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.
You should present facts or arguments from others in an objective manner, encouraging readers to draw their own conclusions rather than persuading them to agree or disagree with a point of view.
Step 1: Choose a 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. 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: Do your research
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: Create a thesis statement
Once you’ve gathered all of the necessary data, the next and most critical step is to write a thesis statement.
For our sample explanatory essay on the events that led up to World War I, we have created this thesis statement:
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.
Step 4: Prepare an outline
Step 5: Write an introduction
Step 6: Write body paragraphs
Unless the subject is highly detailed, the body should most certainly include three paragraphs, each with its own topic sentence. Here are the steps to a great body paragraph.
Four steps to a great body paragraph
Step 7: Write a conclusion
Best practices for conclusion
Frequently Asked Questions
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