The UVic Writer's Guide

The Expository Essay

Sample topic: "How to Tame a Dragon."

The function of the expository essay is to explain, or to acquaint your reader with a body of knowledge. By explaining a topic to the reader, you are demonstrating your own knowledge.

For example, if you are asked to write an essay about taming dragons, you decide what you plan to concentrate on, create a paragraph structure, and describe the process step by step. An essay becomes more complicated when a position has to be defended, as in a persuasive essay.

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Copyright, The Department of English, University of Victoria, 1995
This page updated May 11, 1995