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Expository Writing

Expository Writing. An Introduction. Ideas Borrowed From:. Writer’s Inc . by Sebranek, Kemper, and Meyer ERWC course of study, California State University Mark Keppel High School English Department Resource Manual for Successful Writing Step Up to Writing by Aumen

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Expository Writing

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  1. Expository Writing An Introduction

  2. Ideas Borrowed From: • Writer’s Inc. by Sebranek, Kemper, and Meyer • ERWC course of study, California State University • Mark Keppel High School English Department Resource Manual for Successful Writing • Step Up to Writing by Aumen • Maria Garcia at San Antonio College http://www.accd.edu/sac/english/mgarcia/writfils/mod.htm

  3. Expected Outcomes • Modes of Discourse with particular focus on Expository Writing • General Information on Expository Writing • The importance of structure • Writing Introductions, Body paragraphs Conclusions and Thesis statements • Using the Claim, Evidence and Elaboration format/structure in body paragraphs • Ways to make claims • Types of Evidence • The Use of Rhetorical Appeals

  4. Expected Outcomes, cont. • How to Write a Process, Comparison, Cause/Effect & Definition Essay

  5. Modes of Discourse • Exposition • Persuasion (Argument) • Narration • Description • This presentation will focus specifically on Expository Writing.

  6. General InformationExpository Writing • The expository essay is the basic form of writing used in most academic classes. • Expository essays inform, explain, examine, discuss, or illustrate. • Expository essays follow the thesis statement plus support structure.

  7. The Importance of Structure • An expository essay should be tightly structured with • an introductory paragraph (beginning) • several supporting/body paragraphs (middle) • a concluding paragraph (end)

  8. Metacognitive Reflection • Talk to Your Neighbor • What expository reading have you done previously? • This is called metacognitive reflection, “thinking about your thinking.” It makes knowledge stick to your brain like peanut butter sticks to bread!

  9. Beginning -- Introduction • Gain your reader’s interest &identify the thesis • To get a reader’s interest: • Provide an interesting story about the subject • Present a significant fact or statistic • Quote an expert on the subject • Define an important term

  10. Characteristics of a Thesis Statement • A sentence • Names the topic of your paper and contains an assumption about your topic • It is debatable -- it is not merely factual or obvious but requires convincing proof of its validity. • It is specific. • It controls everything that goes into your paper.

  11. Sample Thesis Formulas Process analysis • OUTCOME involves ____, ____, and ____. Creating a fabulous meal involves planning, planning and more planning! Compare/Contrast • A look at _____(objects of comparison) in terms of _____(the points of comparison) shows that (general finding). A look at the PC and the Mac in terms of functionality shows that the Mac is a superior computer. • Looking at _____(object A) and _____(object b) shows that although they seem (similar/different), they are really quite (different/similar).

  12. Sample Thesis Formulas Cause/Effect • {Effect} happens as a result of {Cause}. Poverty happens as a result of lack of education. • {Effect} (verb) {Cause A, Cause B, and Cause C}. Lack of Education impacts people’s lifetime finances, their career choices, and the overall quality of their lives. • {Cause} brings about {Effect}. Lack of education brings about a nation of ill informed citizens, many of whom are poor. • {Cause} (verb) {Effect A, Effect B, and Effect C}. Lack of education impacts one’s ability to participate in society, to provide for one’s family, and to move up in the world.

  13. Middle -- Body Supporting paragraphs present the reasons supporting your thesis. Structure of the supporting paragraphs should include: Claim Evidence Elaboration

  14. How to make a Claim • A claim is the topic sentence. • You can make a claim by beginning each paragraph in one of the following ways: • Using a quotation • Semicolon Claim • A Rhetorical question • A List of Phrases • A List of Words • Occasion/Position Statements • (see “Topic Sentence” handout for further explanations)

  15. Occasion & Position • Occasion - Intro reason for writing • Can be any event, problem, idea, solution, or circumstance that gives you a reason to write • Position - states what you plan to prove or explain in your paragraph • Even though bike helmets are sometimes unfashionable and uncomfortable, all cyclists should wear them.

  16. Types of Evidence Used to Support a Claim • Factual Example • Expert Testimony • Statistic • Personal/Anecdotal Experience • Commonly Held Assumption/Belief • Author Opinion

  17. Elaboration • Elaboration is your commentary on how the evidence supports the claim. • Your elaboration should leave the reader thinking about and contemplating the claim you made in the paragraph.

  18. Reflective Practice • Talk to your neighbor. • Explain to them what is meant by claim, evidence, and elaboration. • Then have them explain it back to you. • Consider • What part of the essay contains the claim, evidence, elaboration structure. • What types of evidence can be used to support a claim. • What is the function of elaboration? What does it mean to elaborate on your claims and evidence?

  19. A Conclusion Should: • Stress the importance of the thesis statement. • Give the essay a sense of completeness. • Draw conclusions about all evidence presented • Leave a final impression on the reader.

  20. Suggestions, cont. • Synthesize, don’t summarize • Don’t simply repeat things that were in your paper. • Show them how the points in you made and the support and examples you used were not random, but fit together.

  21. Suggestions, cont. • Redirect your readers • Give your readers something to think about, perhaps a way to use your paper in the “real” world. • Your conclusion should go from specific to general. • Think globally.

  22. Strategies for Concluding Your Essay • Echoing the introduction: • Echoing the introduction can be a good strategy if it is meant to bring the reader full circle. • If you begin by describing a scenario, you can end with the same scenario as proof that your essay was helpful in creating a new understanding.

  23. Why do Writers use Process Analysis? • Directional process analysis: • To give instructions that a reader is expected to perform and that lead to the same result every time. • Informational process analysis: • To explain a cycle that readers can understand, but are not expected to perform.

  24. Process Analysis Steps • Outline the steps of the process. • Write each step as one clear action. • Make sure all of the major & minor steps are there. • Make sure all of the steps are in the correct order. • Explain the reasons for steps • Define all technical terms briefly. • Describe special equipment. • Use time order transitions.

  25. Time Transitions for Process Writing

  26. Essay of Comparison • What is comparison? • The method of development in which the writer examines the similarities and/or differences between persons, objects, or ideas to support a point. • A way of thinking that we use unconsciously to make decisions

  27. Why Do Writers Use Comparison? • To show that things which appear similar are really different • To show that things which appear different are really similar • To evaluate • To explain the unfamiliar in terms of the familiar

  28. Transitions Used in Comparison Writing

  29. How Does a Writer Compose a Comparison Essay? • Decide whether a block or a point by point organization works best for the purpose selected.

  30. Thesis Pattern(s) for a Comparison Essay • A look at ______ (object of comparison) in terms of _____(the points of comparison) shows that _____ (general finding). • Looking at _____(Object A) and ____ (Object B) shows that although they seem _______(similar/different), they are really ____(different/similar).

  31. How Does a Writer Compose a Comparison Essay? • Finally, • Make sure that you explain what one learns from making the comparison you are making in your essay.

  32. Cause/Effect Essay • What is cause/effect? • The method of development in which the writer analyzes the reason(s) for an action, event, or decision, or analyzes resulting consequences to support a point.

  33. Why Do Writers Use Cause and Effect? • To discover order in a reality that is in apparent chaos. • To inform. • To speculate. • To change behavior.

  34. How Does a Writer Compose a Cause/Effect Essay? • Choose a manageable subject that a specific group of people needs information on. • Decide on a thesis and state it in one of the prescribed patterns below. • Compose the examples and organize them with transitions to support each point. • Make sure you don’t oversimplify the subject/topic. • Make sure your argument makes sense. • Make sure you neither overstate or understate the position.

  35. Thesis Pattern for a Cause/Effect Essay Cause/Effect • {Effect} happens as a result of {Cause}. • {Effect} (verb) {Cause A, Cause B, and Cause C}. • {Cause} brings about {Effect}. • {Cause} (verb) {Effect A, Effect B, and Effect C}.

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