expository essay

expository essay


The purpose of an expository essay is to inform and explain. Your essay is going to help your readers understand the issue you’ve chosen on the same level that you do. Your job is to analyze various perspectives on the topic you’ve selected and to present them to readers, along with background on the topic. You are not offering your opinion on the issue you’ve selected; your objective for this first essay is to inform and explain that issue. You will have opportunities to express your views on your topic later in the class, but, for now, your paper should be informative, not persuasive. This means that, as a writer, you need to remain neutral on your topic at this point. Part of the goal of research is to allow ourselves to be open to discovering new points of view on a topic, even if we start the process by thinking our minds are made up. Often, students find that their original point of view on their issue does not hold up after they read expert opinions and studies. Being willing to be convinced by research and personal reflection is an important facet of being an educated and fair-minded person. Once it is time to argue your position on your topic (in the second essay), you will be much better prepared to do so because you have put the work in now to really understand the topic.

Ways to Approach the Expository Essay:


Option 1
Paragraph 1: Hook, introduce the topic, and end with a thesis statement.
Paragraph 2: Background of the issue.
 Paragraph 3: Side 1 of the issue (pro, for example).
Paragraph 4: Side 2 of the issue (con, for example).
Paragraph 5: Side 3 (maybe it’s a blend of the sides 1 & 2 or a grey area).
Paragraph 6: Conclusion


Option 2         
Paragraph 1: Hook, introduce the topic, and end with a thesis statement.
Paragraph 2: Both pro & con within a subtopic of the issue (ex: school uniforms & gangs)
Paragraph 3: Both pro & con within a subtopic of the issue (ex: school uniforms & cost)
Paragraph 4: Both pro & con within a subtopic of the issue (ex: uniforms & individuality)
Paragraph 5: Conclusion

Remember, a body paragraph is like a container. If you were moving out of your house, you wouldn’t put your forks and socks in the same box, right? Each body paragraph should make a claim about the piece you are writing about. For example, each paragraph might be about a symbol in the essay that speaks to the overall theme the essay is trying to argue. The structure of that body paragraphs should be:

1. Topic sentence
2. Supporting evidence/quote
3. Explain what that quote means and how it proves the point you are making.
4. Tie this to thesis/show how it applies to the thesis and transitions to next paragraph.

Then, you need a conclusion paragraph that sums up all your main points from the body paragraphs.

 Paper requirements: 1,000 – 1,500 words (not including the title and References page). Use at least 3 reputable (Links to an external site.) sources. APA format (Title Page, Paper, References) 1-inch margins Double-spaced, Times New Roman, 12-point font Indented paragraphs Third-person POV (no I, you, we, us, our) No contractions No plagiarism!!!

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