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Useful Recommendations On How To Organize An Explanatory Essay

The first step to in learning how to organize an explanatory essay is to understand what an explanatory essay is. Just like it sounds, it is a paper which seeks to explain something to the reader. This can mean explaining about a thing, such as a person or event, explaining a certain aspect about that thing, or explaining a certain idea or theory relating to that thing. The concept underlying an explanatory paper is that you are helping your reader to understand something that they probably didn’t understand, or didn’t understand fully, before reading your paper. Because of this, you want to be sure to choose a topic that isn’t widely understood.

The organization of a paper like this can really make or break it. Any time you are presenting a lot of information it is incredibly important that you do so methodically and in a way that makes the most sense. Otherwise your reader is more likely to be confused by your paper than to understand it better.

Follow these useful recommendations on how to organize your paper:

  • Start with an introduction
  • You can’t assume that your reader even has a baseline knowledge of the topic, so you should use your introduction to make sure that they have the background information they need to understand the rest of your paper.

  • Have a clear thesis statement
  • At the end of your introduction will come a thesis statement, which will summarize, in one sentence, the main point or argument of your paper.

  • Break your sections up intuitively
  • The hardest part about organizing this kind of paper is to know how to break up your different sections or paragraphs. How you do this should be informed by your topic. Does your topic have different parts? Are there different people involved in it? Is there a chronological order to it? The answers to these questions should inform how you break up your paper. If there are different parts to your topic then they should make up the different paragraphs. Be sure, however, that as you move through them you are explaining to your reader how they are related and how they are significant.

  • Use section headings
  • If you paper is more an a couple pages long you should be using section headings to break up different sections. This will make it easier for your reader to understand how your paper is organized.