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How to choose topics for an expository essay to impress the reader

Whenever you are tasked with an academic essay like a thesis or term paper or even an expository paper you will need to use a particular format.

The first thing you need is an outline. No matter the style of writing an outline can offer a structure for your thoughts. This is particularly useful for a long paper where you cannot keep all of your thoughts at the forefront of your mind at once.

Choosing a Topic for your expository paper

More often than not the purpose of the expository paper needs to be known before you start writing. The purpose is formulated as a thesis statement or a research question. Some teachers assign a particular topic and a subsequent thesis to their students while others provide you with the freedom to choose for yourself. If you are in the latter situation then you should look for a topic that is interesting to you and aligns with your course.

Structure of your expository paper

The structure for a expository paper is rigid. It is pre-defined. But this serves a purpose. It allows a unified structure for the communication of your thoughts which others can easily follow. It also makes it easier for other professionals in the field to locate your research and find your references.

Generally speaking your expository paper will include the following sections:

  • Title page
  • Introduction
  • Body
  • Conclusion
  • References
  • Appendix (if applicable)

For some courses you may need a table of contents or acknowledgements. If so then the table of contents would be before the abstract and the acknowledgements would go right before the abstract as well or at the end of the document.

Technical issues

Many students struggle with their in-text citations. While the standards do vary based on the format required they are not too difficult to master. The most commonly used reference standards for an expository paper include APA and MLA. Some teachers will let you use footnotes in your paper while others do not. Some students also have tables and figures they want to include but it is important to recognize that not all text applications will allow you to insert the table directly inside the text in which case you are forced to put it at the end. If this applies to you then make a note for your teacher letting them know that you understand where it goes in the text but your text program prohibits that. They might be able to help you around that.