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Freshmen Research: Home

Expository Paper

What is an Expository Research Paper?

Expository writing is a type of writing where the purpose is to explain, inform, or even describe. It is considered to be one of the four most common rhetorical modes. The purpose of expository writing is to explain and analyze information by presenting an idea, relevant evidence, and appropriate discussion.  (wikipedia definition)

Expository Writing

Good examples of expository writing totally hide the opinion of the writer.

Expository essays present opinion-free information on a topic, which may be broad or narrow.

The introduction should make the topic clear and briefly lay out the elements of the topic that will be described. For example, the following might be a great expository thesis statement:

"The oil industry is a very large portion of the energy sector, and it has significant impacts on the climate and economy."

Notice: The thesis statement does not criticize the oil industry. It does not even claim the effects on the climate are negative. This is the sort of objectivity you need in expository writing.


Academic Vocabulary

Provided by the University of Notre Dame. (5:45 min) Make sure you are logged into your Google account if you have problems viewing.

Homework Help :


Tutors available 24/7. Select subject and grade level.  En Espanol available 2pm-1am. Provided by NHC Public Library.  Use your Student ID number to access program.  Always say you are at home when using this program. Get your paper reviewed before you submit it.

Formal Writing

Academic writing has a different tone and style than everyday writing. Here are some of the main characteristics of writing academically.

  • First, Second and Third Person: You may have heard about writing in the "third person". This means you will not be using any personal pronouns such as I, mewe, us, (first person) or you and your (second person). Seen side by side, there is a noticeable contrast in the way first person and third person phrasing sounds:
  • First person: I think, I feel, I believe, I am sure, my opinion is, I am quite certain...
  • Third person: certainly, undoubtedly, probably, will, likely, may, might, could, possibly...

Unless you are an expert on the topic, it is best to avoid using the first person when writing academically. When you have strong evidence to support your argument, you can successfully use the more confident tone of the third person. The exception to this is reflective writing, which is always written in the first person.

  • ContractionsContracted forms of English; didn’t, isn’t, couldn’t, wouldn't , are not accepted in formal academic writing.
  • SlangAlways avoid using slang language (“the kids”, “arvo”, “drunk”).
  • Over-complicated languageThe more concise and simple the language, the more persuasive it can be. Only the facts should be written and emotional content should be avoided as should flowery language, adjectives and jargon.

University of Notre Dame Library


Make sure you have your ROI printer code to print out your paper.  You will find it in your school email and it will be the same throughout your time at Ashley.

Quoting, Paraphrasing and Summarizing

There are three ways of incorporating other people's work into your own research paper.

Quotations, Paraphrasing and Summarizing.

What Are the Differences?

Quotations must be identical to the original, using a narrow segment of the source. They must match the source document word for word and must be attributed to the original author.

Paraphrasing involves putting a passage from source material into your own words. A paraphrase must also be attributed to the original source. Paraphrased material is usually shorter than the original passage, taking a somewhat broader segment of the source and condensing it slightly. At times, your paraphrasing may end up longer than the original passage.

Summarizing involves putting the main idea(s) into your own words, including only the main point(s). Once again, it is necessary to attribute summarized ideas to the original source. Summaries are significantly shorter than the original and take a broad overview of the source material.

All three formats must be cited. See Citations tab for more information.

Purdue Online Writing Lab


Seven Important Steps to Paraphrasing

1. Read and reread the entire passage until you understand it.

2. Take Notes : As you are reading, on a sheet of paper jot down any main ideas, key words or specific details.

3. Write it in Your Own Words : Put aside your book or resource, think about what you read, look over your notes and explain what you have read. 

4. Compare what you have written with the original passage. Make sure your paraphrase is original, accurate, complete, and objective.

5. If you retain any unique terms or exact phrases from the original source, place quotation marks around them.

6. Transfer your paraphrase to your note card.

7. Cite your source of information.

Adapted from San Jose State University

SIRS Issues Research Guide