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Expository Writing

Expository Writing

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Expository Writing

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  1. Expository Writing Writing that explains, describes, illustrates, defines, or informs. Introductory Paragraph Body Paragraphs (2+) Concluding Paragraph

  2. Introductory Paragraph (#1) • Attention Grabber • Background Information • Central/Controlling Idea • Thesis Into gets more and more specific

  3. Introduction: Attention Grabber • Function/Purpose • Hooks reader • 1st sentence(s) of intro. paragraph • General/broad concept related to some aspect of prompt • What it is NOT • Unrelated to prompt • Not a sentence or question with “you” in it • Not too specific • Not a sentence with title/author in it

  4. What it is NOT Not too specific to prompt yet Not analysis Not a sentence with subtopics in it Not a quote from text Not extensive plot summary Introduction: Background Information • Function/Purpose • Provides context for reader (historical) • If about literature, provides title/author and brief plot summary • Provides link between grabber and specifics of prompt

  5. What it is NOT Not plot detail Not a basic fact Not something that cannot be proven or already is proven Not a quote from text Not unrelated to prompt Introduction: Central/Controlling Idea • Function/Purpose • Connected directly to analysis part of prompt and commentary • Provides analysis writer is asserting/ can be proven • If about literature, usually about theme, purpose, impact on reader, tone, etc. • Can be combined with the thesis

  6. What it is NOT Not a plot detail Not a basic fact Not a quote from text Introduction: Thesis • Function/Purpose • Provides content and organization of paper • Includes subtopics that will be used to prove central idea (subtopics will be topics of body paragraphs) • Belongs in last sentence of introduction

  7. Body Paragraph (#2-3) Least specific • Topic Sentence • Major A • Minor #1 • Commentary • Minor #2 • Commentary • Major B • Minor #1 • Commentary • Minor #2 • Commentary • Concluding Sentence Most specific Analysis

  8. What it is NOT Not a plot detail Not a basic fact Not a quote from text Not a sentence that cannot be or already is proven (ie, “Scout is one of the main characters in the novel.”) Bad! Body Paragraph: Topic Sentence • Function/Purpose • States main idea AND assertion for each body paragraph (kind of “mini thesis” for paragraph) • Tied directly to main thesis • First sentence of body paragraph • Should be able to read T.S. and ask, “How so?”

  9. What it is NOT Not too specific Not a quote Not analysis Body Paragraph: Major Supports • Function/Purpose • At least two per paragraph • Ways in which the assertion given in T.S. can be proven • In the writer’s own words, answers, “How so?” from T.S.

  10. What it is NOT Not a question Not analysis Not irrelevant examples or details Body Paragraph: Minor Supports • Function/Purpose • Specific quotes, concrete details, anecdotes, etc. to illustrate each major • 2 minors for each major in HSPE/MSP-style essay • 1 minor (quote) in literary analysis minimum for each major

  11. What it is NOT Not plot summary Not plot detail Not restatement of majors/minors/quotes Not unrelated to prompt No critique of book No advice to reader Body Paragraph: Commentary • Function/Purpose • Writer’s analysis • Connects back to analysis-part of prompt and to central idea • If about literature, usually about theme, purpose, impact on reader, tone, etc. • Honors: 2-part commentary—one sentence analyzing quote and one or more to present significance (universally) • “This shows that…”

  12. Tips for Commentary • SPIES • Significance - Why did I choose this/these particular quotes/details? Why are they significant? • Purpose - What is the author’s purpose in presenting the reader with these quotes? • Importance - How/why are these quotes/details good examples of my major? Why are they important? • Effect - What effect do these particular quotes/details have on the reader (and how does that relate to the point I am trying to make)? • Suggestion - What suggestion do these quotes/details make about a character or event?

  13. What it is NOT No quote from text No introduction of new idea Not exact wording as T.S. Body Paragraph: Concluding Sentence • Function/Purpose • Provides closure for body paragraphs—last sentence of body paragraphs • Restates T.S. • Optional in shorter essays • Can transition to next body paragraph

  14. What it is NOT Does not start with “In conclusion…” Not word-for-word restatement of thesis/ central idea No new information introduced Do not end on a question Do not include “lesson” for your readers Concluding Paragraph • Function/Purpose • Provides closure for essay • Restatement of thesis/ central idea using different wording • Brief summary of main ideas presented in essay (esp. in longer essay) • Final thought-provoking/ memorable (relevant) insight

  15. Things to AVOID in your essay • First person pronouns (“I,” “me,” etc.) • Can be used if the essay is about YOU personally • Can be used in quotes from literature • Second person pronouns (“you,” “your,” etc.) • Can ONLY be used in quotes from literature • Contractions (“It’s,” “They’re,” etc.) • ONLY in quotes • Slang

  16. Topic Statement Major Topic A Major Topic B Minor Topic 1 Minor Topic 1 Minor Topic 2 Minor Topic 1 Minor Topic 2 Useful Organizer for an Expository Body Paragraph Comm Comm Concluding Statement