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How to write an expository paper: brief guide for students.

An expository paper is a piece of writing, which bases an explanation of a particular issue on facts rather than on personal opinions. Expository writing mainly is applied for defining and analyzing a complex phenomenon exposing the information to the audience in the most understandable way for it. Our article presents the types of expository essays, the key points you should consider when preparing the expository paper and the best way how it can be structured.

  1. 1. The types of expository writing.

Depending on the subject and methodology the expository papers are classified:

- essays which describe a particular process;

- essays that tell about a certain historical periods or events;

- essays analyzing ideas, concepts, books, articles, events and situations;

- essays with instruction of doing something.


  1. 2. Vital steps in writing the expository paper:
  • Remember that expository writing has to be unbiased. You are not allowed here to express your personal opinion regarding the issue – an objective analysis should have place.
  • The expository paper usually has an ordinary 5 paragraphs structure: an introduction, 3 body paragraphs and a conclusion.
  • Expository writing is not limited in its techniques: you can apply analysis of the information you work with, bringing examples, comparing and contrasting the subject with similar ones and so on.
  • In fact, informing function is central in expository papers. This type of writing can also be called informational.
  • Conciseness and clarity are the must-have features of the expository paper.


  1. 3. The best way to structure the expository paper.
  • Usually the five paragraph structure is used for expository writing. Here are some details about writing each part.
  • The introduction:

- consists of three main elements: a hook, building sentences and a thesis. 

The hook is typically the first sentence that is to catch the reader’s attention. Here you can use some interesting piece of information: a curious or unknown fact, statistics or surprising data.

Building sentences provide the background for your subject and sets it into a certain context.

Thesis statement is the last component of the introductive part. It expresses your position towards the issue and may serve as a map to your essay.

  • Main body of the expository essay.

- usually here you should compose 3 paragraphs;

- each of them must have a topical sentence that expresses the general point of a particular paragraph;

- supporting sentences express the core concept of the paragraph, make it clear and understandable for the reader;

- concluding sentence sums up the paragraphs and at the same time is a transition to the next part.

  • Conclusion.

- the conclusive paragraph summarizes the main points and arguments you have provided and creates a certain impression about the writing in the reader’s mind.

- it is important that the impression received the audience is a sense of completeness and discovery. Thus, make sure you have gone the full circle in your paper – the conclusion has the restated thesis – and your writing reveals the issue entirely.

- The points you should include in your concluding paragraphs are: the restated thesis, summary of the main ideas, and final thought, which can be a prediction, solution, or future perspective.

Keywords: expository paper, expository essay, writing, informational paper, types, steps, structure, tips.

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