Picking the topic for your expository essay
When thinking about what to write about, try to focus on something not too broad—for example, don’t just pick something like “the history of ice cream” because that’s way too big of a subject! Instead, try choosing something more specific, like “the history of Ben & Jerry’s ice cream flavors.” You’ll want to ensure you can find enough information on this topic so that your expository essay doesn’t come across as short or shallow. It also helps if the topic isn’t controversial—unfortunately, for some people, there are plenty of things in our world that are considered taboo or offensive by many (like rape or suicide). If a topic is extremely sensitive then avoid writing about it unless it’s absolutely necessary for academic purposes; otherwise, your reader will probably get bored fast (and maybe even offended). Plenty of other topics with similar themes won’t upset anyone if they happen upon them accidentally while reading through their friends’ Facebook posts one day!
Researching the Subject
The next step in writing a successful expository essay is researching the subject. To do this, you’ll need to use reliable sources, write down your notes and narrow your research to a single viewpoint.
- Use Reliable Sources
The information you find online and in books can be unreliable or incorrect. For it to be considered legitimate, it needs to come from a source with credibility and authority, like an expert in the field or a respected university press. Once you find a source that meets these criteria, note where you found it so you can easily reference it later when writing about your topic.
- Take Notes
Once you’ve found some sources of information related to your subject area, don’t just rely on those resources – write down all of the valuable bits of knowledge they contain! You may not be able to remember everything once all is said and done, so go ahead and take notes right away so nothing gets lost along the way (and if something does slip through, then at least there’s still something left).
Develop a thesis statement for your expository essay
Developing the Thesis Statement
A thesis statement is a one-sentence summary of your essay. It should be clear, concise, and specific. It can take several forms:
- “This paper will discuss” or “In this paper, I will argue that” are too vague to help you develop an effective essay. They do not hint at what you plan on discussing or arguing about. They also lack specificity; it is hard to determine what they actually mean until they are followed by an actual discussion of relevant points in the body paragraphs.
- A specific statement that gives the reader an idea of what they will learn from reading your essay is far more helpful than simply stating your intention to write about something without providing any further detail or context for understanding its significance (e.g., “I am going to discuss how climate change affects human migration patterns” versus “I will argue that humans tend not only migrate when their home becomes uninhabitable but also when their environment becomes less hospitable than before due largely in part because of global warming).
Outlining the expository essay
The first step to writing a great expository essay is to develop an outline. An outline is a list of the elements that make up your essay, including the argument and evidence you will use to support your thesis. The structure of this list should look something like this:
- Body paragraphs 1-3 (you can have more than 3)
Writing a Hook Line
A hook is a sentence that grabs the attention of a reader. It may be written at the beginning of an essay or used in other parts of the writing piece. A hook is often used in an essay’s introduction paragraph and helps draw readers into your text by prompting them to continue reading.
A hook should be interesting enough to get people’s attention but not so enticing that they’re tempted to read ahead without completing all of your introduction sentences (which are meant to explain your topic).
Writing the Introductory Paragraph
The introductory paragraph should contain the following:
- A hook line that draws the reader in and makes them want to read the rest of your essay. This can be something funny, interesting, or shocking. It’s important to remember that you’re not just trying to get your reader interested in what you’re saying but also in how well-written it is (it’s a writing assignment, after all!)
- A thesis statement that clearly states your argument and shows why it matters. This should be between 5-10% of any page’s total word count.
- Transitions lead readers smoothly from one idea to another, so they don’t get confused by big jumps in topic or structure.
Writing Body Paragraphs
Now that you have an idea of your topic sentence, it’s time to write your body paragraphs.
A good way to think about writing a paragraph is as three components: (1) the topic sentence, (2) supporting details, and (3) a concluding sentence. The topic sentence should bring up your essay’s main point or thesis. It should also be specific enough that if someone were reading it out loud, they would know exactly what you were talking about in relation to your overall argument. You can also think of this as “teachable” because if someone else were reading it aloud—even if they did not know anything about the topic—they would still understand what was being discussed at this point and why this person thinks so strongly about their position on it.
After setting up your thesis statement with an introductory paragraph as we did above, you will want two or three paragraphs where each one builds upon another piece of evidence from which you draw conclusions and make arguments toward proving why something is true or false based on evidence provided by facts/figures/statistics/examples, etc… This section will effectively help build up enough evidence so that when readers get to reading conclusion statements later on down through other parts of their essays, they are able to see how all these different pieces fit together into one coherent structure without leaving any gaps unanswered without having read between the lines along with providing reasons why certain things happened either way regardless whether positive.
Writing The Conclusion Paragraphs
- The conclusion should restate the thesis. In your final paragraph, you’re trying to convince your reader that they should agree with your argument and that their lives will be better if they do. They can always turn off their computer or leave the room if they disagree. So, one way to do this would be to remind them again of what you argue in the essay’s main body paragraphs: “My argument is that…”
- You can also summarize the main points and end with a call to action. In other words, go back over your best arguments for why the reader should agree with what you’ve written so far (or at least think about those arguments), restate them again briefly, and then suggest some action steps for them from here: “So now let me ask—what will YOU do? How will YOU help fix this problem?” Or maybe something bigger than fixing: “What are YOUR plans for making America great again? Please tell us as soon as possible! We look forward (or dread) to reading all of your responses!”
- Hook readers by starting with a question rather than ending with one so that there’s more space between paragraphs and your writing look more cohesive overall – not like it was chopped up into little pieces when posted online/printed out on paper.
You can write an expository essay step by step with good research on the topic, your thesis statement, and how to structure your paragraphs.
Step 1: Take time to research your topic
You will need to do some research before you start writing. This will help you write a good thesis statement relevant to the essay and help you create strong arguments for it. You should also check out how other writers have approached similar topics so that you can learn from them or find inspiration in how they wrote their essays.
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