How to Write an Expository Essay for College

The expository essay should follow the following format:

  • The thesis statement needs to be very clear and well defined. This is the first paragraph of the expository essay and needs to clearly state the intent of the essay.
  • The thesis should be narrowed down to make sure it specifically fits the guidelines of the essay assignment. This is one of the most important parts of the essay and cannot be overlooked.
  • Make sure the transitions between each paragraph are clear and well-defined. Each paragraph should have a smooth transition from the previous paragraph.
  • Remember, the transitions hold the entire expository essay together. There has to be a logical progression between each thought and idea to ensure the argument makes sense and follows a logical structure.
  • Ensure that the body of the essay has plenty of supporting evidence to support the thesis statement.
  • There should only be one idea per paragraph, with the supporting evidence backing up the paragraph and the thesis statement.
  • Include statistical and factual support to each ‘idea’ paragraph. Many times there is not enough time to gather statistical and factual support with an expository essay, especially when used for exams, so logical or anecdotal support should be used instead.
  • Keep the expository essay interesting and creative.
  • When creating the conclusion, make sure you do not restate the thesis word for word. Instead, tie the essay together by relating your thesis back to the supporting evidence you previously used.

Keep in mind the expository essay is an argument and there needs to be a beginning, middle and end. Think of it as a debate with another person. You must present your thesis or idea, give your belief supporting evidence and then tie everything together with a conclusion to reinforce everything you presented. The expository essay can be done in the five paragraph method. This consists of the introduction, three paragraphs of supporting evidence and then a conclusion. If there is more time to write the essay, more body or idea paragraphs can be added, depending on the requirements your professor has set forth.