Academic Writing Made Simple: Characteristics of an Expository Essay

Expository essays seem to create some problems for students, mostly because they aren’t familiar with the major characteristics that separate it from other kinds of writing assignments. Writing should never be difficult enough that a hardworking and committed student can’t figure out how to finish an assignment the correct way. Here is a no fuss way explanation of the major characteristics of an expository essay:

Clear, concise and defined thesis statement

The thesis statement is considered to be the most essential part of your entire paper because it expresses your opinion and the topic in simple and direct sentence usually placed in the introduction. Narrow the focus of your paper so that your thesis statement is uncomplicated and easy for the reader to understand. You can always rewrite your thesis to fit the end result of your work if you find it needs a bit of tweaking.

Clear and logical transitions between paragraphs

Transitions are the links that hold the carts of a train together. Without transition statements your reader may get confused by any new content that appears in the following paragraph. Don’t allow the structure of your paper fall apart without good transitions to help the reader keep up with the logic of your argument.

Evidential support in each body paragraph

Each of your body paragraphs must include some kind of evidential support, be it logical, factual, anecdotal or statistical. You should always conduct some research beforehand so that you can support your thesis statement. This will allow you to clearly and efficiently express your ideas and make it easier for your reader to follow along.

A dash of creative writing for style

Most students don’t believe that creativity has a place in formal academic composition. However, using a dash of creativity can go a long way at keeping your reader interested and the argument being presented easier to understand. Don’t stick to a strict formula of academic composition, use some stylistic literary elements to leave a lasting impression of your work.

A conclusion that synthesizes all information

You may already know from all of your other assignments that you shouldn’t simply restate your thesis statement or the information presented in the introduction. Your conclusion needs to drive the point you have made in the body paragraphs in light of the evidence you have presented. Synthesize the information so that the reader knows what you have accomplished.

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