We have this far had thousands of students confess that expository writing confuses them. No matter how hard an instructor tries, writing an expository essay needs time, patience, and resilience. That said, many students worry about how to write an expository essay.

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So what is expository writing? Expository writing is also referred to as exposition and is a term used for to explain, define, inform, make a clarification, or to describe. Exposition can be both in writing and oral discourses, however, for the prime purpose of this article, we stick to expository writing.

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 If you are a movie die-hard, then you are privy of the term exposition. In the movie context, it refers to a technique used by film directors to bring the audience up to speed with the significant points in the plot of a movie in question. Now, here, we will look at some basics, structure, and how to write a good exposition essay.

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Keep this in mind: Being asked to write an expository essay means you are asked to present evidence or facts objectively.

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Definition of an Expository Essay?

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For a perfect expository writing mastery, we need to get the real definition of what an expository essay is. Well, an expository essay is a type of academic writing task or an essay that involves exploring a given topic from various points of view and giving comprehensive information objectively to the intended audience.

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Put simply; expository essays help the readers to understand a given subject or topic. It merely investigates and reports on something. So, this type of essay involves the analysis of evidence, expounding of ideas, and presentation of concepts in a logical sequence.

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Mostly, an expository essay adheres to the 5-paragraph essay structure (as we will explore shortly).

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Here are salient features of expository writing every college student must master:

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  • It does not have any bias neither does it shows the writer’s opinion.
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  • Expository writing avoids lengthy tangents.
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  • There is never a need to be wordy when composing an expository essay.
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  • Focuses on a narrow topic.
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  • Entails the exposition of evidence, critical analysis, explanations, and giving examples.
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  • You can include anecdotes, visuals, definitions, descriptions, statistics, quotes, and anecdotes in your expository essay.
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    Major Types of Expository Writing Strategies

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    There are different types of expository essays. To avoid asking the question how do you write n expository essay? let us explore them. Here are the five major types of expository writing approaches:

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    1. Process Essay. Do you remember the classic how-to essays? Well, those are also expository essays. Process essays help the readers understand how stuff work or the procedures of doing something. How to drill a hole on a wall, how to shave, how to ride a bike, how to write an essay, or how to score better grades.
    2. Cause and Effect Essays. Some call it the knee-jerk reaction assignments or essays because they explore how and why things happen and the consequences that accrue. We have compiled an entire cause and effect essay writing guide; you can have a look.
    3. Solution/problem definition essay. This is by far the common assignment prompt students in high school, colleges, and universities write. It entails delving deep into a problem and looking for solutions. For example, writing an essay on how the devastations or aftermath of hurricanes can be avoided through proper emergency planning. It could also be an essay on countering the effects of deforestation in the Amazon.
    4. Compare and Contrast (comparison) Essay. Although this type of essay sounds simple, writing a compare and contrast essay is no mean feat. It entails analysis of two subjects, ideas, or phenomena and fining as well as explaining their similarities and differences alike.
    5. Descriptive Essay. The professor can choose to assign you an essay describing something. It could be a place, a country, pet, experience, event, or phenomenon, to mention a few. Well, a descriptive essay uniquely presents facts and creates a visual aspect in the minds of the readers. And when taking a descriptive approach, always appeal to emotions and logic to win the hearts of your readers.

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  • Process Essay. Do you remember the classic how-to essays? Well, those are also expository essays. Process essays help the readers understand how stuff work or the procedures of doing something. How to drill a hole on a wall, how to shave, how to ride a bike, how to write an essay, or how to score better grades.
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  • Cause and Effect Essays. Some call it the knee-jerk reaction assignments or essays because they explore how and why things happen and the consequences that accrue. We have compiled an entire cause and effect essay writing guide; you can have a look.
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  • Solution/problem definition essay. This is by far the common assignment prompt students in high school, colleges, and universities write. It entails delving deep into a problem and looking for solutions. For example, writing an essay on how the devastations or aftermath of hurricanes can be avoided through proper emergency planning. It could also be an essay on countering the effects of deforestation in the Amazon.
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  • Compare and Contrast (comparison) Essay. Although this type of essay sounds simple, writing a compare and contrast essay is no mean feat. It entails analysis of two subjects, ideas, or phenomena and fining as well as explaining their similarities and differences alike.
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  • Descriptive Essay. The professor can choose to assign you an essay describing something. It could be a place, a country, pet, experience, event, or phenomenon, to mention a few. Well, a descriptive essay uniquely presents facts and creates a visual aspect in the minds of the readers. And when taking a descriptive approach, always appeal to emotions and logic to win the hearts of your readers.
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    Difference between Expository Essay and Argumentative Essays

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    It is very easy to confuse expository and argumentative/persuasive essays, and thus the expository vs. argumentative essay debate. Well, an argumentative essay or a persuasive essay takes one side of the view on a topic and defends it. Besides, argumentative essays focus on convincing readers to adopt the writers’ point of view, which makes them subjective.

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    For instance, if the topic is on private prisons, an argumentative essay writer will convince the readers how the new private prison model works best compared to the traditional government-controlled prison model. On the other hand, the expository essay will explore what private prison model entails, its pros and cons, and the view of the public on the same. While doing so, an expository essay writer will be using facts and evidence from peer-reviewed journals, books, government websites, and other credible sources, just the same way as the former.

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    Here is some summarized version of the differences between argumentative and expository essays.

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    Expository essay

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    Expository essay

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    Argumentative/Persuasive Essay

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    Argumentative/Persuasive Essay

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    Focuses on the different points of views or angles on a given topic in an unbiased manner.

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    Focuses on the different points of views or angles on a given topic in an unbiased manner.

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    Takes one side or position from the onset either for or against a topic and defends it entirely.

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    Takes one side or position from the onset either for or against a topic and defends it entirely.

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    The thesis outlines the topic of focus in the expository essay.

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    The thesis outlines the topic of focus in the expository essay.

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    The thesis is usually the argument the writer seeks to defend.

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    The thesis is usually the argument the writer seeks to defend.

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    Mostly written in the third person.

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    Mostly written in the third person.

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    Can be written either in first or third persons depending on the instructions.

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    Can be written either in first or third persons depending on the instructions.

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    Objective as it presents facts, evidence, and information without taking sides.

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    Objective as it presents facts, evidence, and information without taking sides.

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    Is subjective as it picks a side and defends it with facts.

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    Is subjective as it picks a side and defends it with facts.

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     So, the next time you get an expository essay at the end of an exam or even a semester, do not take an argumentative approach.

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    Related: How to write an argumentative essay (guide and examples).

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    Expository Essay Structure/Outline

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    We began by stating that expository essays are written mostly in the five-paragraph format. They can be 500-word essays or 1000-words essays or even 2000 or 2500-word essays.  So, that means it has an introduction, three body paragraphs, and the conclusion.

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    The introduction comprises of the hook sentence or attention grabber, the background information or the connecting sentences, and the thesis. Mostly, expository essays are part of an exam and are written in MLA format. Therefore, you need to write the essay fact and use reliable sources as your references.

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    The body is divided into three parts. The first paragraph gives an example that supports the thesis. The second paragraph has a second set of example that supports the thesis. Finally, the third paragraph also has some points that support the thesis.

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    Your expository essay conclusion wraps the essay by carefully summarizing the major points in the essay. It should have a strong and memorable statement.

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    Essay Hooks for Expository Essays

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    Hooks for expository essay writing are similar to those used in argumentative essays. Therefore, when writing an expository essay, you could use anecdotes, statistics, catchy phrases, rhetorical questions, noises, riddles, etc. The table below demonstrates some examples of effective and creative ways to begin expository essays.

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    Expository writing Hooks

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    Expository writing Hooks

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    Examples

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    Examples

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    Quotation

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    Quotation

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    Give me liberty or give me death.

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    Give me liberty or give me death.

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    Riddle

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    Riddle

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    What do you call an eight-legged
    weaver?

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    What do you call an eight-legged
    weaver?

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    Setting

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    Setting

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    In Richmond county, the number of obese people has reached an all-time high in the last half a decade.

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    In Richmond county, the number of obese people has reached an all-time high in the last half a decade.

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    Alliterative Phrase

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    Alliterative Phrase

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    Stepping and stomping. Whirling and
    swirling. To the Native American
    Dance Troop these moves are the key
    to their art.

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    Stepping and stomping. Whirling and
    swirling. To the Native American
    Dance Troop these moves are the key
    to their art.

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    Exclamation

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    Exclamation

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    Whew! And you thought cancer could be the top killer globally!

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    Whew! And you thought cancer could be the top killer globally!

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    Noises (onomatopoeia)

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    Noises (onomatopoeia)

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    Slurp, slurp. Glug, glug. On a hot day
    the best thing to quench your thirst
    is a tasty fruit drink from Holler
    Hollow Snack Bar.

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    Slurp, slurp. Glug, glug. On a hot day
    the best thing to quench your thirst
    is a tasty fruit drink from Holler
    Hollow Snack Bar.

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    Exaggeration/outrageous fact/hyperbole

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    Exaggeration/outrageous fact/hyperbole

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    The entire nation watched in dismay.. or With the new law, apprehended terrorist suspects felt a sigh of relief..

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    The entire nation watched in dismay.. or With the new law, apprehended terrorist suspects felt a sigh of relief..

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    Statistic or fact

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    Statistic or fact

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    Americans and Europeans spend $17 billion on pet food, $4 billion over the estimated amount needed to offer basic health and nutrition to the rising global population.   

      

     

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    Americans and Europeans spend $17 billion on pet food, $4 billion over the estimated amount needed to offer basic health and nutrition to the rising global population.   

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    Anecdote

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    Anecdote

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    Have you wondered why you keep adding weight despite being very keen on your diet?

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    Have you wondered why you keep adding weight despite being very keen on your diet?

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    Question

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    Question

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    Are pets better than other humans considering they receive better treatment?

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    Are pets better than other humans considering they receive better treatment?

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    Blunt beginning

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    Blunt beginning

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    America should outlaw all guns held by civilians.

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    America should outlaw all guns held by civilians.

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    The essay hook is always part of the introduction, but it comes before the thesis. Some literature refers to it as an attention grabber. A bridge sentence serves to connect the two to make a loaded introduction paragraph.

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    Related: how to generate good essay hooks.

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    How to Write an Expository Essay Introduction

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    After writing your outline, you are ready to begin writing your essay. Your introduction lays the foundation of the paper. The introduction of an expository essay comprises of a hook/attention grabber, bridge or connecting sentences, and the thesis (the closing sentence of your first paragraph).

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    Remember, expository writing is meant to inform your readers on a chosen topic : nothing less, nothing more! Therefore, the first or opening sentence should be an attention grabber or a hook (check examples above).

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    For instance, when writing about Apple’s iPhone as a popular smartphone brand, you should state a very important fact about the brand. For example, you could focus on its sales forecast, customer base, and unique customer segment. Your opening sentence should not be dull or just a set of stuffed words.

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    The opening sentence is successes by a set of connecting sentences, which serve as the background of your chosen topic. The background elucidates or introduces facts on the topic. You can take the funnel approach.

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    After the connecting sentence comes the thesis statement. It is always the last sentence in your introductory paragraph. The thesis statement should state the topic that is of focus in your paper. So, if it is iPhone, focus more on the youthful vibe of the iPhone that makes it attractive to millennials.

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    Related: How to write a thesis statement for an essay.

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    Writing a conclusion of an Expository Essay

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    When all is said and done, you will need to learn how to write the best conclusion for an expository essay. Now, there is no dispute over the importance of having a strong conclusion.

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    Expository writing does not want an ad hoc and hurried conclusion. Instead, the conclusion should be thorough rather than just being a summary of the entire essay.

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    The conclusion should clearly state what the reader should believe or do. It is a chance to call the reader to action or make a strong statement on the topic.

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    You can always use a prediction or forecast, recommendation, quotation, visual description, setting a scene, or even a question approach.

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    It should answer the question of what then? that lingers in the mind of the reader soon as they are done with your essay.

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    Related: How to write a strong and convincing conclusion.

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    Rules of Expository Writing

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    It is wise to acquaint yourself with some of the dos and don’ts when it comes to writing an excellent expository essay. Here are some Dos.

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    Dos for Expository writing:

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  • Always decide on the topic and exposition before writing the structure.
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  • Skim through the selected scholarly and credible sources to locate major points. (You can mark them in your PDF as you read or bookmark websites).
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  • When presenting ideas use philosophical stance such as inference, critiquing, logic, emotional appeal, and deduction when supporting your claims in the essay.
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  • Ensure that you give relevant examples that relate to the topic in question.
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  • Paraphrase with precision and use appropriate transition words to make ideas flow. Every verbatim section lifted from sources should have a relevant page number. Also, have a proper in-text citation in APA, MLA, Harvard, Chicago/Turabian, or your preferred style as per the prompt.
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  • Never generalize as doing so dilutes content.
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  • Ensure that the arguments are strong, well supported, and each in its paragraph.
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    In a similar vein, when doing expository writing, do not do these things (the don’ts):

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  • Never forget to use a thesis statement and essay hook in the introduction.
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  • Do not forget to cite the sources from where you get ideas.
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  • Avoid using colloquial expressions, flowery language, clichés, truism, tautology, and prose. Your argument must follow academic writing standards.
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  • Never introduce new concepts in the conclusion paragraph.
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  • Never take a subjective stance when writing.
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    If you were initially wondering how to write a good expository essay introduction, we believe that by this far you are half-way a polished expository essay writer.

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    Expository Essay Topics

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    1. The importance of being on time
    2. The importance of honesty
    3. How movies are created?
    4. Understanding the history of jazz music
    5. Popular culture and its popularity
    6. The American Dream
    7. Exploring phobias
    8. The Oedipus complex
    9. How Wi-Fi works
    10. How gravity operates
    11. Describe how you would save the Amazon from deforestation
    12. Describe an APP that will save girls from human trafficking and prostitution
    13. How does it feel living in abject poverty
    14. Essay on world hunger
    15. Climate change and its implications on human life
    16. The causes of hunger in the world
    17. Child obesity in the United States
    18. Home-grown terrorism in Europe and the United States
    19. History of competitive sports
    20. How a gun works
    21. Why are tankers used in wars?
    22. Veganism
    23. Leukemia
    24. Robotics
    25. Blockchain technology and small businesses
    26. Cryptocurrencies
    27. Universal healthcare in the United States
    28. Comparison of the U.S. and the UK healthcare systems
    29. How to play basketball
    30. Understanding the rules of football
    31. Football and nationalism
    32. Social media and bullying
    33. Describe the early foundations and evolution of capital punishment
    34. The benefits of medical marijuana
    35. Reasons why teenagers leave home
    36. Women in bodybuilding
    37. Women breaking the glass ceiling
    38. The male gaze in the corporate world
    39. Characteristics of a charismatic leader
    40. Reasons why role models exist
    41. Role of Greek in U.S colleges
    42. The rising student loans debt
    43. Impacts of closing public libraries on reading culture among U.S. youths
    44. Differences between single-parenting and co-parenting
    45. Impacts of divorce on children
    46. Consequences of taking gap years before entering college
    47. Why countries trade with each other
    48. Why teenagers leave their homes
    49. Reasons teenagers get into drugs
    50. Suicide and its rising incidences among the youths
    51. The importance of living happily
    52. What would you change in the world if given power?
    53. Causes and consequences of homelessness
    54. Salvation Army and their poverty eradication strategies
    55. History of college education
    56. The role of electoral colleges in the U.S. elections
    57. Singe parents and educational attainment of children
    58. Benefits of health insurance to parents
    59. Problems faced by foreign students in America
    60. Threats of a nuclear weapon to global peace
    61. Impacts of pollution
    62. Pollution in cities
    63. Juveniles and the criminal justice systems
    64. Benefits of wearing school uniforms
    65. Effects of smartphones on children’s health

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  • The importance of being on time
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  • The importance of honesty
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  • How movies are created?
  • ,

  • Understanding the history of jazz music
  • ,

  • Popular culture and its popularity
  • ,

  • The American Dream
  • ,

  • Exploring phobias
  • ,

  • The Oedipus complex
  • ,

  • How Wi-Fi works
  • ,

  • How gravity operates
  • ,

  • Describe how you would save the Amazon from deforestation
  • ,

  • Describe an APP that will save girls from human trafficking and prostitution
  • ,

  • How does it feel living in abject poverty
  • ,

  • Essay on world hunger
  • ,

  • Climate change and its implications on human life
  • ,

  • The causes of hunger in the world
  • ,

  • Child obesity in the United States
  • ,

  • Home-grown terrorism in Europe and the United States
  • ,

  • History of competitive sports
  • ,

  • How a gun works
  • ,

  • Why are tankers used in wars?
  • ,

  • Veganism
  • ,

  • Leukemia
  • ,

  • Robotics
  • ,

  • Blockchain technology and small businesses
  • ,

  • Cryptocurrencies
  • ,

  • Universal healthcare in the United States
  • ,

  • Comparison of the U.S. and the UK healthcare systems
  • ,

  • How to play basketball
  • ,

  • Understanding the rules of football
  • ,

  • Football and nationalism
  • ,

  • Social media and bullying
  • ,

  • Describe the early foundations and evolution of capital punishment
  • ,

  • The benefits of medical marijuana
  • ,

  • Reasons why teenagers leave home
  • ,

  • Women in bodybuilding
  • ,

  • Women breaking the glass ceiling
  • ,

  • The male gaze in the corporate world
  • ,

  • Characteristics of a charismatic leader
  • ,

  • Reasons why role models exist
  • ,

  • Role of Greek in U.S colleges
  • ,

  • The rising student loans debt
  • ,

  • Impacts of closing public libraries on reading culture among U.S. youths
  • ,

  • Differences between single-parenting and co-parenting
  • ,

  • Impacts of divorce on children
  • ,

  • Consequences of taking gap years before entering college
  • ,

  • Why countries trade with each other
  • ,

  • Why teenagers leave their homes
  • ,

  • Reasons teenagers get into drugs
  • ,

  • Suicide and its rising incidences among the youths
  • ,

  • The importance of living happily
  • ,

  • What would you change in the world if given power?
  • ,

  • Causes and consequences of homelessness
  • ,

  • Salvation Army and their poverty eradication strategies
  • ,

  • History of college education
  • ,

  • The role of electoral colleges in the U.S. elections
  • ,

  • Singe parents and educational attainment of children
  • ,

  • Benefits of health insurance to parents
  • ,

  • Problems faced by foreign students in America
  • ,

  • Threats of a nuclear weapon to global peace
  • ,

  • Impacts of pollution
  • ,

  • Pollution in cities
  • ,

  • Juveniles and the criminal justice systems
  • ,

  • Benefits of wearing school uniforms
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  • Effects of smartphones on children’s health
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    This list is not exhaustive. Here is an expert tip.

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    Professional tip: whatever the case, choose an expository essay topic that interests you, has content and supporting sources online and offline, and one you can articulately present facts and information on.

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    A Highlight of the step-by-step approach in expository Writing

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    1. Choose a good topic for your essay. Your topic should be one you are passionate to write about.
    2. Conduct thorough research online to gain insights on the chosen topic. Bookmark, download, and screenshot some of the potentially credible sources. Focus on books, peer-reviewed articles, journals, newspaper articles, and governmental as well as organizational websites (.au, .gov, .edu, etc.).
    3. Look at free expository essay samples online. If you are writing an expository essay, you can be lucky to get a standard 500-word essay or even 1000-word essay. Such examples help you get a hold on what to put where. You can get help from our online essay writers. They will write the best model expository essay for you.
    4. Select examples to use when writing your points. To articulately drive the point home, it is paramount to use examples. For instance, when describing the impacts of cellphones on human health think outside the box and talk of things like text-driving-related accidents, emission of radioactive rays, and blue light that disrupts sleep patterns,etc.
    5. Write your Outline: As stated above, an expository essay aligns to the 5-paragraph essay structure. It has an introduction, three body paragraphs, and the conclusion.
    6. Craft your thesis statement. If it is about bullying. An example could be Even though many people overlook the psychological impacts of bullying, the victims have a nasty story to tell deep within themselves.
    7. Carefully and creatively write the first draft of the essay. When writing, follow the rules we have discussed herein. Every paragraph should feature only one idea. Also, do not veer into tangents, instead stay on course. Carefully and constructively use transitions to flavor up your essay.
    8. Do thorough editing of your essay. You can get someone to edit your essay if you are fatigued at this point. However, an A-grade expository essay lacks grammatical, syntax, and punctuation errors. This is your chance to shine on your paper. There are many editing apps such as Hemmingway editor, Grammarly, or Ginger.

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  • Choose a good topic for your essay. Your topic should be one you are passionate to write about.
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  • Conduct thorough research online to gain insights on the chosen topic. Bookmark, download, and screenshot some of the potentially credible sources. Focus on books, peer-reviewed articles, journals, newspaper articles, and governmental as well as organizational websites (.au, .gov, .edu, etc.).
  • ,

  • Look at free expository essay samples online. If you are writing an expository essay, you can be lucky to get a standard 500-word essay or even 1000-word essay. Such examples help you get a hold on what to put where. You can get help from our online essay writers. They will write the best model expository essay for you.
  • ,

  • Select examples to use when writing your points. To articulately drive the point home, it is paramount to use examples. For instance, when describing the impacts of cellphones on human health think outside the box and talk of things like text-driving-related accidents, emission of radioactive rays, and blue light that disrupts sleep patterns,etc.
  • ,

  • Write your Outline: As stated above, an expository essay aligns to the 5-paragraph essay structure. It has an introduction, three body paragraphs, and the conclusion.
  • ,

  • Craft your thesis statement. If it is about bullying. An example could be Even though many people overlook the psychological impacts of bullying, the victims have a nasty story to tell deep within themselves.
  • ,

  • Carefully and creatively write the first draft of the essay. When writing, follow the rules we have discussed herein. Every paragraph should feature only one idea. Also, do not veer into tangents, instead stay on course. Carefully and constructively use transitions to flavor up your essay.
  • ,

  • Do thorough editing of your essay. You can get someone to edit your essay if you are fatigued at this point. However, an A-grade expository essay lacks grammatical, syntax, and punctuation errors. This is your chance to shine on your paper. There are many editing apps such as Hemmingway editor, Grammarly, or Ginger.