How to write a unique expository essay

What is an expository essay?

An expository essay is a paper that explores a topic factually. The aim of the paper is to inform the reader about the topic, or introduce a new body of knowledge on a previously familiar subject. Opinions are left out of expository essays, as are strong arguments and subjective points of all kinds.

How to make an expository essay interesting?

Many students dread writing factual papers and essays, because the subject matter can be somewhat dry. Without the option of inserting opinions or rhetorical points, many writers find expository work to be boring and lacking in originality. However, if the topic is intrinsically interesting to the writer or the information is truly novel and thought provoking, an expository essay can be just as scintillating as any opinion piece.

To make your expository essays unique and engaging, select a topic that is off the beaten path. Choose a subject that is completely unfamiliar to the average reader (or even yourself), and at the very fringes of the subject area you are studying. Alternatively, choose something provocative or existentially interesting. If you are studying psychological coping in class, for example, write an essay on the various methods of coping with death or grave injury. If you are studying global warming, write an expository essay on the effects of climate change two thousand years in the future, not in the immediate future. The more obscure or strange the subject, the better.

How to conduct research?

As you did when selecting your topic, you should conduct research in a manner that is off the beaten track. Do not just perform a web search using WorldCat or your school’s library search engine. Instead, go to the library stacks and locate old texts and primary sources on the subject. Conduct archival research and dig up obscure journals, old census data, old newspapers, and opinion pieces by writers that you have never heard of. Look up translated sources from other countries, and publications with small readerships. Try to discover information that no one else seems aware off. Think of your research as conducting an archaeological dig for a rare species.

How to write in an engaging way?

Just because an expository essay is factual doesn’t mean it must be lacking in style. Write using the active voice, and do not be afraid to pepper your paper with assonance, parallelism, irony, alliteration, and light humor. Use interesting words and sentence constructions. You can let your personality shine through while sticking to the facts.