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The Subtle Art of Writing an Explanatory Essay

July 21, 2020
Richard Pircher

When writing an explanatory essay, you may have many questions connected with this paper type. You might wonder how to craft it, structure it, represent your thoughts, and many more. But the main question will refer to the paper type you’re working on. And the first thing you have to remember is that it’s not a persuasive essay. In this paper, you only have to describe some event or subject and explain its major aspects and importance to a reader.

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Explanatory Essay

Our article contains exhaustive information on writing explanatory essays. Also, we’ve written the tips that will help you craft an excellent paper. So, keep on reading for more details.

What Is an Explanatory Essay?

Before you start writing your task, it’s necessary to find out what is an explanatory essay. Without a clear understanding of this paper type, it’s impossible to craft a brilliant paper and get excellent grades. An explanatory essay is a work in which you present a point of view on some subject and describe its main features, importance, or simply answer questions, “Why?” and “How?

This paper type requires you to research, analyze facts, and explain the opinion of other people. Of course, you’ll have your thoughts concerning the subject, but you’ll have to avoid sharing them in your essay. The writer’s opinion remains neutral, and it doesn’t matter if you agree or disagree with the topic. Your goal is to help a reader understand the problem or subject by explaining details.

When crafting an essay, you can also add statistics and examples to become the guide leading the audience through the topic. The analysis of the subject and facts you’ve found during the research will help readers understand why and how things have happened. People don’t have to agree with the information from your article – they will only have to find answers to questions concerning the topic.

6 Types of an explanatory essay

Now that you know the definition of an explanatory essay, it’s necessary to learn its major types. We’ve prepared the list that will help you cope with a task correctly. Here are 6 explanatory essay types you need to know:

  1. Compare and contrast. This essay type requires you to describe differences and similarities between subjects, events, people, etc.
  2. Definition. This essay type is written to explain the idea, term, or subject.
  3. Classification. When crafting this essay type, you have to divide the characteristics of a subject or idea by groups and explain their features in detail.
  4. Cause and effect. It’s necessary to describe the situation that has happened and the event it’s caused.
  5. How-to. The explanation of this paper type  is in its name – you have to explain how to do something or how things  work.
  6. Problem and solution. This type of essay  requires a writer to research, analyze, and evaluate a problem. It’s also necessary to provide suggestions on its solution.

How to Start an Explanatory Essay?

How to write an explanatory essay? If you haven’t ever crafted this paper, this question will disturb you most of all. Before you start writing an explanatory essay, it’s necessary to take a few preparatory steps. Comprehensive research, fact-checking, and analysis are the most important stages of task completion. When exploring the topic, write down all the relevant details because you’ll use them in your article.

Keep in mind that this essay should only contain facts and a few of your thoughts – it’s a perfect combination that will allow you to describe things without persuasion. You’ll have to find several credible resources to come up with truthful information. And our recommendations will help you craft an excellent paper:

  • If a professor allows you to pick a topic, pick the neutral yet interesting one. For example, you can explain why people should learn more than two languages or how students can improve their writing skills.
  • Look for credible sources. You can use Wikipedia, JSTOR, or Google Scholar to find the necessary information. Besides, the door of the college library is always open for students.
  • Note essential details and quotes because you’ll use some of them in your paper.
  • Create an outline.
  • After researching the topic, collecting information, and writing an outline, it’s necessary to create a thesis statement. The latter explains what this topic is about. A thesis statement consists of one sentence and thoroughly describes a major idea of your essay.
  • Check the data you’re planning to use and start writing an essay.

Explanatory Essay Outline

The best way to organize your thoughts and the collected details you’re planning to describe in your essay is to design an outline. It’s basically a summary of a paper and it will only contain major ideas and arguments. Typically, an explanatory essay outline has the following structure:

1) Introduction. This section is a combination of three important ingredients – it should contain a hook, a short explanation of the topic, and a thesis statement. At this stage, a writer engages the reader by adding a relevant quote, joke, fact, or question concerning the subject. A few sentences are enough for the introduction section.

2) Body text. The optimal size of this section is 3 paragraphs. However, it will depend on the complexity of your explanatory essay and the professor’s requirements. Start a new paragraph if you want to describe another thought. Write a topic sentence to explain the main idea of every section. Support your thoughts by adding the facts you’ve found. They will develop the reader’s confidence in the trustworthiness of your statements.

3) Conclusion. In this section, you have to mention your thesis statement again, summarize the information from your essay, and highlight the topic’s value. Finish a paper with a call to action to motivate readers to research the subject in the future.

Explanatory Essay Examples

Here are some online explanatory essay examples:

  1. http://www2.hawaii.edu/~davink/EXPOSITORY/Homesweet.html
  2. http://www2.hawaii.edu/~davink/EXPOSITORY/Housereturn.html

Useful Tips for Successful Explanatory Essay

Since writing an explanatory essay may be challenging, it’s necessary to start with preparation and research. We’ve created some tips on crafting an expository paper to help you impress your professor. Follow our guide to come up with an excellent essay:

1. Pick an understandable topic

If a professor allows you to choose explanatory essay topics, it’s better to focus on subjects that are easy to write about. There’s a thing called the “writer’s block” which doesn’t let you craft any sentence. You can’t find the necessary words, and writing turns into the impossible mission. Sometimes a complicated topic is a problem that causes the writer’s block. That’s why you have to pick it carefully. It should be neutral yet interesting to you. Here  are a few examples of topics you can select:

  • Why does everyone need friends?
  • How to choose a career that is right for you?
  • How do technologies shape your life?
  • Why do Chinese people respect the symbol of the Dragon so much?
  • What are the main stressors in students’ lives?

2. Conduct comprehensive research

It’s necessary to dedicate some time to research, fact-checking, and data analysis to come up with an excellent explanatory essay. Pick reputable resources to avoid providing misinformation. Write down all the relevant details and return to them later to choose the most important ones.

3. Craft an outline

An outline is a brief model of your future paper that will help you organize your ideas. As we’ve mentioned, it will consist of three sections, including an introduction, body text, and a conclusion. Divide your outline by sections, and you’ll see how many paragraphs your piece will have. A traditional explanatory essay format is a paper with 5 paragraphs. They include an introduction and conclusion. The body section usually has 3 paragraphs. However, a number of sections will depend on the complexity of a topic and the professor’s requirements.

4. Check your essay

After you’ve written an explanatory essay, it’s necessary to check it for grammar mistakes, punctuation errors, and miswording. We recommend you to read the text aloud to make sure it sounds natural. And you can use online tools like Grammarly and Thesaurus to improve your writing.

Write an Excellent Explanatory Essay with HandmadeWriting

Sometimes it’s better to ask for professional help rather than taking a risk and getting bad grades. HandmadeWriting is a reputable writing service offering the execution of high-quality papers. You can hire a professional essay writer specializing in your discipline, and they will help you complete the task excellently and improve your academic picture.

HandmadeWriting consists of more than 700 writers, which means that you’ll definitely find the one who’ll assist you even with a specific task. It’s fine if you have an urgent order because an experienced specialist will quickly craft an essay and deliver it even before the deadline. You’ll receive a professionally proofread paper meeting all your requirements,

When crafting an explanatory essay, follow such fundamental rules as picking an understandable topic, researching, using credible sources, writing an outline, and revising your paper. Hiring a professional writer from HandmadeWriting is another way to get an excellent writing piece done. So, choose the solution that works best for you and hurry up to improve your scores.

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