Expository Essays What they are and how to write them
Learning objectives • To understand the format of an expository essay • To know what style of language should be used to ensure writing is formal and appropriate to the task
Learning outcomes • To read and understand various forms of expository writing • To use the format taught in your own expository writing • To use newspaper articles gathered by you to inform your piece • To begin planning your own feature article
A definition: • The expository essay is a genre of essay that requires the author to investigate an idea, evaluate evidence, elaborate on the idea, and set forth an argument concerning that idea in a clear and concise manner.
How can this be accomplished? • Comparison and contrast of ideas • Definitions of key terms • Examples and evidence • The analysis of cause and effect
Where do we find them? • Most typical essays (analytical and informative) • Newspapers • Magazine reports • Research articles • Reports
Our aim… To write a FEATURE ARTICLE which explores a range of issues, opinions, experiences and ideas relating to SURVIVAL
So what is a feature article? Feature articles can be informative, entertaining, persuasive or they may simply satisfy the reader's curiosity about a particular topic. A feature article may provide more information about an important issue, offer an opinion about current affairs or simply present a personal or humorous perspective on modern day life. Unlike news reports which can quickly go out of date, feature articles have a more general focus and do not go out of date after a few days. More importantly, they EXPLORE an idea from all angles and don’t present a purely biased view.
“Feature articles are not just dry facts, it provides story and information from a unique angle.”
Language of a feature article • Tone can be formal or informal but feature articles are generally written in the third person (they don’t say “I…” • Anecdotes help to maintain reader interest • Facts validate the writer's viewpoints. • Rhetorical questions help to involve the reader. • Emotive words are used to evoke a personal response in the reader • The use of direct quotes from people involved in the topic, personalises the topic
Headlines • What is the headline of the feature article handout? “Clinging to life” Headlines need to: • Grab the reader’s attention • Highlight the main ideas in the article How has this headline done this?
Introduction An introduction needs to: • Provoke the reader's interest by making an unusual statement. • Provide any necessary background information • Invite the reader to take sides by making a controversial statement. • Establish the writer's tone • Create a relationship between the writer and the reader
Look at the introduction of the ‘Clinging to life’ article • Circle the entire introduction • Highlight any interesting/provoking questions • Annotate with the writer’s tone
I can't write about my topic the way anyone else would, I need to put my own spin on it.
The main article The middle section consists of a number of paragraphs that expand the main topic of the article into subtopics. The usual components are: • Subheadings. • Facts and statistics which support the writer's opinion. • Personal viewpoints. • Opinions from authorities and experts. • Quotes and interviews. • Anecdotes and stories. • Specific names, places and dates. • Photographs, tables, diagrams and graphs.
The main article of ‘Clinging to life’ • Highlight all the anecdotes/stories • Annotate the pictures, stating the effect of them • Underline any direct quotes from an expert • Highlight (in a different colour) specific names, places and dates
REMEMBER: most of the article will not be the words of the author. It will be the quotes from experts, anecdotes, facts and evidence that make up the majority of the article.
Conclusion The concluding paragraph should leave a lasting impression by: • Reminding the audience of the articles main idea • Encouraging a change of attitude or opinion • Suggesting an appropriate course of action
Look at the conclusion of ‘Clinging to life’ • What is the concluding statement? • Underline the section which attempts to answer the question • What did you think of the conclusion?
Read “It’s like living in oblivion, but Marysville residents stay on” • DISCUSS: How does the headline engage reader’s attention? • DISCUSS: How does it introduce the topic of the article? • HIGHLIGHTthe three different stories (Max and Vaal Cockerell, Lee Jowett and Bruce Thompson) in three different colours. Highlight every time they appear. • DISCUSS: Why do all three different stories appear again at the end of the article? • BREAKDOWN the article into the four square planner provided