Expository essays are often assigned in academic settings. In such an essay you need to consider an idea, research it, explain it, and then create an argument. While it may seem overwhelming, writing an expository essay is easy as long as you do it one step at a time.
Part 1 of 4: Plan the Rehearsal
Step 1. Define your goal
Think about why you are writing an expository essay. Write down some of the reasons you will be writing it and what you hope to do with it when you complete it.
If you're writing it for an assignment, read the guidelines provided. Ask your teacher in case something is not clear to you
Step 2. Consider your audience
Think about who will read your expository essay. Before you start writing, consider the needs and expectations of your readers. As you write your essay, write down some of the things to keep in mind about your readers.
If you are writing it for a class, think about the points your teacher will expect you to include in it
Step 3. Think of some ideas for the expository essay
Before you start writing your essay, you should take some time to develop your ideas and write them down. Invention activities such as creating lists, free writing, grouping, and asking questions can help you develop ideas for your expository essay.
- Make a list. Make a list of all your ideas for the expository essay. Then look at the list and group similar ideas. Expand it by adding more ideas or by using another prewriting activity.
- Try free writing. Write non-stop for about 10 minutes. Write whatever comes to mind without editing anything. When you finish writing, review the text. Highlight or underline the most important information for your expository essay. Repeat this exercise, using the passages you underlined as a starting point. You can repeat it many times to continue refining and developing your ideas.
- Try idea grouping. Write a brief explanation of the topic of your expository essay in the center of a sheet of paper and circle it. Then draw three or more lines that extend from the circle. Write a pertinent idea at the end of each of these lines. Keep developing the grouping until you have explored as many connections as you can.
- Try asking questions. On a piece of paper, write “Who? That? When? Where? Why? How?". Space the questions about two or three lines apart so that you can write your answers on them. Answer each question in as much detail as possible.
Step 4. Write a draft
Once you've put some of your ideas down on paper, you may want to organize them into a draft before you start writing your essay. You can write an essay draft to plan your overall essay, develop more ideas, and find out if you forgot anything.
Step 5. Find suitable sources
If you have questions about what types of fonts are suitable for this job, read your homework guidelines or ask your teacher. Trusted books, journal articles, magazine articles, newspaper articles, and websites are some of the sources you can use.
Step 6. Evaluate your sources to determine their credibility before deciding to use them
There are several things you will need to consider to determine if a source is trustworthy.
- Identify the author and their credentials. Think about what qualifies him to write about the topic. If the source does not have an author or the author does not have proper credentials, then this source may not be trusted.
- Check the verbatim citations to see if the author has researched the topic well enough. If the author has provided few or no sources, then this source may not be reliable.
- Look for a bias. Think about whether the author has discussed the subject in an objective and well-reasoned way. If the author seems biased, then this source may not be reliable.
- Consider the publication date to see if this source presents the most up-to-date information on the topic.
- Check some of the information from this source. If you are still concerned about a source, check their information in conjunction with a trusted source.
Step 7. Read your sources well
Make sure you understand what the author is saying. Take the time to look up words and concepts that you don't understand. Otherwise, you could end up misinterpreting or misusing your fonts.
Step 8. Take notes as you read the sources
Highlight and underline important passages so you can review them later. As you read, write down important information from your sources in a notebook.
- Indicate a cited source by enclosing it in quotation marks. Include information regarding the source, such as the author's name, the title of the article or book, and the page number.
- Write down the publication information for each source. You will need this information for your "References", "Bibliography" or "Works Cited" pages. Format this page according to the guidelines your teacher gives you.
Step 9. Develop your tentative thesis
Effective thesis statements express the main focus of a document and establish a debatable claim. The length of the thesis should not be more than one sentence.
- Make sure your thesis is moot. Don't talk about facts or preferences. For example, "George Washington was the first president of the United States" is not a good thesis because it states a fact. Similarly, "Tough to Kill is an Excellent Movie" is not a good thesis because it expresses a preference.
- Make sure your thesis provides enough detail. In other words, avoid saying something is "good" or "effective." Instead, say what makes something "good" or "effective."
Part 2 of 4: Enter the essay
Step 1. Start with an interesting sentence that draws attention to your topic
Your introduction should not immediately begin to discuss the topic. Think about what you will discuss in your essay so that you can determine what to include in the introduction. Keep in mind that the introduction should identify the main idea of the essay and act as a preview of the essay.
Step 2. Provide context
Provide enough information or context to guide your readers through the essay. Think about what your readers will need to know to understand the rest of the essay. Provide this information in the first paragraph.
- If you are writing an essay about a book, provide the name of the work, the author, and a brief summary of the plot.
- If you are writing about a specific day in history, summarize the events of that day. Then explain how it fits into a larger historical setting.
- If you are writing about a person, name them and provide a short biography.
- Keep in mind that your context should lead to your thesis statement. Explain everything the reader needs to know to understand the topic. Then narrow it down until you get to the topic itself.
Step 3. Provide your thesis statement
Your thesis statement should be a single sentence that expresses your main argument.
Part 3 of 4: State the Key Points
Step 1. Determine the number of paragraphs you will write
The most common length for an expository essay is five paragraphs, but it can be longer than that. Check your homework guidelines or ask your teacher if you're not sure how long the document should be.
- A five-paragraph essay should include three development paragraphs. Each of these paragraphs should speak of evidence that supports your thesis.
- Even if your essay is longer than five paragraphs, the same principles should still apply. Each paragraph should speak of supporting evidence.
Step 2. Begin each paragraph with a topic sentence
This sentence should introduce the main idea of the paragraph and supporting evidence for your thesis.
For example, if you are writing an expository essay about the use of dogs in the United States Marine Corps during World War II, the sentences on main ideas and themes should be:
- "The dogs played an active role in the missions of the Marine Corps in the War of the Pacific."
- "The Doberman Pinscher was the official dog of the United States Marine Corps during World War II, but all breeds were suitable for training as war dogs."
- "War dogs were even eligible to receive military decorations in exchange for their services."
Step 3. Create your supporting evidence
After you've established your topic sentence, provide specific evidence from your research to support it. Provide evidence for each developing paragraph you write in your essay.
- Most of the evidence should be in the form of citations, paraphrases, and summaries of your research.
- The evidence could also come from interviews, anecdotes, or personal experiences.
- Provide at least two to three pieces of evidence to support each of your claims.
- For example, if a paragraph begins with "War dogs were even eligible to receive military decorations in exchange for their services," the supporting evidence might be a list of dogs that received decorations and the types of decorations they earned.
Step 4. Analyze the importance of each piece of evidence
Explain how the evidence you provided in that paragraph connects to your thesis. Write a sentence or two for each evidence. Consider what your readers will need to know as you explain these connections.
Step 5. Make a conclusion and make a transition to the next paragraph
Each paragraph should transition to the next. The conclusion of each of them should summarize the main idea while showing how the next point works.
For example, imagine you want to connect two paragraphs that begin with these sentences: “The Doberman Pinscher was the official dog of the United States Marine Corps during World War II, but all breeds were suitable for training as war dogs. "And" In fact, war dogs were eligible to receive decorations in exchange for their services. " The final sentence should combine the idea of dog breeds with that of dogs receiving military decorations.
You could write, "Even Dobermans were the most common breed in WWII, but they were not only the only or the only dogs recognized for their help."
Part 4 of 4: Conclude the Essay
Step 1. Repeat and reformulate your thesis
The first sentence of the concluding paragraph should repeat your thesis. However, you should not only repeat it, you must also say what the evidence provided has added to your thesis.
For example, if your original thesis was "The dogs used by the United States Marine Corps during World War II played an important role in the Pacific War," then you could repeat it as follows: "The dogs of all the races and sizes played an important and honorable role in the Second World War, especially in the War of the Pacific”.
Note that the second sentence repeats the information provided in the original thesis. It just says it in a new way and at the same time hints at the information you included in the body of the essay
Step 2. Summarize and review the main ideas
Use a sentence to summarize each supporting evidence, as presented in the body of the essay. You should not introduce new information in your conclusion. Replay the most compelling statements and discuss how they support your main point.
Step 3. Provide a final reflection or call to action
Use the last sentence to make a final statement on your topic. This last part of the final paragraph represents your opportunity to say what should happen next. You can offer a solution or ask a new question about the topic.
- Explain how the topic affects the reader.
- Explain how the reduced topic is applied to a larger topic or observation.
- Encourage the reader to take action or explore further.
- Present new questions that your essay introduced.