An expressive essay is one of the most common types of essays assigned to college and university students. This type of essay represents a gist of a student’s personal experience on a certain topic, therefore, it requires thorough preliminary research and analysis. The following essay writing guide answers the question “How to write an expressive essay?” Essay Outline
The main and the most important part of an expressive essay is an outline, where a student presents in a concise manner the general structure of the essay. The outline strives to show to the readers how personal experience of the student changed him personally and how it still affects him at present. To write a successful expressive essay, it is necessary to follow the structure presented in the outline. The type of experience does not really matter, so if well-written a bad or a good experience can give your paper a top grade. What matters of the most is how the writer (student) looks at the experience and how he handles it. Therefore it is ok to writer absolutely on anything that represented an experience to you and change you, your worldviews and your lifestyle in some certain way.
Structure of an Expressive essay
Expressive essays do not have some specific structure, yet it is recommended to follow the five paragraph structure. Thus the first paragraph is the introduction, followed by three body paragraphs and by a conclusion paragraph. The first paragraph presents the topic and introduces the readers to the upcoming experience. What matters the most here is the need to make the introduction interesting, striving to capture the readers’ attention with fun facts and observations. The three body paragraphs expand on the topic and illustrate how the experience affected the writer and his worldviews. The concluding paragraph summarizes the experiences and again rehashes how these experiences affected the writer.
When writing an expressive essay, a student should constantly keep the readers’ focus on the topic by using humor, personal findings and non-standard point of view. After all, the readers might not be really interested in learning about the experiences of someone else. Therefore, it is necessary to make the reading interesting and engaging. It is recommended to re-read the essay several times and make amendments. Expressive essays unlike other types of essays must have a rough draft that should be put off for several days before re-reading and re-writing it. The writer should take a fresh look at the rough draft and understand how the readers would view the paper. Based on the new experiences the writer should make changes to assure that the essay is interesting and instructive. Needless to note that the essay should be up-to-the-point, succinct, and clear to keep the reader’s focus on the essay at all times.
Expressive essay topics
The topic of an expressive essay can be absolutely anything that involves some changing, transformative experience for the writer. The most common topics involve childhood and youth memories. Those are the topics that a writer like you personally experienced and that allow you to effectively comment on the changes. Another useful topic is a place you hold dear, or a club you attend. Nonetheless, to keep the readers interested in your essay, try to pick the topics that relate to the reader. Therefore, the topic of relationships, courting or dating may be your best choice. By the same token, a topic related to a certain belief (spiritual or religious).
The essay always starts with an introductory paragraph and ends with a conclusion. Expressive essays are never short, i.e. they seldom are below 1000 words long as this size is the minimum what is required to effectively explore and present the topic. In all other respects the essay follows the major citation/referencing style such as being double-spaced, one inch margin on all sides, with page number located in the lower right corner. The most successful essays try to immediately grab the reader’s attention with attractive statements and humor, and then use that excitement to read the whole essay. Grammar and punctuations should always be correct.
The closing summary of the expressive essay notes briefly what was already said in the paper. The essay conclusion confirms to the general writing style of the whole essay and repeats the main points.
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