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Example Of An Expository Essay Outline

While essays give you an opportunity to showcase the knowledge of some subject, use vocabulary skills to make the paper more authoritative, and demonstrate your writing skills, they also have some rules you should follow. Writing a high-quality essay that will make your professor (or client) really happy doesn’t only depend on a thorough understanding of the topic, but the structure as well. There are various types of essay and they require the unique outline. I’ve already posted guidelines for other forms of an essay that you can check in previously published articles. This time, I’m going to show you how to create expository essay outline.

But, what is an expository essay?

It’s simple; if you don’t understand the purpose of the essay, you won’t be able to write it properly. For example, the expository essay is concerned with exposing, informing readers about a certain subject and backing up all your claims with accurate and reliable evidence. The primary purpose of this essay is to explain a topic in a straightforward and logical manner.

It is a fair, factual, and balanced analysis of subject with no references to the essay writer`s emotions or opinions. You have to write your paper in objective and unbiased manner. Yes, this means that you can’t simply dismiss some fact just because you don’t agree with it!

In most cases, expository essays are indicated by the words such as “define” or “explain”. When writing this type of paper, your goal is to inform the reader about the topic, provide useful information, and answer the potential questions associated with it.

Expository essay outline

As I’ve mentioned above, the successful completion of the paper doesn’t depend on the understanding of the topic only, but your ability to create a functional structure. That’s why it’s always useful to learn how to construct outlines for different types of essay writing. The diagram you see below shows how to create a useful outline for an expository essay.

Introduction

To most people, body paragraphs are the only parts of the essay that matter. Wrong! In order to get to them, you have to catch the reader’s attention i.e. make him/her want to keep reading your paper. Let’s face it; when was the last time you read something from beginning to end if you didn’t like the introduction? If you assume the beginning of the paper, article, book, etc. is boring and uninteresting, the chances are high you will move on to something else.

When writing an expository essay you should, of course, open with the “hook”. It’s the first sentence of your paper, meaning it has to be extra interesting to “lure the reader in”. But, this doesn’t mean it should stray from the subject! This part of the intro should be both interesting and directly associated with the topic. There’s no “one size fits all” rule when it comes to the choice of a hook; it depends on your preferences, topic, context etc. You can use a question, statistics, facts…

After writing down the hook, you proceed to the next sentence (or more of them) which provide background information and the context. Don’t assume the reader knows a lot about the topic and move on. Instead, include general info to depict the context of your paper.

Every essay depends on the great thesis; its purpose is to provide a sort of navigation for your essay and keeps you on the right track. Without a thesis, you’d write about everything and anything, stray from the topic, and end up with too much information but nothing useful for the subject you were supposed to write about. Plus, thesis lets readers know what they`re going to read about. This is the last sentence of the introduction, it should be precise, powerful, and informative.

Body paragraphs

Now that you have a strong, informative, and interesting introduction it’s time to start with the body paragraphs. Of course, the main goal of this section is to offer a deeper investigation into your topic. Imagine you`re a detective or a journalist working on a big case or story. Your job is to find out as much as possible about the case (in this case subject) and gather all the evidence you can find.

The diagram you saw above showed three topics, so what are they? To simplify, body paragraphs are comprised of separate points that develop or contribute to the essay thesis. Each topic (point) requires separate paragraph and although diagram shows three, the exact number depends on the parameters of the assignment and topic. So, if the subject demands more points, then include more paragraphs. On the other hand, if the topic requires fewer points, then decrease the number of these sections.

Each body paragraph should comprise of the following:

  • Topic sentence – refers to the main idea of the paragraph
  • Factual evidence – you can’t start throwing ideas around without any evidence. Would some investigative journalist who’s about to expose corruption in the government or a detective working on the high-profile case do their assignments without facts to back them up? No, I don’t think so! For every information you include, you should also have evidence. Each paragraph with separate topic and evidence supports the thesis. I used two facts in diagram, but you can use fewer or more
  • Analysis of said evidence – it’s not just about mentioning who proved what, statistics, other types of relevant info depending on the topic. Exposing also means analyzing. While unbiased, don’t be afraid to dig deep under the surface, discuss the importance of evidence you introduced as well as its meaning. Once again, don’t assume you shouldn’t elaborate anything just because readers can do it themselves
  • Transition sentence – although these points and facts can be different (but contribute to the overall assignment and thesis), don’t jump from one topic or paragraph to another that easily. Ideally, the paper should have undisturbed flow and transition words, phrases prevent choppiness.

Avoid wordiness and fluff and ensure that every word you write contributes to the paper. It’s paramount to organize the evidence and topics you’re going to include. You can align points/topics according to importance or chronologically. Without proper order, you risk confusing readers by scattering evidence. You don’t want a professor, client, or someone else to get to the conclusion and think “What did I just read?

Conclusion

After you explained or defined the subject with solid proof, you`re ready to conclude the work. Just like the intro, this part should be relatively short, but still strong enough not to ruin everything you`ve mentioned above. If you want to end the paper with a “BANG!” then you should do the following:

  • Summarize the thesis, facts, and evidence you included – don’t overdo it, make it brief
  • Discuss the significance of the subject – why is it important? Why should readers care about it?
  • Reveal unanswered questions – you can use the opportunity to raise more questions about the essay topic. Take a few minutes to think about the subject in general, is there anything you wanted to know but that particular aspect isn’t widely discussed yet? This could also raise awareness of some problem
  • Call-to-action – this depends on the topic you get, but don’t be afraid to motivate readers to do something about a certain issue. Is there anything one can do to make things better?

In essay writing, conclusions should be precise and logical. Don’t introduce new information because it would lead to a new discussion. That’s why a short summary, the importance of the topic, pointing out to some unanswered questions are always a good way to go.

What’s next?

Before you submit the essay and hit the send button, start revising, editing, and proofreading to make it the best it can be. To determine what types of modifications you should make to the essay, answer the following questions:

  • Are there any unnecessary details that don’t contribute to the thesis or essay in general?
  • Have you created a good essay topic?
  • Did I make a proper transition from one paragraph to another?
  • Does my work unfold logically with facts and examples?
  • Does the conclusion depict significance of the topic?
  • Is my essay choppy?
  • Is my essay precise?
  • Is the essay unbiased?
  • Is the sentence structure okay?

Answering these questions will help you identify strengths and weaknesses in your paper. Then, start working on improving those flaws. For example, if there are unnecessary details, remove them. If your essay seems choppy, correct mistakes with the help of transition words and phrases.

Once you're done with modifications, start proofreading and editing. Read from top to bottom and look for grammar, spelling, typos, etc. Read again and when you`re happy with the essay, send it to your professor or client.

Bottom line

Expository essay aims to inform readers about some subject with solid evidence. As seen throughout this post, you should write your paper in an unbiased manner and analyze proof you used. Follow the outline from this post and you`ll have a well-structured essay without struggles and frustrations. Remember, with worthy 

How to Write a Good Expository Essay Outline

Knowing how to write a good expository essay outline makes writing a good expository essay an easy and simple process. If you do not know how to outline this essay, you should seek help from experienced expository essay writers so that you can come up with a properly structured essay. An expository essay can be defined as an essay in which the student or the writer is required to investigate a specific idea, evaluate the available evidence, expound the idea and then set an argument about that idea in a concise, clear manner.

An outline on the other hand refers to a formal system that is used in thinking about and organizing an essay. Using an outline enables you to see whether the ideas that you have for writing your essay are connected, to determine the best way of presenting them and whether the evidence that you have is sufficient to support your points. A good outline will enable you to picture your expository essay before you write it.

A quick guide on how to write a good expository essay outline

An expository essay, just like most essays, has three major sections which should be outlined before the actual writing. These are the introduction, the body and the conclusion.

To write a good expository essay, outline the major sections of your essay as follows:

  1. Write the outline for the introductory paragraph

The introductory paragraph or simply the introduction is one of the parts of an expository essay.

To outline this paragraph:

  • Draft a hook sentence that will capture the attention of the readers. Make it interesting and related to the topic of your essay directly.
  • Establish the context or provide background information. Avoid the assumption that readers are aware of your topic.
  • Create a thesis statement to put your main point across in a simple but clear manner.
  1. Outline the body paragraph

The body of an expository essay should provide a deeper investigation of the topic. The number of paragraphs to include in the body depends on the expository essay topic or assignment’s parameter. However, there are elements that each paragraph of the body should encompass which you should highlight in the outline.

These are:

  • Topic sentence: This introduces the main point or idea of the paragraph.
  • Factual evidence: This is the answer to the question or support for the stated thesis statement.
  • Analysis of the evidence: This entails digging in with a commentary of the significance of the stated evidence.
  • Transition sentence: This is a sentence that links one paragraph to the next. Transitions weave an expository essay together while ensuring logical flow of ideas and information.
  1. Outline the conclusion

To outline the concluding paragraph of your expository essay, you can do the following:

  • Summarize your thesis statement.
  • Discuss the global or larger significance of your essay topic.
  • Reveal the unanswered questions.

The outline for your expository essay should enable you to come up with an essay that reads well. Using it, you should come up with an essay whose ideas, evidence, and analysis are presented in a logical manner.

Review samples to know how to write a good expository essay outline

Reviewing expository essay outline samples will give you ideas on how to outline your expository essay. Good samples will guide you in structuring your essay by drafting a good outline.

Here is a sample outline for an expository essay that you can use as a guide for writing an outline for your expository essay:

Introductory paragraph

Thesis: I need help from a family member to make major decisions.

Context: My mother is the one I think of first because I admire her the most.

Hook: I admire my mother because she is responsible, patient and intelligent.

Body paragraph 1

Topic sentence 1: Intelligent

Evidence 1: She is quick to learn

Example: At the age of 15 years, she had completed her high school education.

Example: Her ability to analyze and solve problems is excellent.

Evidence 2: Her communication skills are excellent.

Example: She expresses what she thinks in a clear manner.

Example: She enjoys public speaking.

Evidence 3: My mother is enthusiastic

Example: She sees problems like challenges.

Example: She likes learning new skills and things.

Body paragraph 2

Topic sentence 2: Responsible

Evidence 1: At home

Example: My mother taught me to complete my homework daily.

Example: She always takes care of my sister and I any time we fall sick.

Evidence 2: At work

Example: She accomplishes her tasks as well as responsibilities.

Example: She arrives at her workplace on time.

Evidence 3: She takes her responsibilities with friends

Example: She advices her friends whenever they need advice.

Example: She always gives favors to her friends whenever they ask for them.

Body paragraph 3

Topic sentence: She is helpful

Evidence 1: She likes helping other people.

Example: She like teaching children.

Example: She does volunteer work at the hospital.

Evidence 2: At work

Example: She pays close attention to details at the office.

Example: She assists co-workers any time they need her help.

Evidence 3: At home

Example: She enjoys organizing the house.

Example: She likes working as a team member.

Conclusion

My mother is the first person I think of any time I need help from a family member to make major decisions because she is responsible, patient and intelligent.

A glance at this outline gives the reader a comprehensive idea of what the essay will cover. For you as a writer, it enables you to organize the main points into individual paragraphs of the body. Note that although the outline can be rigid, it should not hinder your flexibility while writing the essay. If you change the direction of your essay, add new paragraphs or adjust it. Reorganization is a common aspect of outlining and writing expository essays. The purpose of an outline is to keep you focused and organized.

Additional tips on how to write a good expository essay outline

A good outline for an expository essay acts like a map or detailed direction which includes parts or sections of an essay divided into areas that should enable you to build the essay.

Here are additional tips that will make creating a good outline for your expository essay easier:

If your instructor provided guidelines while giving the assignment, consider them while creating the outline for your essay. Remember that the outline should enable you to include specific information or details in your expository essay to ensure that it meets the requirements set by the instructor.

  • Know the major parts of an expository essay that should be outlined

When you know the major parts of an expository essay, outlining it becomes easy. This is because the outline will enable you to include notes and data gathered during research. When you create an outline before conducting research, you will focus your research into finding information that every section of your essay requires.

  • Label sections of your outline

This is one of the major tips on how to write a good expository essay outline. Every section of your essay should be labeled. For instance, the outline should have the introduction section which comes first. The introduction should introduce your essay topic, include a hooker and present your main point or thesis statement. This section should be labeled clearly in your outline. Your outline should also have a body with paragraphs that explain points that relate to the thesis statement. The final section is the conclusion which synthesizes the arguments or points included in the body.

  • Make your conclusion effective

The conclusion of an expository essay enables you to leave readers with something to think about after reading the essay. It should wrap your essay by restating your thesis. You can also acknowledge counter arguments while providing rebuttal. No new information should be introduced in the conclusion. Come up with an outline that enables you to write such a conclusion without interfering with the logical flow of ideas and information.

  • Make your exposition complete

The outline of your expository essay should enable you to complete your exposition. If you fail to complete your exposition, readers will be left with unanswered questions. Therefore, come up with an outline that enables you to reach a logical conclusion of the exposition. Make sure that using the outline you can come up with an expository essay that does not leave doubts about its intent.

Generally, you should follow these tips on how to write a good expository essay outline to make the process of drafting an outline easy. Remember that your essay outline is the map that will guide you throughout the writing process. If the outline is not good, even your essay will not be good.

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Sources

https://owl.english.purdue.edu/owl/resource/685/02/

http://web.psych.washington.edu/writingcenter/writingguides/pdf/outline.pdf

http://www.wdeptford.k12.nj.us/high_school/pritorto/expository_essay_outline.htm

 

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