Different Types Of Expository Essays

An expository essay is an informative piece. You explain and define a specific topic, using the logical facts you have gathered and examples you’ve found in your research. However, it is worth noting that there are different types of expository essays available to you. You may find that one is better suited for a particular topic than another, and so on. Below, you will find four of the most common types of expositive essays used abroad and in an academic setting.


This kind of writing is exactly what the heading suggests it is. You’re explaining the steps of a specific process to your reader, in a clear and precise manner so that they will be able to replicate the process if and when they are given the materials needed. This is most commonly found in research papers (science projects) where you need to explain the steps you used to reach your results\conclusions. You also find this kind of writing in manuals and pamphlets, where things are presented in a list.


You use the description style of expository writing to, you guessed it, describe something. This is done by using examples, explaining a subject’s features and attributes. You need to tell your reader how something tastes, feels, sounds, etc. This kind of writing is also used interchangeably with “definition style” writing. It doesn’t mean give the actual definition of the topic, but rather, define it by the senses you would use to interact with it.

Cause and Effect

When writing a cause and effect paper you may find yourself focusing on only one of them (the cause or effect), but sometimes you are asked to address both. Cause and Effect papers focus on the details of certain actions or events and the effects they have. A good way to look at this is: “If you do this then this will be the outcome.” The correlation between the subjects is that causes the other to happen.

Compare and Contrast

To compare and contrast is to take two things and measures their differences and similarities. You won’t always have to do both. Sometimes, you’ll only need to compare and other times you’ll only need to contrast. In either situation, understand that the subjects you are comparing or contrasting don’t have to be incredibly similar in nature. Their likeness can simply be that they’re items being sold.

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