Explanatory Essays Prompt With Articles

What Is The Difference Between An Expository Essay And An Explanatory Essay?

While it is true that expository and explanatory essay can be easily mistaken as the same, they both function to pass on valuable information to the readers; there are many distinctions between the two forms. Such distinctions comprise of applications, delivery as well as structures of viewpoints. So, learning how to distinguish between writing styles shall enable the writer to effectively relay his/her insight and ideas to the readers. In expository writing, the writer shares ideas, conveys information and provides proof and explanations. Some instances of this form of writing style consist of textbooks, persuasive college essays, newspaper and magazine articles and autobiographies. When composing such paper, the writer should not assume that the readers already have prior insight of the topic. Answers to any questions the reader may have regarding the subject matter must be provided.

Meanwhile, in explanatory writing, the writer educates the readers through communicating straightforward facts and information but not personal point of views. Some examples of this form of writing include essays that assist the readers to have deeper understanding on how something works, how-to-type of articles and also college course descriptions.

When it comes to structure, an explanatory dissertation is not composed to persuade the readers but rather educate them. Here, it is vital to provide a thesis statement that relies on the type of text. For example, if you’re composing an article regarding the benefits of drinking green tea, you should include a thesis statement in the opening paragraph and this must also be followed by related statistics as well as facts that disclose to the readers the health benefits of drinking tea. Lists, recipes and course descriptions do not often require a thesis.

Meanwhile, in expository writing, this paper must contain a thesis statement within the first paragraph that informs the readers about the principal argument of the text. Furthermore, the rest of the paper must provide appropriate evidence to support your argument and at the same time persuade the readers that your argument is commendable.

Finally, in terms of delivery, an expository piece will always be creative provided that it leaves a great impact on the part of the readers. For instance, the writer may use an engrossing anecdote or a bit of humor relevant to the text in order to grab the attention of the readers. On the other hand, the explanatory piece is mainly utilitarian and functions as an educational or instructional type of paper.

Lets explore the importance of teaching informative/explanatory writing in the classroom. Students need to have the ability to clearly convey concepts and information in their writing. This skill is crucial for communication in future careers and life!

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The primary purpose of informative/explanatory writing is to increase knowledge. When writing an informative/explanatory text, the writer answers questions of why or how. Informative writing educates the reader by imparting straightforward information on a certain topic. Unlike other types of writing, informative writing does not aim to change the reader's thinking or move the reader to take action.



There are a number of ways for students to practice writing informative/explanatory texts. Some of my favorite informative writing assignments are:

  • Basic Paragraph
  • Essay
  • Brochure/Pamphlet
  • Article
  • Interview

Below are two very simple writing assignments you could assign students to work on their informative writing skills. In addition to looking at the ways your students write informative or explanatory texts, you will also have the chance to check that proper nouns are capitalized properly. What a great way to combine writing and grammar!


To assess how well your students write informative/explanatory texts, use calendar holidays as a writing topic. For instance, you might ask students to choose their favorite holiday and explain in writing why they like it the best.

To help students choose a holiday for an explanatory essay, you could provide them with a list. Some common holidays follow:

  • Halloween
  • Thanksgiving
  • Hanukkah
  • Christmas
  • Kwanzaa
  • New Year’s Eve
  • Valentine's Day
  • St. Patrick's Day
  • Easter
  • Fourth of July


Want to be more creative? You can add a twist to the informative essay and provide your students with some lesser-known days of celebration. This would encourage students to do some research and inform their audience. Here are some possible calendar celebrations students could research and write about:

  • Metropolitan Museum of Art Opened in NYC (1872)
  • Jackie Robinson Day
  • World Fish Migration Day
  • Earth Day
  • National Plush Animal Day
  • King Tut Day
  • William Shakespeare's Birthday
  • Transportation Week
  • World Architecture Day



Informative or explanatory writing follows an organized format. Using the anagram INFORM, teachers and students can easily remember the elements of an informative essay. Download a poster to remind your students about the parts of the INFORMative essay!  





Narrative Writing in the Classroom

Persuasive Writing in the Classroom



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