How to Write an Explanatory Essay?

Do you want to know how to write an explanatory essay? This article provides you with guidelines to make explanatory essay writing easier.

An explanatory essay is a type of writing in which the author explains or defines a topic. To write an excellent explanatory essay, you must clearly understand your topic and concisely communicate that information. 

Explanatory essays, also known as expository essays, require extensive research and differ from other essay types. Proper research and data collection are essential before beginning to write an explanatory essay. Students must understand how to write an explanatory essay.

It is challenging to distinguish an explanatory essay from other essays because of its versatility. For example, essay types such as problem-solution, compare and contrast, descriptive, process, and cause and effect are all grouped under explanatory essays. But you can navigate through them by understanding the specifics of an explanatory essay. 

As a result, we have provided you with all the resources you need to write an excellent explanatory essay. We have also provided you with topic examples and an essay outline, from essay structure to writing tips. So, without further ado, let's get started.

What Is an Explanatory Essay?

When asked to define an explanatory essay, the first clue lies in its name, an essay that explains something. But much more, an explanatory essay is a writing in which the writer presents a neutral stance on a topic, event, idea, situation, theory, or research method. 

This is an objective perspective in which the writer understands the subject by presenting all relevant evidence and facts.

In contrast to an argumentative essay, you are not required to present a point of view with which you agree, nor are you required to provide evidence to support your argument. Instead, an explanatory essay presents the perspectives or reports of others on an event, topic, or situation by providing analysis from research. It enables your reader to delve into a subject and uncover frequently overlooked details.

The primary goal of an explanatory essay is to show how well you understand the subject and how effectively you can communicate that knowledge to your audience. Your reader should understand your topic after reading your essay.

Explanatory essays are commonly used in academic writing because they help students improve their communication skills. Students can use the skills gained through this writing throughout their professional careers. Aside from academic writing, you can also find explanatory essays in blogs, magazines, articles, and other forms of media.

Having established the definition of explanatory writing and what it is about, let us examine how to structure an explanatory essay.

Explanatory Essay Structure

The first step in writing an explanatory essay is to create a structure or outline. An explanatory essay outline includes the introduction, body paragraphs, and conclusion. 


An explanatory essay introduction initiates the topic to the reader. It comprises three major components: a hook, background information, and a topic sentence, also called a thesis statement.

As with any other form of essay, begin your introduction with a hook statement to grab your reader’s attention. A hook statement could be a good quote, a rhetorical question, or a fact that will pique your reader's interest. 

Afterward, provide the background information the reader will need to understand the topic. Finally, wrap up your introduction with a thesis statement. A thesis statement is a one-sentence statement that summarizes the topic and objective of your essay.

Body Paragraphs

Your essay's body paragraphs should all have a consistent tone. Start by giving a topic sentence that clearly states the information you will give in that paragraph. Then, provide supporting evidence for your claim. 

You should thoroughly analyze each point and support your claims with research-based evidence. This will help you gain the reader's trust in the information you are presenting.

In conclusion, provide a statement that summarizes the significance of your claims with the thesis statement in your introduction. Also, linking your points within the paragraphs is essential to maintain a natural flow.


When writing an explanatory essay conclusion, include these three primary elements. The first is to restate your thesis statement. This refocuses the reader's attention on your main point and strengthens your body paragraph's arguments.

Next, ensure that you effectively summarize the points made in your body paragraph. This will show your reader that you have defended your thesis statement logically and correctly. 

Finally, present a concluding statement that explains the topic's significance and a call to action.

Explanatory Essay Format

Understanding the standard essay format is essential to understanding an explanatory essay format. An essay format is a set of rules that determine the arrangement of the essay's components. These format guidelines address the essay's structure, basic outlines, citations, and title.

The format for an explanatory essay is a set of guidelines that dictate how the essay should be structured. A typical format for an explanatory essay is a five-paragraph approach, with one paragraph for the introduction, three for the body, and one for the conclusion. However, you can increase the number of body paragraphs based on the amount of information you wish to discuss on the topic.

Here are some topics for an explanatory essay.

  • Describe the positive impact the Internet has made on communication.
  • What advantages does innovative education offer?
  • How can financial difficulties be overcome?
  • What factors precipitated the civil rights movement?
  • What real-life lessons do you wish you had gained five years ago, and why?
  • The benefits and drawbacks of artificial intelligence.
  • Compare and contrast the Great Depression with the current economic climate.
  • How does depression impact the development and growth of young children and adolescents?
  • What effects does health and nutrition education have on children?
  • Ways to cultivate leadership abilities.
  • The impact of violent video games on adolescents.
  • What effect does alcohol advertising have on consumers, particularly children?
  • Adulthood is not an effortless task.
  • Environmental factors' effect on mental health.
  • The results of depending on social networks.

Explanatory Essay Writing Tips

Explanatory essay writing can be a breeze when you have mastered the how and what to include in your essay. Check out these five helpful tips on how to write an explanatory essay.

  1. Choose a Suitable Topic.

If your Instructor has not delegated a topic to you, select one with which you are already familiar. Likewise, avoid choosing a topic that has been overused and following the most popular thought process at school. Instead, think creatively and explore a topic that researchers have moderately discussed; then, use this information to connect the pieces of your explanatory essay.

  1. Do an Extensive Research

An explanatory essay's heart and soul is its research. Gather facts and information before drafting your essay. This will assist you in gaining a thorough understanding of your subject. Keep track of every source you come across while conducting your research.

  1. Make an Outline for Your Essay Before Writing

Outlining before writing will help you organize your thoughts and ideas, enhancing your writing. Gathering all of your arguments, examples, and supporting data should be your first step. Then, arrange them to reflect a comprehensive description of your topic. Finally, your outline should include a detailed breakdown of the structure of each paragraph in your final paper.

  1. Formulate Your Thesis Statement

The thesis statement is the central component of any essay or academic paper. Create a thesis statement summarizing your essay's overall structure and identifying its primary objective. Learning how to write a strong thesis statement for your expository essay is crucial, as it determines the content of your essay.

  1. Use Transition Words to Connect Your Points

Use transitional words and phrases to create a seamless flow throughout your essay as you connect each paragraph. They should be lucid and show a logical progression of your main point. The reader can follow your train of thought when you employ transitional phrases and words like However, as an illustration, as a result, consequently, etc. 

Explanatory Essay Examples

We have provided an explanatory essay example to help you learn how to write and structure your expository essay. Below is an example of explanatory essay writing you can use as a template for your essay.

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