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How to write an expository essay: common sources to look for a good example


When a tutor asks you to do an expository essay, they will give you your instructions and also some examples of what makes a good expository essay.

You need to understand what a good example is and what a poor example is of an expository essay.

Remember that an expository essay is:

  • An essay that aims to ‘expose’ something about a particular subject.
  • It could be facts. It could be information.
  • You are not asked to give your opinion.

An expository essay does not:

  • Look for the readers opinion.
  • Try to persuade the reader to change their point of view.
  • It does not argue – it simply exposes.

Apart from the examples that your tutor has shared with you, it would be a good idea to look at other expository essays and make your own mind up as to whether they meet the correct criteria.

Where do you go to look for examples?

  • The college library may be a good start. Talk with the librarian and tell them what you are looking for.
  • Check out some websites. There are quite a few websites that will share some good examples of expository essays.

When you find some examples of expository essays, what exactly are you looking for?

  • An essay that is written by a writer who understands the content.
  • Information is crystal clear.
  • An evaluation of the strengths an d weaknesses of the information given.

Also check out when reading ‘good’ examples of expository essays if the thesis actually reflects the content of the essay.

  • Check the sequence of the information that is given to the reader.
  • Do the facts support the main ideas?
  • Does the writer provide the reader with enough facts to support the thesis?

An in-depth look at the content of the expository essay.

  • Starts with the thesis.
  • The introduction should start possibly start with a question.
  • As the introduction progresses the writer should be adding the detail /setting the scene.
  • The writer should then move to on to the views that support this new piece of information.
  • The next stage is to discuss the information that opposes this new information.
  • The essay should conclude with suggestions as to what response or reaction there should be to the information.
  • Will cite where the sources of where the information was derived.

If you read through some sample essays and find that they meet all or most of these targets the chances are you are looking a t a good example of an expository essay.

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