Explanatory Essay Layout: a Quick & Effective Guide

Before jumping in to create an explanatory essay layout, you must understand the definition and purpose of the essay. You must have a solid understanding of how the goals, structures, and contents of various essays vary. An explanatory essay is where you present a certain point of view on a subject.

There can be many different points of view on any given issue, circumstance, or event. The best one can do is demonstrate the validity of their idea by presenting an argument supported by facts, logic, and evidence.

In this article, we’ll guide you through the layout of structuring an explanatory essay effectively.

What Is an Explanatory Essay?

An explanatory essay is a piece of writing where the writer provides a viewpoint or opinion on a particular topic, subject, event, or situation. It explains the importance of the subject and its main features by answering the “why” and “how” questions. An explanatory essay is also known as an expository essay. 

In these essays, you don’t necessarily have to agree with the viewpoint you’re writing about. The objective of the essay is to present a specific incident or circumstance and provide an analysis of the given topic. You must try to convey others’ arguments and opinions objectively.

Also, it’s crucial that your explanatory essay contain no criticism of any kind. When writing this essay, there’s no need to convince or debate about the topic. Let the reader draw conclusions on their own instead of persuading them to agree or disagree with the offered point of view.

person using a laptop computer placed on a wooden table
Photo by Christin Hume on Unsplash

An Effective Explanatory Essay Layout

Making an outline is the best approach to arranging your ideas and the information you’ve gathered for your essay. The layout gives shape to your essay by highlighting the main ideas and arguments. An explanatory essay layout typically has the following structure.


The introduction paragraph of an explanatory essay typically contains a compelling hook, background information on the subject, and a thesis statement. It acts as a starting point for the essay’s actual content.

Just as with most essays, you need to pique the interest of the reader on the topic with an engaging hook. It could be a relevant quotation, an interesting fact, or anything that captures the reader’s attention.

Then, provide any required background information that may not appear obvious. This will make it easier for the reader to visualize the story. Include the thesis statement at the end of the introductory paragraph to fix the focus of your essay. This should resolve any ambiguity on what the rest of the essay will cover.

Body Paragraphs

Unless the subject is extremely in-depth, the body section should most likely consist of three paragraphs, each with a unique angle. However, each body paragraph uses the same overall tone.

Start by clearly stating your topic sentence and outlining the material you will introduce. In addition, this sentence should seamlessly transition the text from one idea to the next.

Then, present a stance or claim that directly backs up your thesis. It’s crucial to make the relationship clear so that the audience can quickly make the connection. Afterward, provide the supporting data from your research. This will back up your claim and strengthen your position.

Finally, give a summary of the significance of the claim in relation to the thesis statement in your concluding statement. Repeat this systematic approach for each of your points in the body.


There are three crucial components to keep in mind to appropriately wrap up an explanatory essay. Restate your thesis statement first. This will strengthen your argument and draw the audience’s focus back to the main idea.

Then summarize the three supporting arguments presented in the body paragraphs. You must briefly recap the relevance of each paragraph. This will demonstrate that you have convincingly defended your thesis, strengthening your work as a whole.

Provide a general summary in your concluding paragraph. This must clarify the significance of the particular point of view in the essay adopted from a broad standpoint. Leave your readers with a call to action that will compel them to continue researching the topic further.

In Summary

An essay’s structure and layout are vital to the composition. Because without one, a reader would have a difficult time understanding the essay’s intent, meaning, and what it is trying to say.

Having a clear layout of your essay will help you develop and elaborate on the ideas without losing track. Therefore, this article provides a quick overview of an explanatory essay layout to produce a one-of-a-kind essay that will leave the reader feeling fulfilled.

Abir is a data analyst and researcher. Among her interests are artificial intelligence, machine learning, and natural language processing. As a humanitarian and educator, she actively supports women in tech and promotes diversity.

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