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Guide on How to Write an Explanatory Essay

Guide on How to Write an Explanatory Essay

Explanatory essay

Greetings, and thank you for embarking on a journey with, your ultimate haven for the world of writing. Within the confines of this all-encompassing handbook, we shall navigate the labyrinth of crafting an explanatory essay, unraveling its intricate layers. This guide promises to be your beacon, illuminating the path to crafting a remarkable explanatory essay.

What is an Explanatory Essay?

Explanatory writing, also known as an explanatory essay, is a genre of writing that aims to provide a clear and concise explanation of a topic, concept, process, or idea. It is a common type of academic writing that you may encounter in various educational settings, from high school to college. The primary goal of an explanatory essay paper is to inform and educate the reader, shedding light on a subject they may not be familiar with or offering insights into a complex topic.

Explanatory essays are distinct from other types of essays, such as argumentative or persuasive essays, because they do not require you to take a stance or persuade the reader to adopt a particular point of view.

What is the Format for an Explanatory Essay?

The format for an explanatory essay typically follows a standard structure. Here is a breakdown of the format for an explanatory essay:

a) Introduction

  1. Hook: Commence with an arresting opening sentence or hook that ensnares the reader’s attention. This could manifest as an unexpected fact, a pertinent quote, a thought-provoking rhetorical question, or a succinct anecdote.
  2. Background Information: Furnish the reader with context and background information about the subject, facilitating their comprehension of its significance.
  3. Thesis Statement: Present your essay’s crux with unambiguous clarity. In an explanatory essay, the thesis should explicitly outline what you intend to expound or elucidate.

b) Body Paragraph

The core of the essay comprises multiple paragraphs, each addressing a distinct facet or subtopic associated with your principal thesis statement. Each paragraph should adhere to a similar blueprint:

  1. Topic Sentence: Kick off each paragraph with a well-defined topic sentence in alignment with your thesis statement.
  2. Explanation: Supply a lucid and comprehensive explanation of the subject introduced in the topic sentence.
  3. Supporting Evidence: Bolster your explanations with the aid of illustrative examples, substantiating evidence, pertinent data, or noteworthy facts. This could encompass statistics, research findings, expert opinions, or real-life instances.
  4. Transition Sentences: Employ transition sentences to forge connections between each paragraph, facilitating a seamless transition of ideas.

c) Conclusion

  1. Restate Thesis: In the concluding segment, reiterate your thesis statement to rekindle the reader’s recollection of the essay’s central theme.
  2. Summarize Key Points: Offer a brief recapitulation of the principal points or elucidations advanced in the body paragraphs.
  3. Final Thoughts: Convey your ultimate reflections or musings concerning the topic’s import and the elucidations provided.
  4. Closing Statement: Culminate with a compelling closing statement that leaves an enduring imprint on the reader. This might manifest as a contemplative sentiment, a call to action, or a broader contextualization of the subject.

d) Citations and References

If external sources have been utilized in the essay, ensure that proper citations are included, along with a reference list or bibliography. Adhere to the citation style (e.g., APA, MLA) specified by your instructor or institution.

e) Revision and Proofreading

Post the initial draft, and undertake a meticulous revision and editing process. Scrutinize for clarity, coherence, grammar, spelling, and punctuation imperfections. Ascertain that your elucidations are impeccably structured and readily comprehensible.

An explanatory essay can either be a long essay or a short essay. Always follow all the instructions when writing your explanatory essay.

What are the Characteristics of an Explanatory Essay?

Explanatory essays have distinct characteristics that set them apart from other types of essays. Understanding the characteristics of an explanatory essay is crucial when you aim to write an effective explanatory essay. These characteristics include:

  1. Objective and Informative: Explanatory essays are focused on providing information and clarifying a topic. They should remain objective and avoid expressing personal opinions or taking a stance.
  2. Clarity and Simplicity: The primary goal is to make complex topics or concepts more accessible. Your explanations should be clear, concise, and straightforward, making the subject easy to understand.
  3. No Argument or Persuasion: Unlike argumentative or persuasive essays, explanatory essays do not aim to persuade or convince the reader of a particular viewpoint. They present information without advocating for a specific position.
  4. Thesis Statement for Explanation: The thesis statement in an explanatory essay should state what you intend to explain or clarify in the essay. It serves as a clear roadmap for the reader.
  5. Factual and Well-Researched: Explanatory essays require thorough research and the use of credible sources to support your explanations. Use facts, data, examples, or evidence to reinforce your points.
  6. Multiple Explanations: A well-structured explanatory essay typically includes multiple explanations, each in a separate paragraph. Each explanation should relate to the overall thesis statement and be supported by evidence.

Key Elements of Explanatory Writing

To write an effective explanatory essay, you need to consider several key elements:

  1. Clear and Concise Introduction

The introduction is where you set the stage for your essay. It should grab the reader’s attention and provide some background information about the topic. In an explanatory essay, your thesis statement should clearly state what you intend to explain or clarify.

  1. Informative Body Paragraphs

The body of your explanatory essay should consist of several paragraphs that provide a detailed explanation of your topic. Each paragraph should focus on a specific aspect or subtopic, and you should use clear and relevant examples, evidence, or data to support your explanations. Make sure your writing flows logically from one point to the next.

  1. Objective Tone

Explanatory essays should maintain an objective and neutral tone. Avoid expressing personal opinions or biases. The goal is to present information in a way that allows readers to form their understanding of the topic.

  1. Proper Organization

Organize your essay in a coherent and structured manner. Typically, the body of the essay will be divided into multiple paragraphs, each discussing a different aspect of the topic. Consider using transitional words and phrases to guide your reader through your explanations.

  1. Citing Sources

If you are using outside sources to support your explanations, it’s important to properly cite them. This enhances the credibility of your essay and prevents plagiarism. Follow the citation style (e.g., APA, MLA) required by your instructor or institution.

  1. Conclusion

In the conclusion, summarize the key points of your essay without introducing new information. Reiterate the importance of your topic and the significance of the explanations you provided.

How to select a suitable topic for your explanatory essay.

Selecting a suitable topic for your explanatory essay is a crucial first step in the writing process. Here are some steps and considerations to help you choose an appropriate topic:

  1. Understand the Assignment Requirements

Before you start brainstorming topics, make sure you thoroughly understand the assignment guidelines and requirements provided by your instructor. These instructions may specify the scope, length, and any particular subjects to avoid or focus on.

  1. Identify Your Interests and Expertise

Consider your personal interests, expertise, and passions. Choosing a topic that genuinely intrigues you will make the writing process more enjoyable and result in a more engaging essay.

  1. Consider Your Audience

Think about your target audience. What would interest and benefit them? Choose a topic that is relevant and relatable to your readers.

  1. Narrow Down Your General Area of Interest

If you have a broad area of interest, such as history, science, technology, or literature, narrow it down to a specific subtopic or question. For example, within science, you might choose a specific scientific concept or phenomenon to explain.

  1. Brainstorm Ideas

Brainstorm a list of potential topics. Write down anything that comes to mind, even if it seems initially unrelated or too broad. You can refine your ideas later.

  1. Research Availability of Information

Ensure that there is sufficient information available on your chosen topic. A good explanatory essay relies on credible sources and evidence to support your explanations. A lack of information can make the writing process challenging.

  1. Consider the Complexity of the Topic

Explanatory essays are intended to make complex subjects more accessible. Therefore, consider the complexity of your chosen topic. It should be something that can be broken down into manageable explanations.

  1. Think about the Relevance

Assess the relevance of your topic. Is it something that has real-world applications or importance? Explaining a topic that has practical relevance can be more engaging for your audience.


Now that you have armed yourself with the knowledge and tools to craft outstanding explanatory essays, it is time to put your newfound expertise to work. If you need assistance with your explanatory essay, we provide essay writing services. We are here to support your academic and creative endeavors every step of the way.

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