Top Explanatory Essay Writing Tips

Writing explanatory essays is a must for any student, no matter what educational establishment he or she attends. Whether you study at college or university, you will face these types of assignments. An explanatory essay requires you to convey information objectively.

Creating a good explanatory essay isn’t difficult at all. But since it is an academic paper, it has its requirements and guidelines, so some students struggle with it if you are one of such students and want to know how to write an excellent explanatory essay, welcome to our guide from the best experts.

What is an explanatory essay?

Before working on this piece of writing, you should know what an explanatory is and what it is aimed for. An explanatory essay (it is often called an informative or expository essay) is aimed to inform, describe, and explain something. Easy, isn’t it? Unlike other essays where you need to convince your readers or argue, this one is aimed only to inform your reader on the issue or subject.

When working on such an assignment, you should by no means be biased and impose your viewpoint on the reader. The information and arguments should be presented fairly to allow the readers to come up with their conclusions. When composing your explanatory essay, you should not make the reader agree or disagree with a certain viewpoint. 

In real life, you all the time, discuss things, and explain something to people. But the peculiarity of an explanatory essay is its neutral tone, and you should stick to it no matter what. This might be the only thing you may struggle with. 

Even if writing an explanatory essay seems very easy for you, keep in mind that it is an academic and formal paper with specific requirements and format, so if you want to write it successfully and meet the expectations of your professor, necessary to follow the guidelines. 

Writing an explanatory essay in 5 steps

Even though an explanatory essay seems to be an easy assignment, there are some difficulties. When working on it, you should follow the steps below, and they will help you write a good explanatory essay hassle-free within a matter of hours.

Step 1 – Research the topic

Any academic paper requires thorough research on the topic. Without it, it is impossible to write a worthy essay. It is necessary to gather enough information and data to support your arguments with credible evidence. 

In this type of essay, it is essential to show not only your personal viewpoints but also opinions from different sources. Thus, it is important to find sources that would complete your personal viewpoints well.

Step 2 – Create your thesis

After doing a good research on the topic, it is crucial to develop a clear thesis. A thesis helps your readers understand what you are writing about. So, if you want your audience not to get confused with the content of your topic, devote enough time to the thesis.

Step 3 – Understand the tenets

It’s time to understand the meaning and core principles of the explanatory essay. You need not write something else instead of it. You should clearly understand the difference between it and a critical or argumentative essay. Make sure not to take any side and remain neutral throughout the entire work. Otherwise, it will be another type of essay already. 

Step 4 – Pick a proper topic

Choosing a good topic is crucial for your success. You should pick something that you understand very well and are passionate about unless your professor assigned you with a specific topic. 

Remember to write about something you are interested in. If the topic is not exciting for you, your essay will be very boring for your reader. We also recommend writing about something you have at least basic knowledge at and can explain.

Step 5 – Create an outline

An outline is crucial, so do not neglect this step. Write it depending on the length of your paper. As a rule, an explanatory essay contains five paragraphs, like many other types of essays. Below, we will figure out how to write to each of them.

An outline helps to “group” your thoughts and give it a certain logical order. You should write down all the ideas you have and then narrow it all down and choose the most brilliant ones. If you don’t write an outline, you may lose the greatest ideas and make a mess out of your essay.

Explanatory essay structure

Now, as you know what you should start with, you can work on the proper structure for your explanatory essay. Of course, you will need to construct it all according to the following format on the stage of writing an outline. Once you finish it, you will just polish your essay.

So, an explanatory essay should consist of five paragraphs, as all standard essays. Let’s see how each of them will look like:

Explanatory essay introduction

Yes, this part is very short as always but don’t think it is the easiest part of your essay; it also has its key components:

  • A hook sentence;
  • Background information;
  • A thesis statements.

The introduction aims to open your reader the main idea of your explanatory essay and should catch the audience’s attention at once. A hook sentence will gran the readers’ attention. As a hook, you can use an interesting quote, fact, anecdote, and anything captivating and relate to the topic.

Background information should give an overall picture to your reader. After that, write a thesis statement to show what the core idea of your explanatory essay is. From the introduction, your reader should realize what message you are going to render in your body part.

Body part

As a rule, you should write three body paragraphs in that part, and they are the longest part of your explanatory essay. Just in case you conduct very deep research, you can increase the number of paragraphs.

We recommend separating every new idea in a new paragraph. Here, it is necessary to write a topic sentence to explain clearly what you are introducing. Make sure the order of your sentences and paragraphs to be logical and smooth. 

In the body part, you should show a claim supporting the main thesis. Try not to confuse your reader and make an evident connection between all of your thoughts. When doing your research, you should find the credible evidence supporting your main idea. So, present it in one of the paragraphs to validate your position. 

In the very last paragraph, it is necessary to render your final statement, to sum up, how important your claim or argument is. Don’t forget to stay unbiased and let your reader come up with his/her own conclusions.


The conclusion is the last paragraph your reader will see, so he or she should remember it for a long time. This part is precise and brief, but it also should include three core components, just like your introduction:

  • Restated thesis statement from the introduction;
  • Summary of three key supporting messages from the body;
  • A conducting statement.

Make sure not to provide any new information in your conclusion. This part is aimed only to summarize everything you have mentioned before and show the importance of your topic. Leave a call to action for your audience. Now it is almost finished, but there is one more step.

Polishing your explanatory essay

We congratulate you on having your essay finished, but we recommend not hurrying up to submit it to your professor. Proofreading is a must! Here is how you should do it properly and quickly:

  • Check the readability. An explanatory essay has to be clear and logical to your reader. So, you should read it once again and check whether the order of your essay is clear and understandable. Confusing the reader with your thoughts is not your purpose. If there is no evident connection between some sentences, edit them;
  • Check grammar. If you submit an essay containing grammar, punctuation, spelling mistakes, or typos, it will look like you didn’t care about it. So, your teacher won’t care about it either. Re-read it a couple of times and use online tools to check grammar, spelling, and punctuation. In the aspect of grammar, your explanatory essay should be perfect;
  • Ask someone to read it for you. Getting a second pair of eyes is one of the best ways to improve your essay. And do not be afraid or sad if you hear some critics. It is the way to perfection. Ask your friends, family members, or roommates to read your essay and tell their opinion. If they see something to improve and make it better – just do it.

We hope these tips will make your essay writing much easier. Remember that if you lack time, skills, knowledge, or just desire to write an explanatory essay on your own, you can always use professional help and get the highest grade for it!

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