How to write an explanatory essay
An explanatory essay is a writing style in which the author expresses a viewpoint on a particular topic, case, or circumstance.
In this essay type, you present facts or arguments from others in an objective manner. In other words, simply encourage readers to draw their own conclusions rather than persuading them to agree or disagree with a point of view.
Step 1: Explanatory essay topic
An explanatory essay may seem difficult to find a topic about, but it is actually quite easy.
As long as it fits within the instructions of your assignment, you can describe almost everything. Explanatory essay topics are usually assigned to students beforehand.
But if you need to choose your own topic, it is better to consider some factors.
Explanatory essay topic checklist
ImportantDon't confuse an explanatory essay with a persuasive or process essay! While they all basically “explain something,” they differ in some ways.
For this guide, we will be choosing the topic of the events that led up to World War I in our explanatory essay. We choose this topic because it is fact-based and non-controversial.
Step 2: Planning and researching
Strong arguments to support the main theory are the secret to a well-written explanatory essay. Therefore, you must remember to do proper research and data collection before starting the writing process.
This essay type relies mainly on data and research. You need to make a list of all the critical details from your references and include them as facts in your essay.
ReminderThe point of view must be a blend of personal ideas and knowledge from the outside world. Your ideas can only be fully validated after that.
Step 3: Thesis statement and outline
Once you’ve gathered all of the necessary data, the next and most critical step is to write a thesis statement.
The thesis statement communicates your overall perspective on the issue concisely. In other words, you’re showing what you’ll be telling your reader. A strong thesis statement sums up what you’re going to say in your academic essay.
For our sample explanatory essay on the events that led up to World War I, we have created this thesis statement:
Explanatory essasy thesis statement example
With this thesis statement, we have made it clear what the essay will be about and stated the main points in the essay.
ImportantRemember, you’re not debating or condemning anything; you’re just stating the truth.
Prepare an outline
Step 5: Explanatory essay introduction
Introduction best practices
Step 6: Body paragraphs
Four steps to a great body paragraph
Step 7: Explanatory essay conclusion
In the conclusion paragraph of an explanatory essay, three key elements must be used.
5-Paragraph Explanatory Essay Example
The Israel-Palestine Conflict: Essence and Outcomes