How To Write An Explanatory Essay: Guide For Students

how to write explanatory essay

The first thing that comes to mind when a student is asked to write an explanatory essay would be, “what is an explanatory essay?” Now, imagine writing an essay where you have to give a detailed explanation on whatever the topic is about.

Here, what you are expected to do is to break the topic or subject down into tiny bits of information that will be consumable for the readers.

Yet, even when you might have an understanding of what an explanatory essay is all about, it may prove a bit difficult when the essay is a school assignment. Perhaps, something about attaching it to school and assignments makes some things look too serious or difficult to handle.

But never mind, in this article, we will be breaking down every relevant thing you need to know about the process involved in writing explanatory student essays; starting with a simple explanatory writing definition.

What is an Explanatory Essay?

An explanatory essay definition is the same thing as that of an explanatory essay.

It is an essay writing style that requires you to go into in-depth detailing and description when explaining any given topic or subject. An explanatory essay is more about presenting facts and statistics to help give the reader vivid and clear information about the subject you are describing.

When writing an explanatory essay, always have in mind that what is required of you in the essay is to draw the readers’ attention and consciousness towards understanding clearly what you’re writing. And, one major trick to achieving this is by creating beautiful mental pictures in the reader’s mind. An explanatory essay is descriptive in nature.

As a student, an explanatory essay could be required as a technique in writing any of your school projects. All you need to do in this case is to provide a clear and logical explanation of the subject while maintaining neutrality.

How To Start An Explanatory Essay

An explanatory essay is not something you just begin writing without giving it a lot of thought and considerations. You need to have an understanding on how to start. Without proper knowledge on how to begin your explanatory essay, you might find it difficult delivering on the assignment.

When writing an essay, the first thing you are required to do is to introduce the subject of discourse. This is where the explanatory thesis comes in. Then the hook, which is the part of the essay that captures the interest and attention of the reader enough to keep them through the rest of the essay. To achieve this, create a rough picture of what you will be talking about in the essay and subsequently break all of these down creatively in a logical sequence inside the body of your essay.

Some helpful tips and guide to note while starting your essay include:

  • Always start your essay with a hook and a thesis statement.
  • Make the beginning/introductory engaging.
  • You can achieve the second point by using creative words, illustrations or analogies.
  • Do not make the introductory part bulky to read. Make it as concise as possible.
  • Use clear and simple language.

Directions On How To Write An Explanatory Essay

Aside from knowing how to start your explanatory essay, another thing you need to be prepared for is how to write the entire essay as well. Before starting your essay, make sure you have ample information on the subject you will be writing on. The simplest way to achieve this is to research on useful information related to the topic.

There are also other Dos and Don’ts on writing an explanatory essay. They include;

  • Do draft an outline first.
  • Don’t write on a subject you have not researched on.
  • Do ensure your essay content is informative.
  • Do structure your ideas into paragraphs.
  • Don’t merge two ideas in one paragraph.
  • Do ensure each paragraph introduce one new idea.
  • Do ensure your essay is clear and concise.
  • Do avoid verbose words.
  • Do ensure your paragraphs have a topic sentence and a supporting sentence.
  • Do make use of linking words such as, furthermore, in addition, moreover, meanwhile in your essay.
  • Do ensure your writing style is creative and engaging.

What Comprises An Explanatory Essay Format?

Every form of writing follows a designed pattern. To be able to carry out the writing properly, ensure that you always follow the required pattern for that type of writing.

As you should be aware already, an essay has a format, and the explanatory essay structure is largely the same as every other form of essay writing.

The structure means, this is the pattern through which your ideas will be conveyed to be meaningful. The format for an explanatory is as follow:

  • Title or Topic
  • Thesis Statement or Abstract
  • Introduction or Introductory Body
  • Body or Content
  • Conclusion


The title of your essay is the first feature of your essay. This is where you make it known what your entire essay is going to be based on. It’s the topic of the essay. The topic is the reader’s first knowledge on what the essay will be based upon. When writing your school essay, put in adequate effort in your title as well. As the first point of contact with the reader, your title has to be attractive enough to capture their attention.

Abstract or Thesis Statement

The abstract is another important aspect of the essay, and it is mostly required that you include an abstract when you are writing an academic essay.

In the abstract, you are required to briefly give a summary of the essay in order to enable your readers to easily ascertain the purpose of the paper and a sketch overview of what the essay will be about. The abstract comes immediately after the title.

Introduction or Introductory Body

The introduction follows up immediately after your thesis statement or abstract has appeared. Begin every introduction with a hook sentence. It captures the interest of your readers. Your introduction is the beginning of your essay. Here, you are expected to introduce the essay, and to achieve this, you will state the purpose, goals, objective, scope and a synopsis of areas the essay will cover.

Basically, your introduction provides background information for the essay. In other words, it gives your essay some context.


This is the most important part of your essay. It’s the “flesh”. But remember, if your readers can get to this point, it means that the other features have been properly presented to interest them. Now, do not kill that vibe when you’ve gotten to the body of your essay. Instead, you should heighten it.

This is the part where you become more creative with your essay. Make use of relevant creative techniques to keep the readers engaged and informed at the same time. To achieve this, you have to describe every relevant information to the subject in detail. Break down every topic sentence with a follow up supporting sentence. Make sure that you end each paragraph by solidifying your explanation for that point. Always ensure that your explanatory essay is detailed enough to provide meaning for the readers.


This is the last part in the structure of your essay. As a point of notes, please ensure your conclusion is not bulky or wordy. It’s important to say it shouldn’t be too short as well. All your conclusion needs to do is summarize everything you have written in your essay.

How To Draft An Explanatory Essay Outline

Drafting an outline is essential whenever you are writing an essay. The outline is what creates a rough sketch of what the entire essay would look like. It will be a great help in guiding you all through the writing process.

The outline of your explanatory essay will vary depending on the length of the essay itself. If you are writing 1000 words essay for instance, the outline won’t be of the same length compared to that of a 3,000 words essay. This is because, for a 3,000 words essay, the length will stretch to include all the topics and information that will be included in the essay.

You should arrange all the ideas you will need for writing the essay in the outline. This way, you will know which idea should come first, and which is more important.

Basically, your outline is your essay writing guide. To avoid making errors, you should endeavor to always draft an outline that will contain all of your ideas on the subject before you begin writing.

What Does An Explanatory Essay Thesis Statement Do?

An explanatory essay thesis is the announcer and the introduction of your topic or subject to the reader. Your explanatory essay thesis does not pick a side. It maintains neutrality while guiding the reader gently into the essay.

Your explanatory essay does not need to give a fact or statistic opinion. All it has to do is to convey the idea of the topic to the reader. With this, the reader gets prior information on what is to be expected from the essay and the areas the essay will cover.

Ensure your explanatory thesis is engaging and seamless at all times. It could really determine the level of interest a reader would develop for your essay. To attract and keep the interest of more readers, make it as interesting as possible.

Some Explanatory Essay Rehearsal Topics For Students

Below are some practicable topics to help you develop your explanatory essay writing efficiency.

  1. In what ways does college learning differ from high school learning?
  2. How does the social media era impact education?
  3. How can social media marketing boost sales faster than traditional marketing?
  4. What does a typical college school day look like?
  5. What are the resulting causes of harassment in the workplace?
  6. How exhausting is in-class learning?
  7. What does being in the university for the first time feel like?
  8. With apt details, write about the challenges of having a students’ loan debt.

Writing your school essay might be challenging due to these two major reasons: too much school workload or lack of understanding on how to write the essay. But you do not have to fail the subject/course or get a low grade because of this.

We provide you with online writing assistance from essay helpers who are professionals in this field. We will help you in either writing your essay or an essay editor can proofreading your written work to erase errors and make sure it is grammatically correct. Our writers include professors, teachers, native ENL writers that are notable for writing some of the best custom essays that gain both high school and university students high grades, and we offer this service at an affordable rate.

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