Expository Writing: Top Secrets and Best Strategies

Expository writing can come in many faces. Description, sequence, cause and effect, and problem and solution essays are the forms of this writing mode. Want to ace this genre of academic writing? Read on.

Expository Writing Principles

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What is expository writing? First, ‘expository’ means displaying certain objects as they are and commenting on them. Act like a tourist guide, never assume that your readers already know something on your topic and don’t be afraid to write something obvious.

The main goals of expository writing are:

  • To inform
  • To describe
  • To explain
  • To define.

Expository Writing Examples

Essay typeWords to useExample
Descriptivelooks like, characteristics areThe glowing screen of my notebook looks like a portal into a parallel world. In Web 2.0 reality, people have avatars instead of bodies and never speak too much: “OMG, IMHO.” The multicolored bleaks from the screen reflect on my face. The monotonous sound of typing lulls my cat and comforts me…
Sequencefirst, second, next, finally…First, I check my college account and honestly try to study for a while. Then, I promise myself that I won’t spend more than 10 minutes on Facebook. Finally, I catch myself watching a fifth funny cat video and totally forgetting about my homework…
Cause and effectbecause, as a result, due to, therefore…Online students have difficulties with concentrating because of the variety of online distractions. Due to free access to social networks and decreased attention span, students find it difficult to focus on one type of activity…
Problem and solutionThe problem is, a solution can be…The problem with social networks is that they can be highly addictive. A solution to this problem can be rehabilitation programs or hypnosis for Facebook addicts…

Expository Writing Prompts

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Descriptive

  1. Nice shoes on final sale in a shop.
  2. A cat who sees snow for the first time.
  3. A gamer after playing longer than 6 hours in a row.
  4. A student texting in class.
  5. A starry night in a big city.

Sequence

  1. How to start an essay early.
  2. How to make your Mom smile.
  3. How to stay awake the whole night long.
  4. How to annoy everyone on Facebook.
  5. How to change a flat tire (just kidding, we know you’re already tired of this classic expository essay prompt).

Cause and effect

  1. Hard work results in excellent grades (and dark circles under your eyes).
  2. Air pollution causes global warming.
  3. Unhealthy diet results in overweight.
  4. Lack of trust causes jealousy.
  5. Friday, 13th doesn’t cause bad luck, but belief in it does.

Problem and solution

  1. Effective communication solves the problem of misunderstanding.
  2. A more complicated procedure solves the problem of divorce.
  3. Charity solves the problem of the homeless.
  4. Internet filters solve the problem of bad influence on kids.
  5. One car per family law solves the problem of traffic jams.

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