An expository text is a type of writing that is used to explain, inform or describe. Categories of expository writing include description, process, comparison, cause and effect and problem and solution essays.
Whether writing or analyzing expository writing, the key factors to include are the thesis statement, support, overall structure and tone. One important aspect of expository writing is the thesis statement: A reader should be able to identify this statement clearly, and usually somewhere in the first paragraph. The Purdue Online Writing Lab notes that a thesis statement should be specific and cover exactly what the writer will discuss throughout the essay.
For example, in an expository essay an effective thesis statement can be: Organization and structure is a crucial aspect of expository analysis. A reader can evaluate whether the text has a clear introduction, body paragraphs and conclusion, and whether the transitions between different paragraphs and points are logical and fluid. Any paragraph that is designed to provide information in a detailed format is an example of an expository paragraph.
An expository paragraph has a topic sentence, with supporting sentences that provide further information and a concluding sentence. This paragraph is an example of an expository paragraph because it provides information and has a topic sentence, supporting details and a conclusion. A topic sentences guides the flow of an expository paragraph. It sets the stage for the rest of the sentences, providing a structure for them. The supporting sentences should be logical and contain details and examples.
Transitional words help organize the supporting sentences, with the third-person point of view most commonly used. The concluding sentence sums up the paragraph, rephrasing the main idea of the paragraph. All well-designed paragraphs have four essential elements. This means identifying a central idea or thesis, and various ideas that either support or qualify the thesis. In contrast to the standard Five Paragraph Essay, we want to include ideas that would contradict our thesis, and address the issues that they raise.
We can briefly outline our ideas by simply listing them: Idea Idea Idea Some instructors recommend a more structured outline, such as:. This more cumbersome type of outline can quickly become difficult to maintain, which defeats the purpose of outlining. An outline is supposed to make it easier for us to organize our ideas, but forcing ourselves to organize everything in thorough detail so soon can actually make the task more difficult than if we just started writing the essay directly.
For most short essays, it suffices to write a list of your ideas, and if there are many of them, try to group them into several topics that go together. There is no reason for more than a two-tiered outline: If you are comfortable with more complicated outlines, go right ahead, but if not, remember that the outline is supposed to aid you in writing the essay, rather than you becoming a slave to the outline.
One advantage of a more flexible outline is that it becomes easier to edit your essay if you need to add or discard ideas.
The length of the introduction should be proportionate to the length of the essay. For most college-level essays, one or two paragraphs of introduction should suffice. An introduction ought to contain the following components:. It usually helps the reader if you state this idea explicitly in a topic sentence , either at the beginning or end of the paragraph. Ask yourself about each paragraph: If you have difficulty answering this question, you should consider deleting the paragraph or radically rewriting it.
Remember, paragraph structure exists for the benefit of the readers, helping them digest the essay in smaller portions, and to see at a glance the flow of the argument.
For most of history, paragraph breaks were not used, so this structure is not essential to good writing. Nonetheless, it is helpful to pay attention to the length of your paragraphs, as they may be an indication that your essay is rambling and losing focus. The discipline of breaking long paragraphs up into distinct ideas, and then associating supporting sentences with each idea or topic helps keep your argument organized, coherent, and readable.
The main idea of a paragraph ought to be clearly conveyed, in an explicit topic sentence if necessary. You should also clarify how this idea is related to your thesis, if this is not self-evident. A main idea can be one of three types:.
This expanded vision of what a body paragraph can be borrows from a template used in French schools for a four paragraph essay, consisting of Introduction, Thesis, Antithesis, and Synthesis.
This dialectical model is a stronger method of argumentation, and it also lacks the repetitiveness of the Five Paragraph Essay. Nonetheless, like all writing templates, it is too restrictive if followed rigidly. There is no reason why there should only be four paragraphs, and for complex essays, there may be many theses, antitheses, and syntheses in varying degrees. There is similar flexibility in the ordering of paragraphs, so there is no reason why all the antithesis paragraphs should be grouped together, for example.
There is no required order here, except that a synthesis paragraph should be preceded by an antithesis paragraph otherwise, what would it be synthesizing?
Expository Essay structure The typical structure for an expository essay is the traditional five-paragraph essay. This includes an introduction, a conclusion, and three paragraphs for the body. This is the basic essay structure. Mostly the body paragraphs are limited to one subtopic each.
Expository Essay Variations. Essay writing is a huge part of a education today. Most students must learn to write various kinds of essays during their academic careers, including different types of expository writing: Definition essays explain the meaning of a word, term, or concept. The topic can be a concrete subject such as an animal or tree, or it can be an abstract term, such as freedom or love.
Five Expository Text Structures and their Associated Signal Words Pattern Description Cue Words (signal words) Graphic Organizer Description The author describes a topic by listing characteristics, features, attributes, and examples • for example • characteristics • for instance. Structure and format of the expository essay. When considering how to structure an expository essay, you may wish to take out a pen and paper and do an outline straight off the bat. This will help to keep you on the right path and give you a template that will show you how to start.
The Structure of Analytical/Expository Writing Analytical/expository compositions are usually designed to explain, analyze, interpret, speculate, evaluate, persuade, or reflect. May 23, · What Is An Expository Essay? The term ‘expository’ comes from the word ‘exposition.’ Exposition is ‘a type of writing meant to explain, inform, or describe.’ An expository essay is a structured academic paper investigating an idea.