An expository essay is a genre of essay that exposes. Students are required to describe, explain, define, inform or clarify an idea. Sometimes students are confused if it is an expository essay or persuasive/argumentative essay.

An example of expository essay: Explain how the invention of mobile phones has impacted communication between people. This essay requires students to write down the pros and cons of the invention of mobile phones and its impact on human’s communication.

An example of persuasive/argumentative essay: Mobile phones has negative effects on human’s communication. This essay requires personal opinion to back up information supporting why mobile phone has negative or positive effects on human’s communication.

Typically, these are the different types of expository essays and we can find such essays in news articles, nonfiction books, textbooks, scientific and medical research papers, instruction manuals and cookbooks.
1. compare and contrast
2. cause and effect
3. problem and solution
4. processes
5. classification
6. definition

Click here for relevant readings that are helpful for expository essays.

Similar to the other essays we have discussed earlier, an expository essay in school for young writers follows the typical format of five paragraphs: Introduction, three body paragraphs and a conclusion. Introduction needs thesis statement. Always remember to use Transitional words and phrases as they link the facts and make essays coherent.

Usually, we use third-person pronouns (‘he’, ‘she’, ‘they’, ‘it’) for expository essays. However if the question is a reflective expository topic, of course you will need to use first person pronoun ‘I’. For example: Reflect on the impact of education on your life. This is very much a cause and effect kind of essay. Focus on showing how education has brought about new changes to your mental, social and physical change.

Some examples of expository topics:
1. How online classes impact learning?
2. What are the impacts of poverty on behaviour?