Types of Expository Essays — Guide and Tips

Have to write an expository essay? You should really consider reading more about these essays and their variations because there are quite a few of them. Firstly, there are six types of expository essays: process, problem and solution, comparison and contrast, definition, classification and cause and effect. That's a lot you'd need to learn before getting straight to the task. For instance, the process (or the "how-to") essays aim to lead the reader chronologically step by step explaining a particular process. While in problem and solution essays the writer raises an issue and the methods for its solution. Fasten your seatbelts because we are about to take off into an in-depth discussion of each of the types.

Expository Essay Writing Explained

Before diving into the specifics of every existing type, let's answer the "What is an expository essay?" question. In short, it is an explanatory piece of writing that exposes a specific topic or set of notions with the help of examples, charts, graphs, and statistics, but without extensive research. Usually, it is strictly based on facts, and the writer shouldn't express his/her own standpoint and involve any emotions. Like other essays, it consists of an introductory paragraph, which includes the thesis statement, the main body paragraphs that prove the statement, and a conclusion paragraph that summarizes all essential points. It is also known as a five-essay structure. The chief purpose of an expository essay is to give a logical and straightforward explanation of an object or phenomena.

Despite the primary goal being the same, there are expository essay variations you must be aware of. Those are characterized by the main method used. They may instruct by providing information, guide the readers, report on a particular experience, fully clarify a process and explore one particular idea.

The 6 types of expository writing assignments

To write an excellent essay is not easy at all, especially when you've been told to write a specific type. As it was said before, there are six major types of expository writing assignments, and you should learn how to write these essays and how to differ them if you want to get the best grade and spend minimum time and efforts.

Number one: The cause and effect essay

The cause and effect essay is built around the reasons that caused something and the results. Here, you need to ask yourself the two key questions: "Why did it happen?" and "What is/might be/will be the outcome of this?" Looking more closely at its structure, you can see that writers usually use either the block or the chain ordering. Choosing the block structure, firstly, you write all of the causes and then all of the effects. In the chain structure, each of your causes is followed by the impact straight away. To write a meaningful essay, you should consider making a detailed cause-and-effect outline first. That will definitely help you structurize the data well.

Number two: The problem and solution essay

In a problem and solution essay, the writer raises an issue of a particular situation and proposes the best solution. It is necessary to examine the subject matter from various angles and perspectives prior to starting anything. Also, it is worth mentioning that this type is in some way similar to the cause and effect essay, especially regarding structure. To get it right, you need to clearly define the audience first because you'd need to get them to read your essay to the end. Try to persuade them and prove that your solution is far better than any existing ones. In this regard, it might be something that is not hard to realize or significantly lowers the expenditures.

Number three: The classification essay

In a classification essay, a broad topic is divided into various groups and meticulously sorted. Firstly, the writer explains a certain subject generally and then dives into each part in detail. As your regular essay, this type of task should contain at least five paragraphs: an introduction, three or more body paragraphs, and a conclusion. One of the most important things to remember is that you must use only one method when you categorize everything. Another aspect of this type that influences the quality is providing solid examples for each group. Also, make sure to clearly define the categories and encompass everything within each of those.

The main idea should be disclosed in the introduction paragraph. Thus, the first paragraph explains the thesis. The body paragraphs determine various categories along with examples in separate sections. In the conclusion paragraph, the writer should summarize the groups and mention the significance of classification.

Number four: The comparison and contrast essay

In brief, the comparison and contrast essay focuses on similarities and differences between two notions, objects or events. Like in the cause/effect paper, this one uses the same structures: a block or a point-by-point structure. Using the block structure means that you give all the information about one object being compared or contrasted and then about the other. When using the point-by-point structure, each similarity or difference for one thing is followed by the resemblance or contrast for the other. Make sure you research the subject well enough to elaborate on every aspect. Work extra on your thesis statement because you'd need to emphasize it in your conclusion section.

Number five: The definition essay

The definition essay provides an explanation of a complicated term or concepts that might imply very different things to different people depending on their background and standpoint. In the introduction of the essay, firstly, you must give a standard definition of the word (i.e., from a trustworthy dictionary). After that, provide the definition which combines your own experience and thoughts. In the body paragraphs, you should break the definition down into organized sections. For example, the very first body-section paragraph may include the origin of the term, the second — a clarification of possible misinterpretations, the third — your personal definition, based on your experience with examples. In the conclusion part, you should summarize the main points of your argument. When choosing the topic, be sure to pick something more or less familiar to you. This way you will spend less time researching.

Number six: The process essay

This type also goes under a "how-to essay" name. It explains the procedures (or necessary steps) involved in doing something. For example, how to sew a dress or how to repair a car engine. In the introduction, you may tell about the problem. And, in the last sentence of the paragraph, you can write more about how to solve it. The body paragraphs contain the main steps you should take to complete the process. In the conclusion paragraph, you should remind the reader of the importance of this process or how the result should actually look like. To not dig into complicated things, try to think of your daily life and the processes you often repeat. Some of those might need an extra explanation and become an excellent basis for your essay.

Have questions regarding the expository essay types?

Consequently, you can see that there are 6 main types of expository papers: process (how-to), problem-solution, comparison-contrast, definition, classification, and cause-effect. Each of those has its slightly different structure and purpose. Which type to choose depends on your task, preferences or aim. But, if you still need to clarify anything, you can contact our service, and we will provide you with first-class essay writing help in a blink of an eye!