Expository Essay Writing Tips & Ideas for a Decent Paper

Expository essays are common in college assignments. Unlike persuasive and argumentative essays, expository essays provide information without any commentary.

Expository writing is thus aimed to mould your skill of explaining complex concepts and improving your research and critical thinking skills. If you are struggling with an expository essay assignment, this article will highlight the purpose, structure, and meaning of an expository essay, helping you address your assignment. 

We will also highlight some expository essay prompts to guide you toward selecting the most suitable topic. 

What’s an expository essay?

An expository essay is a paper that offers an explanation of a topic, a process, or a set of ideas. This essay is not aimed at convincing a reader towards a certain standpoint but rather to give a balanced view of the subject matter.

The expository essay is thus objective and offers a balanced analysis of a given topic. These essays may range from compare and contrast essays, cause and effect analysis essays, and process essays. 

What is the purpose of an expository essay?

An expository essay serves to educate an audience on a certain topic. This is achieved through crafting a logical explanation of a process, an event, or an idea using clear and simple language. For students, these essays are usually geared to show one’s mastery of a topic through a balanced, objective argument.

Structure of an expository essay

The expository essay often takes the 5-paragraph approach with an introduction, three body paragraphs, and a conclusion. However, the essay is not limited to five paragraphs and can be as long as is needed to exhaust your thesis.


The introduction to your essay carries a hook to grab your reader’s attention to your topic. The hook may be a quote, a statistic, or a fact that is relevant to your topic statement. The hook is followed by a thesis statement that outlines the key topic your paper ought to address.

Some topics also require that you cover background information to highlight the development of an issue or event before diving into its analysis. The introduction then closes with a transitioning statement that builds towards the content of your first body paragraph.


The body of the essay carries paragraphs where you should develop your information in a logical order. Each paragraph should present a new idea on the topic and provide evidential support to support the claim. 

Ideally, each paragraph should transition to the next, bringing about a smooth flow of ideas in your paper. 


The conclusion of an expository essay provides the summary of all the claims made within your paper. This section should not tackle new arguments or take a stand on a topic. Instead, reiterate your key arguments and give an overall verdict on the topic/ event you were discussing. 

How to write an expository essay

If you are wondering where you could start off with your essay, we recommend these steps for a quality expository essay. 

1. Topic selection

When selecting your topic, settle for one that piques your interest. This will allow you to investigate the topic deeply, exhausting all the details regarding an event. 

Ideally, check various expository essay topics at your disposal and jot down ideas for each. Finally, settle on a topic that you are well familiar with as this will take lesser time to exhaust. Also, narrow your topic for easier completion without exceeding the prescribed word count. 

2. Develop an outline

Before you write your paper, prepare an outline of the key information regarding an event. The outline enables you to gauge gaps in your argument, making sure that you perform conclusive research. 

3. Prepare your draft

After preparing your research, expand your arguments, ensuring that your essay smoothly transitions from one point to the other. 

4. Edit and proofreading

Consult experts and peers on editing your paper to gauge various gaps and errors in structure and grammar. You may also opt to use various editing software, to nub common mistakes and save on time. 

Expository essay outline


  • Hook 
  • Background information
  • Thesis statement
  • Transition


Paragraph 1

  • Topic sentence
  • Supporting evidence
  • Conclusion
  • Transition sentence

Paragraph 2

  • Topic sentence
  • Supporting evidence
  • Conclusion
  • Transition sentence

Paragraph 3

  • Topic sentence
  • Supporting evidence
  • Conclusion
  • Transition sentence


  • Summary 
  • Restatement of thesis

Ideas for expository essay

  1. Describe your ideal holiday location. 
  2. What features make someone famous? 
  3. How does science help individuals live better lives? 
  4. Describe the implications of drug dealing on campus. 
  5. Explain why gang violence is rapidly spreading. 
  6. How do people’s needs alter throughout time? 
  7. Have parental roles evolved over time? 
  8. What is the connection between AIDS and poverty? 
  9. What effects and causes do obesity have? 
  10. What is the meaning of home-schooling?
  11. Describe the characteristics of a good instructor.

Top Hints for Writing a College Essay About Personal Growth

Personal growth essays are a staple for college admissions. Honing your narration skills is thus crucial to securing a place in your dream college.

The personal growth essay helps you to connect with your reader and share a gist of your personality. These essays usually highlight an important lesson you acquired from a life encounter. The essays usually use a conversational tone as opposed to the factual approach of scientific papers.

If you are looking to write a college essay about personal growth but are not sure where to start, this guide should come in handy. Here, we’ll highlight various tips for writing an essay about personal growth and touch on the structure of a personal growth essay.;

How to write a personal growth essay

The personal growth essay often takes the 5-paragraph approach with a well-crafted introduction, a detailed body, and a concise conclusion. This essay usually builds a story with rising action, climax, and falling action. 

Ideally, your paper should hook your reader, engaging them throughout your narration from the introduction to your conclusion. The sections of your essay all serve a unique purpose in your delivery.


The introduction serves to introduce your key lesson and hook the reader into reading your paper. A good introduction sets the scene for your paper’s story serving as a platform to dive into your thesis. 

The thesis is usually a statement of your paper’s purpose or the insight you gained from the experience you are writing about.


The body outlines the experiences that led to a lesson and thus carries the bulk of your story plot. The body of the ‘what shaped you as a person’ essay should give a chronological account that shows the transition from previously held beliefs to the point of transformation.

When telling your story, be keen to use words that appeal to a reader’s emotions, absorbing them into your story. Also, ensure that each paragraph presents a new idea of the story to avoid dwelling on a single facet of your experience.


The conclusion of an essay on self-improvement should reiterate the moral of your story. You could also add insight relating to your experience to challenge a reader’s perspective on life.

Ideally, the conclusion should not be part of the plot. This section should serve as introspection for your approach to an experience and a recommendation on how your reader should approach a similar dilemma.

Tips for writing essays about personal growth

  1. Before writing your essay, develop an outline to gauge the unfolding of your plot and the role of your characters in unveiling various themes. The outline allows you to connect ideas and gauge how well your narration captures the cause of the conflict, the conflict, and its resolution.
  2. Also, an outline helps overcome various temptations to introduce new characters and ideas that might dilute the efficiency of your narration.
  3. Write a good introduction to motivate your reader into reading your paper. For instance, you can ease your reader with a scene from the climax of your story to evoke curiosity as to how you overcame the challenges.
  4. Alternatively, take a humorous approach to critique your standpoint before an experience and hint at the change carious events inspired.
  5. When working on your essay, develop a plot with characters and define their role in the conflict. For this, you may settle for a genuine experience. When planning your paper, brainstorm to establish the order of events that led to a lesson and your feelings along the way.
  6. Highlighting emotions in your work allows your reader to sympathize with you, goading them to read to the end and find out how things panned out for you. You may also consider familiarizing yourself with various words for personal growth to better define the impact various actions had on you.
  7. Ideally, choose a compelling topic a reader can relate to. This may be an event that evoked fear or an experience where you fell in love, made a friend, or made a regrettable decision. 
  8. Consult experts for editing your work to nub various errors that may hinder optimal narrations. 

Final take

We hope that this guide has helped you overcome various challenges you were facing with writing a personal growth narrative. Also, consider searching for a personal growth essay example to see the various tips we’ve discussed in action. You may also reach out to our team for custom help with your paper, ensuring fast completion without compromising your essay’s quality.