Tips on writing an excellent expository essay should always start with an explanation of several types of essays. There are several many types of essays and four of the main types will be briefly explained and examples will be provided.
Types of Essays
An essay is a short non-fiction literary work written about a certain subject. The word “essay” was first used by Michel de Montaigne in the 1570s to describe his “attempts” to put his thoughts on paper. “Attempt” is the original meaning of the word “essay” from the Latin for “test out.”
- Narrative Essay: This is an essay that tells a story, usually from the author’s viewpoint. There is usually a point that is made or a lesson to be learned from it. The essay reflects something that the writer experienced. The writer uses sensory details to show the reader his feelings and personal views. Usually the story is told chronologically, but there can be references to things that happened in the past or that will happen in the future.
- Descriptive Essay: In the text of this essay, you will find intricate details describing events, people, things, or emotions. The words need to appeal to the senses, so the reader can feel like he is almost there. For example, if you were to describe a cake, you would tell how it looks, smells, and tastes. You would comment on its texture (feel) and maybe describe how it was made or its ingredients. You might also explain how you feel when you eat it or if it was baked for a certain occasion.
- Persuasive Essay: Sometimes called an argumentative essay, this type of essay tries to convince the reader that the writer’s viewpoint is the right one. The writer backs up his opinion with facts, statistics, expert opinions, and other pieces of evidence. The writing must be logical and clear. By the end of the essay, the reader should agree with the writer.
- Expository Essay: This essay gives information to the reader that is not clouded by the writer’s opinions. It may compare, discuss, analyze, or tell a story. The main focus is to explain the facts. The next section gives tips on writing an excellent expository essay.
Tips on Writing an Excellent Expository Essay
- The wording needs to concise and clear.
- Write the essay in the second person perspective (you).
- Decide on your method of development: define, compare and contrast, analyze, cause and effect, or classify. This will define your writing style and is one of the most important tips on writing an excellent expository essay.
- Write a thesis statement and have topic sentences for each paragraph.
- A successful essay will have the important points emphasized, will be factual and not subjective, and have valid information.
- Conclusions can restate the argument, summarize your facts, or give the next step needed to further the research.
- Keep your writing concise and brief.
- Each paragraph should cover one topic and each sentence should present a new idea.
- Use transitory words and sentences to make your essay flow smoothly. Connect sentences with words like: however, for example, or such as. Connect paragraphs by having the topic sentence refer back to the preceding paragraph or the thesis statement.
Examples of Essays
- Narrative: “I had the pleasure of traveling across America in many moving trips. I have visited the monstrous trees of the Sequoia National Forest, stood on the edge of the Grande Canyon and have jumped on the beds at Caesar’s Palace in Lake Tahoe.”
- Descriptive: “Like his twisted feathers, his many scars, the reliable old owl chose the gnarled, weather-beaten, but solid branch often—it being a companion to the wise alone with the night and the last branch to creak in the heaviest wind.”
- Persuasive: “Too many times in American history the Electoral College has single-handedly defeated the purpose of democracy in our country. Since the first presidential election, there have been more than a dozen instances in which somebody has been elected president without a majority of the votes.”
- Exposition: “Internet and communications, digital video and audio composition, and desktop publishing are all features that are only offered on computers. With these tools human society has progressed exponentially.”