Explanatory Essay: How to Win the Writing Struggle

Great Explanatory/Expository Essay Writing Technique

When you are assigned to write an explanatory essay (or expository essay), you will need to spell something out to readers. If you know who your readers are, you will understand what topic to choose and how to present it. This kind of work may pursue different goals and can be written for readers of a various age range. That is why it is essential to understand how to produce it in order to achieve a spectacular outcome.

Conduct Your Research

Every claim that you make in your paper has to be supported by true facts. Surely, you may be well aware of the examined subject. However, doing research will help you find the material that will add weight to your work. Moreover, you will be able to cite the scholars that have already explored the matter. For this reason, you should take your time to collect the required data, arrange them in the right order, and determine what information is of primary importance.

Write a Thesis

After going through the research process, you should think what method to use to discuss the topic fully. Do not forget that your main task is to provide readers with comprehensive explanations about the question you are addressing. Imagine that you are to talk about computer technologies. You may produce a paper about the ways of using the said technologies during classes. You may create the following thesis statement: “Computer technologies make the teaching process engaging and help students all over the world share their learning experience.” In this case, you need to explain how computer technologies simplify the educational process.

Produce an Outline

In order not miss any of the points you want to analyze, you should make a plan. It will help you present information logically and format the paper accordingly. You will not experience any difficulties at this stage.

Write and Proofread Your Essay

When the plan is ready, you should start the writing process. Make sure to use only the arguments gathered in course of research. Do not add any information on your part. Provide quotations. Then, proofread the work and check it for grammar. By the way, there are useful online checkers that can help you undergo this stage.

How to Write an Explanatory Essay

As it can be inferred from its very name, an explanatory essay refers to a piece of writing where you present and explain a specific situation, notion, event or opinion. The core function of an explanatory essay is to provide a clear and understandable interpretation of the chosen concept or phenomenon. For an explanatory essay, as a rule, one chooses a rather complex issue and further explains it in simpler words. The main goal of writing this essay is to inform and educate your target readers on a specific topic. When writing an explanatory essay, it is important to restrict yourself from providing your personal subjective opinion and avoid providing examples or illustrations from untrustworthy sources. The key to success in writing explanatory papers is to start the research in advance and properly plan the paper layout. The paper should be logically structured and be written in a straightforward manner. No appeal to emotions or feelings is acceptable.

Structure of the Explanatory Essay

As a rule, an expository paper is a five-paragraph essay:

  • Introduction. Here you provide general information on the topic and a thesis statement, where you convey the core idea or message of the paper.
  • Main body. As a rule, the main body of the essay consists of three body paragraphs, where you discuss and support each aspect mentioned in the thesis.
  • Conclusion. You restate the main idea and double-check if the issue/ event/ object/ phenomenon is now easier to understand.

Stages of Writing an Explanatory Essay

Prewriting stage

Take enough time to brainstorm ideas connected with the topic. Organize them in a mind map, a list, a diagram, a table or any other way that is most suitable for you. Afterwards, make sure to conduct sufficient research and jot down the most important facts and information about it. As soon as you have gathered enough information and are now ready to structure the paper properly, draft an outline. It will help you see a clearer vision of what ideas you explore in the paragraphs and how you switch from one idea to the other.

Provide a first draft of the explanatory essay

Formulate the core message of the essay in the thesis statement. Make sure it is brief and concise. It should demonstrate what exactly you intend to explain in the paper. It may as well be a process explanatory essay. Further move on to developing body paragraphs, introduction, and conclusion:

  • Make sure each body paragraph begins with a topic sentence that relates to a specific aspect of the argument expressed in the thesis. Check on whether you have enough examples and supporting evidence for each argument you make.
  • The introduction should provide enough background information to the reader and gradually narrow down the subject.
  • Conclusion should restate the main idea of the thesis. Here make sure you do not provide any citations or introduce new information.

Edit the essay

Proofread the essay and check whether it has spelling, content, grammar or punctuation mistakes. 

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