How to Write an Expository Essay in Leadership Studies

What is an Expository Essay?

An expository essay is writing that explains a topic or subject in detail. The term expository is derived from the word expose, which means to uncover something to make the reader understand it. Therefore, an expository essay is writing that explains or clarifies the subject to the reader. It can function as an investigation or an evaluation, but it can also work as an argument around the idea to describe it. Some students confuse an expository essay with an argumentative essay, with the difference being that expository essays are neutral but argumentative essays usually take a stand and defend it. 

An effective expository essay allows the reader to obtain a certain level of knowledge about the topic being discussed and clears any misunderstandings that the reader has. The paper neutrally looks at a topic and desists from giving the writer’s view.

Types of Expository Essays

There are five types of expository essays, namely:

Descriptive or definition essays: they seek to explain a word or a concept. They tell readers about experiences, situations, and places vividly to relate to the topic.  

Classification essays: they dissect an extensive topic into categories. You begin an expository essay with the subject and then state and provide examples of each type within the broader issue. 

Cause and effect essays: they explain how things are the way they are and how they affect each other. This essay identifies the relationship between two concepts, concentrates on what occurred between them and the effects of the interaction. 

Compare and contrast essays: they show the similarities and differences between people, places, or concepts.

Process essays: This essay explains a procedure, a step-by-step guide, or how-to process. In other words, the writer instructs the reader on how to do something. This type of expository essay can sometimes be referred to as a problem and solution essay where the writer describes a problem and shows the reader how to solve the problem. 

What are Leadership Studies?

Leadership studies are a multidisciplinary academic field that investigates the role of leadership in organizational processes and human lives. Consequently, this study is based on many categories, such as politics, science, business, education, and family, among others. Other than reading about great leaders in college, students can listen to inspirational speeches from various leaders by attending platforms hosting them or listening to them on recorded media such as YouTube.

When asked to write an expository essay on leadership, your teacher wants you to describe something on leadership. The paper should focus on central learning concepts taken out of a leadership class, for example, describing common leadership scenarios or a leadership theory. Expository essays function well when they focus on ideas, which makes them ideal for a leadership essay. But, since the discussion of leadership theories entails comparing and contrasting them with others, you must be cautious not to make your college leadership essay sound like an argumentative or a persuasive essay.

Tips on Writing an Expository Essay on Leadership

A leadership essay describes the idea of a leadership vision that can motivate, respect, or inspire others. You can do this by writing a successful leader’s biography and the qualities which make them capable of leading.

When writing a college leadership essay, you should define leadership in your own words. You can also express your thoughts on how people acquire leadership and how society can benefit from their leaders. 

Outline important leader qualities as you perceive them and analyze the phenomenon from various distinct perspectives. The following are leadership qualities you can include in your expository essay on leadership. 

  • Ability to delegate
  • Ability to inspire
  • Accountability
  • Communication skills
  • Confidence
  • Decision-making ability
  • Emotional intelligence 
  • Integrity
  • Positive influence
  • Resilience
  • Transparency
  • Vision

Choose a Topic

The topic of your expository essay in leadership studies should be exciting to the target audience. What are the qualities of a great leader? What makes an excellent political leader? What mistakes do leaders make? There is an endless number of topics to choose from for your expository essay. But, it is essential to take your time, think about other potential issues, and select your topic wisely. One way to help you choose a good topic is by listening to social media and news reports on the day’s trending topics. Find something interesting to you and do some reading about the subject. 

State a Question and Answer it

Explain the term “great leadership” in your own words. What attributes make this individual influence, persuade, motivate, and inspire others to achieve particular goals? You have to generate a question, which will be the basis of your essay and answers it correctly to later expound on it in the paper. After answering the question, you will have a better idea of the whole issue under discussion. Do in-depth research about your topic, as it is imperative to provide credible sources to prove the authenticity of your work.

Leadership Essay Introduction/

Introduce your topic by letting the readers know what you are going to discuss. This means that you will clarify the aspect of leadership under discussion in the paper.

There are two primary features of an essay introduction; a hook and a thesis statement. A hook is a phrase or word that grabs the reader’s attention at once. It can be in the form of a quote, an anecdote, a question, or an interesting fact relating to the topic.   

Before you end the introduction, write a thesis statement, which is the number one idea you will be supporting in the essay. A leadership essay thesis statement should only be one sentence, and it should be powerful and debatable to show your readers what to expect in your leadership paper. 

How to Write the Body Paragraphs of an Expository Leadership Essay 

Body paragraphs are the heart of an expository essay where the writer states his arguments and suggestions in detail. An expository essay on leadership should have at least three body paragraphs with a well-supported idea in each paragraph. Each sentence in the body paragraphs should be understandable and prove the thesis statement. 

These paragraphs do not exclusively deal with causes, events, or problems. Every section should provide evidence and facts to allow the reader to understand your point of view. For example, Malaika Vaz is an influencer. Provide evidence to show that she met influential people, like the president, to discuss her issues or trending on the internet.

Create an outline of the main paragraphs by putting your most important idea in the first paragraph. Add relevant examples, anecdotes, and facts. If writing about significant changes made by leaders, including an example of how famous people influence a society. Remember to reference your thesis statement in every paragraph as your objective is to prove that your idea is significant. Add transitional sentences and paragraphs to make the sections easier to read.

Elements of a Leadership Essay/How to Write an Expository Essay in Leadership Studies

An expository leadership essay is not as challenging to write as it looks. It would be best to start by defining a leader and making the reader understand what makes a great leader. A leader is someone who influences and motivates people to achieve their goals.

An expository essay in leadership studies should contain the following essential subtopics:

  • Define leadership and character traits that illustrate a leader
  • Different leadership styles
  • Look at people who consider being good leaders
  • Write about the leader’s life in society

In your essay, explain the nature of leadership as illustrated in the following points: 

  • Individual characteristics affect the direction. Not everyone can lead. There have been situations where well-known managers proved to be ineffective leaders and outstanding leaders who are poor managers. Leaders and managers are different terms. A good leader possesses character traits such as intelligence, interpersonal skills, confidence, and popularity.
  • Situational, meaning that leadership depends on the situation. A particular situation can force a leader to adopt an autocratic leadership style and be democratic under different conditions. In establishing a leadership style, the case is a significant aspect.
  • Management vs. Leadership: Management is different from leadership. Management takes on a hierarchical association amongst leaders, followers, and individuals connected through a formal command chain. Leadership is the function of a leader. 
  • Role model: a leader should set a good example for his followers to motivate them to work voluntarily. They act as role models to those who believe in them. Managers can also be followers as they also have someone above to whom they work under and report. As leaders seek subordination from their followers, they also have to demonstrate subjection to their seniors.
  • Pervasive function: it is not only in business organizations where leadership is practiced. A leader influences other people’s behavior in the military, charitable organizations, homes, educational organizations, and health facilities. A leader must have followers because if you influence people, then you can be called a leader. 
  • Leadership purposes to achieve goals. Leaders are self-motivated individuals who set high-performance standards. They assist their followers in achieving their targets and guiding them towards accomplishing their objectives as a group.
  • Leadership and power: A leader can influence people’s behavior through force, and the power is obtained from various sources.
    • Information power, which is the power to access organizational information. Informational influence is strengthened by the amount of information you have about an organization’s culture.
    • Legitimate authority, which is obtained from the position of the leader in the organizational hierarchy. Employees work under superior control, and they depend on their superiors for direction.
    • Reward power, which is the power to reward people for positive contributions to organizational objectives. Rewards can be in the form of promotions, bonuses, increments, etc.
    • Referent power where leaders enjoy dominance because of their traits and skills. People like to be associated with such leaders and tend to behave like them. 
    • While writing a leadership essay, the writer should talk about the essential qualities necessary to be an effective leader as there are misconceptions about the role.

Leadership Essay Conclusion

Include a summary of the whole essay by stating the primary ideas. Next, restate your main idea, that is, the leadership essay thesis statement. However, please do not write the thesis statement in the exact words you used in the introduction; rephrase or use synonyms without losing their meaning. 

You should not introduce new information in the conclusion paragraph. If you used a question as a hook in the introduction, you could answer it in the conclusion paragraph. Show your readers the bigger picture of leadership and demonstrate how you can use it on many levels.

The conclusion should be relatively short, not too short nor too long, about 5-7 sentences. It should be more logical and less emotive.

A Few Things to Note when Writing an Expository Essay in Leadership Studies

  1. Desist from using Me, You, and I. Expository essays are written in the third person. You can only write in the first or second person in conclusion. But, this should be a single sentence when explaining the significance of the subject to your life and vision.
  2. Avoid the use of passive voice. Or use it minimally. Passive voice affects your text readability, making it uninteresting.
  3. Avoid clichés. Only use professional vocabulary. You can listen to leader’s speeches on the TED platform to help understand how they use simple words to manipulate people’s minds. Your study materials also contain some helpful vocabulary you can use in your expository essay on leadership.
  4. Use credible references. Do not look for information from Wikipedia, as it means that you are lazy to carry out research or study your course materials. Ensure that you use credible sources such as journals, publications, YouTube, etc., and remember to cite your sources throughout the paper.
  5. Be truthful. Some students imagine a situation and decide to include it as evidence in the essay. You should know that your professor is experienced and intelligent and will detect any form of dishonesty in your writing.  

Information Sources for Leadership Essays

When approaching a leadership essay, you will mostly be writing about people. Due to this, you should be careful about bias in your paper when choosing your sources of information. Establish if the source is historically correct and if there are other sources to verify the data in that source. The truth of the matter is you will find glowing tributes about bad people. For example, Adolf Hitler did not have extramarital affairs, loved dogs, and did not drink. Do not mistake an actual assessment of an individual with praise.

Similarly, you will find bad things written about good people. Many leaders throughout history had several extramarital affairs or engaged in romantic or sexual activities that may be shunned in modern times. For instance, several royal families had incest incidences reported. A credible source will highlight these negatives but not draw negative conclusions on the individual because of the negative behaviors. To avoid bias, you need to carry out additional research to know what was acceptable during the individual’s lifetime under investigation. This is especially important when writing about a leader who is still living or still celebrated by some section of society. We have seen many biased newspaper articles, magazine articles, journal articles, books, and websites for most of the top 50 leaders in the last century. So, be careful when evaluating your sources.

 If you want to avoid bias in your expository essay in leadership studies, use sources that are not more than three years old from credible sources such as magazines, newspapers, academic publications, and .com or .org websites. However, when writing about a historical figure, you can use contemporary sources that are more than three years old written during their lifetime.

Google Scholar is a great place to look for high-quality academic articles. If you are looking for biographies on world leaders, is the place to go. and also have many tools and articles for leadership skills and career enhancement.

Citing Sources in an Expository Leadership Essay

It is essential to cite academic sources to validate any allegations you make about a particular leadership style. If your essay contains dates, figures, or lesser-known facts, citing sources is essential. Your professor will instruct on the formatting style to use or let you choose an appropriate style. There are three academic writing styles frequently used for undergraduate level writing; APA, MLA, Chicago/Turabian. Unless you are instructed to use a specific format, use the most familiar one or one that suits your subject area.

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