Expository Essay about the Battle of Yorktown

As a matter of fact, the type of the essay is the helping key to understand what your professor wants you to provide in your work. In the case of an expository essay, a professor needs to see your ability to explain a particular problem, an event or an idea. Your topics can include a world event, a political debate, an important person, a literature work etc.

To get an excellent mark on your paper, your topic should be clear, concise and logical to make it easy to comprehend. Remember, that you have to refrain from stating your own opinion on the matter. That is why history professors like to give this type of assignment.

Yorktown Battle

Gather Information

Any writing process requires prewriting and planning. In case your aim is to focus on a historical event, you need to gather all the information you can, and check your sources for reliability. Ask your professor for some literature you can use.

While studying your sources, jot down the basic facts you cannot miss: the year, the sides involved in the conflict, the reasons, the outcome, the effects, the importance of the event on a big historical scale. Then go deeper into details.

Follow the Structure

The beginning should capture the attention of the reader and simultaneously state your thesis, so use strong words. After the introduction, you can divide your paper into logical paragraphs, each focusing on a specific issue.

Since you are writing about real events, you should support all the content with factual evidence. In order to make your essay more pleasing to the ear and avoid an abrupt change of topic, use transitional words that make it easier to follow your train of thought. Do not forget to add your conclusion.

You can stick to this simple outline:


The Battle or Siege of Yorktown is a memorable event in the American War for Independence, having shaped the USA to become the powerful country it is today.

Paragraph 1. Where, when, who

The Siege of Yorktown is a defining battle of the Revolutionary War, fought in Virginia in 1781, with the victory of the Franco-American forces over Britain.

Paragraph 2. The details of the conflict

The Continental Army troops led by George Washington were supported by the French Army troops lead by Comte de Rochambeau.

Paragraph 3. The outcome

The defeat of the forces of Great Britain prompted the British government to start negotiations that eventually ended the conflict and recognized the USA’s independence.


Bringing the victory to the allied forces of France and America, the Siege of Yorktown is undeniably a key episode of the Revolutionary War.

Teacher Blackboard

Revise and Edit

Reread your essay aloud, and try to find any mistakes. Do not belittle correcting grammar and punctuation; adjust the font and size of the text. When you are finished, ask a friend or a relative to read it and criticize. Expository essays should explain a topic, so if your friend understood the topic and learned something new, you did a great job!

Add Some Spice

To make your expository essay sound more interesting and fascinating, try to extend it with some previously not widespread facts. These are not obligatory connected with the process of fighting and can contain some ancillary incidents and information of minor importance. You may find them in the library when searching for history books of the USA in the 18th century or use the web but carefully as it may contain incorrect data.

So, here they are, some of the most interesting facts about the Yorktown battle we have collected for you to write your expository essay perfectly:

As for the Alliance led by major Washington, about 15% were being Americans of a German origin. So, undoubtfully, when describing about the nations involved in this battle, you can insert such an interested fact too.

Some people may say it is just another pretext to save their reputation but it is clear that right from the very beginning the British Army was possessing much less ammunition and supplies as well as people, besides being isolated from reinforcements due to the French blockade they had little chance of becoming the winners in that battle;

  • The Battle of Yorktown. Basing our hypothesis on the name of the battle we can be sure that it was held at Yorktown in York County, Virginia. However, it has the second name – “A siege Yorktown” as the whole war between French and American allies against British ones has been scattered in several places;
  • Where are there Germans and why? Even though during the battle this fact has not been taken into account due to its unimportance, nowadays, after closely analyzing all details of the battle we can confidently claim that the third part of the British Army consisted of inhabitants of the German state of Hessen.
  • Did British army lose for real? The question of a fair play in this battle is being put bluntly as it is already known that British soldiers were severely suffering from malaria and this disease has cut the number of healthy and ready to fight people on half.
  • The winners take it all. After being forced to surrender the commander of the British army did not come up at the surrender ceremony alluding to the cold he caught after. Yes, admitting your defeat is definitely not the best thing in life.

Additional Option: Presenting Your Essay

Describing a historic battle is not just about counting the number of victims and names of all generals involved. It is much more interesting when viewing this task from a different point of view.

Presenting a depictable map of the battle and the positions of both armies and naval support will do their job and let the audience get involved in your storytelling and stay attentive.

You can cite some of the famous people involved in that battle to make your presentation more expressive or even ask your classmates to help you to stage the plan of the main military strategies of both sides.

Show a video about the Yorktown battle or refer to some later publications dedicated to it.

Importance of the Yorktown Battle in the World History

Now let us pose the issue point-blank: was this siege really that important for Americans and the rest of the world or we just exaggerate its priority among other wars and battles over the independence of the “New World”?

Needless to say, that the siege of Yorktown has been a final path to the successful and victorious end of the American Revolution. But what has changed in other countries like France and Great Britain? Collect some information about these facts and describe it in your expository essay to get the best mark.

The most important thing: have interest. Enjoy the researching and writing process and you will realize how easy it may be to write with passion even if the topic seemed to be boring and useless at first.

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