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Expository Writing


Expository Writing Mr. Lamar – PowerPoint PPT presentation

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Title: Expository Writing

Expository Writing
  • Mr. Lamar

Give it to me straight
  • Expository writing is used to
  • Inform and explain
  • State factual information
  • Show cause and effect
  • Analyze a process
  • Classify information
  • Compare and contrast

How do you know that you will be writing an
expository essay?
  • Things to look for in your prompts
  • Example 1 Write an essay discussing the
    relative strengths and weaknesses of one
    particular source for news. Provide examples to
    illustrate your claims. Develop your ideas so
    vividly that a reader will have a clear
    understanding of the benefits and shortcomings of
    a particular source of news.
  • Example 2 Throughout your years in school, you
    have studied about many different people. Think
    about one of these people you have studied during
    your time at school. What makes this person
    special enough to study?
  • Write an essay in which you discuss a person you
    have studied in school. Explain what it is about
    this person that is special. Use details and
    examples to support your ideas.
  • Example 3 In the story, The Hiking Trip, the
    reader learns about the main character, Jeff.
    Jeff?s personality and emotions are revealed
    through the actions and dialogue presented in the
    story. Write an essay in which you describe the
    personality and emotions of Jeff, the main
    character. How do his personal characteristics
    add to the events in the story? How does the
    author reveal this information about Jeff in the
    story? Use details and examples from the story to
    support your ideas.

Organizational Patterns
  • Description - The author describes a topic by
    listing characteristics, features, and examples
  • Cue Words - for example, characteristics are

Organizational Patterns
  • Description Example
  • The Olympic symbol consists of five interlocking
    rings. The rings represent the five continents -
    Africa, Asia, Europe, North America and South
    America - from which athletes come to compete in
    the games. The rings are colored black blue,
    green, red, and yellow. At least one of these
    colors is found in the flag of every country
    sending athletes to compete in the Olympic games.

Organizational Patterns
  • Sequence - The author lists items or events in
    numerical or chronological order.
  • Cue words - first, second, third next then

Organizational Patterns
  • Sequence Example
  • The Olympic games began as athletic festivals to
    honor the Greek gods. The most important festival
    was held in the valley of Olympia to honor Zeus,
    the king of the gods. It was this festival that
    became the Olympic games in 776 B.C. These games
    were ended in A.D. 394 by the Roman Emperor who
    ruled Greece. No Olympic games were held for more
    than 1,500 years. Then the modern Olympics began
    in 1896. Almost 300 male athletes competed in the
    first modern Olympics In the games held in 1900,
    female athletes were allowed to compete. The
    games have continued every four years since 1896
    except during World War II, and they will most
    likely continue for many years to come.

Organizational Patterns
  • Compare/Contrast - The author explains how two or
    more things are alike and/or how they are
  • Cue words different in contrast alike same
    as on the other hand

Organizational Patterns
Basic Structure
Details, Examples, Characteristics
Details, Examples, Characteristics
Point 1
Point 1
Point 1
Subject 2
Subject 1
Point 2
Point 2
Point 2
Point 3
Point 3
Point 3
Organizational Patterns
  • When organizing a compare/contrast essay, first
    identify what subjects are being compared.
    Typically there are two to three subjects.
  • Then determine the specific characteristic(s)
    that will be discussed regarding those subjects.
  • Next, decide the order of importance for the
    characteristic(s) being discussed.

Organizational Patterns
  • Using a Thinking Map, how would you organize a
    compare/contrast essay that is comparing two
    stories and there is one characteristic being
  • You have two possible options.

Organizational Patterns
  • Option 1 You can write one body paragraph
    discussing all the elements or examples of the
    characteristic found in the first story and then
    a second paragraph doing the same thing for the
    second story.
  • Block Method

Story 1 Body Paragraph 1
Example/Element 1 and commentary
Example/Element 2 and commentary
Example/Element 3 and commentary
Story 2 Body Paragraph 2
Example/Element 1 and commentary
Example/Element 2 and commentary
Example/Element 3 and commentary
Organizational Patterns
  • Option 2 You can identify two or three elements
    of the characteristic being discussed and make
    each element the focus of the body paragraphs.
  • Point-by-Point Method

Element 1 Body Paragraph 1
Example from Story 1 And commentary
Example from Story 2 And commentary
Element 2 Body Paragraph 2
Example from Story 1 And commentary
Example from Story 2 And commentary
Element 3 Body Paragraph 3
Example from Story 1 And commentary
Example from Story 2 And commentary
Organizational Patterns
  • Compare/Contrast Example
  • The modern Olympics is very unlike the ancient
    Olympic games. Individual events are different.
    While there were no swimming races in the ancient
    games, for example, there were chariot races.
    There were no female contestants and all athletes
    competed in the nude. Of course, the ancient and
    modern Olympics are also alike in many ways. Some
    events, such as the javelin and discus throws,
    are the same. Some people say that cheating,
    professionalism, and nationalism in the modern
    games are a disgrace to the Olympic tradition,
    but according to the ancient Greek writers, there
    were many cases of cheating, nationalism, and
    professionalism in their Olympics too.

Organizational Patterns
  • Cause and Effect - The author lists one or more
    causes and the resulting effect or effects.
  • Cue words reasons why if...then as a result
    therefore because

Effect 1
Effect 2
Effect 3
Organizational Patterns
  • Cause and Effect Example
  • There are several reasons why so many people
    attend the Olympic games or watch them on
    television. One reason is tradition. The name
    Olympics and the torch and flame remind people of
    the ancient games. People can escape the
    ordinariness of daily life by attending or
    watching the Olympics. They like to identify with
    someone else's individual sacrifice and
    accomplishment. National pride is another reason,
    and an athlete's or a team's hard earned victory
    becomes a nation's victory. There are national
    medal counts and people keep track of how many
    medals their country's athletes have won.

Organizational Patterns
  • Problem and Solution - The author states a
    problem and lists one or more solutions for the
    problem. A variation of this pattern is the
    question- and-answer format in which the author
    poses a question and then answers it. The author
    is simply providing possible solutions, not
    recommending the best solution (that would be
    persuasive writing).
  • Cue words problem is dilemma is puzzle is
    solved question... answer

Organizational Patterns
Solution 1
Solution 2
Solution 3
Organizational Patterns
  • Problem and Solution Example
  • One problem with the modern Olympics is that it
    has become very big and expensive to operate. The
    city or country that hosts the games often loses
    a lot of money. A stadium, pools, and playing
    fields must be built for the athletic events and
    housing is needed for the athletes who come from
    around the world. And all of these facilities are
    used for only 2 weeks! In 1984, Los Angeles
    solved these problems by charging a fee for
    companies who wanted to be official sponsors of
    the games. Companies like McDonald's paid a lot
    of money to be part of the Olympics. Many
    buildings that were already built in the Los
    Angeles area were also used. The Coliseum where
    the 1932 games were held was used again and many
    colleges and universities in the area became
    playing and living sites.

  • Introduction
  • Hook catch the audiences attention by making a
    statement or comment that they can relate to.
    These are generally broad statements or
    interesting observations that introduce the
    subject of the essay.
  • Topics Briefly introduce the topics that will be
    discussed in your essay without getting into
  • Thesis The main idea being discussed. It must be
    defined and narrow enough to be supported within
    the essay.

  • Body
  • The format of your body paragraphs will be
    different depending on the type of expository
    essay you will be writing and the ideas that you
    wish to highlight.
  • You can either use the Block Method or the
    Point-by-Point Method.

  • Conclusion
  • Originally restate the thesis and the main
    supporting ideas
  • Finish with the a statement that reinforces your
    position in a meaningful and memorable way.
  • Never introduce new material in the conclusion.

  • Now that you have read Catch the Moon and The
    Bass, the River, and Sheila Mant, you can
    compare the themes of the two stories in a
    comparison/contrast essay. Be sure to elaborate
    on every general statement you make, using
    details, examples, and quotations from the
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