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Expository Essay


Expository Essay Junior Essay Choose one of the following topics: 1. Life is full of momentous events that change the course of our futures. These events may occur ... – PowerPoint PPT presentation

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Title: Expository Essay

Expository Essay
  • Junior Essay

Choose one of the following topics 1. Life is
full of momentous events that change the course
of our futures. These events may occur because
of a decision that someone makes or because of
uncontrollable circumstances. Describe a
momentous event in your life and explain how it
affected your future in a multiple-paragraph
short essay. 2. Think of something that is
important to you that you learned in school or
outside of school. In several paragraphs, write
a letter to your teacher explaining what you
learned and why it is important to you.
  • The essay is the basic form of writing assigned
    in all academic areas. You write essays
  • about important concepts covered in your reading
    and class discussion. You research
  • related topics. You compose procedure (how-to)
    papers. You take essay tests. Anytime
  • you are asked to inform, explain, analyze or
    write persuasively about a subject, you are
  • developing an essay. Basic essays usually
    contain at least three to five paragraphs.
  • The purpose of an expository essay is to present
    important information about a specific subject.
  • On the following slides the basic expository is
    explained in detail Introduction, body
  • paragraphs, and conclusion.

  • Introduction
  • This paragraph is 40-80 words or four to five
    sentences in length.
  • Body Paragraph
  • Each paragraph contains these parts.
  • Each is also about 100-150 words or ten or more
  • Essays can contain as many body paragraphs as
    necessary to prove the thesis.
  • Conclusion
  • This paragraph contains 40-80 words or three to
    five sentences.

Key Terms
  • Hook - catches readers attention
  • Link explains hook, gives background or summary
    information transitions to
  • THESIS STATEMENT (subject opinion)
  • Topic sentence for each body paragraph relates
    directly to proving thesis. Gives argument that
    will be presented in that body paragraph.
  • The rest of the paragraph offers evidence
    (concrete detail) to support the topic sentence
    and explains its importance (commentary).
  • Transitions are used between sentences.
  • The concluding sentence
  • Wraps up the paragraph and leads to the next body
    paragraph or to the conclusion.
  • Restates the thesis in different words.
  • Summarizes the main points of each body
  • State the significance or importance for the
    thesis. Goes further in your thinking about the

Expository Holistic Scoring Guide
  • An introductory paragraph catches the readers
    attention, gives some background information
    about the topic in general, and states the
    thesis. This paragraph can be divided into three
  • 1. Introductory Technique Some teachers call
    this the Hook or Attention Getter.
  • Whichever technique you use, it must focus
    attention on the essays topic.
  • 2. Link This section explains the hook and
    leads the reader to the thesis statement. Its
    length depends on the type of essay. For
    example, if you are writing a literary analysis
    essay, you need to give a brief summary of the
    book as you lead to the thesis.
  • 3. Thesis Statement This is the topic sentence
    for the essay. It has two parts a specific
    topic and your attitude about it
  • (subject opinion)

More On Introductory Techniques
  • 1. Definition Explain a term that is central
    to the thesis. This may be a dictionary
    definition or the writers definition.
  • 2. Rhetorical Question This question needs to
    be central to the thesis and answered in the
  • 3. Startling Statement or Relevant Fact Either
    one can serve to interest the reader and direct
    attention to the thesis.
  • 4. Quotation A quotation from the book works
    especially well when writing a literary analysis
    essay. Remember a quotation may be any section
    of the book, dialogue, description, or narration.
  • 5. Anecdote A short interesting or humorous
    incident is another popular introductory
    technique. With this hook, the writer must be
    careful to keep it short in relation to the
    overall length of the essay.
  • 6. History or Background Information This type
    or hook gives information that establishes
    context for the paper.
  • Never start an essay with a statement such as
    In this essay I am going to write about

Organizing Your Position
  • Step 1 Figure out exactly what your answer is to
    the topic question and phrase it as a statement.
  • Step 2 Decide who your audience is.
  • Step 3 Brainstorm points/arguments that support
    your position. What is true about the topic that
    supports your point of view?
  • Step 4 Brainstorm/research facts that prove each
    of your points/arguments.

Constructing a Thesis Statement
  • What do you believe to be true?
  • What do you want your audience to agree to?
  • Is there an opposing viewpoint?
  • Is your topic specific enough to argue in a short
    paper but broad enough to allow at least three
    distinct points/arguments to be made?

Constructing Points/Arguments
  • Brainstorm points that are true about your topic
    that support your point of view.
  • All three points should be different from one
    another and support the point of view you have
    taken with your thesis.
  • Choose your three strongest or combine to create
    three and rank from strongest to weakest.

Fact Finding
  • Research and brainstorm concrete details/examples
    that support each of your three points.
  • Possible evidence includes the following quotes
    from others, past events, facts, personal
  • Evaluate the examples
  • Separate fact from opinion only expert opinions
    carry weight in an argument.
  • Confirm that evidence is directly relevant to
    your point and does not contradict your point of

  • The body paragraphs provide proof and support for
    the thesis statement. A typical expository essay
    includes three or more body paragraphs. The more
    evidence the writer can provide, the more likely
    the reader will accept the validity of the thesis
  • Organization of body paragraphs in a particular
    essay generally follows one of the patterns
    listed below.
  • 1. Chronological Order time order
  • 2. Order of Importance least to most important
  • Or
  • second strongest, least strong,
    strongest argument
  • 3. Comparison/Contrast showing similarities
    and differences
  • 4. Cause and Effect relationship between event
    and outcome

Body Paragraph Structure
  • The topic sentence of each body paragraph must
    help prove the thesis statement.
  • Supporting sentences give concrete proof,
    examples, details, and/or facts that prove the
    thesis (concrete details).
  • The writer must explain the importance of each
    specific piece of evidence in one or two
    sentences following the evidence. This is often
    referred to as commentary about the evidence.
    Commentary means that the writer explains why the
    evidence helps prove the thesis in his or her own
  • The paragraphs last or concluding sentence
    brings the paragraph to a conclusion and
    transitions to the topic sentence of the next
  • Each paragraph of the essay is linked to the next
    one by various kinds of transitions the
  • sentences within each paragraph are also smoothly
    connected to one another by transitional
  • words and phrases.
  • English teachers often ask students to write body
    paragraphs of ten or more sentences or 100
  • 150 words. The purpose of this is to make sure
    the paragraphs will be specific and well
  • developed. It is a good idea to remember this
    when writing your essay.
  • On the following page is a simple pattern that
    shows exactly how a body paragraph is structured.

Sample Body Paragraph
  • Each line represents one sentence in the body
  • 1. Topic sentence (TS) This idea helps prove
    that the thesis statement is true.
  • 2. Concrete Detail (CD) A fact, example,
    quotation, paraphrase, or piece of evidence to
    back up the topic sentence.
  • 3. Commentary (CM) Shows why CD provides
  • 4. Commentary (CM) Shows why CD provides
  • 5. Concrete Detail (CD) A fact, example,
    quotation, paraphrase, or piece of evidence to
    back up topic sentence.
  • 6. Commentary (CM) Shows why CD provides
  • 7. Commentary (CM) Shows why CD provides
  • 8. Concrete Detail (CD) A fact, example,
    quotation, paraphrase, or piece of evidence to
    back up topic sentence.
  • 9. Commentary (CM) Shows why CD provides

  • The concluding paragraph effectively ends the
    essay by summing up the discussion in a few
    sentences. It gives the writer one last chance
    to make the point.
  • For the beginning writer, a three part conclusion
    is often taught.
  • 1. Restate the thesis in slightly different
  • 2. Summarize the main points of the body
  • 3. Go further in explaining the significance or
    importance of the thesis.

Six ways to write a concluding paragraph.
  • 1. The paragraph emphasizes the main points by
    summarizing them. This could be used for a
    fairly complex, long essay or a research paper.
  • 2. The paragraph draws a conclusion from the
    body paragraphs.
  • 3. The paragraph evaluates what has been done.
    This works when the essay is describing a process
    or a historical event.
  • 4. The paragraph answers the question posed by
    the thesis statement.
  • 5. The paragraph recommends a specific course of
    action. This works for a persuasive or
  • reflective essay.
  • 6. The paragraph gives a final powerful example
    to emphasize the main point. This, too,
  • works for a persuasive essay.

  • Transitions are very important in writing
    paragraphs and essays. They are the links that
    hold the chain of ideas together. These links
    occur in the manners shown below.
  • 1. Use pronouns to refer to ideas or people
    previously mentioned (he, she, it, you, I, etc.).
  • Pronouns must agree with their noun antecedent in
    gender and number.
  • Example When the children left the bus, they
    discovered that they were in an
  • unfamiliar neighborhood. This place had bright
    lights and tall trees.
  • 2. Repeat words or phrases from one sentence to
    the next. This method is especially
  • effective between the last sentence of one
    paragraph and the first sentence (topic
  • sentence) of the next paragraph.
  • Example In this situation, Jacques was very
    jealous. (last sentence of paragraph)
  • Another time, he became jealous when his
    mother brought his brother a gift.
  • (first sentence of next paragraph)

Various Purposes of Transitions
  • a. To introduce an example thus, for example,
    for instance, to illustrate
  • b. To add an idea or fact again, also,
    besides, furthermore, in addition, moreover,
  • c. To establish spatial order above, below,
    here, there, inside, outside, nearby, beyond,
    over, under
  • d. To establish time order first, then,
    before, after, finally, meanwhile, later, second,
  • e. To tie together several reasons and show
    cause-and-effect relationship because, for, in
    the second place, since, inasmuch as, to that end
  • f. To restrict, to contradict, to show
    contrast although, however, nevertheless, on
    the contrary, otherwise, instead, yet, on the
    other hand, despite this fact
  • g. To indicate a conclusion or result
    therefore, in conclusion, to sum up,
    consequently, as a result, accordingly, in other
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