The Explanatory Essay Blueprint That Will Get You Scoring an A+

Posted on: 27th May 2020

What Is an Explanatory Essay?

An explanatory essay is a composition of words meant to tell, explain, or describe something or someone. This does not involve arguing or persuading. When exploring these explanatory essay topics, only impartial information is required to give it significance. Consequently, opinions, personal preferences, or anything that may sway your audience into taking sides isn’t allowed.

The Significance of Explanatory Essays

Writing an explanatory essay correctly is like walking on a tight rope. The everyday messages we communicate through electronic media or good old-fashioned face to face conversations are essential. They serve either to persuade or to persuade someone to buy something. Neutral ground doesn’t count for most of the time, yet it’s at the crux of the explanatory essay.  

Example of an explanatory essay

You could choose Komodo dragons being popularly kept as pets in Asian countries as your explanatory essay example. 

As integral parts of your presentation, you will talk about; 

  • Their habitat
  • Domesticated or wild
  • Historical and /or religious significance
  • Economic viability. For example, are their skins used to make belts, shoes, and bags? Or are they tourist attractions protected by their countries’ government laws?

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How your audience sees it

Sticking with the instance above, your audience quickly picks up a formal tone in your explanatory essay.  Undoubtedly, there are specific demands to the structure and content of an explanatory essay format to maintain. This helps satisfy the audience’s expectations. When choosing explanatory essay topics, put in mind the following ideas as your guiding stars; 

The Blueprint of Writing an Explanatory Essay

Step 1 -Choose a subject that you understand well

As a rule of thumb, select a theme with which both you and your audience are familiar. It’s a bad sign when readers squint and frown midway through your presentation. To alleviate this fear, you could settle on explanatory essay topics such as:

  • Body language - explain how it works and where it’s used
  • Used car purchases - describe a step-by-step process on how to acquire one
  • Saudi Arabian women -  Highlight their lifestyle. Apart from this, look at how the Equal Rights Amendment, when fully ratified, will benefit them.
  • The Cold War - List the events that led up to it.

Stir things up

Your explanatory essay topics should be dancing on the edge of edginess. Your readers should have questions, counter-arguments, and thought-provoking monologues. Once they do, however, you would have achieved your target! 

Step Two - Toy with creative ideas within explanatory essay boundaries

We can access all kinds of ideas from all over the world with our phones and computers. 

For example, consider cannibalistic tribes living in the Amazon jungle. Another example is how Mayans used their ancient calendar to predict the end of the world. 

Stay on track

These topics may make your heart hop-step and jump. If left unchecked, you can easily make them persuasive writings. For instance, if you have a soft spot for the preservation of the cannibals, you would talk about sensitizing their existence. 

Furthermore, rallying up political support for the government to declare them an endangered community becomes alluring. Alternatively, the ban on logging in the Amazon forest doesn’t sound so bad. To avoid this temptation, make your explanatory essay as objective as possible. Leave the anti-logging and calendar interpretation to the audience.

Step Three - Pile Up Evidence to Support Your Essay

Facts are the backbone of a well written explanatory essay. To make this happen, ensure that your information is from valid sources. Getting your audience curious is both beneficial and dangerous. After all, you wouldn’t want them to find out that your sources were from!

Step Four - Outline Your Essay

An artist sketches before beginning a painting. Likewise, you need to have an explanatory essay outline. 

An outline will help you to do the following.

  • Structure your entire writing
  • Have your ideas flow smoothly

Outlining isn’t necessarily confounding to roman numerals, numbers, or bullets. Simple lists or text boxes will do. 

Step Five - Write the Body of Your Paper

An explanatory essay format employs five paragraphs;

  • An introduction
  • Three paragraphs for the body section
  • A conclusion

You can choose to have more, but the fewer and more detailed, the better. Secondly, maintain a given overall word count. Lastly, exercise economy of ideas by using one point in each paragraph, followed by a brief explanation. Should you begin branching off into a different concept, start it in a new paragraph.

Step Six - Reiterate your introduction in the closing paragraph

By the time the reader is coming toward the end of your essay, they are fatigued and a bit fragile. The end is as good as the beginning, but even better when it’s composed of powerful closing statements. To do this, repeat the thesis statement from your introduction paragraph, followed by two to three summarized sentences. That way, your reader will remain alert and intrigued to find out more. 

Explanatory Essay Outline

An explanatory essay outline is a skeleton that holds your entire assignment together. It consists of various components:

1. Introduction

  1. Interesting lead or hook.
  2. Thesis statement.

2. First body paragraphs

  1. Topic sentence – Main thoughts.
  2. 3-4 aiding points highlighting the key concepts.
  3. Concluding /transition sentence

3. Second body paragraphs 

  1. Topic sentence – Main concept.
  2. 3 to 4 sub-points expounding on the main point.
  3. Finishing /transition statement.

4. Third body paragraphs 

  1. Topic sentence – Main idea.
  2. Include three or four explanatory points per argument
  3. The concluding sentence.

5. Conclusion

  1. Summary of fundamental ideas.
  2. The thesis statement must be restated, but using different terms

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Explanatory Essay Topics

Some examples of explanatory essay topics in the field of social science are:


What is poverty? Go ahead to list how aspects like the economy and academic levels contribute to impoverishment.

Children and beauty pageants

Do children get affected by beauty pageants? Explain how ideologies propelling such events, for example, encourage personality disorders and child sexual exploitation practices.


Does pollution affect the society and its individuals? If so, how? Talk about aspects of pollution such as noise and air for city dwellers. 

Using explanations, illustrate how they affect people’s sleeping patterns, overall health, and reasoning capacities. 

Health Explanatory Essay Topics

Children Health and nutritional education

What are the benefits of health or nutritional education for children? For instance, the Let’s Move Program. It was initiated by Mitchelle Obama, the former US First Lady. 

Here, your explanatory essay may analyze issues encompassing it. That is, her involvement in class nutrition and lunch programs.

Health drinks

Despite being an alcoholic beverage, does vino, a popular drink, have medicinal values? You can proceed to argue that vino has anti-carcinogenic properties. If applied, it could lower its consumer’s risk of getting cancer. Furthermore, its components could lower the risks of having heart conditions.


Gaining weight as a student is easier than you think. With hectic class routines, eating fast food and snacks becomes a habit. Obesity is among the leading health issues in many world countries. As a remedy, you could talk about doing sports, jogging, or eating healthy. 

Poor healthcare system 

In many developed countries, healthcare systems are well established. Unfortunately, you can’t say as much of their third world counterparts. Both sides have a positive and negative ring to them, and you can talk about this in your explanatory essay. For example, Europe’s health services charge at a premium while Cuba’s is deplorable. 

History Explanatory Essay Topics

The Iraqi War

While the causes of any war are complicated, your explanatory essay can examine specific players. For instance, the roles that the United States of America., China, and France played. Look at various sub-factors, and you will whip up some awesome explanatory essay topics. 

Civil Rights Movements

For a country like the US, civil rights movements were rampant in the 1950s and 60s. Renowned personalities like Malcolm X, Martin Luther King Jr., and Rosa Parks were instrumental to such. Therefore, you can examine:

  • What they fought against.
  • Their values
  • Their achievements.

Money markets

Comparing two economic periods in a country is an excellent explanatory essay topic here. You can talk about an economic depression, as well as its boom later on. Factors such as the stock exchange, the housing crisis, the banking crisis, and high state rates are great pointers. Combine how these components affected the society than with its effects presently.

Colonization of Africa

The topics to cover here are many and detailed. Nevertheless, you may narrow down to a few countries based on their colonizers. To illustrate, you can take British, Prussian, and French territories. Focus on their religious impact, economic influence, and political ideology in their colonies. 

Literature Explanatory Essay Topics

Romeo and Juliet

Undoubtedly, these two were the most famous characters among William Shakespeare’s plays. Their story is intriguing, not to mention loaded with tons of explanatory essay topics. Aspects of love, betrayal, and hatred are just but examples. As a result, you will be able to demonstrate how these themes coordinate to firm the fabric of the entire story. 

Willy Loman

He is the central figure in the book, Death of a Salesperson. The story talks about his passion for the American Dream. In more ways than one, this ideology is a mirror of what many North Americans want today. In more depth, talk about his desire for material possessions and how the average American wants this too. 

A Doll’s House

Nora, the main character of the story, is portrayed as a helpless married woman. Her husband, Torvald, believes he’s the dominant male, thus the defender. By juxtaposition, the plot addresses feminism and Nora’s independence with Torvald’s chauvinism. You can use these to look at men and women in today’s society and compare them. 

A King and his Kingdom 

In any story, the king is the most significant member. Moreover, he is royalty and has power over an entire territory. As an explanatory essay writer, you can look at his character and those surrounding him. Is he just? Corrupt? What of his council and subjects? 

Science Explanatory Essay Topics

A Polar Vortex

You can talk about a polar vortex as a topic. By definition, a polar vortex is an upper-level low-pressure area lying near one of the Earth’s poles (Wikipedia). In this case, writing about the cause and effects of a polar vortex in a given area is a good start.

Atomic Energy

Working at an atomic energy plant has its share of dangers and risks. When preparing an explanatory essay topic, you can consider these risks. To demonstrate, talk about low radiation protection mechanisms. On the other hand, highlight that most of the time, these hazards are statistically low in terms of occurrence.

Genetically Modified Organisms

There’s no doubt that the increase in genetically modified food produce has addressed food shortage problems. However, some experts have argued that excessive amounts of chemicals in them may cause organ failure, among other damages in human beings. As a writer, talk about both sides of these arguments exhaustively. 

Science Projects

Building something using bottles, sticks, metal, and wood is fresh! In your explanatory essay, you can talk about molding a mini volcano or mortar engine. Give specifics in terms of how you’ll collect the material and create it. 

Technology And Media Explanatory Essay Topics


It is commonly said that music is food for the soul. How true is this? An explanatory essay that seeks to establish how music affects how we eat, walk, and talk is useful. Without a doubt, providing facts that coincide with these reasons means you have achieved your intended goal.


We see them in billboards, on television, on the internet - pretty much everywhere. Some may be annoying. Others may be helpful. Regardless, you can talk about how they affect the choices we make every day. For instance, do medical ads encourage consumers to visit doctors more? Or do sales ads annoy people enough to make them hate particular products? 

Alcohol adverts and Teenagers

Every teenager wants to look cool. They always want to wear the latest clothes, have cool phones and visit exotic places. Simultaneously, they are vulnerable because they are looking for validation wherever they can. An explanatory essay would nail this topic in several ways. For starters, it would show having a beer in hand in a beach party with friends is highly appealing to teenagers.

Education and Technology

Technology is a blessing in disguise for many students. To begin with, doing assignments is easy because research material is readily found online. On the flip side, it’s a significant source of distraction. Many get distracted with Instagram, Facebook, or even Snapchat alerts while working. You can compare the two, citing arguments to support each idea. 

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Here’s an Explanatory Essay Example

Benefits of Living in France

France is a beautiful country. Its renowned landmarks, such as the Eiffel Tower, making it one of the most popular tourist destinations in the world. Not only this, their exotic restaurants, culture, among others, are a slice of heaven for many. 

Each year, thousands of immigrants move into France in search of a better life. The country is doing well as its systems are well put in place. That is business, education, infrastructure, among others. The country earns a substantial amount of revenue from these sources, thus enabling it to sustain them successfully. 

Running your own business in France is one golden opportunity that you wouldn’t pass up. Being an entrepreneur here is quick, easy, and convenient. One has only to go online and do it. Additionally,  the larger workforce comprises of alumni students from prestigious universities from all over the world. That way, you are guaranteed of hiring professionals as your staff. 

Apart from this, the country’s gross domestic product is continually growing. A majority of people’s living standards are okay. Thus money circulation is reasonably balanced. Taxes are a tad hefty for most businesses. However, it’s reinvestment in infrastructure, and people balance these two sectors out. 

France’s doors are open to international students. Many young men and women come from far and wide to pursue academic excellence in universities there. Apart from this, the country is home to the most famous sports teams in the world of soccer.  That is the Ligue 1 and 2 Football Leagues. Graduates from such faculties succeed at high rates. As a result, many football clubs stumble over each other just to sign them up as players in their teams. 

Education in France is expensive. Regardless, many students apply for numerous scholarships, facilitating either part-time or full-time studies. A majority of the students benefit from graduating in this country. This is proven in the number of job openings readily available in different sectors of the economy. 

Finally, France is famous for other attributes as well. It’s advanced research facilities enable them to develop highly advanced medical drug formulas. Apart from this, medical merchandise and procedures are their forte. This makes the country the best in biotechnology investments, analysis, and development. 

Even though it is smaller in size than its European neighbors, France has a lot to offer. Its continual investment in most economically-viable sectors is its competitive edge. But for even simpler pleasures, just absorbing its people’s culture is worth paying an air ticket for.

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