Natural Therapies Institute

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What Is An Expository Essay And How To Compose It?

Most writing exercises in all levels of learning will involved an expository essay. It is therefore important to understand the expectations of the teacher when you are given such an assignment. The instructions do not directly term the exercise as expository writing. It is the instructions that are used to define it as such.

Definition of Expository Essay

In expository writing, you are required to thoroughly investigate an idea using carefully evaluated evidence. This makes it a fact finding mission where you will expound on the details of the idea as though the idea is strange to your audience. You are required to set forth the idea is the clearest and most concise manner.

Some of the words you will find in the prompt include ‘explain’ and ‘define’. These are simple and clear instructions that will categorize the exercise as expository writing. You will observe the normal criterion of having an introduction, body and conclusion. The following are proven steps that will make your writing process easy and guarantee excellent results.

Understand the Instructions

The prompt or instructions determine how your final paper will appear. The instructions are given regarding the length, formatting style, the topic, etc. Read through the instructions several times before commencing the writing process. It is the instructions that will guide your research process. Failure to understand instructions will mean that you are working on the wrong exercise. This will compromise your grades.

Choose a Good Topic

It is not always that your teacher will give a topic for your expository paper. You may be given instructions and required to come up with a topic. Choose a topic that is captivating and interesting to read. It should be unique and arouse curiosity such that the reader wants to peruse through your paper to the end.

Draft an Outline

An outline indicates the positioning of ideas on different sections of your paper. It shows the ideas that will fall at the introduction, body and conclusion as well as their supporting materials. It is a quick guide in your writing process. You may use a template or a sample to create an outline for your paper.


After gathering all the facts and support materials for your topic, it is time to compose the first draft of your expository essay. The ideas contained in the first draft can be edited later. Use the correct grammar and vocabulary that is specific to the topic you are writing on. Edit the work before submitting the final copy.


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