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Writing an Expository Essay

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1 Writing an Expository Essay

2 Merriam Webster’s Dictionary defines an expository essay as…
ex·po·si·tion (noun) Merriam Webster’s Dictionary defines an expository essay as… a discourse or an example designed to convey information or explain what is difficult to understand

3 Introduction to Expository Writing
In order to classify as expository, an essay needs: to explain/discuss a particular subject matter a thesis statement at the end of the introduction that answers the prompt strong evidence that backs up the thesis statement (in the body paragraphs) a conclusion that makes a final thought for the audience Introduction to Expository Writing

4 Literary vs. Expository
Tells a story Includes a setting and character Contains a conflict Includes dialogue Provides a resolution Prompt will include a photo Creative Explains/discusses a topic Includes a thesis statement Contains evidence Includes commentary (reasoning) Provides a conclusion Prompt will be completely textual Informative

5 Just tell me how to get the best scores!
Well alright then! You will need: A good hook & short introduction paragraph A clear, strong thesis (answer to the prompt) Body paragraphs that explain a clear example A conclusion paragraph that restates your thesis using different wording Don’t fill up your page with nonsense, but do try to fill up the page with well thought-out, concise wording. No wasted words!

6 Think of expository in this way: it is logical and informative.
*The expository prompt page on the STAAR test typically has a lot of text. Think of expository in this way: it is logical and informative. (You’ll see on the next slide)


8 Sample Prompt for Expository Writing
In 1955 medical researcher Jonas Salk introduced an effective polio vaccine. At the time polio was considered the biggest threat to public health, yet Salk refused to profit by patenting the vaccine because he was more concerned with preventing disease than with personal gain. Although many people work to benefit themselves, some people choose to put others first. Think carefully about this statement. Write an essay explaining why people should be more concerned about others than about themselves.

9 Steps to Complete Before Writing the Expository Essay
Write an essay explaining why people should be more concerned about others than about themselves. 1.) Construct a thesis statement that directly answers the prompt. 2.) Create a “hook,” which is the opening sentence you will use to begin your entire essay. 3.) Brainstorm examples that you could use in the body paragraph.

10 Writing An Effective Introductory Paragraph Student Examples

11 Although it is important to help others when possible, it is also essential to put oneself first in life. After all, we all have one life, and each person’s main concern is his own choices in life. Strong or Weak WEAK WHY?? There is no clear thesis statement. This will lead to a weaker paper.

12 Helping another person with a difficult task is a great thing to do
Helping another person with a difficult task is a great thing to do. However, most of us are too busy with our lives to take time for others. Even though it is easier to mind our own business, it is honorable and caring when a person goes out of his way to help another person. WHY?? Strong or Weak STRONG Interesting introduction with a clear thesis statement- we know what to expect from this essay!

13 Sometimes helping others matters more than one’s personal gain
Sometimes helping others matters more than one’s personal gain. Although people work to benefit themselves, they should always put others first. People should be more concerned about helping others than themselves because it is the right thing to do. Strong or Weak WHY?? STRONG Good clear thesis statement; there is a good transition sentence to lead into the thesis statement.

14 Why should people put others before themselves
Why should people put others before themselves? Why should they, who don’t have everything they want but don’t necessarily need in their life, stop for someone less fortunate? Strong or Weak WEAK WHY?? All rhetorical questions; no hook sentence; no thesis statement – VERY weak

15 The results will leave you on top of the world!
3 Brainstorming Steps The results will leave you on top of the world! 1. ANWER the question 2. Choose a good HOOK. 3. Think of several EXAMPLES that can back up your answer.

16 Writing an Effective Body Paragraph
Give a specific example that helps explain your thesis in each body paragraph. Do not make your whole paper sound like an introduction paragraph. Begin your body paragraphs with a topic sentence. Body paragraphs develop one clear, specific reason or example for believing your thesis statement to be true. Convince your reader to see things as you see them.

17 Body Paragraph Example
During September 11th, when the terrorists attacked the World Trade buildings, Americans of all races and ages helped each other escape the crumbling buildings. The fireman and police worked overtime and put themselves in danger from the dust and piles of building scraps to help pull the injured out from under the rubble. These men and women gave everyone hope in their heroic, selfless acts. Their actions reveal that it is admirable to put others first. _____________ Strong- clear topic sentence and example

18 Another Sample Body Paragraph
It is important to care about others because then other people will like you. Everyone wants to have friends. Caring is part of friendship. _________________________________________ This student received a bad score because the body paragraph is too vague. What does that mean?

19 Yet Another Sample Body Paragraph
A nurse will spend most of her or his day caring for hurting people. Nurses are one example of people who put others first. _______________________________ Too vague! Develop the idea! Your paragraph must develop the idea of the nurse helping the sick. This is an okay start, but it’s certainly not a paragraph.

20 The Last Example of a Body Paragraph
The Red Cross is an organization that helps people in need. For example, they respond to hurricane or tornado victims with places of shelter, blankets, clothing, and food. The Red Cross people are volunteers that make life bearable in times of emergencies. It is important to help people in tough times; one never knows when he or she will need assistance. ______________ Strong or Weak? Explain

21 Brainstorming before Writing
News/History World Events Books/Movies School/Community

22 1 2 Discussion of the STAAR Expository Rubric __________________________ Look at the rubric! 4 3

23 It’s Time for YOU to be the STAAR GRADER!

24 Thinking about others before you is a nice thing to think of, but if you think of yourself first it makes you feel isolated. Caring about others before you isn’t a bad thing, but thinking about yourself isn’t bad either. To me I think of others before me. Some people have the good life, others don’t. I’ll rather put myself in danger than others being in danger as well. I’m only one person but risking myself could save more than one life. When your in a room where there seems to be a fire some people will think of themselves while others think of the rest. The doctor could risk himself of getting polio but he could save hundreds of lifes that currently have polio. To me people that think of themselves before others are selfish and maybe greedy, but others that think of others are kind people.

25 What would you rate this essay?
1 2 3 4

26 What would you rate this essay?

27 Humanity has a funny way of contradicting itself sometimes
Humanity has a funny way of contradicting itself sometimes. All children are taught to share and put others’ needs before their own. Somewhere down the line, there is the realization that the very people who preach these things to children do not follow their own rules. It is very important in society today to remember the bigger picture, which often includes doing things to help others with no benefit to oneself. People need to realize that volunteering is a worthwhile and necessary part of life. Some people think to help others means giving money when really it is about donating time to help others. Organizations like Houston Food Bank and the American Red Cross are always in need of volunteers. For these organizations to be successful, they need people to donate their time. Our society becomes a better place when people choose to make a difference. Soldiers know the value of helping others. They are trained to assess difficult situations and devise the best plan to succeed. Their willingness to put themselves in harm’s way displays their concern for others. Because of their sacrifice, the world is a safer place. Doing something to help others leads to emotional or moral gain. On the other hand, doing something for monetary gain is just like money itself: easily expendable and transient. The memories and feelings one gets from helping others will never go away. It is worth something. Worth more than money ever could be.

28 What would you rate this essay?
1 2 3 4

29 What would you rate this essay?

30 Sample Prompt for Expository Writing
Kevin Pearce suffered a violent crash that shattered his dream of participating in the Olympics and left him with a severe brain injury, facing long odds of a successful recovery. Pearce, who was a rising star and considered a favorite to win a medal in snowboarding at the Vancouver Games, remembers nothing about that December night in As he was preparing for the Olympic trials, something went awry while he was airborne, and he slammed his head on the lip of the icy halfpipe. He worked tirelessly at rehabilitation, ultimately regaining his speech and vision, while trying to reclaim enough balance to one day ride his snowboard again. That would be his personal Olympics. “There are bigger things in life than snowboarding,” he said during a recent interview. “What’s so cool, though, is that I’ve been able to deal with it.” He recently got back on his snowboard and his ride was remarkably smooth, his turns crisp. He smiled a lot and his personality shone. It was a good day on the slopes, one of the best days yet. VIDEO

31 Sample Prompt for Expository Writing
Some individuals show remarkable strength and determination when faced with hardships and obstacles in life. Write an essay explaining how determination can help individuals overcome significant odds in the pursuit of a dream.

32 Your TURN! -Construct a thesis statement (which is a direct answer to the prompt) -Construct your “hook” that you will use to begin your paper -Think of your different examples that you will use in your essay at the bottom of page 9


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