“Write an essay explaining how email has changed the lives of students.”
As always, a close look at the instruction is essential. Here, there is nothing in the writing prompt that indicates that any kind of argument or opinion is needed. The instruction is simply to “explain.”
The goal here is provide information in as clear, concise and logical a manner as possible. Good exposition writers include journalists who are required to provide just the facts without the frothy emotional appeal of an argumentative piece.
Types of Expository Essays
Cause and Effect Essays
This kind of essay aims to explain how things affect each other and depend on each other. The writer identifies a clear relationship between two subjects, focusing on why things happen (causes) and/or what happens as a result (effects).
This kind of essay is about breaking down a broad idea or subject into logical groups or categories. The writer typically organizes in a top-down way, starting out with the most general category classification and then defining sub-classes, usually with examples of each.
Compare and Contrast Essays
This kind of essay lays out the differences and similarities between two or more people, places, or things.
This kind of essay explains the meaning of a word or idea. The topic may be something as concrete as an animal or a plant or it may something much more abstract, like joy or nostalgia.
These give a step-by-step explanation of a particular procedure, with the goal of walking the reader through the process of accomplishing a specific task.
Example Expository Essays
Now that you’ve learned how to write an effective essay, check out our Sample Essays so you can see how they are done in practice.