How to Write an Expository Essay: Outline, Topics, Examples

How to Write an Expository Essay: Outline, Topics, Examples

Published by on 2021-06-29 19:18:59

As usual, it is better to remind a student what an expository essay is before they proceed with the step-by-step explanation of the writing process. The understanding of the basic principles is critical when you want to craft a worthy paper that would potentially bring you that top grade. Professional tips and definitions available below can guide students through the expository essay writing process perfectly.

So, the expository essay means the specific type of regular academic assignment for high school, college, and university students. The featured requirement making this kind of paper stand out from the crowd is the investigation a student performs to reveal the idea, estimate the available proofs, pick and provide arguments concisely and clearly. In fact, expository papers can use elements of essay subgenres, such as:

  • contrasting and comparison;
  • definition;
  • cause and effect;
  • analytical approach;
  • explanatory approach.

Expository Essay Outline Template

Expository writing frequently appears as a classroom evaluation and examination instrument. So, most probably, you’ll face it during some of your future exams. Professors tend to challenge students with crafting this type of paper without warning them beforehand. Consequently, it is normal for expository writings not to rely on a lot of facts or statistics as argumentative proofs.

How to Write an Expository Essay Step by Step

The guide below is a short, understandable instruction on crafting an expository academic paper worth a good grade. Keeping up with the recommendations you’ll see there will make you more confident about your understanding of the discussed genre, as well as its composition and specialties. Be as attentive as you can, but don’t worry too much: it’s just another essay.

Topic: Pick and Understand It Right

The discussed type of academic paper is about facts despite we already know that it does not rely on many of them. A student’s opinion is not something that interests a professor. So, you can’t use your imagination to gain additional space for maneuvers. A concise, structured, and clear approach towards arguments and writing manner is a must.

Expository writings are about investigation and evaluation. As it was mentioned above, professors frequently use them as examination tools (this is especially relevant for college students). So, it is quite possible that your prof will assign a specific topic for you to expose. If they don’t, then the correct choice of your theme is the basic step required to reach future success.

Here below, you can find suitable topics to use as expository essay foundations. Feel free to copy them as they are or use them as references to generate some original ideas:

  1. Explain Who You Admire and Why.
  2. Explain Reasons Making Adults Be Strict to Their Kids.
  3. Which Animal Would You Like to Be and Why?
  4. Who Is Your Favorite Professor and Why?
  5. Who of the People You Know Is a True Leader?

These are only some of the topics one may use to craft an expository writing. In fact, you can adapt any concept or event to make it serve as a theme here. If you are free to pick a topic on your own, think of your hobbies, favorite on-campus and off-campus activities, future profession aspects, etc., to turn them into questions or ideas you know how to expose with reasonable, factual arguments.

Expository Writing Outline: Know the Structure

It is better to refresh your knowledge of the academic essay structure before you proceed with preparing that paper outline. The described paper is a typical essay with some specific requirements for its content.

In short, the usual structure of five paragraphs works here perfectly. That means your writing includes:

  • one intro paragraph;
  • three body paragraphs – one per argument;
  • one concluding part.

Still, the word count requirement by your professor may be the reason to introduce some changes. However, the extended paper usually means that the prof wants to see more arguments and proofs. Therefore, you need to add some content to your paper’s body part. Check more on each element further.


A typical essay intro contains a short topic description, a hook to keep the professor’s attention, and a clearly visible thesis statement. The latter is a must. You can’t craft a worthy paper without that fundament.


This is a part with at least three paragraphs logically backing up your thesis with evidence. Try coming up with one concept per paragraph to make a writing more readable and easier to perceive and understand. Keep an eye on properly built interconnections between the intro, all arguments, and their proofs.


The most common mistake students make with paper conclusions is simple: they just repeat their thesis statement and think it’s enough. The point is the summary of your paper should wrap that intro viewpoint or concept and additionally tie it with the evidence used in body paragraphs.

Keep in mind that the conclusion is not a place for new information as well. Readdress the thesis only with what you’ve got previously.

Outline for Expository Essay

Expository Essay Outline: How It’s Made

If you are still worried after checking the info above, it’s time to calm down. Coming up with an outline for expository essay papers is less challenging than it might seem. Remember, an outline does not require you to write the entire essay A to Z. Think of it as a future paper’s skeleton. See the example below to understand basic principles.

Expository Essay Outline Template: Example

Topic: The Professor I Like the Most

Intro thesis: My favorite professor is Mr. John Smith.

Body argument 1: Their love about their field.


  • qualification;
  • keeping up with trends.

Body argument 2: Respect for students.


  • punctuality;
  • equal relationship;
  • no favorites.

Body argument 3: Teaching talent.


  • most students demonstrate an interest in the subject;
  • complicated things explained with simple words;
  • reasonable strictness with no superiority.

Conclusion: I like learning from Mr. John Smith the most because he is a high-skilled professor who loves his field and knows how to teach his students.


After an outline is done, all you need to do is to expand every point with one to three sentences. If that skeleton is built thoroughly, then adding the required muscle mass to your paper will be a piece of cake. Still, you shouldn’t forget about merciless editing and thorough proofreading after.

To Sum Up

Writing an expository essay is nothing difficult. To organize the process after choosing the topic, one might want to come up with an effective expository paper outline. When done correctly and thoroughly, that outline will serve as a solid fundament that a student only needs to expand with logically connected sentences.