How to Create an Expository Essay Outline

An expository essay outline is a structure or framework that you use to build your essay. It is the foundation that you lay before you can begin the actual work of writing an essay.

How to Create an Expository Essay Outline

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Before you start to create an outline for your expository essay, it is essential to understand its meaning and purpose.

An expository essay is an academic paper that informs readers about an idea and expands on it. It uses simple and easy to understand language to present arguments that make concepts easy to learn.

This type of essay aims to explain concepts and ideas in a straight forward and logical manner. To do this, you need to come up with an outline that will guide you in your writing process. Here is an outline for expository essay

Expository Essay Outline

A high-quality paper is produced by understanding the essay topic of the and having a well-structured essay outline. An expository essay outline will help you to produced well-organized work that is in a logical sequence.

This kind of organization will make your work more straightforward, and you can finish your writing much faster. The framework has the typical five paragraphs found in most essays. The following is how your expository essay outline will look like

1.   Introduction of the expository essay

The introduction is the first paragraph of your expository essay. You need to make it as captivating and as exciting as possible without straying away from the main topic. It consists of

  • Hook – captures the attention of your audience
  • Background information – provides context regarding your topic
  • A thesis statement – This is the main idea that you will discuss throughout your paper.

2.   Body Paragraph expository essay

This section is where most of the arguments and analysis is done. It consists of

Topic sentence 1 – Fact+ Evidence+ Analysis + Examples

Topic sentence 2 – Fact+ Evidence+ Analysis + Examples

Topic sentence 3 – Fact+ Evidence+ Analysis + Examples

3.   Conclusion expository essay

How to Create an Expository Essay Outline

This is the last section of your expository essay. It requires you to

  • Restate and rephrase the thesis statement
  • Summarize your body paragraph arguments
  • Briefly discuss the significance of your arguments
  • When applicable encourage your audience to take action

When writing your paper, you can use an expository essay outline template to help you work quickly. Also, you can check out the expository essay outline example for more insight.

How to Write an Expository Essay Step by Step

How do you write an expository essay? After creating your detailed outline for expository essay, you can use it to create your final draft.

Build on this framework by expanding on your arguments logically. Here is how to write an expository essay

1.   Choosing Topic Ideas

In most cases, your instructor will provide you with essay prompts or topics for your expository essay. The topics will also come with detailed instructions on how to write your paper.

Make sure you follow all the instructions and seek clarifications from your instructor if needed. Sometimes you might be required to pick an expository essay topic for yourself. Here is what you need to do


Start researching a topic from various sources. You can browse the web, looks at articles or even magazine to come up with a good fit.

Look for a Manageable Topic

The topics you select should not be too wide or too narrow. Instead, look for a topic that can fit in the five-paragraph structure of your essay. Make sure your topic is manageable.

Choose a Topic that Interests You

Lastly, settle for a topic that is interesting that is  to you. An interesting topic will be easier to explain, and you will enjoy researching and writing about it.

2.   Write your Introduction

The introduction of your essay is what guides your readers into the main text of your paper. You need to make sure that your readers are interested enough to continue reading your paper from the introduction to the conclusion part.

Hook your Audience

How to Create an Expository Essay Outlines

To lure your readers, you not only need to write valuable content, but you also need to capture their attention. A hook which is the opening statement needs to be interesting enough to keep your audience reading.

A hook can be an exciting fact, question or surprising statistics. Your hook choice will depend on your personal preference, the context of your work, and your audience.

Provide Background Information

The next piece of writing after the hook is background information. Provide your readers with general information about your topic. Make a smooth transition from the hook to the background information and put your topic in context.

Write a Strong Thesis Statement

A thesis statement helps to keep your writing on the right track. It is the theme of your entire paper, and everything you write on your paper should be connected to your thesis.

A thesis also provides a brief to your readers. They can find out what your paper is talking about by referring to your thesis statement.

It is crucial to make sure that you create an informative, powerful and precise thesis statement. You can use the following prompts to come up with a strong thesis

  • Have a well-defined thesis
  • Use facts in your thesis
  • Make sure it enables readers to get the main point of your essay
  • Let it define your intention as a writer

3.   Body Paragraphs

This section’s primary goal is to offer a detailed explanation of the topic concerning the thesis statement. Each body paragraph represents a different point from the thesis statement that requires you to elaborate.

The body paragraph is where you present all your relevant facts, evidence and examples from your research. Usually, the number of paragraphs in this section is three, but you can add or reduce them depending on your points. The structure of a body paragraph should comprise of

  • A topic sentence which is the main point of a paragraph
  • Facts, evidence and examples should accompany any information that you provide
  • Analyze your evidence by digging deep to discuss the importance of that evidence.
  • A transition sentence that provides a smooth flow from one paragraph to the next

4.   Conclusion Paragraph

This is the final paragraph of your expository essay. When writing your concluding paragraph, make sure you leave a lasting impression in the mind of your readers.

Summarize your arguments in the body section by highlighting the main points. Restate your thesis statement without repeating it word for word.

Finish your conclusion section with a concluding sentence. Make sure you finish with a relatively short but strong conclusion.  Key points to note in the conclusion section are

  • Provide an overview of your main points or arguments
  • Restate the thesis statement
  • Offer solution if possible and where appropriate
  • Discuss the value of your research

5.   Edit and Proofread your Work

How to Create an An Expository Essay Outline

Proofread your writing before you submit it. The work you submit must be free from grammatical errors and spelling mistakes.

You can use proofreading software to help you make the process easy and fast. Make sure you check all the spelling, grammar and punctuation in your expository essay.

When your writing has spelling mistakes and grammatical errors, it can cause you to lose marks. As a writer, when your readers notice spelling and grammar mistakes in your writing, your work loses credibility.

Read through your work and make sure the tone, clarity, readability and style are all on point. Make the needed corrections to make your text as engaging as possible.

You do not have to submit your work after the first round of proofreading. Instead, take a break for at least one day and give your mind some rest.

Come back again and reread your work with a refreshed mind to see if you can spot any mistakes you missed the first time. Also, you can give your friend your essay to counter check it for you.

6.   Revise and Counter check expository essay outline

Revise your work and check whether you have met all the requirements for writing an expository essay. Also, check to make sure you have followed all your instructor’s instructions. Here are some of the things you can check

Check whether your thesis statement is clear and if it appears at the end of your introduction paragraph. Also, check if it clearly states your topic and motive.

Confirm if your paper has a logical flow of information and provides an objective analysis of your topic. Check the relevance of your evidence and the examples that you have used to support your thesis. Make sure that all the facts supporting your evidence are valid and add value.

Make sure your conclusion highlights the significance of your thesis statement, and it highlights your main points. Confirm that you have done proper editing and removed all error and mistakes from your essay.

Types of Expository Essay

There are various types of expository essays that your instructor can ask you to write. These essays are usually given to students to test their knowledge and skills in multiple subjects. They include

  • A descriptive essay where a writer describes a place, person or experience
  • A process essay that educates your readers on how to do something
  • A comparison essay is where a writer critically analyzes two subjects
  • The cause and effect essay is where a writer writes why and how things happen
  • A problem and solution essay identifies a problem and discusses solutions

Key Takeaway

An expository essay outline will help you write a high-quality paper and organize your thoughts before you begin. It will also give your work a good flow from one point to the next. You can use a template to come up with an essay outline that will help you quickly remember your main points and expand on them.

You are unlikely to forget any evidence or examples that are important to your essay because they are in your outline. After drafting your paper, you can counter check your work and polish it before turning it in.

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