Expository essay characteristics types with examples

Expository essay

The expository essay is a type of text whose purpose is to explain, in a simple and brief way, a specific topic. Thanks to these qualities, they are widely used to expose subjects difficult to understand by the general public. Expository essay characteristics types

Fundamentally, expository essays are based on the presentation of data to explain a specific topic. For this reason, they must present verifiable information, from sources such as encyclopedias, scientific articles, and books. The use of these types of sources should give the essay greater credibility.

Since they are aimed at a wide audience, they must be totally clear and written in colloquial language. In addition, they must be structured in such a way that the reader feels an interest in the topic as it progresses through the text.

This is achieved by separating the paragraphs so that their intensity increases, reaching a conclusion that leaves the reader wanting to know more about the subject.

Characteristics of the expository essay

The main characteristics of an expository essay are:


The language used in descriptive essays should be colloquial.


Thanks to the wide variety of essays that exist, any subject can be dealt with in the text.


These types of texts are usually short, although there is no regulation on their length. Normally, the length of the text depends on the preferences of its author.

4-Text distribution and structure

An essay must be distributed, regardless of its length, in three parts: an introduction , a body or development and a conclusion.

5-They don’t give an opinion

Expository essays are used to present verifiable information, generally obtained from studies. They should not be confused with argumentative essays, the purpose of which is to express the author’s position on a topic.

6-For a wide audience

They are intended to be read by a wide audience and not necessarily an expert in the subject matter. For this reason, they are usually used for the dissemination of complicated topics, such as technological or scientific research, among others.

7-Voice and tone

They must maintain an objective and impersonal tone. It is recommended to avoid the use of the first person in the writing.

Structure of the expository essay

Although the expository essays are not internally divided with subtitles, they must have three well-defined parts, which are: Expository essay characteristics types


As in all introductions, the main function of this part of the expository essay is to state the topic to be discussed in the body of the text. In addition, it has the specific task of presenting the essay to the reader.

Generally, it does not occupy more than one paragraph, which is why you should use a striking phrase at the beginning, in order to capture the attention of the reader and motivate him to continue reading the full text.

2-Body or development

It is the longest section of the text. Here, the subject treated in depth is exposed. Its length must have at least three paragraphs, although the number of these depends on the complexity of the topic to be developed.

Each paragraph should ideally contain a concept. That is why the use of connectors is essential to maintain a fluid reading. Also, the paragraphs should be organized in such a way that they increase in intensity and arouse greater interest in the reader, to achieve a transition to the conclusion of the essay.


It is the last section of the expository essay. Here the reader should be given a general perspective of the subject, allowing a subsequent analysis of it, and introducing insights, statements and concerns that prompt future questions on the subject. Usually it does not take up more than one paragraph.

Expository essay types

Within the expository essays you can find different types, such as:

1-Contrast and comparison test

This type of essay consists of the description of similarities or differences between what you want to compare or contrast. They are generally based on places, people or objects.

2-Definition test

Definition essays are used to explain or describe the meaning of some concept, word, or term. In this way, they can define abstract themes, such as beauty or anger; or specific topics, such as the characteristics of a mammal or a plant. Expository essay characteristics types

3-Problem and Solution Essay

This type of text is responsible for posing a problem, to later explore what the solutions could be for it. These solutions must be backed by data and verifiable facts.

4-Process test

As its name suggests, process tests fulfill the function of guiding the reader through the explanation of a procedure or a step by step, for the production of a product or the execution of a task.

5-Classification test

This type of expository essay seeks to divide an idea or extensive topic into groups or categories, in such a way as to facilitate the reading of the topic from the understanding of each category independently and interrelated with the others.

6-Cause and effect test

Commonly, a cause and effect essay is used to show how two events affect each other, that is, how one depends on the other, and vice versa. To achieve this, the relationship between the two events must be identified, describing why they happen and what the result is.

Expository essay example

This is followed by a short expository essay on technology. To explain the structure more precisely, the introduction, development and conclusion will be specified.

Effects of technology on man.

The changes introduced by technology in the way of life of people around the planet have both positive and negative impacts, which are shaping people’s lives. ( Introduction ).

The fact of buying articles in a virtual way, communicating in real time with people who are in another continent, or advances in the field of medicine, have undoubtedly provided a better quality of life to people.

However, there are a large number of studies that show that the excessive use of technology generates diseases such as sedentary lifestyle, stress or anxiety, among others.

Added to this, the theft of personal data or identity forgery are some of the causes that put people’s safety at risk. ( Development ).

In conclusion, technology is an important part of human life today and exists in almost all areas that it occupies. For this reason, the use made of it will determine what kind of effects it may have on the individual. ( Conclusion ). Expository essay characteristics types

Related Articles

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *


Back to top button