Explanatory Essay Writing Guide You Would Love

The explanatory essay writing guide we created will explain some of the core peculiarities of such essays. You will get a precise plan of writing; moreover, you would receive a top-notch explanatory essay example to underline our statements. We have collected the hacks and tips of skilled professionals that would sufficiently boost your paper creating level. Proceed with reading to create an effective explanatory essay outline and some ideas on explanatory essay topics.

how to write an explanatory essay

Photo by Bruno Bueno from Pexels

Explanatory essay definition

When defining an explanatory essay, you need to mention that the core idea of such papers is to represent the qualities of a subject without deep analysis. When you need to expose an explanatory essay, always include such particular qualities as giving readers a clear understanding of the subject and how to explain it. Your audience gets a clear picture of the explained problematics after reading an explanatory essay.

What is the difference between an explanatory essay and an expository essay?

The main difference between these two types of essays are the aims and the approach to working with information. An explanatory essay assumes investigating the subjects (event, opinion, etc.) and explains its core particularities. At the same time, an expository essay requires a writer to collect core peculiarities of the subject, evaluate the main idea, and set forth arguments supporting it.

To make an explanatory essay quality and effective, you have to follow a strict procedure of writing that includes three main stages: preparation, writing, and proofreading. Let us explain each of these stages in detail below.

Preparing to write an explanatory essay

We recommend you starting with time-managing. You would need to pre-plan the number of working hours you would dedicate to explanatory writing. Make sure to plan time for the final stage of writing, which includes proofreading. Always assume to have some extra time before the deadline for force majeure circumstances. The overall time you would require will correlate with such factors as word count, the level of your acknowledgment of the subject, and others. All this information you would find in the teacher’s rubrics or instructions.

Read the teacher’s rubrics

Never skip the part where you clarify your future explanatory essay by reading the teacher’s rubrics or instructions. You would get a clear idea of how to write an explanatory essay that would correlate with your teacher’s vision. Ensure that you understand the topic, sources, explanatory essay format, amount of pages, and other requirements to meet. If you have questions about your forthcoming paper, do not hesitate to contact your teacher and ask.

Make it clear on the topic

Explanatory essay topics vary in terms of the particular discipline. However, there are some important pieces of advice to follow. First, try to narrow the topic and make it neutral. When it comes to explanatory writing, topics do not have to be controversial. Instead, try to pick an area with neutral subjects. The second hint is to look for topics you are willing to investigate. The readers would read your interest between the lines. Here are some of the examples of the explanatory essay topics you would appreciate:

  1. Why is religion a reason for so many wars?
  2. Why is higher education overrated today?
  3. How does the Moon influence the world ocean?
  4. Why is taking drugs deadly?
  5. How do parents’ relationships influence their children when they grow up?
  6. How is the COVID-19 outbreak changing the world?
  7. Explain how a healthy diet influences our bodies.
  8. Describe the correlation between temper types and social behavior.

The main thing you need to note regarding the explanatory essay topics is that you need to simplify the formulations and make the topic sound straightforward to the audience. They must get it once they read it and decide if they would read your essay or not.

Find relevant information

Now when you have an explanatory essay topic, you are ready to source data making your paper thoughtful and relevant. It would help if you considered several sources. The selection of sources may vary in terms of the particular discipline. For example, for essays on history, you would require reading more books and databases, and for essays on modern culture, you would watch movies, vlogs, and listen to podcasts. We recommend considering the following types of sources:

  • Books
  • Articles in scientific journals
  • Online journals
  • Podcasts, vlogs, blogs
  • Databases
  • Thesis papers

Define the core thesis

When you collect enough material on your explanatory essay subject, you would have to read everything patiently and take notes. Afterward, you would understand how to start an explanatory essay by presenting the core thesis or the main statement. The essential criteria for choosing the main statement would be actuality and reliability. It would be best if you were sure that the information is checked and relates to the topic. Once the core thesis is ready, you need to write an essay explaining this statement.

Writing an explanatory essay

After the stage of preparation, you can proceed with explanatory writing. Speaking on how to start an explanatory essay, we would recommend you outline your paper first. We did not include the outlining stage in the preparation steps because you already get a perfect draft when you make a vast outline. By adding more details to this draft, you would economize time and write your explanatory essay faster.

A standard explanatory essay outline contains three main sections: an introduction, the body, and a conclusion.


Start with defining the aims of writing the explanatory essay’s introduction. You need to present the core statements that would give your readers an understanding of whether they should proceed with reading or not. The core statements must correlate with the topic, but do not repeat it. If you need to engage the readership, you can add an introduction with some catchy elements. There are many ways to make the audience interested in your text. For example, you can add a joke, anecdote, quotation, unexpected information, etc.

The body

The main body of an explanatory essay is the largest and most responsive part of the paper. The aim of explanatory writing is to explain to your readers the subject step by step. To make a good balance between catchy facts and formal data, you need to be well-oriented in the area you are exposing to readers.

Here is a practical plan for writing the main body of an explanatory essay from professionals: form the main thesis and draft several points to support it. The best number of supporting points is from three to five. These points would become a paragraph of the main body after you widen it and add bright details such as statistics, quotations, historical dates, etc. Each section must start from a new line and clear its content from the first words. Do not use complicated constructions to keep your text easy to understand.

To logically bind each paragraph of the explanatory essay’s main body to another, you would require specific transition words. Here are some examples of such words: therefore, because, as a result of, that is why. Using such words would make your text more cohesive and clear.

When you write the main body of an explanatory essay, keep in mind that such essays do not require analyzing, arguments, evaluating, etc. The core idea is to explain the subject by discovering its qualities and details.


To finalize your explanatory essay effectively, you would need to follow several rules. Remember the core statement from the introduction. You need to recall it and state it again, but using other phrases and words. This will brighten your text. Next, choose several of the strongest supportive statements and reintroduce them to the audience. Underline which elements of the whole text are significant in defining the qualities and facts related to the topic.

Editing an Explanatory Essay

Now you are at the last essential stage of writing an explanatory essay, which includes editing and checking the relevance of the content. Start with reading the whole text from the beginning. Check the facts and make sure you did not repeat any of the supporting points. If there are quotations in your text, check the explanatory essay format requirements. Depending on the formatting style (MLA, APA, Chicago), references must be arranged in a particular way. Make sure that the style is appropriate and there are no jargon words. If you have a person to ask for help with content editing, ask them to read your work and be your honest critic. Note that it would be better to leave the text for several hours and distract yourself with something else if you have enough time. You can then get back to editing, and you may have ideas that are more interesting.

Here are the core questions to answer on the content editing stage:

  • Does the introduction contain enough engaging statements? Does it give readers enough information on the subject to decide whether they should proceed with reading or not?
  • Are there enough supporting statements for the main thesis? Do all of them correlate with the core statement?
  • Are there logical connections between the statements?
  • Is the information straightforward? Would it be clear to my audience?
  • Are there enough cohesive words to connect sections of the explanatory essay?
  • Does the conclusion restate the core information and underline the significance of the core points?
  • Does the conclusion communicate the value and meaning of the thesis statement and supporting ideas?

Proceed to polish your explanatory essay by checking grammar, spelling, mistypes, punctuation, and word count. When you are editing the text, you need to be patient with each character and double-check the essay word by word. Some students and experienced writers also use online apps and tools that effectively proofread and style texts of different types.

More useful explanatory writing hacks for you to note:

– Start writing your explanatory essay from the main thesis! Do not proceed with creating an introduction to expose the main idea – proceed with the core thoughts and build the whole paper around them.
– Explanatory essays are like something between articles in magazines and scientific papers in terms of content and style. You would require strong skills in working with literature and citations.
– Simplify your ideas to make the subject you are explaining clear and easy to understand for a wide audience. Do not overload the explanatory essay with heavy word constructions and complicated terms.
– Keep the image of your readers in mind while you are writing. You can even imagine a person you know and address your explanatory writing to him or her (without personalization, of course).
– Always keep notes while you brainstorm on explanatory essay topics. Great ideas are precious, and you need to be attentive to not lose them.

Explanatory Essay Example You Were Striving to Get



Most oceanic waves occur due to winds or tides, but tsunami waves have a completely different cause, such as underwater earthquakes, landslides, or meteorites colliding with the ocean. Tsunami waves are seismic sea waves that could occur at any time of the day. These waves are harmless in deep water, but as they reach the shoreline, they gather in strength and height. Over the past few decades, tsunami waves occurred more frequently, posing a serious threat to the cities along the shoreline. Of these disasters, 80% originated near the Pacific Ocean around the ‘ring of fire’ (1). Tsunamis can cause massive damage to both human properties and lives, and they are responsible for killing thousands of people.

Underlying Geologic Causes

There are several causes of a tsunami wave. The vast majority of tsunami waves are formed as a result of an underwater earthquake (2). More specifically, a tectonic earthquake. The Earth’s crust consists of tectonic plates, and these plates move up, down, or sideways constantly. These movements cause earthquakes. Tsunami waves frequently originate along the convergent plate boundaries. When the plates move towards each other, it creates a pressure point right along the fault line, where the pressure becomes too much to bear, and one plate snaps up, destroying the other weaker plate boundary. This sudden upward movement, when occurring under the ocean, can displace a mass of water, thereby creating a wave. This displaced water starts moving in all directions. This is the process that starts a tsunami.

In the initial stage, the wave splits into two. One set of waves travels into the deep sea, while the other set travels towards land. This second set of waves is the most destructive. In the deep ocean, this wave has a very low amplitude, and ships traveling in the deep ocean barely feel these waves. In the deep ocean, tsunami waves are harmless, and they are barely felt. But as one nears the shoreline and hits shallow water, it gains intensity and will increase in height, creating a massive wave that can reach 10 to 50 meters in height and over 100 meters in wavelength.

Once the wave hits land, part of the wave reflects back to the ocean, while a part of it continues to travel inland until the wave runs out of energy. The top of the waves travel faster than the bottom, which causes them to rise very steeply. Typically, a tsunami’s troughs reach land first; when this happens, it creates a vacuum effect that sucks sea water back and exposes the sea bed (2). This is an important warning sign, as the crest of the tsunami wave could hit the same shoreline within the next five minutes or less.

Depending on the trapped energy, tsunami waves can travel up to five kilometers inland, as was evident in the 2004 tsunami in Meubolah, Sumatra (1). A tsunami wave typically consists of several waves, or a train of waves. Therefore, its destructive force may multiply as the amount of waves increases.


Tsunami waves have many causes. The most common reason for a tsunami is underwater earthquakes that occur because of tectonic movements. The destructive nature of tsunamis has made this disaster gain public attention.

Works Cited

1. Admin. “The 10 Most Destructive Tsunamis in History.” Australian Geographic, 8 Apr. 2021, www.australiangeographic.com.au/topics/science-environment/2011/03/the-10-most-destructive-tsunamis-in-history.
2. King, Hobart. “What Causes a Tsunami? – Tsunami Geology.” Geology.com, 2021, geology.com/articles/tsunami-geology.shtml.

How About Sufficient Help on Explanatory Writing?

After reading our guide, we believe that you have a strong understanding of how to write an explanatory essay and polish it to perfection. These recommendations were collected as a synthesized experience of the best authors who create various types of essays to support students who need help on their assignments. You can also read more posts on our blog.

By the way, we can provide you with writing assistance too. If you do not have enough time to meet deadlines and make your explanatory essay brilliant, buy an essay by filling out the form on our website. You would speedily get in touch with BuyEssay writers who have enough experience and proficiency to handle your tasks. We cooperate with professional authors and are ready to provide you with various kinds of papers 24/7. They are prepared to become your helpers in editing, updating, writing, and polishing essays to perfection. We are reliable and professional. Apply to us to find out more!

Live Chat