How to Write an Explanatory Essay: Presenting a Point of View Effectively

History is always written by the conqueror; however, based on the direction of approach, any topic, event, or situation can have multiple perspectives. It is difficult to persuade someone to accept a new ideology or way of thinking. So the best one can do is present an argument using statistics, logic, and evidence to demonstrate the validity of their idea. This is the purpose of the explanatory essay.

This article from GradeOffice a coursework writing service, will clarify how to write an explanatory essay and provide an example for your reference. So, let’s begin with a definition.

Explanatory Essay: What Is It?

An explanatory writing is a genre in which the author expresses his or her viewpoint on a particular topic, event, or situation. This viewpoint does not have to be one with which the writer agrees, but it must be supported by research and logic.

Explanatory essays present other people’s points of view or provide reports on a specific event or situation. These are common in majors such as history or journalism, where students investigate facts and real-world situations, providing unbiased explanations based on facts and evidence.

Typically, as an author, you will choose a specific topic and then approach the issue from a specific perspective. This angle is typically complicated, leaving room for debate. At this point, you must present a viewpoint of your choice that adequately explains why a particular outcome was reached.

A number of writers make the mistake of believing that they are protecting one side of an argument in a debate or criticizing some viewpoint.

Explanatory writing, on the other hand, is all about presenting a balanced point of view on a given topic through research analysis and rationally created self-theory. The ultimate aim is to dispel any ambiguity and provide a clear explanation for why things happened the way they did. After reading the essay, the reader should have a clear understanding of your point of view, even if they disagree with it.

How to Write an Explanatory Essay Using Video Instructions?

Explanatory Essay Topics

Students are frequently assigned explanatory essay topics. A student, for example, may be asked to outline the events that led to rise of World War II or to explain how computers work.

If you are given the freedom to choose your own topic, keep in mind that explanatory essays are objective and fact-based. As a result, it is best to choose a topic that is neutral and non-controversial and that you can explain thoroughly. The more contentious the topic, the more points of view you’ll cover in your essay, making it more difficult.

An explanatory essay can describe almost any topic, event, or idea; here are a few ideas to get you started:

  • What were the main reasons for the American Civil War?
    This has been a question that has yet to be appropriately answered, from slavery to states’ rights and the aggravating sense of power loss.
  • What effects does depression have on the development of young children and teenagers?
    Many people are affected by depression in different ways. From physical dietary changes to mental leaps in the form of mood swings, there is still much to learn about this subject.
  • How has the evolution of technology affected schools in general?
    Although technology has greatly simplified the lives of people all over the world, it has also brought with it a sense of laziness and reliance. Can it be classified as an addictive substance?
  • In today’s society, what positive and negative effects has social media had?
    Lately, everyone is a keyboard warrior thanks to social media. It does allow people to freely share their thoughts and ideas, but what about the negative consequences?

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How to Begin an Explanatory Essay? Steps for Preparing to Write

Before you begin writing an explanatory paper, you must conduct thorough research and data collection. This essay is heavily reliant on reliable research and data. Make a note of everything important from your sources and use it as proof in your essay.

Remember that the proposed point of view must be a result of individual ideas and external information — only then will your ideas be properly validated. Therefore, research your topic and discover different sources to back up your claims.

  • Select a neutral topic that you want to explain thoroughly.
  • Locate your sources; look for online journals such as Google Scholar or JSTOR. Alternatively, look for relevant books in your college library to use as primary sources.
  • Conduct research and jot down relevant facts or quotes. Remember to keep track of your sources in case you need to cite them later.
  • Create a paper outline out of your research, including an introduction, three main body paragraphs, and a conclusion.
  • Go over the material again and start writing.

Following the collection of the necessary information, the next and most important step is to develop an explanatory thesis. This statement expresses your overall point of view on the subject in a concise manner. In other words, you’re describing what you’ll show your audience. Remember that you are not arguing or criticizing; you are simply stating facts.


Learn more about «how to write a thesis statement».

A strong thesis statement encompasses everything you are going to include in your essay.

Here is an instance: Schindler’s List, Steven Spielberg’s 1993 classic, gives a vivid and horrifying perspective into World War II concentration camps while speculating on the conflict of good and evil and demonstrating how courage and selflessness can have a massive impact on the lives of helpless people.

A poor thesis statement fails to present your essay’s main points like: Schindler’s List, directed by Steven Spielberg, is a movie about the Holocaust that depicts Oskar Schindler’s experience and how he saved thousands of Jewish people from a cruel fate.

It is worth noting that a good thesis statement demonstrates that the topics of discussion are not limited to the plot of the film. Themes of good and evil, courage and selflessness, and how one man can change the world are explored. The poor thesis statement simply explains what happens in the film.

After you’ve completed both steps, it’s time to define the structure of your explanation essay by designing an outline.

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The Structure of an Explanatory Essay

The length of the topic and the information you are attempting to present will determine the outline of an explanatory essay. Nevertheless, most essays are a page or two long, therefore the overall essay will be around 5 paragraphs long, according to the explanatory essay format.

The reader will be introduced to the topic of discussion as well as the explanatory thesis in the introduction. The body paragraphs will then follow, providing evidence to support the thesis statement such as facts, logic, statistics, and so on. Finally, in the conclusion, you should summarize the main points of your essay and present an overall concluding statement. Let’s go over each section in greater depth now.

Explanatory Essay Introduction

The hook, background information, and thesis statement are the three key parts of the explanatory essay introduction. It acts as an interface to the essay’s actual content. To begin, as with most types of essays, convey a hook statement to pique the reader’s interest in the topic. This can be an amazing fact, a relevant quote, or anything else that will pique the audience’s interest.

Following that, provide any background information that may not appear to be common knowledge. This will aid in the reader’s ability to follow a clear picture. Finally, include an explanatory thesis at the end to help readers focus on the main point of your essay. This should clear up any misunderstandings about what will be covered in the body.

The Body Paragraphs

Only if the topic is very in-depth, the body should indeed contain three paragraphs, each with their own point of view. The overall style of each body paragraph, however, is the same. To begin, present a topic sentence that precisely describes the information you will be introducing. Simultaneously, this sentence should smoothly transition the writing from one point to the next.

Following that, state a position or claim that helps support the thesis. It’s critical to make the connection clear for the audience to easily join the dots. Afterward, present the evidence gleaned from your research. This will verify your claim and strengthen your stance. Finally, present a concluding statement that summarizes the claim’s significance in relation to the thesis statement. To finish your body, repeat this systematic approach three times for each of your claims.

Explanatory Essay Conclusion

Three major components are required when writing the conclusion to properly complete an explanatory essay. First and foremost, rephrase your thesis statement. This will draw the audience’s attention down to the main point while also strengthening your presented point of view.

Following that, make sure to sum up your three additional points presented in the body paragraphs. It is critical to restate each one’s significance succinctly. This will demonstrate that you have logically and correctly defended your explanatory thesis, which will strengthen the overall strength of your writing.

Finally, provide an overall concluding statement. This should explain the significance of the specific point of view chosen from a global standpoint. Leave your readers in a dilemma, alluring them to learn more about the subject. After that, you’ll be almost finished with your explanatory essay.

Generally, your explanatory essay outline will look be viewed as follows:


  • A hook; an eyebrow raiser.
  • Background information that presents all sides of the debate.
  • The thesis statement.

Body (Three paragraphs)

  • Use a topic sentence to identify the first argument.
  • Using your sources, offer evidence for this topic sentence.
  • Explain the evidence and how it relates to your argument.
  • End each paragraph by restating your main point and explaining why it’s important.
  • Use the conclusion to transition into the following paragraph.


  • State the thesis statement again.
  • Summarize all of your essay’s arguments and topic sentences.
  • Conclude the essay and leave the audience with a lasting impression.

Refining It

Before submitting your final work with confidence, take a few proactive steps to tie the knot around your essay.

Examine the Clarity

Because the main objective of an explanatory essay is to illustrate a topic or event, you should make certain that your explanatory writing clearly explains and facilitates the reader’s comprehension level. The last thing you want is for your audience to be perplexed after reading the essay, calling into question the overall point you were attempting to make.

Reread and revise

The worst thing a writer can deliver is pesky grammatical and word usage errors that kill the text’s eloquence. Recheck the essay several times to ensure that it flows as smoothly as a Sunday morning creek.

Get Reviews from a Second Party

Just because your writing sounds logical to you doesn’t mean that will to Bob down the street. Allow friends, acquaintances, or teachers to read over your essay and make any necessary changes. Alternatively, delegate this task to the GradeOffice team. Our professional writers will do all of the editing and even the explanatory writing for you; simply click the button to get started.


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Example of Explanatory Essay

Here’s an instance of an explanatory essay that explains how college sororities function. It is abundant in examples and detail, and also source material. Make a note of the essay structure and how the author explains the nature of student societies and how to join one.

The writer outlines the method of joining a college student group in this explanatory essay example. The essay describes the recruitment system, events, and everything a freshman should know before entering a sorority.

Different colleges and universities have varying levels of involvement with Greek life groups. Some people are not engaged at all. The first step in joining a sorority is ensuring that the school one attends has Greek life groups. Secondly, one should find out when the recruitment date is by visiting their offices or searching online. Before joining a sorority, conduct extensive research on the organization. The information is readily available on the websites of the sorority groups. This way, one can decide whether or not they want to be a part of the group.