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How to Write a Good Explanatory Essay

How to Write a Good Explanatory Essay

The explanatory essay is a paper that reveals the essence of something, i.e., explains a problem or a phenomenon. The author does not have to show his or her personal position. The main task is to search for materials and provide truthful facts. The quality of such an essay depends on three interrelated components, such as:

  • the source material that you intend to use (notes from literature, lectures, your own thoughts and accumulated experience on this issue);
  • quality of processing of the available source material (its organization, reasoning, and arguments);
  • the argumentation (how accurately it considers the issues raised in your essay).

Outlining is of great importance (especially when reading) here. It is a strategic intellectual skill and discipline. When taking notes, you should pay attention (after making an appropriate decision) to some key points (theoretical, general, empirical arguments or case studies of a specific issue). While outlining, you must select relevant material and develop your understanding of theoretical positions and empirical arguments (that is, what kind of facts either confirms a certain position or refutes it).

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The introduction of a well-written explanatory essay should include the summary of the topic. If your research presents and evaluates how scientists use key terms for different concepts or give them different meanings, then you need to reflect these points in the introduction. Your own judgments should be written in the main part of the essay.

Body of the Text

This part assumes the development of argumentation and analysis, as well as their substantiation, based on the available data, arguments, and positions on this issue. For writing a draft of your work, it is useful to apply the method of sequential numbering of paragraphs. It may help you ensure that each paragraph (and its main idea) corresponds to "its place," that is, each paragraph follows the previous paragraph and precedes the next one in a logical sequence.

Actual Data and Other Sources

When writing an essay, it is extremely important to ensure that it is performed at a good level and empirical data is used properly.

All actual data correlates to a specific time and place, so before using them, make sure that they correspond to your subject. Appropriate specification of data by time and place is one of the ways that can prevent excessive generalization. You can always avoid excessive generalization if you remember that the data you use is an illustrative material, but not a final act, i.e., they confirm your arguments and reasoning and show that you know how to use the data properly.


The final part of the essay may include a summary of the main arguments, but try to make it as brief as possible. The conclusions may contain a very important, complementary element, as an indication of the application (implication) of your research, not excluding the relationship with other problems. You should write a few sentences explaining why your paper and the topic is useful, interesting and relevant.

Rereading and Spell Checking

Proper rereading is of great importance in an explanatory essay writing. When checking your paper, first of all, pay attention to the strength of your arguments. Then you can proceed with the the last step of rereading. Check the style of your speech (spelling, punctuation, etc.) and meaningfulness of the text.

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