Expository Writing Teaching Notes Expository Essay: Keyword contained within writing prompt is “Explain

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Expository Writing Teaching Notes

Expository Essay: Keyword contained within writing prompt is “Explain.” In an expository essay, you may be asked to explain how or why you feel a certain way, etc.
1. First thing to do is MAKE A PLAN!!!!
2. Read and Brainstorm topic.

  • For example, pretend you are given the following prompt: Everyone has many things and/or people in their lives to be thankful for. Choose one thing or person that you are most thankful for and write and essay explaining why.

  • Notice that your essay prompt said “Choose ONE.” If you choose 2 or more to write about, you will have written off topic! This will lower your score! Follow prompt directions explicitly!

  • Make a list of things you are thankful for, and then narrow your choices down to ONE. Now, you are ready to Make your plan and start writing.

  • For the sake of the assignment, let’s say we’ve chosen “friends” to be the thing we are most thankful for.

Identify Mode: Expository

Identify Topic/Write topic or thesis sentence: Of all the things in my life, I am most thankful for my friends.

Identify the three reasons why (these will be your body paragraphs later)

  1. Friends offer unconditional love.

  2. Friends offer Comfort in times of need.

  3. Friends offer opportunities to have fun and goof off!

---Your essay will contain 5 well structured, and organized paragraphs that contain a MINIMUM of 3-5 sentences each.

Now, it’s time to write!!!!!
Paragraph 1—Introduction

  • Sentence 1 Attention Grabber (ask a question, use shocking statistics, say something funny,use a great quote.) In this case, let’s start with a question: “Have you ever stopped to think about all the things in your life that you have to be thankful for?”

  • Sentence 2 Topic Sentence (In this case, we can simply write the sentence above “I am most thankful for my friends,” or we can elaborate into a more colorful sentence.)

  • Sentence 3 Name, DON’T EXPLAIN, your reasons. Remember, your body paragraphs 2, 3 and 4 will be used to Explain. Don’t waste your words in the intro! (For our simple intro to our paper, let’s use the following sentence for our last sentence of the intro: “Of all the things in my life, I am the most thankful for my friends.”

Now, you have a well-written , to-the-point introduction.

Paragraph 2,3 and 4—Body paragraphs.

  • Body paragraphs should each contain a few things

  1. Topic sentence—name the reason. Include a transition phrase/word, such as first, next, and last to begin each of the paragraphs.

  2. 2-3 more sentences EXPLAINING how/why.

    • Do this for each of your reasons. Remember to never mix your reasons together in one paragraph unless you are specifically writing a comparative essay. Keeping them separate leads to a well organized paper.

Paragraph 5—Conclusion

Use these few things to get your minimum of 3-5 sentences for your conclusion paragraph.

  1. Restate your topic. Don’t use the same sentence; put a twist on the original. (See # 3)

  2. Restate your reasons. Try using one sentence per reason this time instead of putting them all in one. This will vary sentence structures, and add to your score.

  3. State some kind of “summing” up sentence or two----For example, “It is clear to see why I am so thankful for my many friendships. If I could grant a gift to everyone in the world, it would be that they could experience friendships like I have.”


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