How to Write a Good Expository Essay Outline

How to Write a Good Expository Essay Outline

Knowing how to write a good expository essay outline makes writing a good expository essay an easy and simple process. If you do not know how to outline this essay, you should seek help from experienced expository essay writers so that you can come up with a properly structured essay. An expository essay can be defined as an essay in which the student or the writer is required to investigate a specific idea, evaluate the available evidence, expound the idea and then set an argument about that idea in a concise, clear manner.

An outline on the other hand refers to a formal system that is used in thinking about and organizing an essay. Using an outline enables you to see whether the ideas that you have for writing your essay are connected, to determine the best way of presenting them and whether the evidence that you have is sufficient to support your points. A good outline will enable you to picture your expository essay before you write it.

A quick guide on how to write a good expository essay outline

An expository essay, just like most essays, has three major sections which should be outlined before the actual writing. These are the introduction, the body and the conclusion.

To write a good expository essay, outline the major sections of your essay as follows:

  1. Write the outline for the introductory paragraph

The introductory paragraph or simply the introduction is one of the parts of an expository essay.

To outline this paragraph:

  • Draft a hook sentence that will capture the attention of the readers. Make it interesting and related to the topic of your essay directly.
  • Establish the context or provide background information. Avoid the assumption that readers are aware of your topic.
  • Create a thesis statement to put your main point across in a simple but clear manner.
  1. Outline the body paragraph

The body of an expository essay should provide a deeper investigation of the topic. The number of paragraphs to include in the body depends on the expository essay topic or assignment’s parameter. However, there are elements that each paragraph of the body should encompass which you should highlight in the outline.

These are:

  • Topic sentence: This introduces the main point or idea of the paragraph.
  • Factual evidence: This is the answer to the question or support for the stated thesis statement.
  • Analysis of the evidence: This entails digging in with a commentary of the significance of the stated evidence.
  • Transition sentence: This is a sentence that links one paragraph to the next. Transitions weave an expository essay together while ensuring logical flow of ideas and information.
  1. Outline the conclusion

To outline the concluding paragraph of your expository essay, you can do the following:

  • Summarize your thesis statement.
  • Discuss the global or larger significance of your essay topic.
  • Reveal the unanswered questions.

The outline for your expository essay should enable you to come up with an essay that reads well. Using it, you should come up with an essay whose ideas, evidence, and analysis are presented in a logical manner.

Review samples to know how to write a good expository essay outline

Reviewing expository essay outline samples will give you ideas on how to outline your expository essay. Good samples will guide you in structuring your essay by drafting a good outline.

Here is a sample outline for an expository essay that you can use as a guide for writing an outline for your expository essay:

Introductory paragraph

Thesis: I need help from a family member to make major decisions.

Context: My mother is the one I think of first because I admire her the most.

Hook: I admire my mother because she is responsible, patient and intelligent.

Body paragraph 1

Topic sentence 1: Intelligent

Evidence 1: She is quick to learn

Example: At the age of 15 years, she had completed her high school education.

Example: Her ability to analyze and solve problems is excellent.

Evidence 2: Her communication skills are excellent.

Example: She expresses what she thinks in a clear manner.

Example: She enjoys public speaking.

Evidence 3: My mother is enthusiastic

Example: She sees problems like challenges.

Example: She likes learning new skills and things.

Body paragraph 2

Topic sentence 2: Responsible

Evidence 1: At home

Example: My mother taught me to complete my homework daily.

Example: She always takes care of my sister and I any time we fall sick.

Evidence 2: At work

Example: She accomplishes her tasks as well as responsibilities.

Example: She arrives at her workplace on time.

Evidence 3: She takes her responsibilities with friends

Example: She advices her friends whenever they need advice.

Example: She always gives favors to her friends whenever they ask for them.

Body paragraph 3

Topic sentence: She is helpful

Evidence 1: She likes helping other people.

Example: She like teaching children.

Example: She does volunteer work at the hospital.

Evidence 2: At work

Example: She pays close attention to details at the office.

Example: She assists co-workers any time they need her help.

Evidence 3: At home

Example: She enjoys organizing the house.

Example: She likes working as a team member.


My mother is the first person I think of any time I need help from a family member to make major decisions because she is responsible, patient and intelligent.

A glance at this outline gives the reader a comprehensive idea of what the essay will cover. For you as a writer, it enables you to organize the main points into individual paragraphs of the body. Note that although the outline can be rigid, it should not hinder your flexibility while writing the essay. If you change the direction of your essay, add new paragraphs or adjust it. Reorganization is a common aspect of outlining and writing expository essays. The purpose of an outline is to keep you focused and organized.

Additional tips on how to write a good expository essay outline

A good outline for an expository essay acts like a map or detailed direction which includes parts or sections of an essay divided into areas that should enable you to build the essay.

Here are additional tips that will make creating a good outline for your expository essay easier:

  • Follow instructions

If your instructor provided guidelines while giving the assignment, consider them while creating the outline for your essay. Remember that the outline should enable you to include specific information or details in your expository essay to ensure that it meets the requirements set by the instructor.

  • Know the major parts of an expository essay that should be outlined

When you know the major parts of an expository essay, outlining it becomes easy. This is because the outline will enable you to include notes and data gathered during research. When you create an outline before conducting research, you will focus your research into finding information that every section of your essay requires.

  • Label sections of your outline

This is one of the major tips on how to write a good expository essay outline. Every section of your essay should be labeled. For instance, the outline should have the introduction section which comes first. The introduction should introduce your essay topic, include a hooker and present your main point or thesis statement. This section should be labeled clearly in your outline. Your outline should also have a body with paragraphs that explain points that relate to the thesis statement. The final section is the conclusion which synthesizes the arguments or points included in the body.

  • Make your conclusion effective

The conclusion of an expository essay enables you to leave readers with something to think about after reading the essay. It should wrap your essay by restating your thesis. You can also acknowledge counter arguments while providing rebuttal. No new information should be introduced in the conclusion. Come up with an outline that enables you to write such a conclusion without interfering with the logical flow of ideas and information.

  • Make your exposition complete

The outline of your expository essay should enable you to complete your exposition. If you fail to complete your exposition, readers will be left with unanswered questions. Therefore, come up with an outline that enables you to reach a logical conclusion of the exposition. Make sure that using the outline you can come up with an expository essay that does not leave doubts about its intent.

Generally, you should follow these tips on how to write a good expository essay outline to make the process of drafting an outline easy. Remember that your essay outline is the map that will guide you throughout the writing process. If the outline is not good, even your essay will not be good.

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