Some examples of expository writing include protocols, definitions, cost-benefit analyses and news articles. In contrast to creative writing, expository writing sets forth a writer’s goals and thesis using research and examples. Expository writing is very practical and is organized to present information matter-of-factly so that readers understand the main point quickly.
Because expository writing imparts information so directly, it’s very useful in everyday life. Protocols – written instructions for step-by-step procedures like recipes – are used in writing how-to pieces so that steps of a procedure are performed in the correct order. In the planning stages of a project, planners write formal definitions so that all workers understand core components and procedures in context. Comparing and contrasting is another very common strategy in expository writing. For instance, before executing a new contract for office supplies, a work group may analyze costs to decide if the new contract costs more in time and money than staying with a current supplier. News articles are good examples of expository writing, as they are structured to answer five important questions – who, what, where, when and why – in the first sentence before going into more detail. Often a single piece of expository writing like a report uses more than one strategy to make the writer’s point, and often reports are written in sections with headings that label which strategy was used – how-to, cost/benefit, definitions and so forth.