analytical essay assignment, you will be expected to break down a topic, process, or object in order to observe and analyze your subject piece by piece. Examples of a thesis statement for an analytical essay include:

  • The criminal justice reform bill passed by the U.S. Senate in late 2018 (" The First Step Act ") aims to reduce prison sentences that disproportionately fall on nonwhite criminal defendants.
  • The rise in populism and nationalism in the U.S. and European democracies has coincided with the decline of moderate and centrist parties that have dominated since WWII.
  • Later-start school days increase student success for a variety of reasons.

Because the role of the thesis statement is to state the central message of your entire paper, it is important to revisit (and maybe rewrite) your thesis statement after the paper is written. In fact, it is quite normal for your message to change as you construct your paper.

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How to Write an Expository Essay

Published by Grace Graffin at August 17th, 2021 , Revised On July 26, 2023

Expository means “to describe or explain something” . It is related to the words ‘exposition’, ‘expound’, and ‘expose’ – to explain or reveal the meaning, to lay open, speak one’s mind.

Whenever there is a need to gather research and describe an idea, a  topic , or a process clearly and logically, it is done in the form of an expository  essay .

An expository essay requires the writer to take a balanced approach to the subject matter rather than justifying a particular point of view.

Expository essays are assigned to students to evaluate their subject knowledge and composition skills. When compared with  argumentative essays , they involve a lot less research.

Definition of Expository Essay

“The expository essay is the  type of essay  that involves an investigation of an idea or topic, appraises relevant supporting evidence material, and presents an argument in a clear and concise manner. ”

When to Write an Expository Essay

Your school or university could assign an expository essay to you as coursework or as part of an online exam.

However, the guidelines may or may not clearly state that your assignment is an expository essay. If that is the case, then look for keywords like ‘explain’, ‘describe’, ‘define’, etc., to be sure that what has been asked for is an expository essay.

You might even be asked to explain and emphasise a particular concept or term. Writing a simple definition will not be enough because you will be expected to explore the ideas in detail.

Writing an Expository Essay

An expository essay should not be based on your  personal  experiences and opinions. It rather takes an objective approach. You will be expected to explain the topic in a balanced way without any personal bias.

Make sure to avoid the first and second person (“I” and “You”) when writing an expository essay.

How to Structure an Expository Essay

The  structure  and format of your expository essay assignment will depend on your school’s guidelines and the topic you are investigating. However, it is always a good idea to develop an outline for your  essay  before starting to work.

The Five-Paragraph Essay Writing Approach

An expository essay will require you to take the five-paragraph essay approach: an  introductory paragraph , a main body paragraph , and a concluding paragraph . This is often referred to as the hamburger style of the essay because, like a hamburger, it contains five main parts: the introduction and conclusion being the bun that encapsulates everything.

Rationale and Thesis Statement

Start your essay  with a rationale and thesis, also known as the  thesis statement , so your readers know what you set out to achieve in your expository essay assignment. Ensure the thesis statement is narrow enough to follow the guidelines in the assignment brief. If the thesis statement is weak and too broad, you will struggle to produce a flawless expository essay.

The Framework

Construct a framework, so you know what elements will constitute the basis of your essay.

Expository Essay Introduction

Like other  essay types , an expository essay begins with an  introduction , including a hook, background to the topic, and a thesis statement. Once you have grabbed the readers’ interest, it will be easier to get them to read the remaining essay.

Frequently Asked Questions

Will i need the skill of expository writing after i finish my studies.

It depends on what you are studying for. While you might or might not write any more expository essays after your formal education has ended, the skill will be very useful in certain careers, such as business reports, journalism, and in scientific and technical writing.

How does an expository essay differ from an argumentative essay?

An argumentative essay is usually longer and requires more research. It starts with a claim about something that will need supporting evidence. And both sides of the argument need to be discussed. In an expository essay, there is no requirement to make an original argument and defend/support it.

What is the purpose of expository essays?

This style of essay is necessary when you have to showcase your knowledge on a given subject, or your ability to gather research on one and present your findings.

How long is an expository essay?

There is no fixed length but an expository essay could be part of an exam, in which case it might only be 1,000 words or less. They are usually shorter than argumentative essays . It can depend on the subject under discussion. You will likely be given instructions on the required word count.

Are there different types of expository essay?

There are six different types of expository essay, each with a different purpose.

The six types are:

Process essay – describing a task, a method, how to complete something Cause and effect essay – why something happened and its effects Problem-solution essay – provide analysis of problems and their solutions Compare and contrast essay – describe the similarities and differences between two subjects Definition essay – define the topic in detail and explain the how, what, and why Classification essay – separate the topic’s categories and define them in detail

When you are assigned your essay, you should be able to distinguish which of these approaches you are required to take.

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An essay outline – an underrated part of essay writing – brings forth the structure for the writers as they initiate the essay drafting process.

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Quick and Easy Guide on How to Write an Expository Essay

how to write a good thesis for an expository essay

Understanding What Is an Expository Essay

If you clicked on this article, then you must have recently been assigned an expository essay homework. There is also a possibility that you are here because you enjoy exploring different ideas and concepts rather than solely scratching the surface. Well, that explains why you decided to research more about expository essay writing. We won't leave you hanging, so let's delve right into the expository essay definition.

It's only reasonable to first give you a clear explanation of what is an expository essay and what this kind of paper tries to accomplish. Simply put, an expository essay presents information on a topic. It explains something about a situation, person, idea, or occurrence and communicates knowledge about it to the reader. It does not attempt to persuade the reader of a certain point of view or present a convincing case. An expository essay depends on facts rather than personal opinion since it aims to inform the reader about a subject.

Expository writing involves anything from sharing your day to outlining a job assignment. Therefore it wouldn't be unfair to say that it is the most popular type of writing in the world.

expository essay types

Expository Essay Topics

Speaking of the above, there must be plenty of options to write your expository paper on, right? You're correct! But one needs a properly worded title that would make great expository essay topics. That's why our research paper service covered some interesting areas below. You can browse myriads of choices and find one that is just right for your endeavor!

Expository Essay Topics About Education

  • School Dress Codes: A Physical And Mental Stress
  • The Idea Of Free Higher Education
  • The Issue With High School Massacres
  • The Importance of College Success
  • STEM versus STEAM educational approaches
  • How literate people differ from uneducated ones
  • The advantages of studying foreign languages.
  • What changes should be made to the educational system in your nation?
  • Does 'educated' have the same connotation as 'smart'?
  • Can someone receive a top-notch education at home?

Expository Essay Topics About Mental Health

  • Is it true that music impacts our mental and physical health?
  • Are acts of heroism and patriotic acts typical in terms of mental health?
  • Is there a need to increase mental health benefits under health insurance?
  • Comparatively speaking, does the American mental health system lag behind other nations?
  • Effects of mental health law
  • The connection between antisocial personality disorder and parenting methods
  • Learning-disabled kids can benefit greatly from school programs.
  • How social anxiety is influenced by digital communication
  • Patients with mental illness receiving physical care
  • Issues with mental health and grief therapy

Expository Essay Topics About Society

  • Advertisements seen via the lens of social science.
  • Prejudices towards African Americans.
  • The social implications of feminism.
  • Global refugee crisis.
  • Constructing a wall to separate Mexico and the US.
  • The psychology of implicit racial prejudice and discrimination
  • The effects of racism at work on the economy and mind.
  • Gender roles in society: shifting perspectives and effects on families.
  • Who was responsible for the cost of the War on Terror?
  • Is peace education receiving enough attention from society?

Expository Essay Topics About Politics

  • The connection between politics and religion
  • What are the pros and drawbacks of democracy?
  • How powerful are NGOs?
  • What are the UN's primary responsibilities?
  • What are the disadvantages of not having a state?
  • Has the US soured relations with its European allies?
  • What does the Human Development Index mean?
  • Celebrity Influence in political campaigning
  • What objectives does the anti-globalization movement seek to achieve?

How to Write an Expository Essay with an Expository Essay Outline

Outlining is one of the most vital steps for knowing how to write an expository essay. Many believe that creating an outline is a waste of time, but in reality, the more complete your expository essay plan is, the fewer hours you will have to devote to research and writing. An expository essay outline divides each paragraph of the essay into various components. By doing so, you may divide a more complex activity into more manageable components and better understand how various pieces of information will work together. Let's go through each section of the expository essay format prepared by our writer.

expository essay outline

I. Introduction

So, how to start expository essay on a strong note? Consider opening with a bold claim that is related to your topic. After that, go on to briefly describe your subject's significance. Finally, make a statement about your essay's core thesis or objective.

  • Background information
  • Thesis statement

II. Body Paragraphs

In your first body paragraph. introduce the first major point that backs up your primary statement. Then, support your claim with instances or facts, and then explain how these examples or evidence link to your thesis and support your core notion. Remember to include a transitional sentence that relates to the following paragraph.

If you follow a five paragraph essay format, then feel free to develop three body paragraphs with the similar order.

  • Topic sentence

III. Conclusion

In your concluding paragraph, try restating your thesis statement in a different way to successfully conclude your work. Then put your essay's essential ideas in a brief summary before concluding with a powerful remark that will stay with your readers.

  • Restate thesis
  • Closing sentence

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How to Write an Expository Essay

Even though you now know a lot about the expository essay format, there are other things to keep in mind as well. In this section, we'll go over the specific steps you should take when figuring out how to write an expository essay.

Brainstorming Ideas

The absolute first thing you should do when given an expository essay assignment is to carefully go over the guidelines. Make sure you completely understand what is required of you. If it is for class, you may be limited to certain topics and word counts, there may be restrictions on the quality of sources you can use, etc. You might write an incredible essay but get a low grade because you missed out on some small restriction or guideline.

Once you know exactly what you are supposed to do, it's time to think about different concepts you would like to explain. Make sure you are aware of the different types of expository essays so that when you brainstorm topics you have a tentative idea of what type of expository essay would be best suited for that topic.

Think about what has been covered in class, what the teacher might expect, and what you find interesting to try and come up with a list of topics. Do a little bit of research on each topic to figure out whether you can easily find reputable sources and to gain a further understanding of the topic. After keeping all these things in mind, you should end up with an expository essay topic that is appropriate, engaging, and high-scoring.

Fill Up an Outline

Once you have zeroed in on a topic it's time to do research. One of the best ways to plan your writing is to use an expository essay outline to organize interesting information. While conducting research focus on the body paragraphs rather than on the introduction or conclusion. Think about three main ways you can explain the topic and put information that fits into those subtopics under the appropriate body paragraphs.

While conducting research and filling out an outline, think about potential thesis statements. Coming up with a thesis statement too early will restrict your research, so it is better to develop a thesis statement as you find out more and more information. That being said, by the end of the planning stage you should have a finalized thesis statement

Planning out your essay beforehand will give direction to your research, cut down on the amount of time you spend on the assignment, improve the overall flow of the final essay, and make the actual writing process much easier.

Write the First Draft

Now is the time to translate your outline into full sentences. It is often useful to leave the writing of the introduction till the end because after writing the body paragraphs you will have a better idea of what to say in an introduction, but make sure that you write down your thesis statement.

Use the information you have found to create a cohesive analysis of the topic in each body paragraph. Make sure that the information you present is on topic and connects to the other facts around it. Think about what the purpose of each body paragraph is and question whether the information you are presenting fits that purpose or not. Make sure to use transition words within the paragraph and use transition sentences between paragraphs to improve overall comprehensibility and flow.

Finalize Your Draft

Go over the first draft of the essay and focus on whether the different paragraphs make sense or not. Don't be afraid to reorganize sections or completely get rid of some pieces of information. As you write your draft, new ways of expressing the information can come to mind that will make the overall essay more powerful.

Make sure that you are not trying to make a persuasive argument and that you are using facts rather than opinions as evidence.

Go over each sentence to make sure that it is clear and that it fits the purpose of the paragraph it is in. Look at the information you have included and make sure that it is useful and enhances understanding of the topic. It is better to have less information than more if the information is distracting or does not add anything to the essay.

Try and read the paper as if it is the first time you are coming across the topic to see if it makes sense or not. Congratulations, you are just one step away from being able to submit an expository essay!

Editing and Proofreading

Go over the final draft of your essay and check for formatting errors, grammatical errors, spelling mistakes, etc and make sure that it complies with all the guidelines of the assignment. Finally, ask a friend or relative to go over the paper to do the last check. If you feel like you still need to make a lot of changes, don't be disheartened, spend the extra time to make the changes or reach out to expository essay writing service .

Expository Essay Examples

One of the best ways to learn how to write an expository essay is to look at an expository essay example. Looking at expository essay examples can give you a deeper understanding of what is expected as well as how to write an essay that flows well. Make sure that you use any examples you find as inspiration rather than a place to directly source information or text!

Expository Essay Example

The shift from traditional to current methods in treating diseases has improved the quality of many services, products, and processes. However, many regions worldwide are still applying traditional medicines (Stefanov et al., 2020). Therefore, conventional western medicine and alternative Eastern medicine are two recognized approaches to treating multiple diseases. Researchers have developed the foundational differences between these two approaches that have helped establish the pros and cons of each. Each approach has advantages and drawbacks. There have been debates on which approach is cheaper in terms of time and cost of treatment. Also, there is ongoing concern on which approach is safer than the other.
As of 2019, there were over 3.5 billion social media users globally, and this figure still increases by 9% each year. It is impossible to deny that social media has become an important part of many people’s lives. There are various positive effects linked with the platforms, including better connectivity. However, addiction to social media platforms, the increased comparisons between individuals, and the fear of missing out have increased depression and sadness. Social media addiction has become rampant, which has negatively influenced the lives of many individuals in society. Checking and scrolling through the different social media platforms has become increasingly popular over time, leading to excessive and compulsive use.

Now that you know whats an expository essay, you must agree that writing an expository essay is a great method to learn how to effectively communicate information while also pursuing an interest of yours. Therefore, there are many ways in which knowing how to convey ideas and explain things will help you both professionally and individually.

And if you ever feel like you need an extra push towards pursuing your dream academic life, consider us your go-to college life partner. We won't criticize you no matter how many times you need essay writing help . The EssayPro team is loyal, always reliable, and never judgmental! 

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FAQs on Expository Essay Writing

If the information was not quite enough for you to create an outstanding paper, our college essay writer has yet to supply you with further details about expository essays. Below you'll find the most frequently asked questions on this matter, so you won't have to spend extra time and effort researching any unanswered questions.

What are the Different Types of Expository Essays?

What is the most important part of the expository essay structure, what is the main idea in expository writing, related articles.

How to Write a Concept Paper: Easy Guide for Students

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These OWL resources will help you develop and refine the arguments in your writing.

The thesis statement or main claim must be debatable

An argumentative or persuasive piece of writing must begin with a debatable thesis or claim. In other words, the thesis must be something that people could reasonably have differing opinions on. If your thesis is something that is generally agreed upon or accepted as fact then there is no reason to try to persuade people.

Example of a non-debatable thesis statement:

This thesis statement is not debatable. First, the word pollution implies that something is bad or negative in some way. Furthermore, all studies agree that pollution is a problem; they simply disagree on the impact it will have or the scope of the problem. No one could reasonably argue that pollution is unambiguously good.

Example of a debatable thesis statement:

This is an example of a debatable thesis because reasonable people could disagree with it. Some people might think that this is how we should spend the nation's money. Others might feel that we should be spending more money on education. Still others could argue that corporations, not the government, should be paying to limit pollution.

Another example of a debatable thesis statement:

In this example there is also room for disagreement between rational individuals. Some citizens might think focusing on recycling programs rather than private automobiles is the most effective strategy.

The thesis needs to be narrow

Although the scope of your paper might seem overwhelming at the start, generally the narrower the thesis the more effective your argument will be. Your thesis or claim must be supported by evidence. The broader your claim is, the more evidence you will need to convince readers that your position is right.

Example of a thesis that is too broad:

There are several reasons this statement is too broad to argue. First, what is included in the category "drugs"? Is the author talking about illegal drug use, recreational drug use (which might include alcohol and cigarettes), or all uses of medication in general? Second, in what ways are drugs detrimental? Is drug use causing deaths (and is the author equating deaths from overdoses and deaths from drug related violence)? Is drug use changing the moral climate or causing the economy to decline? Finally, what does the author mean by "society"? Is the author referring only to America or to the global population? Does the author make any distinction between the effects on children and adults? There are just too many questions that the claim leaves open. The author could not cover all of the topics listed above, yet the generality of the claim leaves all of these possibilities open to debate.

Example of a narrow or focused thesis:

In this example the topic of drugs has been narrowed down to illegal drugs and the detriment has been narrowed down to gang violence. This is a much more manageable topic.

We could narrow each debatable thesis from the previous examples in the following way:

Narrowed debatable thesis 1:

This thesis narrows the scope of the argument by specifying not just the amount of money used but also how the money could actually help to control pollution.

Narrowed debatable thesis 2:

This thesis narrows the scope of the argument by specifying not just what the focus of a national anti-pollution campaign should be but also why this is the appropriate focus.

Qualifiers such as " typically ," " generally ," " usually ," or " on average " also help to limit the scope of your claim by allowing for the almost inevitable exception to the rule.

Types of claims

Claims typically fall into one of four categories. Thinking about how you want to approach your topic, or, in other words, what type of claim you want to make, is one way to focus your thesis on one particular aspect of your broader topic.

Claims of fact or definition: These claims argue about what the definition of something is or whether something is a settled fact. Example:

Claims of cause and effect: These claims argue that one person, thing, or event caused another thing or event to occur. Example:

Claims about value: These are claims made of what something is worth, whether we value it or not, how we would rate or categorize something. Example:

Claims about solutions or policies: These are claims that argue for or against a certain solution or policy approach to a problem. Example:

Which type of claim is right for your argument? Which type of thesis or claim you use for your argument will depend on your position and knowledge of the topic, your audience, and the context of your paper. You might want to think about where you imagine your audience to be on this topic and pinpoint where you think the biggest difference in viewpoints might be. Even if you start with one type of claim you probably will be using several within the paper. Regardless of the type of claim you choose to utilize it is key to identify the controversy or debate you are addressing and to define your position early on in the paper.

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Expository Thesis Statements vs. Argumentative Thesis Statements

Fleming, Grace. “How to Write a Solid Thesis Statement.” ThoughtCo, Feb. 11, 2020, thoughtco.com/thesis-statement-examples-and-instruction-1857566.

A  thesis statement  provides the foundation for your entire  research paper  or essay. This statement is the central assertion that you want to express in your essay. A successful thesis statement is one that is made up of one or two sentences clearly laying out your central idea and expressing an informed, reasoned answer to your research question.

Usually, the thesis statement will appear at the end of the first paragraph of your paper. There are a few different types, and the content of your thesis statement will depend upon the type of paper you’re writing.

Key Takeaways: Writing a Thesis Statement

  • A thesis statement gives your reader a preview of your paper’s content by laying out your central idea and expressing an informed, reasoned answer to your research question.
  • Thesis statements will vary depending on the type of paper you are writing, such as an expository essay, argument paper, or analytical essay.
  • Before creating a thesis statement, determine whether you are defending a stance, giving an overview of an event, object, or process, or analyzing your subject

Expository Essay Thesis Statement Examples 

An  expository essay  “exposes” the reader to a new topic; it informs the reader with details, descriptions, or explanations of a subject. If you are  writing an expository essay , your thesis statement should explain to the reader what she will learn in your essay. For example:

  • The United States spends more money on its military budget than all the industrialized nations combined.
  • Gun-related homicides and suicides  are increasing after years of decline.
  • Hate crimes  have increased three years in a row, according to the FBI.
  • Post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD) increases the risk of stroke and arterial fibrillation (irregular heartbeat).

These statements provide a statement of fact about  the topic  (not just opinion) but leave the door open for you to elaborate with plenty of details. In an expository essay, you don’t need to develop an argument or prove anything; you only need to understand your topic and present it in a logical manner. A good thesis statement in an expository essay always leaves the reader wanting more details.

Types of Thesis Statements 

Before creating a thesis statement, it’s important to ask a few basic questions, which will help you determine the kind of essay or paper you plan to create:

  • Are you defending a stance in a  controversial essay ?
  • Are you simply giving an overview or describing an event, object, or process?
  • Are you conducting an analysis of an event, object, or process?

In every  thesis statement , you will give the reader a preview of your paper’s content, but the message will differ a little depending on the  essay type .

Argument Thesis Statement Examples 

If you have been instructed to take a stance on one side of a controversial issue, you will need to write an  argument essay . Your thesis statement should express the stance you are taking and  may  give the reader a preview or a hint of your evidence. The  thesis of an argument essay  could look something like the following:

  • Self-driving cars are too dangerous and should be banned from the roadways.
  • The exploration of outer space is a waste of money; instead, funds should go toward solving issues on Earth, such as poverty, hunger, global warming, and traffic congestion.
  • The U.S. must crack down on illegal immigration.
  • Street cameras and street-view maps have led to a total loss of privacy in the United States and elsewhere.

These thesis statements are effective because they offer opinions that can be supported by evidence. If you are writing an argument essay, you can craft your own thesis around the structure of the statements above.

Analytical Essay Thesis Statement Examples 

In an analytical essay assignment, you will be expected to break down a topic, process, or object in order to observe and analyze your subject piece by piece. Examples of a thesis statement for an analytical essay include:

  • The criminal justice reform bill passed by the U.S. Senate in late 2018 (“ The First Step Act “) aims to reduce prison sentences that disproportionately fall on nonwhite criminal defendants.
  • The rise in  populism and nationalism  in the U.S. and European democracies has coincided with the decline of moderate and centrist parties that have dominated since WWII.
  • Later-start school days  increase student success for a variety of reasons.

Because the role of the thesis statement is to state the central message of your entire paper, it is important to revisit (and maybe rewrite) your thesis statement after the paper is written. In fact, it is quite normal for your message to change as you construct your paper.

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This video covers: • Review of Expository Essays and Elements • What a Thesis is • Important parts of a Thesis • Tips for writing a quality thesis

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how to write a good thesis for an expository essay

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How to Write an Expository Essay: Writing Tips & Structure

Have you ever been tasked with writing an expository essay and found yourself struggling to convey information clearly and concisely? Expository essays are a unique form of academic writing, requiring a neutral stance and factual evidence to educate the reader on a specific topic.

In this step-by-step guide on how to write an expository essay, we’ll delve into the intricacies of crafting a compelling expository essay, from brainstorming to polishing the final draft. Prepare to embark on a journey to enhance your writing skills and master the art of expository writing.

Table of Contents

Expository Essay Writing: Key Takeaways

  • Expository essays are structured academic writing that analyze a given topic objectively.
  • This guide provides a comprehensive approach to crafting an expository essay, from idea generation and research through outlining, drafting, refining and polishing techniques.
  • The structure of the essay should include a precise thesis statement with evidence-based body paragraphs and transition words for coherence.

The Essence of Expository Essays

Expository essays are a type of structured academic writing that utilizes factual evidence to analyze or investigate a designated topic. Different from descriptive essays and personal opinion pieces, expository writing focuses on providing the reader with information about a given topic, maintaining a neutral stance. This objective description is crucial in academic settings, where expository essays are often assigned as a means of assessment and featured in various exam formats.

To write a good expository essay, it is important to select an engaging topic and articulate a precise, well-informed thesis statement. Examining expository essay examples can offer valuable insights into constructing a well-organized, informative essay. Remember, creativity and artistry can still be incorporated into expository writing, so don’t let the formulaic nature of such essays discourage you from developing a captivating piece.

Crafting an Effective Expository Essay Outline

An effective expository essay outline is crucial for organizing your thoughts and research, as it serves as the foundation of your essay. The basic structure of an expository essay comprises an introduction, body paragraphs, and a conclusion. The more comprehensive your outline is, the less time you’ll need to spend on research and writing, ultimately making the writing process more efficient.

There is no specific length for an expository essay; however, it should be sufficient to effectively articulate the thesis statement. Typically, a five-paragraph essay is a common approach, with an introductory paragraph, three body paragraphs, and a concluding paragraph. By crafting a detailed outline, you can ensure that each section of your essay supports and builds upon your thesis statement, resulting in a cohesive and well-structured piece.

The Writing Process: Step-by-Step Guide

Now that we’ve covered the fundamentals of expository essays and the importance of outline, let’s dive into the step-by-step guide to writing an expository essay.

This guide will cover idea generation, research, outlining, drafting, refining, and polishing, providing a comprehensive approach to crafting a compelling expository essay, including problem and solution essay techniques.

Generating Ideas and Researching

The first step to write an expository essay is brainstorming potential expository essay topics. Consider the topics discussed in class, anticipate what your teacher might expect, and choose something that genuinely interests you. This will ensure that you are engaged in the writing process and motivated to create a captivating essay. After narrowing down your options, conduct research on each topic to determine if reliable sources are easily accessible and gain a more comprehensive understanding of the subject.

Once you have gathered sufficient information, it’s time to analyze your research and select an expository essay topic that best suits your interests and meets your instructor’s guidelines. Keep in mind that your chosen topic should be able to provide enough factual evidence to support your thesis statement, as this will be the core of your essay. By selecting a strong, engaging topic, you set the foundation for a successful expository essay.

Organizing Thoughts with an Outline

Creating an outline is essential for organizing your thoughts and laying the groundwork for your expository essay. Start by developing a strong thesis statement that outlines the main idea of your essay and provides a well-informed, reasoned response to your research question. Your outline should specify what information will be included in each paragraph, ensuring that each section of your essay supports your thesis statement.

The outline serves as a roadmap, guiding you through the writing process and helping you stay focused on your topic. By organizing your thoughts and research in a logical manner, you’ll find it easier to begin writing and stay on track throughout the development of your expository essay.

Drafting the Essay

With a comprehensive outline in hand, it’s time to start drafting your expository essay. Focus on crafting well-structured body paragraphs that stay on topic and provide factual evidence to support your thesis statement. It’s often beneficial to postpone writing the introduction until after you’ve completed the body paragraphs and conclusion, as this will allow you to develop a more accurate and engaging introduction based on the content of your essay.

As you write, use transition words and sentences to connect ideas, maintain narrative flow, and guide readers through your argument. This will ensure that your essay is coherent and easy to follow, ultimately enhancing the reader’s understanding of your topic.

Refining Your Draft

Once you’ve completed the first draft of your expository essay, it’s time to refine your work. Start by reorganizing content, ensuring that each sentence serves its purpose and enhances the reader’s understanding of your topic. Edit for clarity and coherence, and double-check that your essay remains focused on your thesis statement throughout.

As you review your draft, read the paper as if it’s your first encounter with the topic. This will help you determine if the essay is coherent and if the information provided is relevant to the intended purpose of each section. Remember to abstain from attempting to make a persuasive argument and to utilize opinions as evidence, as this can detract from the objective nature of your expository essay.

Polishing the Essay: Editing and Proofreading

The final step in crafting a compelling expository essay is editing and proofreading. Check for errors in grammar, spelling, and formatting, and ensure that your citations are accurate and adherent to the assigned style guide. Tools like Grammarly can be helpful in detecting errors and phrases that lack clarity, as well as ensuring a uniform tone throughout your essay.

In addition to self-editing, consider having someone else review your work. This can provide a fresh perspective and help identify any remaining inconsistencies or areas that need improvement. With your polished expository essay in hand, you’ll be ready to present your well-researched, informative, and engaging piece to your audience.

Analyzing Expository Essay Examples

Examining expository essay examples can be an invaluable tool in understanding how to create a well-structured, informative essay. By analysing the structure, style, and use of evidence in an expository essay example, you can gain insight into crafting your own compelling piece. Remember, it’s not recommended to directly source information or text from expository essay examples, but they can serve as an inspirational reference for your work.

Take note of how the thesis statement is presented, how the body paragraphs are organized, and how the conclusion effectively summarizes the main points of the essay. By carefully studying expository essay examples, you’ll be better equipped to create your own well-crafted, engaging, and informative piece.

Diving into Expository Essay Types

Expository essays come in various forms, each with its own unique purpose and structure. Understanding the different types of expository essays can aid in selecting a subject and organizing your essay’s overall trajectory and framework. The primary types of expository essays include classification, definition, process, compare-and-contrast, and cause-and-effect essays.

Classification essays identify and organize various subjects within one category, outlining their individual characteristics. A definition essay, on the other hand, provides a clear and concise explanation of a subject matter. A process essay outlines the steps necessary for completing a task, providing the reader with an understanding of the procedure.

Compare-and-contrast essays analyze the differences and similarities between sources cited. Cause-and-effect essays investigate the reasons behind a particular occurrence and the consequences that follow. Familiarizing yourself with these expository essay types will expand your writing capabilities and help you craft a compelling piece.

Structuring Your Expository Essay

To ensure a coherent and engaging expository essay, it’s crucial to understand the expository essay structure, which includes a distinct introduction, body paragraphs, and conclusion that support your thesis statement. The introduction should include a precise and succinct thesis statement that outlines the primary focus of your essay, providing the reader with a clear understanding of the topic at hand.

Each body paragraph should contain evidence that supports your thesis statement, ensuring that every section of your essay contributes to the overall argument.

Finally, the conclusion should succinctly summarize the main points and provide a clear and concise statement of the essay’s overarching message. By following this structure, you’ll create a well-organized, informative, and engaging expository essay that effectively communicates your ideas to your audience.

The Role of the Thesis Statement

The thesis statement serves as the foundation of your expository essay, providing a succinct, precise synopsis of the primary point of your essay. A strong, clear, and memorable thesis statement is essential, as it gives the reader a clear understanding of the main focus of your essay and sets the tone for the entire piece. Examples of effective thesis statements include: “The effects of global warming are becoming increasingly evident in our environment,” “The use of technology in the classroom can have both positive and negative effects,” and “The rise of social media has had a profound impact on our society.”

To create a thesis statement, identify your essay topic, conduct research on the topic, and formulate a main idea or argument based on your findings. This statement should be concise and direct, ensuring that your essay remains focused and well-organized throughout the writing process.

Enhancing Your Essay with Transition Words and Sentences

Transition words and sentences play a crucial role in connecting ideas, maintaining narrative flow, and guiding readers through your argument. They serve as the binding element that keeps your essay’s foundation intact, preventing confusion and ensuring that your argument remains coherent and easy to follow. A lack of logical progression of thought can make it difficult for the reader to comprehend your essay’s argument, ultimately compromising its structure.

Examples of transition words and phrases include “however,” “in addition,” “on the other hand,” and “as a result.” By incorporating these transitions into your expository essay, you’ll create a seamless reading experience that effectively communicates your ideas and maintains the reader’s interest throughout the piece.

Frequently Asked Questions

How do you start an expository essay.

To start an expository essay, begin with a general statement about your topic that captures the reader’s attention. This should be followed by your thesis or main point of the essay, which can be further supported with three body paragraphs.

Use a formal tone and avoid introducing unnecessary information or summaries.

How do you write an expository essay step by step?

Writing an expository essay can be done step-by-step by organizing your thoughts, researching the topic, formulating a thesis statement, writing an introduction, composing the body paragraphs, and summarizing the essay in the conclusion.

Finally, revise and proofread the essay to ensure its quality.

What is an example of an expository essay?

An example of an expository essay is one that provides readers with a step-by-step guide on how to do something, or a descriptive essay that is loaded with details.

These types of essays seek to explain a particular topic in an informative and logical manner.

What are the 4 parts of the expository essay?

An expository essay is composed of four parts: an introduction, three body paragraphs, and a conclusion.

It provides a clear and organized explanation of a specific topic.

What is an expository essay?

An expository essay is an essay that communicates factual information, requiring the student to investigate an idea, evaluate evidence, expound on the idea, and set forth an argument concerning it in a clear and concise manner.

It is important for the student to be able to organize their thoughts and ideas in a logical manner in order to effectively communicate their argument. Splitting the text into paragraphs is a key to better readability. Start a new paragraph whenever you introduce a new idea or change direction in your argument. This will be a success.

In conclusion, crafting a compelling expository essay requires careful planning, research, and organization. By understanding the essence of expository essays, creating an effective outline, following a step-by-step writing process, and analyzing examples, you can develop your writing skills and create an engaging, informative piece.

Familiarize yourself with the different types of expository essays and the importance of structuring your essay to support your thesis statement. Remember to enhance your essay with transition words and sentences, ensuring a smooth, coherent reading experience for your audience. With these tools and techniques in hand, you’re well on your way to mastering the art of expository writing.

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What Are the Four Tips for Writing a Good Thesis Statement for an Expository Essay?

Paige Johansen

How to Write a Three Point Thesis Statement

An expository essay, often required in high school and college classes, allows you to explore an opinion or make an argument about a particular idea. The thesis statement usually appears at the end of the introductory paragraph of your essay, making a clear declaration about the opinion you wish to defend. The rest of your paper should speak back to this sentence and should be supported by reasons and evidence, such as statistics, facts, professional opinions and analyses.

Contestable and Debatable

A thesis statement should be contestable and debatable, which means that others could reasonably object to it. For example, it's unlikely that you will find sane objectors to the statement "murder is bad for society" unless that statement is qualified in some way (for example, if you are against the death penalty -- and then your statement will need to be more specific). Likewise, a thesis statement cannot be a fact, such as "the earth travels around the sun." This is a widely held belief, and such a paper would offer only an explanation, not an argument.

Supportable

A thesis statement should also be supportable. If you can't provide support for your statement, there won't be much content in the body of your paper. An unsupportable statement could be one attributed solely to taste -- for example, "chocolate is the best ice cream flavor" -- or one based only on your belief system, such as "the soul lives on after death." Make sure to qualify your statement correctly, because all-or-nothing terms, such as always and never, are often more difficult to support.

A simple or vague claim often leads to an unfocused paper, while a rich, complex and specific claim leads to a coherent paper. For example, the thesis "college athletics are unfair" will lead to a very desultory paper. A specific statement about why they are unfair -- "college athletics lead to an unfair distribution of scholarship funds" -- will result in a clearer paper. Depending on the kind of paper you want to write, you might be even more specific by offering a reason you will expound upon in your paper in more detail.

Sometimes, it is appropriate to frame your paper as a solution to a problem. "Alcohol abuse in college is out of control" is too vague, while "alcohol abuse in college can be limited by setting stricter on-campus policies" confronts a similar topic in a more specific way. Of course, being too specific can also get you into trouble. The specificity of your thesis should be appropriate to the length of your paper -- you want to be able to adequately cover your subject and prove your point in the required number of pages.

Finally, consider the wording of your thesis. While your statement should be conceptually complex, it shouldn't have wording that is too complicated. Your statement should be clear, concise and grammatically correct. Have a friend or peer read it over and offer feedback. Write it and rewrite it. Make sure it says what you mean it to say.

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  • The Craft of Argument; Joseph Williams and Gregory Colomb; 2006
  • Purude OWL: Expository Essays

Paige Johansen has been writing professionally since 2003. She holds a B.A. in psychology and English from Cornell University and an M.F.A. in fiction writing from The University of Virginia. Between degrees, she worked in the fashion industry for two years.

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How To Write An Expository Essay: 5 Helpful Steps

Learning how to write an expository essay allows you to express your opinion, defend an argument, or delve into a deep analysis of a concept. Learn more.

The  basic structure of an expository essay  includes an introduction (with a solid thesis statement), body paragraphs to support the thesis, and a conclusion. The number of body paragraphs depends on the length of the essay, and each body paragraph should provide direct evidence that supports the initial thesis statement.

The conclusion should tie the essay together and leave the reader with something to think about rather than simply restating the thesis. An expository essay isn’t the same as a research paper or other types of cut-and-dry academic writing. Expository writing allows writers to discuss their own opinions, develop a good thesis, and go on to prove their point.

Like a persuasive essay, an expository essay allows writers to share their points of view with their audience. Expository essay writing can be fun and engaging and provide writers with a way to share an opinion they feel passionate about with their professor or publisher.

Here, we’ll explore the standard essay format for expository writing, from the introductory paragraph to the concluding paragraph, look at some expository essay topics, and check out some examples to help you jump-start your thought process as you brainstorm essay ideas.

Step 1. Getting Started

Step 2. writing a good thesis statement, step 3: creating an expository essay outline and choosing a format, step 4: creating a solid expository essay conclusion, step 5: proofreading to make your work shine, 1. “reasons for obesity” by gillman & kleinman, 2. “consider the lobster” by david foster wallace.

Before starting your expository essay, you’ll need to choose a topic. This may be a topic you already feel passionate about, or you may be exploring a relatively new topic. Either way, you must choose an opinion you’ll support throughout your essay. For example, if you’re writing an expository essay about characters in a book, you may choose to explain which character showed the most growth.

On the other hand, if you’re writing an expository essay for a history class, you may choose to argue about what caused a specific global event. When brainstorming, write down every idea that comes to mind, no matter how silly it may seem at the moment. If you can, take a few hours away from your brainstorming list before you choose a topic. Then, when you return to your list, look for connections and see if you can use the information you wrote down to develop the start of your expository essay.

If you’re writing an expository essay for a professor or a publication, your topic will likely be assigned to you. You’ll likely have leeway in choosing which side of the argument you’d like to support, but you’ll need to stick to the topic guidelines. If you’re writing an expository essay for enjoyment or in a writing class, you’ll likely have more creative license to explore an exciting idea. Here, we’ll look at some expository essay topics that can help jump-start your creative process.

Potential expository essay topics include:

  • What is the culture of your neighborhood?
  • Is distance education a good option for kids?
  • Should the government provide healthcare to all of its citizens?
  • How is connecting with people online different from connecting with people in person?
  • What country does the best job supporting the mental health of its citizens?
  • Does popular music have a positive or negative influence on today’s society?

Create a strong thesis

It’s wise to develop your thesis statement before you dig into writing your expository essay. Your thesis statement will guide the rest of your writing and help you develop the expository essay outline that will help you seamlessly flow from one point to the next. Your thesis statement (also known as a topic sentence) should make your main point and be toward the beginning of the introduction of your essay. Your thesis statement should be specific and narrow enough that you’ll be able to prove your thesis within the word limit of your essay.

If your thesis is too broad, it can be hard to create an argument strong enough to support your topic. On the other hand, if your thesis is too narrow, you may struggle to find enough information to prove your point. So it’s ok if you need to tweak your thesis before you begin writing your paper.

Examples of well-written thesis statements include:

  • Providing communities with access to mental health resources has decreased violent crime rates.
  • Children who are read have healthier brain development and stronger bonds with their parents than children who are not read to.
  • According to law enforcement statistics, hate crimes in California have risen over the past year.
  • In The Sun Also Rises , Hemingway’s use of Jake as the narrator makes readers sympathetic to his many plights.
  • Once you have your thesis statement complete, it’s time to begin working on your expository essay outline.

There’s no required length for an expository essay (unless your professor or publisher sets one). However, many writers find that a five-paragraph essay format is a solid start for an expository essay.

Generally, the five-paragraph essay format consists of a single introductory paragraph (that includes a thesis statement), three body paragraphs with evidential support, and a conclusion paragraph. However, suppose your expository essay requires more support than you can provide in three body paragraphs. In that case, you can add additional body paragraphs as needed (as long as each paragraph adds a new point to your essay and provides evidential support).

Creating an outline of your essay before you start writing can be a great way to form your ideas. You may need to tweak your  thesis statement  as you research your evidence, and that’s ok. Many people find that their opinion shifts as they write expository essays and do the research necessary to support their point.

Writing in an expository style can be a learning experience. Writing an outline before you begin writing your essay can make it easier to switch up your ideas and supports as needed without having to revamp your entire essay when you have a shift in opinion or find new research that goes against your original opinion.

When you create your outline for your body paragraphs, it’s wise to include a different resource for each paragraph. Utilizing different resources shows your reader that you took the time to explore a vast body of research rather than simply choosing one source that supports your opinion. Beef up your outline by including statistics and quotes from your research. Later, you can decide whether you want to include direct quotes or if you’d instead paraphrase the information.

Regardless of your chosen approach, attribute information to the correct sources when you include an idea from somewhere other than your mind. Find out whether you use MLA or APA format for your citations, and cite your work correctly. You’ll also need to include a works cited page at the end of your paper, allowing your reader to get more information on your sources if necessary. Writing out in-text citations and your works cited page during the outline process (instead of at the end of your writing process, when it can be tough to track down exactly where you got each idea) can save you time and stress. Check out our guide on the best expository writing topics .

If you’re a writer who struggles to write conclusions that tie your essay together without simply restating the information you’ve already provided, you’re not alone. It can be tough to create a conclusion that helps your reader tie the information you’ve provided together in a way that doesn’t feel repetitive.

There’s no need to reinvent the wheel; your conclusion shouldn’t make new points you haven’t already discussed in your essay. Instead, you’ll want to restate your thesis in a new way, rephrase a few of your key points, and then leave your reader context around why your argument matters. Talking about the implications of your argument on society or its impact on people’s well-being can help you discuss your points in a way that feels new and fresh.

If you’re struggling to write your conclusion, feel free to take a few hours away from your work. Then, try writing your conclusion without re-reading your thesis statement or body paragraphs when you return. When your mind has time to process what you’ve written without seeing the exact words, it can be easier to create a conclusion that provides your reader with a fresh take.

How To Write An Expository Essay: Proofreading to Make Your Work Shine

After completing your expository essay, you must return and proofread it to ensure that your grammar is correct and that you’re making your points. It can be helpful to read your essay out loud. Hearing your words spoken instead of reading them in your mind can help you find the phrasing that feels awkward, detect run-on sentences, and pick out repetitive phrasing.

You may also ask someone else to read your essay aloud, as hearing your words from someone else can help you see them in a new light. You’ll also want to run your expository essay through an online writing tool to help you check for overuse of the passive voice, grammatical errors, and spelling mistakes.

Examples of Expository Essays

Reasons for Obesity  – Obesity has become a common condition in the United States. According to CDC (2018), 36.5% of U.S. adults are obese. Since obesity is a serious and very costly problem, experts seek to understand the reasons for the condition. Researchers point to genetics as a major precondition for obesity (Gillman & Kleinman, 2007). There is ample evidence that offsprings of obese parents are likely to be obese compared to their peers whose parents are not overweight (Bouchard et al., 1990). Also, there is an opinion that the lack of food culture leads to obesity. Unfortunately, many people become addicted to the junk food that is cheap and “hyperpalatable” (Avena, Rada, & Hoebel, 2008).

In this expository essay, the author expertly cites sources to explain why obesity is a prevalent problem in the United States. The author argues that obesity is preventable, citing research that provides clear-cut reasoning why obesity occurs on such a large scale in the U.S. The author expertly cites their sources, even though they’re paraphrasing information instead of using direct quotes. This essay is an example of academically-focused writing, rather than the more creative spin some authors take when writing in an expository essay format.

Consider the Lobster  –  So then here is a question that’s all but unavoidable at the World’s Largest Lobster Cooker, and may arise in the kitchens across the U.S. Is it all right to boil a sentient creature alive just for our gustatory pleasure? A related set of concerns: Is the previous question irksomely PC or sentimental? What does “all right” even mean in this context? Is it all just a matter of individual choice?

In this expository essay, Wallace explores whether killing a lobster is humane. He does not simply delve into the scientific reasoning behind whether lobsters feel pain–he also discusses what he sees at a lobster festival and works to explain whether it’s ok for humans to find enjoyment while other creatures are feeling pain. This essay includes more creativity than an expository essay with a more academic format.

For help with this topic, read our guide explaining what is persuasive writing ?

how to write a good thesis for an expository essay

Amanda has an M.S.Ed degree from the University of Pennsylvania in School and Mental Health Counseling and is a National Academy of Sports Medicine Certified Personal Trainer. She has experience writing magazine articles, newspaper articles, SEO-friendly web copy, and blog posts.

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5 Expository Essay Examples (Full Text with Citations)

An expository essay attempts to explain a topic in-depth, demonstrating expert knowledge and understanding.

Unlike an argumentative essay, it aims to remain objective and neutral throughout.

It generally follows this essay format:

expository essay format and structure template

Below are five expository essays to demonstrate style and tone.

Expository Essay Examples

#1 impacts of technology on education.

955 words | 4 Pages | 15 References

impact of technology on education essay

Thesis Statement: “The integration of technology in education represents a complex and critical area of study crucial for understanding and shaping the future of educational practices.”

#2 Impacts of Globalization on Education

1450 words | 5 Pages | 9 References

impacts of globalization on education essay

Thesis Statement: “This essay examines the profound and multifaceted effects of globalization on education, exploring how technological advancements and policy reforms have transformed access to, delivery of, and perceptions of education.”

#3 The Role of Emotional Intelligence in Interpersonal Relationships

1211 Words | 5 Pages | 22 References

emotional intelligence essay

Thesis Statement: “The central thesis is that EI, defined as the ability to perceive, understand, and manage emotions, is a crucial determinant of success and well-being.”

#4 The Future of Renewable Energy Sources and Their Impact

870 words | 4 Pages | 20 References

renewable energy essay

Thesis Statement: “The essay posits that although renewable energy sources hold immense promise for a sustainable future, their full integration into the global energy grid presents significant challenges that must be addressed through technological innovation, economic investment, and policy initiatives.”

#5 The Psychology Behind Consumer Behavior

1053 words | 4 Pages | 17 References

consumer behavior essay

Thesis Statement: “The thesis of this essay is that consumer behavior is not merely a product of rational decision-making; it is deeply rooted in psychological processes, both conscious and subconscious, that drive consumers’ choices and actions.”

How to Write an Expository Essay

expository essay definition and features, explained below

Unlike argumentative or persuasive essays, expository essays do not aim to convince the reader of a particular point of view.

Instead, they focus on providing a balanced and thorough explanation of a subject.

Key characteristics of an expository essay include:

  • Clarity and Conciseness
  • Structured Organization (Introduction, Body, Conclusion)
  • Objective Tone
  • Evidence-Based (Cite academic sources in every body paragraph)
  • Objective thesis statement (see below)
  • Informative purpose (Not argumentative)

You can follow my expository essay templates with AI prompts to help guide you through the expository essay writing process:

Expository Essay Paragraph Guide

How to write a Thesis Statement for an Expository Essay

An expository thesis statement doesn’t make an argument or try to persuade. It uses ‘is’ rather than ‘ought’ statements.

Take these comparisons  below. Note how the expository thesis statements don’t prosecute an argument or attempt to persuade, while the argumentative thesis statements clearly take a side on an issue:

💡 AI Prompt for Generating Sample Expository Thesis Statements An expository essay’s thesis statement should be objective rather than argumentative. Write me five broad expository thesis statement ideas on the topic “[TOPIC]”.

Go Deeper: 101 Thesis Statement Examples

Differences Between Expository and Argumentative Essays

Expository and argumentative essays are both common writing styles in academic and professional contexts, but they serve different purposes and follow different structures.

Here are the key differences between them:

  • Expository Essay : The primary purpose is to explain, describe, or inform about a topic. It focuses on clarifying a subject or process, providing understanding and insight.
  • Argumentative Essay : The goal is to persuade the reader to accept a particular point of view or to take a specific action. It’s about presenting a stance and supporting it with evidence and logic.
  • Expository Essay : It maintains a neutral and objective tone. The writer presents information factually and impartially, without expressing personal opinions or biases.
  • Argumentative Essay : It often adopts a more assertive, persuasive, and subjective tone. The writer takes a clear position and argues in favor of it, using persuasive language.
  • Expository Essay : The reader is expected to gain knowledge, understand a process, or become informed about a topic. There’s no expectation for the reader to agree or disagree.
  • Argumentative Essay : The reader is encouraged to consider the writer’s viewpoint, evaluate arguments, and possibly be persuaded to adopt a new perspective or take action.

Go Deeper: Expository vs Argumentative Essays

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Expository Essay Template

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How to Write an Expository Essay Thesis Statement

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Knowing how to write an expository essay thesis statement is perhaps, the most important step in completing an expository essay successfully. A thesis statement refers to a sentence through which you express the major ideas of your expository essay while answering the posed research question.

A thesis statement should provide a simple and immediate way of following what your essay is discussing and what you intend to tell readers. An expository essay is usually required in college and high school classes and it allows the writer to make a specific argument or to explore an argument about an idea. In most cases, a thesis statement comes at the end of an introductory paragraph of an expository essay. It makes the opinion that the writer wishes to defend in the essay clearly.

What you need to know before you know how to write an expository essay thesis statement

An expository essay entails explaining something to an audience.

As such, a thesis statement of an expository essay should tell readers the following:

  • What do you intend to explain to them?
  • Categories that you will use in organizing the explanation
  • The order of presenting the categories .

How to write an expository essay thesis statement step by step

If you do not craft a good thesis statement for your expository essay, your thoughts will not be organized in the essay and writing your essay persuasively will not be possible. Basically, a thesis statement is a theme of an expository essay. Everything that you say in the essay should refer to and stem from your thesis statement. Thus, your thesis statement for an expository essay is the anchor of your essay.

To write a good thesis statement for an expository essay, follow these steps:

Step 1 : Understand what to accomplish with a thesis statement

You should express a considered viewpoint through your thesis statement. This is different from an opinion since anybody has an opinion that they can express. For instance, if you say that you prefer ice cream to chocolate, another person can disagree or agree. However, this will not lead to an argument or investigation of a particular issue. Usually, blanket opinions stop conversations while thesis statements start conversations.

Step 2 : Define your viewpoint

After receiving the expository essay assignment, come up with a less structured piece of writing. Take notes in a free writing manner so that you can sort your thoughts about an issue first. For instance, you can come up with a list of advantages and disadvantages of something before making a final decision on the position to take. This will enable you to clarify your thoughts or even decide on the line that your argument should take.

Step 3 : Organize and clarify your thoughts to come up with a clear thesis statement

Use complex sentences to write a thesis statement because complex sentences enable you to convey rich thoughts which cannot be communicated with simple sentences. Complex sentences make unpacking and elaborating your thoughts in the expository essay’s body possible.

Simple sentence: I hate the weather in San Francisco during summer.

Complex sentence: Although the weather in San Francisco can be unpredictable and variable during summer, it can be unpleasant after mastering the “layering art.”

The first statement is simply an opinion that one can respond to by either agreeing or disagreeing. You can say you also hate the weather or say you love it. Thus, there is no conversation that is started by this statement because it is a blanket, flat statement. On the other hand, the second statement has more to offer to the reader. Its structure is complex and it has subordinate clauses. For instance, the writer can explain what it means for the weather to be unpredictable and variable. Additionally, the writer can elaborate on the idea of layering and how this is an art. Even the structure of this sentence alone shows how rich it is.

Step 4 : Analyze

Instead of moralizing, analyze. Do not use words like must or should because they dictate what readers should do or should not do and these are usually off-putting. However, providing an interesting or fresh way of thinking about a complex or controversial issue invites readers even if the presented thought line has flaws.

Step 5 : Do not generalize

Avoid terms like “everyone,” “all,” and “no one” among others, and use words like “some” or “many.” When a thesis of an expository essay makes universal statement it creates easy spots for an easy attack.

Bonus tips on how to write an expository essay thesis statement

  • Clarify directions

It is important that you understand what the assessor or teacher expects before you start writing a thesis statement for your expository essay. Clarifying directions enables you to know what exactly you are supposed to write an expository essay on. Remember that a thesis statement is the anchor of an expository essay. If you do not understand the instructions, you will come up with a thesis statement that does not address the issue that your instructor expects you to address. Thus, even your essay will not meet the requirements set by the instructor.

  • Make your thesis statement debatable and contestable

A good thesis statement should be debatable and contestable. This means that other reasonable people should object it. For instance, a statement like, “murder is a bad act for a society” is not a thesis statement unless it is qualified. Similarly, a statement like “the earth goes around the sun” is not a thesis statement since it simply states a fact.

  • Make your thesis statement complex

A vague or simple claim will lead to an unfocused expository essay. However, a complex, specific and rich claim will lead to a more coherent essay. For instance, “college athletics are generally unfair” cannot be used to write a good thesis statement. A statement like, “college athletics cause unfair scholarship funds’ distribution” can be used to write a clearer essay. How complex your thesis statement is should depend on the kind of essay that you want to write by expounding the reason that you state via your thesis statement by providing more details.

  • Make your thesis statement supportable

A statement that you cannot support is not a thesis statement because you will not have adequate content to use in writing the body. A statement that cannot be supported is either based on a belief system or taste. For instance, “there is life for the souls after death” or “the best flavor for ice cream is chocolate.” Make sure that your thesis statement is qualified correctly because nothing or all terms such as never and always are usually hard to support through an expository essay.

This is perhaps, one of the most important tips on how to write an expository essay thesis statement. Take time to consider the words that you have used in your thesis statement for an expository essay. Although your thesis statement ought to be conceptually complex, you should not use too complicated words in it. Use words that make it concise, clear and above all, grammatically correct. You can ask a friend to read your thesis statement and give you feedback after which you can re-write it to ensure that it tells readers exactly what you want it to mean.

Expository essay thesis statement samples

Although the Southerners and Northerners engaged in Civil War over the slavery issue, the Northerners were fighting on moral basis while the Southerners were fighting to preserve their own institutions.

While writing an expository essay using such a thesis, you can expound on the causes of the war and how disagreements emerged between the two sides of these causes.

Through contrasting shore and river scenes, the Huckleberry Film by Mark Twain suggests that leaving a civilized society to join nature is necessary to find the true democratic ideals of the American’s expression .

This is a good working thesis for an expository essay because it highlights a vital aspect of the investigation of the film. It interprets the literary work on the basis of its content analysis. Of course, evidence from the work must be presented so that the expository essay can be successful in convincing the readers about the presented interpretation.

How to evaluate an expository essay thesis statement

Once you have known how to write an expository essay thesis statement, it is important that you know how to evaluate it.

To do this, ask the following questions:

  • Does my thesis answer the question prompt?
  • Does my thesis indicate the position that I have taken that can be opposed or challenged by others?
  • Is my thesis specific?
  • Does my thesis statement pass the so what, why, and how tests?

If you answer yes to these questions, then you have a strong expository essay thesis statement. However, if you answer no to any of these questions, consider revising your thesis statement.

How to Write an Expository Essay Thesis Statement: References

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7 Expository Essay Thesis Statement Examples That’ll Help to Create One of Your Own

writing thesis statement

An expository statement is aimed at explaining something to the audience. You don’t have to prove or analyze the subject matter – only deliver the information. Here are some expository essay thesis statement examples for you to peruse.

  • Statistic shows that students constantly exposed to a foreign language in everyday situations (e.g., living in a foreign country) show much higher proficiency and fluency levels (even without additional language courses) than students who only study the foreign language in question in the classroom.
  • Professional photography requires considerable experience, diverse equipment and isn’t limited to taking photos of objects, but also involves lengthy processing of shot material.
  • Japanese language uses three independent writing systems: Hiragana, Katakana and Kanji. Hiragana is a syllabary (syllabic alphabet), normally used for Japanese words. Katakana is a syllabary representing identical sounds with a different set of symbols, usually used for foreign and loan words. Kanji are adopted Chinese logographic characters.
  • Dramatic decrease in fat intake doesn’t necessarily lead to better health, because fats play their important role in organism’s functioning.
  • Pet neutering tends to lead to longer lifespans and increases the quality of their life. It is highly recommended in case the animal isn’t intended for breeding purposes.
  • Spaced repetition is a memorization and learning technique based on reviewing previously learned material after increasingly long periods of time, thus optimizing the use of the so-called spacing effect, according to which learning is more effective when it is spread over prolonged periods.
  • World globalization is a tendency for gradual elimination of both natural and artificial obstacles to worldwide economic exchange. It involved the increased ease of transportation and cross-border movement as well as higher availability of services, labor and financial resources across borders.
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COMMENTS

  1. How to Write an Expository Essay

    Home Knowledge Base Essay How to write an expository essay How to Write an Expository Essay | Structure, Tips & Examples Published on July 14, 2020 by Jack Caulfield . Revised on July 23, 2023. "Expository" means "intended to explain or describe something."

  2. Creating a Thesis Statement, Thesis Statement Tips

    1. Determine what kind of paper you are writing: An analytical paper breaks down an issue or an idea into its component parts, evaluates the issue or idea, and presents this breakdown and evaluation to the audience. An expository (explanatory) paper explains something to the audience.

  3. Writing a Thesis Statement

    The kind of thesis statement you write will depend on the type of paper you are writing. Here is how to write the different kinds of thesis statements: Argumentative Thesis Statement: Making a Claim. Analytical Thesis Statement: Analyzing an Issue. Expository Thesis Statement: Explaining a Topic.

  4. Expository Essays

    General Writing Academic Writing Essay Writing Expository Essays Expository Essays What is an expository essay? The expository essay is a genre of essay that requires the student to investigate an idea, evaluate evidence, expound on the idea, and set forth an argument concerning that idea in a clear and concise manner.

  5. How to Write a Thesis Statement With Examples

    If you are writing an expository essay, your thesis statement should explain to the reader what she will learn in your essay. For example: The United States spends more money on its military budget than all the industrialized nations combined. Gun-related homicides and suicides are increasing after years of decline.

  6. PDF Writing an Expository Essay

    Thesis statement The thesis statement comes at the end of the introduction. It is the most important sentence in the entire essay because it presents the essay topic and the writer's position on that topic. It also indicates the main ideas that will be discussed in the body paragraphs. 2. Body paragraphs

  7. How to Write a Thesis Statement

    How to write a thesis statement for persuasive essays. Similar to argumentative essays, persuasive essays follow many of the same guidelines for their thesis statements: decisive language, specific details, and mentions of subtopics. However, the main difference is that, while the thesis statements for argumentative and expository essays state facts, the thesis statements for persuasive essays ...

  8. Expository Essay Guide With Definition & Examples

    Your essay would start with a thesis statement about how herding breeds are different from other categories of dogs, then in each paragraph, discuss specific herding breeds (corgi, collie, heeler, etc.). 2 Definition essays

  9. How to Write an Expository Essay: Types, Tips, and Topics

    You can write an expository essay using the following steps. 1. Define your thesis statement. Because an expository essay generally goes in-depth on a given subject, it's important that you specify your thesis statement from the get-go. State it in a clear and concise manner in the first paragraph of your essay.

  10. How to Write an Expository Essay

    Writing an Expository Essay. An expository essay should not be based on your personal experiences and opinions. It rather takes an objective approach. You will be expected to explain the topic in a balanced way without any personal bias. Make sure to avoid the first and second person ("I" and "You") when writing an expository essay.

  11. How to Write an Expository Essay: Topics, Outline, Examples

    Body Paragraphs. In your first body paragraph. introduce the first major point that backs up your primary statement. Then, support your claim with instances or facts, and then explain how these examples or evidence link to your thesis and support your core notion. Remember to include a transitional sentence that relates to the following paragraph.

  12. Strong Thesis Statements

    The thesis statement or main claim must be debatable. An argumentative or persuasive piece of writing must begin with a debatable thesis or claim. In other words, the thesis must be something that people could reasonably have differing opinions on. ... No one could reasonably argue that pollution is unambiguously good. Example of a debatable ...

  13. 25 Thesis Statement Examples (2024)

    A thesis statement is needed in an essay or dissertation. There are multiple types of thesis statements - but generally we can divide them into expository and argumentative.

  14. Expository Thesis Statements vs. Argumentative Thesis Statements

    If you are writing an expository essay, your thesis statement should explain to the reader what she will learn in your essay. For example: The United States spends more money on its military budget than all the industrialized nations combined. Gun-related homicides and suicides are increasing after years of decline.

  15. How To Write an Excellent Expository Essay: Expert Tips and Examples

    2. Determine the Type of Expository Essay You're Writing Expository essay is more of an umbrella term for other essay types. The general structure and purpose of the essay may not change, but knowing the type of expository essay you're writing is always a good idea. The main types include: Analytical essays

  16. How to Write an Expository Essay: Writing Tips & Structure

    To write a good expository essay, it is important to select an engaging topic and articulate a precise, well-informed thesis statement. Examining expository essay examples can offer valuable insights into constructing a well-organized, informative essay. Remember, creativity and artistry can still be incorporated into expository writing, so don ...

  17. What Are the Four Tips for Writing a Good Thesis Statement for an

    An expository essay, often required in high school and college classes, allows you to explore an opinion or make an argument about a particular idea. The thesis statement usually appears at the end of the introductory paragraph of your essay, making a clear declaration about the opinion you wish to defend.

  18. How To Write An Expository Essay: 5 Helpful Steps

    Step 2. Writing a Good Thesis Statement. Your thesis statement should be specific and narrow enough that you'll be able to prove your thesis within the word limit of your essay. It's wise to develop your thesis statement before you dig into writing your expository essay.

  19. 5 Expository Essay Examples (Full Text with Citations)

    Thesis Statement: "The thesis of this essay is that consumer behavior is not merely a product of rational decision-making; it is deeply rooted in psychological processes, both conscious and subconscious, that drive consumers' choices and actions." Read Essay How to Write an Expository Essay

  20. How to Write an Expository Essay Thesis Statement

    To write a good thesis statement for an expository essay, follow these steps: Step 1: Understand what to accomplish with a thesis statement You should express a considered viewpoint through your thesis statement. This is different from an opinion since anybody has an opinion that they can express.

  21. Expository Essay Thesis Statement Examples to Create One of Your Own

    7 Expository Essay Thesis Statement Examples That'll Help to Create One of Your Own. A thesis statement is one of the most important stages of working on any paper - probably the most important, as it defines the entirety of what you are going to spend your time writing about. When you start preparing it, you should understand several ...

  22. AI Thesis Statement Generator

    A thesis statement is a single sentence, usually in the introductory paragraph of a paper or essay, that outlines the primary focus of the paper for the reader. A thesis statement is a crucial element of every well-written essay because it gives the reader an immediate understanding of what they can expect to read and provides clarity about the ...

  23. Sanjna Arora on Instagram: "Introduction is very important in your

    0 likes, 0 comments - pro_langue on November 9, 2023: "Introduction is very important in your essay because this is where the examiner starts reading yo..." Sanjna Arora on Instagram: "Introduction is very important in your essay because this is where the examiner starts reading your copy and the first impression should always be on point.