Explicatory Essay Writing: Definition, Structure, How-to

Meaning of an Explicatory Essay

Just as the name implies, an explicatory essay is a type of essay that is focused on explaining and interpreting a piece of writing or literature piece such as a poem, a play, a novel or just a short story. The explicatory essay gives a clear and concise interpretation and analysis of a particular literature piece by examining sentences, words or phrases extracted from such piece and slowly unveiling the meaning of such sentences. Basically, this type of essay is requiring the writer to unfold the text and show how the words or sentences another author uses in the text affects the central idea or message the author is trying to pass across.

Explicatory essays should not be more than 1000 words, thus, a student writing an explicatory essay much be able to read the text he or she wants to work on a line by line and then give a clear analysis of the literary piece is not more than 1000 words. The short length of the explicatory essay gives professors the opportunity to strictly grade these essays. Students should, therefore, be very careful while writing these essays as any mistake made will be easily discovered.

An explicatory essay can be further described as the slow revelation of a literary piece such as a poem, a novel, or a short story. It requires the student to identify a statement of the theme, an important conversation or any other major event in the text, and then show how these events connect to the larger elements of the overall story. One can also use another approach to explicating a text and start with the general assessment of the plot of the story while paying a lot of attention to the background and exposition.

To write a good essay, you should follow the next steps:

1. Read the text aloud more than once. You can look into the dictionary to get the meaning, alternate meanings and also shades of meaning of words you do not fully understand. Doing this will allow you to easily get the importance and significance of these words in the text.

2. Try to understand what the text is about. Be as precise as possible as you show the tone, diction (level of word choice - high, medium, low or slang) and the mood that the text depicts. Think about all these and carefully write down your answers.

3. Underline all repetitions of sound that you notice in the text and pay attention to little changes or any surprising shift of sound that you notice in the sounds or meaning of words in the text.

After you have followed all the basic rules stated above, you can now start writing the essay. But before you start doing this, it is very important that you develop a very strong thesis statement as this is what will present your central idea or point to your reader.

Things to remember when writing a good thesis statement

• Thesis Statement

Your thesis statement should be carefully selected as they show your main argument and also help anybody reading your article to know your stance on the text that you write about. It is also the propelling force behind the entire essay you are writing. To write a good thesis statement, ensure that you have read through the text more than two times, this will help you to make the right selection of words that will fully express your idea and opinion about the text. Also, the thesis statement should be written based on the point that you have gotten and written on a sheet of paper. Your understanding of the hidden meaning of some words should also be included in the thesis statement.

Structure of the Explicatory Essay

The major structure of the essay consists of The Introduction, The body, and The Conclusion.

• Introduction

The introduction of the explicatory essay is one of the most important parts of the essay, as it is the first place your readers will see as they read through your essay. Thus, this part of the essay must be carefully written to catch the attention of the reader and make them want to read more of your essay. You can begin the introduction with a thought-provoking quote, questions or statement to spice up the essay and make the essay more interesting. The thesis statement that you have developed should be on the last line of your introductory paragraph.

• Body

This is where you make your opinion known. The body of your explicatory essay contains three short but brief paragraphs. Each paragraph should be based on a different idea, and all these ideas should be linked to the thesis statement which is the central point you are trying to pass across. Also, the paragraphs in your essay should be linked with the proper and right linking words and phrases. Finally, write in engaging styles since explicatory essays can degenerate into highly technical documents that most readers avoid. Use active verbs, varied sentence structure, and concise expression to pass your message across.

• Conclusion

The main purpose of the conclusion of the explicatory essay is to assure a person reading your essay understands that you have successfully answered the question you were asked and that you have also completed the task you’ve been given. To do thisExplicatory Essay, restate your thesis statement in other words not a direct repetition of the words you have used earlier. The end of the essay should focus mainly on sound effects or visual patterns as the final elements of asserting an explanation.

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