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Steps to Write an Expository Essay


Expository writing essays are a type of essay that requires setting forth an argument and then defending it with evidence, according to the Purdue Online Writing Lab. It's important to plan out your essay before you begin writing it. The most important part of planning out an expository writing essay is to come up with a complex analytical question and develop a strong thesis that provides an answer to your question.

Come Up With an Analytical Question

The first step required for writing an expository writing essay is to come up with an analytical question. Your analytical question is essentially the idea that you want to investigate in your essay. An example of an analytical question would be, "Should abortion be legal?" This is an excellent analytical question because there are two clearly defined sides to the argument. Your analytical question should be stated in the introduction or first paragraph.

Develop a Thesis

The second step required for writing an expository writing essay is to develop a thesis that answers your analytical question. If you were using the analytical question shown above, your thesis may be "Yes, abortion should be legal because people should have the right to choose to be parents." It's important for your thesis to be arguable and not clear cut when writing an expository writing essay. The best way to tell if your thesis is arguable is to think of a possible counterthesis. For this example, a counterthesis would be "No, abortion should not be legal because abortion is murder and the baby has the right to life." Your thesis statement should come slightly after your analytical question at the end of your introduction or in your first body paragraph.

Find Evidence to Support Your Thesis

The next step is to find evidence from multiple sources to support your thesis. A good expository writing essay will provide evidence to support its thesis as well as strong arguments to refute a counterthesis that may exist. You should provide evidence from experts that supports your thesis and then add your own ideas and thoughts, according to Indiana University Bloomington. It's also important to use direct quotations whenever possible. Your evidence should be incorporated into your body paragraphs and each body paragraph should have a main idea that supports your thesis.

Write a Conclusion

Your conclusion should briefly summarize the strongest points in your essay and leave the reader with no doubt in his mind that your thesis is true. It's important to avoid introducing any new pieces of information in your conclusion. Always try to be bold in your conclusion and leave the reader walking away with a strong sense of why your thesis is true.

About the Author

Laurence Girard has been writing professionally since 2006. Girard is currently a pre-med student at the Harvard University Extension School.

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