An expository essay is a writing that conveys information or explains and proves something
Introduction to Expository Writing In order to classify as expository, an essay needs: a thesis statement at the end of the introduction that answers the prompt to explain or discuss a particular subject matter
Introduction to Expository Writing In order to classify as expository, an essay needs: strong evidence that backs up the thesis statement (in the body paragraphs) a conclusion that makes a final thought for the audience
o Tells a story o Includes setting/characters o Contains a conflict o Includes dialogue o Provides a resolution o Prompt will include a photo o Creative o Explains/discusses a topic o Includes a thesis statement o Contains evidence o Includes commentary (reasoning) o Provides a conclusion o Prompt will be completely textual o Informative What expository isn’t… What expository is…
*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.
Sample Prompt for Expository Writing Taking a risk means acting without knowing whether the outcome will be good. Think carefully about this statement. Write an essay explaining why it is sometimes necessary to take a chance. Take risks. Ask big questions. Don’t be afraid to make mistakes; if you don’t make mistakes, you’re not reaching far enough. -David Packard, Co-Founder of Hewlett-Packard
Steps to Complete Before Writing the Expository Essay Write an essay explaining why it is sometimes necessary to take a chance. 1.) Brainstorm examples that you could use in the body paragraph. 2.) Construct a thesis statement that directly answers the prompt in a single sentence (last sentence of your introduction). 3.) Create a “hook,” which is the opening sentence you will use to begin your entire essay. The “hook” should tie into the prompt in a realistic way.
Life is all about taking risks. If you don’t take risks, you will never find out what would have happened or not have happened if you would have taken that risk. Taking risks can be a good thing to do sometimes, but can also be a bad thing. You never want to take too many risks because some of them can turn out to be real bad, but then some of them can also be real good. Strong or Weak WEAK There is no clear thesis statement. This will lead to a weaker paper. Introduction seems very wishy-washy.
A lot of people struggle with the concept of taking chances in their lives. Sometimes people think that if they do not know what the outcome of their actions will be, then it is not worth taking the chance. However, there will be a time in everyone’s life where taking a risk is the best choice because it could end up making all the difference and potentially changing your future. Strong or Weak STRONG Interesting introduction with a clear thesis statement- we know what to expect from this essay!
Everything cannot be taken with caution or safety. Everything cannot be mapped or planned out according to one’s desire. Some things invoke taking a risk to reach the outcome, even when one has no idea what will happen. Taking a chance is almost always a major first part in achieving success. Strong or Weak STRONG Good clear thesis statement; there is a good transition sentence to lead into thesis statement.
There are so many opportunities and chances people give up every day. Then later on we regret our choices and decisions we made for not taking the risk. So how come we don’t take the risk? What makes us hold back from taking the risk? Strong or Weak WEAK Too many rhetorical questions; no thesis statement – VERY weak
Introductory Paragraph Class Practice Read the following quotation: “It is not in the stars to hold our destiny but in ourselves.” -William Shakespeare People tend to want to blame others when something does not go right in their life instead of looking at their choices. Think carefully about this statement. Write an essay explaining how decisions can shape a person’s future.
Remember what the prompt is that is to be addressed in your essay: Write an essay explaining how decisions can shape a person’s future. Let’s start by brainstorming possible examples of people or characters whose decisions shaped their future. Where do I get detailed examples to support my thesis for my expository essay? Just B-HIP! B – Books H – History I – Information (current events, music, movies, social media) P – People (personal anecdote, famous people, athletes)
Brainstorming before Writing News/History World Events Books/Movies School/Community Write an essay explaining how decisions can shape a person’s future. Michael Oher – The Blind Side Gabby Douglas Miley Cyrus The Outsiders or The Hunger Games
Now it’s your turn to brainstorm… News/History World Events Books/Movies School/Community Write an essay explaining the importance of education.
Thesis Statement Class Practice Now you have some good ideas to support the prompt, but you need some focus. That ’ s where the thesis statement comes into play. The thesis explains to your audience what you ’ re going to prove. Anything you write in your thesis must be proved, so keep it focused! Prompt: Write an essay explaining how decisions can shape a person’s future. Possible Thesis Statements: Men and women sometimes need to make choices to improve not only their lives but their community as well. Even though outcomes are uncertain, making good decisions can make a person be successful and positively influence the world around them. A person’s life is influenced by not only their circumstances, but by the choices they make.
Now it’s your turn to write a thesis… Prompt: Write an essay explaining the importance of education. Work with a partner to create your own thesis statement that directly addresses this prompt. Write your thesis in your packet.
Hook Class Practice Once you’ve brainstormed possible examples and created a thesis statement, it’s time to create a hook. This is the opening sentence in your essay. Its purpose is to immediately make them interested in reading what you have to say about the topic. Hook sentences can take many forms, including: o Descriptions o Quotes (This is a quotation you have memorized, NOT one from the prompt!) o Definition of a big idea from the prompt o General statements The most effective and sophisticated way to start your essay is with a general statement about the big idea in the prompt. For example, in our class practice, the big idea is “decisions.” With that in mind, what are some possible hook sentences we could use to write an essay about how decisions can shape a person’s future?
Write an essay explaining how decisions can shape a person’s future. Possible “Hook” sentences: Decision: a determination arrived at after consideration (Merriam Webster Dictionary). Even though the future seems uncertain, decisions made today can affect the rest of a person’s life. It is the decisions that people make that show their true character. Life is about choices. Every decision made in life has an outcome: positive or negative.
Hook Individual Practice Read the following quotation: “Education is the most powerful weapon which you can use to change the world.” -Nelson Mandela Despite the huge dropout rate in American high schools, statistics show that the average teenager believes that their education directly impacts their likelihood of future success. Think carefully about this statement. Write an essay explaining the importance of education. What’s the big idea in this prompt?
Individual Practice Remember that the prompt is to write an essay explaining the importance of education. Now, write two possible hook sentences for your prompt. 1. 2.
Putting It All Together Now that we have reviewed that an introduction includes: A hook statement A transition A thesis …let’s put all of these together and write a full introduction! Here’s the prompt we will use this time: Write an essay explaining how decisions can shape a person’s future.
Putting It All Together Write an essay explaining how decisions can shape a person’s future. Introduction:
Putting It All Together… On Your Own! Write an essay explaining the importance of education. Introduction:
Writing an Effective Body Paragraph Begin your body paragraphs with a topic sentence. Give a specific example that helps explain your thesis in each body paragraph. 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.
PROMPT REMINDER: Write an essay explaining why it is sometimes necessary to take a chance.
Body Paragraph Example Madame Curie took the risk of exposing herself to radiation for the chance to further our knowledge of nuclear radiation. She took the risk without knowing the outcome, resulting in her losing her life after many years of being exposed. It is because of her studies that society has a profound awareness of the matter in order to better protect ourselves. Had she not put herself in harm’s way for the sake of research, the medical world would have suffered greatly.
Another Sample Body Paragraph Some people have a phobia of bugs, so they never go outside or camping. Those people have not taken the chance to be near one and realize that most of them will not harm one unless one bothers them. Of course with the help of bug spray, people can keep off the hungry parasitic ones. But, this will only happen if people take risks and chances. This student received a bad score because the body paragraph does not make the student seem knowledgeable or prove the point well. What does that mean?
Yet Another Sample Body Paragraph It is good to take chances. You will never know if you don’t try. Taking chances will keep you open minded about different actions. There are good choices and bad choices. Too vague! Develop the idea! Use a specific example in your paragraph. Please don’t do this to me...
The Last Example of a Body Paragraph Furthermore, another example would be Atticus Finch from the book, To Kill a Mockingbird. In this novel, Atticus is a white lawyer from the 1930’s who is defending an African American in court. He does this without knowing whether he is guilty or not. He also took this case at the risk of losing his credibility and honor in a racist society. It is because of this risk that everyone in the court and his kids learned about the injustice happening in society. This should be the look on my face when I read your expository essay…
Body Paragraph Class Practice Prompt: Write an essay explaining how decisions can shape a person’s future
And now you’ll do one on your own! Prompt: Write an essay explaining the importance of education.
Some ideas to consider for conclusions: *a thought provoking quotation *describing a powerful image *talking about the consequences or implications *ending on an interesting twist of thought *explaining why the topic is important *making a prediction Conclusion Paragraph
Conclusion Class Practice Prompt: Write an essay explaining how decisions can shape a person’s future
And now you’ll do a conclusion on your own! Prompt: Write an essay explaining the importance of education.
Discussion of the STAAR Expository Rubric __________________________ Look at the rubric in your packet! 1 2 3 4
Organization and Progression Score Point 4 The organization of the essay is appropriate to the purpose and is responsive to the prompt. Score Point 3 The organization of the essay is appropriate to the purpose and is mostly responsive to the prompt. Score Point 2 The organization of the essay is clear but may not always be appropriate to the prompt. Score Point 1 The organization of the essay is either inappropriate or not evident.
Organization and Progression Score Point 4 All ideas are related to the thesis statement and are on topic. Score Point 3 Most ideas are related to the thesis statement and are on topic. Score Point 2 Most ideas are generally related to the topic, but the thesis may be a bit weak or unclear. Score Point 1 Most ideas are generally related to the topic, but the thesis statement may be missing, unclear, or illogical.
Organization and Progression Score Point 4 The writer’s progression of ideas is logical and well controlled. Meaningful transitions and strong connections are used throughout the essay. Score Point 3 The writer’s progression of ideas is generally controlled. For the most part, transitions and connections are logical through the essay. Score Point 2 The writer’s progression of ideas is inconsistent due to weak transition. Score Point 1 Lack of meaningful transitions and connections makes parts of the essay unclear or illogical.
Development of Ideas Score Point 4 The development of ideas is effective because the details and examples are specific and appropriate and enhance the essay. Score Point 3 The development of ideas is sufficient because the details and examples are specific and appropriate and add substance to the essay. Score Point 2 The development of ideas is minimal and remains at surface level because the details and examples are somewhat inappropriate or are too briefly or generally presented. Score Point 1 The writer’s development of ideas is weak because the details/examples are inappropriate, vague, or insufficient
Development of Ideas Score Point 4 The essay is thoughtful/engaging. The writer may approach the topic from an unusual perspective, may use his/her unique experiences or view of the world as basis for writing, or may connect ideas in interesting ways. Score Point 3 The essay reflects some depth of thought. The writer’s approach to the topic is original rather than formulaic and shows a good understanding of the expository task. Score Point 2 The essay reflects little or no depth of thought. Score Point 1 The essay is unsubstantial. The writer’s response to the prompt may be vague or confused, demonstrating a lack of understanding of the expository task.
Use of Language and Conventions Score Point 4 The writer’s word choice is very effective and shows keen awareness of purpose and uses an appropriate tone. Word choice is strong. Score Point 3 The writer’s word choice is, for the most part, effective. It reflects a general awareness of purpose and establishes an appropriate tone. Score Point 2 The writer’s word choice may be vague/weak and does not contribute to the clarity of the essay. Score Point 1 The writer’s word choice may be imprecise or unsuitable for purpose, impeding the clarity of the essay.
Use of Language and Conventions Score Point 4 Sentences are varied, enhancing the essay. Score Point 3 Sentences are varied, contributing for the most part to the effectiveness of the essay. Score Point 2 Sentences may be awkward, weakening the effectiveness of the essay. Score Point 1 ?
Use of Language and Conventions Score Point 4 The writer demonstrates a consistent command of spelling, capitalization, punctuation, and grammar. Score Point 3 The writer demonstrates a general command of spelling, capitalization, punctuation, and grammar. Score Point 2 The writer demonstrates a partial command of spelling, capitalization, punctuation, and grammar. Score Point 1 The writer has little or no command of spelling, capitalization, punctuation, and grammar.
Why a 4 clear thesis good organization student sounds knowledgeable well chosen examples that prove thesis demonstrates control of English language
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. He worked tirelessly at rehabilitation, ultimately regaining his speech and vision, while trying to reclaim enough balance to one day ride his snowboard again. “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.” Kevin currently continues to snowboard. VIDEO
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 an individual in the pursuit of a dream.
Your TURN! -Construct your “hook” that you will use to begin your paper - Construct a thesis statement (which is a direct answer to the prompt) -Brainstorm your different examples that you will use in your essay