Writing Explanatory Essay: Guide to Presenting Thoughts Like a Pro

Throughout our college and high school education, you may be asked to write an explanatory essay. Unfortunately, any student writing the paper for the first time may find it challenging to write their essay as they are unfamiliar with the structure and tone of explanatory essays. 

This article will highlight the steps for explanatory writing and offer some explanatory essay ideas to guide you in topic selection. 

Explanatory essay definition 

An explanatory essay is a paper presenting a point of view on an event, topic, or phenomenon. The arguments in your paper should be based on valid facts and offer unbiased opinions as opposed to persuasive essays where your main aim is to convince the reader to adopt your stance toward a topic. 

How to write an explanatory essay 

Like all academic papers, your approach to an explanatory essay can greatly dictate your experience and results with your paper. some of the steps for writing an explanatory essay include:

  1. Selecting a topic

Often, your teacher may give you a few options to choose from or a wide topic, leaving it up to you to develop your topic into a feasible idea. When doing so, make sure to choose a topic that is unbiased and has enough sources to back up the statements in your thesis. 

To choose a topic that most interests you, consider topic lists and hot themes as inspiration. 

  1. Seek relevant sources

Once you’ve chosen your topic, look for reliable references to back up your claims. These sources don’t have to directly relate to your subject; rather, they should support the information you plan to emphasize in your paper. 

You can utilize Wikipedia, current publications, and citations as aids to find sources pertinent to your issue. 

  1. Prepare an outline

Outline your arguments before writing your paper to ensure that the statements in your thesis flow cohesively. An outline is a useful tool to keep your arguments on track and to evaluate the finished work in comparison to the reverse outline. 

  1. Writing and editing

Finally, write your paper and edit it to ensure that it’s in line with your tutor’s requirements. You could also engage your peers to catch any errors that could have easily missed your radar. 

How to start an explanatory essay 

The start of your explanatory essay dictates how well your paper is received by your audience. A boring start may put your reader off, resulting in less engagement and a negative attitude when reading through other parts of your essay. 

Ideally, come up with an amazing explanatory essay introduction to grab your reader’s attention and also to smoothly transition into your arguments. Some of the key approaches for an interesting introduction include:

  • Starting with a rhetorical question or a series of questions that highlight the relevance of your topic
  • Highlighting an important fact/statistic which shows the extent of a given problem
  • Sharing a story that highlights the severity of a situation

Explanatory essay outline


  • Hook
  • Background
  • Thesis statement

Body paragraph 1:

  • Topic sentence
  • Supporting evidence
  • Elaboration 
  • Transition to the next paragraph

Body paragraph 2:

  • Topic sentence
  • Supporting evidence
  • Elaboration 
  • Transition to the next paragraph

Body paragraph 3:

  • Topic sentence
  • Supporting evidence
  • Elaboration 
  • Transition to the next paragraph


  • Summary of key points
  • Thesis restatement

Explanatory essay topics 

  1. How should I manage my finances? 
  2. What are the top three advantages of regular exercise? 
  3. Are you in charge of your life? 
  4. What experiences from my past gave me a sense of life?
  5. The distinction between existence and life.
  6. What impact did ancient Greece have on western culture? 
  7. What modifications were made to human rights laws following World War II? 
  8. What distinguishes an asteroid from a meteor? 
  9. What distinguishes a monologue from a dialogue? 
  10. Which new technology has advantages and disadvantages? 
  11. What impact has social media had on neighborhood news outlets? 
  12. What are the benefits of volunteering in your community?

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *