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Informative/explanatory writing in the classroom, grades 3–12, by: tiffany rehbein.
Lets explore the importance of teaching informative/explanatory writing in the classroom. Students need to have the ability to clearly convey concepts and information in their writing. This skill is crucial for communication in future careers and life! Download a FREE Informative/Explanatory Writing Kit now!
The Purpose of Informative/Explanatory Writing
The primary purpose of informative/explanatory writing is to increase knowledge. When writing an informative/explanatory text, the writer answers questions of why or how. Informative writing educates the reader by imparting straightforward information on a certain topic. Unlike other types of writing, informative writing does not aim to change the reader's thinking or move the reader to take action.
Download a kit of resources that will help students improve their informative/explanatory writing skills.
Elements of an Informative/Explanatory Essay
A well-written informative essay should include the following elements:
Has an introduction that introduces a topic and grabs the reader's attention
Clearly conveys information and ideas about a topic
Develops a topic with a variety of specific, relevant details, such as facts, examples, quotations, and anecdotes
Clearly organizes ideas and information, using strategies such as compare/contrast, cause/effect, definition, and classification
Uses formatting, graphics, and multimedia, such as hyperlinks when appropriate
Uses precise language and vocabulary appropriate to the topic
Uses appropriate transition words and phrases that clarify the relationship among ideas
Uses a formal style and tone
Ends with a conclusion that summarizes the main points and follows logically from the information presented
Follows the conventions of standard English
This checklist is a great tip sheet for students to keep in their folders! Teachers can access this checklist in the Informative/Explanatory Writing Kit .
Introductions and Conclusions for Informational Writing
In many essays, the first paragraph should introduce your topic to readers and include a thesis statement, or claim. A thesis statement is one or two sentences that state your main idea.
A strong introduction also needs to capture the readers’ attention. Students can use one of the following to get readers interested right away:
- Include an unusual fact
- Ask a question
- Include vivid description
- Tell a brief story
Introduction examples for informative/explanatory texts...
WEAK – Money has been important to people throughout history. This paper will describe the history of money and explain why people started using it. It will also describe different types of money.
STRONG – Think of these four things: knives, beads, cows, and whales' teeth. What do they have in common? The answer is that people have used them as money in trades. Through history, different cultures have used some surprising forms of currency.
A good conclusion sums up your main point and restates the these statement in a new way.
Students should use their conclusion to bring your writing to a satisfying finish. Students can use the following strategies to wrap up an essay:
- Summarize key points
- Make a prediction
- Offer an opinion or a suggestion
- Explain the topic's importance
Download a tip sheet for students that outlines strategies for writing introductions and conclusions for informative/explanatory texts!
Transition Words and Phrases for Information Writing
A well-written informational essay uses techniques to build coherence between and within paragraphs. Coherence in writing means that a reader can move easily and clearly from one idea to the next. To achieve coherence, writers use transitions words and phrases. Linking ideas and key information with transition words and phrases will tie one sentence to another and show the connections between ideas.
Below is a tip sheet that lists transition words and phrases that can be used to build coherence between and within paragraphs. Download my Informative/Explanatory Writing Kit to make get the worksheet for your students!
Informative/Explanatory Writing Assignments
There are a number of ways for students to practice writing informative/explanatory texts. Some of my favorite informative writing assignments are:
- Basic Paragraph
Writing Assignment Idea #1
My Informative/Explanatory Writing Kit includes an informational writing activity worksheet for students! With this informative writing assignment students will write about something they like to make or do. It could be their favorite recipe or craft, a game they like to play or hobby. Using the worksheet, students will write the directions of how to follow the rules, recipe, or steps to create something. In addition to writing about something they like to make/play, students will underline all linking words and draw an illustration!
Below are two additional writing assignments you could assign students to work on their informative writing skills. In addition to looking at the ways your students write informative or explanatory texts, you will also have the chance to check that proper nouns are capitalized properly. What a great way to combine writing and grammar!
Writing Assignment Idea #2
To assess how well your students write informative/explanatory texts, use calendar holidays as a writing topic. For instance, you might ask students to choose their favorite holiday and explain in writing why they like it the best.
To help students choose a holiday for an explanatory essay, you could provide them with a list. Some common holidays follow:
- New Year’s Eve
- Valentine's Day
- St. Patrick's Day
- Fourth of July
Writing Assignment Idea #3
Want to be more creative? You can add a twist to the informative essay and provide your students with some lesser-known days of celebration. This would encourage students to do some research and inform their audience. Here are some possible calendar celebrations students could research and write about:
- Metropolitan Museum of Art Opened in NYC (1872)
- Jackie Robinson Day
- World Fish Migration Day
- National Plush Animal Day
- King Tut Day
- William Shakespeare's Birthday
- Transportation Week
- World Architecture Day
Informative/Explanatory Writing Format
Informative or explanatory writing follows an organized format. Using the anagram INFORM, teachers and students can easily remember the elements of an informative essay . Download a poster to remind your students about the parts of the INFORMative essay!
How to Write an Explanatory Essay: Comprehensive Guide with Examples
What Is an Explanatory Essay: Definition
Have you ever been tasked with explaining a complex topic to someone without prior knowledge? It can be challenging to break down complex ideas into simple terms that are easy to understand. That's where explanatory writing comes in! An explanatory essay, also known as an expository essay, is a type of academic writing that aims to explain a particular topic or concept clearly and concisely. These essays are often used in academic settings but can also be found in newspapers, magazines, and online publications.
For example, if you were asked to explain how a car engine works, you would need to provide a step-by-step explanation of the different parts of the engine and how they work together to make the car move. Or, if you were asked to explain the process of photosynthesis, you would need to explain how plants use sunlight, water, and carbon dioxide to create energy.
When wondering - 'what is an explanatory essay?', remember that the goal of an explanatory paper is to provide the reader with a better understanding of the topic at hand. Unlike an opinion essay , this type of paper does not argue for or against a particular viewpoint but rather presents information neutrally and objectively. By the end of the essay, the reader should clearly understand the topic and be able to explain it to others in their own words.
Also, there is no set number of paragraphs in an explanatory essay, as it can vary depending on the length and complexity of the topic. However, when wondering - 'how many paragraphs in an explanatory essay?', know that a typical example of explanatory writing will have an introduction, body paragraphs, and a conclusion.
However, some essays may have more or fewer body paragraphs, depending on the topic and the writer's preference. Ultimately, an explanatory essay format aims to provide a clear and thorough explanation of the topic, using as many paragraphs as necessary.
20 Interesting Explanatory Essay Topics
Now that we have defined what is explanatory essay, the next step is choosing a good explanatory topic. A well-chosen topic is interesting and relevant to your audience while also being something you are knowledgeable about and can provide valuable insights on. By selecting a topic that is too broad or too narrow, you run the risk of either overwhelming your audience with too much information or failing to provide enough substance to fully explain the topic. Additionally, choosing a topic that is too controversial or biased can lead to difficulty in presenting information objectively and neutrally. By choosing a good explanatory topic, you can ensure that your essay is well-informed, engaging, and effective in communicating your ideas to your audience.
Here are 20 creative explanatory essay topics by our admission essay service to consider:
- How does the human brain process emotions?
- The benefits and drawbacks of remote work.
- The science behind climate change and its effects.
- The history and evolution of hip-hop music.
- The impact of social media on mental health.
- The benefits of learning a second language.
- The process of how a computer operates.
- The causes and effects of bullying in schools.
- The impact of technology on modern education.
- The reasons for the decline of bee populations and their importance to the ecosystem.
- The effects of caffeine on the human body.
- The process of how vaccines work to prevent disease.
- The impact of video games on youth behavior and development.
- The reasons for the gender pay gap and how to close it.
- The benefits and drawbacks of renewable energy sources.
- The history and cultural significance of tattoos.
- The causes and effects of income inequality in society.
- The process of how a book is published.
- The impact of social media on political discourse.
- The benefits and drawbacks of the gig economy.
How to Start an Explanatory Essay: Important Steps
Starting an explanatory essay can be challenging, especially if you are unsure where to begin. However, by following a few simple steps, you can effectively kick-start your writing process and produce a clear and concise essay. Here are some tips and examples from our term paper writing services on how to start an explanatory essay:
- Choose an engaging topic : Your topic should be interesting, relevant, and meaningful to your audience. For example, if you're writing about climate change, you might focus on a specific aspect of the issue, such as the effects of rising sea levels on coastal communities.
- Conduct research : Gather as much information as possible on your topic. This may involve reading scholarly articles, conducting interviews, or analyzing data. For example, if you're writing about the benefits of mindfulness meditation, you might research the psychological and physical benefits of the practice.
- Develop an outline : Creating an outline will help you logically organize your explanatory essay structure. For example, you might organize your essay on the benefits of mindfulness meditation by discussing its effects on mental health, physical health, and productivity.
- Provide clear explanations: When writing an explanatory article, it's important to explain complex concepts clearly and concisely. Use simple language and avoid technical jargon. For example, if you're explaining the process of photosynthesis, you might use diagrams and visual aids to help illustrate your points.
- Use evidence to support your claims : Use evidence from reputable sources to support your claims and arguments. This will help to build credibility and persuade your readers. For example, if you're writing about the benefits of exercise, you might cite studies that demonstrate its positive effects on mental health and cognitive function.
By following these tips and examples, you can effectively start your expository essays and produce a well-structured, informative, and engaging piece of writing.
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Explanatory Essay Outline
As mentioned above, it's important to create an explanatory essay outline to effectively organize your ideas and ensure that your essay is well-structured and easy to follow. An outline helps you organize your thoughts and ideas logically and systematically, ensuring that you cover all the key points related to your topic. It also helps you identify gaps in your research or argument and allows you to easily revise and edit your essay. In this way, an outline can greatly improve the overall quality and effectiveness of your explanatory essay.
Explanatory Essay Introduction
Here are some tips from our ' do my homework ' service to create a good explanatory essay introduction that effectively engages your readers and sets the stage for the entire essay:
- Start with a hook: Begin your introduction with an attention-grabbing statement or question that draws your readers in. For example, you might start your essay on the benefits of exercise with a statistic on how many Americans suffer from obesity.
- Provide context: Give your readers some background information on the topic you'll be discussing. This helps to set the stage and ensures that your readers understand the importance of the topic. For example, you might explain the rise of obesity rates in the United States over the past few decades.
- State your thesis: A good explanatory thesis example should be clear, concise, and focused. It should state the main argument or point of your essay. For example, you might state, ' Regular exercise is crucial to maintaining a healthy weight and reducing the risk of chronic diseases.'
- Preview your main points: Give your readers an idea of what to expect in the body of your essay by previewing your main points. For example, you might explain that you'll be discussing the benefits of exercise for mental health, physical health, and longevity.
- Keep it concise: Your introduction should be brief and to the point. Avoid getting bogged down in too much detail or providing too much background information. A good rule of thumb is to keep your introduction to one or two paragraphs.
The Body Paragraphs
By following the following tips, you can create well-organized, evidence-based explanation essay body paragraphs that effectively support your thesis statement.
- Use credible sources: When providing evidence to support your arguments, use credible sources such as peer-reviewed academic journals or reputable news outlets. For example, if you're writing about the benefits of a plant-based diet, you might cite a study published in the Journal of the American Medical Association.
- Organize your paragraphs logically: Each body paragraph should focus on a specific aspect or argument related to your topic. Organize your paragraphs logically so that each one builds on the previous one. For example, if you're writing about the causes of climate change, you might organize your paragraphs to focus on human activity, natural causes, and the effects of climate change.
- Use transitional phrases: Use transitional phrases to help your readers follow the flow of your ideas. For example, you might use phrases such as 'in addition,' 'furthermore,' or 'on the other hand' to indicate a shift in your argument.
- Provide analysis: Don't just present evidence; provide analysis and interpretation of the evidence. For example, if you're writing about the benefits of early childhood education, you might analyze the long-term effects on academic achievement and future earnings.
- Summarize your main points: End each body paragraph with a sentence that summarizes the main point or argument you've made. This helps to reinforce your thesis statement and keep your essay organized. For example, you might end a paragraph on the benefits of exercise by stating, 'Regular exercise has been shown to improve mental and physical health, making it a crucial aspect of a healthy lifestyle.'
Explanatory Essay Conclusion
Here are some unique tips on how to write an explanatory essay conclusion that leaves a lasting impression on your readers.
- Offer a solution or recommendation: Instead of summarizing your main points, offer suggestions based on the information you've presented. This can help to make your essay more impactful and leave a lasting impression on your readers. For example, if you're writing about the effects of pollution on the environment, you might recommend using more eco-friendly products or investing in renewable energy sources.
- Emphasize the importance of your topic: Use your concluding statement to emphasize the importance of your topic and why it's relevant to your readers. This can help to inspire action or change. For example, suppose you're writing about the benefits of volunteering. In that case, you might emphasize how volunteering helps others and has personal benefits such as improved mental health and a sense of purpose.
- End with a powerful quote or statement: End your explanatory essay conclusion with a powerful quote or statement that reinforces your main point or leaves a lasting impression on your readers. For example, if you're writing about the importance of education, you might end your essay with a quote from Nelson Mandela, such as, 'Education is the most powerful weapon which you can use to change the world.'
Explanatory Essay Example
Here is an example of an explanatory essay:
Explanatory Essay Example:
Importance of Basketball
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Explanatory Essay: Definition, Outline, Writing Steps & Samples
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An explanatory essay is a type of essay that aims to explain or describe a particular topic or subject. The purpose of an explanatory essay is to provide readers with information and to educate them about a topic in a concise manner.
In this article, we will discuss an explanatory writing definition, provide an outline of key components, and guide you through how to write an explanatory essay. Additionally, we will provide a well-written explanatory essay example to further illustrate required structure and format of writing the paper. Whether you are a college student or a professional, this article will offer all the tools you need to write a clear and effective explanatory essay. Our professional essay writers did their best to share all essential details on an explanatory essay – beginning with an introduction and ending with a conclusion. Let’s get started!
What Is an Explanatory Essay: Definition
An explanatory essay is a type of academic writing in which the writer presents an explanation or analysis of a specific topic or idea. Its main goal is to provide the reader with a clear, unbiased and well-supported understanding of the subject matter, through use of evidence and logical reasoning. Instead of persuading or arguing with the reader, explanatory essays provide relevant information to them. Therefore, a writer must present information objectively, without injecting their own personal opinions or biases. Additionally, explanatory writing can be used in professional settings as well, for example, in a scientific report, or in a business proposal to explain the process of a product or service creation, or to provide data analysis. According to definition of explanatory writing, it explains why things happen the way they are.
What is the Purpose of an Explanatory Essay?
Explanatory essay purpose is to provide an explanation or clarification of a particular topic or subject. This type of assignment is used to inform or educate readers about a specific concept or idea. Similarly to writing an informative essay , the focus is on offering a clear and comprehensive understanding of topic, rather than arguing about a particular point of view. A writer should present information, define terms, and use evidence to support their explanations. Explanatory essay also aims to explain complex ideas in a clear and concise manner, making information accessible and understandable to reader.
Explanatory Essay Outline
Explanatory essay outline varies depending on information that author is trying to present. Aim of explanatory outline is to organize points into paragraphs and provide a framework on how to write an explanation paper. You can find an example of an essay outline online that can help guide you on what to do. Below is an example of an explanatory essay outline template.
- Background information on the topic.
- Thesis statement.
- First point supporting thesis statement.
- Evidence or examples to support this point.
- Explanation of evidence provided.
- Concluding statement.
- Second point supporting thesis statement.
- Evidence or examples to support point.
- Third point supporting thesis statement.
- Summarize main points
- Restate thesis statement
- Call to action or future implications.
Explanatory Essay Structure
Structure of an explanatory essay typically includes an introduction , body , and conclusion . Writing an explanatory essay begins with drafting an introduction . Introduction provides background information on topic and thesis statement in closing sentence. Thesis statement offers the main idea of paper. Subsequent parts of an explanatory essay support the developed thesis statement using valid evidence. Body of the paper is where writers present evidence, examples, and explanations to support their thesis statement. Body typically contains several paragraphs, each focusing on a specific aspect of topic and providing evidence to support it. Finally, conclusion summarizes main points and arguments of the writing, and restates thesis in different ways. It also provides a final perspective on topic, and may offer some recommendations or suggestions for further reading or research.
Explanatory Essay Introduction
Have you been wondering how to write an explanatory essay introduction? A good introduction for an explanatory essay should have three main elements:
- Background information
- Thesis statement
The hook is an attention-grabbing and interesting sentence that entices reader to continue reading. It can be a surprising fact, a quote, or a thought-provoking question. Background information provides context for the topic being discussed and helps readers to understand significance of the issue. This section should be brief and to the point. Last part of introduction paragraph for an explanatory essay is a thesis statement . This is a statement that author will support by using facts, quotes and examples throughout the body of paper before concluding with personal opinion based on provided evidence.
Explanatory Essay Thesis Statement
It is important to know what is an explanatory thesis statement before exploring its purpose. Thesis is a statement that presents main idea or topic in a clear and concise manner. Thesis statement for an explanatory essay is an essential element as it serves as a roadmap for the entire work. It should be specific and arguable. Thesis statement should be presented early in paper, typically in introduction, to guide reader's understanding of essay's main points. It should be specific enough to clearly convey a topic, but not so specific that it limits the paper’s scope. Additionally, it should be arguable, meaning that it should be open to interpretation and debate. With this information, you can practice how to write a thesis statement for an explanatory essay.
Explanatory Essay Body
Next step after introduction is to write a body paragraph for an explanatory essay . Explanatory essay body paragraph provides evidence that supports thesis statement. It should include facts, statistics, expert opinions, examples and other evidence that help to prove thesis statement is accurate. Body paragraphs should be written in a clear and logical manner, making a strong case for thesis statement. It should also be written in a way that is easy for readers to understand and follow, ensuring that evidence is presented in a clear and convincing manner. To effectively convey information in the body of an explanation essay, it is important to use a variety of different techniques and strategies. This may include use of images, infographics, examples, theories, quotes, and other relevant information. By incorporating these different elements, writers can more effectively engage readers and provide a more comprehensive understanding of topic at hand. Additionally, use of these different techniques can help to break up text and make it more visually appealing and easier to read.
Explanatory Essay Conclusion
An explanatory essay conclusion is the final section of the paper that summarizes main points and restates the thesis statement. Conclusion for explanatory essays should be written in a way that ties all of information presented in paper together, providing a clear and concise summary of main ideas. Steps on how to write a conclusion for an explanatory essay are as follows:
- Restate the thesis statement.
- Summarize main points: conclusion should sum up key points and evidence presented in paper, highlighting most important information.
- Provide a sense of closure: indicate that paper has come to an end and that main points have been fully discussed. Your conclusion must show that the ideas have been explored fully.
- Emphasize significance of the topic.
- Provide final thoughts or recommendations: give reader something to consider after reading your work.
How to Write an Explanatory Essay Step-by-Step?
Best way to understand how to write an explanatory essay is by practicing certain steps involved in the process. By following these steps, writer will have a clear understanding of process and be able to effectively present information in a logical and easy-to-understand manner. Subsequent section will discuss how to do an explanatory essay by covering some important tips and considerations for each step, to help you produce a high-quality writing. Details on each step are discussed below.
1. Produce an Idea
First step in producing an idea in an explanatory essay is by thinking about what you are passionate about or interested in. This will make writing process more enjoyable and will also make it easier for you to have a strong understanding of the topic. When brainstorming a topic in explanatory essay writing, you should consider your audience and what they may be interested in reading about. More ways to brainstorm new ideas include looking at current events or trending topics in your field of study or area of interest. Narrow down your list of ideas by evaluating which explanatory essay topics would make most interesting and informative writing. Once you have a topic in mind, do some preliminary research to ensure that there is enough information available to write a comprehensive paper.
2. Make a Detailed Research
Before writing an explanatory essay, you should do detailed research to collect relevant information. Here are some steps to follow when gathering information:
- Identify topic and focus of your research paper. This will help you determine what types of sources to look for and where to find them.
- Search for sources using a variety of methods, such as online databases, library catalogs, and search engines.
- Evaluate credibility of each source. Check for things like author's credentials, publisher, and date of publication.
- Take detailed notes as you read through your sources. Be sure to note author, title, and publication date for each source, as well as any key information or quotes that you plan to use in your paper.
- Finally, review all sources again, and make sure they are reliable and trustworthy before you use them in your explanatory paper.
3. Use Appropriate Examples
Examples in explanatory writing are an effective way to explain a concept or idea because they provide a concrete illustration of topic being discussed. They can make complex ideas easier to understand by providing a real-world context. Using an appropriate explanatory essay example can help to strengthen credibility of information being presented. Sources used in this paper should be applicable to the real world. Examples can be used to persuade readers to see a certain point of view. For instance, when discussing a controversial topic, providing examples can help to demonstrate validity of the writer's argument. Also, providing illustrations helps the reader to understand unfamiliar concepts.
4. Create an Explanatory Essay Outline
Best way to know how to write an explanatory essay outline is to consider the amount of information gathered through detailed research and obtaining logical arrangement to ensure flow of ideas. Created through identifying a specific idea from detailed research and ensuring readers can easily relate logical flow throughout the paper. Appropriate outline for explanatory essay entails introduction, body and conclusion each containing specific information arranged in a logical manner to provide flow of your paper. Example of an outline provided above follows a general structure and provides the best organization of communicating directly to readers. Moreover, a sample above shows a flawless way of obtaining information and opinion of an author. Besides, it provides an outline in a manner that is easy to follow and comprehend.
5. Write an Outstanding Beginning
Capturing attention of the reader to go ahead and read entire paper is dependent on the introduction. Therefore, providing a hook seems like the best way on how to start an explanatory essay. First step to capture your audience’s attention is usually to write an introduction paragraph for an explanatory essay. Introduction becomes the first paragraph in any type of writing, and it is important in capturing interest among readers. Writing an effective introduction involves providing a hook and general description of the topic, background information and thesis statement. These elements provide an overview of your paper and instigate readers to expect more detailed information about your topic throughout the writing.
Explanatory Essay Introduction Example
Introduction paragraph is the beginning of paper and helps to introduce general ideas about topic and to capture attention and interest of your readers to continue reading. Introduction must begin with a hook, followed by scope of the topic and closing sentence should include a debatable thesis statement. Revising explanatory essay introduction examples can help you understand the concept better. Below is an example of introduction paragraph.
Why do teenagers commit suicide? The rate of committing suicide among teenagers have been on rise. Some leave suicide notes while others left nothing to show the cause of their actions. Suicide has been linked with mental disorders. Nevertheless, there has been a need to investigate other underlying causes apart from mental disorder. Therefore, there are several underlying factors that lead to suicidal actions among youths that need to be investigated. Increase in suicide rates among teenagers can be attributed to a combination of societal pressures, mental health issues, and a lack of access to proper resources and support.
6. Come Up With an Explanatory Essay Thesis Statement
Understanding how to write a thesis statement for an explanatory essay is essential in ensuring that the reader comprehends whole idea author is trying to prove. Thesis statement for explanatory essays provides main idea in a precise manner. It is usually written in concluding statement of introduction paragraph of explanation writing. Effective thesis statement should be specific but must consider scope of the work. In addition, an outstanding thesis statement doesn’t include your emotions or opinion. Save arguments and viewpoints for an argumentative essay .
Explanation Essay Thesis Statement Example
Thesis statement is written in the concluding sentence. It is supposed to be specific and concise in providing the main idea of your paper. Additionally, to make it effective, thesis statement should be outstanding and debatable with open interpretation. Thesis statement sums up central point of the writing, and should articulate it in a few words without providing too much information. However, reader has to note specific ideas that author is trying to relay. Example of an explanatory essay thesis statement is stated as follows:
Increase in suicide rates among teenagers can be attributed to a combination of societal pressures, mental health issues, and a lack of access to proper resources and support.
7. Support Your Ideas With Evidence
The central idea that author intends to express can only be validated through relevant evidence from credible sources. Supporting thesis statement is based on how well one knows how to write an explanatory body paragraph. Body of an explanatory essay entails evidence to support your topic. Evidence supporting the idea is obtained from detailed research conducted after identifying a specific idea. Main aim of the body paragraph is to prove thesis statement. Some ways used to communicate in body include examples, facts and opinions among other evidence that are deemed relevant and credible. Having an effective body in writing requires presenting evidence in a clear and convincing way that will enable reader to easily relate important ideas to thesis statement. Including different techniques of presenting evidence in body of report, provides vivid understanding and wider perception of the topic.
Example of an Explanatory Essay Body Paragraph
Body paragraph provides evidence that supports thesis statement. Below is a perfect explanatory body paragraph example about factors that cause suicide among teenagers.
Society plays a significant role in shaping mental health of teenagers. With constant pressure to fit in and meet societal expectations, many teens struggle with low self-esteem and feelings of inadequacy. Social media amplifies this pressure by providing a platform for teens to compare themselves to others and constantly measure themselves against impossible standards. This can lead to depression, anxiety, and ultimately, suicide. Mental health issues, such as depression and anxiety, are also major contributing factors to suicide among teenagers. These conditions are often left undiagnosed and untreated due to a lack of access to proper resources and support. Many teens may not have the means to seek out professional help or may not understand the severity of their condition. Additionally, the stigma surrounding mental health can prevent teens from seeking help, leaving them to struggle alone with their thoughts and feelings. This further increases the risk of suicide.
8. Summarize Your Explanatory Paper
Last section of the explanatory essay writing is to summarize your evidence to support the thesis statement. Explanatory summary restates thesis statement and highlights important information presented throughout the work. Main idea is to link all information in the paper together to provide a common relationship between main ideas and thesis statements. Opinion of author is provided in summary section, which is dependent on depth of evidence provided in body. Author can agree or disagree with thesis statement, if it is efficiently supported by credible and relevant sources. Besides, the summary provides necessity of the topic at hand and possible recommendations.
Example of Explanatory Essay Conclusion
Conclusion paragraph starts by restating thesis and summarizing main points. Sample of an explanatory essay conclusion as one provided below will help you understand concept better.
In conclusion, suicide among teenagers is a complex issue that is influenced by a combination of societal pressure, mental health issues, and a lack of access to proper resources and support. It is important that we take a holistic approach to addressing this issue by solving underlying causes and providing teens with support and resources they need to navigate challenges of adolescence. This includes providing mental health education, addressing societal pressures, and increasing access to professional help and support. By working together, we can help to reduce suicide rates among teenagers and give young people the chance to live happy and fulfilling lives.
9. Proofread an Explanatory Essay
Final step in writing an explanatory article involves proofreading your work properly. It entails revising paper a couple of times to check if it has proper flow of thoughts, communicate to audience with the clear ideas, and understand if conclusion provides a concise value of the thesis statement. It is usually done a day after completion to easily spot mistakes. Moreover, proofreading explanatory essays aims at detecting minor errors and grammatical mistakes that might affect clarity and quality of the paper. During proofreading, any error or mistake is noted and necessary editing done to improve the value of the paper.
Explanatory Essay Format
Format for an explanatory essay depends on the discipline provided in the paper. There are different formats to write an explanatory essay including APA style format , MLA format and Chicago style paper format which are provided in instructions. Format provided in paper also dictates the style of structure and citation of sources used in the paper. The format does not have any influence on content of the paper and is usually based on a system preferred by the author. Writer uses the recommended format that seems easier and familiar. Therefore, explanatory papers can take any format with similar structure and enable the author to communicate effectively to readers.
Explanation Essay Examples
Explanatory writing examples provided below show the required structure of the essays. Under the structure there are possible sections with some clarifications to help the reader understand the main idea. Explanatory essay samples are necessary to readers because they help in understanding how to build up the topic under study. Moreover, each of the example of explanatory writing provided below is important in learning different formats of writing, conveying a general idea of the work.
Explanatory Essay Writing Tips
Writing tips are essential in ensuring an excellent explanation essay. Some of these writing tips are listed below:
- Take advantage of transition and linking words and write a hook for an explanatory essay.
- Cite sources from which facts were drawn. Sources should be credible and recent to ensure high value of paper. Following examples of explanatory essays is the best way of learning how to cite.
- Proofread the paper. This involves revising work to ensure topic is analyzed in a logical manner that follows correct explanatory essay layout which is easily understood by audience.
- Edit an essay. Follows after identifying and noting errors and mistakes during proofreading. It is done a day after completion of writing to ensure all mistakes are edited and paper’s value improved.
- Share the paper with a close person as a way of further improving its value and ensuring explanatory essay meaning is maintained. In addition, by sharing, authors can get feedback on where to make necessary corrections and changes to ensure writing is more understandable and clearly communicates to the audience.
Explanatory Essay Checklist
Before final submission of the explanatory essay, there are several checks it should go through first to ensure a proper flow in the paper and that the intended information is easily understood by the reader. The checklist enables one to write a good explanatory essay. The checklist includes the following:
Bottom Line on How to Write an Explanatory Essay
The question of what is explanatory writing has various definitions but generally, it is usually academic writing which provides analysis of a specific topic or idea to readers. Explanatory essay template provides the basic structure that can be followed in explanatory writing. Besides, explanatory essay examples provide vivid understanding on how to write a good explanatory paper. Through using templates and examples, one can master steps and structure of writing an explanatory essay. Structure of explanatory paper has three parts that are logically arranged to enable readers to easily understand what the author intends to prove. Besides, flow of ideas in a logical manner enables relating different evidence provided in body to thesis statement and accounting for correct conclusion. If you need more help on writing, feel free to seek more suggestions in our Blog. From guides on exemplification essay to tips on evaluation essay , you will find tutorial fitting any academic need.
If you are struggling with writing an expository essay, remember that you can always count on our expert academic writers. Let us know your assignment details and we will craft a custom paper in line with all requirements to your ‘ write my college essay for me ’ request.
FAQ About Explanatory Essays
1. how is an explanatory essay different from an argumentative essay.
Differences between explanatory and argumentative essay is that explanatory paper is about presenting information to explain something while an argumentative writing is about persuading the readers to agree with an opinion. In the explanatory paper, the author provides an open interpretation of the topic before finally providing links between main ideas that proves the thesis statement.
2. Is an explanatory essay the same as an informative essay?
No. An informative essay is based on detailed facts and data while an explanatory paper requires author’s opinion on some certain points. Explanatory essay meaning is drawn from author’s presentation of idea and how well it is supported. Despite having an open interpretation and debatable thesis statement, clear facts about topic in explanatory paper are not easily determined. Author makes rational decisions based on the weight of evidence provided.
3. What is included in explanatory essay?
Explanatory essay is a type of writing where author presents some points of view on a certain topic, event or situation. Opinion of author is generally the idea supported by most of the evidence provided in body. Remember to include introduction, body, and conclusion to adequately support your claims and understand the difference between those parts of your paper.
4. Is an explanatory essay objective or subjective?
Explanatory writing is about presenting a balanced, objective description of the topic. The paper is objective and provides an all around perception of topic both opposing and proposing evidence on thesis statement. General description provides the author's idea and reader can easily understand point of view based on provided sources and evidence.
5. How many paragraphs are in an explanatory essay?
Explanatory essay has five paragraphs though it can include more. Paragraphs vary with subheading the author decides to include in essay. General structure requires one paragraph for introduction, three for body and last one for conclusion. However, in case of extra evidence in body and long introduction, more paragraphs can be used.
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- checkbox My explanatory writing is clear.
- checkbox Provided information has required flow and is connected with transition words.
- checkbox Supporting evidence proves my thesis statement.
- checkbox I started an explanatory essay with a hook that grabs reader’s attention.
- checkbox My writing is understandable to the reader or doesn’t leave them confused.
- checkbox My summary ties key points to the thesis statement.
- checkbox The citation and referencing style is appropriate to the paper format.
Informative Essay Guide: Topics, Outline, Examples, Tips
When writing an informative essay, you must understand what source of argumentation it stems from. Additionally, you must follow an informative essay format, which has its own peculiarities. You may be familiar with expository essays where the author must investigate and evaluate various evidence. Moreover, the author must provide the argumentation for the stated idea as well. If you study in one of the best colleges for astrophysics , or any other, an informative essay may be the one you write very often.
What Is an Informative Essay?
An informative essay is an academic paper written by high school and college students. This kind of informative writing aims to inform the target audience about a particular object, person, situation, or phenomenon. The purpose is to respond to the main question by explaining the topic in detail. When writing in an informational essay format, imagine the readers do not know anything about the topic in front of them. If possible, use professional terms to explain the topic, but remember to provide meaningful explanations. The definition of informative writing is as follows: The piece must be informative and based on facts. It is not supposed to sway the reader into changing their beliefs or give an opinion.
- based on cold facts, statistics, and scientific evidence;
- not supposed to give the author’s opinion.
Example: When writing an informative essay about marketing for the audience of students who have no idea of startups and business, try to express the main idea with the help of special words. Great words to use are brainstorming, A/B testing, target audience, customer research, copywriting, etc. Give professional definitions. In some cases, use specific examples to explain the meaning of words.
Informative Essay Outline
If you don’t know how to write an informative essay outline, don’t worry. It looks much like most of the academic papers. There are three parts in it: an introduction, the body paragraphs, and a conclusion. Also, do not forget to include a list of references at the end of the work. The number of body paragraphs may vary based on your topic, so choose it carefully. In the conclusion of your informational essay, remind the reader of the main idea. Instead of providing a thesis statement in the shape of an argument, you can stress the importance of the issue under consideration. The purpose of an outline for an informative essay is to determine what you are going to talk about and organize your thoughts.
Example: Imagine that the topic of the informative essay is “ The effectiveness of exercising on coping with stress. ”
Your informative essay outline should look like this:
- Origin of the problem. This is the main idea of the essay, focusing on the ways exercising helps dealing with stress. Feel free to go into the history of the problem, and in this case, it is especially important to have a thorough introduction. This will let the reader know what is going on and help understand the information you will provide later in the body of the essay.
- Process. Write about the ways researchers detect what type of exercises help and why. Describe how exactly does it work.
- Benefits. Describe the advantages of regular exercise using examples from real life.
Informative Essay Introduction
In this part of the essay, take the time to introduce the problem you are going to discuss. The introduction should not be very long; however, in some cases, there are exceptions, especially if the problem you are discussing is complex and not well known to the general public. The main objective of this section is to provide a background of the topic, write your thesis, and let the essay smoothly transition into the next part, the body.
Informative Essay Body
Use the body part to inform the target audience about the peculiarities of the topic. You have got three paragraphs that you can use to share some interesting facts with your audience. Go into the little known details, or reflect on common knowledge in a new light to intrigue readers. The three integral elements of each body paragraph you must absolutely have are the claim, supporting evidence, and explanation. The principle here is simple, state something and explain why it is so by backing it up with evidence. Be as detailed in your explanation as you can and remember to stay on point.
Informative Essay Thesis Statement
Decide on the clear message your essay will have. Address reasons why the specific problem is important and how to let your audience know about the issue’s significance. Professionals from different writing services agree that a good informative essay thesis should contain a clear message that you can later prove with evidence. Make it in such a way that you can later easily support it. An example of a good thesis is: “Smoking causes three health problems that lead to gradual health deterioration by the age of 40”. To support this thesis, you will have to list the three health disorders and provide information on how each one of them harms people’s health.
Informative Essay Conclusion
As a rule, in conclusion for informative essay, just like for a descriptive essay , you should summarize everything that was mentioned in the text. Sum up all information in the essay and give a short rundown of what you have talked about. This will help the reader to solidify what they have just read in their mind and link all the pieces of your essay together.
Make sure your conclusion is not far-fetched and does not come “out of nowhere”. Finish your essay by providing a summary of the main points listed in the body of your informative essay. Avoid adding any new information and questions; this may steer your essay off the topic and confuse the reader. Besides, you should have provided all the needed information in the body section of the essay. End your essay in a way that maintains the reader’s interest in the topic you discussed and encourages its further exploration.
Informative Essay Topics
You can find good informative essay examples online on various platforms. In turn, we want to offer you a list of informative essay ideas and topics you can choose from compiled by the writers from our paper writing service . Also, known as ' pay someone to write my essay ' service.
Social Issues Topics
Here are some topic ideas on social issues:
- The negative effects of gambling on one’s personal and social life.
- What are the main triggers of eating disorders in humans?
- The issue of censorship in modern society, arts, and media.
- The key causes resulting in water pollution.
- What effects did the global pandemic have on the world and economy?
- The importance of education in the 21st century.
- The problem of bullying in today’s schools.
- Is there a way to prevent and minimize child abuse?
- The effects of the environmental degradation.
- The main causes and effects of the Black Lives Matter movement.
Find below ten great topic ideas for inspiration for writing your own informative essay on education:
- Higher education in the world’s top universities.
- The effects of excessive video game use on students’ academic performances.
- Sports as an integral part of an effective educational program.
- The role of books in academic research in the 21st century.
- The key skills that affect a student’s academic progress.
- How does standardized testing negatively affect a student’s overall performance?
- Homework during summer vacation.
- The role of leadership in the classroom.
- The standard grading system should be eliminated.
- Summer classes are not as productive as the autumn ones.
Here are some engaging historical topics for an A-level informative essay:
- Discuss the concepts of ethics in terms of the Vietnam War.
- The history and roots of slavery in the United States of America.
- The key causes of the Civil War.
- What cultural impact did native Americans have on our society?
- Analysis of the Emancipation Proclamation of 1863.
- How did the Declaration of Independence change the course of US history?
- The effects of the Civil Rights Movement.
- The key controversial points in the 21st-century US foreign policy.
- Analysis of the interwar period.
- The influence of industrialization on American social movements.
To craft a compelling informative essay on business, feel free to consider the following relevant topic ideas:
- The role of consumerism in modern business.
- Marketing and branding as the key triggers for sales.
- How did e-commerce influence business development in the 21st century?
- The effects of demonetization.
- What is the role of human resources in today’s business landscape?
- Data as the main asset for decision making in business.
- Is there such a thing as socio-economic inequality?
- Key methods used in economics today.
- The influence of COVID-19 on the economic crisis of 2020.
- The role of industrial corridors in economy and business.
Here are a few great ideas for an essay on religion:
- What is religion and what role does it play in society?
- Common religion dogmas in the modern world.
- How do technology and religion coexist in the 21st century?
- The influence of religion and church on our personalities.
- History and roots of Christianity.
- New movements in religion that can be observed today.
- What is the role of religion in the political field?
- Is there still a place for any confrontation between science and religion?
- The role of religion in the workplace.
- How did religion and church affect the evolution of humanity?
Tips on Writing an Informative Essay
The most frequent mistake that students make is attempting to write right away, without the proper research and a lack of an informative essay structure plan. Such an attitude is especially unproductive when writing an informative essay since it needs a lot of effort put into the synthesis of information. Therefore, it is best to have a structured plan that you can follow. Having a blueprint of your essay speeds up the writing process. Make sure to follow the plan and deliver the information in the best possible way you can. The audience must learn something new by the end of the piece.
Here is a basic plan you can follow when writing your informative essay:
First of all, you must understand that the topic you choose for your informative essay cannot be too vast or too specific. A good student will always write about an area they have yet to explore. Think of it as an exercise, you are expanding your pool of knowledge, and try to stick to something you care about. Visualize the route you will take with your paper; you may refer to the list of provided topics and see if anything tickles your curiosity.
The most important part is the research. Familiarize yourself with several sources, and save them for later. You will need to refer to them, and perhaps even cite them if your educator wants you to do so. Archiving knowledge will improve the retention of that material and will help during the writing process. Do not limit yourself to only primary sources. Evaluate the secondary ones as well and make sure they are legible and relevant.
How to Write an Informative Essay?
Before you start working on your informative essay outline, remember that the most common way of writing an informative essay is a five-paragraph format. You start off with an introduction, follow with three body paragraphs, and finish with a conclusion. Your intro serves to present the main idea of your article. The three body paragraphs of your article will mainly expand on the thesis statement you have created in your intro. Your conclusion will sum everything up and present the significance of your topic.
How to Write an Informative Essay Introduction?
The introduction to your informative essay should be something that will grab your reader's attention. Include an essay hook, a thesis statement, and a transition sentence (usually the same sentence) to make sure everything moves smoothly.
Let’s take one of our topics as an example - showcasing art on a factual basis. The critical thing is to avoid sentiment. Suppose your theme is based on the context behind the album “Kid A” by Radiohead. To explain it, you would have to delve into the band’s prior history and experience and explain why Kid A turned out the way it did base on interviews and reviews.
An example of an attention grabber: The tunes on the radio head in a different direction nowadays.
An example like that is a bit ridiculous, but it is an extreme example of the job that an essay hook needs to perform. Hopefully, a play on words will make the reader grin in this case.
An example of a thesis statement: To what extent has Kid A’s deviation from the norm been influenced by the band’s prior experiences?
How to Write an Informative Essay Body?
The goal of the body paragraphs is to support the thesis statement with evidence or examples. Continuing with our example:
1st body paragraph - Kid A’s deviance in style
- Kid A’s deviance in style
- Exhausting touring schedule
2d body paragraph - Exhausting Touring Schedule after “OK Computer” album
- Heavy Themes in Artwork
- Themes in Music (and why)
3d body paragraph - Lyrical Meaning
- Use of sarcasm, irony
- Threatening messages delivered very softly
How to Write Informative Essay Conclusion?
The goal of the conclusion is, to sum up, everything that was stated in body paragraphs. Implement your thesis and provide significance. Explain why the topic you chose is valuable, giving it importance in the real world. This step can be very subjective, so that is entirely up to you.
Informative Essay Examples
Is traditional education better than remote learning?
Just a couple of years ago, could you think that you will have to deal with remote learning? In fact, the outbreak of COVID-19 has resulted in some dramatic changes in the field of education. Although countries across the globe faced different infection rates, one of the primary anti-COVID measures integrated by global governments was a switch to the remote learning model of education. According to stats, over 1.2 billion children across 186 countries ended up being out of the classroom at the peak of the pandemic. This fact led to a significant rise in e-learning. As a result, billions of students and teachers across the world have experienced remote education. And, according to specialists, the new model of learning has demonstrated a significant improvement in learning outcomes, suggesting that the changes caused by COVID-19 might be here to stay. So, is traditional education still better than remote learning?
Unlike traditional education that implies face-to-face interaction between students and teachers, remote (or distance) learning is a different educational model that implies acquiring knowledge without going to school. At the heart of such learning lies technology. And, while the outbreak of COVID-19 has forced many children to experience this form of education, there are still doubts on whether it can replace traditional schooling.
On the one hand, remote learning saves time and energy for both students and teachers. This schooling method eliminates the necessity to rush from one class to another and enables students to study in a comfortable environment. Therefore, this model is associated with less anxiety and stress.
On the other hand, traditional education offers more motivation. It implies physical interaction of students with their peers, as well as teachers, which results in higher levels of engagement and motivation in the classroom. Whereas remote learning can’t offer that.
Another point for remote learning is flexibility. In this model of schooling, students typically can study at their own pace, without the necessity to stick to a strict schedule. This enables them to fit in time for other things rather than studying. But, while this will offer plenty of benefits for certain groups of students, such as those with health restrictions or part-time students, it can have an opposite effect for the rest. Namely, such flexibility can result in students falling behind the program.
Another advantage of traditional education over remote learning is the lack of technical challenges. Online education brings along a wide range of issues. And while this may not be a problem for most students, who are technology natives, it can imply multiple challenges for teachers and families. To confirm this, the stats indicate that at least one-third of teachers struggle with technology, and only 90% of families in the US have access to the Internet. That is, e-learning is not accessible for everyone.
In conclusion, it is worth noting that studies show that the overall efficiency of traditional and remote schooling is about the same. Thus, in terms of academic outcomes, both educational models can offer benefits. Nevertheless, remote learning does imply more challenges, especially tech-related. What is more, it doesn’t help students develop vital oral and social skills, as it rules out face-to-face interactions. And, since education is not only about gaining knowledge but also about developing social skills, there are quite a few reasons to say that traditional learning is more beneficial. Nevertheless, both methods have positive and negative aspects. Thus, we can conclude that each model can be right or wrong based on specific students’ situations and needs.
Informative writing is assessed on the specific criteria that show the writer’s ability to implement them in their essay. The following is a foundation you need to base the piece on. Run through these questions to make sure that your essay is the best it can be: Does the thesis statement adequately unify all subtopics presented in the essay? Does the introduction engage the reader, and does it explain the forthcoming content? Are there enough details for the reader to understand the subject matter fully? Does the concluding paragraph effectively unify the essay? Does it make a point of the importance of the stated idea?
Informative essays are very tedious by definition. The amount of research that goes into them can seem a little too much to handle. If you feel like you have difficulties completing such a task yourself, we have a team of essay writers at your disposal to help you accomplish it. You can hire a writer to proofread your writing and help you make it perfect or buy an essay online on our website. You can also order a custom essay written from scratch or based on your outline for a very affordable price. Don’t hesitate to ask for essay help and improve your grades now!
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How to Write an Informative/Explanatory Paper
An informative/explanatory paper is an essay that provides a thesis and supporting information on a given topic. The paper’s primary purpose is to explain to a reader the how and why of a given topic by offering a detailed description and analysis. The goal is to help the reader better understand a topic with the help of one or more sources. Writing a clear and well-ordered explanatory paper requires planning and strong attention to detail.
Conduct preliminary research on your informative/explanatory paper topic to identify sources you can use in your paper. Look in books and trade journals or at informational websites, or talk to an expert in your topic. For example, if writing the paper on the formation of the universe for a science class, read books such as "Before the Big Bang: The Origins of the Universe" by Ernest Sternglass or visit the website of the National Aeronautics and Space Administration to find relevant information or experts to contact.
Craft an outline to assist you as you write your informative/explanatory paper. For example, list the thesis, or purpose of your paper, beside your first Roman numeral. Then break the thesis down into at least two separate points, one listed beside a second Roman numeral and the other listed beside a third Roman numeral. Make the last Roman numeral your conclusion. List details related to each section in the area beneath its Roman numeral. You can use letters to represent each item in these lists. For instance, the first item in a list could be represented by the letter "a" and the second by the letter "b."
Write the introduction to your informative/explanatory paper. Present the topic you'll be exploring and explain why this topic is important to your audience, which is your thesis. If writing about the formation of the solar system for a science class, explain that you will break the topic down into at least two separate parts, such as the big bang theory and the expanding universe theory.
Draft the first paragraph of your paper's body. Present the facts associated with the first part of your broad topic. For example, give details about the history of the big bang theory, evidence for the theory and summaries of some possible misconceptions. In addition, explain the general premise of the theory. Define the theory in detail and illustrate how it works thoroughly.
Create the second paragraph in the body of your informative/explanatory paper. For your science class paper, write about what the expanding universe theory is and what physicists and mathematicians contributed to the development of the theory based on information from Internet or library sources. Describe the properties of the theory and scientific evidence supporting it.
Compare the expanding universe theory to the big bang theory, pointing out similarities and differences. Connect your points to your thesis, introducing your most relevant information first and ending with strong supporting evidence. Also, if you are writing about an informative/explanatory topic on which you can add your own expert information, do so.
Make a conclusion paragraph to your informative/explanatory essay. Reiterate the two parts of your body and how your reader can use this information.
Read over your explanatory essay and correct errors in spelling, grammar, punctuation and usage. Insert transitional words when needed and ensure the essay reads smoothly.
Create a bibliography listing all the expert sources you quoted, paraphrased or summarized to describe the two parts related to your informative essay’s topic. Format references based on your instructor's style requirements.
- Follow your instructor’s requirements for double-spacing the document and choosing the correct font and font size as well to avoid losing points over technicalities.
- 1 Purdue University Online Writing Lab: Tips and Examples for Writing Thesis Statements
- 2 Michigan State University: Introduction to Synthesis
About the Author
YaShekia King, of Indianapolis, began writing professionally in 2003. Her work has appeared in several publications including the "South Bend Tribune" and "Clouds Across the Stars," an international book. She also is a licensed Realtor and clinical certified dental assistant. King holds a bachelor's degree in journalism from Ball State University.
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39 Introduction to Informative Writing
By Amy Minervini
Exposition is writing that explains, informs, or describes. This type of writing is also known as the informative mode in that the main objective is not to narrate a story or persuade readers of something but rather to convey factual information , including observations and personal/others’ experiences. However, when writing an expository essay, you can include elements from other modes (storytelling, analysis, writer impressions, persuasion, etc.) although these would be secondary aims or even implied. The expository composition is a practical, authentic kind of writing that can stand on its own or serve as the foundation for your more developed research essays.
Expository writing generally exhibits the following:
- Emphasis on facts, observations, or personal/others’ experiences
- Organization marked by a logical flow or progression of information; chronological, order of importance/priority, or the step-by-step approach are the most common; transitions that guide the reader
- Close attention paid to detail and description
- No noticeable writer bias
Essay types within this Chapter
- Process analysis (how-to)
Introduction to the General Expository Essay
The following is excerpted from Crystle Bruno’s Commonsense Composition 3.1 Expository Essay
The main aim of an expository essay is to provide an effective explanation of a topic. While a descriptive essay strives to describe a subject or a narrative essay seeks to show personal growth, an expository essay tries to explain a topic or situation. Thus, expository essays are written as if the writer is explaining or clarifying a topic to the reader. Since an expository essay is trying to clarify a topic, it is important that it provides the categories or reasons that support the clarification of the paper. Moreover, these categories and reasons also provide the framework for the organization of the paper.
Components of the expository essay as the parts of a house.
Much like the categories are essential to clarifying the topic, organization is the key to any well-developed essay. When composing your essay, think of its organization as a house, with each component of an essay representing a major part of a house. Just as the foundation provides support on which a house can be built, a thesis represents the foundation upon which to build an essay. The introductory paragraph then functions as both the door and framework for an expository essay. Like a house door, the introductory paragraph must allow the reader to enter into the essay. Additionally, just as walls are built upon the framework of a house, the body paragraphs of an essay are organized around the framework or organizational scheme, presented in the introductory paragraph. The body paragraphs, much like the walls of a house, must be firm, strong and complete. Also, there must always be as many body paragraphs as the framework of the introductory paragraph indicates otherwise your essay will resemble a house that is missing a wall. Finally, an essay must include a conclusion paragraph that tops off the essay much like a roof completes a house. As the roof cements the structure of the house and helps hold the walls in place, the conclusion paragraph must reiterate the points within your body paragraphs and complete an essay.
Although the overall organization of an expository essay is important, you must also understand the organization of each component (the introductory, body and conclusion paragraphs) of your essay. The chart below identifies the essential parts of each component of your essay, explaining the necessary information for each type of paragraph. While the guidelines listed below may feel constrictive, they are merely meant to guide you as a writer. Ultimately, the guidelines should help you write more effectively. The more familiar you become with how to organize an essay, the more energy you can focus on your ideas and your writing. As a result, your writing will improve as your ability to organize your ideas improves. Plus, focusing your energy on your argument and ideas rather than the organization makes your job as a writer more exciting and fun.
- Introduce the issue.
- Present the topic and its explanation or clarification.
- Provide the categories used to explain the topic.
- Provide the thesis statement.
- Begin with a topic sentence that reflects an explanation of the paper and the category being discussed in the paragraph.
- Support the argument with useful and informative quotes from sources such as books, journal articles, etc.
- Provide 2-3 quotes that connect the category being discussed to the explanation
- Provide 2-3 sentences explaining each quote more full, drawing stronger connections between the category and the explanation.
- Ensure that the information in these paragraphs is important to the thesis statement.
- End each paragraph with a transition sentence which leads into the next body paragraph.
- Begin with a topic sentence that reflects the argument of the thesis statement.
- Briefly summarize the main points of the paper.
- Provide a strong and effective close for the paper.
A strong introductory paragraph is crucial to the development of an effective expository essay. Unlike an argumentative essay which takes a stand or forms an opinion about a subject, an expository essay is used when the writer wishes to explain or clarify a topic to the reader. In order to properly explain a topic, an expository essay breaks the topic being addressed into parts, explains each component in relation to the whole and uses each component to justify the explanation of the topic. Thus when writing an introductory paragraph, it is crucial to include the explanation or clarification of the topic and the categories or components used to produce this explanation.
Since the success of the paper rests on the introductory paragraph, it is important to understand its essential components. Usually, expository papers fail to provide a clear explanation not because the writer’s lacks explanations or clarifications but rather because the explanations are not properly organized and identified in the introductory paragraph. One of the most important jobs of an introductory paragraph is that it introduces the topic or issue. Most explanations cannot be clarified without at least some background information. Thus, it is essential to provide a foundation for your topic before you begin explaining your topic. For instance, if you wanted to explain what happened at the first Olympic Games, your introductory paragraph would first need to provide background information about how the first games happened. In doing so, you ensure that your audience is as informed about your topic as you are and thus you make it easier for your audience to understand your explanation.
Below is a table describing and explaining the main jobs of the introductory paragraph.
Introductory paragraphs introduce the topic and suggest why it is important.
Example: An analysis of the essay exam results of the new English class shows that the new class format promotes close reading and better essay organization.
This sentence tells the reader both that the topic of the paper will be the benefits of the new English class and that the significance of these benefits is the improvement of close reading and essay organization.
Introductory paragraphs outline the structure of the paper and highlight the main ideas.
Example: Considering the results of the High School Exit Exam, it is apparent that school curriculum is not properly addressing basic math skills such as fractions, percentages and long division.
This sentence indicates that main ideas (fractions, percentages and long division) of the essay and indicates the order in which they will be presented in the body paragraphs.
Introductory paragraphs state the thesis.
Example: California high schools will require all students to take a resume and cover letter writing workshop in order to better prepare them for employment.
This thesis statement indicates the explanation of the paper.
In addition to introducing the topic of your paper, your introductory paragraph also needs to introduce each of the arguments you will cover in your body paragraphs. By providing your audience with an idea of the points or arguments you will make later in your paper, your introductory paragraph serves as a guide map, not only for your audience but also for you. Including your main sub-points in your introduction not only allows your audience to understand where your essay is headed but also helps you as a writer remember how you want to organize your paper. This is especially helpful if you are not writing your essay in one sitting as it allows you to leave and return to your essay without forgetting all of the important points you wanted to make.
Most importantly, when writing an introductory paragraph, it is essential to remember that you must capture the interest of your reader. Thus, it is your job as the writer to make the introduction entertaining or intriguing. In order to do so, consider using a quotation, a surprising or interesting fact, an anecdote or a humorous story. While the quotation, story or fact you include must be relevant to your paper, placing one of these at the beginning of your introduction helps you not only capture the attention or the reader but also introduce your topic and argument, making your introduction interesting to your audience and useful for your argument and essay.
In an expository essay the body paragraphs are where the writer has the opportunity to explain or clarify his or her viewpoint. By the conclusion paragraph, the writer should adequately clarify the topic for the reader. Regardless of a strong thesis statement that properly indicates the major sub-topics of the essay, papers with weak body paragraphs fail to properly explain the topic and indicate why it is important. Body paragraphs of an expository essay are weak when no examples are used to help illuminate the topic being discussed or when they are poorly organized. Occasionally, body paragraphs are also weak because the quotes used complicate from rather than simplify the explanation. Thus, it is essential to use appropriate support and to adequately explain your support within your body paragraphs.
In order to create a body paragraph that is properly supported and explained, it is important to understand the components that make up a strong body paragraph. The bullet points below indicate the essential components of a well-written, well-argued body paragraph.
Body Paragraph Components
- Support the argument with useful and informative quotes from sources such as books, journal articles, expert opinions, etc.
- Provide 1-2 sentences explaining each quote.
- Provide 1-3 sentences that indicate the significance of each quote.
- Ensure that the information provided is relevant to the thesis statement.
- End with a transition sentence which leads into the next body paragraph.
Just as your introduction must introduce the topic of your essay, the first sentence of a body paragraph must introduce the main sub-point for that paragraph. For instance, if you were writing a body paragraph for a paper explaining the factors that led to US involvement in World War II, one body paragraph could discuss the impact of the Great Depression on the decision to enter the war. To do so, you would begin with a topic sentence that explains how the Great Depression encouraged involvement in the war because the war effort would stimulate certain aspects of the economy. Following this sentence, you would go into more detail and explain how the two events are linked. By placing this idea at the beginning of the paragraph, not only does your audience know what the paragraph is explaining, but you can also keep track of your ideas.
Following the topic sentence, you must provide some sort of fact that supports your claim. In the example of the World War II essay, maybe you would provide a quote from a historian or from a prominent history teacher or researcher. After your quote or fact, you must always explain what the quote or fact is saying, stressing what you believe is most important about your fact. It is important to remember that your audience may read a quote and decide it is indicating something entirely different than what you think it is explaining. Or, maybe some or your readers think another aspect of your quote is important. If you do not explain the quote and indicate what portion of it is relevant to your clarification, than your reader may become confused or may be unconvinced of your explanation. Consider the possible interpretations for the statement below.
Example: While the U.S. involvement in World War II was not the major contributor to the ending of the Great Depression, the depression was one of the primary motives for entering the war.
Interestingly, this statement seems to be saying two things at once – that the Great Depression helped spark involvement in the war and that World War II did not end the depression alone. On the one hand, the historian seems to say that the two events are not directly linked. However, on the other hand, the historian also indicates that the two events are linked in that the depression caused U.S. involvement in the war. Because of the tension in this quotation, if you used this quote for your World War II essay, you would need to explain that the significant portion of the quote is the assertion that links the events.
In addition to explaining what this quote is saying, you would also need to indicate why this is important to your explanation. When trying to indicate the significance of a fact, it is essential to try to answer the “so what.” Image you have just finished explaining your quote to someone and they have asked you “so what?” The person does not understand why you have explained this quote, not because you have not explained the quote well but because you have not told him or her why he or she needs to know what the quote means. This, the answer to the “so what,” is the significance of your paper and is essentially your clarification within the body paragraphs. However, it is important to remember that generally a body paragraph will contain more than one quotation or piece of support. Thus, you must repeat the Quotation-Explanation-Significance formula several times within your body paragraph to fully explain the one sub-point indicated in your topic sentence. Below is an example of a properly written body paragraph.
Example of an expository body paragraph paired with an explanation of its parts.
The conclusion paragraph of an expository essay is an author’s last chance to create a good impression. Hence, it is important to restate the thesis statement at the beginning of the paragraph in order to remind the reader of your topic and explanation. Since it is at the end of the paper, the conclusion paragraph also should add a sense of closure and finality to the clarification of the paper. It is important to re-emphasize the main idea without being repetitive or introducing an entirely new idea or subtopic. While you can conclude your conclusion paragraph by suggesting a topic for further research or investigation, do not make this question the focus of the paragraph. Thus, you should briefly and concisely reiterate the strongest clarifications of the paper, reminding the reader of the validity of your thesis or explanation and bringing closure to your paper.
You may feel that the conclusion paragraph is redundant or unnecessary; However, do not forget that this is your last chance to explain the significance of your argument to your audience. Just as your body paragraphs strive to present the significance of each fact or quote you use, your conclusion paragraph should sum up the significance of your argument. Thus, you should consider making a bold statement in your concluding paragraph by evoking a vivid image, suggesting results or consequences related to your argument or ending with a warning. Through using these components, you not only make your conclusion paragraph more exciting, but you also make your essay and your argument, more important.
What are three of the main purposes of an introductory paragraph?
- What should you never do in an introductory paragraph?
- How should you refute counterpoints?
- What is the formula for a well-argued body paragraph?
- What should you include in a conclusion paragraph? What should never include in a conclusion paragraph?
Introduction to Informative Writing Copyright © 2020 by Amy Minervini is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial 4.0 International License , except where otherwise noted.