Organizing Expository Writing: A Brief Overview. Lead credit: Renee Burress. What a writer should create when writing an expository essay:. Interesting, controlled lead with an obvious topic sentence. Supportive, organized body paragraphs with fluent transitions
Lead credit: Renee Burress
A well-written lead catches the reader’s attention, making them want to read more. It also makes the writer want to write more.
A lead is the
of any piece of writing.
Create a picture of the
setting or event
in the reader’s mind.
Start with a Snapshot.When you paint a picture, you draw the reader in . Notice the difference between these two leads to a report about ice-skating.
Draw your reader in with an important observation.
Draw your reader in with a question.
Start with a strongly stated question your readers might have. In some ways all writing is about trying to answer our best questions. A strong question is one we all want to know the answer to.
Start with a personal reason why you would investigate this topic.
Put your connection with the subject in the lead.Why are you attracted to the subject? Do you have a personal reason for writing about this subject? What specific memories of the subject come to mind?
Set up the writing with a super-interesting hook.
Flaunt your favorite bit of research in the lead.Start with the facts that made you smile, laugh, go "ahaaa" or just plain grossed you out.
You are being asked to write a compare and contrast paper. Regardless of what lead you choose to begin your writing, you will want to write your lead well, so let’s look at some sample student leads to see what works and what doesn’t.
Ponyboy Curtis, a poor boy from the east side of town, faces all kinds of problems and hard choices in S.E. Hinton’s The Outsiders. Growing up in the 60s with a mixed-up family and hoods for friends, seems like a hard character to relate to, especially in a completely different time period. But Ponyboy’s interests, feelings, and good heart immediately pulled me in. On every page was a new comparison. Amazing how a 14-year-old boy from the 60s could related so much to someone from the 21st century.
When you picture a ‘greaser” the first thing that will pop in your head is either your mom telling you to take a shower, or the slick-backed Elvis look. The last thing you will think of would be a teenage high school girl that is frustrated with her school’s cliques. That agitated girl is S.E. Hinton; her story is The Outsiders, where I found understanding heroism, and a multiple sided story where people are people before anything else. However, most of all the different characters Ponyboy was who was most debatable being more alike, or different.
The rich and poor have always been separated from each other. Although today isn’t as bad as it was in The Outsiders. In The Outsiders the separation of the rich and poor is one of the main ideas of the book.
As I read The Outsiders, I had a lot to think about. S.E. Hinton pushes you to think about the issues that appear in her book. As I thought about these things, I couldn’t help but realize how much alike Ponyboy, the main character, and I are. The further I got into the book, the more I saw ideas and thoughts from Ponyboy that I had thought of myself.
My understanding from the rich to the poor has changed from reading S.E. Hinton’s The Outsiders….. I understand S.E. Hinton’s message: don’t judge people by what they look like or how much money they have but [by] how much drive, kindness, and loyalty.
Regardless of which lead you choose for your compare and contrast paper, you will want your writing to be clear, interesting and informative while making your compare and contrast purpose obvious.
What’s the Buzz
Last summer, my grandma’s backyard overflowed with flowers and with stinging insects. At first, whenever I heard a buzz, I grabbed my flyswatter. Then Grandma showed me that not all buzzes are created equal. For example, honeybees and yellow jackets (wasps) may look similar, but they’re really very different creatures.
Transition Word/Phrases Sources: