How to Write an Explanatory Essay: A Step-by-Step Guide

An explanatory essay is a type of writing in which the writer gives information to the reader. This type of essay is different from an argumentative or persuasive paper because the author does not try to convince the audience about their opinion on any particular topic. Instead, they provide facts and information so the reader can better understand a subject. So, if you want to know how to write an explanatory essay and how to write it correctly, read on!  

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The explanatory essay format is a great way to introduce complex ideas and concepts to students. You need to know what you are talking about when writing an explanatory essay because it requires you to explain complex ideas very quickly and clearly. You must have enough information about your topic before presenting it clearly without making any mistakes or leaving out essential details about it or its relevance within society today.

An explanatory essay can be about something you do not understand well or learned recently. It should have a well-rounded outline that explains the point clearly with the help of examples, giving a well-organized explanation. Back it up with correct citations and references to sources. The flow of the essay is vital in terms of the final grade one may obtain. 

The best way to understand how to write an explanatory essay is to use a few key questions to organize your thoughts: 

  1. Why did the author write this piece? 
  2. What information does the author share and give examples of? 
  3. What research sources did the author use?
  4. How does the author build their argument? 
  5. What techniques does the author use to make their argument appeal to the reader? 

Addressing these questions as you read and analyze a text, writing will be much easier for you.

Most writers do not know that the key to writing a top-notch explanatory essay usually is not how much you write but how well you think. The conclusion of a five-page essay could be just as effective at explaining and clarifying the self-same points as an essay ten pages in length. So focus on developing your main ideas, plan those out clearly, and then flesh them out into essay form. You will find that it takes a lot less work than you might expect! You may not always have the time or the required know-how to write a perfect explanatory essay, that is why we are always here to help. Essay Brother will help with writing your explanatory essay in just a few steps.

What is an Explanatory Essay?

An explanatory essay explains something. It takes a topic, idea, or concept and presents it in a way that helps the reader understand it better. For example, you could explain how to write an expository essay by telling the reader what an expository essay is and how to write one.  

Wondering how to start an explanatory essay?

 Are you stuck on writing a good explanatory essay introduction? 

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What isn’t an Explanatory Essay?

You can’t just explain something without giving a reason why you are explaining it. That’s often called “exposition,” which is another type of writing altogether (see below).

An example of exposition would be if you were writing about how to bake bread from scratch—you wouldn’t get very far by simply saying “baking bread involves flour.” You need some kind of explanation for why the flour matters before you can begin baking!

An explanatory essay is a piece of writing that explains something. The purpose of an explanatory essay is to inform your reader about a topic or concept, not persuade them to take up a certain position or belief. You will want to keep this in mind when you write your paper; if you want someone on your side, go for the persuasive approach instead.

The structure of an explanatory essay resembles that of a definition essay: it consists of three paragraphs—the introduction, the body, and the conclusion—and each paragraph has its purpose within the whole paper. Your introduction should give an overview of the subject matter at hand; it should also introduce some examples from which you can draw information later on in your work (if relevant). The body section will consist mostly of explanations and details about those examples and other aspects related to them; this part should include enough information so as not to leave any questions unanswered by readers who have no prior knowledge about them. Finally, there’s the conclusion where all loose ends are tied up before concluding statements are made regarding what was explained earlier on in this process (i.e., “so here’s why x happens…”).

How to Write an Explanatory Essay 1

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Purpose of an Explanatory Essay?

An explanatory essay is one in which the author sets out to explain a given phenomenon, problem, situation, or fact. The purpose of an explanatory essay is to help the audience gain a better understanding of what you are trying to explain.

An explanatory essay should be clear and concise. It should use examples from everyday life that help your reader connect with your topic on a personal level; this will make it easier for them to understand what it is that you’re explaining.

Structure of an Explanatory Essay?

An explanatory essay is a type of writing that aims to explain the cause, meaning, or significance of something. It often uses evidence and facts to support your argument.

The structure of an expository essay generally follows this:

Introduction (or Thesis Statement)

This section states the topic and introduces your thesis statement, which is why you’re writing about it. It is a short paragraph that explains why you’re going to write this piece and what it’s about. In an introductory paragraph, explain why you’re writing this particular explanatory essay, and what it’s about. In this section, make sure to say whether or not your topic falls within one of the following general categories:

  • Describe a social problem people are concerned about
  • Explain how something works or how someone should do something 
  • Describe how two things relate to each other

The explanatory essay format is a great way to connect with your audience, demonstrate your knowledge and expertise, and illustrate a point.

Next, write a thesis statement—a central idea or topic that guides the paper and ties together all of your ideas. The thesis should be easy to understand, but still, provide enough information for your reader to follow what you’re saying.

Body (or Reasons)

This section debunks myths or offers evidence for your thesis statement—and it may also include some counterarguments if you don’t agree with all of them. A body paragraph explains one particular aspect of the topic you’ve chosen in more detail than other points would allow. Make sure this point is clear and focused on one main idea or idea you’ll develop throughout the rest of the paper.

In a body section (the meat of your essay), tell readers exactly what you’re going to explain in detail about this topic (i.e., what exactly happened). Make sure to use specific examples from real life or from the literature that illustrate whatever point you want to discuss. A good way to start this section off is by using a hook line like “I’m going to explain why [what I’m explaining] is important.”


Here you sum up what you’ve said in the body and offer any final thoughts on the topic at hand. Write this last section once you’ve finished writing all of the other sections so that it can tie everything together nicely at the end!

Explanatory Essay Introduction Guide

The Process of Writing an Explanation Essay: Step-by-Step

You may think of an essay as just another assignment on your college transcript—but it is not. Essays are a way for students to express their thoughts about a topic or idea in written form. They can be used to analyze a novel or play, for example, or even report on a class discussion about an upcoming event.

The first thing to do before writing an explanatory essay is to determine what you want to say about the topic. You do not need to know everything about it before you start writing; instead, have some questions in mind that you would like answered by the readers. For example: “Why did Thomas Jefferson write ‘We hold these truths to be self-evident?’,” “What was life like for women during the 1800s?” or “How do people get involved with politics today?”

Once you have determined what type of essay you will be writing (analysis, argumentative), start gathering information from various sources, then follow the following steps:



First, think about what you want to say and how you want to say it. Then, write down any key points or information that you want in your essay. This will help you organize your thoughts and ensure that you do not forget anything important.


Write the body of the Essay

An explanatory essay primarily informs your reader about a topic. Start by stating the subject matter of your piece and what you want to say about it. It can be through an opening statement, which explains why you are writing this particular piece and what the main idea of your essay will be. In this opening paragraph, introduce yourself and briefly describe who or what you are writing about.

After introducing yourself, describe the topic you are writing about. If possible, include some background information on the topic that will help readers understand why they should care about what you have to say. For example, if you are writing about why people should care about endangered animals, ensure that readers know that these animals are important because they provide us with food and entertainment.

Next, explain how this topic relates to other topics or ideas within your area of study or subject matter expertise (SME).

Now, write the body of the essay. Use short paragraphs with short sentences and short paragraphs with short sentences and more short sentences if necessary! Each paragraph should have one main idea and one supporting idea (if necessary).


Write the Conclusion

Finally, write the conclusion of your essay—this is where you summarize everything from step 2 and explain what your main point was and why it’s important for people to know this information.

Explanation Essay Examples

In a nutshell, an explanatory essay is like a mini-essay that introduces the topic of your choice. You’re allowed to tell people about your own experiences, but you aren’t required to do so—you can also use the essay to talk about any topic you want.

If you’re writing an explanatory essay for school, your teacher will probably give you a list of topics or questions to choose from. But there’s no set format for how to write an explanatory essay—it’s more like a creative writing exercise than anything else! You’ll have plenty of freedom in what points you include and in how you structure them, but the mentioned sections must somehow be included.

For example, if you’re writing an explanatory essay on animals in human society, maybe one point would be that we’ve domesticated animals as pets (like dogs) and then used them as food (like cows). Another point might be that some animals are cute while others are scary—for instance, wolves versus crocodiles. Another point might be that some animals have been used for work purposes—for instance, horses vs oxen (or donuts). And so on.

In Conclusion

Ultimately, the key to a strong essay is a good thesis statement. Without a strong thesis statement, the reader is left confused and disoriented. The author may have an amazing message which resonates with the world; however, without an equally effective introductory paragraph to grab the reader’s attention, it will never be discovered. By following the guidelines above when writing an introduction paragraph, students can sharpen their writing skills and ensure that they are delivering their messages in the most effective way possible.

By now, you should feel pretty confident about writing an explanatory essay. Remember—this is a type of essay that explains something, and this may be anything from a process to an object. When writing this type of paper, make sure you’re not putting yourself in any danger! And always remember: it’s never too late to ask for help from EssayBrother!

The most important thing you need to know is that the format of an explanatory essay is pretty straightforward. You will state your topic, provide a detailed outline of the information that you are going to include, and then proceed to explain it using examples and solid evidence. Establish a clear order for your essay and stay in that order for the rest of it.

essay writer Dave

Article was written by Dave

Hi! I’m Dave. I am an Academic Writer, scholar, and researcher. I have over five years of experience in academic writing, and I have written about some of the most controversial topics in my region and globally. I have certifications in Academic English from UCIrvine, and I am pursuing a Bachelor’s degree in Geology. I am eager to work with you on any essay you have. I analyze topics, and I search for relationships through deep research. I can help you with your Highschool and College essays. I can help with any Geology, Geography, or Earth Science-related subjects or topics. I am also familiar with working subjects like Mental Health, Environmental Health, Technology, Psychology, Sustainability, Maritime Industry, and Global Issues.

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