An explanation essay, which is also called an expository one, provides detailed information about a situation or presents a certain viewpoint on the scrutinized subject. If there are any inconsistencies or confusing facts, this is the very paper that will make everything clear. Explanation essay is produced to analyze the chosen matter and not to argue about it. In order to perform a complete analysis of the subject, one should compare and contrast it with other items of the same class, give examples, definitions of the notions, etc. Professors like assigning this kind of work because it is a great way of evaluating students.
The Essentials of Expository Essay Writing
The main goal of writing an expository essay is to present a specific topic in a straightforward way. Though it may seem quite challenging, the writer has to provide a fair and well-balanced analysis of the subject based merely on the facts, without any references to the writer`s opinions or emotions.
A typical explanation essay prompt will use the words “explain,” “define,” “explore,” etc. For instance, “The following essay will explore the negative influence of the computer games on the child`s health.” Please, notice that asking you to write such an essay, your professor does not want you to provide your observations but present an in-depth analysis of the existing opinions regarding the particular topic. In general, the writing prompts ask you to “explain” something. However, undoubtedly, this explanation is not as easy as it may seem.
Five Steps in Expository Essay Writing
To write a good expository essay, you have to consider the five stages. Understanding the common procedure of writing such an essay, you will be able to reach academic success. There are multiple expository essay topics available on the web. If you are experiencing some difficulties with choosing the one, feel free to ask your professor for assistance.
Expository Essay Structure
Following the classic structure, such an essay consists of five paragraphs. An introductory paragraph suggests the main idea, as well as briefly overviews of the issue. The following three paragraphs, that make the body of the essay, should provide sound arguments, as well as evidence, to support a thesis statement. The concluding paragraph restates the main opinions discussed in the essay and ties together the writer`s points.
Below you will find the effective tips for the writing process:
If you are an experienced writer, you probably know that the prewriting phase is equally important to the writing one. It is the phase in which you need to brainstorm your ideas and make the in-depth research. When brainstorming, try to focus mainly on your topic avoiding any distractors. When conducting the research, note all interesting quotes relevant to your topic along with the bibliographical information of the source. When the research is done, feel free to create the outline, in which you will systemize the key ideas.
2. Writing the Rough Draft
When writing the rough draft, feel free to consider the following suggestions:
The main sentence of your introduction is called a thesis statement that defines the overall scope of the essay. A thesis statement should be stated clearly though without taking some position or giving a personal opinion.
A thesis statement should be adequately addressed in the entire essay. All body paragraphs should start with the topic sentences related to the thesis statement.
Each of the body paragraphs needs to cover a single point, as well as contain the evidence and example to support the topic sentences.
A conclusion should reinforce the thesis and the key points discussed in the explanation essay. You should not include new ideas in your conclusion.
Since an explanation essay aims to discuss a particular issue or subject, the use of the first person (I, we) is strictly forbidden. Instead, try to use the third person (he, she, and it).
Then the rough draft is written, you have to double-check its content to fix all possible grammatical mistakes, as well as reorganize the thoughts. When revising your exploratory essay, consider the following suggestions:
- Make sure the essay provides the unbiased analysis logically unfolding the relevant examples and facts.
- Make sure the information is given to the reader in a clear and concise manner;
- Do not lose your focus. Try to avoid mentioning the unnecessary details.
- Use the transition words to ensure the reader`s understanding of your point.
- Make sure your expository essay format is the one mentioned in the prompt since it is the important point of your grading rubric.
If the essay is still missing its focus, consider reorganizing the thesis statement and topic sentences. Keep in mind that a solid thesis statement helps develop a solid explanation essay.
4. Final editing
When the final draft is ready, proofread it once again to fix everything that can spoil your grade. Make sure your essay is free from the run-on sentences, typos, and punctuation errors. To assess your essay with the highest mark, your professor wants to see responsible attitude to work.
Timely submission is the important part of the grading rubric, so you have to send your paper within the deadline set by your professor. In order to avoid delays or late submissions, you have to forget about procrastination. Start working on your essay right after you receive the task to have enough time for proper revisions.
Types of Expository Essays
Definition Essay. A definition essay explores the meaning of a specific term or a concept. This essay discusses the word`s literal or dictionary definition along with the associations that come to the mind when hearing this word.
Compare and Contrast Essay. Such an essay implies the work with two or more different pieces comparing their similar and different features.
Process Essay. Such an essay is usually called a “How to” essay since it examines the particular procedure explaining how to do something step by step.
Cause and Effect Essay. This essay aims to analyze the specific issue or event along with its possible effects (both positive and negative).
Introductory Section and Thesis Statement
This paragraph should introduce the question to readers. You should be specific when writing it. A thesis statement has to be written succinctly. Its aim is to represent accurately the core of the paper. A thesis statement is considered the main branch of the essay. That is why it is essential to prove it with plausible arguments. Your chief statement should not offer any opinion as the only possible. For instance, “The electric engine starter invented by Charles Kettering altered American car travelling.”
Main Body and Evidence
The paragraphs of this section should provide ample evidence to back up a thesis statement. Only one point should be discussed in every paragraph. In this way, each pattern of the essay will take its logical place and the very paper will be coherent. Make sure that you have used authoritative sources for gathering facts. Only then, you will be able to support your ideas with relevant facts. If to analyze the example with Charles Kettering, it will be good to mention that sales increased heavily after using his invention.
It is obvious that an explanation essay is based on hard facts. However, a creative technique to writing the paper should be applied as well. You should make every effort to find some impressive ideas and facts to support the thesis. It will make your essay memorable. If to go back to the discussed example, it will be rather interesting to know that car sales increased among women when the electric self-starter was invented.
It goes without saying that a conclusion should make a profound effect on readers. It should not present any new facts. On the contrary, it should summarize the data provided throughout the essay.