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The structure of an expository essay

There’s a lot of variation in what people think an expository essay is and how it should be laid out. Here’s a fairly ‘in the middle’ example of what you could do with regards to structuring an expository essay:

The structure of an expository essay

A lot of people say that an expository essay should have a strong thesis statement that outlines the point or argument that you make in the essay. They expect this thesis statement to come at the beginning or end of the introduction. But expository essays are all about telling a reader about a topic and, if it is complex, explaining it to them as well. They are not meant to be highly biased essays where you try to support your own argument or take on something.

The thesis statement in an argumentative essay is a statement that expresses your view or stance on an issue or question. The thesis statement in an expository essay is a statement regarding a topic that your readers might not know anything about. It’s not opinionated, rather you’re just expressing in one or two sentences:

  • what your essay says, and

  • what you want your reader to understand by the end of your essay.

So say you are writing an essay about small carnivorous dinosaurs, a topic most readers wouldn’t know much about. Your thesis statement might be something like this, and come at the end of the introductory paragraph:

The structure of an expository essay

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