Information and Characteristics

Expository Texts: What They Are, Structure, Types and Characteristics

What are expository texts?

What are expository texts?

Expository texts are those that  express concepts or facts objectively , without reflecting opinions or feelings of the author. They are used primarily in academic and scientific settings.

The expository texts  do not reflect the opinion of the author because they only present a topic based on sources and supporting evidence. They aim to present and inform.

Characteristics of the expository texts

Expository texts are considered formal. They are characterized by presenting a theory, a hypothesis or a topic of interest, so that the reader understands them objectively, without persuading or appealing to their emotions. The opinion of the author is not relevant.

They differ from argumentative texts, which are texts that seek to convince the reader of the author’s point of view, making use of both emotional and rational arguments.

Expository texts provide information on a topic and use various linguistic resources , such as definitions, examples, reformulation of theories (explain them in other words or more simply) or quotes from sources of information that have a certain recognition.

They are considered formal texts, so they do not use colloquial language, but rather use denotative language (the one that says things as they are, without double meaning) in order to avoid doubts or misinterpretations by the reader.

Structure of the expository texts

The development can be organized into chapters or subtopics according to their complexity. The expository texts are divided into three parts:

  • The introduction: It is a brief explanation of the topic to be presented, in order to contextualize the reader.
  • The development: It is the exposition of the topic that can be organized into chapters or subtopics according to the complexity and variety of the content.
  • The conclusion: It is a synthesis of everything that has been developed that allows us to summarize the ideas and understand the topic addressed.

Types of expository texts

To read an informative text, prior knowledge is not necessary.

There are two types of expository texts:

  • The informative ones: They are texts aimed at a wider audience in which it is not necessary for the reader to have  prior knowledge of the subject. For example, textbooks, explanatory brochures or encyclopedias
  • The specialized ones: They are explanatory texts that require prior knowledge on the part of the reader due to the complexity of the subject. For example, monographs , legislative texts or doctoral theses.

Explanatory resources

Comparisons are relationships of similarity between two examples and theories.

The expository texts use various resources, such as:

  • The definitions: They are statements that represent or explain a concept or expression in an objective way.
  • The comparisons: They are relations of similarity between two examples or theories in order to affirm or clarify the exposed subject.
  • The examples: They are phrases or models that make the text easier to understand, especially when it comes to complex or technical content.
  • Graphics and images: They are visual reinforcements that allow to complement the exposed topic for a better understanding.


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